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 Happich and subsequently studied with Jani Szanto. 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. 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 prestigious Jacques Thibaud-Marguerite Long Violin Competition in 1949, 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.
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.
Anshel Brusilow was Director of Orchestral Studies at the North Texas State University College of Music from 1973 to 1982, and again at the same school (by then renamed the University of 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. 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.
Brusilow is married to Marilyn (née Dow). They have three children.
|Music Directors, Dallas Symphony Orchestra
- Brusilow, Anshel, and Robin Underdahl. Shoot the Conductor: Too Close to Monteux, Szell, and Ormandy. Denton TX: University of North Texas Press, 2015. ISBN 978-1-57441-613-8.
- Cantrell, Scott. "Classical music review: Anshel Brusilow lays down Richardson Symphony baton". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
- "Education notes." The Dallas Morning News, 17 March 2008. (link )
- Delta Omicron
- Brusilow and Underdahl. Shoot the Conductor.