1-20 of 67 Results  for:

  • Instrumentalist x
  • Religious or Ritual Musician x
Clear all


Abbà Cornaglia, Pietro  

Giovanni Carli Ballola

revised by Roberta Montemorra Marvin

(b Alessandria, March 20, 1851; d Alessandria, May 2, 1894). Italian organist and composer. He began his musical studies with his stepfather, Pietro Cornaglia. From 1868 to 1871 he attended the Milan Conservatory, studying the piano with Antonio Angeleri and composition with Lauro Rossi and Mazzucato. His graduation exercise, the cantata Caino e Abele, won the first prize and a medal of honour. He toured abroad as a concert pianist, but from 1880 until his death was organist at the cathedral in Alessandria, where he also founded a school of composition, singing and piano, and conducted concerts for the Associazione filarmonica alessandrina. He composed three operas, Isabella Spinola (1877, Milan), Maria di Warden (1884, Venice) and Una partita a scacchi (1892, Pavia), the latter based on Giuseppe Giacosa's popular comedy. In these works, which did not have much success, Abbà Cornaglia remained uninfluenced by the innovatory tendencies of the ‘Scapigliatura’ and of Catalani and by the new ...


Abrahamsen, Erik  

John Bergsagel

(Schack Olufsen)

(b Brande, Jutland, April 9, 1893; d Copenhagen, Feb 17, 1949). Danish musicologist. After studying at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music (1910–13), where he graduated as an organist, he was organist and choirmaster at the Luther Church (1914–24) and head of the music division of the Copenhagen Royal Library (1916–21). As a student he attended Hammerich's lectures in music history at Copenhagen University (there was no degree course in music history until 1915) and in 1917 he became the first MA in musicology in Denmark, graduating with a dissertation on the transition from Catholic to Protestant liturgy in Denmark in the 16th and 17th centuries. During his years at the Royal Library he began to study its large collection of Latin liturgical fragments on the basis of which he tried to reconstruct the Danish medieval liturgy and to provide a demonstration of Peter Wagner’s theory of the two traditions, Roman and Germanic, of Gregorian chant. He submitted this as a doctoral dissertation to the university in ...


Abyndon [Abingdon], Henry  

Roger Bowers

(b c1420; d 1497). English church musician. He was noted as a fine singer and skilful organist. After service in the household of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (until 1447), and as a lay clerk of Eton College (1447–51), where he was one of the four clerks specially responsible for singing polyphony in the college chapel, he became a clerk of the Chapel Royal in 1451, and Master of the Choristers there from 1455 to 1478. His duties included teaching the boys to play the organ and to sing plainsong and improvised polyphony; also it seems probable that he was instrumental in the introduction about this time of the use of boys’ voices in composed polyphony. The award to him in 1464 of a Cambridge MusB reflects his eminence in the musical profession – he is the earliest known recipient of this degree – while the patronage of Bishop Bekynton brought him valuable sinecures in the diocese of Bath and Wells. His last years were spent as a resident of Sanctuary Yard, Westminster Abbey....


Adams, James B(lake)  

Robin Langley

(b c1749; d after 1794). English composer, organist and cellist. According to his recommendation by Francis Hackwood to the Society of Musicians, on 1 February 1784 he was 35 years old, married with two children, organist of Brompton Chapel and a competent violinist, viola player and cellist. He performed as a cellist in the Handel commemoration concerts in 1784 and played in the band for the Academy of Ancient Music during the 1787–8 season. He probably also took part as a cellist in the concerts (held annually) at St Paul’s Cathedral for the relief of the clergy in 1785, 1789, 1790, 1793 and 1795.

From his extant published works it can be seen that Adams was a competent purveyor of small-scale vocal and instrumental works in the manner of Haigh, Osmond or Reeve. His music shows an awareness of changing styles: the early songs and canzonets accompanied either by harpsichord or orchestra with obbligato instrument are in the manner of Arne, giving way to a symphonic style like that of J.C. Bach or Hook in the three sonatas of op.4 (for piano or harpsichord with violin or flute accompaniment); his late sonata for piano duet shows some grasp of larger forms, and ...


