(b Tobol′sk, 31 Dec/Jan 12, 1821; d St Petersburg, 22 May/June 3, 1898). Russian violinist and composer. He received his musical education from his father, the violinist Yakov Ivanovich Afanas′yev, an illegitimate son of the writer and poet Prince Ivan Dolgorukov. In 1836 he made his début as a violinist in Moscow, and two years later was appointed leader of the Bol′shoy Theatre Orchestra. He resigned in 1841 to become conductor of the serf orchestra maintained by the wealthy landowner I.D. Shepelyov at Vïksa, near St Petersburg. In 1846 he decided to pursue a career as a solo violinist and toured the major provincial cities of Russia, settling in St Petersburg in 1851. There he made occasional appearances as a soloist, and also led the orchestra of the Italian Opera, sometimes deputizing for the regular conductor. In 1853 he became a piano teacher at the Smol′nïy Institute and relinquished his orchestral post. He visited western Europe in ...
(b Moscow, Sept 8, 1947). Russian pianist, conductor, writer and poet. A student of Yakov Zak and Emil Gilels at the Moscow Conservatory (1965–73), he won the 1968 Leipzig Bach Competition, four years later taking the gold medal at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. After seeking political asylum in Belgium in 1974, he settled in France in 1980, but since 1989 he has returned regularly to his native country for concerts and recordings. Intent on philosophical truths more than absolutes of pianistic finish, placing emotions of the mind and spirit above ‘outward prettiness’, Afanassiev is a provocatively inspirational artist, indebted on his own admission to many of the great individualists of the past: Gilels, Gould, Horowitz, Michelangeli, Rachmaninoff and Sofronitsky all receive tribute in his ‘Homages & Ecstasies’ album (1996). Partial to mono/duographic programming, with a repertory extending from Froberger to Crumb, his extensive discography includes Bach (Book 1 of ...
revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu
(b Bucharest, 2/Aug 14, 1893; d Bucharest, Feb 18, 1959). Romanian composer, pianist, conductor, teacher, music critic, and director of music programmes. A leading figure of the first half of the 20th century, he laid the foundation of the Romanian school in music, concert life, and musical journalism. He studied with A. Castaldi, D. Dinicu, D.G. Kiriac, and E. Saegiu at the Bucharest Conservatory (1903–11), completing his education with two periods of study in Paris (1913–14, 1923–4), where he studied with d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum and with Paul Vidal at the Conservatoire. A remarkable accompanist, he worked with Enescu, Thibaud, Mainardi, Moodie, and others during the period 1919–45. As a conductor he always achieved a soberly balanced performance; he conducted more than 1500 performances at the Romanian Opera in Bucharest (1921–59), where he specialized in the French repertory (Bizet, Massenet, and Gounod). In his capacities as conductor of the Romanian Philharmonic Society, and as conductor and artistic manager of the Romanian RSO, he did much to encourage Romanian composers. He was also active as a music critic for Romanian and French reviews. Much of his compositional work was done during his youth, including ...
(b Stockholm, May 1, 1872; d Falun, May 8, 1960). Swedish composer, conductor and violinist. He attended the Stockholm Conservatory (1887–91) and then took private lessons with Lindegren (composition) and Zetterquist (violin); from 1887 he also studied painting. A violinist in the Hovkapellet (the opera orchestra, 1890–92), he decided in 1892 to make his career in music. From 1904 to 1957 he conducted the Siljan Choir – a group of five church choirs and regional choirs in Dalarna – and he was the director of other choruses, including the Orphei Drängar (1910–47), with whom he made 22 tours throughout most of Europe. In addition he was Director Musices of Uppsala University (1910–39). A Hugo Alfvén Foundation has been established in Stockholm.
Alfvén's music is distinguished by orchestral subtlety and by a painterly exploitation of harmony and timbre. His output was almost entirely of programme music, often suggested by the Swedish archipelago; he commented that ‘my best ideas have come during my sea-voyages at night, and, in particular, the wild autumns have been my most wonderful times for composition’. A few pieces, often performed, have maintained his reputation: ...
(b Stockholm, March 13, 1914; d Malmö, Jan 4, 1972). Swedish composer, pianist and conductor. During the period 1936–8 he studied composition in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Paris and London, and later in Salzburg and Vienna. He was a piano pupil of Olof Wibergh in Stockholm and studied conducting with Paumgartner, Walter and Weingartner at the Salzburg Mozarteum. In 1934 he made his début as a pianist and composer in Malmö with the later discarded Concertino. He was conductor of the Hippodromtheater, the Malmö operetta theatre (1939–42, 1949–50), and in 1946 founded a chamber orchestra which he directed until its activities ceased in 1950. Thereafter he lived as a freelance composer in Malmö, latterly spending much time in Cologne and Vienna; he sometimes appeared as a pianist or conductor, particularly with the Malmö Ars Nova. His electronic works were composed in his own studio, FEM.
