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Gillian Rodger

[Antonio]

(b New York, NY, 26 April 1833; d Elmhurst, NY, 26 Aug 1908). Circus performer and variety manager.

He was the third of six children of a Spanish immigrant barber, Antonio Pastor, and his American wife Cornelia Pastor (née Buckley). He was apprenticed to John Jay Nathans, a circus equestrian, in 1847, but gravitated towards a career as a clown. In the latter role he was expected to sing and dance as well as take part in comic minstrel and pantomime skits, which were a standard part of 19th-century circus entertainments.

By the end of the 1850s Pastor had moved into variety entertainment. It was not uncommon for variety theaters to hire circus acts, and Pastor found his first steady employment with Frank Rivers, a Philadelphia manager, and then with Robert Butler, the manager of the American Music Hall in Manhattan. Pastor worked with Butler for several seasons and established himself as a hugely popular performer with a diverse range of skills. A new theater licensing law in ...

Article

Luiz Mantovani

(Wilhelm Friedrich)

(b Vienna, June 11, 1880; d Vienna, Nov 6, 1953). Austrian composer, arranger, choirmaster, pianist, and piano teacher. As a child, he sang in the boys’ choir of the Heiligenkreuz Abbey, later studying composition privately with two members of Brahms’s circle, Eusebius Mandyczewski and Josef von Wöss. Rebay graduated in 1904 from the Conservatory of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, where he was a prize-winning student of Robert Fuchs. He subsequently worked for 16 years as a choirmaster in Vienna, leading two important choirs in that city: the Vienna Choir Association and the Schubertbund. During these years, Rebay acquired a local reputation as a composer of vocal music and regularly accompanied important Viennese singers, including Hans Duhan of the Vienna State Opera. In 1920, Rebay was hired as a piano teacher at his former school (by now renamed the Vienna Academy for Music and Performing Arts), a post he kept until his retirement in ...

Article

Krin Gabbard

(b Pensacola, FL, Jan 29, 1927; d New York City, April 6, 2013). American pianist and composer. The son of Jamaican immigrants, Donald Shirley showed substantial promise as a pianist at an early age. At the age of 18, he made his début with the Boston Pops Orchestra performing a piano concerto by Tchaikovsky. He later studied music at the Catholic University in Washington. As a composer, he wrote symphonies, concerti, string quartets, works for organ, piano, and violin, a ‘Recorso’ inspired by James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, and an extended piece for piano that he called ‘an improvisation based on the story of Orpheus in the Underworld’. As a pianist, Shirley hoped to have a career in classical music, but after being told that audiences would not take an African American seriously as a classical artist, he chose to play jazz and popular music. For many years he played in clubs in New York City where he lived in an apartment directly above Carnegie Hall. Performing at Carnegie Hall in ...

Article

Geneva Southall

[Blind Tom]

(b Columbus, GA, 25 May 1849; d Hoboken, NJ, 13 June 1908). Pianist and composer.

He was blind from birth and was bought as a slave with his parents in 1850 by James N. Bethune, a journalist, lawyer, and politician in Columbus. He demonstrated musical aptitude and exceptional retentive skills by his fourth year and was given musical instruction by Bethune’s daughter Mary. He was exhibited throughout the state by his master in 1857, and then hired out to Perry Oliver, a planter of Savannah, who took him on an extensive concert tour throughout the slaveholding states; this included a command performance at Willard Hall in Washington for visiting Japanese dignitaries. His programs included works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Frydryk Chopin, Franz Liszt, Sigismond Thalberg, and other European masters, improvisations on operatic tunes and popular ballads, and several of his own published and unpublished compositions. He could perform difficult pieces after one hearing, sing and recite poetry or prose in several languages, duplicate lengthy orations, and imitate the sounds of nature, machinery, and various musical instruments. On the outbreak of the Civil War, he was returned to the Bethunes, who continued to exhibit him in the South to raise money for the Confederacy. After the Bethunes were successful in a guardianship trial in ...

Article

Todd Decker

[Gumm, Frances Ethel]

(b Grand Rapids, MN, 10 June 1922; d London, England, 22 June 1969) Singer and actress, mother of Liza Minnelli

She began her career at age three in a family vaudeville act. As a child, she was billed as “the little girl with the great big voice.” The musical short Every Sunday initiated Garland’s long-term connection with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer when she was 13. After taking a featured role as Sophie Tucker’s daughter in Broadway Melody of 1938, Garland became a major musical film star following the release of The Wizard of Oz (1939) and a series of teen-oriented musicals with Mickey Rooney. Her first adult role, in For me and my Gal (1942), introduced Gene Kelly to Hollywood. Under the direction of Vincente Minnelli, who became her second husband, Garland made a final appearance as a teenager in Meet me in St. Louis (1944...

