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Kathleen Dale

revised by Axel Helmer


(b Stockholm, Jan 19, 1860; d Stockholm, Jan 20, 1938). Swedish composer, organist and conductor. He attended the Swedish Royal Academy of Music (1882–6), studying counterpoint and composition with J. Dente, and was a pupil of Franck in Paris (1887–8). In Stockholm he was coach at the Royal Opera (1888–90), organist at the synagogue (1890–1928), music teacher at Norrmalm’s grammar school (1895–1923) and teacher at Richard Anderssons Musikskola (1897–1909). From 1886 he conducted several choirs, including the Bellman Choir (1895–1926), which he also founded, and the Philharmonic Society (1900–03). Åkerberg’s compositions often approach the style of Swedish folk music, especially the ballads Kung Svegder and Prinsessan och Svennen. They are technically sound but conventional.

MSS in S-Skma, Svenska Tonsättares Internationella Musikbyrå


(b Paris, Nov 30, 1813; d Paris, March 29, 1888). French pianist and composer. His real name was Morhange. He was one of the leading piano virtuosos of the 19th century and one of its most unusual composers, remarkable in both technique and imagination, yet largely ignored by his own and succeeding generations.

Of Jewish parentage, Alkan was the eldest of five brothers, all of whom, with an elder sister as well, became musicians under the assumed name Alkan; Napoléon Alkan, the third brother (1826–1910), taught solfège at the Paris Conservatoire for over 50 years. Valentin Alkan’s career at the Conservatoire started brilliantly with a premier prix for solfège at the age of seven. When Alkan was nine Cherubini observed that he was ‘astonishing for his age’ and described his ability on the piano as ‘extraordinary’. He won a premier prix for piano in 1824, for harmony in ...


Nicholas Temperley and Nigel Burton

(b Bedford, 1/July 15, 1802; d Leckhampton, April 16, 1890). English composer. E.F. Rimbault (Obituary, MT, xxxi, 1890, p.285) is alone in giving his date of birth as 1 July 1802. Barnett's father, Bernhard Beer, was a Prussian diamond merchant of Jewish extraction who is said to have been a cousin of Meyerbeer; on settling in England he changed his surname to Barnett. His mother, a Hungarian, died while he was a child. As a small boy John ‘sang like a bird’; in later childhood his fine alto voice attracted much attention. At the age of 11 he was articled to S.J. Arnold, proprietor of the Lyceum Theatre, London, making his first stage appearance in The Shipwreck on 22 July 1813, and he continued to sing on the stage until 1818. He studied the piano with Ries, Pérez and Kalkbrenner, and composition with William Horsley and C.E. Horn....


Leonardo Pinzauti

(b Livorno, Nov 29, 1818; d Florence, Nov 25, 1885). Italian music critic. Brought up in a wealthy Jewish family, he embarked simultaneously on classical and musical studies. He graduated in medicine from Pisa University and studied composition under Pietro Romani, having an opera performed in Florence in 1840 and another in 1847. Both were unsuccessful with the general public, although praised by some connoisseurs. Giving up composition, he soon became a prominent figure in Florentine cultural life as a critic and organizer. He founded and edited the journal L'armonia (1856–9). Through him began the Mattinate Beethoveniane, a series of concerts from which derived the Società del Quartetto di Firenze (1861), whose journal Boccherini (1862–82) he also edited, as well as a cycle of concerts of dramatic music (1865) dedicated to classic Italian opera composers such as Sacchini and Spontini, then largely forgotten. In ...


G.V. Kopïtova

(Yakovlevich) [Aron-Moysha]

(b Termakhovka, Kiev Province, Dec 28, 1892; d Kiev, Aug 12, 1961). Ukrainian ethnomusicologist. From 1915 to 1920 he studied composition at the Kiev Conservatory with Yavorsky; he also led choirs and taught music in Jewish schools. He continued his composition studies at the Petrograd Conservatory with Steinberg (1922–4) and from 1927 he concentrated on the methodology of folklore studies with Kvitka at the musical ethnography department of the Ukrainian SSR Academy of Sciences in Kiev. From 1929 to 1949 he headed the department for musical folklore at the Institute of Jewish Proletarian Culture of the academy (in 1936 the Institute was reduced to the Cabinet of the study of the Jewish language, literature and folklore; in 1949 it was liquidated). He undertook numerous expeditions to transcribe Jewish musical folklore (1200 recorded cylinders, 4000 transcriptions), and he collected and transcribed Ukrainian, and later Bashkir folklore material. He also taught at the Kiev Conservatory (...


Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

English family of singers.

(b ?1768/9; d London Jan 15, 1838). Soprano and actress. She was said to have had Italian Jewish parents who came to England when she was very young and, despite reports of a certificate stating that she was born and baptized at Caen in Normandy in September 1770, it seems almost certain that she was the ‘Italian Lady (four years old)’ who sang with the conjurer Breslaw and his Italian company at Hughes's Riding School near Blackfriars Bridge in May 1773. After further seasons with Breslaw she sang in 1780 with an Italian puppet show and the next year was in a pastoral medley at the Italian Opera and sang Cupid in King Arthur at Drury Lane. Miss Romanzini was a leading member of Charles Dibdin's child company at the Royal Circus, and then sang principal female roles in English operas in Dublin in ...


Ronald Crichton

(b London, March 20, 1774; d London, Feb 17, 1856). English tenor and composer. His origins are obscure: both parents (his father is variously described as a German or Portuguese Jew) died when he was young. At the Great Synagogue in Duke’s Place the boy’s voice attracted the attention of the singer Leoni (Meyer Leon) and of the financier Abraham Goldsmid. Leoni, sometimes described as Braham’s uncle, trained him and introduced him as a boy soprano at Covent Garden on 21 April 1787, when he sang Arne’s The Soldier, Tir'd of War's Alarms, from Artaxerxes, and later at the Royalty Theatre, Wellclose Square. When Leoni went to the West Indies and Braham’s voice broke, with Goldsmid’s help he became a piano teacher. After his voice had settled he spent three years at Bath studying with Venanzio Rauzzini. He made some appearances there, and met Nancy Storace, a former pupil of Rauzzini. As a result he was engaged in ...


Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson



Gerald Abraham

(b Goldingen, Courland [now Kuldīga, Latvia], 3/March 15, 1838; d Moscow, 14/Feb 26, 1889). Russian cellist, composer and administrator. The son of a Jewish doctor and amateur violinist (Davidhoff), he studied mathematics at Moscow University, graduating in June 1858. He then went to Leipzig to study composition with Moritz Hauptmann. Moscheles and Ferdinand David happened to hear him play, and he was invited to perform his own B minor Concerto with the Gewandhaus Orchestra on 15 December. In the following year he succeeded Friedrich Grützmacher as principal cellist of the orchestra and cello professor at the conservatory; against his will, he was obliged to recognize his vocation as a cellist rather than as a composer. Despite his notorious distaste for intensive practising he was soon acclaimed as one of the greatest players of his day, superb as a soloist, perhaps even finer in chamber music....


Victor de Pontigny

revised by Paul Sparks

(b Heilbronn, 1802; d Styria, 1890). German jew's harp and guitar player. After an initial lack of success in his native country, he travelled through Switzerland in 1825–6, eventually arriving in Paris where he worked as a guitar virtuoso. In 1827 his op.1 (a set of 12 airs for solo guitar) was published by Richault in Paris, and in the same year he appeared in London as a guitarist and jew's harpist. He produced extremely beautiful effects by performing on 16 jew's harps, having for many years cultivated this instrument in an extraordinary manner. The patronage of the Duke of Gordon induced him to return to London in 1828; but he soon found that the iron jew's harp had so injured his teeth that he could not play without pain, and he therefore spent more time playing the guitar. At length a dentist devised a glutinous covering for his teeth, which enabled him to play his jew's harp again. He was very successful in Scotland and thence went to Bath (...


Jeremy Leong

(b Vienna, March 9, 1885; d Vienna, May 27, 1964). Austrian Jewish music historian, educator, and critic. In 1912 he graduated from Vienna’s Imperial Academy of Science with a doctoral dissertation entitled Die indische Musik der vedischen und der klassischen Zeit (‘The Indian Music of the Vedic and the Classical Period’) under the supervision of Leopold Shröder. Felber’s dissertation remains an authoritative source for modern scholars interested in the recitation techniques and ethos of early South Asian music. Prior to his arrival in China, he was active in the Indian community in Vienna and had given lectures on Indian music at the Indian Club. Furthermore, he felt privileged to have met the legendary Nobel laureate Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore who was also a noted musician. During their meeting, Tagore shared his views on the aesthetics of European music and Indian classical music with him. After the Anschluss (...


