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  •  

    Koutzen, George

    Pick up a random Charles Mingus recording and chances are good you will hear George Koutzen on the cello.  This versatile musician also has the music of John Blow and Henry Purcell on his resume.  One of his earliest recordings is the compilation, The 1950’s:  The Singers.  Then the Charles Mingus recordings start rolling in:  The Complete Debut Recordings, Portraits in Jazz, and Thirteen Pictures:  The Charles Mingus Anthology.  Oh, and he also made the cut on The Debut Records Story and Autobiography in Jazz. 

     

    Between the years 1937 and 1954, he was a member of the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini.  In 1954, he appeared on the live album, Marian McPartland at the Hickory House.  He fittingly was included in the 1957 compilation, Modern Jazz Hall of Fame.  A recording he made with Bill Harris and Jack Nimitz in the 1950s, entitled The ABC Paramount Harris-Nimitz Sessions, was never released, although there are murmurs that it may be released on CD at long last. 

     

    On 29th November 1961, George returned to his classical roots in a performance at Judson Hall in New York for a program consisting of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Trio Sonata” from his Musical Offering. 

     

    In 1963, he took up the conductor’s reins for the Rockland Symphony Orchestra, a position he held until 1974.  In between, he still managed to record Who Can I Turn To with Tony Bennett in 1964 and perform live with the New York String Quartet.  In 1972, he recorded Morning Star with Hubert Laws.  Around the time his tenure with the RSO ended, he showed up on Jan Akkerman’s Tabernakel. 

     

    On 23rd March 1975, he performed a trio concert with Inez and Nadia Koutzen.  In 1979, he was one of myriad session pros on Frank Sinatra’s boxed set, Trilogy.  He stepped into the movie studio in the early eighties for soundtrack work on an early Demi Moore film entitled Choices. 

     

    It should be of little surprise that he is on a variety of Charles Mingus CDs, including the simply titled two-disc set, Charles Mingus, Debut Rarities, Vol. 4, and The Young Rebel.  Other CDs on which you can hear George’s cello stylings include a pair of Rupert Holmes anthologies, Cast of Characters:  The Rupert Holmes Songbook and Widescreen—The Collector’s Edition, as well as classical fare such as Purcell, Blow:  Songs and Music of Nicolas Flagello. 

     

    George is still active in L.A. and is a member of the Navy Musicians Association, established in 1995.

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.answers.com/topic/the-1950-s-the-singers
    2. http://shopping.yahoo.com
    3. http://old.rtbf.be/radio/musique3/jazz/prog_prem/dis.cgi?20080624
    4. http://www.jazzdisco.org/fantasy-records/catalog-ojc-100-series/
    5. http://www.classicalrecordings.org/znbc/nbcplayers.html
    6. http://www.letrs.indiana.edu/cgi-bin/hoagyrec-idx.pl?type=viewfull&q1=CAR5610&q2=&display=full
    7. http://www.discogs.com/artist/George+Koutzen
    8. http://www.organissimo.org
    9. http://select.nytimes.com
    10. http://www.rocklandsymphony.org/bio.htm
    11. http://www.bflochambermusic.org/assets/pdf/bcms_personnel.pdf
    12. http://www.dougpayne.com/ctid7072.htm
    13. http://leblogdepekis.blogspot.com/2006/07/hubert-laws-morning-star-cti-1972.html
    14. http://music.barnesandnoble.com/Artist/George-Koutzen/c/142012
    15. http://library.marist.edu/archives/Eugle_Aid.html
    16. http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/store/artist/album/0,,163516,00.html
    17. http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0082172/combined
    18. http://mingus.onttonen.info/details/st1010.html
    19. http://www.eroica.com/phoenix/jdt125.html
    20. http://www.target.com
    21. http://www.discogs.com/release/625621
    22. http://www.navymusicians.org/roster.htm
    23. http://www.amazon.com/Widescreen-The-Collectors-Edition/dp/B00005N8TK
    24. http://www.cdconnection.com
    25. http://music.msn.com/music/artist-credits/george-koutzen/
    26. http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/music/artist/card/0,,454775,00.html
    27. http://www.cduniverse.com
    28. http://www.hbdirect.com/album_detail.php?pid=902354
    29. http://referrals47.org/referrals/musician/George+Koutzen/38836

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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