Eleanor Aller

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Eleanor Aller (Slatkin) (May 20, 1917 – October 12, 1995) was an American cellist and founding member, with her husband, Felix Slatkin, of the Hollywood String Quartet.[1]

Born in New York City, she was the daughter of cellist Gregory Aller (né Grisha Altschuler), a Jewish emigre from the Russian Empire.[2] Her mother Fannie had studied piano at the Warsaw Conservatory. Eleanor attended Juilliard where she studied with Felix Salmond.[3]

Eleanor Aller became principal cellist in the Warner Bros. Studio Orchestra in 1939, of which her brother, pianist Victor Aller, later became orchestra manager and in which their father also played for a time. The same year she met and married Felix Slatkin. Shortly after their marriage, the couple founded the Hollywood String Quartet. Aller also continued working as a Hollywood studio musician. She performed the Cello Concerto by Erich Korngold for the soundtrack of the movie Deception (1946 film) starring Bette Davis and Paul Henreid. Eleanor also performed the concert premiere of the Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1946.[4]

After Slatkin's death in 1963, in addition to her work with orchestras for movies, Aller played in orchestras for recordings done by Frank Sinatra, who had become a family friend over the years.[5]

Aller continued to work as principal cellist for movie soundtracks, including a solo specially written for her by composer/conductor John Williams for the soundtrack to the 1977 Steven Spielberg movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.[6][7]

Aller won a Grammy Award in 1958 as a member of the Hollywood String Quartet ,for Beethoven: Quartet 13.[8]

She was the first woman to hold a principal chair in a Hollywood studio orchestra [9]

Her two sons are the conductor Leonard Slatkin and the cellist Frederick Zlotkin.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1995/10/13/obituaries/eleanor-aller-78-a-cellist-and-part-of-a-musical-family.html
  2. ^ "Fred Zlotkin Reminisces: about growing up in the Slatkin household with parents Felix and Eleanor Slatkin and brother Leonard Slatkin". London: The Felix Slatkin Website. September 9, 2003. Retrieved 2008-01-05.[permanent dead link] "My grandfather Gregory Aller's name, prior to his coming to America at the turn of the century, was Grisha Altschuler. He changed the named to "Aller" because (or so I was told) there were so many Altschulers -- indeed, it is a very common name. The Altschuler side of the family is really rife with musicians. Grisha's uncle, Modest Altschuler, was a cellist (making me 4th generation) and he had quite a career. Among other things, he did the St. Petersburg premiere of Tchaikowsky's "Souvenir de Florence" Sextet. When he came to America he formed the Russian Symphony Orchestra (early 1900s). "
  3. ^ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-eleanor-aller-1581734.html
  4. ^ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-eleanor-aller-1581734.html
  5. ^ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-eleanor-aller-1581734.html
  6. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1995/10/13/obituaries/eleanor-aller-78-a-cellist-and-part-of-a-musical-family.html
  7. ^ http://www.colorado.edu/amrc/sites/default/files/attached-files/THE%20SLATKIN%20FAMILY%20COLLECTION.pdf
  8. ^ https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/eleanor-aller-slatkin
  9. ^ Brad Hill, Classical (American Popular Music series) NY, 2006.
  10. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1995/10/13/obituaries/eleanor-aller-78-a-cellist-and-part-of-a-musical-family.html

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