Alberti, Pietro  

Robin Bowman

(fl 1697–1706). Italian composer, violinist and organist, active in northern Europe. At one time he was in the service of the Prince of Carignan (a small town in the French Ardennes) and in this capacity appeared as a violinist before Louis XIV in 1697. About 1703 he was organist of the monastery at Kranenburg, on the present Dutch–German border. He published XII suonate a tre, duoi violini e violone col basso per l’organo op.1 (Amsterdam, 1703). One of the two surviving copies ( US-CHua ) bears the date 1706 on one partbook and the signature ‘Alberti’ on all four; a copy in Sweden ( S-L ) is also signed. The contents are all church sonatas, and each contains between six and eight movements, all in the same key. They are stolid, old-fashioned, rather uninspired works, competently written for the most part but using only the simplest imitative techniques and frequently becoming homophonic. The part for violone, which for Alberti meant ‘cello’, is sometimes quite elaborate, creating a genuine four-part texture....


Alcock, Sir Walter  

Stanley Webb

revised by Paul Hale


(b Edenbridge, Dec 29, 1861; d Salisbury, Sept 11, 1947). English organist. One of the most able cathedral organists of his day, Alcock had the unique distinction of having played in Westminster Abbey at the coronation of three English kings: Edward VII, George V and George VI. After studying under Sullivan and Stainer, he was successively organist at the Chapel Royal, assistant to Sir Frederick Bridge at the Abbey, and then organist of Salisbury Cathedral for 30 years (from 1917 until his death). Much in demand as a recitalist, he was one of the famous ABC trio (Alcock, Thalben-Ball and G.D. Cunningham) who jointly opened the BBC Concert Hall organ in 1932. Two years later he oversaw the rebuilding, with minimal alteration, of the Salisbury ‘Father Willis’ organ at a time when many Willis organs were being completely revoiced. H.C. Colles wrote of ‘his finished technique, cleanness of phrasing and impeccable taste’; he made numerous recordings, many of which were reissued in the 1990s. He had considerable influence as a teacher at the RCM and composed a number of organ and choral works, now rarely performed. He was knighted in ...


Amadei, Filippo  

Lowell Lindgren

[‘Pippo del Violoncello’]

(b Rome, c1665; d London, c1725). Italian cellist and composer. He was mistakenly named ‘Filippo Mattei’ in Mattheson’s Critica musica (January 1723). He played at Rome in concerts and religious functions sponsored by Cardinal Pamphili (1685–1708), the church of S Luigi dei Francesi (1686–1711), Cardinal Ottoboni (1690–99), the Accademia del Disegno di S Luca (1702–11), Prince Ruspoli (1708–11) and the church of S Giacomo degli Spagnoli (1707–13). He joined the musicians’ Accademia di Santo Cecilia on 25 September 1690, was the organist at S Spirito in 1694 and a trombonist in the Concerto del Campidoglio beginning in 1702. He is called ‘Roman’ in the libretto for his oratorio Aman delusus (1699) and that of La stella de’ magi (1702) identifies him as a ‘virtuoso’ of Cardinal Ottoboni. He served as ...


Arbeau, Thoinot  

G. Yvonne Kendall

(b Dijon, France, March 17, 1520; d Langres, France, July 23, 1595). French cleric and dance manual author. Born Jehan Tabourot, son of Pierre Tabourot and Valentine Henriette Dubois, Thoinot Arbeau’s Burgundian family included noted writers and architects. His education in Dijon and Poitiers resulted in a law degree and a career in the church. After joining the Order of St Anthony, also known as the Confrérie de Saint-Didier, the order assigned him to the post of canon for the Department of Haute Marne, which included the dioceses of Dijon and Langres. His uncle Jean Pignard served this latter as cathedral composer and master of music. Later Tabourot was appointed parish treasurer and inspector for diocesan schools in Bar-sur-Aube. In 1567 he returned to Langres as vicar-general, a post that authorized him to speak for the bishop.

