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John Koegel

(b Bucyrus, OH, March 15, 1854; d Alameda, CA, Oct 16, 1926). American composer, pianist, conductor, and music educator. He studied piano with William Mason at the Boston Conservatory, and piano and composition with Carl Reinecke in Leipzig, where his Symphony in F (1872) was performed. In the 1880s, because of ill health, he moved to San Luis Obispo, California, for its fine weather, teaching music, and leading local performing groups. In 1889 he moved to Santa Barbara, California, where he also taught music, led the town band, and conducted some of the first performances of Haydn’s music in the western United States. There he met members of the Californio elite, who sang Mexican folk and parlor songs for him. McCoy arranged ten of these in his series Canciones del País: Folk Songs of the Spanish Californians (Santa Barbara, CA, 1895), later issued in San Francisco in ...

Article

Lance W. Brunner

revised by Greg A Steinke

(b Joliet, IL, Dec 14, 1929). American composer and conductor. He studied with Howard Hanson, Bernard Rogers, Louis Mennini, and Wayne Barlow at the Eastman School (1948–57), where he received the BMus, MMus, and DMA degrees, and with Tony Aubin in Paris at the Ecole Normale de Musique (1954–5). In 1956 he joined the faculty of Brown University, where he served as chairman of the music department (1963–73) and as professor from 1968 until his retirement in 1992. He has received many honors, among them a Fulbright award (1954–5), a Ford Foundation fellowship (1963), a Howard Foundation grant (1965–6), NEA grants (1973, 1976, 1979), and many commissions (including the National SO, the Rochester PO, the USAF Band and Chorus, the Rhode Island PO, the Aspen Music Festival, and many colleges and universities). In 1993...

Article

Michael Meckna

(b Springfield, MA, Jan 9, 1900; d Los Angeles, CA, Oct 12, 1974). American composer, conductor, and music educator. He studied at the New England Conservatory (diploma 1923) with frederick Converse , at Boston University (BM 1932), and privately with Alfredo Casella. During a year abroad (1934–5) he received additional training in composition from Nadia Boulanger and in conducting from pierre Monteux and Felix Weingartner. As a music administrator in the Boston public schools (1923–44), a faculty member at Boston University (1929–40), and founder-conductor of the Boston Civic SO (1925–44), Wagner exerted considerable influence on the musical life of that city. Subsequently he taught at Rutgers University, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, the University of Oklahoma, and the Los Angeles Conservatory; in 1961 he was appointed professor at Pepperdine College, Malibu, California. He conducted the Duluth SO (1947–50) and the Costa Rica National SO (...

Article

Kevin O’Brien

(b Hartford, CT, Jan 7, 1923; d Charlottesville, VA, March 16, 1994). American composer, keyboard player, conductor, and teacher. He studied piano with Charles King, organ with Ernest White at the Pius X School of Liturgical Music in Manhattanville, New York, composition with Franz Wasner, and chant at Solesmes Abbey in France. In 1944 he enrolled at Catholic University of America as a seminarian; he was ordained a priest in 1947 and received a master’s degree in Romance languages in 1948. He continued composition studies with nicolas Nabokov at the Peabody Conservatory and Nadia Boulanger. Woollen was the youngest charter faculty member of Catholic University’s music department in 1950. Originally in charge of choruses and chant studies, he later taught composition, paleography, history, organ, art song literature, and diction. He attended Harvard University (MA 1954), where he studied composition with walter Piston and musicology with Tillman Merritt. In ...

Article

Mireya Obregón

(b Mexico City, Nov 11, 1948). pianist, conductor, composer, and educator of Mexican birth. His musical training began with piano lessons as a child in Mexico City. He formalized his musical education later on by enrolling in the Conservatorio Nacional de Música, where he studied under Rodolfo Halffter. In 1966, he traveled to the United States with a scholarship to Juilliard. After completing his studies there, he received graduate degrees from Harvard University and the University of Michigan. Among his teachers were Luciano Berio, Bruno Maderna, and Darius Milhaud.

From 1968 to 1974, Lifchitz was a pianist for the Juilliard Ensemble, founded by Berio and Russell Davies. In 1976, he won the first prize at the Gaudeamus Competition for Performers of Twentieth Century Music. Other significant awards include the United Nations’ Peace Medal and fellowships by the Guggenheim and Ford foundations. He has taught composition at Harvard, Columbia University, the Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard, Argentina’s National University of Rosario, and State University of New York in Albany....

