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Anshel Brusilow was born on August 14, 1928 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He began taking violin lessons at the age of five with William Frederick Happich, followed by Jani Szántó, and at the age of eleven studied with Efrem Zimbalist at the Curtis Institute of Music. He attended the Philadelphia Musical Academy, and became the youngest conducting student of Pierre Monteux at age sixteen. On the U.S. Census and other documents until the late 1940s, Brusilow's first name was given as "Albert." Beginning in the 1950s, Brusilow served as concertmaster of the New Orleans Sympohony under Alexander Hilsberg (1954-1955); the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell (1955-1959); and the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy (1959-1966). Brusilow had founded the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra with members of the larger orchestra in 1961, and parted ways with the Philadelphia Orchestra in disputes over the secondary group. He then conducted the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia from 1965 through 1968. Brusilow was appointed conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in 1970, and in 1973 joined the faculty of what is now the University of North Texas. Brusilow was initially a visiting professor, but decided to stay. He served on the North Texas faculty from 1973 until 1982, taking a similar position at Southern Methodist University from 1982 until 1989, and rejoining the North Texas faculty from 1989 until his retirement in 2008. Brusilow also conducted the Richardson Symphony Orchestra, in an adjacent community north of Dallas, from 1992 until 2012. Anshel Brusilow died on January 25, 2018.
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The collection consists of 8 boxes of orchestral works which Brusilow selected primarily from the performing library of what was then the UNT School of Music. Most selections are core repertory from major composers, but less well-known works include Carlton Cooley's