At the age of 62, Tabourot chose the anagrammic pseudonym Thoinot Arbeau and began to write. His first publication, an almanac of religious holidays titled ...


Arras, Jean d’  

Lavern J. Wagner

[Renverset, Jean]

(b Arras; d ?Madrid, 1582). Flemish organist active in Italy and Spain. On 1 January 1556 he was engaged at the ducal chapel of Parma. In 1580 he was organist in the chapel of Philip II of Spain, as is shown by a receipt that he signed for wages. His tenure there continued until his death. A madrigal by him, Due rose, is found in Josquino Persoens’s first book of madrigals (RISM, 1570²8). A chanson by him was published by Phalèse (RISM, 15754).

Jean d’Arras should not be confused with a younger man of the same name who was listed in 1596 as a mozzo de capilla (‘youth in the chapel’) to Philip II, and to whom further references occur in listings of chapel personnel in 1598, 1599 and 1608.

Vander Straeten MPB P. Becquart: Musiciens néerlandais à la cour de Madrid: Philippe Rogier et son école 1560–1647...


Barberiis, Melchiore de  

Arthur J. Ness

(fl Padua, c1545–50). Italian priest, composer, lutenist and guitarist. He composed or intabulated books 4, 5, 6, 9 and 10 in Girolamo Scotto’s ten volume series of lute tablatures (Venice, 1546–9), which also included tablatures by Francesco da Milano, Rotta, Giovanni Maria da Crema and Borrono. Barberiis’s name is absent from lists of prominent Paduan musicians of the time, and only two of his pieces were reprinted in later collections. At best, his five books preserve the practical repertory of a ‘sonatore eccellentissimo di lautto’ who had little or no formal musical training.

Barberiis’s ricercares, fantasias and canzonas, some of which are in two or three sections, are usually constructed from a succession of chords (often drawn from madrigals or dances) filled out and linked by ornamental passage work. One fantasia is a simple gloss upon a composition by Francesco da Milano. Book 4 (1546...


Best, W(illiam) T(homas)  

E.D. Mackerness

(b Carlisle, Aug 13, 1826; d Liverpool, May 10, 1897). English organist. He abandoned a career as a civil engineer to take up music professionally some time after 1840, and held appointments at churches in Liverpool before becoming organist to the Liverpool Philharmonic Society in 1848. From 1852 to 1855 he resided in London and for short periods was organist at the Royal Panopticon of Science and Art (Leicester Square), the Lincoln’s Inn Chapel and St Martin-in-the-Fields. In August 1855 he was elected to the post of organist at St George’s Hall, Liverpool. During his long tenure of this office Best became nationally known for his solo performances, and despite heavy commitments undertook many engagements in other cities. In 1871 he opened the Willis organ at the Royal Albert Hall, and in 1873 gave the inaugural recital on a Cavaillé-Coll instrument in the Albert Hall, Sheffield. During 1872...


Biggs, E(dward George) Power  

Vernon Gotwals

(b Westcliff, Essex, March 29, 1906; d Boston, March 10, 1977). American organist of English birth. He studied at the RAM in London. After touring the USA in 1929 as the soloist in an ensemble, he took up residence there in 1930 and became an American citizen in 1937, initially holding church and teaching positions before embracing a career as a recitalist, broadcaster and recording artist that did much to popularize the concert organ and organ music as well as the artist. From 1942 to 1958 he broadcast weekly solo programmes over a nationwide radio network. Originating in the Germanic (now Busch-Reisinger) Museum at Harvard University, these recitals on an Aeolian-Skinner ‘classic style’ organ brought the sound of organ mixtures, mutations and Baroque reeds, as well as the music itself, to many listeners for the first time. Biggs was meanwhile an indefatigable public performer. A product of both activities was the extensive series of recordings, made in the USA and in many European cities, including the ‘Historic Organs of England’, the ‘Mozart Organ Tour’ and the award-winning ‘The Glory of Gabrieli’, the Handel organ concertos (recorded at Great Packington), various Bach projects, and others with instrumental ensembles. Biggs published editions of early music and performed new works (by Hanson, Piston, Quincy Porter, Sowerby and others, with particular emphasis on those for organ and orchestra). His career was marked, then, by interest in organ music of all eras and in many kinds of organs most suitable to its interpretation, and by unfailing energy in performance. He played with most major American orchestras, and in ...


