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Article

John Koegel

(b Puerto Príncipe, Cuba, ?Nov 28, 1844; d Havana, ?Dec 31, 1918). Pianist, music teacher, arranger, conductor, composer, and lawyer of Cuban birth, naturalized American. Born into a prominent family in Puerto Príncipe, Cuba (present-day Camagüey), Agramonte strongly supported the movement for independence from Spain. He studied music and the law in Cuba, Spain, and France. After vocal studies with Enrico Delle Sedie (1822–1907) and François Delsarte (1811–71) at the Paris Conservatory, he immigrated to the United States, settling in New York in 1869, where he remained until after Cuban independence in 1898. He became a US citizen in 1886.

In the 1870s and 1880s, Agramonte taught music at the Academy of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx. In the 1890s he taught with Dudley Buck and William Mason at the Metropolitan College of Music and ran his own School of Opera and Oratorio at his home, teaching singers such as ...

Article

David Cummings

(Karlovich )

(b S. Ukraine, 15/May 27, 1846; d Moscow, Feb 17, 1919). Ukrainian conductor . He studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory with Anton Rubinstein and Nikolay Zaremba. He was chorus master at the Kiev Opera from 1868 and conducted Tchaikovsky’s Oprichnik there shortly after its St Petersburg première in ...

Article

Rainer E. Lotz

(b São Paulo, 1892; d Rio de Janeiro, 1979). Brazilian bandleader, violinist, and saxophonist. He studied music in Rio de Janeiro (1917–19) and directed his own dance orchestra, gradually changing its repertory from Latin American music to jazz. He recorded prolifically on the Odeon label (1919–24) and although he did not perform as a soloist he became one of the pioneers of jazz in Brazil. While touring Europe (1924–34) he played for a time with the dancer and bandleader Grégor Kélékian. He made several recordings for Grammophon in Berlin (including Everything is hotsy totsy now, 20338, and Big Bad Bill, 20340, both 1926), some of which show to advantage the hot trumpet playing of Mickey Diamond and the blue blowing on kazoo of Sydney Sterling. (R. E. Lotz: “Eduardo Andreozzi: the Jazz Pioneer from Brazil,” Sv, no.122 (1985–6), 62 [incl. discography])...

Article

Martin Marks

(b New York, NY, 19 April 1888; d Ukiah, CA, 13 Feb 1959). Composer and conductor. After private music study in Berlin, he conducted for Oscar Hammerstein's Manhattan Opera Company, which closed in 1910, and then for productions on Broadway. By 1921 he had become an assistant conductor at the Capitol Theater, where silent films were presented with full orchestral accompaniment; in 1923, in partnership with David Mendoza, he replaced Erno Rapée as principal conductor. In addition to conducting, he composed incidental film music for the Capitol as needed, including 57 pieces published in the Capitol Photoplay Series (New York, 1923–7). From 1925 to 1929 he collaborated with Mendoza in New York on compilation scores for at least 20 MGM films, beginning with The Big Parade. Their collaboration continued with the music for Don Juan (1926), the first feature film score to be presented using the Vitaphone process, which mechanically synchronized the playback of music recorded on wax discs with the projection of the film. In ...

Article

John L. Clark

(b New Orleans, LA, March 25, 1897; d New Orleans, Jan 28, 1983). American pianist, singer, and bandleader. The daughter of the Civil War veteran and Louisiana state senator W.B. Barrett, she learned piano by ear as a child and was playing professionally by her early teens. She never learned to read music and worked almost exclusively in New Orleans. During the 1920s Barrett played with many of the uptown New Orleans groups, including those led by Papa Celestin, Armand Piron, and John Robichaux. In the following decade she worked most often with Bebe Ridgley, with whom she developed a local following that subsequently brought her success at the Happy Landing from 1949 and the Paddock Lounge during the late 1950s. It was at this time that she became known as Sweet Emma the Bell Gal because of her habit of wearing garters with bells attached that created a tambourine-like effect as she played. In ...

