(b Liège, April 7, 1859; d Bruxelles, July 19, 1917). Belgian oboist, teacher, and director of the Brussels Monnaie opera house. He studied oboe at the Liège Conservatoire with Alphonse Romedenne, receiving the premier prix in 1875, and a gold medal in 1877. Guidé started his career as principal oboe of the Association Artistique in Angers, France, where he became acquainted with a number of young French composers including Massenet, Chabrier, Saint-Saëns, and Vincent d’Indy, who dedicated his Fantaisie pour Orchestre et Hautbois principal op.31 to him. In 1884 he became the oboe teacher at the Brussels Conservatoire, and principal oboe of the Monnaie opera house. Much admired by conductors and composers such as Felix Mottl, Hans Richter, and Richard Strauss—who called him ‘the poet of the oboe’—Guidé’s reputation was renowned throughout Europe. Considered the godfather of the Belgian oboe school, the most famous of his students was Henri De Busscher, who influenced Leon Goossens and the English oboe school, and, later, as oboist of the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra, the American oboe school as well. Also gifted as a conductor and concert organizer, Guidé became co-director, together with Maurice Kufferath, of the Monnaie opera house in ...
(b Canton, OH, Aug 18, 1905; d West Redding, CT, July 31, 1978). American composer, violinist, bandleader, recording engineer, and producer. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University, he performed as a light classical violinist in the United States and Europe. During the 1930s he studied conducting with Maurice Frigara in Paris. After a near-fatal car accident in 1940, he organized his own dance band, the Light Brigade, which recorded for RCA and Columbia. After he disbanded it at the turn of the decade, Light devoted himself to management, working for several record companies before becoming president of Waldorf Music Hall Records in 1954. He founded his own label, Grand Award, in 1956 and had success with Dixieland and honky-tonk piano albums. In 1959, he founded Command Records on which he released Persuasive Percussion, the first in a successful series of high-fidelity albums that used stereo technology to great advantage. Over the next two decades, he continued to produce hit albums drawing on the latest technological savvy and packaged with covers usually designed by Josef Albers. Musicians who appeared on Light’s albums include the Free Design, Doc Severinsen, Dick Hyman, Bobby Byrne, and Bobby Hackett. In ...
Anne Beetem Acker
(b Bermuda, July 10, 1957). American audio engineer, musician, and owner of Keith McMillen Instruments, based in Berkeley, California. He received his BS in acoustics from the University of Illinois, where he also studied classical guitar and composition. In 1979 he founded Zeta Music, which designed and sold electric and electronic violins and basses. In 1992 he organized a research laboratory for Gibson Guitars. He developed a computerized composition, notation, and performance system, and also helped devise ZIPI, a MIDI-like music control language. At the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at the University of California, Berkeley, he researched audio networking, synthesizers, and string instruments. In 1996 he became director of engineering for the audio processing and distributed music networks division of Harmon Kardon. In 1999 he founded Octiv, Inc., an Internet audio signal processing company, which produced the ‘Volume Logic’ plug-in for iTunes that allows digital audio remastering to improve the sound produced by computers and MP3 players....
(b Naples, Italy, Jan 4, 1881; d San Francisco, CA, Aug 30, 1953). Conductor and impresario of Italian birth. Son of a violinist, he graduated from the Naples Conservatory in 1898 and the following year secured a post as assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. After touring with Henry Savage’s opera company, he became associated with Oscar Hammerstein’s two companies (the Manhattan Opera, 1906–10, and the London Opera, 1910–12), and conducted the San Carlo Opera in San Francisco between 1918 and 1922. A year later he founded the San Francisco Opera, and as its first general director conducted the inaugural performance, La bohème, on 26 September at the Civic Auditorium. In the 30 years he held the position, the San Francisco Opera became one of America’s leading opera companies. Merola filled most of the principal roles with singers from the Metropolitan, and he worked almost entirely within the confines of the standard French, Italian, and German repertory. Nevertheless, he introduced San Francisco to Wagner’s ...
Patrick J. Smith
(Du Pré )
(b Laurens, SC, Sept 21, 1914; d Spartanburg, SC, Oct 1, 2012). American administrator and pianist. After graduating from Duke University (1935) he did graduate work at the University of Michigan and the Philadelphia Conservatory. He later studied piano under harold Morris and Olga Samaroff and appeared in recitals and as a soloist, winning the MacDowell Music Club Young Artists Competition in 1939. During and after the war he held various government positions and then became director of the school of music and professor of music (piano) at the University of Oklahoma, Norman (1950–55). He was director of press and public relations (1955–9), associate managing director (1959–61), managing director (1961–70), and president of the New York Philharmonic (1970–78); this was the first time a major American symphony orchestra had appointed a professional, salaried president. After his retirement Moseley continued his performing career as well as administrative duties. In ...
