Nicolai Berezowsky


1900 – 1953


Who was Nicolai Berezowsky?

Nicolai Tikhonovich Berezowsky 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.

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May 17, 1900
Saint Petersburg
Also known as
  • Nicolai Tikhonovich Berezowsky
  • United States of America
  • Juilliard School
Lived in
  • Saint Petersburg
  • New York
    (1922 - 1953/08/27)
Aug 27, 1953
New York City

on July 23, 2013


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