(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 ...
(b Verona, Nov 4, 1878; d Milan, Oct 12, 1946). Italian playwright, librettist and journalist . After graduating in law at the University of Padua he devoted himself to literature, first as theatre critic of the Arena (Verona), then as playwright. His first stage work was the one-act comedy I fioi di Goldoni in Venetian dialect; thereafter he proved remarkably successful in a comic-sentimental vein with such plays as Una capanna e il tuo cuore (1913), Capelli bianchi (1915), Felicità Colombo (1935) and its sequel Nonna Felicità (1936). In 1911 he made the acquaintance of Giulio Ricordi, head of the publishing firm, of whom he left a valuable memoir in his Giulio Ricordi e i suoi musicisti (Milan, 1933, 2/1945 as Giulio Ricordi, amico dei musicisti). It was Ricordi who first put him in touch with Puccini, who briefly considered setting his Spanish-derived libretto ...
Joseph A. Brown
(b Knoxville, Nov 27, 1909; d New York, May 16, 1955). American novelist, screenwriter, journalist, poet, and film critic. Son of Laura Tyler Agee and Hugh James (Jay) Agee, James Agee graduated from Exeter Academy and Harvard University (1932), before becoming a staff writer for Fortune magazine, eventually writing film reviews for both Time (1939) and The Nation (1942). On assignment from Fortune, Agee worked in collaboration with the photographer Walker Evans on the study of Alabama tenant farmers, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (Boston, 1941). His book of poetry, Permit Me Voyage, was published by the Yale Series of Younger Poets (New Haven, CT, 1934). In 1951, Agee published the novella, The Morning Watch(Boston). He was the principal author of the screenplay for The African Queen (1950) and The Night of the Hunter (1954...
revised by Serena dal Belin Peruffo
(b Novara, c1535; d May 8, 1596). Italian composer and organist. Of a well-to-do family, he travelled widely in his youth. He spent some years in Rome, where he probably completed his studies in theology. He served as parish priest at S Stefano, Novara, and S Giovanni Battista, Milan. After serving from 1570 to 1577 as organist at Como Cathedral, he returned to Novara on his nomination as prior at the cathedral there. Sometime between 7 October 1587 and May 1589, Alcarotto journeyed to the Holy Land; though he stayed only 16 days, he published an account of his journey, Del viaggio in Terra Santa (Novara, 1596), that is of interest for its description of music and musical instruments of the region.
revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu
(b Bucharest, 2/Aug 14, 1893; d Bucharest, Feb 18, 1959). Romanian composer, pianist, conductor, teacher, music critic, and director of music programmes. A leading figure of the first half of the 20th century, he laid the foundation of the Romanian school in music, concert life, and musical journalism. He studied with A. Castaldi, D. Dinicu, D.G. Kiriac, and E. Saegiu at the Bucharest Conservatory (1903–11), completing his education with two periods of study in Paris (1913–14, 1923–4), where he studied with d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum and with Paul Vidal at the Conservatoire. A remarkable accompanist, he worked with Enescu, Thibaud, Mainardi, Moodie, and others during the period 1919–45. As a conductor he always achieved a soberly balanced performance; he conducted more than 1500 performances at the Romanian Opera in Bucharest (1921–59), where he specialized in the French repertory (Bizet, Massenet, and Gounod). In his capacities as conductor of the Romanian Philharmonic Society, and as conductor and artistic manager of the Romanian RSO, he did much to encourage Romanian composers. He was also active as a music critic for Romanian and French reviews. Much of his compositional work was done during his youth, including ...
(b Barcelona, March 27, 1862; d Barcelona, March 31, 1908). Spanish composer, folklorist and music critic. He studied composition with Antonio Nicolau and Anselmo Barba and piano with C.G. Vidiella in Barcelona and was music critic for various journals there, including La renaixensa, L'avenç and, from 1905 to 1908, El poble català. He published his Collecció de 6 melodies per a cant i piano and five Cansons per cant i piano (both Barcelona, 1887), which are settings of poems by Angel Guimerá, Francisco Matheu y Fornells, Apeles Mestres and Jacinto Verdaguer. He illustrated the latter volume himself, and some of his work was displayed at an exhibition of the Sociedad de Acuarelistas in Barcelona. A distinguished folklorist as well as a sensitive composer and skilful melodist, he collected Catalan folksongs and published arrangements of 23 of these in Cansons populars catalanas (Barcelona, 1891). He used native rhythms and melodies in his songs and piano pieces (among them ...
