Biographical Information:

Dates: 1889-1964
Dates in Ridgefield: 1935-1964

non-fiction writer, novelist, biographer, musical director, accompaniest, music critic

Arturo Toscanini, one of the leader conductors of the 20th Century, liked Ridgefield–and his friend Samuel Chozinoff–enough to give concerts here in 1947 and 1949 to benefit the Ridgefield library (on whose board Mr. Chotzinoff served for 10 years) and the Boys Club. Mr. Chotzinoff, who lived on Spring Valley Road, was musical director of NBC and persuaded Toscanini to come out of retirement in Italy to lead the NBC Symphony Orchestra. He also commissioned Gian Carlo Menotti to write televisions’s first opera, the now-famous Amahl and the Night Visitors (Menotti and Toscanini often visited Chotzinoff’s Ridgefield home). Born in Czarist Russia, Mr. Chotzinoff came to America at 17, studied piano and was an accompaniest for Efrem Zimbalist and later Jasch Heifitz, whose sister, Pauline, he married. Later a music critic for The New York Post and other papers, he wrote a novel, Eroica, co-authored two plays, and wrote a biography of Toscanini as well as an autobiography. He also taught at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He died in 1964 at 72.

Eroica: A Novel Based on the Life of Ludwig van Beethovan, 1930
A Lost Paradise: Early Reminiscenes, 1955
Toscanini: An Intimate Portrait, 1956

--Source: Notable Ridgefielders–Jack Sanders