concert pianist and conductor Ossip Gabrilowitsch was born into
a family of successful professionals in St. Petersburg. His family
contrasts with the typical Russian Jewish family that lived in a
Shtetl and performed trade work.
This branch of the family traces its origins to a Berel Gabrilovich
(born circa 1770) of Raseiniai, Lithuania. His son Ossip Gabrilovich
(born 1802) was a merchant who had five daughters and five sons.
Feeling that life would offer more opportunities to his sons as
non-Jews, it is believed Ossip (grandfather to Ossip the pianist)
raised his sons as Russian Orthodox Christians. Most of his sons
appear to have moved to St. Petersburg and Moscow between 1870 and
1900. A brief history of three of these sons and some of their descendants
One son, 1) Gustav, became a successful operator of pharmacies;
Another son, 2) Solomon, attended law school and later begat Ossip
the pianist; and a third son, 3) Dr. Eugene Gabrilowitsch (1835-1918),
was a leading St. Petersburg physician.
1) Gustav moved his family to Moscow and had a son, also called
Ossip, who joined him in the pharmaceutical business. This Ossip
had a son Eugene (1899-1993), who was a very famous and successful
Russian screenwriter. Eugene had a son Alexei (1937-1996) who was
a Russian film director.
2) Solomon was a Lawyer in St. Petersburg, and besides Ossip the
pianist, he had two other sons George (Gregor) and Artur, and a
daughter Polya (Pauline). George was a publisher and Arthur a lawyer,
although both of them were also professional music critics. It is
unclear whether any of Ossip's (the pianist) three siblings had
3) Dr. Eugene Gabrilovich had five children through two wives. One
of his children, Dr. Nikolai Gabrilovich (1865-1941), was a leader
in the field of homeopathic medicine.
One of Nikolai's siters, Olga, was the first woman in Russia to
receive a Masters in Pharmacy.
A half-sibling to Nikolai, Leonid Gabrilovitch (1878-1953) was a
well-known mathematician and University lecturer in Berlin, Paris
and finally the U.S.. His son, Andrew Gabrilovitch (born 1925 in
Paris) was a champion Bridge player in the U.S.
For a detailed genealogical chart on the St. Petersburg Gabrilovichs,
please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.