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Article

Harald Kisiedu

[Abrams, Richard Louis]

(b Chicago, IL, Sept 19, 1930; d New York, Oct 29, 2017). American pianist, composer, and administrator. After receiving private piano lessons, he studied at the Chicago Musical College and taught himself the system of composition devised by Joseph Schillinger. He began to work professionally in 1948 and performed regularly at the Cotton Club in Chicago during the 1950s, accompanying visiting musicians such as Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt, and Max Roach. After composing and arranging for the Walter “King” Fleming band in the mid-1950s, Abrams joined the hard bop ensemble MJT+3 and made his recording debut on the group’s album DADDY-O PRESENTS MJT+3 (1957, VJ 1013). Beginning in 1961 Abrams led the Experimental Band, a composer-centered rehearsal ensemble whose members included the double bass player Donald Rafael Garrett, Jack DeJohnette, Roscoe Mitchell, and the reed player Joseph Jarman. He subsequently co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians...

Article

Carmen Helena Téllez

(b Valera, May 7, 1939). Venezuelan cultural administrator. He founded the Venezuelan youth orchestra system. He earned degrees in economics from the Central University of Venezuela (1961) and composition and organ from the José Angel Lamas School of Music, Caracas (1964, 1966). From 1966 to 1974 he occupied various political and administrative positions, was a member of the Venezuelan parliament and worked for the Instituto Nacional de Cultura y Bellas Artes.

In the mid-1970s Abreu proposed a new system of youth orchestras coupling the needs of music education with the aim of national affirmation and social assistance for underprivileged young people. This network of orchestras, comprising students of all ages in all regions of the country, revolutionized the training of orchestra musicians but caused controversy among conservatory teachers and established professionals, some of whom questioned the project's empirical emphasis and criticized an arguably insufficient academic support. In spite of controversy and changing political and economic circumstances, the Simón Bolívar Orchestra in Caracas, the flagship ensemble of the movement, gradually attained professional status, outranking the traditional orchestras in Venezuela and earning a reputation as the best in Latin America during the 1990s....

Article

Dimitri Conomos

revised by George Leotsakos

(b Piraeus, May 19, 1929). Greek composer and musicologist. He graduated in theology from Athens University (1954), in neo-Byzantine music (1955) and harmony (1956) from the Piraeus League Conservatory, and in counterpoint, fugue and composition (1959) from the Hellenic Conservatory, where he studied with Yannis A. Papaïannou. At Brandeis University (1962–5) he studied composition (with Arthur Berger), Byzantine music palaeography and electronic music. In 1950 he revived the boys' choir of the Greek Royal Palace, which he directed until 1967. He also established and conducted the Athens Chamber Chorus (1958–61). Between 1961 and 1963 he taught Byzantine music at the Holy Cross Theological Academy, Boston, Massachusetts. In 1965 he established the first electronic music studio in Athens. He was a founder-member (1965) and later president (1975–85) of both the Hellenic Association for Contemporary Music and the Greek section of the ISCM. In ...

Article

Paul D. Fischer

(b Chicago, IL, Dec 13, 1933). American record producer, songwriter, artist manager, label owner, and entrepreneur. He was most active in the popular-music industry from the 1950s to the 1970s. He held jobs in publishing and became co-manager of Jan and Dean with Herb Alpert. Under the pseudonym Barbara Campbell, the pair co-wrote “Only Sixteen” for Sam Cooke. Adler also co-wrote “Wonderful World” with Alpert and Cooke. In 1964 he founded Dunhill Records, which was sold to ABC in 1966. He later brought the songwriter P.F. Sloan and the singer Barry McGuire together for “Eve of Destruction.” While the manager and producer of the Mamas and Papas, he co-produced the Monterey international pop festival in 1967, insisting that the event be filmed and retaining those rights. The following year he founded Ode Records, which is noted for releasing Carole King’s album Tapestry. He also produced records and directed a series of “stoner” films for Cheech and Chong. He also served as an executive producer for and bought the US rights to the film ...

Article

Ilkka Oramo

(b Forssa, March 9, 1949). Finnish composer. He studied composition with Einojuhani Rautavaara at the Sibelius Academy (diploma, 1971) and in Berlin with Boris Blacher (1971–2). From 1974 to 1988 he taught music theory at the Helsinki University and, as acting professor, composition at the Sibelius Academy (1988–93). Since 1993 he has worked as a freelance composer supported by a state scholarship. His many activities include membership of the board of the Society of Finnish Composers (1974–8, 1982–9 and 1997–2005) and the Finnish Cultural Foundation (1996–2005). He also in 1975 co-founded the Society for the Publication of Finnish Music (Edition Pan), later taken over by Edition Fazer. Since 1992 he has been composer-in-residence of the Lahti SO, which has recorded many of his orchestral works under Osmo Vänskä. As a member of the Programme Committees of the Helsinki PO (...

