Anshel Brusilow

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Anshel Brusilow (born 14 August 1928) is an American semi-retired virtuoso violinist, major symphony orchestra conductor, and music educator at the collegiate level.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]


Brusilow was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants Leon Brusilow (born Brusilovsky) and Dora Brusilow. He began his violin study at the age of five with William Frederick Happich (1884–1959) and subsequently studied with Jani Szanto (1887–1977). Brusilow entered the Curtis Institute of Music when he was eleven and studied there with Efrem Zimbalist. Throughout most of his childhood and adolescence, he was known as "Albert Brusilow," Later, at the urging of his girlfriend (who would later become his wife), he returned to using his birth name, Anshel.[12] Brusilow attended the Philadelphia Musical Academy and at sixteen was the youngest conducting student ever accepted by Pierre Monteux. A 4th prize winner of the Jacques Thibaud-Marguerite Long Violin Competition in 1949,[13] he performed as a soloist with numerous major orchestras in the United States. He subsequently served four years as associate concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, and seven years as concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra under famed conductor Eugene Ormandy. Some famous recordings to come from the orchestra during this time with Brusilow as soloist included Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, and Strauss's Ein Heldenleben.[14]

During his time in Philadelphia, Brusilow founded the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia and recorded several albums with the group under the RCA Victor label. In 1970, Brusilow left Philadelphia for Dallas, Texas, where he was appointed executive director and conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He led the orchestra's first tours of Central and South America and started the pops series that the orchestra still performs to this day. The most notable recording from this period was DALLASOUND, a pops music album featuring several arrangements by Bill Holcombe.

Brusilow was Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of North Texas College of Music from 1973 to 1982, and again at North Texas from 1989 to 2008. Between 1982 and 1989 he held a similar post at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He was the music director of the Richardson Symphony Orchestra in Richardson, Texas, from 1992 until his retirement from that position in 2012.[15] Brusilow retired from his professorship at North Texas in 2008. Shortly before his retirement he conducted his final concert with the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday, April 23, 2008, in the Winspear Performance Hall of the Murchison Performing Arts Center in Denton. A $1,000,000 endowment, which includes the creation of a faculty position, the Anshel Brusilow Chair in Orchestral Studies, was established in his honor.[16]

He is a National Patron of Delta Omicron, an international professional music fraternity.[17]

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Donald Johanos
Music Directors, Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Max Rudolf


Brusilow is married to Marilyn (née Marilyn Rae Dow). They have three children.[12]


  1. ^ Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, (under "Brusilow" & "Brusilovsky"; Vol. 1 of 6) revised by Nicolas Slonimsky, Macmillan Publishing
        7th ed. (1988); OCLC 631949819
        8th ed. (1992); OCLC 24246972
        9th ed. (2001); OCLC 312475801
  2. ^ Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Classical Musicians, by Nicolas Slonimsky, Schirmer Books (1997); OCLC 36111932
  3. ^ Biography Index (Vol. 10), September 1973 – August 1976, H.W. Wilson Company (1977); OCLC 24559911
  4. ^ International Who's Who in Music and Musicians' Directory, (12th ed.), 1990–1991, International Who's Who in Music (1990); OCLC 28065697
  5. ^ The New American Dictionary of Music, by Philip D. Morehead with Anne MacNeil, E. P. Dutton (1991); OCLC 23694214
  6. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of American Music (Brusilow in Vol. 1 of 4), H. Wiley Hitchcock & Stanley Sadie (eds.), Macmillan Press (1986); OCLC 13184437
  7. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (10 Vols.), H. Wiley Hitchcock (ed.), Macmillan Publishers (1980); OCLC 163429770, 163429617
  8. ^ Who's Who in America (2 Vols.), Marquis Who's Who; ISSN 0083-9396
        38th ed., 1974–1975 (1974); OCLC 23953115
        39th ed., 1976–1977 (1976); OCLC 23953086
        40th ed., 1978–1979 (1978); OCLC 4199915
        41st ed., 1980–1981 (1980); OCLC 6560483
        42nd ed., 1982–1983 (1982); OCLC 8505742
        43rd ed., 1984–1985 (1984); OCLC 11330908
        44th ed., 1986–1987 (1986); OCLC 14948704
        45th ed., 1988–1989 (1988); OCLC 18583716
        46th ed., 1990–1991 (1990); OCLC 22631411
  9. ^ Who's Who in American Music: Classical, Jaques Cattell Press (ed.), R.R. Bowker (1983); OCLC 10206087
  10. ^ Who's Who in Entertainment (2nd ed.), 1992–1993, Marquis Who's Who (1992); ISSN 1044-0887, OCLC 25523584
  11. ^ Who's Who in the South and Southwest, Marquis Who's Who
        13th ed., 1973–1974 (1973); OCLC 608905256
        14th ed., 1975–1976 (1975); OCLC 502333793
        15th ed., 1976–1977 (1976); OCLC 15687672
  12. ^ a b Shoot The Conductor: Too Close to Monteux, Szell, and Ormandy, by Anshel Brusilow & Robin Underdahl, University of North Texas Press (2015); OCLC 905801938, ISBN 978-1-57441-613-8
  13. ^ "The Violinists Laureates of 1949: Albert Brusilow" Paris: Long-Thibaud Crespin Foundation ( (retrieved June 20, 2015)
  14. ^ "The New Concertmaster – Fulfilling Father's Hope, Anshel Brusilow Returns To Philadelphia Orchestra," by William A. Silverman, Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, June 28, 1959 (cover story)
  15. ^ "Classical Music Review: Anshel Brusilow Lays Down Richardson Symphony Baton," by Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News April 14, 2012 (retrieved April 18, 2012)
  16. ^ "Education notes," Dallas Morning News, March 17, 2008
  17. ^ National Patrons

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