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Sol Hurok
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Promoter
    (April 9, 1888-March 5, 1974)
    Born in Pogar, Russia
    Birth name was Solomon Izrailevich Gurkov
    Impresario and manager
    Inaugurated the 'Music for the Masses' concert series (1913)
    Arranged tours of America by the Ballet Russe, Sadler Wells Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet and Kirov Ballet
    Represented Marian Anderson, Van Cliburn, Isidora Duncan, Anna Pavlova, Michel Fokine, Feodor Chaliapin, Isaac Stern, Andres Segovia, Arthur Rubinstein and Mstislav Rostropovich
    He used the money his parents gave him to attend trade school to emigrate to the US with his girlfriend.
    He went bankrupt (1925).
    Martha Graham and Agnes de Mille criticized him for favoring foreign stars in his dance productions.
    A biographer described him as having 'a star's temperment without the talent.'
    He persuaded the Department of the Interior to allow Marian Anderson to perform an Easter Sunday open-air concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (April 9, 1939).
    He was able to arrange an American tour by the Bolshoi Ballet at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962).
    The Jewish Defense League, which opposed detente with the USSR, bombed his office, killing a secretary and hospitalizing him with smoke inhalation (1972).
    He said his proudest achievement was 'Bringing ballet to America and the American public to ballet.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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