Efrim Fruchtman

revised by Valerie Walden

(b Neuberg, Feb 15, 1768; d Berlin, c1857). German cellist, baryton player and composer. A member of a musical family, he received his general musical education from Hofmusikus Simon. His first position was as a court musician in Mannheim, where he studied the cello with Peter Ritter. Friedl was equally respected as a baryton player, and following a performance at Schwetzingen was given by Prince Carl Theodore of Mannheim an inlaid and bejewelled instrument made by Joachim Tielke. In 1793, on returning from a concert tour in the Netherlands, he performed at Frankfurt for an audience which included Friedrich Wilhelm II, who then engaged him for the Royal Chapel in Berlin. He subsequently studied the cello with Jean-Louis Duport, to whom he dedicated his three cello sonatas op.1 (Offenbach, 1798). Friedl was pensioned in 1826; his name appeared in the Berlin Address Calendar until 1857.

Very little is known of Friedl's compositions. Eitner's ...


David Brodbeck, Tihamér Hlavacsek, and Balázs Mikusi

(b Keszthely, May 18, 1830; d Vienna, Jan 2, 1915). Late Habsburg composer.

Goldmark was born in the Kingdom of Hungary, then a part of the Austrian Empire, into a Jewish family of modest means. He was the second of his parents’ 12 children (eight sons and four daughters). His father, Ruben Goldmark, was a cantor, a vocation he began to pursue after emigrating to Hungary from his native Galicia following the death of his first wife. The only child from that earlier marriage was a son, named Joseph, who would eventually play a significant role in his half-brother’s intellectual development and musical career. When Carl was four, the family settled in Deutschkreuz, one of the most pious of the Siebengemeinde (Seven Communities, Sheva Kehillot) created along the border with Lower Austria as a refuge for the Jews following their expulsion from Vienna in 1670. Carl received a traditional religious upbringing but little formal schooling of the secular sort. His mother tongue presumably was Western Yiddish. He never learned to speak Hungarian—this was not at all unusual at the time in this region of Hungary—and did not learn to read or write German until he was 12, when he began taking violin lessons in nearby Ödenburg (today Sopron), or begin to speak proper German until after arriving in Vienna two years later to begin violin studies with Leopold Jansa....


Irving Lowens

revised by S. Frederick Starr

(b New Orleans, May 8, 1829; d Tijuca, Brazil, Dec 18, 1869). American composer and pianist. His considerable reputation as a composer of virtuoso piano pieces did not long survive his death, but a renewed interest in his life and works began in the 1930s and he is now generally acknowledged as one of the most significant 19th-century American musicians, and his music as a direct precursor of ragtime.

Moreau (as he was called in the family) was the first of eight children born to Edward and Marie-Aimée (Bruslé) Gottschalk. His London-born, German-Jewish father went to New Orleans in the early 1820s and established himself there as a merchant; his mother was the daughter of a prosperous Catholic baker of French ancestry who had fled from St Domingue in Haiti to Louisiana following the slave rebellion in the 1790s. The child showed an aptitude for music before his fourth birthday, and when he was five his parents engaged François Letellier, organist and choirmaster of St Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, to give him private lessons. By ...


Irena Poniatowska

(b Szkłów, [now Belorussia], Sept 2, 1806; d Aachen, Oct 21, 1837). Polish xylophonist. Born into a poor family of Jewish musicians, Guzikow was, in his early years, a street player of the dulcimer and flute. After an illness had weakened his lungs, he took up the xylophone. He improved the instrument, extending its range to two and a half chromatic octaves and placing the keys on straw rolls in order to amplify the sound. Within three years he had become a master of the instrument, and his concert performances in Kiev, Moscow and Odessa in 1834 aroused great admiration. Encouraged by Lipiński, Lamartine and Michaud, he set off on a concert tour of Europe. In May 1835 he played in Kraków, Warsaw and Lemberg, and subsequently in Bohemia and in Vienna, Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris and Brussels, always to enthusiastic audiences: Mendelssohn and George Sand were among those who were impressed by his playing. Guzikow’s concerts often featured a guest soloist, for example Kalkbrenner at a Paris concert in the Tuileries. Guzikow’s repertory consisted of his own works, particularly fantasias on Polish themes. He also played transcriptions of piano and violin concertos by Weber, Hummel, Hoffmeister and Paganini, whose ...



