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Felix Slatkin

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Felix Slatkin (December 22, 1915 – February 8, 1963) was an American violinist and conductor.
Slatkin was born in St. Louis, Missouri to a Jewish family originally named Zlotkin (though it is not certain) from areas of the Russian Empire now in Ukraine. He began studying the violin at the age of nine with Isadore Grossman. He began working professionally at the age of ten and won a scholarship to the Curtis Institute, where he studied violin with Efrem Zimbalist and conducting with Fritz Reiner.

At age 17 he joined the St. Louis Symphony and formed a chamber orchestra of young musicians. In 1935 he won a competition which included a solo appearance with the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra and Jose Iturbi. Around this time he met cellist Eleanor Aller, also of Russian Jewish extraction, whom he later married. During the Second World War, he served his country as a musician at the Santa Ana Air Force Base and as a conductor of the Army Air Force Tactical Command Orchestra, an organization that raised over 100 million dollars in war bonds.
He settled in Los Angeles and accepted the post of Concertmaster for Twentieth Century Fox Studios, performing numerous violin solos in motion pictures such as How Green Was My Valley and How to Marry a Millionaire. In 1939 he founded the highly-acclaimed Hollywood String Quartet, which produced over 21 albums for Capitol Records and toured the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, including a special appearance in 1957 for the Edinburgh Festival.

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