Boris Goldovsky was born on June 7, 1908 in Moscow, the son of famed violinist Lea Luboshutz and the nephew of pianist Pierre Luboshutz. From 1918-1921, Goldovsky studied piano with his uncle and took courses at the Moscow Conservatory. At the age of 13, Goldovsky made his debut as a pianist appearing with the Berlin Philharmonic. He continued his studies with Artur Schnabel and Leonid Kreutzer at the Berlin Academy of Music from 1921 to 1923. Subsequently, he studied with composer Ernst von Dohnanyi at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest.
In 1930, Goldovsky moved to Philadelphia to study at the Curtis Institute of Music, where his mother was on the faculty. While at Curtis, Goldovsky became an assistant to conductor Fritz Reiner and also worked as an opera coach. (He would return to teach at Curtis in the late 1970s until 1985) In 1936, Goldovsky was offered a position directing the opera program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he remained for six years. Goldovsky moved again in 1942, to Boston, where he held the position of opera director at the New England Conservatory until 1965.
During the summers of 1946-1962, Goldovsky also served as the director of the opera program at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, where he worked with renowned conductor Serge Koussevitzky. In addition to these positions, Goldovsky founded the New England Opera Theater in 1946, which later became known as the Goldovsky Opera Theater in 1962. This ensemble produced operas in Boston and toured throughout the United States until 1984. Goldovsky was a strong advocate for operas being produced in English, and he himself wrote translations for many libretti. Renowned baritone Sherrill Milnes described Goldovsky as “one of the most important popularizers of opera in our time.”
Goldovsky, however, was probably best known to the American public for his Texaco-sponsored radio broadcasts of intermission commentary (the Texaco Opera Quiz and Opera News on the Air) during Saturday matinee performances of the Metropolitan Opera. Goldovsky had his Met broadcast debut in 1943; his last would be nearly fifty years later in 1990. In 1954 Goldovsky received a Peabody Award for Outstanding Contributions to Radio Music.
Boris Goldovsky married opera singer Margaret Codd on December 30, 1933. The couple had two children: Michael, born in 1937 and Marina, born in 1939. Mr. Goldovsky died at his home in Brookline, MA on February 15, 2001 at the age of 92.
"Boris Goldovsky", Wikipedia [accessed 11 June 2008]
Tommasini, Anthony. “Boris Goldovsky, 92, Musician and Opera’s Avid Evangelist,” The New York Times, Obituaries section, February 18, 2001.
The Goldovsky collection consists of four manuscript boxes and two drop front boxes; approximately 2 lin. ft. made up of paper records and photographs.
The Boris Goldovsky collection was acquired by the New England Conservatory's Director of Libraries after the death of Mr. Goldovsky in 2001.
Access to the Boris Goldovsky Collection is granted by the Archivist or Director of Libraries, New England Conservatory of Music. To view an online exhibit about Goldovsky, click here.
All copyrights to this collection belong to the New England Conservatory.
Permission to publish materials from this collection is granted by the Director of Libraries. This collection should be cited as the Boris Goldovsky Collection, New England Conservatory Archives, Boston, MA.