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Dimitri Conomos

revised by George Leotsakos

(b Piraeus, May 19, 1929). Greek composer and musicologist. He graduated in theology from Athens University (1954), in neo-Byzantine music (1955) and harmony (1956) from the Piraeus League Conservatory, and in counterpoint, fugue and composition (1959) from the Hellenic Conservatory, where he studied with Yannis A. Papaïannou. At Brandeis University (1962–5) he studied composition (with Arthur Berger), Byzantine music palaeography and electronic music. In 1950 he revived the boys' choir of the Greek Royal Palace, which he directed until 1967. He also established and conducted the Athens Chamber Chorus (1958–61). Between 1961 and 1963 he taught Byzantine music at the Holy Cross Theological Academy, Boston, Massachusetts. In 1965 he established the first electronic music studio in Athens. He was a founder-member (1965) and later president (1975–85) of both the Hellenic Association for Contemporary Music and the Greek section of the ISCM. In ...

Article

(b Frankfurt, Sept 11, 1903; d Brig, Switzerland, Aug 6, 1969). German writer on music and philosopher. The son of a businessman of Jewish extraction, Oscar Alexander Wiesengrund, and a professional singer of Catholic Corsican origin, Maria Calvelli-Adorno della Piana, he adopted his mother's name in the 1920s, initially as Weisengrund-Adorno, dispensing with the hyphen in 1938. In 1937–8 he also wrote briefly under the pseudonym Hektor ‘Rottweiler’.

Strongly influenced by Ernst Bloch's Vom Geist der Utopie and Georg Lukács's Theorie des Romans while still at school, and having had a musical upbringing, with piano, violin and composition lessons from an early age, in 1921 he went on to study philosophy (with Hans Cornelius) at the University of Frankfurt with musicology, sociology and psychology as subsidiary subjects, continuing composition studies with Bernhard Sekles and piano with Eduard Jung. During his student years he became friendly with the philosopher Max Horkheimer and the literary critic Walter Benjamin, who both had considerable influence on his development. Three years after starting university he took the doctorate with a dissertation on Husserl (...

Article

Owen Wright

[ibn Ghaybī al-Marāghi]

(b Maragh; d Herat, 1435). Timurid composer, performer and theorist. He first rose to prominence in the service of the Jalā’irid rulers of Iraq and Azerbaijan, al-Ḥusayn (1374–82) and Aḥmad (1382–1410). After the conquest of Baghdad by Tīmūr (1393), most of his career was spent in Samarkand and, especially, Herat, at the courts of Tīmūr and of his successors al-Khalīl (1404–9) and Shāh Rukh (1409–47).

‘Abd al-Qādir was one of the most important and influential theorists of the Systematist school. His most substantial surviving works are the Jāmi‘ al-al ḥān (‘Compendium of melodies’), largely completed in 1405 and revised in 1413, and the slighter Maqāṣid al-al ḥān (‘Purports of melodies’), which covers essentially the same ground and probably dates from 1418. Written in Persian, which was by then the language of culture, these works proved particularly influential among later 15th-century theorists; but although both thoughtful and highly competent, on the theoretical side they may be regarded as, essentially, restatements and amplifications of the theory elaborated by ...

Article

John C.G. Waterhouse

[Ottavio Felice Gaspare Maria]

(b Montegiorgio, Ascoli Piceno, Nov 16, 1881; d Montegiorgio, Dec 28, 1928). Italian musicologist, conductor and composer. He studied the piano, organ and composition at the Liceo Musicale di S Cecilia, Rome, where he gained his diploma in 1906 and was from 1912 professor of aesthetics and music history. He also graduated in 1907 from Rome University with a thesis on the Italian oratorio, subsequently expanded into an important book. His scholarly writings – notably those on Italian laudi spirituali and on Carissimi – in general helped to lay the foundations of modern Italian musicology. As a conductor he specialized in choral music, and in 1926 he founded the Madrigalisti Romani. He also fought hard for the improvement of Italian music education. His most ambitious composition, the opera Mirra, is eclectic and uneven, but shows technical enterprise – not least in the brief use of a specially constructed ‘pentaphonic harmonium’, in which the octave was divided into five equal parts (cf Indonesian ...

Article

Howard Serwer

(b Görmar, nr Mühlhausen, Jan 8, 1732; d Mühlhausen, 1773). German writer on music and composer. He was a magister of philosophy, an honorary member of the German Society of Altdorf University, and an imperial poet laureate. His writings include an original work on theory, contributions to the current discussions of Rameau's theories which he favoured, and translations and editions of works of others. In addition, he published an important article on the state of music in Mühlhausen, two in defence of music in the church, and one on the German language. His compositions, consisting largely of sacred vocal works to his own texts, were mostly written for the Marienkirche in Mühlhausen, where he was Kantor and music director. They include a setting of the Passion and a yearly cycle of cantatas (texts published in 1764), as well as two published collections of keyboard and vocal pieces intended for students. Only a sacred song ...