Article

Xoán M. Carreira

(b Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, March 12, 1884; d El Ferrol, Coruña, Nov 4, 1938). Spanish composer and conductor He studied the flute and composition at the Madrid Conservatory, where he was a pupil of Tomás Bretón. After playing in chamber groups and touring abroad (1906–9), he was appointed director of music of a regiment in El Ferrol, where he spent the rest of his life except for a period in Africa, 1915–17. As well as a large amount of military music, three dramatic scenes and five symphonic poems, he composed many zarzuelas (alone and in collaboration), of which few survive. In 1928 he conducted the première of his opera Cantuxa, whose success led to further performances in Spain and at the Teatro Colón. A story of jealousy (including a death quarrel at a local folk festival) in rural Galicia, the opera exemplifies verismo in its continuous melodic tension, vocal characterization, immediacy of emotion and the anguish of its brutal ending. Of Baudot-Puente’s other opera, ...

Article

Piero Rattalino

(b Bitonto, Bari, Feb 17, 1888; d Rome, Feb 8, 1964). Italian conductor . At the Naples Conservatory he studied with Alessandro Longo, Nicola d’Arienzo and Giuseppe Martucci. He made his début at the S Carlo with Aida in 1908, and as music director of the Caramba-Scognamiglio Operetta Company, 1912–16, he toured Italy. In 1917 he went to the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, and for some years alternated between South America and Europe. He first appeared at Covent Garden in 1926, conducting Boito’s Mefistofele at Shalyapin’s Covent Garden début and participating in Melba’s farewell performance. From 1926 to 1930 he was a regular conductor of the Italian repertory at Covent Garden, during which time he conducted the British première of Turandot (1927) and the London débuts of Ponselle (1929) and Gigli (1930), and from 1926 to 1935 he was also guest conductor at the Metropolitan. In ...

Article

Rainer E. Lotz

(b Berlin, Feb 7, 1886; d Amsterdam, July 30, 1934). German bandleader, alto saxophonist, and clarinetist. He played first clarinet with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra before World War I. After hearing jazz in the USA in 1918–19, he organized a band modeled on the Louisiana Five. He accompanied silent films and also appeared as a jazz bandleader in two films (...

Article

Gillian M. Rodger

(b London, England, Feb 1834; d New York, NY, April 11, 1905). American composer, theater orchestra director, and arranger. Born in London’s East End, Braham’s musical education was gained largely through his early education at the British Union School. He initially played the harp, but switched to the violin and became a skilled performer by the time he was 18. Rather than embarking on a career as a professional musician, Braham became a brass turner, making tubing for brass instruments, and supplemented his income by performing in theatrical orchestras in the evenings. In 1856, in the wake of a cholera epidemic that took his mother’s life, he emigrated to New York, where he quickly found employment in theater orchestras. By 1857 he was a regular member of the orchestra attached to Matt Peel’s Campbell Minstrels, and remained with this company, despite personnel conflicts and the reforming of the troupe under a modified name, until ...

Article

Harold Rosenthal

(b Melbourne, Jan 28, 1883; d St Albans, Jan 25, 1970). Australian conductor . He studied in London with August Wilhelmj and in Leipzig with Arthur Nikisch. After engagements in Breslau and Görlitz he settled in England and was engaged by the Moody-Manners Opera Company (1914–16) and the Beecham Opera Company (1916–17 and 1919–20). When the latter went into liquidation in 1920, Buesst was one of the prime movers in establishing the British National Opera Company, which he conducted from 1922 to 1928; at Covent Garden in January 1923 he conducted the company’s performance of Hänsel und Gretel, one of the first opera broadcasts. He also conducted the first London performance of Boughton’s Alkestis in 1924. In 1933 he was appointed assistant music director of the BBC and he later taught at the three main London music colleges. He wrote the excellent analysis Richard Wagner: the Nibelung’s Ring: an Act by Act Guide to the Plot and Music...

