I could hardly let the would-be birthday of eminent conductor Serge Koussevitzky go by without a blog post! Born in 1874, Koussevitzky began his musical life as a performer. He studied numerous instruments, though excelled at the double bass – he even composed a concerto for double bass, which he premiered in 1905. In the first decade of the 20th century, Koussevitzky began studying conducting and made his professional debut at the age of 34, conducting Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, with the composer at the piano. It wasn’t until 1924 that Koussevitzky accepted the position of conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and for over 25 years developed the BSO into one of America’s finest orchestras.
The Serge Koussevitzky Archive documents the career of an influential man of many talents – a conductor, performer, publisher, commissioner, and composer. Today’s Pic of the Week was taken at Koussevitzky’s 74th birthday celebration as he cuts a piece of birthday cake with fellow conductors/composers Leonard Bernstein and Lukas Foss. So, have your own slice of cake today and think of Maestro Koussevitzky on what would be his 137th birthday!