Eleanor Slatkin; Cellist, Teacher, Mother of Prominent Conductor

Eleanor Aller Slatkin, a cellist who played with the highly regarded Hollywood String Quartet throughout its existence from 1947 to 1961, has died. She was 78.

Mrs. Slatkin, critically acclaimed member of a prominent musical family, died Thursday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

A native New Yorker and the daughter and granddaughter of cellists, Mrs. Slatkin performed at Carnegie Hall at the age of 12.

After studying at Juilliard, she came to Los Angeles, where she played in the Warner Bros. studio orchestra from 1939 to 1968. She met her husband, Felix, a violinist and conductor of the 20th Century Fox studio orchestra, at a Hollywood Bowl music contest that he won.

Together, they anchored the Hollywood String Quartet, which performed and recorded classical and contemporary music.

Their Los Angeles home was as full of musicians as music, ranging from Igor Stravinsky to Danny Kaye and Frank Sinatra.

The Slatkins had two sons who also became professional musicians: Leonard, who is music director of Washington's National Symphony, and Frederick, a New York cellist.

After her husband's death in 1963, Mrs. Slatkin remained active professionally. She appeared as a soloist with the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra in the Wilshire Ebell Theater in 1968, her first solo work with an orchestra in two decades. From 1968 to 1970, she headed the string department at DePaul University in Chicago.

Mrs. Slatkin is survived by her sons and two grandsons.

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