Simeon Bellison papers

Simeon Bellison papers

Dates: 1910-1953

Includes microfilm reels comprised of Bellison's manuscripts and printed music scores, scores and manuscripts of other composers that were collected by Bellison, and articles Bellison has written. The collection also includes an English and a Russian copy of his novel "Jivoglot," a Russian draft of the novel, and other material on Bellison, 1910-1953.

  • Extent: 1 box (0.5 linear ft.). -- 35 microfilm boxes (1 linear ft)
  • Creator: Bellison, Simeon, 1883-1953
  • Call Number: MSS 7934
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; Music Special Collections; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602;
  • Access Restrictions: Open for public research.
Languages and Scripts
Materials are in English and Russian.
The original order of the collection has been retained.
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Simeon Bellison papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS 7934; Simeon Bellison papers; Music Special Collections; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 7934, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Donated by George Alexanderson in 1986. Microfilms donated by Bona Belnap in 2001.
Acquisition Information
Donated; George Alexanderson; 1986. Donated; Bona Belnap; 2001.
Subject Terms
Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Music
Genre / Form
Manuscripts; Microfilms; Scores
Processing Information
Processed; Melissa James; August 2011.
Appraisal Information
Performance and pedagogy for the mainstream Western classical tradition, (section IV.a.ii Music Special Collections Development Policy September 2010).
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Bellison (Simeon) papers
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Melissa James
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2014-01-26T04:24-0700
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Simeon Bellison (1883-1953) was a renowned clarinet player, teacher, and arranger, as well as an accomplished writer, performing through Eastern Europe and in the United States.

Simeon Bellison was born in Moscow in the year 1883. Bellison started studying the clarinet with his father at the age of nine, and shortly after, began to play in the voluntary ensembles his father conducted. In 1894, Bellison began his study with Joseph Friedrich at the Moscow Imperial Academy, which he continued until 1901, graduating with honors and a bachelors degree in music.

In 1902, Bellison played and organized the Moscow Quintet that toured throughout Russia, Poland, and Latvia. He continued with the Moscow Quintet as he began the post of first clarinetist in the St. Petersburg Imperial Opera orchestra. Bellison, in 1918, formed a second ensemble in St. Petersburg named Zimro that toured farther than the first, including in the United States.

Bellison made New York his home in 1920, as first clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, a position he held until 1948. Bellison also opened a clarinet studio in New York, and organized a clarinet ensemble that grew to include seventy-five players; he personally arranged a large library of music for this unique ensemble.

Not only did Bellison arranged and published many solo, ensemble, and chamber pieces in his lifetime, he was known as an authority on Hebrew music, had written many articles, and a novel called “Jivoglot” (Eat ‘em Alive), portraying the life of the poor and obscure musicians in Old Russia.

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David Day
Curator - Music Special Collections