Anderberg’s music of the 1930s and 40s showed French influence, but later he went through a 12-note serial period, stimulated by his profound analyses of Schoenberg’s piano music. In this way he integrated new techniques into an individual style, solidly craftsmanlike in the orchestral works and instrumentally brilliant in the chamber music. Many of his works were suggested by literature or by contemporary events, the latter particularly in later years: the piano concerto (...
(b Vienna, May 16, 1927). Austrian conductor, viola player and composer. From 1941 to 1946 he studied theory, the piano, violin and organ at the Vienna Music Academy. After playing the viola in the Vienna SO and winning a medal at the Geneva Music Competition in 1948, he was engaged by the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra, and then by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (1949–52). From 1953 to 1956 he was principal viola player in the Vienna SO. He also won first prize for an organ composition in the competition in Haarlem in 1954.
Angerer’s subsequent career as a conductor has extended from the post of director and chief conductor of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra (1956–63), and numerous tours as guest conductor, to an engagement as composer and conductor of the Vienna Burgtheater (1960–64). In this capacity he wrote and performed music for various plays. He was principal conductor of the opera house of Bonn (...
(b Budapest, April 12, 1919; d Kingston, ON, February 24, 2012). Canadian composer, conductor and pianist of Hungarian birth. He studied with Kodály at the Budapest Academy (1937–41). As a young man he spent a period with other Jewish youths in a forced-labour contingent of the Hungarian Army; his later war experiences – escape, then concealment by friends during the winter of 1944–5 – are described in the memoirs of the novelist Theresa de Kerpely (Teresa Kay). After a season as assistant conductor at the Budapest Opera (1945–6), he went to Paris for further studies in piano (Soulima Stravinsky), conducting (Fourestier) and composition (Boulanger), remaining there for three years. He moved to Canada in 1949 (taking Canadian nationality in 1955), and for three years held a Lady Davis Fellowship and an appointment as assistant professor at McGill University. There he founded the electronic music studio and served for six years as chair of the department of theoretical music. He held grants for electronic music research from the Canada Council (...
revised by Tully Potter
(b Madrid, Dec 24, 1863; dSan Sebastián, June 2, 1939). Spanish violinist, conductor and composer. He studied the violin with Jesús Monasterio at the Madrid Conservatory, with Vieuxtemps at the Brussels Conservatory and with Joachim in Berlin. He travelled extensively both as a soloist and, together with Albéniz and Augustín Rubio, as a member of a celebrated piano trio, for which he composed three works. He appeared in London in 1891, playing works for violin and piano with Albéniz, and Bach’s Double Concerto with Joachim, and from 1894 to 1915 served with distinction as a professor of the violin and viola at the RCM.
In 1904 Arbós was appointed conductor of the Madrid SO and he was a leading influence in Spanish musical life until he resigned the conductorship on the outbreak of the Civil War in 1936. He was a guest conductor with the Boston SO and other American orchestras from ...
(b Novgorod, 30 June/July 12, 1861; d nr Terioki, Finland [now Zelenogorsk, Russia], Feb 25, 1906). Russian composer, pianist and conductor. His father, a doctor, was a keen cellist, and his mother an excellent pianist who gave him his first music lessons. By the age of nine he had already composed some songs and piano pieces. When the family moved to St Petersburg, Arensky took lessons with Zikke before entering the St Petersburg Conservatory (1879), where he studied composition with Rimsky-Korsakov and counterpoint and fugue with Johannsen. He graduated with a gold medal in 1882. Even before this Rimsky-Korsakov had been sufficiently impressed by Arensky’s talent to entrust him with a share in preparing the vocal score of The Snow Maiden. After graduating Arensky went straight to the Moscow Conservatory as a professor of harmony and counterpoint; among his pupils were to be Rachmaninoff, Skryabin and Glière. The move to Moscow brought him into close contact with Tchaikovsky, who gave him much practical encouragement, and Taneyev. From ...
revised by Lars Westin
(b Hälsingborg, Sweden, Aug 7, 1920; d Stockholm, Feb 11, 1971). Swedish bandleader, arranger, and saxophonist. He led a big band in Malmö (1942–9), was a member of Thore Ehrling’s orchestra in Stockholm (1949–52), and worked as a studio musician. From 1956 to 1965 he was the leader of Radiobandet (the Swedish Radio Big Band), which achieved considerable success in the USA. First presented there as the Jazztone Mystery Band (an invention of the writer George T. Simon), it was mistaken by several critics and well-known musicians for one of the leading American big bands, and it received considerable further acclaim through albums released under Arnold’s own name. The ensemble played in a modernized swing style and included such prominent Swedish and Norwegian musicians as Arne Domnérus, Bengt Hallberg, Bjarne Nerem, Åke Persson, Carl-Henrik Norin, Egil Johansson, and Georg Riedel. Benny Bailey, living in Sweden at that time, was also an intermittent member, and he recorded as a soloist with the group, as did Nat Adderley and Coleman Hawkins as guests (all on ...
