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Dezső Legány

(b Szent-György-Ábrány, Oct 15, 1822; d Budapest, Dec 20, 1903). Hungarian writer on music, composer and pianist. He came from the wealthy Eördögh family: the name means ‘devil’ and his father changed it to Ábrányi, the name of their estate. He studied the piano under János Kirch (1810–63) and Vilmos Dolegni. His first composition, Magyar ábránd (‘Hungarian Fantasy’), was published in 1841. In the early 1840s he gave concerts in Hungarian towns, and in 1846 left for Vienna to take piano lessons with Joseph Fischhof. There is no reliable evidence that he was ever a student of Chopin in Paris. From 1847 he lived in Pest, in the 1850s as a piano teacher, and studied composition with Mosonyi, together with whom he became a devoted follower of Liszt and Wagner. He was one of the founders of the first Hungarian music periodical, the Zenészeti lapok, in ...


Leanne Langley

(b London, Feb 22, 1777; d London, May 8, 1858). English editor, critic and impresario, youngest son of Edmund Ayrton. He was baptized at St Margaret's, Westminster, and probably studied music with his father. In 1794 he was a bass chorus singer at the Ancient Concerts, and by 1803, when he married Marianne Arnold (daughter of Samuel Arnold), a piano teacher. Through the Chapel Royal connections of his father and father-in-law, and the friendship of Frederick Nicolay (Queen Charlotte's music librarian), he had easy access to court circles. But it was his membership in the Society of Antiquaries (1807) that stimulated his serious interest in music history. In 1808 he began collecting materials for a historical music dictionary (never completed), eventually assembling one of the most remarkable music collections of the mid-19th century. Among his circle of acquaintances around this time, mostly journalists and barristers, Henry Crabb Robinson, Martin Burney (the music historian's grandson), Charles Lamb and William Hazlitt were prominent; T.M. Alsager, the ...


Jack Westrup

revised by Rosemary Williamson


(b Berne, Aug 20, 1888; d London, April 11, 1959). English music critic, writer and editor. He was of Danish and British extraction on his father's side and Swiss on his mother's, and he was educated privately. As a young man, he was employed by the music publishing firm of J. & W. Chester in London. His career as a writer began in 1919, when he was invited by Rosa Newmarch to assist her in providing progamme notes for the Queen's Hall Promenade Concerts. He continued to do this until 1926. From 1923 to 1931 he was London music critic of the Manchester Guardian. In 1931 he was appointed music critic of the Birmingham Post. He returned to London in 1946 to begin work as editor of the fifth edition of Grove's Dictionary. Three years later he became music critic of The Observer. In the meantime he had succeeded A.H. Fox Strangways as editor of ...


Joseph A. Bomberger

(b Berlin, ?June 12, 1838; d New York, April 28, 1881). Prussian critic, editor, conductor, and writer, active in the USA. Carlberg started piano under the instruction of organist Louis Thiele at the age of four. He later studied violin with Gruenwald and harmony with A.B. Marx. Though his father wanted him to pursue medicine, Carlberg decided to enter a career in music. He traveled to New York in 1857, where he continued his musical studies with Carl Anschütz and served as music editor of the New York Staats-Zeitung from 1858 to 1860. Because he was still a Prussian citizen, Carlberg was conscripted in 1861 and served in the Prussian military for eight months. He also became editor of the Neue Berliner Musikzeitung. During the next decade he gave concerts in London, Vienna, Paris, Warsaw, and Berlin. While conducting in Russia in 1871, Carlberg was persuaded by Prince George Galitzin to return to America to conduct some Russian concerts. Though the concerts were a failure, he was engaged as music director for the Pauline Lucca opera season, also writing reviews for the ...


Rosemary Williamson


(b Leicester, Sept 14, 1919; d Thornton Heath, Oct 26, 1976). English writer on music. He studied the piano privately, and music with Patrick Hadley and Robin Orr at Selwyn College, Cambridge (1938–40, 1946–7; MA, MusB), and worked for the BBC as a music presentation assistant (1947–56), music producer (1956–7), music presentation writer (1957–9) and music presentation editor (from 1965); in the intervening years (1959–65) he was a freelance writer on music. His main areas of research were 19th-century music, especially that of Wagner, Mahler, Bruckner and Delius, and musical semantics.

