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Ian Mikyska

(b Brno, 13 March 1966). Czech composer, pedagogue, and writer on music, son of zdeněk zouhar. He studied composition at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (JAMU) in Brno (with Miloš Ištván and alois piňos) and musicology at the Masaryk University, followed by post-graduate studies at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz (with Herman Markus Preßl and younghi pagh-paan) and JAMU. He remains an external pedagogue at both these institutions, as well as being active as a researcher at the Palacký University Olomouc (vice-dean starting in 2010), Ostrava University, and Masaryk University.

His brand of postmodernism is surprisingly respectful, using disparate materials in a serious manner, and generally staying with a few pieces of material for the duration of a piece or movement. Often composed in an additive, evolutionary structure, his works are sonically reminiscent of New York post-minimalism, but are very European in their approach to expressivity and emotional intensity. This approach includes both the intense rhythms of ...

Article

Jessica Payette

(Ferrée )

(b New York, NY, Feb 18, 1943). American composer, opera singer, and educator. She studied literature and music at Columbia University, earning both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Her primary voice teachers were soprano Helen Merritt and Marina Ahmed Alam, a Hindustani raga singer. She studied composition with vladimir Ussachevsky , whom she first encountered in an undergraduate counterpoint course, and otto Luening . Ussachevsky eventually taught her the methods he developed for studio electronics and became her principal supervisor. During her student years she collaborated with Ussachevsky on film and television scores, including Line of Apogee and Incredible Voyage, which combined pure electronic and concrète sound sources; Shields also embraced this approach for many of her electronic music-theater pieces and operas. Her DMA in composition was conferred in 1975 with the completion of the third segment of a tripartite opera, begun in 1970, entitled The Odyssey of Ulysses the Palmiped...

Article

Bonnie E. Fleming

(b Harrisburg, PA, March 2, 1921; d Westport, CT, Sept 16, 2017). American singing actress, producer, stage director, and teacher. Possessing a wide range of performing skills, she was known for undertaking challenging operatic roles such as Birdie and Regina in Mark Blitzstein’s Regina (1949, 1953, and 1958) and Lizzie in Jack Beeson’s Lizzie Borden (1965). She worked on Broadway, in light opera, on radio and television, and at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Lewis attended Penn State University and was encouraged by its Glee Club director to audition for a scholarship at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she went on to study with Emilio de Gogorza. After her teacher suddenly left the Institute, Lewis auditioned and made her debut with the Philadelphia Opera Company at the age of 19 in the role of the Marschallin in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. A remarkably quick study, Lewis absorbed music and words in any language almost on the spot, a gift to which she attributed most of her early success. In ...

Article

Dominique-René de Lerma

revised by Karen M. Bryan

(b Meridian, NC, Feb 14, 1894; d Washington, DC, March 19, 1962). American opera director and teacher. She studied at the New England Conservatory and the Chicago Musical College. In 1927 she founded the Cardwell School of Music in Pittsburgh. She later established the Cardwell Dawson Choir, which won prizes at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago (1933–4) and the New York World’s Fair (1939–40). In 1941 she produced Aïda for the meeting in Pittsburgh of the National Association of Negro Musicians (of which she was then president). Her production led to the establishment of the National Negro Opera Company. The group’s official debut (in another performance of Aïda) took place at the Syrian Mosque in Pittsburgh on 30 October 1941. In 1942 the company moved from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC. Over the next 21 years it performed a repertory that, in addition to ...

Article

Lesley A. Wright

[Adrien ]

( b Bayonne, France, June 7, 1828; d Asnières-sur-Seine, France, Aug 13, 1898). French composer, pianist, and teacher . After studying with Leborne, he won the Prix de Rome in 1854. The music section of the Académie praised his envoi, the French opera Don Carlos (1857), for its craftsmanship, fine orchestration, and strong sense of the stage, and in 1858 they awarded him the Prix Édouard Rodrigues for his oratorio Judith, over the only other competitor, Bizet. That year Barthe married mezzo-soprano Anna Banderali.

The Théâtre-Lyrique opened a competition in 1864 on Jules Adenis’s libretto La fiancée d’Abydos, for Prix de Rome winners whose work had not yet reached the stage. Barthe was the unanimous choice of the jury, above Émile Paladilhe and three others. Extensive changes were made during rehearsal and the première took place on 30 December 1865. Critics were largely positive, though they noted resemblances to Meyerbeer, Félicien David, Gounod, and others, and found the libretto somewhat tedious. After a respectable 21 performances (in Paris and Bayonne) the work disappeared from the repertory....