Article

Adeodatas Tauragis

(b Vilnius, April 16, 1869; d Vilnius, March 7, 1953). Lithuanian conductor and composer . He studied the piano, composition and conducting at the St Petersburg conservatory with Rimsky-Korsakov, Lyadov and Glazunov, graduating in 1900. His début as an opera conductor took place in Gor’kiy (now Nizhny-Novgorod) in 1899...

Article

Arthur Jacobs

(Arthur)

(b London, March 14, 1887; d Killin, Perthshire, Dec 19, 1982). English conductor and composer. He was a choirboy at Westminster Abbey, organ scholar at Exeter College, Oxford (1908–12), and then a student at the St Petersburg Conservatory, where his teachers included Nikolay Tcherepnin and Maximilian Steinberg. He graduated in 1917 and after military service in Britain returned to Petrograd as an assistant to Albert Coates, at that time a conductor at the Mariinsky Theatre. In 1920, back in London, he joined the music staff at the Old Vic, which at that period presented opera as well as plays. In 1931, when Sadler’s Wells Theatre opened as an extension of that management, he became principal conductor of opera, and was largely responsible for the development of the company’s repertory and standards. He shared with Coates the first performances in Britain of Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tale of Tsar Saltan...

Article

Lawrence Koch

[Charles Cyril ]

(b Ironton, MO, Dec 30, 1890; d Chicago, Oct 23, 1951). American trumpeter, bandleader, saxophonist, and accordionist. He spent his teens playing trumpet in circus and theater bands, and returned to the St. Louis area about 1919. He then led groups on the Streckfus fleet of riverboats, which traveled to and from New Orleans, and soon became so popular that he had several bands working under his name. He and Fate Marable were leaders of a group on the SS Capitol during 1927, but Creath’s career was interrupted by a two-year illness. Thereafter he played mostly alto saxophone and accordion. Marable and he collaborated again during the mid-1930s, after which Creath opened a nightclub in Chicago. He suffered ill-health during his last years. Although he was praised by his contemporaries for the rhythmic swing and brilliant tone of his trumpet playing, Creath is best remembered as a highly influential leader in St. Louis music circles. Among the members of his bands were Ed Allen, Pops Foster, Lonnie Johnson, and his brother-in-law Zutty Singleton....

Article

Andrew Lamb

(b Graslitz [now Kraslice], Bohemia, July 8, 1857; d Dresden, Sept 24, 1910). German composer and conductor. The son of a woodwind instrument maker, he attended the music school in Graslitz for three years and then (1874 to 1879) studied the clarinet with Julius Pisařowitz at the Prague Conservatory. In 1880 he became theatre conductor in Brno and was subsequently at various other German theatres before he went to the Carl Schultze-Theater in Hamburg in 1883. There he met the singer Anna Maria Eppich (1864–1919), whom he married in 1886 after the wide success of his first operetta Don Cesar; this work, which used the same story as Wallace’s Maritana, was performed throughout Germany and Austria and as far afield as the USA. In 1893 Dellinger became chief conductor at the Residenz-Theater in Dresden, where further operettas by him were produced with limited success. In later years he suffered from financial worries and consequent overwork, and in ...

Article

Jürg Stenzl

(b Zürich, March 19, 1892; d Zürich, Aug 25, 1972). Swiss conductor . He studied at the Zürich Conservatory and then in Cologne while working as a répétiteur at the opera house and the Bayreuth Festival. At that time (1911–12) he started appearing as a conductor and was engaged as director of music at Lucerne (...

Article

Alden Ashforth

(L., Sr. )

(b New Orleans, Sept 11, 1893, d Pacoima, CA, Dec 2, 1959). American trumpeter and bandleader. He had cornet lessons with Manuel Perez for seven years from 1907 and was working in Perez’s Onward Brass Band by 1914. After playing into early 1920s with the Silver Bell Band (led by the trombonist Leonard Bechet), the Excelsior Brass Band, the Maple Leaf Orchestra, and the Tuxedo Brass Band, from about 1921 to 1925 he worked with Ed Allen and Fate Marable on the riverboat Capitol; he performs a stop-time solo on Marable’s recording of Frankie and Johnnie (1924, OK 40113). In the late 1920s he led the Southern Syncopaters on the SS Island Queen, and in the 1930s he directed the Sidney Desvigne Orchestra aboard the SS Capitol; he also led a big band that played for dances in New Orleans. Desvigne was not a hot jazz musician and his bands played almost entirely from arrangements. However, he allowed for the occasional hot solo, especially when performing for African-American audiences, by engaging such players as the trumpeter Eugene Ware, the clarinetist Theodore Purnell, Emanuel Sayles, and Louis Nelson. His riverboat career extended to the end of ...