(b Stockholm, Nov 28, 1793; d Bremen, Sept 26, 1866). Swedish author, pedagogue, journalist, and composer. After an education administered mainly by private tutors, Almqvist attended university in Uppsala and graduated in 1816. He then took a position as a government clerk in Stockholm, where he engaged in youthful and idealistic movements that worshiped Gothic ideals, the early German romanticism, and Swedenborg’s teachings. He was soon the leading spirit in these circles, and with his visionary religiosity he gained almost prophet-like status among them. In an attempt to realize his ideals, from 1823 to 1824 he lived as a farmer in the remote Wermland but soon returned to Stockholm where in 1827 he became a teacher at the Military Academy of Karlberg; he took an additional teaching post in 1829 at the recently founded experimental college Nya Elementarskolan. There he served as headmaster from 1829 to 1841 and wrote a dozen textbooks on different subjects from linguistics to mathematics....
(b Atlantic, PA, Dec 15, 1888; d Stamford, CT, Feb 28, 1959). American playwright. After studies at the University of North Dakota and at Stanford University he taught in North Dakota and California. In 1918 he moved to New York, where he worked for several years as a journalist before establishing himself as a playwright. His writings include several verse dramas, radio plays, film scripts, music dramas, essays, and one volume of poetry.
Anderson had a lifelong interest in the musical stage. For many years he was associated closely with Kurt Weill, with whom he collaborated on Knickerbocker Holiday and Lost in the Stars, a dramatization of Alan Paton’s novel Cry, the Beloved Country. Uncompleted works with Weill include Ulysses Africanus (whose leading role was intended for Paul Robeson) and Raft on the River, a musical adaptation of Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Weill and Anderson also collaborated on a scenic cantata, ...
revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu
(b Bucharest, Dec 22, 1894/Jan 5, 1895; d Bucharest, Feb 4, 1974). Romanian composer, pianist, teacher, and critic. An erudite personality of Romanian music, he contributed to the formation of a Romanian school of composition during the inter-war years. At the Bucharest Conservatory (1906–13) he studied with Kiriac-Georgescu, Castaldi, Klenck, and Dunicu. In 1919 he graduated law school in Bucharest and then took the PhD in 1922 in Paris. During his stay in France, he participated in the courses of composition of Vincent d’Indy and Gabriel Faure. In 1920, he founded the Society of Romanian composers with other important musicians. At the Bucharest Conservatory (now the National University of Music Bucharest) he taught chamber music (1926–48) and composition (1948–59). His students include Stefan Niculescu, Dumitru Capoianu, and Aurel Stroe. He was not only a partner at the chamber concerts of George Enescu, but also promoted together with Enescu the new Romanian and French chamber music. He wrote for numerous publications on subjects ranging from music aesthetics to jazz and folk music, for instance, ‘George Enescu the Way I Met Him’ in ...
(b Bourges, c1510; d Lyons, June 1561). French writer. After studying at the University of Bourges he was appointed professor of rhetoric at the Collège de la Trinité in Lyons before 1538, becoming principal in 1540. He was murdered as a suspected Protestant during a riot in Lyons. Among other writings, especially on poetics, he wrote several plays with important musical content. The Chant natal (1538), made up of contrafacta of well-known chansons, ends with a ‘Noël mystic’ on the chant Le dueil yssu ‘harmonized’ by the ‘nightingale Villiers’. The allegorical satire Lyon marchant (1542) includes a scene in which Arion (representing François I) sings Doulce mémoire (a poem written by the king which enjoyed great success in a musical setting by his singer-composer, Pierre Sandrin). Another Christmas play, Genethliac (1558), includes 17 new songs for three or four voices, which survive incomplete (...
