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Walter Knape and Murray R. Charters

revised by Simon McVeigh

Member of Abel family

(b Hünnefeld, 1634; d Bremen, July 25, 1696). German composer, organist and bass viol player, son of Ernst Abel. He served at Celle (1662–4) and then at Hanover, where he was court organist and viol player until 1685; possibly he then returned to Celle. His final appointment, in ...

Article

Walter Knape and Murray R. Charters

revised by Simon McVeigh

Member of Abel family

(b Ludwigslust, July 24, 1795; d London, 1871). German pianist and composer, grandson of Leopold August Abel. He was brought up by his father, August Christian Andreas Abel, to emulate his great-uncle Carl Friedrich Abel. An attempted tour as a child prodigy, during which he played the piano and violin and later the cello, was a failure. After some success teaching music in German courts, his health failed and he left his homeland in ...

Article

Aurélie Decourt

Member of Alain family

(b March 1, 1880; d Saint Germain-en-Laye, Oct 15, 1971). French organist, composer, and organ builder. From a family of craftsmen, amateur musicians, and devout Catholics, Alain studied at the Paris Conservatoire (1896–1907) with Caussade, Vierne, and Guilmant, winning a premier prix for harmony in 1904. He was the organist of St Nicolas, Maisons-Laffitte (1900–18), of the Franciscan Chapel (1903–71), and of the parish of Saint Germain-en-Laye (1924–71).

With Abbé Clément Besse and the painter Maurice Denis, Alain formed a musical circle in Saint Germain. He participated in the revival of French church music along the lines prescribed in the Vatican’s Motu proprio of 1903. He composed new settings of canticles in which the sobriety of the melody did not preclude refined harmonies, with the frequent use of modality and chromaticism.

92 Latin motets, nine mass settings, and three oratorios complete his prolific output of religious music, mostly written for use in churches at Saint Germain-en-Laye, Versailles, and Paris between ...

Article

Georges Guillard

(Ariste)

Member of Alain family

(b Saint Germain-en-Laye, Feb 3, 1911; d Petit-Puy, nr Saumur, June 20, 1940). French composer and organist. After studying with his father, Albert Alain, he then took piano lessons with Augustin Pierson. From 1929 to 1939, he attended the Paris Conservatoire winning premiers prix in harmony with André Bloch, fugue with Georges Caussade (in 1933), and the organ in Marcel Dupré’s class (1939). His composition teachers were Paul Dukas and Jean Roger-Ducasse. His extensive studies were interrupted by some serious illnesses, a year-long break for military service, the need to earn his living while very young (he was the organist from 1935 to 1939 in Maisons-Laffitte), and by his marriage in 1935 to Madeleine Payan, with whom he had three children. He was deeply affected by the tragic mountaineering death of his sister Odile in 1937. Mobilized in September 1939 as a motorcycle dispatch rider, in May 1940 he went to Belgium; evacuated to England, he returned to France in June and died heroically near Saumur....

Article

Barry S. Brook

revised by Richard Viano

[l'aîné]

Member of Alday family

(b Mahón, Menorca, c1761; d ?Lyons, after 1835). French violinist, organist, teacher and music director. He was the older son of Alday père. The Alday name, presumably referring to François, first appeared in the Parisian press in 1771 after a performance at the Concert Spirituel: ‘M. Aldaye fils, âgé d'environ dix ans, a joué sur la mandoline avec autant de rapidité que de précision’ (Mercure de France, April 1771, ii, 182). He does not appear to have been an outstanding soloist; the name ‘Aldée’ is listed last in the second violin section of the Concert Spirituel in 1786, and probably refers to him rather than to his brother Paul. In 1797 he was a music teacher and ‘premier violon du spectacle’ in Lyons. In 1810 he founded the Cercle Harmonique, a concert society comprising the best musicians in that city. As its director, he played an important role in the musical life of Lyons; he encouraged the performance of contemporary music, including the first performance in that city of Beethoven’s ...

Article

Nicholas Tochka

(Gjoka)

(b Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula, May 22, 1910; d Tirana, Albania, Oct 6, 1985). Albanian pianist, arranger, pedagogue, and composer. Born in an Albanian-speaking enclave in Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula, she received early training in ballet and piano while growing up in a middle-class merchant family. After relocating to Korça, Albania in 1932, Gjoka became the primary accompanist for the local salon culture, which included the art-song singers Kristaq Antoniu, Mihal Ciko, Tefta Tashko-Koço, and Maria Kraja. She received a degree in piano performance from the Athens Conservatory in 1936. Following World War II, she taught at Tirana’s ‘Jordan Misja’ Arts Lyceum from its founding in 1946, and at the State Conservatory from 1962. In addition to training a generation of Albanian pianists, Gjoka was a tireless promoter of folk songs. During the socialist period, she was among the first women to collect folk songs, which she often arranged as elegant art songs for voice and piano. She also held an appointment at the Theater of Opera and Ballet in Tirana between ...

