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Article

Allison A. Alcorn

(b Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey, UK, March 14, 1940). English dealer in musical instruments, rare music books, music iconography, and related ephemera. After leaving school at the age of 16, Bingham trained as a quantity surveyor and opened his own surveying business in 1961, about the same time he began dealing in general antiques. He had a partnership in a musical instrument business for one year until 1966, when he opened his first independent shop at 247 Kings Road, London. Through extensive travels Bingham obtains and sells both Western and non-Western instruments. He specializes in assembling collections of European woodwinds, illustrating their development also with patent documents, methods, and other materials. His shop at 11 Pond Street features collections of metronomes, oil paintings of musicians, trade cards, tuning forks, and trade catalogues in addition to instruments. Major museum clients include the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the National Music Museum (South Dakota), the Musée de la Musique (Paris), and the Musashino Academia Musicae (Tokyo), while private collectors have included Joe R. Utley, Nicholas Shackleton, and H. Iino. Bingham has also published several important works on musical instruments, such as William Waterhouse’s ...

Article

Peter Andreas Kjeldsberg

(b Kranz, Russia, July 7, 1896; d Trondheim, Norway, Nov 19, 1963). Norwegian collector of musical instruments and founder and director of the Ringve Museum in Trondheim. An amateur singer, she had no formal musical training, but three siblings became professional musicians. In 1920 Victoria (née Rostin) married Christian Anker Bachke (1873–1946), the last private owner of Ringve manor outside Trondheim. Together they made plans for two museums: one for the history of the manor and its inhabitants, another for musical instruments, which they had begun to collect. Upon Christian’s death, his will established a foundation encompassing the land and buildings, and Mrs Bachke began serious collecting to prepare the museum, which opened in 1952 in the manor’s main building, a well-kept example of historicist architecture and interior decoration from the second half of the 19th century. Her main gifts for this task were enthusiasm and useful contacts, notably in France and Italy. One of her advisors was the Danish musicologist and organologist Godtfred Skjerne. Before she died, Mrs Bachke had collected about 1000 instruments of European and non-Western classical and folk traditions. She desired that the instruments be playable. Today the Ringve Museum has a national responsibility for collections of musical instruments in Norway, with educational and scientific staff and a conservation workshop. It remains a foundation under the administration of Museene i Sør-Trøndelag AS....

Article

Jeff Place

(b Passaic, NJ, July 20, 1934; d Washington, DC, July 2, 1994). American Musician, promoter, record producer, author, folklorist, and museum administrator. He grew up in Passaic, New Jersey, and it was at Swarthmore College that he was first exposed to folk music. He became one of the most important individuals behind the scenes during the folksong revival of the late 1950s. Rinzler performed on many instruments but was mainly associated with the mandolin. He was a onetime member of the urban bluegrass group the Greenbriar Boys.

Rinzler decided he would rather spend his time promoting the music of others than performing himself. He studied with Alan Lomax in England. Rinzler was appointed the chief talent scout for the Newport Folk Festival and was the person responsible for bringing traditional musicians such as Clarence Ashley, John Hurt, Maybelle Carter, and others to the festival. His fieldwork for the festival led to the rediscovery of Ashley and, in turn, the discovery of guitarist Doc Watson. He later managed Watson and Bill Monroe, organizing shows nationwide....

Article

John Cline

(Aloysius )

(b Takoma Park, MD, Feb 28, 1939; d Salem, OR, Feb 22, 2001). American guitarist, folklorist, and record producer. As a teenager, Fahey’s early interest in country music was expanded to include bluegrass and country-blues due to a friendship with richard Spottswood , later a noted folk and ethnic music scholar. With Spottswood and famed collector Joe Bussard, Fahey sought out pre-war 78 r.p.m. records. After taking up the guitar, Fahey’s made his first recordings for Bussard’s private Fonotone label on 78 r.p.m. shellac discs, some of which Fahey claimed to have slipped into boxes of more “authentic,” vintage records at flea markets. In 1959 Fahey founded Takoma Records to distribute his own recordings, beginning with the LP Blind Joe Death; his liner notes also frequently mock the language of then-contemporary blues scholars, the very people he had hoped to fool with the Fonotone 78s.

Despite his sense of humor Fahey was a serious student of American vernacular music. He travelled long distances to find Bukka White and Skip James in the Mississippi Delta in the early 1960s; he relates these events in the memoir, ...

Article

Nancy Groce

(b Canton, CT, Nov 11, 1833; d Brooklyn, NY, May 17, 1896).

American instrument dealer and collector. He was trained as a clock maker in Bristol, CT, and later worked as a machinist in Hartford, CT, before moving to New York in January 1852. The following year he became a clerk at Rohé & Leavitt, a firm of dealers at 31 Maiden Lane; on the partners’ retirement in 1863, Foote bought the company and continued it under his own name. Except for a short-lived partnership with John F. Stratton in 1865, as Stratton & Foote, “importer and manufacturer” of brass band instruments, he was sole manager for the next 30 years, dealing in string, woodwind, and brass instruments and serving as the sole American agent for several French manufacturers, including the firm of Courtois. A Chicago “branch house” of his business, under the management of W.H. Foote, was still in operation at the time of his death. An obituary in the ...

