(b Avignon, France, May 18, 1854; d Versailles, France, May 20, 1933). Organist, composer, collector, and writer on musical instruments. Born a count into an old Norman family, he studied organ with Gigout in Paris in the late 1880s and was admitted to the Académie des Sciences Morales, des Lettres et des Arts de Versailles in 1891. Beginning in 1897, de Bricqueville played the organ in the chapel of the palace of Versailles for about 20 years. Writing as a music critic, he enthusiastically promoted Wagner but also appreciated earlier French opera. His studies of historical instruments, instrument collecting, and music iconography, while largely superseded by later research, offer valuable insight to the state of scholarship at the turn of the 20th century. He described his private collection of instruments (mainly European of the preceding three centuries) in three published catalogues, the last being Catalogue sommaire de la collection d’instruments de musique anciens formée par le Cte de Bricqueville...
James B. Kopp
(b Louisville, KY, April 28, 1892; d nr Lexington, KY, March 1, 1980). American Folksinger, folk-music collector, and composer. He began collecting and transcribing songs at age 14 and composed his first song, “Go ’way from my window,” in 1907. A skilled pianist upon his graduation from Louisville’s Dupont Manual High School, he continued his studies at Cincinnati Conservatory and the Schola Cantorum in Paris. A pilot with the US Army Signal Corps during World War I, he published two collections of wartime songs, Singing Soldiers (1927) and The songs my mother never taught me (1929).
While based in New York, Niles toured internationally with contralto Marion Kerby from 1929 to 1933, arranging African American and Appalachian material for their repertoire. He also began publishing his arrangements and compositions with Carl Fischer and G. Schirmer and recording for Victor’s Red Seal label. From 1931 to 1934...
Jean R. Freedman
(b New York, NY, June 17, 1935). American folksinger, songwriter, and folksong collector, daughter of musicologist charles Seeger and composer, educator, and folksong anthologist Ruth Crawford Seeger. Peggy learned piano, guitar, music theory, and transcription from her parents. With her brother mike Seeger , she learned banjo from a book written by their half-brother pete r. Seeger . She later became proficient on autoharp, Appalachian dulcimer, and English concertina. She made her first recording, Folk Songs of Courting and Complaint, while a student at Radcliffe College (1953–5). During the autumn of 1955, she studied at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. From 1956 to 1959 she traveled throughout Europe, the United States, Russia, and China before settling in England with folksinger, songwriter, and playwright Ewan MacColl [James Henry Miller] (1915–89), who became her musical partner, husband, and father of her children, Neill, Calum, and Kitty. With MacColl, she made more than 100 recordings of traditional Anglo-American ballads, political songs, love songs, work songs, and songs from literature. They frequently performed in folk clubs and concert halls, at festivals, on television, and in films. Seeger and MacColl felt that traditional music was a solid foundation on which the modern songwriter could build. They brought to their songwriting a political dimension, believing that folksongs represent the struggles of ordinary people whose lives are often ignored and whose creations are frequently slighted....
(b Brookline, MA, c1875; d Boston, MA, c1959). American collector, arranger, and civil engineer. He is responsible for one of the largest collections of sheet music in America. While growing up in Brookline he learned to play piano and organ under b.j. Lang, and there is some evidence that he also wrote arrangements of sacred music. This led to a long amateur engagement at Boston’s Sacred Heart Cathedral, where he led the choir and played the organ. “Benedixisti domine” by Bernhard Klein is one of Driscoll’s few remaining arrangements; the other extant editions or arrangements are of sacred pieces. By the 1890s Driscoll was already amassing material for his ever burgeoning collection, always looking for the perfect copy of any rare number. Well known for his sharp bargaining and compulsive habits, he refused to relinquish the search for the most complete collection possible. The James Francis Driscoll Collection of American Sheet Music at the Newberry Library in Chicago, IL, stores around 84,000 pieces of music dating from the 1770s until Driscoll’s death in ...
(b Enfield, May 5, 1949). English composer, musician, writer and curator. He studied at Hornsey College of Art (1967–8) and, following a brief period at Watford College of Art and Design, returned to Hornsey to study painting, where he met Max Eastley. Due to lack of funding Toop secured a job at the Roundhouse, where he met the percussionist Paul Burwell. Together, Burwell and Toop, along with Steve Beresford and sound artist Peter Cusack, set up the London Musicians Collective in 1975. With Burwell, Toop established the band Rain in the Face, in which he played guitar and flute. Eager to explore mixed media, they collaborated with various musicians, dancers and the sound poet Bob Cobbing. Toop later worked with Brian Eno, John Zorn, Prince Far I, Jon Hassell, Derek Bailey, Talvin Singh, Evan Parker, Scanner, Ivor Cutler, Akio Suzuki, Haco and Jin Hi Kim, Steven Berkoff, Mitsutaka Ishii and John Latham amongst others....