Article

Jonas Westover

(b New York, NY, 1949). American composer, conductor, and educator. In his youth Sirota began playing piano and studied at the Juilliard School. He moved to Ohio to attend Oberlin College and Conservatory (BM 1971), where he focused on composition and piano performance, working with such teachers as Richard Hoffman and Joseph Wood. A Thomas J. Watson Fellowship enabled him to perform and study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger. Sirota completed his education at Harvard University, receiving both his MA and PhD in composition; his primary teachers were Leon Kirchner and Earl Kim. In addition to working as a composer, he taught at Boston University, Tanglewood Music Center, MIT, and New York University, where he served as chair of the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions. He became the director of the Peabody Institute of Music in 1995, where he oversaw a major renovation of the school’s facilities. From ...

Article

Rreze Kryeziu

(b Skopje, Macedonia, Sept 23, 1909; d Pristina, Kosovo, Oct 21, 1991). Albanian composer, music pedagogue, conductor, and ethnomusicologist. He learned music by analysing the works of other composers and by attending private lessons with professors in Belgrade. During his secondary education he learned to play the violin, the cello, and the piano. He arrived in Kosovo to pursue a career as a music pedagogue. He spent a decade in Prizren (1946–56), which was typified by intense musical activity and during which time he directed the choir SH.K.A. ‘Agimi’ (1944) and was a professor and director of the School of Music (1948). (See E. Berisha: Studime dhe vështrime për muzikën, Pristina, 2004, 209–14).

His familiarity with folk music is evidenced by his analyses of Albanian folk songs, which he summarized in a seven volume work called Albanian Folk Music. As a result of this work, he became known as the first ethnomusicologist specializing in Albanian folklore....

Article

Rreze Kryeziu

(b Gjakova, Kosovo, Dec 4, 1945). Kosovar Albanian composer, conductor, and pedagogue. He attended music high school in Prizren (1961–5). He continued studies in composition and conducting at Sarajevo’s Faculty of Art and Music under Miroslav Shiler, where he also completed his postgraduate studies (1970–2). In 1965 he founded and directed the Gjakova’s men’s choir. In 1969 he began teaching at the Hajdar Dushi gymnasium in Gjakova, Kosovo, and in 1971 started teaching at the Faculty of Music in Prishtina, Kosovo. He is a former director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Kosovo (2003–07). He is a regular member of Academy of Science and Art of Kosovo (1996–).

His works are diverse and primarily choral; he initially incorporated folk song styles, and then also sacred works for which he had a particular interest. Some of his most famous works are his sonatas for string quartet and sonatas for piano, as well as the rondo for cello and piano, and some miniatures for clarinet titled ...

Article

Stephen W. Ellis

revised by Robert Paul Kolt

(b Milwaukee, WI, May 1, 1924; d Jamesville, NY, Sept 15, 1994). American composer, conductor, and educator. He studied composition with howard Hanson and bernard Rogers , and conducting with Paul White and Herman Genhart at the Eastman School (1942–6, MM 1947, PhD 1958). He also studied composition with Bohuslav Martinů and nikolai Lopatnikoff at the Berkshire Music Center (1946) followed by continuing private study with Martinů in New York a year later. George taught at Eastman (1946–7) before working as an instructor in theory and composition at the University of Minnesota (1948–56) and as a Fulbright lecturer of 20th-century music at the University of Oslo (1955–6). In 1959 he became a professor of theory and composition at Syracuse University where he also conducted the Syracuse University SO (1973–81) and the Syracuse University Singers (1963–9), which he founded. Among his awards are a Gershwin Prize (...

Article

Danilo Mezzadri

(b Los Angeles, CA, June 3, 1946). American composer, conductor, flutist, and lecturer. Kessner studied composition with henri Lazarof at UCLA where he earned a PhD with Distinction in 1971. He taught music composition and theory at California State University, Northridge, from 1970 to 2006. Kessner has composed more than 100 works: orchestral (14), choir and stage (9), symphonic band (8), and various chamber music settings (80). His music is performed worldwide and has been recorded commercially. His compositional style evolved into centric harmony with explorations in microtonality and free rhythmic associations. While at California State University, he founded and directed The Discovery Players, a contemporary music performance group. He has served as guest conductor for several regional orchestras in the United States and for the Black Sea Philharmonic of Constanta, Romania. With his wife and pianist Dolly Eugenio Kessner, he created the Duo Kessner, which primarily performs contemporary flute literature. Since ...