Born: March 6, 1885; Longueuil, Quebec, Canada
Died: May 24, 1961; New York, NY
Canadian musician Rosario Bourdon was an influential in the early days of the recording era as a performer, conductor, arranger, and composer. He was born near Montreal to musical parents who started him on the cello at the age of seven. His parents immediately recognized his talents and he enrolled in the Ghent Conservatory in Belgium in 1897, where he studied cello with Joseph Jacob. During his first year in Ghent, Bourdon won a first prize inRead more cello, then embarked on a European tour, eventually returning to Canada by 1899. Frustrated with the limited musical opportunities in Montreal, Bourdon emigrated to the United States, where he became a cellist in the Cincinnati Symphony (1902 - 1904), the Philadelphia Orchestra (1904 - 1908), and the St. Paul (Minnesota) Orchestra (1908 - 1911). It was during this period that he began to study conducting and he gained experience on the podium as the assistant conductor in St. Paul. It was also during this period that Bourdon first started to work for the Victor Talking Machine Co. In 1905, he began to record for the company as a cellist, and four years later, he became one of their regular recording artists. In 1920, Bourdon became one of the music directors of the label, a position that involved arranging scores and piano accompaniments for other Victor artists, conducting the Victor Concert Orchestra, the Victor Symphony Orchestra, the Victor Salon Orchestra, and even John Philip Sousa's Band. By the time he left Victor in 1931, Bourdon had performed or conducted on more than 140 records and provided arrangements for countless other recordings. After leaving Victor, Bourdon directed musical activities at NBC Radio, Muzak, Brunswick Records, and Thesaurus Records. He also conducted music for numerous popular films, including those of Laurel and Hardy and Walt Disney. He remained active as a symphonic conductor, working with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal during its first years. Read less
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