A prominent conductor of Russian music who led the top orchestras in the U.S., including the Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Listening to the music of composer Sergei Rachmaninoff inspired him to devote himself to conduct Rachmaninoff's music.
He put his own stamp on many of the works he conducted: adding lyrics to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, and de-emphasizing elements of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov.
He was born in Hartford, Connecticut and his father was a Russian Orthodox priest who first introduced him to classical music.
Leopold Stokowski was another prominent orchestra conductor.