Article

Charles E. Kinzer

[John ]

(b New Orleans, LA, April 12, 1892; d Chicago, IL, Aug 8, 1940). American jazz clarinetist and bandleader, brother of Baby Dodds. He was raised in a mixed neighborhood in uptown New Orleans, where his father played fiddle and his mother played Baptist hymns on a reed organ as the family sang. Following his mother’s death in 1904, the family moved to Waveland, Missouri. Dodds played tin whistle before taking up clarinet in 1908. He returned to New Orleans soon thereafter and absorbed influences from brass band clarinetists, including Alphonse Picou and Lorenzo Tio Jr. His first professional work came in 1912, when he joined Kid Ory’s band at Globe Hall. He remained with Ory until 1919, performing alongside King Oliver and Louis Armstrong. Dodds is said to have taken lessons in the late 1910s, perhaps to improve his reading, and he worked briefly with Oliver’s Magnolia Band and Papa Celestin’s Tuxedo Orchestra during the same period before leaving the city to tour with Mack’s Merrymakers. In ...

Article

(b St Petersburg, 29 May/June 10, 1893; d Kiev, Feb 6, 1939). Russian conductor and composer . He studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory with Lyadov and Shteynberg (composition) and Nikolay Tcherepnin (conducting). Having led the orchestra at the Mariinsky Theatre he was conductor from 1918, and music director from 1925 to 1936. A talented opera conductor, he achieved a sensitive integration of voices and orchestra to dramatic as well as musical purpose. Under his direction the theatre staged notable productions of The Love for Three Oranges, Wozzeck and the original version of Boris Godunov between 1926 and 1928. In 1936 he became artistic director and chief conductor at the Kiev Opera, where he staged many operas by Ukrainian composers. He composed several works himself, and wrote articles on the problems of operatic dramaturgy.

I. Belza: ‘Vladimir Alexandrovich Dranishnikov’, Voprosï muzïkal’no-ispolnitel’skogo iskusstva [Problems in the Art of Musical Performance], v, ed. ...

Article

Michael Tovey and Barry Kernfeld

(b Laplace, LA, April 30, 1887; d Lafayette, LA, 1960). American clarinetist and bandleader. His father was a violinist and bandleader, and he first played guitar and clarinet in a band formed by his three elder brothers. In 1913 he joined a local ensemble led by Kid Ory with which he traveled to New Orleans, where he took lessons from Lorenzo Tio, Jr., and George Baquet. Later he led his own band at various clubs before moving in April 1917 to Chicago. Duhé led the band that played nightly at the Dreamland Café. Early in 1918 it consisted of King Oliver, Roy Palmer, Sidney Bechet, the saxophonist J. Pollard, Lil Hardin (the future Lil Armstrong), Wellman Braud, and Minor Hall; Honore Dutrey and Willie Humphrey (rather than Palmer and Bechet) were present for its appearance as the White Sox Booster Band at the infamous “Black Sox” baseball world series of ...

Article

Erik Wiedemann

(Sophus Gerlach )

(b Kolding, Denmark, Aug 23, 1892; d Copenhagen, July 14, 1965). Danish saxo-phonist and bandleader. He began his career as a banjoist and in 1923 became the first Danish jazz saxophonist, playing initially C-melody then alto saxophone. The same year he formed the first notable Danish jazz band, which during the 1920s included leading Danish jazz musicians such as Kai Ewans and Peter Rasmussen among its members; it made the earliest jazz recordings in Denmark (notably ...