(b Istanbul, May 6, 1908; d Ankara, Feb 16, 1999). Turkish composer. He was a member of the Turkish Five, a group of outstanding composers who, from the 1930s, promoted a Western musical style. Akses first played the violin and then took up the cello at the age of 14. He studied harmony with Cemal Reşit Rey at the Istanbul Municipal Conservatory. In 1926 he left for Vienna where he attended Joseph Marx’s harmony, counterpoint and composition classes for advanced students at the Academy. After receiving his diploma in 1931, he went to Prague and studied with Josef Suk and Alois Hába at the Prague Conservatory. He returned to Turkey in 1934 and was appointed a teacher of composition at the Music Teachers School, becoming its director in 1948. He then took a number of official positions: in 1949 he was director general of the Fine Arts Section of the Ministry of Education, then cultural attaché in Berne (...
revised by Münir Nurettin Beken
(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 ...
Saadalla Agha Al-Kalaa
(b al-Qrayya, Syria, Oct 18, 1915; d Beirut, Dec 26, 1974). Syrian singer, composer, ‘ūd player and film actor and producer. In 1924 political circumstances forced his family to move to Egypt. His mother, the noted singer ‘Aliyya al-Munther, taught him singing in the Syrian style. He studied the ‘ūd (lute) at the Cairo Institute for Arab Music. His professional work began as an ‘ūd player and singer at the national radio station and in Badī ‘a Maṣabnī's variety show saloon.
In 1941, through his sister Asmahān , he entered the cinema industry, and for the rest of his life was involved in films as a composer, singer actor, and producer. His singing of Syrian mawwāl (popular songs), tangos and rumbas achieved great popularity, and his work laid the foundations for Arab variety show films, cinematic operetta, orchestral musical overtures and comic and sad songs. His 31 films are mostly autobiographical and provide valuable insight into the role of the musician in society....
revised by Vincent J. Novara
(b Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec 1, 1927; d White Plains, NY, July 5, 2002). American music administrator and composer of Georgian descent. After immigrating to the United States in 1947, he studied composition with Ross Lee Finney at the University of Michigan (BM 1950, MM 1951, DMA 1958). He then studied with Aaron Copland at the Berkshire Music Center (1959–60), during which time he won the George Gershwin Memorial Award. In the course of his expansive career he was an editor at Prentice-Hall (1960–61), director of the Contemporary Music Project (1961–9), dean of the School of Performing Arts at the University of Southern California (1969–82), and president of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (1982–91). An effective administrator, he explained that he “designed activities to demonstrate that the artist shapes cultural and social institutions.” His compositional style reflects the influence of his principal teachers, Finney and Copland....
(b Samsun, Aug 1944). Turkish popular musician. Gencebay is widely credited as the inventor of arabesk, a popular genre which has dominated the Turkish recording industry since the mid-1970s and which has been widely condemned by the Turkish nationalist intelligentsia (see Turkey §V 3.). As a child, he received an early training in the religious repertory and Western art music from his family circle. He studied the reformed rural music genre at local music societies, played guitar in a rock band while at lycée and learnt the popular dance band hits of the day as a saxophonist during military service at an officers' club in Istanbul. In 1967 he was recruited to the Istanbul radio station but resigned a year later to continue his work in the popular market as a singer and film star, in 1973 managing his own recording company, Kervan. His early work, characterized by his first Columbia recording of ...
Barbara L. Kelly
(b Bucharest, Dec 2, 1859; d Monte Carlo, May 31, 1955). French impresario, opera director and composer of Romanian birth. He studied medicine in Bucharest until the Russo-Turkish war, and received composition lessons while in the Russian ambulance corps. In 1881 he managed the first theatre for French opéra comique in Moscow. He later travelled in France and Italy, directing the Grand Théâtre, Lille (1888–9), and the Nice Opéra (1889–91). His claim that he was a spy for Tsar Aleksandr III remains unsubstantiated.
As director of the Monte Carlo Opéra from 1893 to 1951, he became an influential figure, engaging the best singers, including Caruso, Battistini and Chaliapin, to sing both standard repertory and more obscure roles. He introduced Tristan und Isolde in 1893, and mounted the French premières of the Ring cycle (1909) and Berlioz's La prise de Troie (1891...
Ramón P. Santos
(b San Fernando, La Union, August 31, 1918). Filipina composer and administrator. She studied at the Philippine Women’s University (BA 1936, BM 1949), at St Scholastica’s College with Baptista Battig (teacher’s diploma in piano 1939), and theory and composition at the Eastman School with Allen McHose and Wayne Barlow (MMus 1950). While her training in the USA developed a leaning towards neo-classicism, her active involvement as music director of the folkdance group Bayanihan significantly influenced her style, which is a combination of the rhythms and scales of Asian instrumental music with the structural and formal designs of Western classical music. In Toccata (1958) and Divertissement (1960) she used the kulintang, a Philippine gong-chime instrument. Her extensive output also includes a number of large-scale theatre pieces such as Filasiana Choral Dance Kaleidoscope of Asia (1964) and the opera-oratorio Dularawan (...
[Shimura, Tsutomu; (“Tom”)]
Rapper, producer, and songwriter. Shimura was born in Tokyo, Japan to Japanese and Jewish Italian American parents. His delivery is noted for incorporating multiple syllables and an extensive vocabulary. Growing up in Berkeley, California, he was a co-founder of the independent label Quannum Projects, which has released albums by Blackalicious, DJ Shadow, Pigeon John, and others, including his own projects.
Early in his career, Shimura went by the name Asia Born but later changed it to Lyrics Born. His first single, “Send Them,” was released in 1993. The song was produced by DJ Shadow, and it featured the B-Side single “Entropy.” He later formed a group with Lateef the Truthspeaker called Latryx, and they released Latryx (The Album) in 1997.
Lyrics Born’s greatest commercial success as a solo artist occurred in 2003 with the release of his album Later That Day. The album featured the song “Callin’ Out,” which ended up being a surprise hit. The song was licensed by Electronic Arts for use in video games and by the Coca-Cola Company. In addition to his work as a solo artist, Shimura is also active as a voice-over actor, lending his voice to several shows and cartoon programs on Cartoon Network’s ...
William Y. Elias
(b Cyprus, April 10, 1948). Israeli composer, teacher and stage director . She was born while her parents were in Cyprus en route to Israel. First taught music at the Tel-Aviv Conservatory and Telma Yalin Music High School, she graduated in 1970 from the Tel-Aviv Academy of Music, where her main study was the piano (she was a pupil of Madeleine Aufhauser); she also completed a degree in philosophy. During her period of compulsory military service, from 1970 to 1972, she was responsible for classical music at Galei-Zahal, the radio station of the Israeli Defence Forces, and wrote on music for Bahmane, the IDF’s weekly magazine. From 1973 to 1974 she studied composition with Hans Heimler in Guildford, England.
After Riseman’s return to Israel, her song cycle Eize yom yafe (‘What a Beautiful Day’) for male voice and chamber ensemble was recorded; a further cycle, Nine Haiku Songs, received its première at the Israel Festival in ...