Russian conductor Rudolf Barshai died November 2 at 86. Noted as conductor and founder of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and the founding violist of the renowned Borodin Quartet, Barshai was a student of Shostakovich and quite close to Prokofiev. As a member of the Borodin Quartet, he performed at the funerals of both Prokofiev and Josef Stalin, which took place on the same day.
Barshai conducted performances by the Moscow Chamber Orchestra on three occasions for the Celebrity Series, in 1963, '66, and '75. The performances included, in the 1966 concert, the Boston premiere of a joint "rearrangement" of Shostakovich's Tenth Quartet, renamed Chamber Symphony, undertaken by composer and conductor.