Article

Patricia Surman

(Rose Esther)

(b Aug 26, 1933, Calais, France). French composer and pianist. Raised in a musical family, her mother and father (Jacques Gotkovsky) were violinists; her father played in the Loewenguth Quartet. Her siblings Ivar (piano) and Nell (violin) were accomplished musicians, performing together regularly.

Gotkovsky began composing at the age of eight and studied at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (CNSMDP) and later taught at the CNSMDP and in the US. Composition teachers included Tony Aubin, Nadia Boulanger, and Olivier Messiaen. She has won many composition prizes, most notably the Prix Lily Boulanger (1967). Her oeuvre includes operas, ballets, orchestral and wind band works, concerti, and numerous chamber works. Noted as a wind band composer, significant works in this genre include the Poème du feu (1978), Danses rituelles (1988), Brillante symphonie (1988–1989), Le Chant de la forêt for chorus and wind orchestra (1989), and ...

Article

Ivana Vuksanović

[Pušić, Antonije]

(b Herceg Novi, June 14, 1963). Serbian musician, conceptual media artist, and performer, of Montenegrin birth. His artistic concept shows typically postmodern features: a synthesis of different musical styles (jazz, rock, hip hop, drum and bass, funk), ludic intertextual references (to theatre, film, music, literature), witty lyrics (about Balkan mentality, demagogy, local glamour and glitter, poltroonery, etc.), a camp aesthetic, and the extravagance of the public image. These all serve as a subversive critique of today’s media culture. Rambo’s professional biography consists of 20 albums, a huge number of concerts, theatre and film music, and bizarre public projects/performances including Pasija za 28 usisivača (‘Passion for 28 Vacuum Cleaners’), the redecoration of the men’s room at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, and appearing on a TV programme with a cardboard box on his head. He wrote music for theatrical plays including Đetić u parlament (‘Montenegrin Boy in Parliament’), ...

Article

Barbara Garvey Jackson

revised by Dominique-René de Lerma

(b Chicago, IL, 3 March 1913; d Los Angeles, CA, 26 April 1972). Composer, pianist, and teacher. She began musical studies with her mother, whose home was a gathering place for young black writers, artists, and musicians including Will Marion Cook, Lillian Evanti, Abbie Mitchell, and Florence Price. Bonds showed promise early, composing her first work, Marquette Street Blues, at the age of five. In high school Bonds studied piano and composition with Florence Bea Price and later with William Levi Dawson; she received BM and MM degrees from Northwestern University (1933, 1934). She moved to New York in 1939 and in 1940 married Lawrence Richardson. At the Juilliard Graduate School she studied the piano with Djane Herz and composition with Robert Starer. Other teachers included Roy Harris, Emerson Harper, and Walter Gossett.

Bonds first came to public notice when she won the Wanamaker prize in ...

Article

Andrew Walkling

(d ?London, 1696). English musician and music publisher, son of John Carr and his wife Katherine. He served as a member of the King’s Music in the reigns of Charles II, James II, and William and Mary; his earliest appointment, effective at Christmas 1683, was as a viol player in the place of the deceased John Hingeston (Hingeston’s other position, as keeper, repairer, and tuner of organs and wind instruments, went to the young Henry Purcell). Carr was most active during the reign of James II, serving in the 24 Violins and in the band of the king’s Roman Catholic Chapel Royal. He performed at James’s coronation and accompanied the monarch to Windsor every summer of the reign in one or another of his capacities. He also became involved in his father’s music-selling business, compiling a recorder tutor, The Delightful Companion, in 1685, which was sold by the elder Carr and by ...

Article

Andrew Walkling

(fl 1673–?1710). English musician, bookseller, and music publisher. He was made free of the Stationers’ Company by patrimony from his father (also John Crouch) in February 1673, but took up as a musician, and is first seen among a group of 12 players who accompanied Charles II to Windsor and Newmarket in the summer and autumn of 1679. He was subsequently appointed to the King’s Music as a ‘sackbut’ player (from December 1679) and also as a violinist (July 1682, in the place of Thomas Greeting, who had died in the wreck of HMS Gloucester two months previously). Probably in 1683 he set up a music-shop (‘The Three Lutes’) in Princes Street, off Drury Lane, Westminster, where he sold a variety of engraved and typeset music books, most of them in conjunction with other London publishers. The majority of Crouch’s early publications were small-scale songbooks, but as time went on he moved into instrumental collections as well. Of the 13 works known to have been sold by him between ...