Article

Cynthia Adams Hoover

(b Potsdam, Germany, Nov 15, 1855; d Washington, DC, Nov 14, 1938). American collector of and dealer in keyboard instruments. His father, Christian, had a music business in Trenton, New Jersey, from c1858 to 1861, and in Washington from 1863 to 1868 and again in 1883; Worch and his brother Emil took this over in 1883, and after Emil’s death his widow and Hugo continued the business as Hugo Worch & Co. from 1884 until 1895. After 1895 the firm of Hugo Worch sold instruments (including pianos sold under the Worch name but manufactured elsewhere), sheet music, and, as tastes changed, phonographs, recordings, and radios. The firm went out of business in 1960 on the retirement of Hans Hugo Worch, who had bought it from his brother Carl and sister Paulina in 1954.

In the 1880s Worch began collecting keyboard instruments that showed the development of the American piano industry from the 1790s to ...

Article

Lester Levy

(b nr Warsaw, Poland, Dec 25, 1899; d Atlantic City, NJ, Jan 27, 1977). American collector of and dealer in sheet music, born in Poland. He immigrated to the USA in 1906. For some 40 years until his retirement in 1965 he worked as a waiter in Philadelphia. While operating a small bookshop, from 1929 to 1931, he developed a passionate interest in early American popular sheet music; he eventually collected and distributed approximately 500,000 sheets of the late 18th to late 19th centuries. Much of the music was purchased by universities and municipal libraries, many of which relied on Dichter as altant—from 1942 to 1945 he served the Free Library of Philadelphia in this capacity. With Elliott Shapiro, a sheet-music publisher, he wrote Early American Sheet Music: its Lure and its Lore, 1768–1889 (1941, rev. 1977 as Handbook of Early American Sheet Music, 1768–1889), still regarded as the leading reference work of its kind. Under his own name or that of Musical Americana he issued several collections of sheet music and other important publications, including J.J. Fuld’s ...

Article

Raoul F. Camus

[V]

(b New York, Jan 15, 1922; d Poughkeepsie, NY, Feb 16, 1983). American band enthusiast and philanthropist. After attending Pomona College, Claremont, California (BA 1943), he owned and managed an architectural woodworking firm in Poughkeepsie for over 20 years, and later a chain of bowling alleys. An amateur euphonium player, he amassed an encyclopedic collection of band scores, rivaling that of the US Marine band. In conjunction with Commander Donald Stauffer, director of the US Navy Band, he issued a series of 15 recordings made by the band entitled Heritage of the March. Each of these records presented unavailable marches by an American composer on one side, and a European composer on the other. Hoe then invited many American and European service, community, college, and high school bands to make recordings. He provided most of the music from his own collection, prepared liner notes and biographies, financed the recordings, and distributed them, free of charge, to schools, libraries, and radio stations. The initial ...

Article

Erkki Salmenhaara

[Erik]

(b Ilmajoki, Feb 2, 1911; d Tampere, Sept 2, 1996). Finnish musicologist and folklorist. He studied at Helsinki Conservatory (1929–36) and under A.O. Väisänen at Helsinki University (MA 1942), where he took the doctorate in 1956 with a dissertation on the polska in Finland. His extended fieldwork on folk music and instruments in Finland and Sweden resulted in a collection of over 10,000 melodies (now in Tampere University library). After teaching music at Helsinki Conservatory (1951–7) and lecturing at Helsinki University (1957–62) he held a research grant from the State Humanities Committee (1962–75). He was professor of folk research at Tampere University (1975–7) and director of the university folk research institute (1977–81). He was active in many folk music research organizations. A list of his writings is included in the Festschrift Kentältä kentälle: juhlakirja Erkki Ala-Könnin 70 - vuotispäiväksi 2.2.1981...

Article

Norman Fraser

revised by Gerard Béhague

(b S Antônio de Jesus, Bahia, Dec 6, 1895; d Rio de Janeiro, Jan 25, 1981). Brazilian musicologist and folklorist. After graduating from law school in Rio de Janeiro, he set out to be an author, journalist and critic. His first writings dealt with criticism and philosophy, but he also wrote important works on music, including the well-known História da música brasileira (Rio de Janeiro, 1926). The second edition (1942) contains over 150 musical examples and gives a chronological treatment to the art-music tradition as well as a detailed account of Brazilian folk and popular music. This was the standard Brazilian reference book for many years.

From 1947 Almeida turned his attention to folk music and folklore studies. For many years he was a member of the executive board of the International Folk Music Council. He was a founder-member of the Brazilian Academy of Music and chief of the information service of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations. He was also the first chairman of the Comissão Nacional de Folclore, created in ...