Gregori Garbovitsky. Violinist, conductor, teacher, b Kreavri, near Dniepropetrovsk, Russia, 1892, d New York October 1954. He studied violin at the St Petersburg Cons with Leopold Auer (at the same time as Kathleen Parlow
and Jascha Heifetz) and composition with Alexander Glazunov. Upon graduating he became conductor of the Rostov SO, and after the 1917 revolution he went to Berlin, where he became known as a soloist and conductor and led the Berlin SO several times in 1922. Emigrating to Canada in the mid-1920s he continued his career in Winnipeg. It is said that he gave up solo playing after losing his Guarnerius violin in a fire in Winnipeg. About 1927 he moved to Calgary, where he directed the Palace Theatre Orchestra for a year, then reorganized the Calgary Symphony Orchestra
and conducted it 1928-39. He also conducted the Ladies' String Orchestra and taught extensively. After guest-conducting in Vancouver (summer concerts in Stanley Park and appearances in 1939 with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
) he served 1940-6 as director of the Vancouver Junior Symphony. Later he formed the Vancouver Orchestra and Chamber Music Society and conducted the New Westminster Symphony Orchestra 1949-53. His pupils during his Vancouver years included Sydney Humphries. Garbovitsky died in New York while undergoing treatment for cancer.
Bryan N.S. Gooch