The Melting Pot: Russian Jewish New York

Case 4: Entertainers > Sol Hurok

Sol Hurok (1888–1974), American impresario.

He was born in Pogar, Russia and immigrated to the USA in 1906. According to his own estimate, during his career he presented to American audiences more than 4,000 artists and companies. Hurok was in large measure responsible for the phenomenal growth of concert audiences, the establishment of cultural centers in many cities, and the ballet vogue on this continent, launched by his original importation in 1933 of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. He introduced Americans to the best dancers, musicians, singers, actors, and mimes and to the greatest performing companies in the world.

Sol Hurok, right, his list of honors, medals, and honorary degrees from more than a dozen countries, includes the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth, the French Legion of Honor (of which he was an officer), the Golden Door Award from the American Council of Nationalities, the John H. Finley Medal of the City College Alumni, the Austrian Cross of Honor, First Class, among others.

"S. Hurok presents" is now part of show business idiom. He “is the man who lit the match that ignited the American cultural explosion…his name stands for the best in ballet, music, theatre and spectacle.”



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