In 1960 Cooke made a ‘performing version’ of Mahler’s Tenth Symphony, which was first performed at the Proms on 13 August 1964 and subsequently revised in the light of this and other performances; Cooke was always at pains to emphasize that this text did not represent a putative reconstruction of the symphony as Mahler might have completed it but rather a text that carefully followed precedents established in the sketches and thus allowed Mahler’s music to be heard at least in a form not foreign to the composer. His version has won considerable praise; it has been much performed and recorded, and was published in ...


Stanley Sadie

(Du Pré)

(b Winchester, Jan 17, 1910; d Richmond, Surrey, March 15, 1986). English writer on music. He was educated at Winchester and Hertford College, Oxford, and then went to Vienna where he studied under Egon Wellesz (1932–4). On his return he became music critic of the London Mercury and the Daily Herald (also contributing to The Spectator, 1947–54); he joined the Daily Telegraph in 1950 and was chief critic from 1954 until his retirement in 1976. He was editor of the Musical Times, 1953–6, and a member of the editorial board of The New Oxford History of Music as well as editor of the tenth volume.

Cooper’s special interests were French and Russian music from the late 18th century onwards and German music of the early Romantic period; but his view of musical history was a broad one, based on an extensive cultural background and a fluency in several languages. His style of daily criticism was urbane and judicious, often more concerned with what was performed than with the performer; his regular articles in the ...


Robert Bledsoe

(b Portsmouth, Feb 7, 1812; d Gad’s Hill, nr Rochester, June 9, 1870). English writer. He wrote the libretto for John Hullah’s ‘operatic burletta’ The Village Coquettes, produced at St James’s Theatre in December 1836, while his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, was appearing in monthly instalments. References to opera in his novels are infrequent, but he often attended performances at Covent Garden and Her Majesty’s Theatre, and in letters praised Mario, Grisi, Lind and Viardot (especially as Fidès in Meyerbeer’s Le prophète). In Paris he was moved to tears by a performance of Berlioz’s version of Gluck’s Orfeo in November 1862 (with Viardot in the title role) and, a few months later, by Gounod’s Faust. As editor of the journals Household Words and, later, All the Year Round, he published articles about music from time to time, and in 1869 published in All the Year Round...


Stanley Sadie

(b London, Sept 19, 1930; d London, July 25, 2009). English writer on music. He was educated at Harrow and Cambridge. From 1959 to 1967 he was music critic of the New Statesman, and in 1971 he became editor of Tempo. He was particularly concerned with contemporary music: a series of three substantial and searching articles on Messiaen in Score (1954–5) did much to draw that composer’s music to wider attention in Britain; he also contributed important articles to Score on Gerhard and Stravinsky and a penetrating chapter on French music to European Music in the Twentieth Century. Drew’s main study, however, was Kurt Weill: he edited several of his works for publication, reconstructed his Divertimento for Chamber Orchestra (first performed in 1972), and in 1956 embarked on an extended survey of his life and works. He became director of publications at Boosey & Hawkes in ...



(b Villers-Cotterêts, Aisne, July 24, 1802; d Puys, nr Dieppe, Dec 5, 1870). French dramatist and novelist. By his own account the least musical man of his acquaintance, unable to tune a violin after three years of lessons, Dumas’s place in the history of 19th-century music remains contradictory. At a purely social level, he was prominent in the music-loving literary community in 1830s Paris, both as contributor and member of the editorial board on Schlesinger’s Revue et gazette musicale (1835–8). He was present at many of the defining moments of French musical Romanticism, from the première of Berlioz’s Lélio (1832) to the imaginary performance of Beethoven by Liszt pictured in Josef Danhauser’s famous painting, ‘Souvenir de Liszt’ (1840). Having moved to Paris in 1822, Dumas earned his reputation overnight with the success of Henri III et sa cour at the Théâtre Français (...


Edith Gerson-Kiwi

revised by Bret Werb

[Yuly Dmitrevich]

(b Berdyansk, Crimea, 4/April 16, 1868; d Tel-Aviv, Feb 11, 1927). Russian composer, critic, lexicographer and folklorist. He studied law at Kharkov University but soon turned to music, studying theory and composition with Taneyev and Ippolitov-Ivanov at the Moscow Conservatory (1893–7). From 1897 to 1919 he worked as a music critic for the newspaper Russkiye vedomosti. In 1901 his translation of Riemann’s Lexikon into Russian with newly written sections on Russian music was published in Moscow. Although an early opera, Esther, was performed in 1894, his work as a critic overshadowed that as a composer. Under the influence of the Russian nationalist music critic Vladimir Stasov, however, he turned his attention to Jewish folklore, collecting, arranging, performing and publishing the songs of eastern European Jews. In 1909 his first album of ten Jewish folksongs appeared in Moscow; a second volume followed later in the same year. Engel continued to promote his new interest with public lectures and a series of articles in ...


