(b Dallas, TX, Jan 26, 1922; d Suffern, NY, Nov 4, 1999). American recorder player, editor, teacher, and conductor. His early musical experience included playing the trumpet in small jazz bands and in Broadway pit bands and arranging music for shows in New York. While studying with erich Katz at the New York College of Music he developed an interest in early music. He learned to play the recorder, crumhorn, sackbut, and viola da gamba and arranged and directed medieval and Renaissance music. He edited music for the American Recorder Society, which published several of his compositions, and later was general editor of the series Music for Recorders (Associated Music Publishers). He took part in the debut of the New York Pro Musica Antiqua under Noah Greenberg in 1953 and rejoined them from 1960 until 1970; during this time he became director of the instrumental consort and assistant director of the Renaissance band. He toured internationally with them and played on many recordings. In ...
(b Antwerp, Belgium, Nov 23, 1897; d Philadelphia, PA, June 12, 1980). Music publisher and conductor of Belgian birth. He was trained at the Antwerp and Amsterdam conservatories and played violin in the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam before coming to the United States in 1920. He joined the Philadelphia Orchestra as a viola player and was appointed chorus master and assistant conductor of the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company in 1927. In 1926 he opened a music shop in Philadelphia and two years later was joined by Adolph Vogel (a cellist in the Philadelphia Orchestra) in the establishment of the music publishing firm Elkan–vogel . Elkan became first conductor of the Trenton Civic Orchestra in 1933 and conductor and music director of the Philadelphia Ballet Company in 1935; he founded the Dra-Mu Opera Company in 1945. He left Elkan-Vogel in 1952 but opened his own publishing house, Henri Elkan Music Publisher, Inc., in ...
(b Vienna, Austria, Nov 15, 1894; d Manhasset, NY, April 26, 1982). Music editor, conductor, and teacher of Austrian birth. After initially studying cello, Greissle attended the University of Vienna where he studied musicology with Guido Adler. In 1920 he became a private student of arnold Schoenberg and a rehearsal coach in Schoenberg’s Society for Private Musical Performances. In 1921 he married Schoenberg’s oldest daughter Gertrud. As conductor of the Vienna State Opera’s Cantata Society (1924–37) Greissle premiered Schoenberg’s Woodwind Quintet in 1924 and arranged several of his works, including Five Pieces for Orchestra, op.16 for chamber ensemble. After the Anschluss he fled with his family to the United States and settled in New York. There he worked as music editor for G. Schirmer (1938–46) and thereafter for Edward B. Marks. Greissle taught music theory and rehearsal techniques both privately and at Columbia University, the Philadelphia Academy of Music, the 92nd Street Y, and the New School for Social Research....
(b Brunswick, MO, Feb 7, 1882; d New York, NY, March 9, 1961). American clarinetist, bandleader, composer, and music publisher. His first professional engagement (c1897–8) was with a “pickaninny” band led by Nathaniel Clark Smith. In 1902 he was assistant leader of P.G. Lowery’s band with Forepaugh and Sells Circus and later that year joined Mahara’s Minstrels band under the leadership of W.C. Handy. In 1903 he formed his own band in Minneapolis, where he made the first recordings by an African American band. Sweatman moved to Chicago in 1908, where he led trios at the Grand and Monogram theaters. In 1911 he made his first vaudeville appearance, and in late 1916 made the first records recognizable as jazz performances. In 1918 Sweatman’s band was signed to an exclusive recording contract with Columbia, their records rivalling those by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. He continued to work through the 1920s and early 1930s in vaudeville, and in ...
(b Plzeň, Sept 29, 1882; d Iriški Venac, March 27, 1938). Yugoslav music publisher, conductor, composer, violinist of Czech origin. After working as a freelance musician in Sofia, Bulgaria (1897–1903), he settled in Belgrade in 1903 where he took the post of concertmaster in the National Theater (1904–09) and temporarily in the Orchestra of ‘Kraljeva garda’ [King’s guards]. He was also the conductor and director of several singing societies (‘Lira’ [Lyre], ‘Harmonija’ [Harmony], etc.) as well as of his own salon orchestra which performed regularly in the hotel ‘Moskva’ [Moscow] (1908–14). He was a founder and owner of the publishing house ‘Edition Frajt’, (1921–41), which was dedicated solely to music publishing. It released more than 800 volumes consisting mostly of the works of Austrian, Yugoslav, German, Russian, Czech, and Hungarian composers. The largest part of the collection comprised arias from operettas and operas, arrangements of folk songs and folk dances, salon lyrical character pieces, and popular songs and dances. In addition to the works of established Serbian composers from the 19th century (Davorin Jenko, Stevan Mokranjac, Josip Marinković), Frajt`s catalogue included the works of many Yugoslav composers of his time (Petar Krstić, Stevan Hristić, Mihovil Logar, Marko Tajčević, etc.). Among them were the numerous popular songs based mostly on the rhythm of popular social dances of that period and arrangements of folk songs and dances composed by Frajt himself. Frajt was also the author of several pieces for orchestra (‘Srpska igra’ br. 1 i 2 [Serbian dance no.1 and 2]), vocal-instrumental ensemble (‘Misa u B-duru’ [Mass in B Major]), solo songs, and works for violin solo and violin and piano....
