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Michael Stillman

As the co-founder from the independent Monitor Documents label, Michael Stillman was in charge of bringing several classical, folk, and globe music to American shores. Given birth to in Saratov, Russia, in 1915, Stillman’s family members emigrated to NY when he was five years of age; his dad Mitya, a viola participant, went on to become listed on the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Stillman himself used the piano, but analyzed history at NY University, and consequently offered in the Military during World Battle II. Then went to function for any sheet-music company, Leeds Music, which kept an exclusive permit to create Soviet music in america. This fueled Stillman’s desire for Russian music, so when he fulfilled fellow enthusiast Rose Rubin, both decided to take up a record organization with the purpose of spotlighting main Soviet skills. Monitor Information kicked off procedures in Dec 1956, and its own initial releases had been specialized in Russian traditional music, including music artists like pianist Sviatoslav Richter, cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, and violinist David Oistrakh. Stillman and Rubin quickly branched out into other styles of Russian music, including traditional folk, gypsy tunes, Orthodox hymns, as well as the Soviet armed service music group and choir. Later on, Monitor releases recorded Paul Robeson, folkie Ramblin’ Jack port Elliott, French pop vocalist Yves Montand, belly-dance music aficionado George Abdo, and Chilean protest vocalist Victor Jara; there have been also albums specialized in traditional music from Germany, Greece, Eastern European countries, and Polynesia, among various other locales. In 1999, over 40 years after Stillman and Rubin founded Monitor, they donated its whole catalog towards the Smithsonian Folkways collection. Stillman passed on at his house in Somers, NY, on Apr 15, 2003.

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