Nikolai Sokoloff (28 May 1886 – 25 September 1965) was a Russian-American conductor and violinist. He was born in Kiev, and studied music at Yale. From 1916 to 1917 he was musical director of the San Francisco People's Philharmonic Orchestra, where he insisted on including women in his orchestra and paying them the same as men. Sokoloff was the founding conductor and music director of the Cleveland Orchestra in 1918 where he remained until 1932. Between 1935 and 1938 he directed the Federal Music Project, a New Deal program that employed musicians to perform and educate the public about music. From 1938 to 1941 he directed the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. When he was a conductor he gave a violin to then nine year old violin prodigy Yehudi Menuhin.