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Matthew Oltman

(Xaver)

(b Pursruck [Oberfalz], Sept 1, 1906; d Munich, Oct 2, 2001). German composer, conductor, and recording engineer. At the Munich Hochschule, Biebl studied composition with Joseph Haas and Siegmund von Hausegger, conducting with Heinrich Knappe, and Catholic church music with Ludwig Berberich. He taught at the Mozarteum before being drafted into military service in 1943 and spent two years as an American prisoner of war at Fort Custer (1944–6) where he developed an appreciation for American folk songs and spirituals. After the war, Biebl directed a church choir and worked as a recording engineer for Bavarian Broadcasting where he helped facilitate choral programming. He was an advocate of amateur choral singing and composed over 2000 arrangements and original songs, many of which remain popular among German singing societies.

Biebl is best known for his Ave Maria (Angelus Domini). Originally written for double male chorus, it received its première in Munich on ...

Article

(b Naples, 1717 (?); d Naples, after July 28, 1778). Italian harpsichordist, composer, and maestro di cappella. Son of Giuseppe D’Alessandro, Gennaro studied with Leonardo Leo, according to tenor Anton Raaff. Fétis’ statement that D’Alessandro was born in 1717 is unsourced. On August 21, 1739 he was hired as maestro di coro at Venice’s Ospedale della Pietà, a position he retained until May 13, 1740. He was the first in a distinguished cohort of Neapolitan choirmasters who served at the Pietà during the 18th century, following a local trend started in 1726 by Nicola Porpora at the Ospedale degli Incurabili.

Of the sacred music D’Alessandro composed for the Pietà only incomplete vocal partbooks of a Miserere and a Missa brevis survive in the Fondo Correr of the Conservatorio ‘Benedetto Marcello’ in Venice, bearing the names of the soprano (Michielina) and the alto (Placida) among the figlie di coro...

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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(fl 1703–10). Italian soprano. She first sang in London on June 1, 1703, advertised as ‘the Famous Signiora Maria Margarita Gallia, lately arriv’d from Italy’, performing music by Joseph Saggione [Giuseppi Fedeli] in entr’actes at Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre. In 1704 she appeared with Saggione in concerts at York Buildings and in private concerts. On February 5, 1706 she was one of the soloists in an entertainment at court for Queen Anne’s birthday. Her first operatic appearance was in Saggione’s The Temple of Love at the Queen’s Theatre that March. She sang in a revival of Thomas Clayton’s Arsinoe and took the title role in his Rosamond in spring 1707 at Drury Lane, and took over the role of Eurilla for the last three performances of the pasticcio Love’s Triumph at the Queen’s Theatre in March 1708, billed now as ‘Signiora Maria Gallia Segonie’. After this she was advertised only for a benefit concert at York Buildings on ...

Article

Lauron Kehrer

(b Compton, CA, June 17, 1987). American rapper. Kendrick Lamar (Kendrick Lamar Duckworth) was the first non-classical and non-jazz artist to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize in music for his 2017 album, DAMN. He is the recipient of over one hundred awards for his music and videos, including thirteen Grammy Awards (such as Best Rap Album for To Pimp a Butterfly and DAMN.), seven BET (Black Entertainment Television) Awards and nineteen BET Hip Hop Awards, eleven MTV Video Music Awards, seven NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Awards, and six Billboard Music Awards.

Lamar was born and raised in Compton, California, where he regularly witnessed violence and gang activity. He began his rap career in high school using the stage name K-Dot. On the strength of his first mixtape, he was recruited to join Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE), the small record label founded in ...

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Micaela L. Bottari

(b Kansas City, KS, Dec 1, 1985). Singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, and producer. Monáe was born and raised in Kansas City to a working family who, in her words, ‘make nothing into something’. As a child she composed her own musicals inspired by albums like Stevie Wonder’s Journey through the Secret Life of Plants, and after high school left Kansas for New York City to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) on scholarship. Feeling creatively stifled however, she soon dropped out and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 2003, where she performed at local colleges and self-produced a demo, Janelle Monáe: the Audition. Once in the Atlanta circuit she met Big Boi of OutKast – featuring on the hip-hop duo’s album Idlewild in 2006 – and Sean Combs. She also met Chuck Lightning and Nate Wonder, two artists who would go on to be co-founders of her label and vision, Wondaland Arts Society....

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Gregorio Maria Paone

(b Capua, nr Naples, 1803; d Naples, 1860). Neapolitan clarinettist and composer. Ferdinando Sebastiani studied clarinet with Michele Rupp and composition with Fedele Fenaroli at the Real Collegio di Musica di San Sebastiano in Naples, where he eventually became a clarinet teacher himself. He also became principal clarinet of the Orchestra of Teatro San Carlo and of the Reale Cappella Palatina in Naples. As well as his orchestral activity he worked as a soloist and played in Paris, Florence, Vienna, and Naples. He wrote a huge number of pieces, which indicates how at that time even instrumentalists were keen on music composition.

