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Muḥammed ‘Abdu  

Lisa A. Urkevich

[Muḥammed ‘Abdu ‘Othmān Marzuq al-Dehel al-‘Asīrī]

(b Jizan, Saudi Arabia, 1949). Saudi singer, composer and ‘ūd (lute) player. His father was a well-known sailor who died when Muḥammed was two years old. Muḥammed began singing at the age of six, and at nine he received his first vocal training through the study of Qur'anic recitation, which, along with the call to prayer (adhān), he offered at school events. About the age of 13 he became involved with amateur traditional singers and learnt to play the ‘ūd. Because of his close proximity to Yemen, he encountered master musicians of the al-yamānī style. He gained a diploma in shipbuilding and was offered a scholarship to study in Japan, but declined the offer, preferring to become a professional musician. His first recognized composition was Hala yā bū sha'ar tha'ir (1965). He went on to record over 80 albums in a variety of styles, including popular Egyptian styles, but he has been most appreciated for his folkloric, traditional Saudi and Gulf pieces. He gained an international reputation and has often been called ‘...


Abe, Keiko  

J. Michele Edwards


(b Tokyo, April 18, 1937). Japanese marimba player and composer. After xylophone study with Eiichi Asabuki (1950–59), she earned two degrees from Tokyo Gakugei University, studying composition with Shosuke Ariga and Toshio Kashiwagi as well as percussion with Masao Imamura and Yusuke Oyake. An active professional performer since 1960, she has toured extensively in Europe, North America and Asia with annual recital tours since 1981. Through development of new technical skills and by expanding the repertory with over 70 commissions, she has contributed significantly to the status of marimba music, for which she was honoured by induction into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1993. After a decade of studio work and orchestral playing, she studied the performances of jazz artists such as Milt Jackson and Lionel Hampton in order to develop her own personal style of improvisation as a creative source for composition. Technically challenging yet idiomatic for the marimba, her works generally begin with improvisation and are later notated. Her compositions include wide dynamic ranges, techniques borrowed from folk music traditions and careful voicing of chords. Using four- and sometimes six-mallet technique, she often combines a melodic line with an impressionistic background of rhythmic patterns. Her performances of her compositions and those of other Japanese composers have been very influential on developments in the USA, especially since ...


Adam, Claus  

James Wierzbicki

( b Sumatra, Nov 5, 1917; d New York, July 4, 1983). American cellist and composer . He spent the first six years of his life in Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), where his father, Tassilo Adam, worked as an ethnologist; after the family returned to Europe he studied at the Salzburg Mozarteum. In 1929 the family moved to New York, where Adam studied the cello with E. Stoffnegen, D.C. Dounis and (from 1938 to 1940) Feuermann; he also studied conducting with Barzin and composition with Blatt, and was a member of the National Orchestral Association, a training group for young instrumentalists (1935–40). From 1940 to 1943 he was principal cellist of the Minneapolis SO. After serving in the US Air Force during World War II, he studied composition in New York with Wolpe. In 1948 he formed the New Music Quartet, with which he performed until ...


Adelburg, August  

Dezső Legány

[Abranovics, Ritter von August]

(b Pera, Turkey, Nov 1, 1830; d Vienna, Oct 20, 1873). Violinist and composer of Croatian and Italian descent. In his childhood he lived in Constantinople, where his father was in the Austrian diplomatic service; his mother was the Contessa Franchini. From the age of 12 he studied in Vienna, and against his father’s will chose an artistic career as a student of Mayseder (violin, 1850–54) and Hoffmann (composition). After 1855 he had a career as an excellent violinist in various cities including Prague, Leipzig and (in 1858) Paris; he married in Pest in 1859. Nevertheless, he always remained close to the spirit of the orient, as is manifested in his literary works (e.g. Orientalische Musik). Among his 120 works there were operas composed to his own librettos, including the spectacular but short-lived Zrinyi (Pest, 1868, after Körner), Martinuzzi (Buda, 1870), choral works (a mass, ...


Akiyoshi, Toshiko  

J. Bradford Robinson

(b Dairen, China, Dec 12, 1929). Japanese jazz composer, pianist and bandleader. She studied classical music and turned to jazz only in 1947 after moving to Japan. There she was discovered by Oscar Peterson, who urged her to take up a career in the USA. After studying at Berklee College of Music (1956–9) she became a highly regarded bop pianist, especially in groups with the alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano (who was at that time her husband). She worked in Japan (1961), joined Charles Mingus in the USA (1962–3), then returned to Japan until 1965. In 1973 she founded a large rehearsal band in Los Angeles with the tenor saxophonist and flautist Lew Tabackin, whom she had married in 1969. Its first album, Kogun (1974, RCA), was commercially successful in Japan, and the group attracted increasing popularity and critical acclaim until, by ...


