Russian-born conductor, composer, and double bassist Serge Koussevitzky was born on this day in 1874.
Koussevitsky served as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) from 1924 to 1949, where he helped develop the ensemble into one of the United States' leading orchestras. During his time with the BSO, he premiered a number of cornerstone orchestral works — including Ravel's orchestration of "Pictures at an Exhibition," Bartok's "Concerto for Orchestra," Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1, Gershwin's "Rhapsody No. 2," and Prokofiev's Second and Fourth Symphonies.
He also played a major role in the creation of Tanglewood, BSO's summer concert and educational programs. Tanglewood's main performance venue — the Koussevitsky Music Shed — is named after him.