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Zimbalist, Efrem, 1889-1985, Russian-American violinist. Zimbalist was a pupil of Leopold Auer at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He made his debut in Berlin in 1907, toured Europe, and made his American debut in 1911. His concert career was enormously successful; he did much to revive interest in early violin music. In 1914 he married Alma Gluck, who died in 1938. He joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, in 1928 and from 1941 to 1961 was its director. In 1943 he married Mary Louise Curtis Bok, founder of the institute. He composed music for violin, piano, and orchestra.
Efrem Kurtz (November 7, 1900, Saint Petersburg, RussiaJune 27, 1995, London) was a Russian conductor. He studied at the Saint Petersburg conservatory with Alexander Glazunov and Nikolai Tcherepnin, among others. He later studied in Riga, Berlin and in Leipizig, in the last city as a pupil of Arthur Nikisch.

Kurtz made his conducting debut when he substituted for an ill Nikisch to accompany the dancer Isadora Duncan on tour. This led to a number of concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic. From 1924 to 1933 he conducted the Stuttgart Philharmonic, and in 1928, Kurtz was enagaged by Anna Pavlova to accompany her dancing, which he did until her death in 1931. From 1932 to 1942 he was conductor of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, touring with them extensively. His work in Monte Carlo included conducting the premiere of Gaîté Parisienne.

Kurtz later moved to the United States, and became a citizen of that country in 1944. He was music director of the Kansas City Philharmonic from 1943 to 1948. He held the same post with the Houston Symphony from 1948 to 1954. He also conducted a number of film scores, including Jacques Ibert's score for Orson Welles' Macbeth.

From 1955 to 1957, Kurtz was music director of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic jointly with John Pritchard. Thereafter he took a number of guest conducting posts, including engagements with orchestras in Leningrad and Moscow in the Soviet Union where he returned for the first time in 1966.

Kurtz was married three times. He was married to the American flautist Elaine Shaffer until her death in 1973. After her death, Kurtz married Mary Lynch, who survived him.


His recorded repertoire included works by among others Dmitri Shostakovich (early recordings, though not premieres, of several of the symphonies and the Age of Gold ballet suite), Ernest Bloch (one of whose last works, Two Last Poems (Maybe...) was dedicated to Elaine Shaffer), Heitor Villa-Lobos (his Uirapuru), many of these recordings made in the 1940s and 1950s with the Philharmonia in London. He recorded primarily for Columbia Records and EMI.


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