Article

Bruce Mather

(Morris)

(b Kentville, NS, Aug 28, 1939). Canadian flautist, conductor and composer. He studied with Nicholas Fiore (in Toronto) and Marcel Moyse; later with Rampal and Gazzelloni. He was principal flautist of the Vancouver SO (1958–9) and of the Toronto SO (1965–70). In 1971 he was a prizewinner of the Concours International de Flûte de Paris. In 1964 he formed the Lyric Arts Trio with his wife, the pianist Marion Ross, and the soprano Mary Morrison. He is musical director of New Music Concerts (Toronto) and Music Today (Shaw Festival, Ontario), as well as a soloist whose engagements take him to Europe, North America, Japan and Iceland. In 1977 he was one of 12 instrumentalists invited by Boulez to give a solo recital at IRCAM in Paris. Some 50 works have been wrtten for him by composers including Carter, Crumb, R. Murray Schafer and Takemitsu. Technically adept, he has a pure, intense tone and a finished sense of phrasing. In ...

Article

Terence J. O’Grady

revised by Bryan Proksch

(b Los Angeles, CA, March 31, 1935). American trumpeter, composer, bandleader, and record company executive. He studied trumpet as a child and left college to play in the army for a two-year period. After three years of producing records on his own, he launched A&M Records with Jerry Moss in 1962. A&M’s first issue was also Alpert’s first recording as a trumpeter and bandleader, The Lonely Bull (A&M, 1962). The title track included sounds from the bullring in Tijuana, Mexico, so Alpert dubbed his band the Tijuana Brass. His music exploited a distinctive combination of Mexican mariachi-style brass with jazz rhythms, which was dubbed Ameriachi. A string of hits including “Mexican Shuffle” (A&M, 1964) and “Tijuana Taxi” (A&M, 1965) followed. In 1966 Alpert had five recordings simultaneously listed on the Billboard Top 20. His cover of “This guy’s in love with you” reached no.1 in ...

Article

Robert Paul Kolt

(b Santiago, Chile, Jan 2, 1963). American composer, guitarist, ethnomusicologist, educator, and producer of Chilean birth. He immigrated to the United States as a child and studied guitar with Joseph Torello, Vincent Bredice, Lou Mowad, and George Aguiar. Amigo enrolled at Florida State University (1980) where he studied classical guitar with Bruce Holzman and William Carter and was active as a performer of popular music. In 1986, he moved to Los Angeles, earning a degree in political science from California State University, Northridge (BA 1995) and degrees in ethnomusicology (MA 1988, PhD 2003) from the University of Calfornia, Los Angeles. He studied in Los Angeles with Kenny Burrell, Gary Pratt, Harihar Rao, and wadada leo Smith. Amigo also performed with African, Arabic, funk, hard rock, free jazz, jazz, and reggae groups, and worked as a session guitarist for Hans Zimmer, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, and Les Hooper, among others....

Article

Paul Attinello

(Benjamin)

(b Fresno, CA, Jan 19, 1945). American composer and administrator of Armenian descent. He studied at Fresno State University (BA in English 1967), San Francisco State University (MA in interdisciplinary creative arts 1969) and Mills College (MFA in electronic music and recording media 1980), where his teachers included David Behrman, Robert Ashley and Paul de Marinis. He has served as music director for KPFA Radio (Berkeley, California, 1969–92), executive director of the Djerassi Artists Program (1993–7), and both artistic (from 1993) and executive director (from 1998) of the Other Minds Festival (San Francisco). His honours include ASCAP's Deems Taylor Award for innovative musical programming (1989) and residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland (1997), and the Bellagio Study and Conference Centre, Italy (1997).

Amirkhanian's experiences as a percussionist and radio presenter have informed all of his works. Between ...

