(b New York, NY, March 8, 1839; d Poland Springs, ME, July 10, 1909). American philanthropist, activist, composer, and hymnal compiler. She was the daughter of lay Methodist evangelists Phoebe Palmer (1807–74), considered the founder of the American Holiness movement, and medical doctor Walter Palmer. The younger Phoebe began composing hymns and songs as a child; two of her earliest tunes, set to hymn texts by her mother, were published in Joseph Hillman’s revival song collection, The Revivalist (1868). At 16 she married Joseph F. Knapp, later founder of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of New York. As a wealthy society woman in New York, she entertained dignitaries, including four American presidents, at evening musicales held regularly in her home; a trained singer, she often performed at these events. She also hosted religious leaders, social reformers including Harriet Beecher Stowe, and female gospel hymn writers such as Fanny Crosby, with whom she formed a close friendship. In the late 1860s, Knapp wrote her most successful piece, the tune “Assurance,” to Crosby’s text “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.” It was circulated internationally after Ira D. Sankey included it in ...
Paul C. Echols
revised by Esther R. Crookshank
Emile H. Serposs
revised by Anya Laurence
(b Delhi, NY, Jan 29, 1850; d Bronxville, NY, Jan 2, 1946). American philanthropist, patron of music, and amateur composer. Her father, Henry Meyers, a Danish immigrant violinist, sent her to the Paris Conservatoire to study; there she was impressed by the French system of music education, which provided conservatory training for talented musicians at government expense. Upon her return she devoted herself to establishing a comparable program in the United States. Her husband, the wealthy grocery merchant Francis Beatty Thurber, gave financial support to her program. In 1885 she obtained a state charter establishing the National Conservatory of Music in New York City; the same year she organized as its adjunct the American Opera Company, which gave its first season in 1886.
Through Thurber’s efforts the conservatory was incorporated by a special act of Congress in 1891 and empowered to grant diplomas and confer honorary degrees. Her policy of providing financial aid to talented students regardless of race or color enabled many African Americans and Native Americans to receive professional training, most notably the black composer and singer Harry T. Burleigh. She sent the pianist Adele Margolies to Czechoslovakia to persuade Antonín Dvořák to come to the USA to become director of the conservatory from ...
revised by Andrew H. Weaver
(b Graz, July 13, 1608; d Vienna, April 2, 1657). Austrian emperor, patron of music, and composer. He was the son of Ferdinand II and became King of the Romans in 1636 and Holy Roman Emperor in 1637; he was succeeded by his son Leopold I. Like his father, he was an enthusiastic patron of music; he maintained a large chapel and used music (both sacred and secular) to shape his public image and maintain political power during the disastrous final decade of the Thirty Years’ War. Also like his father, his musical tastes were decidedly Italianate. Most of the musicians in his chapel were Italian, among the most prominent of which were Giovanni Valentini, Antonio Bertali, and Giovanni Felice Sances. Nevertheless, distinguished German composers such as Johann Jacob Froberger and Wolfgang Ebner – the latter a particular favourite – also worked at his court. Ferdinand III played an active part in the preparation of great court festivities, especially stage works of various kinds that were produced with utmost magnificence in Vienna and elsewhere in his Habsburg domains. Several Italian composers wrote operas for Vienna during his reign, and Monteverdi’s eighth book of madrigals (...
Simon Towneley and Derek McCulloch
(b Gainsborough, Jan 16, 1740; d Rycote, Sept 26, 1799). English music patron, composer, and political writer. He was educated at Westminster and Oxford (MA 1761) and spent several years in Europe. In Geneva (1765) he met Grétry, who wrote a flute concerto for him based on the improvisations he had played to Grétry to demonstrate his prowess. He spent time in Geneva with the exiled politician John Wilkes and met Voltaire in nearby Ferney. From the mid 1770s he was much involved in the musical and political life of Britain. He was brought into close contact with J.C. Bach and C.F. Abel through his brother-in-law Giovanni Gallini, who was concerned in the organization of the Bach-Abel subscription concerts, which the Earl is said to have subsidized. At his request, Abel composed Four Trios: Two for Two Flutes and a Bass op.16 and J.C. Bach is the author of one of two trios composed for the earl, ‘selected’ and published by Monzani in about ...
(b Berlin, Nov 9, 1723; d Berlin, March 30, 1787). German patron, amateur musician and composer. The youngest sister of Frederick the Great, she seems to have sought and received his advice on musical matters. A music exercise book, dated 1735, which she shared with her sister Luise Ulrike, indicates an early commitment to musical studies, but it is not certain precisely when Amalia’s formal musical training began. By 1740 she and Ulrike were receiving regular instruction from the cathedral organist, Gottfried Hayne (1684–1758), and this continued until 1742. Amalia apparently reached a high level of accomplishment as a player of stringed keyboard instruments and in about 1755 began to devote herself enthusiastically to playing the organ. Although contemporary reports, including her own letters, suggest that she also played the lute, the violin and the flute, they indicate that she was far less proficient on those instruments....
