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Gregor Piatigorsky Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: April 17, 1903 in Ekaterinoslav, Russia
Died: August 6, 1976 in Los Angeles, California
Biography | show moreshow less
Gregor Piatigorsky (1903-1976), who won a scholarship to the Moscow Conservatory, began playing with the Lenin Quartet and was the principal cellist for the Bolshoi Theatre while still a teenager. When he was not allowed to travel abroad to further his studies, Piatigorsky escaped to Poland and later studied briefly in Berlin and Leipzig before becoming the principal cellist of the Berlin Philharmonic. He made his U.S. debut in 1929, playing with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowsi and the New York Philharmonic under Willem Mengelberg. Piatigorsky, who recorded  and toured extensively with Arthur Rubinstein and Jascha Heifetz, also enjoyed a successful solo career, bringing the cello to the forefront as a solo instrument. To help to make the cello as facile and expressive as the violin, he transcribed, arranged, composed and commissioned works for the instrument. Piatigorsky moved to America in 1939 and became a U.S. citizen three years later. From 1941-1949, he was the head of the cello department at the Curtis Insitute of Music in Philadelphia, and "Grisha" later taught at Tanglewood and Boston University before his tenure at the University of Southern California (1962 until his death).   
Film Credits | show moreshow less

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