Article

Kevin E. Mooney

(b Port Arthur, TX, Oct 27, 1949; d Austin, TX, May 23, 2006). American nightclub owner, promoter, and producer. The son of Lebanese immigrants, he briefly attended the University of Texas at Austin (summer 1969), then opened an imported food and clothing store. Its backroom became a place for informal jam sessions, often with Antone playing bass. On 15 July 1975 he opened Antone’s. Although not the first or only club in Austin to book blues musicians, it became significant for both its relevance to the Austin music scene and the opportunities allowed for young musicians to share the stage with blues legends. In 1987 he launched recording label Antone’s Record and Tapes and opened Antone’s Records Shop. After serving two drug-related prison terms (1985–6; 1999–2002), Antone began an annual fundraiser for troubled youth. During the last two years of his life, he taught a course on the blues at both the University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University-San Marcos. A recipient of the National Blues Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in ...

Article

Kenneth Winters

(b Toronto, April 3, 1918, d Toronto, April 20, 2000). Canadian composer and arts administrator. He studied the piano with Boris Berlin, and theory and composition with Healey Willan, Ernest MacMillan and Leo Smith, before continuing composition studies with Roy Harris and Bernard Wagenaar in New York (1940–41). For the next eight years, Applebaum worked for the National Film Board of Canada, producing some 250 film scores. During this period he became increasingly concerned with improving the position of professional musicians in Canada. His combined interests in creative and socio-economic development led to a career that influenced every aspect of Canadian music. During the 1960s he served as consultant for CBC television and chair of the planning committee for the National Arts Centre, Ottawa. His 1965 Proposal for the Musical Development of the Capital Region led to the formation of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the University of Ottawa music department. Throughout the 1970s he served as executive director of the Ontario Arts Council and in ...

Article

Nigel Simeone

( b London, June 5, 1914; d London, Jan 15, 2005). English critic, writer and concert organizer . In 1931 he was appointed assistant secretary of the Organ Music Society; he became secretary in 1935 and invited Marchal, Tournemire, Messiaen and Duruflé to perform in the society’s concerts. He was concert director of the LPO (1940–46) and from 1942 organizer of the Concerts de musique française for the Free French in London. Among the artists whom he invited to appear at these remarkable concerts were Teyte, Goodall, Pears, Britten and Tippett, and following the liberation of Paris many outstanding French musicians also performed in the series, including Poulenc, Bernac, Souzay, Neveu, Thibaud, Fournier, Gendron, Messiaen, Loriod and Dutilleux, several of whom established firm friendships with Aprahamian.

Aprahamian was deputy music critic of the Sunday Times (1948–89) and a regular contributor to Gramophone. Throughout his career he did much to foster French music in Britain; he was Messiaen’s earliest British advocate (they corresponded from ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

revised by Joseph E. Morgan

(b Havre, MT, Dec 14, 1941). American soprano and director. As a child she studied piano and clarinet; later she received the BA from Concordia College in Minnesota and studied singing privately with a number of teachers including lotte Lehmann in Santa Barbara. She sang Elvira (in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri) for her debut with the San Francisco Opera in 1966, and a year later she sang for the first time at the Metropolitan Opera as the Dew Fairy in Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel. She appeared at Santa Fe (1968) and the Caramoor Festival (1974), and was a member of the New York City Opera from 1975 to 1978. Her European career has included a very successful Salome at Strasbourg (1976), a role she repeated in Munich, Vienna, and elsewhere. She made her debut at Bayreuth as Elsa (in Wagner’s ...

Article

Louis Niebur

(b Luton, 23 Jan 1962). British film, television, video game, and popular music composer and producer. Best known for his scores for James Bond films of the late 1990s and the 2000s, Arnold began his career scoring the student films of the director Danny Cannon, leading to their professional collaboration on The Young Americans (1993). For this film, Arnold co-wrote the song Play Dead with the Icelandic singer Björk. This project brought Arnold to the attention of the producer Roland Emmerich, who hired him to compose the music for Stargate (1994). He worked with Emmerich again on two more films (Independence Day (1996) and Godzilla (1998)), composing large, brass-heavy orchestral scores that matched the over-the-top quality of these blockbusters. During the 2000s, Arnold also developed a professional relationship with the director John Singleton, scoring four of his films, beginning with ...

Article

Susan Au

[Gennaro, Peter]

(b Staten Island, NY, Jan 14, 1923; d Chicago, Oct 29, 2008). American dancer, choreographer, teacher, and ballet company director. He began to study dance after meeting Robert Joffrey while on military service in Seattle, and continued this study in New York at the School of American Ballet and with the modern dancers May O’Donnell and Gertrude Shurr. He became a founding member of the faculty of Joffrey’s school, the American Dance Center, and of Joffrey’s first dance group, which later became the Joffrey Ballet. He also performed on Broadway and with New York City Opera. After retiring as a performer in 1964, he focused on the choreographic work he had begun in 1961 with the ballet Ropes, to music by Charles Ives. As chief choreographer of the Joffrey Ballet, he created ballets that celebrated the company’s youthful verve and vitality, frequently utilizing scores by American contemporary composers. Among his most popular ballets were ...

