(b Dobrova, nr Ljubljana, Slovenia; Dec 25, 1877; d Ljubljana, Dec 6, 1936). Slovenian music educator, conductor, and writer on music. Uncle of composer Bojan Adamič. He received his first musical education at the Ljubljana Glasbena Matica society music school, from 1911 to 1912 he studied at the Conservatory in Trieste, and in 1912 he passed the national examination at the Ljubljana Conservatory. During World War I he joined the Austrian Army, and from 1915 to 1920 was a prisoner of war at Tashkent. In 1920 he returned to Ljubljana, where he taught music at the teacher’s college and at the classical gymnasium until his retirement in 1932. From 1925 to 1928 he was conductor of the Orchestral Society at the Glasbena Matica music society, and from January 1928 to December 1929 editor of the Nova muzika (‘New Music’) magazine. He was also active as a music critic and reviewer for the magazines ...
John Edwin Henken
(b Madrid, Aug 3, 1823; d Madrid, Feb 17, 1894). Spanish composer, musicologist, conductor and critic. Barbieri’s father died in 1823 and the composer used his matronym throughout his life although, in the heated polemic wars of the period, that was sometimes held against him as an Italianate pretence.
Barbieri received his early music training from his maternal grandfather and entered the fledgling Royal Conservatory in 1837, studying the clarinet with Ramón Broca, the piano with Albéniz y Basanta, singing with Saldoni and composition with Carnicer. In 1841 his family moved to Lucena, but Barbieri remained in Madrid, eking out a living as a clarinettist, pianist, teacher and copyist. His earliest compositions were songs and dances, and a paso doble for a militia band in which he played. He also sang baritone roles in Italian operas at the Conservatory and the Teatro del Circo. He wrote the libretto for a one-act zarzuela but did not complete the music in time for its scheduled première in ...
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 ...
Adelyn Peck Leverett
revised by Christopher Fifield
(b Königsberg [now Kaliningrad], Nov 14, 1804; d Berlin, Jan 10, 1892). German conductor, composer and journalist. He studied the piano, singing and composition in Königsberg, made several long journeys throughout Germany, during which he met Weber in Dresden, and completed his studies with Ludwig Berger, Bernhard Klein and Zelter in Berlin, where his first opera, Rolands Knappen, was produced successfully in 1826. At the same time he became a co-editor of the Berliner allgemeine Muzikzeitung, for which he wrote a spirited defence of the beleaguered Gaspare Spontini. Over the next two decades he built a solid reputation as a conductor of opera, holding theatre posts at Königsberg (1828), Leipzig (1829–32), where he taught counterpoint to the young Schumann, Hamburg (1832), Riga (1834–43), and Cologne (1844–8). He organized the first music festival of the Russian Baltic provinces in Riga (...
revised by James Deaville
(b Würzburg, May 28, 1780; d Würzburg, Jan 5, 1862). German teacher, musical organizer, critic, theorist, conductor and composer. He studied music at the student institute of the Juliusspital in Würzburg, and studied law and philosophy at the university there. In 1801 he began his career as a violinist in the prince-bishop’s court orchestra. He also founded the Akademische Bande, a student choral and orchestral group, which in 1804 became the Akademisches Musikinstitut and was made part of the university, thus becoming the basis of the first state music school in Germany. His teaching and organizational work was of the highest importance and encompassed several disciplines and activities. He became reader in aesthetics in 1812, reader in pedagogical studies in 1819 and professor in 1821. In 1820 a singing school was established as part of the institute. He also conducted important historical concerts for King Ludwig I in ...