‘Abd al-Qādir  

Owen Wright

[ibn Ghaybī al-Marāghi]

(b Maragh; d Herat, 1435). Timurid composer, performer and theorist. He first rose to prominence in the service of the Jalā’irid rulers of Iraq and Azerbaijan, al-Ḥusayn (1374–82) and Aḥmad (1382–1410). After the conquest of Baghdad by Tīmūr (1393), most of his career was spent in Samarkand and, especially, Herat, at the courts of Tīmūr and of his successors al-Khalīl (1404–9) and Shāh Rukh (1409–47).

‘Abd al-Qādir was one of the most important and influential theorists of the Systematist school. His most substantial surviving works are the Jāmi‘ al-al ḥān (‘Compendium of melodies’), largely completed in 1405 and revised in 1413, and the slighter Maqāṣid al-al ḥān (‘Purports of melodies’), which covers essentially the same ground and probably dates from 1418. Written in Persian, which was by then the language of culture, these works proved particularly influential among later 15th-century theorists; but although both thoughtful and highly competent, on the theoretical side they may be regarded as, essentially, restatements and amplifications of the theory elaborated by ...


Ali-Zadeh, Franghiz  

Marina Lobanova

(Ali Aga Kïzï)

(b Baku, May 28, 1947). Azerbaijani composer and pianist. She studied at the Music School attached to the Azerbaijan State Conservatory (1954–65) and then at the conservatory itself (composition with Kara Karayev and the piano with Khalilov), graduating in 1970 as a pianist and 1972 as a composer. She then attended a postgraduate course under Karayev (1974–6) and at the same time served as his assistant (1970–76) before being appointed assistant professor (1976–89) and then professor (1996 onwards). During the 1960s and 70s she encouraged the dissemination of new music by giving the first performances in Azerbaijan of works by Berg, Cage, Crumb, Messiaen and Schoenberg as well as playing works by Soviet composers such as Denisov, Gubaydulina and Schnittke. She also frequently took part in festivals around the former Soviet Union, while in 1988 she was elected to join the Friends of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute of Los Angeles and in ...


Alizadeh, Hossein  

Laudan Nooshin

(b Tehran, 1951). Iranian tār and setār player, teacher and composer. He studied at the National Music Conservatory in Tehran from the age of 13 and then at the University of Tehran from 1970 to 1974; his teachers included Habibollah Salehi, Ali Akbar Shahnazi, Nur Ali Borumand, Abdollah Davami, Mahmud Karimi, Yusef Forutan, Said Hormozi, Dariush Safvate and Hooshang Zarif. From 1971 Alizadeh studied and taught at the influential Centre for the Preservation and Propagation of Iranian Music in Tehran; he later taught music theory and tār at the University of Tehran. In 1976 he began his association with Iranian National Radio and Television, working as a soloist, a composer and a conductor. He co-founded the Chavosh Cultural Artistic Centre in 1977 and the Aref Ensemble in 1983; he also worked with the Sheyda Ensemble. In the early 1980s he studied musicology and composition at the University of Berlin. In ...


Arutiunian, Aleksandr Grigori  

Svetlana Sarkisyan

(b Yerevan, Sept 23, 1920; d Yerevan, March 28, 2012). Armenian composer and pianist. At the Komitas Conservatory in Yerevan he studied composition (with Barkhudaryan and Tal′yan) and the piano (with O. Babasyan), graduating in 1941. He continued his studies at the Moscow Conservatory with Litinsky, Peyko and Zuckermann (1946–8). He was artistic director of the Armenian Philharmonic Society between 1954 and 1990. He began to teach composition at the Yerevan Conservatory in 1965, and was appointed to a professorship in 1977. He joined the Union of Composers in 1939 and the Union of Cinematographers of Armenia in 1975. He was awarded the State Prize of the USSR in 1949 for his graduation work Kautat hayreinki masin (‘Cantata on the Homeland’), and was made a People’s Artist of Armenia in 1960. He received numerous awards in Armenia, the USA and elsewhere.

The development in the late 1940s of Arutiunian’s artistic perception, with its dualism between Classical and Romantic elements, coincided with the development of vitalist trends in Soviet art of the postwar period. Arutiunian’s individual response to vitalism involved a spontaneous and improvisatory approach which drew on Armenia’s cultural heritage, revealing the immanent potential of the national melodic style and the energy of its rhythms. Elements of vitalism also conditioned other aspects of Arutiunian’s music: his preservation of Classical sequences of contrasting movements and his use of Baroque forms and genres, especially suites and concertos. The concertante principle influences not only his concertos and other orchestral and chamber works, but also the opera ...


