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Arkatov (James) World Music Photographs

Owning Institution: UCLA, Ethnomusicology Archive

About this Collection

James Arkatov was born in 1920 in Odessa, Russia and raised in San Francisco, where his father, Alexander Arkatov, owned a photography salon. In 1938, he was invited by Fritz Feiner to join the Pittsburgh Symphony. Later, he joined the San Francisco Symphony with Pierre Monteux, and went on to be principal cellist of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under Fabien Sevitzky. Arkatov returned to California in 1946 as a studio musician and was later appointed principal cellist of the NBC Symphony Orchestra. In 1956, he married Salome Ramras Arkatov. In 1968, he founded the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) and was its first principal cellist. According to LACO: "The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1968 as an artistic outlet for the recording industry’s most gifted musicians. The Orchestra’s artistic founder, cellist James Arkatov, envisioned an ensemble that would allow these conservatory-trained players to balance studio work and teaching with pure artistic collaboration at the highest level." Arkatov began photographing musicians when he was with the Pittsburgh Symphony. In 1990, he published his first book of photography, Masters of Music: Great Artists at Work. In 1998, he published his second book, Artists: The Creative Personality. In May 2015, the Arkatovs donated James' photographs of world music performers to the Ethnomusicology Archive. Many of these photos highlight UCLA Ethnomusicology's famous World Music Ensembles. James Arkatov died May 11, 2019 at age 98. View this collection on the contributor's website.

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