revised by Richard Dyer
(b New York, Nov 22, 1925; d Boston, June 21, 2015). American composer, conductor, educator, writer, publisher, and record producer. He was born into a musical family that had immigrated to America from Germany; his father played in the violin section of the New York PO for 42 years. In 1937 Schuller enrolled in the St. Thomas Church Choir School in New York where his general musical education was supervised by T. Tertius Noble. By the time he finished high school, he was already a horn player of professional caliber. At the age of 16 he performed in the American premiere broadcast of Shostakovich’s Symphony no.7, the “Leningrad,” conducted by Toscanini; his first book, Horn Technique (London and New York, 1962, 2/1992) has remained a standard reference.
After a season touring in the American Ballet Theatre orchestra under the direction of Antal Dorati, Schuller was appointed to the position of principal horn in the Cincinnati SO (from ...
Harry B. Soria Jr.
[Albert R. ]
(b Honolulu, HI, Oct 1, 1879; d Honolulu, HI, Jan 23, 1933). Composer, arranger, publisher, pianist, and bandleader, active in Hawaii. Cunha’s compositions early in the 20th century spearheaded the development of the hapa haole song, featuring predominantly English lyrics with some references to Hawaii and the Hawaiian language, earning him the title of “Father of Hapa Haole Songs.” His innovation is credited with making Hawaii’s music accessible to a much wider audience, which rapidly grew to global proportions over the next few decades.
Cunha left Hawaii to attend Yale University, where he excelled in sports, the Yale Glee Club, and composed Yale’s “Boola, Boola.” Rather than practice law after graduation, he toured the mainland United States performing a new kind of Hawaiian song, combining the popular ragtime rhythm of American music with Hawaiian songs. Cunha returned to Hawaii and composed his first hapa haole song, “Waikiki Mermaid,” in ...
L. Brett Scott
(b Port Colborne, ON, Oct 14, 1927; d Caledon East, ON, April 3, 1998). Canadian choral conductor, arranger, editor, and teacher. After graduating from the University of Toronto (BM 1950), he conducted the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra and All-Varsity Mixed Chorus, was a choir member at St. Mary Magdelene Church under Healey Willan, and apprenticed with Sir Ernest MacMillan as assistant conductor of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. In 1964 he was appointed conductor of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, a position he held until 1997. He taught choral music at the University of Toronto from 1965 to 1968, and was Adjunct Professor from 1997 until his death in 1998. After his death, the University of Toronto’s Elmer Iseler Chair in Conducting was established in his honor.
Iseler’s work with his professional choirs established his reputation in Canada and internationally. In 1954 he helped found Canada’s first professional choir, the Toronto Festival Singers. He founded the Elmer Iseler Singers in ...
Greg A. Handel
(b West Hempstead, NY, April 26, 1956). American music educator, choral arranger, editor, and conductor. He was a member of the American Boychoir (1969–71), and received degrees from St Olaf College (BM 1978), the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (MM 1980), and Michigan State University (DMA 1987). He was on the summer faculty of the American Boychoir School and now serves on the Board of Trustees. He taught at Calvin College (1980–90) before becoming the fourth conductor of the St Olaf Choir and the Harry R. and Thora H. Tosdal Endowed Professor of Music (1990–). Armstrong is the editor for Earthsongs publications and co-editor of the St. Olaf Choir Series. He chronicled the history of the St Olaf Choir in his doctoral dissertation. He is featured on an instructional video for adolescent singers, Body, Mind, Spirit, Voice (2002...
Joseph A. Bomberger
(b Berlin, ?June 12, 1838; d New York, April 28, 1881). Prussian critic, editor, conductor, and writer, active in the USA. Carlberg started piano under the instruction of organist Louis Thiele at the age of four. He later studied violin with Gruenwald and harmony with A.B. Marx. Though his father wanted him to pursue medicine, Carlberg decided to enter a career in music. He traveled to New York in 1857, where he continued his musical studies with Carl Anschütz and served as music editor of the New York Staats-Zeitung from 1858 to 1860. Because he was still a Prussian citizen, Carlberg was conscripted in 1861 and served in the Prussian military for eight months. He also became editor of the Neue Berliner Musikzeitung. During the next decade he gave concerts in London, Vienna, Paris, Warsaw, and Berlin. While conducting in Russia in 1871, Carlberg was persuaded by Prince George Galitzin to return to America to conduct some Russian concerts. Though the concerts were a failure, he was engaged as music director for the Pauline Lucca opera season, also writing reviews for the ...