(b Ottawa, Sept 7, 1892; d Montreal, Sept 20, 1958). Canadian composer and folklorist . He studied the piano and the organ in Ottawa with Amédée Tremblay and piano in Montreal with Alfred Laliberté. From 1915 he collaborated with Charles Marchand on collecting and arranging folksongs, and he was also active as a teacher, orchestral pianist and accompanist. From 1927 to 1930 he took part in the festivals commissioned by the Canadian Pacific Railway and became their joint musical director with Harold E. Key in 1930; it was for these that his ballad operas, based on Canadian folklore and including many folksongs, were written. His operetta Philippino was broadcast in 1943. O’Brien became a priest in 1952.
ballad operas unless otherwise stated
Laura Otilia Vasiliu
[ Karol ]
( b Chernivtsi, [now in Ukraine], Oct 20, 1819; d Lviv, Ukraine, May 21, 1897). Armenian-Polish-Romanian pianist, composer, folklorist, and teacher .
He studied the piano in Paris with Frédéric Chopin and composition with Anton Reicha (1844–7). He toured as a concert pianist in Austria, France, Italy, and Russia. He was a professor at and head of the Lviv Conservatory from 1858 to 1888. He then founded his own school. Among his students were the Romanians Ciprian Porumbescu, Paul Ciuntu, and Constantin Gros, but also the musician pianists of Lviv that would be his disciples—Raoul Koczalski, Moriz Rosenthal, and Aleksander Michałowski. He collected, notated, and processed Romanian and Polish folk songs (1848–54). He published a 17-volume critical edition of Chopin’s work (Leipzig, 1879). He used several verified sources, most of which were written or corrected by Chopin himself. His editions of Chopin’s works were first published in America in ...
(b Westminster, London, Jan 1648; d Oxford, Dec 14, 1710). English scholar, composer and music collector. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford (after early training in mathematics at Westminster School), in 1662, receiving the BA, MA and DD degrees in 1666, 1669 and 1682 respectively. He took holy orders and was assigned the rectorate at Wem, Shropshire, but chose to remain at Christ Church, becoming a canon in 1681 and dean (a unique position in Oxford as head of both college and cathedral) in 1689, also serving as vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, 1692–5. He was a leader of the Oxford resistance to James II's Catholic advances, and under William III he became one of the chief defenders of High Church practices, publicly opposing both the comprehension of non-Anglicans and revisions to the prayer book. He was an industrious and practically minded scholar, producing books on logic, heraldry and architecture, designing a number of Oxford buildings, serving as draftsman and engraver for the Oxford Almanacks, and producing a sizable body of compositions for the English cathedral service. His account of Greek music survives in manuscript (...
(b Barcelona, March 27, 1862; d Barcelona, March 31, 1908). Spanish composer, folklorist and music critic. He studied composition with Antonio Nicolau and Anselmo Barba and piano with C.G. Vidiella in Barcelona and was music critic for various journals there, including La renaixensa, L'avenç and, from 1905 to 1908, El poble català. He published his Collecció de 6 melodies per a cant i piano and five Cansons per cant i piano (both Barcelona, 1887), which are settings of poems by Angel Guimerá, Francisco Matheu y Fornells, Apeles Mestres and Jacinto Verdaguer. He illustrated the latter volume himself, and some of his work was displayed at an exhibition of the Sociedad de Acuarelistas in Barcelona. A distinguished folklorist as well as a sensitive composer and skilful melodist, he collected Catalan folksongs and published arrangements of 23 of these in Cansons populars catalanas (Barcelona, 1891). He used native rhythms and melodies in his songs and piano pieces (among them ...
(b Buenos Aires, April 13, 1913; d Buenos Aires, June 2005). Venezuelan-Argentine ethnomusicologist, folklorist and composer, wife of Luis Felipe Ramón y Rivera. She studied the piano under Rafael González (1923–31) and composition with Athos Palma (1928–33) at the Buenos Aires National Conservatory of Music, instrumentation with Villa-Lobos in Brazil (1937), anthropology (1938–40) and, with Carlos Vega, folklore and musicology (1938–44) at the Museo de Ciencias Naturales de Buenos Aires. She took the doctorate in musicology in 1967 at the Argentine Catholic University with a dissertation on Argentine folk music. She was an associate member of the Instituto Argentino de Musicología from 1938 to 1950. After working as the first professor of ethnomusicology at the Escuela Nacional de Danzas de Argentina (1950–52) she moved to Caracas, Venezuela, where she has held appointments as research fellow in folklore and ethnomusicology at the Instituto Nacional de Folklore de Venezuela (...