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Boris Koutzen Edit Profile

composer , conductor , musicologist

Boris Koutzen, Russian composer, violinist. Awarded prize by Society for Public American Music, 1944.


Koutzen was born in Uman, Southern Russia. He began composing at the age of six and studied violin with his father.


Graduate Moscow State Cons., 1922. Doctor of Music, Philadelphia Cons. Music, 1940.


Came to the United States, 1924, naturalized, 1929. Joined Philadelphia Cons. of Music, 1924, as head of violin department. Associate professor Vassar College since 1944.

1st performance symphonic poem Solitude by Philadelphia Orchestra, 1927, other symphonic works performed by San Francisco, Cleveland, N.B.C., Boston, Chicago, New York Philharmonic orchestras, chamber mus. by Coolidge, Primrose string quartets and other orgns.


  • That same year, he won the national competition for the position of first violin in the State Opera House Orchestra, and later joined the Moscow Symphony Orchestra under Serge Koussevitzky.


In the fall of 1923 Koutzen came to the United States and became a member of the first violin section of the Philadelphia orchestra under Leopold Stokowski. From 1937 until 1945 he was a member of the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini.


Married Inez Merck, June 3, 1924. Children: George, Nadia.

Leo Koutzen

Minna (Mijeritsky) Koutzen

Inez Merck

George Koutzen

Nadia Koutzen