Gilbert Chase

revised by Neely Bruce

(b St Paul, April 23, 1872; d New York, Jan 20, 1952). American composer, critic, editor and proponent of community music. As a boy he took violin lessons but had no thought of devoting himself to music. He prepared for a career in electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which he graduated in 1893. Meanwhile the experience of hearing the Boston SO and the influence of Rudolph Gott, an eccentric musician, convinced him that music should be his career. He studied with Norris and Chadwick in Boston, and was encouraged by MacDowell. He then went to Germany for further study with Humperdinck and Pfitzner (1897–9); he also studied briefly with Guilmant in Paris. Returning to the USA he accepted a lectureship at Cornell University (1899–1901), but his ambition was to be free of academic obligations. His failure to find a publisher for his ...


John Warrack

revised by Cecelia H. Porter

(b Sulza, Thuringia, March 7, 1783; d Leipzig, Aug 27, 1846). German critic, editor, theologian and composer. The son of a Reformed pastor, Gottfried was a chorister at Naumburg. In Leipzig he studied music and theology (1804–9) and served as a Reformed pastor (1810–16), establishing and directing a theological seminary (1814–27). He also composed many songs and in 1808 began writing for the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, of which he succeeded Gottfried Christoph Härtel as editor (1827–41). He taught at the Leipzig Conservatory (1838–43) and was briefly its director in 1842.

Fink was initially neutral in the controversy between Classicism and Romanticism, and was friendly with Weber, who gave his Sechs Lieder (1812) a warm review in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung and printed one song, Die Liebenden, in full. However, Fink later took up a stubborn stand against the younger Romantics. He published only half of Schumann's enthusiastic review (...


Karl Kroeger

(b San Francisco, CA, April 27, 1861; d Boston, MA, Dec 18, 1948). American music editor and writer on music. His early musical training took place in Oakland, New York, and London. He studied with horatio Parker , and at the National Conservatory with Antonín Dvořák. He taught briefly at the National Conservatory and in 1897 became editor and director of publications for the Oliver Ditson Co., Boston; from 1926 to his retirement in 1937 he served as vice-president of the company. He gained some reputation as a songwriter, and is still remembered for setting the words “Goin’ Home” to the melody of the second movement of Dvořák’s New World Symphony.

Fisher was one of the earliest historians to recognize the vitality and value of 18th and early 19th century American music. His Notes on Music in Old Boston (Boston, 1918) treats its subject sympathetically and accurately, presenting many facsimiles and illustrations of music, musicians, and advertisements. ...


Patrick J. Smith

revised by Jacquelyn Sholes

(Moragne )

(b New York, NY, Dec 2, 1929; d Augusta, GA, March 10, 2005). American editor and music critic. She completed her studies at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts (BA 1952, MA 1954), and taught there concurrently. She was Assistant Music Editor of Hi-Fi Music at Home between 1958 and 1960, and then of High Fidelity, before becoming editor of Musical America, a position she held from 1967 to 1991. She wrote reviews and many features for The New York Times and was a music critic for the New York Post beginning in 1978; she continued to contribute to the latter publication until shortly before her death. Fleming was a record reviewer for American Record Guide between 1958 and 1964 and again beginning in 1992. She also wrote liner notes for various record companies starting in 1960, and she served as Secretary of the Board of Trustees for Composers Recordings, Inc. She was especially knowledgeable about the string repertory and literature of the 18th and 19th centuries. In ...


Travis D. Stimeling

[Chester W., Jr. ]

(b Fort Worth, TX, Oct 21, 1943; d Nashville, TN, June 19, 2013). American music critic, biographer, and editor. With contemporaries Ed Ward, Martha Hume, Dave Hickey, and Alanna Nash, Flippo helped bring country music criticism to the mainstream press in the 1970s. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. As a freelance journalist and Rolling Stone Contributing Editor, he covered the progressive country music scene in Austin before being named Rolling Stone’s New York Bureau Chief (1974). From 1977 until 1980, he served as Senior Editor for Rolling Stone, using his position to significantly increase the magazine’s coverage of country music. During the 1980s Flippo wrote several book-length studies of country and rock artists, including Hank Williams (1981), the Rolling Stones (1985), and Paul McCartney (...