Warren Anderson, Thomas J. Mathiesen, and Robert Anderson
Warren Anderson, revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen
Of the works of Aristophanes’ first period (427–421
Larisa Georgievna Danko
(b St Petersburg, 17/July 29, 1884; d Moscow, Jan 27, 1949). Russian musicologist, composer and critic. He studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory from 1904 to 1910 with Rimsky-Korsakov and Lyadov, and graduated in 1908 from the faculty of history and philology of the University of St Petersburg. From 1910 he worked as a repetiteur; from 1916 edited and composed ballet music and from 1919 was a member of the board of directors and repertory consultant at the Mariinsky and Mikhaylovsky Theatres. In 1919 he became head of the Central Library for State Musical Theatres. In the same year, in association with Lyapunov and Bulich, he organized the music department at the Petrograd Institute for the History of the Arts (now the Zubov Institute for the History of the Arts); he was its director from 1921. Between 1922 and 1925 he was responsible for the organization there of concerts of contemporary music. He was made a professor at the Leningrad Conservatory in ...
Amanda M. Burt
revised by Thorkell Sigurbjörnsson
(b Ísafjörður, Oct 11, 1928). Icelandic composer, teacher and critic. He graduated in 1955 from the Reykjavík College of Music, where he studied the piano with Árni Kristjánsson and theory with Victor Urbancic. Further composition studies were undertaken at the RSAMD in Glasgow (1955–6) and at the Guildhall School of Music in London (1965). In 1961 he received a teacher's diploma from the Reykjavík College of Music. Ásgeirsson has conducted various choirs, and became the principal music critic of Morgunblaðið in 1970. Formerly president of the Icelandic Composers' Society, he has taught at various institutions and is currently professor at the Icelandic Teachers' College.
His works are mainly traditional in style though he has written a few serial compositions. He is particularly interested in reviving Icelandic folksongs and dances and has set related folk poetry found without music; he has also served as music director for productions of the ancient dances by the National Dance Company. In ...
Hans Åstrand and Bo Wallner
(b Göteborg, Dec 12, 1887; d Stockholm, Feb 15, 1974). Swedish composer, administrator, conductor and critic. He studied the cello at school in Göteborg and then entered the Stockholm College of Technology. Having passed the examination in civil engineering in 1911, he spent his working life (1912–68) in the patent office. He was largely self-taught although he studied composition and instrumentation with Hallén at the Swedish Royal Academy of Music (1910–11), and partly used the state composer’s scholarships he received between 1911 and 1915 to study in Germany (1911 and 1913). He made his début as a conductor at Göteborg in 1912, when the programme included his First Symphony; thereafter (particularly during the 1920s) he often conducted his own music and that of contemporaries, both at home and abroad (where he promoted Swedish music). From 1916 to 1922 he was kapellmästare at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm; he also worked enthusiastically as co-founder and president (...
(b Mariupol, Ukraine, near the north coast of the Sea of Azov, Sept 27, 1875; d Athens, May 16, 1924). Greek composer, critic, and music educator. After the return of his family to Athens in 1887 he studied music privately with Loudovikos Spinellis, and later, in 1895, he went to Naples, Italy, to study composition at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella with Paolo Serrao. He came back to Athens in 1901, where he clashed with the representatives of the biggest music institution, the Athens Conservatory, due to the shift of the repertory towards German instead of Italian music, and the changing of the method of music education. He founded, along with Georgios Lambelet, one of the most important cultural magazines of the period, the journal Kritiki (1903–4), through which he expressed his ideas about the paths of music education and Greek music. During the period ...
