E00695. Burgin, Richard. (Assistant conductor, Boston Symphony Orchestra) - Unsigned BW 8x10 photo
“Richard Burgin, former associate conductor and concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, [enjoyed a concert violin career that spanned more than 75 years. The Warsaw-born musician came to the United States as Boston Symphony concertmaster in 1920. He made his first public appearance at the age of 11, as a soloist with the Warsaw Philharmonic Society. He later studied in Leningrad and Stockholm, and began his American orchestral career under the French conductor Pierre Monteux.
‘There is nothing like the Boston Symphony in Europe’, he told an interviewer after coming to the United States. During his career, he led the Boston Symphony in 308 concerts in the United States, Australia and Japan, and was associate conductor at seven world premieres and 25 Boston premieres. Mr. Burgin usually conducted without a baton and, though he always had the score before him, he seldom looked down at it. ‘In my youth, it was considered bad taste to perform from memory’, he said.
Within a year of coming to Boston, he organized the Burgin String Quartet. He headed the string department of the New England Conservatory at various times and joined the Boston University faculty in 1959. Mr. Burgin retired as Boston Symphony concertmaster at the end of the 1961-62 season and moved to Florida, where in the summer of 1965 he conducted the London Symphony Orchestra during its visit to Daytona Beach. Mr. Burgin last gave a concert in June 1980 at Florida State University.”
- THE NEW YORK TIMES, 1 May, 1981