Aṣ, Jamīl al-  

Abdel-Hamid Hamam

(b Jan 17, 1929). Jordanian traditional composer, singer and buzuq player of Palestinian Gypsy origin. At an early age he joined a group of Gypsy musicians as a singer and player of the ‘ūd (short-necked lute) and the buzuq (long-necked lute), and performed at weddings and other celebrations in Jerusalem and the neighbouring villages. He began to learn religious chants and Qur’anic recitation at the age of nine. In 1949 he joined the choir of the broadcasting service in Ramallah, and in 1959 he joined the music section of the newly established radio station in Amman. In 1963 he was appointed leader of the radio station’s music ensemble; he held this position for several years, during which he performed many of his songs and also had the opportunity to join a group of researchers making a field survey of folk heritage including Jordanian folk singing and music in an area covering both banks of the river Jordan. As a ...


Aṭrash, Farīd al-  

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....


Azerbayev, Kenen  

Alma Kunanbayeva

(b Maty-Bulak, Semirechye [now Krasnogorsk], 1884; d Almata, 1976). Kazakh traditional composer, singer, narrator and dömbra player. He was born to the family of a poor herder and lost his mother when he was seven years old. His family was musically talented and Azerbayev gained the nickname Bala-aqyn (‘Child-singer’) early in his life. At the age of ten or 11 he wrote the songs Ri qoyïm (‘Shoo, my Sheep’, a shepherds' cry) and Boz torgai (‘Sparrow’), which revealed his outstanding talent and became widely popular. Kazakh and Kyrgyz musicians often met in the region of Semirechye, and Azerbayev became famous as a performer of Kyrgyz songs and the Manas epic as well as the Kazakh traditional repertory; his songs also became popular in Kyrgyzstan. More than 200 of his works were recorded by the folklorists B. Erzakovich and A. Serikbayeva. Azerbayev's songs are stylistically linked with aqyn genres of recitation in their melodic construction, which follow the rhythm and meaning of the verse. He composed many songs in response to important events in Kazakhstan; songs such as ...


Babadjanian, Aṙno Harutyuni  

Svetlana Sarkisyan

(b Yerevan, Jan 22, 1921; d Yerevan, Nov 11, 1983). Armenian composer and pianist. He graduated from Talian’s composition class at the Yerevan Conservatory in 1947, and in 1948 from Igumnov’s piano class at the Moscow Conservatory; his composition studies were continued under Litinsky at the House of Armenian Culture in Moscow (1946–8). He taught the piano at the Yerevan Conservatory (1950–56) and was himself a brilliant pianist. In 1971 he was made a People’s Artist of the USSR. His music draws on Khachaturian and Rachmaninoff, but is unmistakably individual, particularly in its scoring. The piano works are in a virtuoso style, liberal in their use of touch, texture, rhythm and register, and with expressive leading parts. This style was formed in the 1940s; later he introduced Prokofiev-like chromaticism, Bartókian rhythm and Schoenbergian dodecaphony into his music, achieving his best work in the Violin Sonata, the Cello Concerto and the ...


Cornejo, Rodolfo S(oldevilla)  

Lucrecia R. Kasilag

(b Manila, May 15, 1909; d Manila, August 11, 1991). Filipino composer, conductor and pianist. In 1930 he graduated from the Conservatory of the University of the Philippines with teacher’s diplomas in piano and in theory and composition; he then studied at the Chicago Musical College (BMus 1932, MMus 1933) and the Neotarian College of Philosophy, Kansas City (PhD 1947). He taught at the University of the Philippines Conservatory (1930–34) and was director and professor at the Manila (1934–9, 1949–52) and Cosmopolitan College (1948–9) conservatories. During World War II he appeared as a pianist and conductor in the USA, Canada, Europe and Hawaii. He was a state cultural adviser (1958–60) and founder-president of the National Federation of Music. He lectured in humanities at the University of the City of Manila (1968–75), and after 1978 worked mainly in the USA, appearing as a composer-conductor at the Seattle Opera House....


Custodio, Bernardino  

Lucrecia R. Kasilag


(b Manila, May 20, 1911). Filipino composer, conductor and pianist. After a four-year scholarship under Alexander Lippay, he graduated from the Conservatory of the University of the Philippines in 1930 and then taught theory and the piano at the same institution, continuing his composition and conducting studies there with Lippay, Jenő Takács and Herbert Zipper. In 1959 he took the MA at the University of Santo Tomas and travelled to the USA on a Smith-Mundt grant. He was director of the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory (1958–61), associate conductor of the Manila SO for several years, dean of the Yamaha School of Music, and a member of the executive board of the National Music Council of the Philippines. Most of his compositions, written in a late-Romantic style, were burnt during World War II; notable among his works were the Malayan Suite for orchestra (1932), piano solos such as ...