(b Belgrade, Feb 10, 1927; d Belgrade, Oct 13, 2009). Serbian composer and music critic. He studied composition with Milenko Živković at the Academy of Music in Belgrade, graduating in 1955, and at the Accademia Nazionale di S. Cecilia in Rome (1967–8). He was a conductor of the choral society Napredak (1953–5), and then taught at Stanković music school (1955–66) and at the Music Academy (today Faculty of Music, 1966–96). As a music critic, he collaborated with various newspapers (Borba, Naša borba, Politika, Večernje novosti) and translated several books. He received awards from Udruženje kompozitora Srbije (‘the Association of Serbian composers’) and Yugoslav Radio, and received the Vukova nagrada. He followed the aesthetic of Stevan Mokranjac and his own professor Živković. His lyric music, predominantly choral, is distinguishable by his afinity for humour, both in his choice of lyrics and the musical means. He uses verbal punning (...
(fl 1770–93). Italian librettist and journalist. He was in London by 1769, when he wrote the libretto for Pugnani’s comic opera Nanetta e Lubino. Probably supplementing his income by translating and teaching Italian, Badini wrote a few librettos for the King’s Theatre during the 1770s, including Le pazzie di Orlando (set by P.A. Guglielmi in 1771), a witty, ambitious work which Nunziato Porta adapted for Haydn as Orlando paladino (1782, Eszterháza). Badini’s other works from this period include Il disertore (1770), set by Guglielmi and revived in Lisbon in 1772, and L’ali d’amore (1776), which was set by Venanzio Rauzzini.
An early sign of Badini’s individuality is found in the libretto for Bertoni’s La governante, a free translation of the English dialogue opera The Duenna by R.B. Sheridan. While Badini retained many of Sheridan’s lyrics, he reworked the drama into a typical three-act burletta whose arias, unlike Sheridan’s, advance the plot. Another example of Badini’s interest in English drama is ...
(b Coburg, June 30, 1823; d Basle, July 16, 1896). German critic, teacher and composer. He studied the piano and cello at the Prague Conservatory and moved to Vienna in 1842, where he studied theory with Sechter and was active performing, teaching and composing. He was appointed to the Vienna Conservatory in 1852, but his high standards and outspoken critical stance led to his dismissal in 1855. In 1859 Bagge became the editor of a new journal, the Deutsche Musik-Zeitung, which opposed the ‘New German’ sympathies of Franz Brendel’s Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. He moved to Leipzig in 1863 to edit the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung (later the Leipziger allgemeine musikalische Zeitung); it closely reflected his conviction that composers should strive to imitate music of the past. Bagge’s own reviews praise music by such composers as Bargiel, Volkmann, Reinecke and Kirchner. He regarded much of Brahms’s music as undisciplined, contributing to a critical climate that may have prompted Brahms to adopt a more classically-oriented style....
(b Wiesbaden, July 20, 1923). Israeli critic, composer and musicologist. He moved to Mandatory Palestine in 1936. After studying composition with Paul Ben-Haim, his most influential teacher, Bar-Am attended the Ecole Normale de Paris (1949–51). He studied musicology at Tel-Aviv University (BA 1977), where he became the principal lecturer for courses on Jewish music and Israeli contemporary music (1973–96) and the first director of the Archive of Israeli Music. The secretary general of the Israeli League of Composers (1960–76, 1976–8), he became chair of the organizing committee of the ISCM in Israel in 1980. Though most influential as the music critic of the Jerusalem Post between 1958 and 1995, Bar-Am also wrote many essays on Israeli music in Hebrew, English and German, notably ‘A Musical Gateway between East and West’ (Jerusalem Post, 20 April 1988). He ceased composing in the early 1970s but resumed in ...
[Jones, (Everett) LeRoi]
(b Newark, NJ, Oct 7, 1934; d Newark, Jan 9, 2014). American writer. He studied piano, drums, and trumpet privately and attended Howard University (BA 1954). In the early 1960s he achieved wide recognition for his poetry and plays and for his writings about jazz, which included articles for Down Beat, Jazz, and Jazz Review; a selection of his writings, many from Down Beat, was published in 1967 as Black Music. His book Blues People (1963), the first full-length study of jazz by a black writer, is both a sociological inquiry, using blues and jazz as a means of understanding how African Americans became assimilated into American culture, and a superb discussion of the cultural context of the music in the United States. Besides his activities as a writer, Baraka was involved in many black cultural and community projects. He was a founder of the Black Arts Repertory Theater-School, which was in existence from ...