(b Akkerman, now Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, May 6, 1921; d Thessalonikē, Dec 10, 2010). Greek composer, pianist, and conductor, of Greek-Romanian parentage. He entered the Bucharest University to study chemistry (1939) and continued his initial piano studies with Miron Şoarec at the Bucharest music academy and privately with the famous Dinu Lipatti. During WWII (1941–3) he served as member of the Royal Hellenic Air Force in the Libya front. In 1944 he won the first prize in the Eistedfodd Festival in Cairo, both in piano performance and composition. He conducted his first major symphonic work, Œdipe-roi, at the Cairo Opera in 1945. In 1947–8 he studied piano and composition at the Schola Cantorum, Paris, graduating with honours. He toured extensively all over the world either as recitalist or as accompanist for renowned soloists like Jacques Thibaud, Christian Ferras, and Henryk Szeryng. With French violinist Colette Frantz he founded and ran a music school and a chamber orchestra at Martinique (...
(b Stockholm, Sept 10, 1866; d Saltsjöbaden, March 1, 1914). Swedish violinist, composer and conductor, brother of Valborg Aulin. He studied from 1877 to 1883 with J. Lindberg (violin) and C. Nordqvist (theory) at the Swedish Royal Academy of Music and in Berlin from 1884 to 1886 with E. Sauret (violin) and P. Scharwenka (composition). He was active as an orchestral musician in the early years of his career and served as leader of the Swedish Hovkapell from 1889 to 1902. In 1887 he founded the Aulin Quartet, which made annual tours of Sweden and other northern European countries until it was disbanded in 1912; it specialized not only in the Classical repertory, particularly Beethoven, but in a wide-ranging representation of the works of Scandinavian composers, above all Berwald, Grieg, E. Sjögren and W. Stenhammar. From 1890 Aulin worked closely with Stenhammar, who also took part in most of the Aulin Quartet’s tours as pianist. His circle of friends also included Grieg and Sjögren....
( b Nizhniy Novgorod, Dec 21, 1836/Jan 2, 1837; d St Petersburg, 16/May 29, 1910). Russian composer, conductor, teacher and pianist .
Balakirev was the son of a minor government official. His musical education began with his mother’s piano tuition and proceeded to a course of summer lessons in Moscow with Aleksandr Dubuque. At that time the leading musical figure and patron in Nizhniy Novgorod (and author of books on Mozart and Beethoven) was Aleksandr Ulïbïshev, and it was through his household pianist and musical organizer Karl Eisrich that Balakirev’s induction to music, embracing the crucial discoveries of Chopin and Glinka, continued. Eisrich and Ulïbïshev provided Balakirev with further opportunities to play, read and listen to music, and to rehearse other musicians in orchestral and choral works, including, when he was 14, Mozart’s Requiem. His first surviving compositions date from the age of 15. Balakirev’s formal education began at the Gymnasium in Nizhniy Novgorod and continued after his mother’s death in ...
revised by Jonas Westover
(b Györ, Hungary, Apr 3, 1913; d San Jose, CA, June 22, 1996). American composer, conductor, and cellist of Hungarian birth. He took classes from Zoltán Kodály and studied composition with Leo Weiner at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest (1932–8), and he became well known as a cellist in Hungary. As a chamber musician, he made his mark through performances with the Pro Ideale Quartet, of which he was a founding member. He came to the United States shortly before World War II. From 1939 until 1943 he studied composition at Princeton University with ROGER SESSIONS and taught there as a cellist. He played cello with the San Francisco SO from 1946 to 1950, and continued performing chamber music in California. During this time, he also began composing regularly. An important move to Hawaii gave him the opportunity to conduct the Honolulu SO from ...
Charles Fox and Digby Fairweather
(b Welwyn Garden City, April 17, 1930). English jazz trombonist, arranger and bandleader. He studied the trombone and the double bass at the GSM in London, and formed his first traditional jazz band in 1949. In 1953 he helped to organize a band that was led by Ken Colyer, at that time the most ardent British propagandist for traditional New Orleans music. The following year Barber took over the band; Colyer was replaced by Pat Halcox, and the ensemble soon became one of the most popular and technically accomplished groups of its kind. From the mid-1950s Barber helped foster British interest in blues by bringing over such American musicians as Muddy Waters, the harmonica player Sonny Terry and the guitarist and singer Brownie McGhee. He made several tours of the USA beginning in 1959, and also recorded two albums with his American Jazz Band, which included Sidney De Paris, Edmond Hall and Hank Duncan. Barber expanded his interests, recording classic rags (scored for his band) long before the popular rediscovery of Scott Joplin, and working with musicians from other areas of jazz (notably the Jamaican saxophonists Bertie King and Joe Harriott). Renewed interest in traditional jazz in the early 1960s brought wide success to Barber and his group, which included as its singer his wife, Ottilie Patterson. After rhythm-and-blues achieved general popularity in the early 1960s he re-formed his group as Chris Barber’s Jazz and Blues Band, and, while retaining his roots in New Orleans jazz, engaged rock and blues musicians guitarist John Slaughter and the drummer Pete York. During the 1970s the band toured frequently in Europe. In ...