Bish, Diane  

William F. Coscarelli


(b Wichita, KS, May 1941). American concert organist. At age five she started piano lessons and at age eleven, after hearing Alexander Schreiner play the Mormon Tabernacle organ, she began organ studies. Bish studied organ with Dorothy Addy, Era Wilder Peniston, Mildred Andrews, and Marie-Claire Alain, studied harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt, and attended classes with Nadia Boulanger. In 1982 she began her own television series The Joy of Music, which continues to reach a vast worldwide audience every week. She also served as organist at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for 20 years.

Bish has won several performance competitions and has been the recipient of prestigious awards. In 1963, while a student at the University of Oklahoma, she won the Mu Phi Epsilon student performance competition and later went on to be a national Mu Phi composition winner. In 1989 she was awarded the National Citation by the National Federation of Music Clubs of America. In ...


Bullock, Sir Ernest  

Malcolm Turner

(b Wigan, Sept 15, 1890; d Aylesbury, May 24, 1979). English organist and educationist. He was a pupil of and assistant organist to Bairstow at Leeds (1907–12), and took the BMus (1908) and DMus (1914) degrees at Durham University, becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists in 1909. His first important post, suborganist at Manchester Cathedral (1912–15), was interrupted by war service, after which he was organist at St Michael’s College, Tenbury (1919), and organist and choirmaster of Exeter Cathedral (1919–27). On Nicholson’s retirement from Westminster Abbey in 1928, Bullock succeeded him as organist and Master of the Choristers. In this post he was obliged to provide the music for several royal functions; for the coronation of King George VI (1937) he wrote the fanfares and conducted the choir and orchestra, in acknowledgment of which he was created CVO. He also provided all but one of the fanfares for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (...


Buterne, Jean-Baptiste  

Edward Higginbottom

(b Toulouse, c1650; d Paris, March 28, 1727). French organist. He was the son of Jean Buterne (d before 1687), organist in Toulouse and subsequently Pontoise. When Louis XIV had to appoint a new organiste de la chapelle du Roi in 1678 Buterne was one of four to be chosen. He took the April quarter, the others being covered by Nivers, Jacques Thomelin and Lebègue. It may be assumed that the honour reflected his accomplishments; we have no extant music of his to judge by, apart from the manuscript Petites règles pour l’accompagnement ( F-Psg ). He was also organist of St Etienne-du-Mont from 1674 and of St Paul from 1684 in succession to Du Mont, his former teacher. In 1721 his court duties were taken over by Jean-François Dandrieu. At St Etienne he was assisted from 1723 by C.N. Ingrain, who succeeded him in ...


Carl, William Crane  

Vernon Gotwals

revised by Judi Caldwell

(b Bloomfield, NJ, March 2, 1865; d New York, Dec 8, 1936). American organist. A pupil of Samuel P. Warren, he became organist of First Presbyterian Church in Newark, New Jersey, in 1882. Later (c1890) he studied in Paris with Alexandre Guilmant, and in 1892 he became organist of Old First Presbyterian Church in New York. In 1899 he founded the Guilmant Organ School, apparently the first institution of its kind in the USA. As a teacher Carl advocated, in place of the older, rhythmically slack tradition, the “clean-cut playing of Guilmant.” As a recitalist throughout the USA and abroad and as a teacher of organists, Carl introduced an expanded repertory, a more brilliant technique, and a broader view of church music. The Guilmant Organ School trained hundreds of professional church musicians, many of whom became well known. Although not himself a composer, Carl edited at least ten volumes of organ music between ...