Gaynor G. Jones
revised by Christopher Fifield
(b Potsdam, Oct 22, 1838; d Danzig, Aug 27, 1922). German critic, pianist, conductor and composer. The son of an organist, he studied music from an early age. In 1859 he enrolled at the University of Berlin, studying theology and later philosophy; during this time he took piano lessons from Hans von Bülow. For a time he was torn between his interests in philosophy and music; having decided upon the latter he studied thoroughbass with Carl Friedrich Weitzmann and composition with Friedrich Kiel. For two and a half years he taught the piano privately in Berlin before accepting a position at Kullak’s Neue Akademie der Tonkunst in 1868. With the singer Clara Werner (whom he married in 1870) he gave concerts in Berlin, Pomerania and Silesia and became organist at the Nikolaikirche in Stralsund in 1869. In his dissertation Praeliminarien zu einer Kritik der Tonkunst (University of Greifswald, ...
(b Shenandoah, IA, June 2, 1898; d Memphis, TN, Feb 4, 1990). American music critic, conductor, and pianist. He studied at the University of Nebraska (1915–16), Chicago Music College (1920–22, subsequently incorporated into Roosevelt University), and the Gunn School in Chicago (MM 1923). He worked as a music critic for the Chicago Herald and Examiner between 1925 and 1936 and for the Chicago Tribune from 1943 to 1947. Between 1935 and 1943 he served as the Illinois state director of the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Music Project and as a co-conductor of the Illinois SO. In 1947 he became the first full-time music critic for the Los Angeles Times, a position from which he officially retired in 1965. He subsequently contributed to the LA Times as a staff writer and, from 1966 until shortly before his death, as Critic Emeritus. Goldberg was known for his emphatic support of conductors Zubin Mehta and Georg Solti and also for his recollections of such figures as Percy Grainger, Josef Hofmann, Vladimir Horowitz, Lauritz Melchior, and Artur Rubinstein. Trained as a pianist, he was especially knowledgeable about pianists and piano repertory....
(b Göteborg, Dec 22, 1846; d Stockholm, March 11, 1925). Swedish conductor, composer, teacher and critic. Between 1866 and 1871 he studied in Leipzig with Reinecke, in Munich with Rheinberger and in Dresden with Rietz. He then returned to Göteborg, where he became conductor of the music society (1872–8); he later taught singing in Berlin (1879–83). Back in Sweden he was conductor of the Philharmonic Society in Stockholm (1885–95) and of the Royal Opera (1892–7), as well as founder and conductor of the South Swedish Philharmonic Society (1902–7). From 1909 to 1919 he taught composition at the Stockholm Conservatory.
Hallén’s compositions show an accomplished handling of formal elements and contain stylistic reminiscences of Swedish folk music and the works of other Swedish composers like Söderman. The salient feature of his style, however, and the one which strongly affected contemporary reaction, is its close, almost derivative relationship to German music. Wagner’s works and aesthetic ideas had a particularly strong and lasting influence on Hallén; his operas, although conceived with considerable dramatic skill, are largely dependent on Wagnerian models. As an enterprising and versatile conductor, he gave sympathetic performances of the Wagner operas and brought about performances of many choral masterpieces then almost unknown in Sweden, including the first Swedish performance of Bach's ...
Miroslav K. Černý
(b Prague, May 2, 1817; d Prague, July 22, 1868). Czech choirmaster, teacher, composer and critic. He was the son of the distinguished Prague choirmaster František Xaver Kolešovský (b Prague, 1781; d Prague, 12 June 1839), a pupil of J.A. Kozeluch. He studied the violin at the Prague Conservatory, theory, organ and singing at the Prague Organ School, and theory and composition with Tomášek and others. He was a member of the Estates Theatre Orchestra in Prague from 1835 until 1839, when he succeeded his father as choirmaster of St Štěpána; here, and later at St Ignác he continued his father's practice of presenting music by earlier Czech masters, especially F.X. Brixi. In the 1850s he was director of the Žofín Academy, an important Prague music institution with choir and school, but gave up the post to found his own school of singing and theory, where his pupils included Fibich. He also taught from ...