Article

Gaynor G. Jones

(b Lancaster, pa, March 25, 1935). Canadian composer. He studied at the Juilliard School of Music with William Bergsma, Vincent Persichetti and Peter Mennin and at Harvard University with Leon Kirchner and Roger Sessions. In the 1960s he also studied with Milhaud, Wolpe and Cage. From 1976 to 1980 he taught theory and composition at the University of Western Ontario, then served as Dean of the Faculty of Music (1980–86). He has also had an active performing career as pianist and conductor. His comic opera The Lay of Thrym was written for the Canadian Centennial Commission for Festival Canada and celebrates the Scandinavian origins of a sizeable section of the Canadian population. The libretto, by C. Keith Cockburn, is based on a poem from the Icelandic Elder Edda; Behrens carried out research into Viking literature, art and music in Iceland and Scandinavia in 1965 before composing the opera, which received its première on ...

Article

Frederick Crane

(Thomas )

(b Athol, ma , Jan 6, 1916; d Hadley, ma , March 11, 1975). American composer . He studied at Yale University and with Philip Clapp at the University of Iowa, where he joined the faculty in 1947 and succeeded Clapp as principal professor of composition in 1954. Ten years later he moved to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he served as professor and head of the music department. Bezanson’s honours include an award from the Fromm Foundation (1953) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1971). His works fall within the mainstream of 20th-century music in the generation after Stravinsky, Bartók and Hindemith. The style is rooted in diatonicism but has frequently changing scales and tonal centres; shifting major and minor 3rds are common. Standard metres, often irregularly accented, predominate. Besides choral, orchestral and chamber music he composed two operas: Western Child (3, P. Engle), first performed at the State University of Iowa (Iowa City) on ...

Article

A. Dean Palmer

(b Oberlin, oh, Nov 2, 1883; d San Luis Obispo, ca, March 9, 1972). American composer. After completing basic studies in Oberlin and Denver, he received the bachelor’s degree in music at Pomona College, Claremont, California, in 1908. In 1916 he joined the music faculty at Chaffey College, Ontario, California, where he remained until his retirement in 1954. Blakeslee’s only opera, The Legend of Wiwaste [Wewahste], based on a Dakota Sioux legend dealing with tribal customs of betrothal and marriage before the coming of the white man, is cast in late 19th-century Romantic style and reflects in its large orchestral resources the influence of Puccini and Wagner. It also embodies many characteristics of American Indian music: Indian melodies, rhythmic figures inspired by Indian drumming patterns, choruses in parallel octaves, pentatonic scales and orchestral accompaniment in open 4ths and 5ths. First performed in Ontario, California, on 25 April 1924...

Article

Maristella Feustle

(b Berdychiv [Yiddish: Berdichev], Ukraine, April 20, 1881; d Chicago, Nov 24, 1955). American composer born in present-day Ukraine. Bucharoff, who was born Simon Buchhalter, was the son of a Jewish cantor, and his brother, Isadore Buchhalter, also enjoyed a successful career as a pianist and educator in the Chicago area. Bucharoff’s personal papers indicate he was singing in choirs at the age of four or five, and that his family immigrated to the United States when he was 11, settling in New York. There, he studied piano with Paolo Gallico and Leopold Kramer. He later traveled to Europe and studied composition with Stephen Stocker and Robert Fuchs, and piano with Emil Sauer and Julius Epstein at the Vienna Conservatory. Bucharoff joined the faculty of the Wichita (Kansas) College of Music in 1907, and quickly became a respected artist in the area.

Bucharoff relocated to Chicago in the early to mid-1910s. Thereafter, his career focussed more closely on composition than piano performance. He secured the patronage of future Vice President of the United States Charles G. Dawes, and obtained a hearing of his first opera, ...

Article

Lowell Lindgren

(b Rome; d ?London, after 1741). Italian teacher of languages and editor of librettos . He was in London by 1723, when he published A New Method for the Italian Tongue: or, a Short Way to Learn It. Its title-page identifies him as ‘a Roman, Master of the Latin, Spanish and Italian Languages; living at Mr. Wallis’s in Lisle-Street, near Leicester-Fields’, and its list of subscribers includes Ariosti, Bononcini, Geminiani, J. J. Heidegger and John Rich, the poet Paolo Antonio Rolli and many diplomats (including Riva of Modena). Rolli refers to Cori as Padre or Fra ‘Ciro’ in five extant epigrams and declares that he was defrocked and became a freemason. Rolli also describes him and the aged ‘Roscio’ (Giacomo Rossi) as teachers of Mongolese Italian who exercised their poetic ability where the ‘cembalo alemanno’ (‘German harpsichord’) had banished good sense. Cori as well as Rossi may thus have adapted texts for Handel in the 1730s....