Gaynor G. Jones
revised by Christopher Fifield
(b Grosswanzleben, Saxony, June 5, 1850; d Magdeburg, Dec 25, 1923). German violinist, conductor and composer. He began his violin studies in 1856 with Franz Beck and continued with Joachim in Hanover (1863–7). A childhood accident forced him to bow left-handed. He had a series of appointments as leader of string quartets or orchestras in Münster at J.O. Grimm's invitation (1867), Krefeld (1882) and Marburg, where he was also music director of the university (1887–94). At Marburg he joined the close circle of friends around Brahms, of whom he wrote a two-volume biography. He moved to Hamburg in 1895 as Vernuth's successor to direct the Philharmonic Concerts as well as the Singakademie and, from 1908, the Hamburg Conservatory. Until 1913 he toured frequently with the Hamburg Lehrergesangverein. He appeared at St James's Hall in London on 4 June 1896, playing Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata and in Brahms's Piano Trio op.87. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Marburg University in ...
(b Genoa, Italy, May 15, 1902). Italian violinist, pianist, bandleader, arranger, and composer. In Genoa he studied violin and composition and played banjo for a brief period in an orchestra. He was the leader and an arranger for the group Blue Star (to 1931), of which Sid Phillips was a member, and the orchestra Cetra (from ...
revised by Christopher Fifield
(b Vienna, March 6, 1852; d Vienna, March 12, 1913). Austrian violinist, conductor and composer. He studied at the Vienna Conservatory with Georg and Joseph Hellmesberger (violin), Dachs (piano) and Bruckner (theory). He later played the violin in the Vienna Hofoper orchestra and, from 1885 to his retirement in 1898, was director of the ballet at that theatre. He travelled throughout Europe as a conductor and visited America in 1881 to conduct his operetta Der Chevalier von San Marco in New York. His other operettas include Menelaus (1892), Fräulein Hexe (1898) and Der Polizeichef (1904), while he also wrote two comic operas, Alien Fata and Der Goldasoka. It was, however, as a composer of some 22 ballets that he made his reputation; many of them were produced in Vienna or Berlin, the best-known being Die Puppenfee (1888).ES (W. Boetticher...
revised by Philippe Vendrix
(b Mannheim, Feb 20, 1734; d Bordeaux, Dec 31, 1809). German composer, conductor, violinist and organist, active in France. He received violin lessons from his father Johann Aloys Beck (d 27 May 1742), an oboist and choir school Rektor at the Palatine court whose name is listed in the calendars of 1723 and 1734. He also learnt the double bass, among other instruments, and eventually came under the tutelage of Johann Stamitz, who arrived in Mannheim in 1741. The Palatine court, under Carl Theodor, recognized Beck’s talent and undertook responsibility for his education.
Several sources maintain that Beck left the Palatinate at an early age to study composition with Galuppi in Venice. According to his pupil Blanchard (1845), however, Beck was the object of a jealous intrigue that involved him in a duel during which his opponent was supposedly killed (many years later Beck met his former opponent, who had only feigned death); Beck then presumably fled and travelled in Italy, giving concerts in principal cities. In any event, he spent several years in Venice before eloping to Naples with Anna Oniga, the daughter of his employer....
(b March 29, 1916, Blatná, Bohemia; d Nov 25, 1983, Bonn). Czech accordionist, composer, and bandleader. He was a leading performer and songwriter of Czech swing in the 1940s. Raised in Slaný near Prague, he began teaching himself accordion in the early 1930s, imitating British and American jazz recordings. In late 1935, Běhounek moved to Prague to study law, but his involvement in the Gramoklub orchestra as composer, arranger, and improvisatory soloist soon compelled him toward music professionally. His novel hot-jazz virtuosity on accordion won accolades from Jaroslav Ježek, R.A. Dvorský, and the Prague public. In 1936, he recorded two signature solo arrangements, Buggle Call Rag (sic) and Matlock’s Choo; by 1939 he had been featured with Harry Harden’s Orchestra, Dvorský’s Melody Boys, and the swing combo Blue Music alongside Jiří Traxler.
In the summer of 1939 Běhounek signed a five-year contract with Dvorský, which encompassed songwriting for Dvorský’s and ...