Cecelia H. Porter
(b Breslau [now Wrocław, Poland], July 27, 1812; d Stettin [now Szczecin, Poland], Dec 1, 1893). German conductor, music critic and composer. Kossmaly’s writings reveal much about 19th-century German musical life and intellectual history. He studied in Berlin (1828–30) with Mendelssohn’s teachers Ludwig Berger and C.F. Zelter, and also with Bernhard Klein. From 1838 to 1849 he was music director at opera houses in Wiesbaden, Mainz, Amsterdam, Bremen, Detmold, and Stettin, where he settled and became a highly respected teacher and orchestra conductor. In 1837 Schumann invited Kossmaly to report on music in Frankfurt and Holland for the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik; in 1839 he moved to Leipzig, continuing to contribute profusely to the journal. Schumann, who published some of his lieder there, commended his reviews for their practical musicianship and philosophical depth. Kossmaly’s review of Schumann’s piano works (AMZ, xlvi (1844), 1–5, 17–21, 33–7; trans. in R.L. Todd, ed.: ...
M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet
(b Berlin, June 13, 1887; d New York, April 22, 1967). American musicologist, conductor and critic, of German birth . He studied musicology with Friedlaender at the University of Berlin and law at the University of Heidelberg, where he received the doctorate in 1911. From 1913 to 1921 he worked as an operetta conductor in Osnabrück, Essen, Strasbourg, Bremen and elsewhere; later (1921–3) he was music director of the Berlin Kammeroper. In the 1920s and 30s he was a critic for the Lokalanzeiger and other newspapers (including a few Jewish ones) and a writer of programme notes for the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. He taught music theory and history at the Stern Conservatory and conducted several madrigal choirs. The Nazis identified him as an important Jewish music critic, but on account of his non-Jewish wife Anni he was spared the concentration camps. He did, however, have to endure forced labour as a porter in the Jüdische Bibliothek des Sicherheitshauptamtes. After the war he was able to resume teaching and was even invited to form an orchestra by the mayor of Schöneberg, but he was abruptly arrested by a Soviet patrol for obscure reasons. After his release he emigrated to the USA in ...
Ann M. Pescatello
Member of Seeger family
(b Mexico City, Dec 14, 1886; d Bridgewater, CT, Feb 7, 1979). American musicologist, composer, conductor, critic and musical philosopher. His initial interest was in composition and conducting, and he joined numerous young American composers in Europe in the years immediately following his graduation from Harvard (1908). He spent a season (1910–11) as a conductor at the Cologne Opera before returning to the USA as a composer and chairman of the department of music at the University of California, Berkeley (1912–19), where he gave the first American courses in musicology in 1916. Several of his compositions were destroyed in the Berkeley fire (1923). Subsequently he was a lecturer and instructor at the Institute of Musical Art, New York (1921–33), the forerunner of the Juilliard School, and lecturer at the New School for Social Research (...
Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884) czeck composer c. 1875
Bedrich Smetana / PVDE / Bridgeman Images
Marta Ottlová, Milan Pospíšil, and John Tyrrell
revised by Kelly St Pierre
(b Leitomischl, Bohemia [now Litomyšl, Czech Republic], 2 March 1824; d Prague, 12 May 1884). Czech composer, conductor, teacher, and music critic often described as the ‘father’ or ‘inventor’ of Czech national music. While his first language was German and his first nationalist compositions were based on Swedish narratives, Smetana asserted himself as composer of specifically Czech music from the 1860s, and his music posthumously became synonymous with a Czech national musical style. Today, Smetana’s eight operas, including Prodaná nevěsta (‘The Bartered Bride’), as well as his cycle of symphonic poems Má vlast (‘My Fatherland’) form the foundation of the Czech classical musical canon. His opera Libuše is also frequently cited as an ‘apotheosis’ of Czech music, especially in conjunction with the first movement of Má vlast, entitled ‘Vyšehrad’.
