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George S. Bozarth and Walter Frisch

(b Hamburg, May 7, 1833; d Vienna, April 3, 1897). German composer. The successor to Beethoven and Schubert in the larger forms of chamber and orchestral music, to Schubert and Schumann in the miniature forms of piano pieces and songs, and to the Renaissance and Baroque polyphonists in choral music, Brahms creatively synthesized the practices of three centuries with folk and dance idioms and with the language of mid- and late 19th-century art music. His works of controlled passion, deemed reactionary and epigonal by some, progressive by others, became well accepted in his lifetime.

George S. Bozarth

Brahms was the second child and first son of Johanna Henrika Christiane Nissen (1789–1865) and Johann Jakob Brahms (1806–72). His mother, an intelligent and thrifty woman simply educated, was a skilled seamstress descended from a respectable bourgeois family. His father came from yeoman and artisan stock that originated in lower Saxony and resided in Holstein from the mid-18th century. A resourceful musician of modest talent, Johann Jakob learnt to play several instruments, including the flute, horn, violin and double bass, and in 1826 moved to the free Hanseatic port of Hamburg, where he earned his living playing in dance halls and taverns. In 1830, as a condition for gaining citizenship (...

Article

Darja Koter

(b Eisendorf, Germany, Aug 15, 1865; d Maribor, Slovenia, June 20, 1938). German organ, harmonium, and piano builder active in Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, and Hungary. From 1878 to 1882 he studied in Rosenheim, Bavaria, with the organ builder Jakob Müller, for whom he then worked for three years. Later he travelled and worked with Mathias Burkard in Heidelberg, Gebrüder Mayer in Feldkirch, and finally with Anton Bechmann (...

Article

[repeating]. A rank of organ pipes that at some point skips back to a lower pitch, normally by an octave or fifth. Such ranks are usually part of a Compound stop (See Mixture stop), but sometimes, especially in Italian organs, single ranks of very high pitch break back near the top of their compass. A ‘repeating Zimbel’ breaks back at a full octave at every octave, but certain other mixture stops break more gradually or irregularly. ...

Article

Brebos  

August Corbet and Ole Olesen

Flemish family of organ builders. Like the Moors family, the Brebos originated from the town of Lier in the ancient Duchy of Brabant (now in the province of Antwerp); Gomaar Brebos was an organ builder at Lier.

Gomaar’s son Gillis Brebos (b Lier; d...

Article

(b Avignon, France, May 18, 1854; d Versailles, France, May 20, 1933). Organist, composer, collector, and writer on musical instruments. Born a count into an old Norman family, he studied organ with Gigout in Paris in the late 1880s and was admitted to the Académie des Sciences Morales, des Lettres et des Arts de Versailles in ...

Article

Michael Sayer

English organ builder. He established a business in Sheffield in 1854. A follower of Edmund Schulze, he built solid instruments with powerful choruses using Vogler’s Simplification system. Pipes placed in chromatic order on the soundboards allowed for a simple and reliable key action and permitted similar stops to share the same bass; this kept both space and cost to a minimum. The Swell organ was often mounted above the Great as an ...

Article

Margaret Cranmer

English firm of piano manufacturers. John Brinsmead (b Weare Giffard, Devon, 13 Oct 1814; d London, 17 Feb 1908) founded the firm in Windmill Street, London, in 1835. His sons Thomas James Brinsmead (d London, 9 Nov 1906) and Edgar Brinsmead (...

Article

Laurence Libin

Family of harpsichord makers in Antwerp.

fl. mid-17th century; a cabinet maker, he joined the Guild of St Luke in 1613 as a pupil of Melsen Ykens.

a cabinet maker as late as 1649, joined the Guild in 1655–6, at the same time as the harpsichord builder Gommaar van Everbroeck. Joris (i) and (ii) might have learned harpsichord making as employees of the Ruckers workshop....

Article

Jennifer Doctor, Judith LeGrove, Paul Banks, Heather Wiebe and Philip Brett

( b Lowestoft , Nov 22, 1913 ; d Aldeburgh , Dec 4, 1976 ). English composer , conductor and pianist . He and his contemporary Michael Tippett are among several pairs of composers who dominated English art music in the 20th century. Of their music, Britten’s early on achieved, and has maintained, wider international circulation. An exceedingly practical and resourceful musician, Britten worked with increasing determination to recreate the role of leading national composer held during much of his own life by Vaughan Williams, from whom he consciously distanced himself. Notable among his musical and professional achievements are the revival of English opera, initiated by the success of ...

Article

Gary Galván

(b Schenectady, NY, March 17, 1949). American composer, educator, and pianist. She studied briefly at the University of California at Santa Barbara and Michigan State University before settling at the University of Michigan to complete a BMus in music theory and embark on graduate studies in composition with George Balch Wilson, ...

