Koussevitzky [Kusevitsky], Serge (Alexandrovich )
- Joseph Horowitz
(b Vishny-Volotchok, Tver [now Kalinin], Russia, July 26, 1874; d Boston, MA, June 4, 1951). Conductor of Russian birth; naturalized American. He was one of three glamorous iconic maestros who dominated American symphonic culture after World War I. Though he never attained the national renown of Arturo Toscanini or Leopold Stokowski, he far surpassed both as an influential advocate of American music. And neither Toscanini nor Stokowski left as tangible a legacy as Koussevitzky’s Tanglewood. Having entered the Moscow Philharmonic Music School at 14, he chose the double bass as one of three instruments for which open scholarships were available. He joined the double basses of the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra six years later, and began touring as a double bass virtuoso two years after that. His 1905 marriage to Natalie Uškov made him wealthy. Having acquired some knowledge of conducting, he engaged the Berlin PO for his public podium debut in ...