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(b Pisky, near Khar′kiv, 8/Sept 20, 1876; d Paris, Jan 8, 1945). Ukrainian composer and pianist. Aged ten he was sent, along with his brother Yakiv (later known as the composer Stepovy), to sing in the choir of the Imperial Chapel in St Petersburg. It was during his time there (...

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Owen Wright

(fl first half of the 11th century). Arab musician and writer. The son of an eminent musician, he became a prominent singer at the Cairo court of the Fatimid caliph al-Ẓāhir (1021–36), and was still active as a teacher in 1057...

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Sophie Fuller

(b London, March 16, 1866; d London, March 5, 1956). English composer, singer and teacher. An important member of London’s black community, Amanda Ira Aldridge was the daughter of the famous tragic actor Ira Aldridge. In 1883 she won a scholarship to the RCM. A pupil of Jenny Lind, her successful career as a contralto was ended by damage to her throat caused by laryngitis. She then established a distinguished career as a teacher, with pupils that included Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson....

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Juan Orrego-Salas and Luis Merino

(b Santiago, Sept 2, 1911; d Santiago, Aug 2, 1954). Chilean composer and pianist. He studied with Allende for composition and Renard for the piano at the Santiago National Conservatory (1923–35), where he then held appointments as coach at the opera department (...

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Dave Arthur

(b Workington, Cumbria, Jan 13, 1941). English traditional singer, writer and teacher. She began singing American songs in 1957 with a band, Skiffle Group, which eventually adopted a repertory of British traditional songs. From the early 1960s Armstrong, partially sighted, combined a singing career with that of social worker. Influenced by singer Louis Killen, she studied traditional singers and analysed the synthesis of content, style and form in traditional performance. In ...

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Nicholas Tochka

(b Brockton, MA, USA, Nov 4, 1925). Albanian tenor and pedagogue. Born in the large Albanian immigrant colony in New England (USA), Athanasi returned as a child to his parents’ hometown of Korça, where he participated in its vibrant prewar choral, theatre, and sports scenes. During World War II, he performed with resistance groups singing patriotic and partisan songs and, in ...

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Laurie J. Sampsel

(b Milton, MA, Feb 18, 1760; d French Mills, NY, Nov 23, 1813). American composer, singing master, singer, and tunebook compiler. Babcock lived most of his life in Watertown, MA, where he worked as a hatter. As a teenager he fought in the Revolutionary War, and he died while enlisted in the Army during the War of ...

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William E. Boswell

(b Wenham, MA, July 10, 1811; d Boston, MA, March 11, 1889). American teacher, singer, and composer. He sang, directed choirs, and taught music in Salem, Massachusetts, and in 1833 toured the country with a concert company. He then settled in Bangor, Maine, as a businessman, but moved to Boston in ...

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Laurie Blunsom

(b Paris, ME, Sept 18, 1836; d after 1920). American contralto and teacher. Barry descended from old New England stock dating back to the early Puritans. She began her vocal studies early, and her first public appearances in 1863 were in Boston with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club and the Handel and Haydn Society. She later studied with Luigi Vannucini in Florence, Italy. Barry had significant success as a singer, performing operatic roles and singing oratorios throughout the USA and in Canada and Mexico. Married twice, Barry’s first husband was John S. Cary, brother of the singer Annie Louise Cary. Her second marriage to artist Charles A. Barry in ...

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Jessica Payette

(b Brooklyn, NY, 1962). American soprano. Baskerville pursued vocal studies at the institution now known as the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, where she serves on the vocal faculty. She is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and was a finalist in the National Vocal Competition for Young Opera Singers in ...