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Simeon Bellison papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 7934

Scope and Contents

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.


  • 1910-1953


Language of Materials

Materials are in English and Russian.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing 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.

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.


1 box (0.5 linear ft.)

35 microfilm boxes (1 linear ft)


The original order of the collection has been retained.

Custodial History

Donated by George Alexanderson in 1986. Microfilms donated by Bona Belnap in 2001.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; George Alexanderson; 1986. Donated; Bona Belnap; 2001.


Performance and pedagogy for the mainstream Western classical tradition, (section IV.a.ii Music Special Collections Development Policy September 2010).

Processing Information

Processed; Melissa James; August 2011.

Register of Simeon Bellison papers
Melissa James
2011 August 4
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States