Roger J.V. Cotte
(b Fockenhof, Kurland, Feb 14, 1722; d Paris, March 24, 1791). French dilettante, amateur violinist and composer, patron of the arts and instrument collector. A magnificent and very wealthy nobleman, he both amused and astounded his contemporaries. M. Audinot in his comic opera La musicomanie (1779), and possibly E.T.A. Hoffmann in his tale Die Serapionsbrüder (1819), attempted to evoke his strange personality, emphasizing its ridiculous nature.
At the death of his father, a landed nobleman, in 1747, Bagge inherited a large fortune which enabled him to study the violin in Italy with Tartini. By 1750 he had settled in Paris; in the following year he was awarded the title chambellan du Roi de Prusse (then Frederick II) and married the daughter of the Swiss banker Jacob Maudry. With Maudry's death in 1762 the very large inheritance proved a source of contention to the ill-matched couple and they soon separated. Bagge later attempted to gain possession of the inheritance of Mme Maudry, who had died in ...
Adrienne Fried Block
(b Lewiston, IL, May 26, 1886; d San Diego, Aug 28, 1975). American composer, teacher and patron. She studied with Rudolf Ganz and Felix Borowski at the Chicago Musical College (BM 1906) and with Heniot Levy and Adolf Weidig at the American Conservatory, Chicago; she also studied composition in Chicago with Wilhelm Middleschulte and in Berlin with Hugo Kaun (1909–10). From 1917 to 1926 she taught music at the San Diego High School. A respected and influential leader of musical life in San Diego, she helped to found the San Diego Opera Guild and the San Diego Civic SO (of which she was chairwoman for 14 years). Barnett wrote some 60 art songs, 49 of which were published by G. Schirmer and Summy between 1906 and 1932. They display a lyrical gift, sure tonal sense and, despite her German training, strong French harmonic influence. They are often exotic and colourful, especially ...
(b Fonthill, Sept 29, 1760; d Bath, May 2, 1844). English writer, patron and amateur composer. He is chiefly remembered as author of the oriental tale Vathek (1786). Although he was an accomplished performer on the harpsichord and pianoforte, it is unlikely that, as he later claimed, Beckford studied with Mozart when both were children. Beckford met Pacchierotti in Italy in 1780; he encouraged the castrato to return to England to sing at the Italian opera and became one of his most important patrons. For Beckford’s coming-of-age party at his Fonthill estate the following year a cantata (Il tributo) composed by Rauzzini was performed by the composer together with Pacchierotti and Tenducci. Beckford provided music for Elizabeth, Lady Craven’s opera The Arcadian Pastoral (1782), which was written for private performance at Queensberry House in London; his other compositions include an Overture du Ballet de Phaeton...
Ann Willison Lemke
(b Frankfurt, April 4, 1785; d Berlin, Jan 20, 1859). German writer, editor, publisher, composer, singer, visual artist and patron of young artists. Although known today primarily for her writing and her illustrious associates, Bettine was also a talented musician. She composed songs in a simple folk style, choosing texts by poets she knew and loved, including Goethe, Achim von Armin, and her brother, Clemens Brentano. She helped gather songs for Armin and Brentano’s influential collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn (1806–8) and decades later published a fourth volume based on their notes (ed. Ludwig Erk, 1854). From 1808 to 1809 she studied singing and composition with Peter von Winter and the piano with Sebastian Bopp in Munich. Her first two songs appeared under the pseudonym ‘Beans Beor’ (‘blessing I am blessed’) with Arnim’s literary works. After her crucial meeting with Beethoven in Vienna (May, 1810), she mediated between him and Goethe....
[Fane, John; later 11th Earl of Westmorland]
(b London, Feb 3, 1784; d Wansford, Northants., Oct 16, 1859). English amateur musician. He was the eldest son of the 10th Earl of Westmorland, a Tory politician, and was educated at Harrow and at Trinity College, Cambridge (MA 1808), where he studied music under Charles Hague. His career was political, military and diplomatic. He was MP for Lyme Regis (1806–16). From 1803 to 1815 he served in various campaigns in the Napoleonic wars, at one time as aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington (his wife’s uncle). He became a privy councillor in 1822, a major-general in 1825, lieutenant-general in 1838 and full general in 1854. He was British envoy at Florence from 1814 to 1830, resident minister at Berlin from 1841 to 1851 (acting as mediator between Prussia and Denmark in the Schleswig-Holstein dispute), and ambassador to the imperial court at Vienna from 1851 to 1855...