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Vladimir & Julia Bakaleinikoff


Vladimir Bakaleinikoff was born in Moscow in 1885. The son of a noted clarinetist, he studied both violin and piano as a child and at the age of 9 won a scholarship to the Moscow Conservatory. After a youthful career as a soloist and conductor in Russia, Dr. Bakaleinikoff was appointed professor at the Moscow Conservatory and musical director of the Moscow Art Theater, where he met and married singer Julia Fatova.

They came to the United States in 1925. Impressed with Bakaleinikoff, Fritz Reiner, then conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, hired him as assistant conductor. He also played viola in the orchestra. By 1934 he had become well-known across the country; the University of Chicago conferred on him an honorary doctor of music degree. He left Cincinnati in 1937 after being wooed to Hollywood to compose for the movies where two of his brothers, Constantin and Mischa held music directorships in the studios.

In 1939, he accepted a call from Fritz Reiner, then conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony, to come to Pittsburgh to be his associate conductor. They moved to Pittsburgh, followed immediately by his young student Lorin Maazel, and quickly became the center of an active musical community. Between Reiner's departure from Pittsburgh in 1948 and the arrival of his successor William Steinberg in 1952, Bakaleinikoff served as musical director of the Orchestra. Affectionately known as "Bak," he possessed a delightful sense of humor and loved to tell stories.

One can imagine lively, laughter-filled dinner parties at the Bakaleinikoff residence during the period of the early 1940's to the early 1950's simply by perusing the list of signees.

Charles Rosenbloom, a noted philanthropist, was a Life Trustee of the Carnegie Institute, a serious art collector, and a Vice President of the Pittsburgh Symphony Society.