Article

Simon Adams

(Jefimowitsch)[Misha]

(b Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine [then USSR], Nov 7, 1956; d Oslo, May 11, 2018). Moldavian pianist. Although he was born in Ukraine, he grew up in Bessarabia, in the eastern part of Moldavia, where he studied composition and piano while playing with local folk musicians. In 1980 he became a member of the Moldavian Jazz Ensemble, led by the saxophonist and violinist Semjon Shirman, and started to play jazz piano – listening for the first time to such pianists as Art Tatum and Keith Jarrett and transcribing, for the piano, solos by Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and other saxophone and brass players. In 1983 he moved to Moscow, where he formed a duo with the french horn and flugelhorn player Arkady Shilkloper, with whom he began to synthesize elements of Moldavian folk music with improvised jazz; the duo played regularly at Moscow’s Blueberry Jazz Club. A member of the Moscow Art Trio, with Shilkloper and the singer and clarinetist Sergey Starostin, Alperin also performed with many Russian and foreign musicians; his first album as an unaccompanied soloist, ...

Article

Article

John Lade

Member of Ancot family

(b Bruges, July 6, 1799; d Boulogne, June 5, 1829). Flemish composer, violinist and pianist, son of Jean Ancot. He studied with his father and appeared as a soloist on both the violin and the piano in 1811. His first concertos were composed about ...

Article

John Lade

Member of Ancot family

(b Bruges, June 3, 1803; d Bruges, Sept 1836). Flemish pianist, teacher and composer, son of Jean Ancot. He also studied with his father. After a continental tour he arrived in London and became pianist to the Duke of Sussex. Later he taught the piano in Boulogne and Tours before returning to Bruges. He published a number of works for piano....

Article

Wolfgang Plath

(Andreas)

Member of André family

(b Offenbach, March 7, 1823; d Frankfurt, Dec 9, 1882). German pianist and composer, of French extraction, son of Johann Anton André. Henkel regarded him as the most gifted of the sons. He made concert tours within and outside Germany and later settled in Berlin, where he taught Count Bolko von Hochberg, in particular overseeing the latter’s operatic works. He was later court Kapellmeister to the Prince of Bernburg until the liquidation of the chapel on the prince’s death. He composed numerous songs, choral works, and salon pieces for piano, some of them published under the pseudonym ‘de St Gilles’, after the family’s ancestral home in Languedoc.

The direction of the family’s Offenbach concern passed in 1840 from Johann Anton André to his son (Johann) August André (1817–87), who successfully staved off several financial crises by issuing cheap editions of the classics and attracting such composers as Franz Abt and Heinrich Marschner. Under his direction the Frankfurt and Offenbach branches merged; they later came under the joint direction of his sons Karl (...

Article

Member of André family

(b Offenbach, June 4, 1808; d Frankfurt, April 17, 1880). German pianist and organist, of French extraction, son of Johann Anton André. From 1864 he was procurist in his brother’s shop in Frankfurt. He wrote an organ method which was much used in its time, a school of pedal technique, a harmony textbook, and well-regarded vocal works and organ and piano pieces....

Article

Francesco Bussi

Member of Andreoli family

(b Mirandola, Jan 8, 1840; d Reggio nell’Emilia, Jan 22, 1908). Italian pianist, composer and conductor, son of Evangelista Andreoli (i). The most celebrated member of the family, he studied with his father and with Angeleri at the Milan Conservatory (1852–8), where he received a piano diploma. In December 1858 he made his début as a concert artist in the Teatro di S Radegonda in Milan. He made successful tours of Italy and gave concerts in England, France, Germany and Austria with such artists as Piatti, Bazzini, Bottesini, Alard, Borghi Mamo, Joachim and Sivori. From 1871 he taught the piano at the Milan Conservatory. He founded the Società dei Concerti Sinfonici Popolari (1877), which he and his younger brother Guglielmo Andreoli (ii) directed for ten years, giving 96 concerts altogether. He became insane in 1891 and four years later was committed to an asylum in Reggio nell’Emilia, where he died. A bust of him, with an epigraph by Boito, was placed in the Milan Conservatory in ...

Article

Francesco Bussi

Member of Andreoli family

(b Disvetro, Modena, June 27, 1810; d Mirandola, Modena, June 16, 1875). Italian pianist, organist and teacher. He taught at the music school in Mirandola where he spent his entire life. Crippled in both legs, he constructed a device which enabled him to play the organ pedal-board. He should not be confused with his son Evangelista (ii) (...

Article

Francesco Bussi

Member of Andreoli family

(b Mirandola, April 22, 1835; d Nice, March 13, 1860). Italian pianist and composer, son of Evangelista Andreoli (i). A precocious music student, he studied first with his father and later with Antonio Angeleri at the Milan Conservatory (1847–53). From 1854 he was active as a concert pianist in Europe, principally in London, where he lived from ...

