Anshel Brusilow
1928 - 2018
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BRUSILOW, Anshel Anshel Brusilow, 89, died January 15 at his home in the company of his family. He leaves a legacy of music and the love of music that has enriched countless fellow musicians, listeners, and students. His parents Leon and Dora Brusilow, Russian Jewish immigrants to Philadelphia, instilled a love of music in him. By age sixteen, Mr. Brusilow was playing solo violin with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia Musical Academy, and Pierre Monteux's conducting school. Monteux launched him as a concert violinist; he received standing ovations at the San Francisco Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, The Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and, of course, the Philadelphia Orchestra. But his heart was for family life, and he chose it over a concertizing career, without regret. Philanthropist Theo Pitcairn gifted Mr. Brusilow with the violin of his choice, a 1743 Guarnerius del Gesu. He sold it in 1968 when he chose conducting over playing, and recently the Guarneri was named "The Brusilow." Under Conductor George Szell, Mr. Brusilow served as associate concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra from 1955-59. Soon Eugene Ormandy enticed him to the concertmaster position with the Philadelphia Orchestra, where, he enjoyed a close relationship with Ormandy. Mr. Brusilow played the major violin concertos and many other solo works in performances and recordings in Philadelphia for seven years. Among his most beloved recordings are Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, and Strauss's Ein Heldenleben. In both Cleveland and Philadelphia, he formed and conducted chamber orchestras. When pressured by Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra board to abandon conducting on the side, he instead abandoned the concertmaster position. In the boldest move of his career, Mr. Brusilow formed the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia with world-class talent and conducted it in more than 200 performances all over the U.S. They recorded two albums under the RCA Red Seal Victor label. After the president of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra board heard Mr. Brusilow conducting his chamber symphony, the board hired him as Conductor and Musical Director. He conducted the DSO 1970-73. Wilfred Roberts, Principal Bassoon at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra 1965-2015, remembers him this way: "Anshel was one of the most enormously, innately talented musicians I have ever worked with. Things other conductors worked hard at, he did with ease and in the DSO we saw it every time he stepped on the podium." Mr. Brusilow found a new love when he began teaching orchestral music and conducting at North Texas State University, which became the University of North Texas. Over three decades he shaped the orchestral and conducting programs there and at Southern Methodist University. He served as Conductor of the Richardson Symphony Orchestra from 1992 to 2012 and is succeeded there by Clay Couturiaux. His memoir, Shoot the Conductor, written with Robin Underdahl, was published in 2015 by the University of North Texas Press. It took first place in the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction contest (book manuscripts) and in the 2015 INDIEFAB contest (music and performing arts division). He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Marilyn Dow Brusilow; son David Brusilow; daughters Jennie Brusilow Smith and Melinda Brusilow McIntyre; grandchildren Jessica Rollins, Kyle Brusilow, Stephen Smith, Amy Smith, and Jon David Cobb; and great-granddaughter Madeleine Elle Rollins. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at St. Andrew's United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas, on Sunday, January 21st at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate gifts in Anshel's honor to the University of North Texas College of Music, the Richardson Symphony Orchestra, St. Andrew's Methodist Church of Plano, or the charity of your choice.

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Published in Dallas Morning News on Jan. 19, 2018.
Celebration of Life
01:30 PM
St. Andrew's United Methodist Church
Please consider a donation, as requested by the family.
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11 entries
January 14, 2019
I am so sorry for your loss our loving God promises to give you the strength to cope with the pain of your loss. He also promises to hold your hand every step of the way. Please take comfort that he does care at Isaiah 63:9 and Jeremiah 29:11,12.
January 12, 2019
KIn loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
January 12, 2019
My sincere condolences are with your family and friends in this time of deep sorrow.May God comfort your hearts and give you strength during the difficult days ahead. 2 Thessalonians 2:16,17
January 6, 2019
Maestro Brusilow was the single most charismatic person I have ever known. As a conductor and conducting professor, he was demanding, relentless and amazingly inspiring. It was a privilege to have played in one of his orchestras and to have studied conducting with him.
Michele Packard-Milam
July 3, 2018
Darlene Davis
April 10, 2018
It was such a privilege to know him at the University of North Texas. Not only was he a great musician and conductor, but such a kind warm hearted person everyone loved to be around. Prayer go out to his family. God bless.
Nancy Kapsar
February 17, 2018
Maestro, you will be greatly missed. My condolences to the Brusilow family.This is the end of an era, which I mourn. I was one of his conducting students during the SMU years and I will always have fond memories of those days working with Maestro Brusilow.
David Burgess
January 20, 2018
Dallas Sound in the parks was family fun.

Richard Post
Richard Post
January 20, 2018
My sincerest condolences to your family during this time of grief. Please find comfort in the verses at Jeremiah 29: 11-13
January 19, 2018
An honor and true pleasure to be one of his students. The maestro brought such humor and skill to every rehearsal and performance. Thank you maestro for making our lives richer by knowing you. We will forever re-tell our favorite 'Brusilow' stories!...
Sheila Lucas
January 19, 2018
With heart felt sympathy to the family, may your faith and trust in God sustain you as you go through this difficult time.
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