Highlights from the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive: James Arkatov World Music photographs
James Arkatov was born in 1920 in Odessa, Russia and raised in San Francisco, where his father, Alexander Arkatov, owned a photography salon. In 1938, he was invited by Fritz Feiner to join the Pittsburgh Symphony. Later, he joined the San Francisco Symphony with Pierre Monteux, and went on to be principal cellist of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under Fabien Sevitzky. Arkatov returned to California in 1946 as a studio musician and was later appointed principal cellist of the NBC Symphony Orchestra. In 1956, he married Salome Ramras Arkatov.
Photo: Pablo Casals with James Arkatov, 1956
In 1968, he founded the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) and was its first principal cellist. According to LACO: "The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1968 as an artistic outlet for the recording industry’s most gifted musicians. The Orchestra’s artistic founder, cellist James Arkatov, envisioned an ensemble that would allow these conservatory-trained players to balance studio work and teaching with pure artistic collaboration at the highest level."
Arkatov began photographing musicians when he was with the Pittsburgh Symphony. In 1990, he published his first book, Masters of Music: Great Artists at Work. In 1998, he published his second book, Artists: The Creative Personality.
In May 2015, the Arkatovs donated James' photographs of world music performers to the Ethnomusicology Archive. We are currently in the process of scanning them and hope to make them available for viewing as part of the UCLA Library's Digital Collections during this coming academic year. But I wanted to give everyone a sneak peek of some of the wonderful images included in this collection.
Ustad Shujaat Khan
Child playing Korean drums
Harmonica Fats at L.A. Festival
And because Arkatov is a musician, I had to include some of his work.
In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning by Frank Sinatra (Arkatov on cello) ℗ 1998 Capitol Records, LLC.
Photos © Regents of the University of California, All Right Reserved. (For permission to use any Arkatov world music images, contact the Archivists.)