Cellier, Jacques  

Howard Mayer Brown

(b France, mid-16th century; d Reims, c1620). French organist and calligrapher. He was organist at the cathedrals of Laon and Reims. Between 1583 and 1587 he copied out a manuscript by François Merlin, controlleur général for Marie Elizabeth, only daughter of Charles IX. The work, Recherches de plusieurs singularités ( F-Pn fonds fr. 9152), contains drawings, diagrams and finely written texts on a number of artistic and scientific subjects, including alphabets and the Lord's Prayer in many languages, exterior and interior views of buildings (among them two showing the organs in Reims Cathedral and the Ste Chapelle in Paris), scientific diagrams and maps, music, and drawings of musical instruments. Many of the pages are signed by Cellier. The volume was prepared for presentation to Henri III. The musical section is dated 1585.

Besides tunings, canons and short compositions, a table of notes and rests, and samples of tablature, the section on music contains detailed drawings, some of them incorrect, of many instruments, including the mandore, drums, trumpet, several wind bands, musical glasses, anvil, psaltery, hurdy-gurdy, transverse flute, viol, harp, bagpipe, violin, carillon, the Turkish ‘tambora’, jingles sewn on to a dancer, clavichord, regals, lute, triangle, cittern, a neo-classical lyre, virginals, guitar and panpipes (some of the drawings are reproduced as plates 6 and 7 in ...


Cernitz [Cerniz], Ulrich  

Ulf Grapenthin

( b Dömitz, 1598; d Hamburg, Dec 31, 1654). German organist . He was taught by his father, organist at Dömitz, and by the age of 16 was active as an organist at the Schwerin court chapel. By February 1619 he had been sent to Sweelinck in Amsterdam for further tuition, paid for by the court at Schwerin, and in 1722 succeeded J.C. Augustin as court organist at Schwerin. In 1627, having received no salary for over 18 months, he felt obliged to take up employment in Wallenstein. According to his own account, he then went to Italy, and he perhaps met Frescobaldi there. Later he worked in Lübeck and in Hamburg, where he was appointed organist and clerk at the Jacobikirche in 1632, a condition of the appointment being that he marry the widow of his predecessor, Joachim Möring; together they had a son and four daughters. When Jacob Praetorius (ii), organist at the Petrikirche, died in ...


Chein, Louis  

William Hays

(b ? c1636; d Paris, June 17, 1694). French composer, priest and serpent player. Papillon and Poisot asserted that he was born at Beaune. Brenet, however, maintained that he was born in Paris and that he entered the Ste Chapelle as a choirboy on 24 June 1645. The records of the Ste Chapelle relating to his death and burial state that he had been a choirboy there and had served the chapel uninterruptedly thereafter. On the title-page of his one extant work he is described as chaplain of the Ste Chapelle and also of Quimper Cathedral. Four masses by him were published in Paris: Missa ‘Pulchra ut luna’ (1689, 2/1729), Missa pro defunctis (1690), Missa ‘Floribus omnia cedant’ (1691) and Missa ‘Electa ut sol’ (1691), all for four voices, except the third, which was for five. Only the first is extant. Its style is simple and largely syllabic but with points of imitation even in the longer movements; it suffers from the monotony and narrow range of the melodic lines....


Christian, Palmer  

Vernon Gotwals

(b Kankakee, IL, May 3, 1885; d Ann Arbor, MI, Feb 19, 1947). American organist. In Chicago he studied with Clarence Dickinson and was organist and music director of Hyde Park Presbyterian Church (1906–9). He studied abroad with Karl Straube in Leipzig (1909–10) and with Alexandre Guilmant in Paris (1910–11) and then returned to Chicago to become organist of Kenwood Church (1911–18). After a lengthy illness, probably tuberculosis, he served for two years (1920–21) as municipal organist in Denver. From 1924 until his death he was university organist and professor at the University of Michigan.

Christian toured extensively as a solo recitalist and a performer with leading American orchestras. At Michigan he taught many pupils who were later prominent. He gave frequent recitals on the large Skinner organ in Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor and also arranged performances by visiting recitalists who enriched the musical scene and widened his students’ horizons. A reviewer in ...