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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » K » Koussevitzky, Sergey

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Sergey Koussevitzky (01/01/1874 - 01/01/1951)

Sergey Koussevitzky was born into a poor but musical family: the first musical instrument he learnt to play was the trumpet. He won a scholarship to the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied the double-bass with Rambousek and theory and composition with Blaramberg and Kruglikov. Having joined the double-bass section of the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Moscow, in 1894, he was principal from 1901 to 1905 and also started his career as a soloist in 1901, with a repertoire that consisted predominantly of transcriptions, many made by himself, of works originally composed for the cello. In 1905 Koussevitzky married Natalie Ushkov, the daughter of a rich tea merchant, who soon became a major patron of his new son-in-law. After moving to Berlin in 1907 Koussevitzky studied conducting at the High School for Music and saw Nikisch in action, making his conducting debut during the following year with no less an orchestra than the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra which he had hired for the purpose.



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