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Article

Richard Crawford and Nym Cooke

(b Norwich, CT, March 22, 1762; d Philadelphia, cSept 30, 1793). American singing teacher, concert organizer and tune book compiler. In 1783 he assisted Andrew Law in a Philadelphia singing school. Later he worked in the city as a wool-card manufacturer and merchant; he was a volunteer in the citizens’ committee organized during Philadelphia’s yellow-fever epidemic of ...

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Robert Lamar Weaver

(bc1755; dc1829). Italian impresario and librettist. His family was from Vicenza. Though trained as a lawyer, he chose instead to become an actor like his parents, and joined first Pietro Rossi’s company in Venice and then, around 1777, the Compagnia Nazionale Toscana in Florence, directed by Giovanni Roffi. His first tragedy, ...

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(b Bourmont-en-Bassigny, Haute-Marne, June 7, 1732; d Paris, May 21, 1801). French impresario, singer and dramatist. He first made his name as a singer with the Opéra-Comique (after about 1758), chiefly in artisan roles; no doubt it was to exploit this special talent that he was allowed to put on an ...

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Charles Beare

(b ?Salisbury, July 14, 1727; d Salisbury, Feb 18, 1795). English violin maker and instrument dealer. He lived and worked in Salisbury and, with Forster, did much to raise the standard of English violin making in the second half of the 18th century. Banks possibly learnt his craft from a relative or in London, perhaps with Wamsley. His woodwork, using native sycamore for backs and sides and pine for tops, looks like that of Duke and Joseph Hill, but he had even more in common with William Forster (i), since both used a thick, dark red oil-varnish, previously unknown in England. Banks might have worked in London on his own for a time, but most of his instruments are labelled from Salisbury. Banks is, like Forster, particularly famous for the many cellos he made. His violas were of the small size fashionable at the time and are less appreciated now, but his violins, though rare, are very good instruments tonally and sometimes pass for Italian. Of the cellos, most are built on a reduced Amati pattern and are very similar to the work of the Forsters, both in appearance and tone. Occasionally, however, Banks made a cello with features of Stradivari, and these are excellent in every way. Bows were sometimes branded by him, though they were doubtless made for him, and he was careful to brand his instruments, sometimes in many places. Some of the later instruments were made for and branded by the London firm of Longman & Broderip, who also employed lesser makers....

Article

Owain Edwards and William Weber

(b Halifax, bap. March 19, 1741; d London, June 8, 1799). English organist and concert organizer. He studied music with Hartley, organist at Rochdale, and later, when he was at Manchester Grammar School, with John Wainwright, deputy organist of the collegiate church. A distinguished academic career took him to Eton (...

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Gunter Hempel

(b Gotha, bap. Sept 12, 1753; d Leipzig, Nov 30, 1813). German composer and writer on music. Between 1777 and 1789 he was intermittently active in the Hamburg theatre, first as a singer and later as a violinist and music director. He also visited St Petersburg (...

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Charles Beare

(b Stamford, Lincs., 1755; d London, March 1823). English violin maker and dealer. He learnt violin making as a pupil of Richard Duke, for whom he worked for 17 years, and the first instruments bearing his label and brand are very similar to those of his master. At the end of ...

Article

Jamie C. Kassler

(b Halifax, c1744; d Grantham, May 6, 1796). English bookseller and dictionary compiler. He was the eldest son of Nathaniel Binns, printer and bookseller in Halifax, under whom he studied the book business. Early in life he went to London as an apprentice of, or employee in, the firm of Crowder. By ...

Article

Frank Kidson, William C. Smith and Peter Ward Jones

(b London, c1750; d London, Dec 19, 1819). English music seller, instrument dealer and publisher. From his early imprints it appears that he had been apprenticed to Walsh’s successors, William Randall and his wife Elizabeth. In 1783 he was in business with T. Beardmore as Beardmore & Birchall (or Birchall & Beardmore). From ...

Article

Barbara Chmara-Żackiewicz

(b Glinno, nr Poznań, April 9, 1757; d Warsaw, July 23, 1829). Polish impresario, librettist, actor and singer. He was a central figure in the history of the Polish theatre. He studied in Kraków (1770–73), where he attended many theatrical and concert performances organized by Sierakowski, prompting him to change the direction of his career away from the army and towards the theatre. He probably completed his studies at the Piarist school in Warsaw. For a few months during ...

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Peter Branscombe

(b ? Moravia or Upper Austria, ?1740s; d Aachen, bur. Aug 7, 1792). Austrian theatre manager, actor and singer. He was engaged at Brünn (now Brno) in 1770, from the autumn of that year as director of the troupe. For long periods he toured in Austria, southern Germany and the Rhineland. In early summer ...

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Peter Branscombe

(b ?Bonn, 1737; d Bruneck, Tyrol, 30/Oct 31, 1789). Italian impresario and bass. He is first mentioned as a buffo bass in Cajetan Molinari’s opera company at Prague in the 1762–3 season. He was later a prominent member of Bustelli’s company in Prague and Dresden. In ...

Article

(b Hlukhiv, Ukraine, 1751; d St Petersburg, 28 Sept/Oct 10, 1825). Ukrainian composer, singer and music director, active in Russia. He began his musical training early, possibly at the Hlukhiv choir school, and in 1758 went to sing in the Russian imperial court chapel in St Petersburg, where he became one of Empress Elizabeth's favourite choirboys. Singled out for his unusual talent, he was trained in opera and eventually performed major roles in court productions: in ...

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Derek Adlam and Cyril Ehrlich

English firm of piano makers. John Broadwood (b Cockburnspath, Scotland, Oct 6, 1732; d London, 1812) was a joiner and cabinetmaker who went to London in 1761 and worked with the harpsichord maker Burkat Shudi. He married Shudi’s daughter in 1769 and became his partner in ...

Article

Alice B. Belgray and Newell Jenkins

(b ?Fano, 1744; d Colmenar de Orejo, nr Madrid, Dec 16, 1798). Italian composer, violinist and orchestra director, active in Spain. The son of Stefano Brunetti (of Fano) and Vittoria Perusini, he probably studied the violin in Livorno with Pietro Nardini. Having moved with his parents to Madrid by ...

Article

Tomislav Volek

(d Vienna, before April 10, 1781). Italian impresario, active in Bohemia and Germany. He was a merchant in Brno. On 13 January 1764 he applied to lease the theatre in the Old Town of Prague; his opera company opened at the theatre on ...

Article

(b Montaigut-sur-Save, Jan 26, 1700; d Paris, May 3, 1788). French concert entrepreneur and cellist. He served as basse du grand choeur in the Paris Opéra orchestra from 1736 to 1755. That he played the cello, rather than the basse de viole, is implied by Corrette in ...

Article

Robert Lamar Weaver

(b Tuscany, c1730; d after 1792). Italian librettist and stage director. He was one of two poets at the Teatro del Cocomero in Florence around 1755, a position requiring him to alter and add to librettos by other authors, notably Goldoni. His ...

Article

Sylvette Milliot

(b 1722; d Paris, Oct 6, 1787). French music dealer, daughter of Andrea Castagneri. After her father’s death she bought a licence as a stationer on 27 September 1747 and settled in the rue des Prouvaires ‘A la musique royale’. On 4 January 1748...

Article

Nancy Joyce Cooper and Jan Walters

( b Florence, 1759/60; d Lodi, Jan 5, 1838). English musician and painter , mainly active in Italy. Her parents managed several inns in Florence for the English on the Grand Tour. She was elected to the Florentine Accademia del Disegno at the age of 18. In ...