After his death, Smetana was transformed in the minds of his audiences and advocates from a composer of nationalistic music to a national symbol himself; he and his works became enduring points of reference for Czechs’ ever-shifting borders, politics, administrations, ethnicities, and imagined futures through the 20th century. For this reason, the actual Smetana in many ways has become inseparable from the myth of ‘Smetana’, as later critics and historians molded his life and work to match their needs. The composer’s supposed greatness, genius, Czechness, tragic deafness, and heroism all give voice to the shifting needs, anxieties, and interests of his audiences as much as to the composer himself....
(b Norwich, Jan 22, 1784; d Brentwood, March 12, 1863). English bass and writer on music. Born into a prominent Unitarian family with literary leanings, he worked as an ironmonger and was active in liberal politics as well as amateur musical life in Norwich. He sang at the Octagon Chapel and the Glee and Catch Club, was principal bass at the Hall Concerts, and played a key role in the founding and organization of the Norwich Triennial Festival in 1824; he was also skilled as a wind player and choir trainer. Among his teachers were the Rev. Charles Smyth, William Fish and J.C. Beckwith.
In 1825 Taylor started an engineering firm in London, but on its failure a year later took up music professionally, as a concert singer and teacher. Still associated with opposition politics, by 1829 he had become music critic for the weekly Spectator. Its didactic, reform-minded tone suited him well, and he wrote there regularly for 14 years, notably on provincial festivals, the relative merits of Spohr (his friend) and Mendelssohn (whom he thought overrated), and on the importance of earlier music and of amateur music-making. In ...
revised by Robert Layton
(b Göteborg, May 30, 1853; d Stockholm, April 1, 1918). Swedish composer, critic and conductor. At Uppsala University he studied music with J.A. Josephson (1873–9), and after attending the conservatory and university in Leipzig (1879–84), he took the doctorate at the university with a thesis on Swedish folksongs. He then settled at Göteborg, became music critic of the Göteborgs handelstidning and re-established the Harmonic Society in 1886, which he conducted until 1897, performing many large works for chorus and orchestra. He gave lectures in music history and conducted concerts of the workmen's institute. In 1897 he went to Stockholm, where he was critic of Svenska dagbladet until 1902 and teacher of music history at the conservatory (professor from 1912). He was elected a member of the music academy in 1897 (appointed secretary in 1901) and gave many public lectures on music.
Valentin first attracted attention as a composer at Leipzig in ...
revised by Katharine Ellis
(b Bellême, Sept 6, 1759; d Tours, April 27, 1839). French writer on music . He attended the maîtrise of Le Mans Cathedral, where he met Le Sueur, and studied oriental languages at the Sorbonne. He was ordained a priest and, as a tenor, joined the maîtrise of Notre Dame on the eve of the Revolution. During the Revolution, however, the maîtrise was suppressed, and he joined the Opéra chorus, soon gaining the post of chorus leader.
In 1798 he went to Egypt as a member of a large scientific group accompanying Napoleon on his Egyptian expedition; this journey determined much of Villoteau’s future career. During two years in Egypt he amassed numerous documents, mainly on music, which he later studied with the aid of the principal Paris libraries. He then published several works, the first of which was Recherches sur l’analogie de la musique avec les arts qui ont pour objet l’imitation du langage...
Michael C. Tusa
Member of Weber family
(b Eutin, ?Nov 19, 1786; d London, June 5, 1826). German composer, conductor, pianist, and critic, son of Franz Anton Weber. A prototypical 19th-century musician-critic, he sought through his works, words, and efforts as performer and conductor to promote art and shape emerging middle-class audiences to its appreciation. His contributions to song, choral music, and piano music were highly esteemed by his contemporaries, his opera overtures influenced the development of the concert overture and symphonic poem, and his explorations of novel timbres and orchestrations enriched the palette of musical sonorities. With the overwhelming success of his opera Der Freischütz in 1821 he became the leading exponent of German opera in the 1820s and an international celebrity. A seminal figure of the 19th century, he influenced composers as diverse as Marschner, Mendelssohn, Wagner, Meyerbeer, Berlioz, and Liszt.
The early years of Weber’s eventful life are cloaked in obscurity, as relatively few documents survive to illuminate his life before ...