Article

Bill C. Malone

revised by Barry Mazor

[Chester Burton ]

(b nr Luttrell, TN, June 20, 1924, d Nashville, TN, June 30, 2001). American country-music guitarist and recording company executive. Although the first instrument he played professionally was the fiddle, he became internationally famous as a guitarist. Developed while he was in high school, his guitar style was influenced by Merle Travis, Les Paul, Django Reinhardt, and George Barnes and was characterized by the use of the thumb to establish a rhythm on the lower strings and multiple fingers to play melodic or improvisational passages on the higher strings, sometimes with complex voicings. In the early 1940s Atkins toured with Archie Campbell and Bill Carlisle playing both fiddle and guitar, and appeared with them on WNOX radio in Knoxville. He then toured with the second generation Carter Family as a sideman and in 1946 joined Red Foley. After beginning his association with the “Grand Ole Opry” he settled in Nashville in ...

Article

Jonas Westover

[Wright, Erica Abi ]

(b Dallas, TX, Feb 26, 1971). American singer, songwriter, and producer. She was singing for audiences by the age of four and cultivated her skills at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She briefly attended Grambling State University, but left to develop her music career and soon landed a contract with Universal Records. She became an immediate sensation; her first recording, Baduizm (Universal, 1997), reached number two on the Billboard charts, while its top single “On and On” received widespread attention and airplay. Her dark, breathy vocal style, reminiscent of jazz and soul singing, earned her two Grammy awards and four nominations. She went on to release a live album, Erykah Badu Live (Universal, 1997), and to work on a number of side projects with other artists, notably providing the hook for the Roots’ song “You got me.” After a brief respite she returned with ...

Article

Jeannie Gayle Pool

(b Guelph, ON, 23 June 1968). Canadian film and television composer, orchestrator, conductor, pianist, and producer. Barber began composing at the age of ten and was an award winner in Canada’s SOCAN National Competition for Young Composers. She studied music at the University of Western Ontario (BM 1985) and composition at the University of Toronto (MA 1988), where she worked with the composers Gustav Ciamaga and Lothar Klein. She has composed music for various CBC radio dramas, made her film début with her score for Patricia Rozema’s award-winning film When Night is Falling (1995), and has written scores for Miramax, New Line, Focus Features, Nickelodeon, Warner Brothers, and Home Box Office.

Barber has also composed music for the more than 20 theatre productions of Canadian plays, including Unidentified Human Remains and The True Nature of Love (Brad Fraser), Love and Anger (George F. Walker), ...

Article

William F. Coscarelli

(b Kingston, PA, 1946). American radio personality and producer. Barone is a nationally recognized radio personality heard via Minnesota Public Radio (MPR)/American Public Media (APM) as host and executive producer of the nationally syndicated series, Pipedreams, a 120-minute weekly program devoted to organ music. He served a similar function for national broadcasts of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra from 1983 to 2005. Barone joined MPR in 1968 following graduation from the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio with a BM degree in music history, with organ as principal applied instrument. From 1968 to 1992 he was network music director for MPR, and is currently senior executive producer. Pipedreams, in continuous production since 1982, is the longest-running and only nationally distributed weekly program devoted to the pipe organ in US radio history. Awards and honors include the American Guild of Organists President’s Award (1996), the Distinguished Service Award of the Organ Historical Society (...

Article

Jairo Moreno

(b Brooklyn, NY, April 29, 1929; d Hackensack, NJ, Feb 17, 2006). American conga player, bandleader, and producer of Puerto Rican descent. He began playing percussion informally during time in Germany as part of the US occupation army (1946–9). Returning to New York City in 1949, he participated in the lively jam-session scene in Harlem, playing bongos in sessions with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. In 1957, he replaced Mongo Santamaría in Tito Puente’s band. By 1960, he became the house percussionist for various jazz labels (Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside), recording his first album as leader for Riverside in 1961. The Charanga La Moderna was his first full-fledged Latin dance band, beginning in 1962. In 1963, his song El Watusi became the first Latin tune to enter the Billboard Top 20. By 1990, his salsa career stagnant, he formed a small, jazz-influenced sextet, New World Spirit, recording a number of Grammy-nominated albums....