Nicolai Berezowsky

Nicolai Tikhonovich Berezowsky (May 17, 1900 – August 27, 1953) was a Russian-born American violinist and composer.

He was born in St. Petersburg, Russia on May 17, 1900, graduating from the Imperial Capella with honors when he was sixteen. As a young boy singer in the chapel choir, he recalled singing for the Tsar's family and Rasputin. He tells in the book Duet with Nicky of how the choirboys would tear pages from their hymnals to make spit-balls which they would aim at Rasputin. He later served as musical director of the School of Modern Art in Moscow and as first violinist at the Moscow Grand Opera. In 1922, he made a harrowing escape from the Soviet Union in disguise, only to be arrested in Poland, but was released by an official who remembered hearing him perform. Once settled in New York, Berezowsky attended the Juilliard School of Music, studying under Paul Kochanski and Rubin Goldmark. He was first violinist with the New York Philharmonic for the first seven years of his U.S. residence. He played in the Coolidge String Quartet from 1935-1940. He was a protégé of Serge Koussevitzky, who premiered his symphonies to great acclaim.

According to a contemporary and friend, Lucile Lawrence, Berezowsky's music was very popular in his lifetime and he was at that time a better-known figure than Aaron Copland.

He married Alice Newman, a notable pianist, who later published a memoir, "Duet with Nicky" about their early years together (Lippincott) (Alice was the sister of chemist Melvin Spencer Newman and the granddaughter of New Orleans investment banker and philanthropist Isidore Newman). They had two children. His second wife was Judith Berezowsky. He died on August 27, 1953 in New York.

Among Berezowsky's works are an opera, Prince Batrak, four symphonies, concertos for harp, violin and 'cello, and many diverse works of chamber music. His recordings include an LP set of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, which he conducted. He enjoyed a great success with his children's opera Babar, and his oratorio Gilgamesh. His Concerto for Harp was commissioned by Edna Phillips, who gave the premiere with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and performed by Carlos Salzedo with the National Orchestra Association under Leon Barzin with an original cadenza by Salzedo, included in the edition published by Theodore Presser. It was not performed again until performances by Saul Davis Zlatkovski in recital and with the St. Paul J.C.C. Symphony Orchestra under James Riccardo in 1990.

Birth and Death Data: Born May 17th, 1900 (Saint Petersburg), Died August 27th, 1953 (New York City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1938

Roles Represented in DAHR: violin, conductor, composer

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor CS-023255 12-in. 5/20/1938 Quartet no. 3 Nicolai Berezowsky ; Coolidge Quartet ; Victor Gottlieb ; William Kroll ; Nicolas Moldavan String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023256 12-in. 5/20/1938 Quartet no. 3 Nicolai Berezowsky ; Coolidge Quartet ; Victor Gottlieb ; William Kroll ; Nicolas Moldavan String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023257 12-in. 5/20/1938 Quartet no. 3 Nicolai Berezowsky ; Coolidge Quartet ; Victor Gottlieb ; William Kroll ; Nicolas Moldavan String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023258 12-in. 5/20/1938 Quartet no. 3 Nicolai Berezowsky ; Coolidge Quartet ; Victor Gottlieb ; William Kroll ; Nicolas Moldavan String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023259 12-in. 5/20/1938 Quartet no. 3 Nicolai Berezowsky ; Coolidge Quartet ; Victor Gottlieb ; William Kroll ; Nicolas Moldavan String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023260 12-in. 5/20/1938 Quartet no. 3 Nicolai Berezowsky ; Coolidge Quartet ; Victor Gottlieb ; William Kroll ; Nicolas Moldavan String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023442 12-in. 5/27/1938 Music for four stringed instruments Coolidge Quartet String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023443 12-in. 5/27/1938 Music for four stringed instruments Coolidge Quartet String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023444 12-in. 5/27/1938 Music for four stringed instruments Coolidge Quartet String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023445 12-in. 5/27/1938 Music for four stringed instruments Coolidge Quartet String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023446 12-in. 5/27/1938 Music for four stringed instruments Coolidge Quartet String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023447 12-in. 5/27/1938 Music for four stringed instruments Coolidge Quartet String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023448 12-in. 5/27/1938 Two sketches (based on Indian themes) Coolidge Quartet String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023449 12-in. 5/27/1938 Two sketches (based on Indian themes) Coolidge Quartet String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023450 12-in. 5/27/1938 Two sketches (based on Indian themes) Coolidge Quartet String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023451 12-in. 5/27/1938 Andante semplice Coolidge Quartet String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023457 12-in. 5/31/1938 Quartet no. 1 Coolidge Quartet String quartet composer, instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023458 12-in. 5/31/1938 Quartet no. 1 Coolidge Quartet String quartet composer, instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023459 12-in. 5/31/1938 Quartet no. 1 Coolidge Quartet String quartet composer, instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023460 12-in. 5/31/1938 Quartet no. 1 Coolidge Quartet String quartet composer, instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-023461 12-in. 5/31/1938 Quartet no. 1 Coolidge Quartet String quartet composer, instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-028165 12-in. 10/28/1938 Quartet no. 9 in G minor (Opus posthumous) Coolidge Quartet String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-028166 12-in. 10/28/1938 Quartet no. 9 in G minor (Opus posthumous) Coolidge Quartet String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-028167 12-in. 10/28/1938 Quartet no. 9 in G minor (Opus posthumous) Coolidge Quartet String quartet instrumentalist, violin  
Victor CS-028168 12-in. 10/28/1938 Quartet no. 9 in G minor (Opus posthumous) Coolidge Quartet String quartet instrumentalist, violin  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Berezowsky, Nicolai," accessed July 29, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108784.

Berezowsky, Nicolai. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 29, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108784.

"Berezowsky, Nicolai." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 29 July 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108784

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