Abravanel, Maurice

American. Born, Jan. 6, 1903 in Salonika, Greece. Died, September, 1993. Brought up in Lausanne, Switzerland. At age 19, he went to Berlin where he studied music and theory with composer Kurt Weill. Became an assistant at the Mecklenburg Theatre and there developed a very remarkable baton technique. Conducted in Zwickau, Altenburg and Kassel. In 1933 and 1934 he conducted Monteux’s Orchestre Symphonique de Paris, and at Ballet Russe. In 1936 he came to US and conducted the Metropolitan Opera. In 1938 he left the Met to conduct Broadway. After WWII, went to Australia to conduct the Sydney Symphony Society. A year later, accepted the post as Conductor of Utah Symphony, and remained there for 32 years. In 1949, received a Tony Award for conducting of Regina. 1970, served as a member of the first music panel of the National Endowment for the Arts. 1975, received Mahler Society Award for the best Mahler recording of that year. Appointed artist-in-residence for life at the Tanglewood Music Center in 1982. 1991, awarded the National Medal of the Arts. Abravanel’s family were Sephardic Jews. He was a descendant of Don Isaac Abravanel, born in 1438, who, as finance minister to Queen Esabella of Spain, arranged funding for the first voyage of Christopher Columbus.