Anne Beetem Acker
(d London, England, 1774). German keyboard instrument maker and seller. In 1754 the Hamburger Anzeigen advertised that he made unfretted clavichords, harpsichords, and a five-octave upright pyramid-shaped harpsichord (clavicimbel de amour) with pantalon (hammer action) stop. Neubauer arrived in London about 1756, and advertised from 1761 to 1768 that he made and repaired harpsichords, pianos, clavichords, ‘clavir d’amours’, and lyrichords (including the earliest known advertisement for the sale of a piano in London in the 1763 Mortimer’s Directory). He possibly took on some of the remaining stock in trade of Roger Plenius, who became bankrupt in 1756. In 1763 Neubauer lived in Compton Street, but his five addresses in ten years, plus his frequent advertisements of rooms to let and for an apprentice seem to indicate financial difficulties. A 1763 notice in the Universal Director describes him as ‘Maker of double-basset and treble key’d Harpsichords, with six stops, and of Pianofortes, Lyrichords, Classichords, etc.’. ‘The ‘double basset’ harpsichord likely had a 16′ register, while the ‘treble key’d’ harpsichord might have had an extended treble range or a third manual. On ...
revised by Joanna R. Smolko
[James Calwell, Jr. ]
(b Reading, PA, March 21, 1945; d Philadelphia, PA, April 6, 1992). American performance artist, composer, writer, and arts administrator. He studied sculpture at the University of Texas, Austin (BFA 1968), and at the University of California, Berkeley (MFA 1972). As an administrator he cofounded and was vice president and curator of the performance space, 80 Langton Street (San Francisco, 1975–6, later renamed New Langton Arts), and was a trustee of the San Francisco Art Institute (1975–8). As artist-in-residence at the Exploratorium in San Francisco (1976–7) he created the visual installation Light Weight Phantoms; and in 1977 he joined the sculpture department of San Francisco State University. He acted as consultant to museums and galleries and to the NEA, and his performances and sound sculptures have been presented in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1979), the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art (...
(b Uzlian, province of Minsk, Russia, Feb 27, 1891; d New York, NY, Dec 12, 1971). Broadcasting executive of Russian birth. The son of a housepainter and a seamstress, Sarnoff immigrated to the United States with his mother and brothers in 1900. The family joined their father in a tenement on New York City’s Lower East Side. Within days of his arrival Sarnoff worked in communications, selling newspapers, delivering telegraph cables, and then serving as an office boy, telegraph operator, and chief inspector for the American Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company. After World War I, the Marconi Company pooled its radio patents with those from ATT, Westinghouse, General Electric, and others to form the Radio Corporation of America. Sarnoff became commercial manager and eventually president, CEO, and chairman of the board. At RCA Sarnoff made four significant contributions to music production and consumption in the 20th century: a proposal for a “radio music box”; the creation of the National Broadcasting Company; the acquisition of the Victor Talking Machine Company; and the creation of the NBC Symphony Orchestra....
(b Hebron, NY, June 11, 1923). American artist manager. He studied piano, violin, cello, and acting before attending Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, in 1942. In 1944, while completing his education at Columbia University and the New York University extension division, he began work for the concert management firm of Sol Hurok; he stayed there for 25 years, managing such artists as Maureen Forrester, George Shirley, Julian Bream, and John Ogdon. In 1969, after the acquisition of Hurok’s company by Transcontinental Investing Corp., he founded Shaw Concerts, Inc., taking his contract artists with him, the move marking a loosening in the control of concert music by large conglomerate management firms formed during the Depression. By 1974 the Shaw firm was the largest individually owned concert management organization in the United States. After Hurok’s death that year, Shaw Concerts took over the entire Hurok artist list, but later the representation was shared with ICM Artists (founded ...
Katherine K. Preston
revised by Jonas Westover
(b Detroit, MI, March 12, 1910; d Washington, DC, Feb 2, 1998). American producer, director, and fund-raiser. He was educated at Choate School and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1928–30). He provided funding for his first Broadway production in 1949 (Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night), made possible from his lucrative real estate investments; important shows like West Side Story (1958) and Pippin (1972) followed. In 1961 he was appointed chairman of a national cultural center that Congress had proposed but not funded in 1958. Stevens’s spectacularly efforts at fund-raising led to the eventual realization of plans for the center, which opened in 1971 as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. As chairman of the board of the Kennedy Center, he attracted both domestic and foreign support and guided the center’s programming in dance, theater, and music. He also served as special assistant on the arts to President Johnson (...