A native of Los Angeles, from a family of musicians, Justin studied cello with Ilya Bronson, Lauri Kennedy and Bronislaw Borisoff, all first cellists of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He also studied for two summers with the famous cellist, Emanuel Feuermann. He joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra when only 19; one of the youngest members ever selected. He remained with the orchestra until joining the Navy, where he served from 1942-45. While in service he was picked to perform with string quartet on the cruiser Augusta, accompanying President Truman to Potsdam and on other secret missions along with Sir Winston Churchill. Returning from the Navy, Justin was under contract to the Society of Motion Picture Producers orchestra until 1949. In 1951 he joined the NBC staff orchestra, and later free-lanced extensively in all types of motion-picture and television recording sessions. On YouTube and Spotify, he is listed on a number of recordings, such as The Ten Commandments (Elmer Bernstein, 1956 soundtrack recording), Mission Impossible (Lalo Schifrin, original TV soundtrack), and records by Frank Sinatra, The Monkeys, The Beach Boys, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald. He died in 1974 at the age of 56.
Cellist Edgar Lustgarten writes, “I honestly believe that there was no other cellist that we knew, both professionally and as a friend, that was held as dearly. He had rare qualities- sincerity, warmth and encouragement for all his colleagues. He always had the highest of standards for himself and, therefore for others. Along with this he had a great sense of humor. Sometimes at work, under the most trying circumstances, he would come up with an hilarious comment that would immediately break all the tension. We always enjoyed his “salty” remarks that would take the arrogance out of those around him. We feel a great debt of gratitude for having had someone like Justin, who brought to our profession something very special.”