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Article

Stefaan Verdegem

(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 ...

Article

Paula Morgan

revised by Jere T. Humphreys

(b Elgin, IL, May 25, 1914; d DeKalb, IL, Feb 17, 2003). American music educator, scholar, and administrator. He obtained degrees in instrumental music (BS 1937) and in education and English (MA 1939) from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and in musicology from University of Michigan (PhD 1950). He taught music and English in the public schools of Griffith, Illinois (1938–41), and in the laboratory school at Eastern Illinois State Teachers College (1941–3). After serving in the US Army during World War II (1943–6), he completed his doctoral studies and joined the music faculty at the University of Michigan (1949), where he established a leading doctoral program in music education and directed 51 doctoral dissertations. He served as dean of the School of Music (1969–79) and retired from the faculty in 1984. Britton was president of the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) (...

Article

Eldonna L. May

(b Detroit, MI, Jan 1, 1929; d Detroit, MI, July 2010). American singer, educator, choral director, and composer. He worked tirelessly to promote and preserve the works of African American musicians through coalition building and artistic entrepreneurship by founding the Brazeal Dennard Chorale and cofounding the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s “Classical Roots” concert series in 1976. Dennard attended Highland Park Junior College (1954–56) and he received his undergraduate (1959) and master’s (1962) degrees in music education from Wayne State University. He first gained exposure to music through attending church choir rehearsals with his mother. He studied piano and voice with Dean Robert L. Nolan and later sang with the Robert Nolan Choir. His professional career began at age 17 as conductor of the Angelic Choir at Peoples Baptist Church in Detroit. From 1951 to 1953 he was responsible for the music for all chapel services while serving as a corporal in the US Army in Virginia. Beginning in ...

Article

Vera H. Flaig

(b Balandugu, Guinea, West Africa, 1950). Drummer, director, and teacher of Guinean birth. Mamady Keïta began his official apprenticeship with the village djembéfola at the age of eight. By his late teens, he was lead drummer of Ballet D’Joliba. By 22 he became the company’s first drummer to act as artistic director. Upon his retirement from the ballet in 1986, Keïta played briefly for the national ballet in Côte D’Ivoire before settling in Belgium where he founded an international djembé school called Tam Tam Mandingue.

Keïta came to live in the United States in 2004. At his first official workshop as an American resident, Keïta announced: “I spent fifteen years cleaning up the djembé drumming in Europe. Now it is time to do the same in America.” Despite the growing popularity of the djembé, Keïta was surprised by the lack of understanding about its history and music within American drum circles. Keïta, together with six other ...

Article

Kelley Rourke

(b Hollywood, CA, March 11, 1937). American impresario. Educated in comparative literature and French, he joined the faculty, in 1961, of the Allen-Stevenson School in New York, where he became Head of the Lower School. Kellogg moved to rural Cooperstown, New York, in 1975, the year Glimmerglass Opera staged its first performances in a local high school, and volunteered to source props for the fledgling company. In 1979 he was appointed its general director. Kellogg presided over the 1987 construction of the 900-seat Alice Busch Opera Theater, designed by Hugh Hardy, which signaled the company’s evolution from a community organization to a major international festival. By its seventh season in the new theater, Glimmerglass Opera had established a two-month rotating repertory season of four new productions each summer. Kellogg’s 26-year tenure saw productions of rarities by composers ranging from Francesco Cavalli to John Philip Sousa, as well as innovative approaches to standard repertory led by directors including Martha Clarke, Mark Lamos, Jonathan Miller, and Christopher Alden. In ...

Article

Jean W. Thomas

(b Darmstadt, Germany, May 4, 1816; d Pittsburgh, PA, Feb 20, 1897). Composer, conductor, performer, merchant, impresario, and teacher of German birth. Kleber immigrated with his family to Pittsburgh around 1832 from Darmstadt, where he was trained in piano and voice. Three years later he launched his long career in Pittsburgh as music “professor” by becoming an instructor at Western Collegiate Institute for Young Ladies. In 1839 he organized a brass band, first known as the Kleber Band, then The Pittsburgh Band, described as the first brass band west of the Alleghenies. That year also marked his entry into the music business with a piano salesroom under the name “Ye Golden Harp.” By 1850 he was operating a growing business in pianos, organs, instruments, and sheet music. The store was a gathering place for the city’s musicians, including Stephen Foster, for whom Kleber served as a mentor.

Fluent in German, French, and Italian as well as English, Kleber acted as an impresario throughout much of his career, serving as a local manager for many European touring artists who were a mainstay of the American concert stage. He also organized concerts for local musicians, featuring himself variously as conductor, pianist, and singer. Considered by some to be brash, aggressive, self-promoting, and combative, he and Augustus, his brother and business partner, gained notoriety as well as a $100 fine each in ...

Article

Bonnie Elizabeth Fleming

(b Harrisburg, PA, March 2, 1921). American singing actress, producer, stage director, and teacher. Possessing a wide range of performing skills, she is 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 attributes 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

Hugh Davies

(b Kansas City, MO, Jan 23, 1940). American artist and educator, co-founder in 1989 and artistic director of Inner-City Arts in Los Angeles. He holds a BA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from the University of Cincinnati. Working in Los Angeles since 1976 he has built several instruments, based on the hurdy-gurdy principle, which he plays in solo performances and in duets with his wife, Gail Bates. The first was a drone instrument (1976), in which a bow operated by a pendulum moves across a string. The Fuser (1978) uses a similar idea: each note on its two 40-note keyboards operates a ‘finger’ at a different point along the length of one of two strings, which are bowed by treadle-operated, rosined wheels. The hollow tubing of the framework adds to the effect of two dome-shaped resonators, one at each end of the instrument. Two people play the Fuser, which measures about 3.5 × 1 × 1.25 metres. The Converter (prototype ...

Article

Jere T. Humphreys

(b Wylie, TX, Oct 17, 1913; d Tallahassee, FL, Dec 13, 2004). American Music educator, conductor, scholar, and administrator. He earned degrees from North Texas State College (BS 1934), Teachers College, Columbia University (MA 1938), and New York University (EdD 1943). He was director of music for public schools in Texas (1934–7) and New York (1938–41), and taught at New York University (1941–3) and the University of Texas (1946–7). He served as an Executive Officer in the US Army Medical Administrative Corps in the United States and Philippines (1943–6). He then taught at Florida State University (1947–66), where he was named Distinguished Professor (1961). During those years he held a Fulbright Fellowship to Japan (1956–7) and summer appointments at North Texas State University, University of Michigan, and Indiana University. He served on committees and advisory boards for the US Department of State International Cultural Presentations Program (...