Demiriş, Okan  

Münir Nurettin Beken

(b Feb 9, 1942). Turkish composer, conductor and violinist. He studied the violin at the Istanbul Municipal Conservatory, with Ekrem Zeki Ün, and at the Ankara State Conservatory. His early instrumental works draw on Turkish traditional music, while his later compositions display a more eclectic range of influences. With colourful orchestration, Demiriş combines a characteristically Turkish harmonic style with atonality, polymodality and the modal scales of Turkish traditional music in his three operas. Islamic mysticism and Turkish military music are major sources of inspiration. The librettos of his operas are from legendary subjects: Karyağdı Hatun, for example, is about a pregnant holy woman who craves snow in summer so makes it snow. His works are often performed by state institutions in Turkey with his wife, the soprano Leyla Demiriş, in the leading role. Demiriş has an honorary doctorate from Bosphorus University.

(selective list)


Djamin, Yazeed  

Franki Raden

(b Jakarta, 1952). Indonesian composer, conductor and pianist. After early piano lessons he entered the YPM music school at the age of nine, then studied composition and the piano with Sutarno Sutikno and Frans Haryadi at the Jakarta Institute of the Arts. In 1972 and 1974 Djamin won the Electone Festival championship. He lived in the USA between 1974 and 1988, initially studying composition and the piano at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, and also studying conducting. In 1988 he obtained the doctorate in piano performance from the Catholic University of America. His American awards include the Otto Ortman Award for composition (1975, 1976) and the Peabody Concerto Competition for piano performance. In Indonesia Djamin has been active as a composer, conductor and pianist. He established the highly regarded Nusantara Chamber Orchestra in 1988; in 1994 he became composer-in-residence and supervisor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Malaysia....


Dmitriev, Igor  

Sergey Belichenko

(Konstantinovich )

(b Tashkent, Uzbekistan SSR [now Uzbekistan], Nov 24, 1949). Russian pianist, composer, and leader. He entered the conservatory in Tashkent in 1958 and graduated in 1968. After moving to Novosibirsk (1969) he appeared at the city’s third jazz festival and studied at the conservatory (to 1973). He worked in groups with Sergey Belichenko, among them Jazz Golden Years (1977), alongside the trumpeter Valery Kolesnikov, the trombonist Victor Budarin, Anatoly Vapirov, and the double bass player Ivars Galneiks; Vladimir Tolkachev also played with the group, as did the vibraphonist Igor Uvarov. Dmitriev taught jazz at Novosibirsk Musical College from 1976, and in that same year he organized his own trio, with which he performed at festivals in the USSR. In 1981 he formed a duo with Uvarov, and he also joined the Western Siberian Jazz Quartet. From 1984 he led the jazz quintet at the conservatory in Novosibirsk. In ...


Eksanishvili, Eleonora  

Olga Manulkina


(b Tbilisi, Feb 11, 1919). Georgian composer, pianist and teacher. At the Tbilisi Conservatory she studied the piano with A. Tulashvili and composition with A. Ryazanov and Andria Balanchivadze, graduating in 1940 and 1945 respectively. In 1947 and 1950 she was a postgraduate student at the Moscow Conservatory, studying with Goldenweiser (piano) and Litinsky and Shebalin (composition). In 1944 she began her career as a pianist and teacher; she has taught in Tbilisi at the First Music College, the Paliashvili Central Music School and, from 1953, at the conservatory, where she was appointed professor in 1973. On Eksanishvili’s initiative, the first Georgian experimental school-studio was set up in 1973; the teachers there have used the method she expounded in her textbook Aisi (published 1972) of developing creative abilities using Georgian folksong. Eksanishvili’s piano music, comprising original compositions, transcriptions of works by Georgian composers and music for children, is the most significant part of her output. In ...


Elizalde, Fred  

Walter Starkie

revised by Charles Fox and Alyn Shipton


(b Manila, Dec 12, 1907; d Manila, Jan 16, 1979). Filipino bandleader, pianist, conductor and composer of Spanish parentage. He studied at the Madrid Conservatory, with, among others, Trago and Perez Casas. In 1921 he went to England for two years' study at St Joseph's College, London, and later entered Stanford University, California, where his parents intended him to study law. However, under the influence of Bloch, with whom he had composition lessons, he left in 1926 to give his attention to music. At this point his fascination for jazz and dance music began, and he led the Stanford University Band for a season at the Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, while continuing formal composition studies. After cutting his first discs with his Cinderella Roof Orchestra in Hollywood, he returned to England to read law at Cambridge University (where his brother, the saxophonist Manuel (Lizz) Elizalde, was also a student) in ...