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E. Eugene Helm and Darrell Berg

(b Dobitschen, Saxe-Altenburg, Jan 4, 1720; d Berlin, Dec 2, 1774). German musicographer, composer, organist, singing master and conductor. His father occupied an important post as government agent and jurist in Dobitschen. Burney, who visited the Agricolas in 1772, reported that Johann Friedrich’s mother, born Maria Magdalena Manke, ‘was a near relation of the late Mr Handel, and in correspondence with him till the time of his death’; but later Handel research has failed to substantiate this claim....

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Dieter Härtwig

(b Hettstedt, June 16, 1762; d Ballenstedt, Nov 27, 1797). German organist and composer, father of Albrecht Wilhelm Johann Agthe. He first learnt music with his grandfather Johann Michael Agthe, Kantor at the Rathsschule, and his great-uncle Andreas Agthe, a local organist; he later continued his musical studies as a choirboy and as a member of the local Stadtpfeiferei. From ...

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Kathleen Kuzmick Hansell

(b Ferrara, 1743; d Parma, May 18, 1783). Italian soprano. Traditions explaining her nickname describe her variously as a foundling raised by Leopoldo Aguiari, his natural daughter or that of Marchese Bentivoglio, while her pronounced limp was supposedly the result of having been partly eaten in infancy by a dog or hog. Her early studies in Ferrara with Brizio Petrucci, ...

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John A. Parkinson and Simon McVeigh

(b c1725; d ?April 1803). Italian composer and violinist. By 1748 he was in London, where his orchestral career lasted over half a century. He was particularly in demand as a composer of ballet music for the Italian opera, and by 1758...

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John A. Parkinson and Simon McVeigh

(b 1749, d Paris, 1798). Italian violinist and composer. He was probably the son of Giuseppe Agus. Having studied the violin under Nardini in Italy, ‘Agus jr’ first appeared in London on 26 February 1773 at the Haymarket. In 1778 Blundell published his duets for two violins....

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Dieter Härtwig and Hildegard Surner

(b Regensburg, Feb 28, 1755; d Prague, Dec 20, 1810). German composer, writer and pianist. The daughter of Prince Alexander Ferdinand of Thurn and Taxis and his third wife Maria Henrietta Josepha, princess of Fürstenberg - Stühhugen, and a goddaughter of Empress Maria Theresa, she spent her early years at her father's court in Regensburg. In ...

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(b Albano Laziale, nr Rome, 1729; d Paris, 1800). French castrato and composer of Italian origin. Educated in Naples, he went to Paris in 1747 and soon found employment in the royal chapel of Louis XV. From 1752 to 1762 he was a prominent soloist in the Concert Spirituel, appearing frequently in performances of Pergolesi’s ...

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Dorothea Link

(fl 1782–99). Italian bass. He spent the early part of his career mainly in Rome. For the 1788–9 season he was a member of the opera buffa company in Vienna. He made his début on 4 April 1788 as Biscroma in Salieri’s Axur, re d’Ormus...

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Jaak Liivoja-Lorius

(fl Milan, c1737–63). Italian violin maker. His violins are roughly reminiscent of Giovanni Grancino’s model although without its symmetry. The craftsmanship rarely approaches any degree of refinement, though the tonal qualities invariably rise above these limitations, and authentic examples in good condition command respectable prices. The varnish on the better instruments is a reddish-brown, most of the others being a clear yellow-brown. Alberti took over Grancino’s shop, which is acknowledged on his printed labels: ‘Ferdinando Alberti in Contrada/Larga di Milano a Segno della/Corona F. l’Anno 17 –’ or ‘Ferdinando Alberti fece in Milano/nella Contrada del pesce al Segno/della Corona l’Anno 17–’. (R. Vannes: ...

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Barbara Chmara-Żackiewicz

(b Pesaro, Nov 30, 1748; d Warsaw, March 27, 1812). Italian composer and conductor, active in Poland. The earliest reference to his activities in Warsaw dates from 12 April 1773, when King Stanisław August Poniatowski paid him a fee for a concert. From the middle of ...

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Winton Dean

(fl 1699–1738). Italian alto castrato. His first known appearance was in Livorno in 1699. Probably from Florence, he had a long career there, singing in 24 operas, including works by Orlandini, Gasparini and Albinoni, 1701–38. He was employed by the Cardinal and later the Grand Duchess of Tuscany. He sang in Venice in ...

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Alina Nowak-Romanowicz

(b Pesaro, Nov 30, 1748; d Warsaw, March 27, 1812). Polish composer of Italian birth . He was known as an aria composer and ‘young virtuoso’ in 1777. Later he was conductor at Prince Karol Radziwiłł’s residence at Nieśwież, and from 1782 maître de chapelle...

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Christopher Raeburn and Dorothea Link

In 

See Mandini family

Article

Howard Serwer

(b Görmar, nr Mühlhausen, Jan 8, 1732; d Mühlhausen, 1773). German writer on music and composer. He was a magister of philosophy, an honorary member of the German Society of Altdorf University, and an imperial poet laureate. His writings include an original work on theory, contributions to the current discussions of Rameau's theories which he favoured, and translations and editions of works of others. In addition, he published an important article on the state of music in Mühlhausen, two in defence of music in the church, and one on the German language. His compositions, consisting largely of sacred vocal works to his own texts, were mostly written for the Marienkirche in Mühlhausen, where he was Kantor and music director. They include a setting of the Passion and a yearly cycle of cantatas (texts published in ...

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Watkins Shaw and Peter Marr

(b London, April 11, 1715; d Lichfield, Feb 23, 1806). English organist and composer, father of John Alcock (ii). He was a chorister of St Paul’s Cathedral when, in his own words ( GB-Lcm 1189), he and Boyce were ‘Schoolfellows and Bedfellows’ under Charles King. Afterwards he was apprenticed to John Stanley. In the early years of the 18th century, growth in the number of organs in large provincial parish churches afforded new professional opportunities, and Alcock is an early example of an organist who reached a cathedral position through posts in parish churches – in his case St Andrew’s, Plymouth (...

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Peter Marr

(b Plymouth, bap. Jan 28, 1740; d Walsall, bur. March 27, 1791). English organist and composer, eldest son of John Alcock (i). As a chorister under his father at Lichfield Cathedral, he deputized for him from the age of 12, and from 1758 to 1768...

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Robert Stevenson

(b Mexico City, 1758; d Mexico City, Feb 7, 1810). Mexican violinist and composer. As a boy, he studied at the Mexico City Cathedral Colegio de Infantes, a choir school where Nicolás Gil de la Torre taught him the violin. On 27 January 1775...

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Geoffrey Norris and Edward Garden

In 

See L′vov family

Article

Thomas Christensen

(b Paris, Nov 16, 1717; d Paris, Oct 29, 1783). French philosopher, mathematician and music theorist. He was abandoned by his mother as a child, and raised in a modest household by an artisan’s wife. A precocious child, he received a good education at a Jansenist school, and went on to study medicine and law. His true passion, though, was mathematics, and he soon abandoned his legal studies in order to devote all his energies to the subject. His particular interest lay in the field of rational mechanics, an important discipline in the 18th century, in which physical problems and phenomena were analysed in the abstract, using mathematics and geometry. D’Alembert submitted his first paper to the Royal Academy of Sciences in ...

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Sven Hansell and Marita P. McClymonds

(b ?Rome, Nov 24, 1747; d Casinalbo, nr Modena, Aug 15, 1798). Italian composer. According to Manferrari, he was born at S Damaso, near Modena. He studied in Naples and had his first large work, the oratorio Il Tobia, performed in Rome in ...