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Bessaraboff, Nicholas (actually, Nikolai)

instruments american musical russian

Bessaraboff, Nicholas (actually, Nikolai), Russian-born American writer on music; b. Voronezh, Feb. 12, 1894; d. N.Y., Nov. 10, 1973. He was trained as a mechanical engineer and a draftsman, but he also played the horn and became interested in the mechanics and acoustics of musical instruments. After the completion of his studies at the polytechnical inst. in St. Petersburg, he was sent in 1915 with a group of other Russian engineers to the U.S. in order to expedite the shipping of American military equipment for the Russian armed forces during World War I. He remained in the U.S. after the Russian Revolution of 1917, becoming a naturalized American citizen in 1927. He worked as a draftsman in Rochester, N.Y., at the same time doing extensive reading on the subject of musical instruments. In 1931 he moved to Boston, where he began cataloguing the collection of instruments in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. In 1941 he publ. his magnum opus, Ancient European Musical Instruments, An Organological Study of the Musical Instruments in the Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston . In 1945 he officially changed his name to Nicholas Bessaraboff Bodley, adopting the maiden name of his American wife, Virginia Bodley

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