Article

Francesco Bussi

Member of Andreoli family

(b Mirandola, Jan 9, 1862; d Modena, April 26, 1932). Italian pianist, violinist, conductor and composer, son of Evangelista Andreoli (i). He received his first musical instruction from his father, and from 1876 studied the organ with Polibio Fumagalli, the violin with G. Rampazzini and composition with Bazzini at the Milan Conservatory. He taught harmony, counterpoint and (from 1900) the piano at the conservatory, where his pupils included Victor De Sabata and Franco Vittadini. From 1878 to 1886 he took an active part in the Società dei Concerti Sinfonici Popolari and directed the concerts of the Società del Quartetto; he was a member of the Campanari Quartet for three years. His works include a Fantasia sinfonica and two overtures for orchestra, a requiem, a string quartet, short piano pieces, and songs. He also published Manuale d’armonia (with Edgardo Codazzi, Milan, 1898) and prepared editions of piano music of Beethoven, Chopin, Heller, Mendelssohn, Moscheles, Raff and Weber....

Article

Jos Wouters

revised by Ronald Vermeulen

(Franciscus)

Member of Andriessen family

(b Haarlem, Sept 17, 1892; d Haarlem, April 12, 1981). Dutch composer, organist and teacher, brother of Willem Andriessen. He studied the organ with Louis Robert and Jean-Baptiste Charles de Pau and composition with Bernard Zweers at the Amsterdam Conservatory, and in 1913 he succeeded to his father's appointment as organist in Haarlem. In 1927 Andriessen gave up his job as a journalist on the local Haarlem newspaper to teach composition and analysis at the Amsterdam Conservatory, concurrently teaching the organ, improvisation and Gregorian chant at the Roman Catholic School for Church Music, Utrecht. He was made organist of Utrecht Cathedral in 1934 and, three years later, director of the conservatory in that city. In 1949 he was appointed director of the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, and in 1952 he became professor of music history at Nijmegen University, a post he held until his retirement in ...

Article

Jos Wouters

revised by Ronald Vermeulen

Member of Andriessen family

(b Haarlem, Oct 25, 1887; d Amsterdam, March 29, 1964). Dutch pianist and composer. He studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Jean-Baptiste Charles de Pauw (piano), Julius Röntgen (ensemble playing) and Daniël de Lange and Bernard Zweers (music theory and composition). In 1908, two years after passing his final examination, he received the Outstanding Achievement Prize for piano; to mark the occasion he wrote his Piano Concerto in D♭, which he characterized as ‘in brilliant piano style, influenced by the virtuoso writing of Grieg and Liszt’. Though an international career was within his grasp, his modest nature led him to appear mostly in the Netherlands, where he was in great demand especially for his performances of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Schumann. However, he was also an advocate of the music of his time, including Debussy, Ravel, Bartók and Pijper. He gave the Dutch première of Falla's ...

Article

Milena Bozhikova

(b Varna, Bulgaria, June 27, 1961). Bulgarian pianist. Influenced by his family of professional musicians (his father was a conductor, his mother an opera singer), he graduated from the High School of Music and National Academy of Music in Sofia. He was a student of Viktoria Spasova, Lyudmila Stoyanova, and Konstantin Stankovich. He received awards from piano competitions and honours of merit: Svetoslav Obretenov (Bulgaria, 1972), Piano Virtuosi (Czech Republic, 1973), Senigallia (Italy, 1976), Frederic Chopin (Poland, 1985), Palm Beach International Competition (USA, 1990), Piano Masters (Monte Carlo, 1994), World Piano Masters Tour (France, 1997), and Gloria Artis medal from the Polish Ministry of Culture (2011). He is a winner of the Apollo Toxophorus Award of the Apollonia Art Foundation. He is corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Arts in Toledo. During the 1987–88 season Angelov performed Chopin’s complete piano works in a series of 12 recitals, for which he received the Bulgarian Young Musician of the Year Award. In ...

Article

Ardian Ahmedaja

(b Moscow, Russia, April 15, 1911; d New Hartford, NY, USA, Sept 3, 1963). Russian composer, writer, and organist. He went to school in Prague and Berlin and studied composition in Leipzig. In 1933 he was appointed organist and choirmaster of the catholic Cathedral of Belgrade, working later as director of the Belgrade-Radio Choir. At the same time, he was teaching, collecting local music in the Balkans, and writing about it. In 1942 he was appointed as assistant at the Slavonic institute in Prague and in 1944 he completed his dissertation on drum playing in the Central Balkans, a result of a collaboration with an Albanian folk musician from the Prizren area in Kosovo.

After World War II he was based in a Displaced Persons Camp in Regensburg. In 1950 he moved to Chicago as organist of Salem Lutheran Church, and later to New York, where he taught at Syracuse University. He continued to compose and to write about music, mostly on Russian issues, including the Soviet party’s endeavours to create propaganda around local traditions, e.g. ‘proving’ that the legends and narratives about Lenin, Stalin, et al. had their origin in the folk tradition, an example being the teaching of ‘new’ (fabricated) folk epics to folk singers by Soviet collectors, who were urged by the party to ‘find’ such songs (...