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(b Stanislav, Jan 6, 1908; d Tel-Aviv, Aug 5, 1995). Israeli composer of Russian birth. His mother was a cousin of Mahler; his adopted surname combines the word ‘Avi’ (‘father of’) with the initials of his children's names. He studied at the American University in Beirut and at the Paris Conservatoire, where his teachers included Rabaud. In ...

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Eliyahu Schleifer

(b Jerusalem, Sept 15, 1941). Israeli composer and conductor. He studied at the Rubin Academy of Music (teacher's diploma 1967, BMus 1972) and at the Salzburg Mozarteum (1976). From 1968 to 1973 he served as the director of Renanot, the Institute of Jewish Music, Jerusalem. In ...

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Miri Gerstel

(b Saarbrücken, Sept 2, 1927). Israeli composer of German origin. He studied composition with Erlich, Ben-Haim and Seter, and the piano with Pelleg, graduating from the Israel Academy of Music, Tel-Aviv, in 1958. From 1961 to 1975, Avni served intermittently as the director of the AMLI Central Music Library. Between ...

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David Stabler

(b Nikolayevsk, Siberia, Oct 31, 1894; d New York, April 26, 1965). Russian composer, father of Jacob Avshalomov. Self-taught except for one term at the Zürich Conservatory, he spent 30 years in China, where he composed symphonic and dramatic works. Fascinated by Chinese culture, he integrated authentic Chinese thematic material into Western musical styles. In addition to composing, he became head librarian of the Municipal Library of Shanghai (...

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David Stabler

(b Qingdao, China, March 28, 1919; d Portland, OR, April 25, 2013). American composer, son of Aaron Avshalomov. After emigrating to the USA in 1937, he studied in Los Angeles with Ernst Toch, at the Eastman School of Music (MA 1942) with Bernard Rogers, among others, and at Tanglewood with Aaron Copland (...

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Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof

(b Pasir Mas Kelantan, Malaysia, Aug 13, 1941). ma'yong Malaysian (dance theatre) performer. From an early age she developed an interest in singing, dancing and acting, later participating as a singer and dancer in activities organized by both the regional radio and television stations in Kota Baharu and the Kelantan state cultural troupe, as well as in several performances marking national events in Kuala Lumpur. In the mid-1960s she joined the National Cultural Complex under the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism as a dancer....

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Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Osaka, Japan, Sept 10, 1957). Japanese singer. She learned piano from the age of three, studied singing when she was 17, and in her youth undertook some work as a piano accompanist. After graduating from high school she lived alternately in Kobe, Japan, and Los Angeles. She then went to New York, where she sang from ...

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Jean During

Country in the Caucasus of Central Asia of 86,600 km², with an estimated population of 7·83 million (2000). Since 1828 Azerbaijan has consisted of two parts; one forms a province of Iran, whilst the other, which was a Soviet socialist republic from 1920...

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Alma Kunanbayeva

(b Maty-Bulak, Semirechye [now Krasnogorsk], 1884; d Almata, 1976). Kazakh traditional composer, singer, narrator and dömbra player. He was born to the family of a poor herder and lost his mother when he was seven years old. His family was musically talented and Azerbayev gained the nickname ...

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(b Paris, May 22, 1924). French singer and songwriter. His parents were Armenian immigrants, and he began acting as a child. In 1941 he wrote the lyrics to the song J'ai bu, with music by Pierre Roche, and which brought the songwriting team to the attention of Edith Piaf. Aznavour subsequently wrote songs for Piaf (...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Osaka, Dec 11, 1939). Japanese soprano . She studied in Tokyo, then in Milan and Parma, making her début in 1963 at Reggio Emilia as Suzel (L’amico Fritz). She sang at La Scala and elsewhere in Italy; in France, Belgium, Germany and Austria; in North and South America and with Fujiwara Opera in Tokyo. She took part in the première of Joachim Ludwig’s ...

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Henry Johnson

Musical bow of Japan. The name refers to the quintessential material used for the bow (azusa: catalpa) and the form (yumi: bow). Other names for the instrument include azusa and yumidaiko (daiko/taiko: drum). It is nowadays made of wood such as catalpa or mulberry and is about 1 metre long, has an independent resonator (usually an upside-down box), and is sounded by a wooden beater usually held in the player’s right hand. The single string is normally made of flax. The player, who normally kneels with the string placed horizontally in front, presses the bow on to the resonator with the left hand and beats the string without any change of pitch. The ...

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Svetlana Sarkisyan

(b Yerevan, Jan 22, 1921; d Yerevan, Nov 11, 1983). Armenian composer and pianist. He graduated from Talian’s composition class at the Yerevan Conservatory in 1947, and in 1948 from Igumnov’s piano class at the Moscow Conservatory; his composition studies were continued under Litinsky at the House of Armenian Culture in Moscow (...

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Svetlana Sarkisyan

(b Yerevan, Aug 19, 1948). Armenian composer. He began composing at the age of seven, then studied composition with Bagdasarian at the Melikian Music College (1964–8) and later at the Yerevan Conservatory under Yeghiazarian (1968–73). He joined the Armenian Composers’ Union in ...

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Bachi  

Plectrum of the Japanese shamisen and biwa (plucked lutes). Good shamisen plectra are of ivory or ivory-tipped wood, although tortoise-shell is used when playing certain chamber and folk music. Practice plectra are made of plastic or of three weights of wood to provide balance and to supply a thin point. ...

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Bactria  

Ancient civilization in Central Asia. It flourished in the last three centuries bce in the area now covered by northern Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and southern Turkmenistan. See Iran, §II.

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Razia Sultanova

(b Ganchkash, Bukhara district, Nov 10, 1946). Uzbek composer. He trained at the Tashkent Conservatory as a performer on Uzbek instruments (1964–9) and as a composer (1972–7), finishing a postgraduate course under Boris Giyenko in 1979. He has taught at the Bukhara Pedagogical Institute (...

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Baghrā  

Friction drum of Orissa, eastern India. The body is made from a pot; a gut string affixed to the skin head passes through the body and is rubbed by the hand.

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R. Conway Morris

Turkish long-necked lute of the Ṭanbūr family (for illustration see Kurdish music). The pear-shaped bowl resonator is carved (oyma) or carvel-built (yapraklı). The soundtable is of wood, usually coniferous. The neck has a variable number of movable frets. Traditionally these were made of sheepgut or copper wire but nylon line is now used. The instrument’s name, dating from the 17th century, derives from these ‘tied’ frets (...

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Bahrain  

An independent state, consisting of an archipelago of islands, in the Arabian Gulf.