(b Paris, May 27, 1799; d Nice, March 17, 1862). French composer, teacher and writer on music. His parents were Jewish; his father, Elias Levy, was a scholar and poet from Fürth, and his mother, Julie Meyer, came from Malzéville, near Nancy. The family name was changed to Halévy in 1807. Fromental’s musical ability was evident very early and in 1810 he entered the Paris Conservatoire. In 1811 he became a pupil of Cherubini for composition, an important step, for Cherubini showed great interest and confidence in Halévy and guided his career with all his considerable influence. Halévy acknowledged a profound debt to his teacher; his brother Léon wrote: ‘The teaching and friendship of Cherubini implanted in Halévy his love of great art and confirmed his instinctive repugnance to everything vulgar or shoddy’. He was also a pupil of H.-M. Berton (for harmony) and Méhul. In 1816 and ...


Christopher Smith

(b Paris, Jan 1, 1834; d Paris, May 8, 1908). French librettist . He belonged to a distinguished Jewish family; his uncle was the composer Fromental Halévy, and his father, Léon, was respected in literary circles. On leaving the renowned Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris he had little difficulty, despite an unimpressive academic record, in obtaining civil service appointments. Plainly he had both ability and the benefits of patronage. His interests, however, lay in the theatre. Initially he adopted the pseudonym Jules Servières, and later, in 1858, when working with Crémieux on the libretto for Orphée aux enfers (with which Offenbach was to have such a significant success), he is said to have insisted that the credit and the royalties should go to his collaborator; at a time when his prospects in colonial administration were especially promising, he was afraid his reputation might be blighted by association with opéra comique...


E. Van Der Straeten

revised by David Charlton

(b Nordhausen, June 19, 1780; d Göttingen, June 2, 1846). German musical educationist and writer. He was the nephew of Gottlieb Heinroth, a singer, harpist and composer. He received his early musical instruction from his father, organist of the Peterskirche, Nordhausen. At the universities of Leipzig (1798) and Halle (1800) he studied literature, theology and education. His second post (1804) was at Israel Jacobson’s boarding school at Seesen, where he taught and composed new devotional music for the Jewish communities of Kassel and Berlin. At this period hatred of the French occupation prompted him to write popular songs against Napoleon which were circulated in manuscript.

In 1818, on Forkel’s death, Heinroth was invited to become musical director of the University of Göttingen. His predecessor’s great reputation made this a demanding position, but from the beginning Heinroth showed considerable enterprise. He formed and directed a choral society, lectured in both music and theology, and in ...


Ronald Earl Booth

revised by Matthias Thiemel


(b Pest, May 15, 1813; d Paris, Jan 14, 1888). French pianist and composer of Hungarian birth. His parents were of Jewish descent and came from the vicinity of Eger (Cheb, Bohemia). He was first taught music by a regimental bandsman stationed near the Hungarian capital, and then by Ferenc Bräuer, a well-known piano teacher in Pest. He took composition lessons from an organist called Cibulka and then went to Vienna to study with Carl Czerny, but his father soon found that he could not afford the celebrated teacher’s high fees. Stephen became a pupil of Anton Halm, the teacher of Adolf Henselt and other 19th-century virtuosos. Through Halm, Heller met Schubert and Beethoven. In 1828 he made his début, and his success encouraged his father to arrange a concert tour through Hungary, Transylvania, Poland and Germany. It lasted almost two years and ended in Augsburg, where he collapsed from nervous exhaustion; intending to stay only a few weeks to recover, he remained for eight years. During this time he lived in the home of Frau Caroline Hoeslin von Eichthal, a highly intelligent and artistic woman whose son became one of his first pupils. He also came under the patronage and guidance of the cultivated Count Friedrich Fugger-Kircheim-Hoheneck, a gifted musician who encouraged him to study composition under Hippolyte Chelard, the Kapellmeister in Augsburg....


Reinhold Sietz

revised by Matthias Wiegandt


(b Frankfurt, Oct 24, 1811; d Cologne, May 11, 1885). German conductor, composer and teacher. He was the son of a wealthy Jewish merchant and revealed an outstanding talent for music at a very early age. His principal piano teacher was Alois Schmitt, in his day one of Frankfurt's most discriminating pianists. When he was ten Hiller played a concerto by Mozart at a public concert. Several important artists showed an interest in him, among them Spohr, Speyer, Moscheles and Mendelssohn who became Hiller's closest friend and on whose recommendation he went to Weimar to become one of Hummel's pupils (1825–7). During his stay there he met Goethe, played in concerts at court and at Goethe's home and composed various pieces of incidental music for the Weimar theatres and society. He also accompanied Hummel to Vienna to visit Beethoven on his deathbed. After returning to Frankfurt he continued to study and compose and made occasional concert tours. In ...