Article

George Vlastos

(b Athens, Feb 17, 1960). Greek composer, musicologist, and keyboard player. Born into an artistic family, he took up jazz and free improvised music. During the period 1977–84 he took his first lessons in composition with Yannis Ioannidis while he also studied law at the University of Athens. Thereafter he continued his studies in composition at the Robert Schumann Musikhochschule (now Robert Schumann University, Düsseldorf) with Guenther Becker until 1986. Having a background both in jazz and electronic music, he showed an interest in the echo effect. Thus, in his early works (dating from the mid-1980s) he developed a heterophonic technique, which he called the ‘technique of linear heterophonic modulations’. In his music he makes extensive use of ancient Greek tetrachords, melodic ramifications, and modal structures deriving from the Greek and other non-Western traditions. Until 1994 his writing was abstract and rhythmically complex, while his later works are more conventionally structured and use consonant sonorities. His output includes operas, vocal music, works for orchestra, works for solo instruments, chamber music, incidental music, electronic music, ballet music, and music for films. Among his major works are the opera ...

Article

Robert Paul Kolt

(b Santiago, Chile, Jan 2, 1963). American composer, guitarist, ethnomusicologist, educator, and producer of Chilean birth. He immigrated to the United States as a child and studied guitar with Joseph Torello, Vincent Bredice, Lou Mowad, and George Aguiar. Amigo enrolled at Florida State University (1980) where he studied classical guitar with Bruce Holzman and William Carter and was active as a performer of popular music. In 1986, he moved to Los Angeles, earning a degree in political science from California State University, Northridge (BA 1995) and degrees in ethnomusicology (MA 1988, PhD 2003) from the University of Calfornia, Los Angeles. He studied in Los Angeles with Kenny Burrell, Gary Pratt, Harihar Rao, and wadada leo Smith. Amigo also performed with African, Arabic, funk, hard rock, free jazz, jazz, and reggae groups, and worked as a session guitarist for Hans Zimmer, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, and Les Hooper, among others....

Article

Lawrence Schenbeck

(b Detroit, MI, Sept 24, 1951). American composer, theorist, and jazz saxophonist. He attended public schools in Detroit, including Cass Technical High School, where he studied jazz and led his own band, the Seven Sounds. He continued his education at the University of Michigan (BMEd 1973, MA 1974) and at Yale University (MDiv 1977, PhD music theory 1993). Andrews was ordained as a minister in 1978, serving as Yale University campus chaplain and as faculty member in the Music Department and Department of African American Studies for more than a decade. During that period he met Lloyd Richards, director of the Yale Repertory Theatre, and playwright August Wilson. Andrews became resident music director (1979–86) for the company and contributed original music scores to a number of Wilson’s plays, including Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Fences, The Piano Lesson, and Seven Guitars...

Article

Rreze Kryeziu

(b Skopje, Macedonia, Sept 23, 1909; d Pristina, Kosovo, Oct 21, 1991). Albanian composer, music pedagogue, conductor, and ethnomusicologist. He learned music by analysing the works of other composers and by attending private lessons with professors in Belgrade. During his secondary education he learned to play the violin, the cello, and the piano. He arrived in Kosovo to pursue a career as a music pedagogue. He spent a decade in Prizren (1946–56), which was typified by intense musical activity and during which time he directed the choir SH.K.A. ‘Agimi’ (1944) and was a professor and director of the School of Music (1948). (See E. Berisha: Studime dhe vështrime për muzikën, Pristina, 2004, 209–14).

His familiarity with folk music is evidenced by his analyses of Albanian folk songs, which he summarized in a seven volume work called Albanian Folk Music. As a result of this work, he became known as the first ethnomusicologist specializing in Albanian folklore....

Article

(b Moscow, March 15, 1958). Russian musicologist, pianist and composer. In 1978 he entered the Gnesin Academy of Music, where he studied the piano with A.V. Aleksandrov and the theory of music with Yu.N. Kholopov, M.G. Kharlap and L.A. Mazel′. He completed his postgraduate studies there on the piano in 1988. In 1992 he began teaching at the Russian Academy of Choral Art in Moscow, becoming professor of the piano department in 1995. He is well known for his concert playing activities, as a soloist and ensemble player, and as an accompanist to the baritone Dmitry Hvorostovsky. His compositions include works for the piano, chamber and choral music, and a Missa brevis for mixed choir and organ, which is recorded on CD. He was made an Honoured Artist of Russia in 1995.

Arkad′yev's scholarly interests include the issues of time, rhythm and articulation in music. He gained the doctorate in ...