Sebastiani used a particular clarinet made by the Neapolitan instrument maker Gennaro Bosa. A variant of the standard Müller clarinet, the Bosa clarinet required the use of the right thumb in order to make some passages easier, while in the Müller system of fingering the right thumb usually serves only to sustain the instrument....

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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(b Dublin, 1705–6; bur. Manchester; d April 27, 1772). Tenor singer and portrait painter. His first recorded appearance in London was in September 1729, when he sang at Reynolds’s Booth in Southwark Fair. After appearances in the Little Theatre in the Haymarket and then at Goodman’s Fields Theatre he joined the Drury Lane company in July 1731, remaining there until summer 1737, apart from two seasons (1734–6) at Covent Garden. He was a successful Macheath in The Beggar’s Opera and Sir John in The Devil to Pay, and created roles in musical afterpieces, such as Lovemore in The Lottery, Beau Mordecai in The Harlot’s Progress, and Valentine in The Intriguing Chambermaid. During Handel’s 1734–5 opera season at Covent Garden Stoppelaer took the role of Odoardo in Ariodante and sang in the chorus of Alcina. It is likely that he was the ‘Ropilier’ named in a wordbook annotation for the role of the Amalekite in ...

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Ellen Highstein and Nathan Platte

Brass quintet, formed by trombonists Arnold Fromme and Gilbert Cohen in 1960; its present members are Kevin Cobb and Raymond Mase, trumpets; David Wakefield, horn; Michael Powell, tenor trombone; and John D. Rojak, bass trombone. The group gave its first public performance at the 92nd Street Y and made its official New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1962. At that time the brass quintet was little heard in the concert hall, and the ensemble played a major part in introducing audiences to brass instruments in the chamber context. Its commitment to the expansion of the brass chamber literature and its renowned virtuosity, precision, and stylistic accuracy have resulted in the composition of more than 100 new works by such composers as Bolcom, Carter, Thomson, Druckman, Ewazen, Plog, Sampson, Schuller, Schuman, Starer, and Tower. The group's concerts usually include premieres and the performance of “rediscovered” older pieces. The quintet has also explored performance practice on older instruments, and its many recordings include two of 19th-century American brass music played on period instruments. Since becoming the ensemble-in-residence at the Aspen Music Festival in 1970 and at Juilliard in 1987, the group has played a key role in training members of other prominent brass ensembles, including the Meridian Arts Ensemble, Manhattan Brass Quintet, and Urban Brass Quintet....

Article

Ann Glazer Niren

(b (Mokraia) Kaligorka, Ukraine, 24 April 1885/1887; d Boston, 31 March 1975). Music director, composer, pianist, and organist. Braslavsky likely received early musical instruction from his father, Hersh, a cantor at the Great Synagogue in Uman, Ukraine. Braslavsky later served as a Lieutenant in the Russian army, where he conducted several military bands. He studied at the Kaiserlich-Königliche Akademie für Musik und Darstellende Kunst and the University of Vienna. In Vienna, Braslavsky taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary and conducted the Jewish Choral Society and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, which performed several of his compositions; these early works are unpublished.

In 1928, Congregation Mishkan Tefila of Boston hired Braslavsky to serve as its music director, where he conducted the choir, played organ, and composed Jewish choral works, some of which also remain unpublished. Braslavsky’s music exhibits a synthesis of eastern European synagogue music and Western traditional tonal idioms. Important works include the collection ...

Article

Geoff Thomason

(b Taganrog, Russia, 21 March/2 April 1851; d Manchester, England, 22 Jan 1929). Russian violinist and pedagogue. From 1860 to 1867 he studied with Joseph Hellmesberger at the Vienna Conservatoire, playing in Hellmesberger’s concerts, eventually becoming second violin in his quartet. In Vienna he first met Brahms and the conductor Hans Richter. In 1870 he returned to Russia, where he made the acquaintance of Tchaikovsky and in 1875 was appointed a teacher at the Moscow Conservatoire. From 1878 to 1880 he was the Director of the Kiev Symphony Society. During three years of European touring, 1880–83, he gave the first performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in December 1881, with the Vienna Philharmonic under Richter. Its originally dedicatee, Leopold Auer, had deemed the concerto unplayable and Tchaikovsky subsequently rededicated it to Brodsky. After his appointment as Professor of Violin at the Leipzig Conservatoire in 1883 Brodsky founded his first string quartet. In Leipzig he gave the premières of works by Grieg and Busoni, with whom he formed lasting friendships. His leadership of Walter Damrosch’s New York Symphony Orchestra, ...