Article

Howard Schott and Michael Latcham

(b Eichswald, Prussia [now Germany], c1771; d Vienna, Austria, May 13, 1848). Austrian piano maker. He was probably in Vienna by the 1780s, and obtained citizenship in 1796. In 1812 he became vice-chairman of the 40-member piano makers’ association, and was chairman by ...

Article

Edward L. Kottick

(b New York, April 11, 1945). American harpsichord maker and performer. His father was a film composer, songwriter, and conductor. He began piano lessons at age 11, and studied music at the University of Michigan (1962–3) before transferring to the Mannes College of Music (...

Article

Eva Helenius

(b ?1717; d Stockholm, Sweden, 1772). Swedish maker of clavichords and harpsichords, active in Stockholm. Broman was the first builder to put into practice the novel harpsichord and clavichord construction ideas of the Royal Academy of Science, which were an important starting point for the development of the eventual distinctive Swedish school of clavichord design. In ...

Article

Bruder  

Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume

German family of organ builders which specialized in mechanical instruments. Ignaz Blasius Bruder (1780–1845) was the founder of the organ-building industry in Waldkirch. He had five sons, those of greatest significance being Wilhelm (1819–82) and Ignaz (1825–91). Each of these in turn produced three sons who ultimately formed three partnerships – Wilhelm Bruder Söhne, Gebrüder Bruder and Ignaz Bruder Söhne. The precise output of each partnership is hard to identify but they all produced work of outstanding quality starting with organ-playing clocks, progressing through portable street organs and ending with showground and dance organs. The Bruders kept to the forefront of technical and musical development and were among the first to apply music programmes in the form of perforated paper rolls to the fairground organ, using a keyless pneumatic system. They also fitted Swell shutters to these instruments. Bruder enjoyed a worldwide reputation and until the outbreak of World War I they supplied organs to the Wurlitzer company in America....

Article

Peter Williams and Barbara Owen

A small organ-chest, usually with its own manual, encased compactly above the keyboards and below the Hauptwerk, ‘in the breast’ of the organ. Many early examples contained a regal or two only, and even later the department usually kept its character as a regals or chamber organ. Such subsidiary chests were common in the 17th century, the pedal keyboard sometimes communicating with a so-called ...

Article

Michael Sayer

English firm of organ builders. In 1868 the Bryceson brothers acquired the sole rights to use Charles Spackman Barker’s practical electric organ mechanisms in England, and the same year the firm, based in London, built organs with electric key action at Drury Lane Theatre, Christ Church, Camberwell, St Michael Cornhill and St George’s, Tufnell Park. The Camberwell instrument was first used at the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester Cathedral, where the organ was placed in the south aisle and its console in the orchestra. The firm also supplied an instrument for the Three Choirs Festival in ...

Article

Benjamin Vogel

(b Olsztynek [Hohenstein, East Prussia], May 16, 1792; d Warsaw, Poland, May 15, 1837). Polishpiano manufacturer. About 1815 he established a piano factory in Warsaw, and about 1817–19 formed the Organ Makers Assembly together with W. Bauer and W. Jansen. Buchholtzgained recognition for manufacturing giraffe pianos with bassoon and Janissary stops; he presented such instruments at the ...

Article

Uwe Pape

German family of organ builders.

(b Schlossvippach, Germany, Sept 27, 1758; d Berlin, Germany, Feb 24, 1825). He was a pupil of Adam Heinrich Rietz in Magdeburg, Johann Wilhelm Grüneberg in Stettin [now Szczecin], and Ernst Marx (a pupil of Joachim Wagner’s) in Berlin. His work is concentrated in Pomerania and in the Berlin area, including reconstructions and repairs to the organs in the Marienkirche, Bernau (...

Article

Edwin M. Ripin and John Koster

A device found on harpsichords of most periods and schools (though more rarely on Italian instruments) as well as on some pianos, especially square pianos of the 18th and early 19th centuries. It mutes the tone by lightly pressing a piece of buff leather, cloth or felt against the strings near the nut, and has the effect of damping the vibrations, especially the high harmonics, so that the sound takes on a duller, pizzicato quality. In harpsichords, the buff stop usually consists of a sliding batten fitted with a small block of material for each note. Sliding the batten to one side brings the blocks against one register of strings, usually at 8′ pitch. In harpsichords by members of the Ruckers family, the buff batten was usually divided into separate treble and bass sections. Occasionally in harpsichords but normally in pianos the buff-stop batten is covered with material along its entire length, so that all the unison strings are damped when the batten is raised or (if placed over the strings) lowered against them. The buff stop should not be confused with the ...

Article

Christopher Fifield and R. Allen Lott

(b Dresden, Germany, Jan 8, 1830; d Cairo, Egypt, Feb 12, 1894). German conductor, pianist, and composer. He studied piano with Friedrich Wieck, Max Eberwein, and Louis Plaidy before briefly pursuing a law degree to appease his parents. Under Wagner’s influence he began an operatic conducting career, then in ...