H.C. Colles

revised by Frank Howes

(b Norwich, Sept 14, 1859; d Dinton, nr Salisbury, May 2, 1948). English musicologist, critic and editor. He was educated at Wellington College and Balliol College, Oxford (MA, 1882), and studied music for two years at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik. He became a schoolmaster at Dulwich College (1884–6) and a form master at Wellington (1887–1910), where he succeeded Alan Gray as the music master in 1893, a post he held until 1901, when he was made house master in college. During these years he wrote a Wellington College German Grammar and visited India, which aroused his interest in Indian music. When he left Wellington in 1910 he returned to India for eight months, collecting material for a book which is still a classic on its subject, The Music of Hindostan (1914); he also acted as Rabindranath Tagore's unpaid literary agent, ...


(b London, April 7, 1856; d Carnforth, Lancs., March 30, 1936). English critic, editor and musical scholar. Poor health disrupted his early nonconformist education and apart from three terms at Westminster School he was, by necessity, taught privately. His musical education began in 1872 when he took piano lessons with Ernst Pauer. In 1875 he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, where he became friends with Stanford and W.B. Squire, whose elder sister he married in 1885, and with whom he participated fully in the flourishing activities of the Cambridge University Musical Society. After graduation in 1882 he studied the piano with Dannreuther and Rockstro; both took a keen interest in early music, but it was Rockstro who introduced him to harpsichord playing. Although he cultivated a reputation as an exponent of the piano and harpsichord, it was in the field of antiquarian studies and musical journalism that he found his true vocation. He was invited by Grove to write articles for his ...


Ora Frishberg Saloman

(b Cambridgeport, MA, May 23, 1810; d off Fire Island, NY, July 19, 1850). American author, translator, editor, journalist, and literary critic. After leading Boston “Conversations” primarily for women on literature, fine arts, and mythology, Fuller edited the Transcendentalist journal the Dial (1840–44) in its initial two years. She became the first literary critic of the New-York Tribune (1844–6). Transmitting an aesthetic appreciation of diverse styles in seven contributions on music to the Dial and at least twenty-nine to the Tribune, Fuller expressed pleasure in African and Chinese melodies, German and Italian opera, and symphonies as well as solo instrumental pieces. Fuller encouraged readers to broaden their musical interests. She preferred a universal, rather than a subjective, tone: although admiring Ole Bull’s programmatic pieces composed in America, she praised highly works such as Beethoven’s symphonies.

Fuller’s essay “Lives of the Great Composers, Haydn, Mozart, Handel, Bach, Beethoven” is one of the earliest original American writings to consider biographies of European musicians. Judging J.N. Forkel’s biography of J.S. Bach to be the best, she recommended its publication in an American edition. To improve concert practices in the 1840s, she suggested that the movements of symphonies be performed without interruption and that ticket prices remain reasonable for inclusive access. Fuller fostered respect in America for creative and performing musicians....


Daniel Zager

(b New York, Dec 18, 1928; d Feb 23, 2019). American writer. After attending the University of Missouri (1946–50) and Columbia University (1950) he worked for Prestige Records (1950–55). With Leonard Feather he collaborated on The Encyclopedia of Jazz (1955), for which he was an assistant writer and editor, and The Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Sixties (1966), and he was an author with Feather of The Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Seventies (1976) and the Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz (1999). Gitler wrote for such periodicals as Metronome, Jazz Magazine, Down Beat (of which he was an associate editor), and Jazz Times, produced film scripts on Louis Armstrong and Lionel Hampton for the US Information Service, and was a commentator for radio station WBAI, New York; he also taught at CUNY. Among his more notable writings is ...


Robert Gannon

(b London). English writer. As a critic he has written on both jazz and classical music, providing articles for The Times and numerous jazz periodicals, and his wide knowledge in one field has often led to insights into the other. As well as being a regular contributor to Jazz Monthly and Jazz and Blues, he was editor of the latter from December 1956 until the journal’s demise in 1971. He contributed to Albert McCarthy’s Jazz on Record (1968) and thereafter wrote two further critical guides to the recorded repertory; the second of these, The Essential Jazz Records, i: Ragtime to Swing (1984, written with Charles Fox and Eric Thacker), places each of 250 selected recordings in its musical context and offers a detailed critical review. Harrison is the author of the major article on jazz in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (...