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Simon Towneley and Derek McCulloch

[Bertie, Willoughby]

(b Gainsborough, Jan 16, 1740; d Rycote, Sept 26, 1799). English music patron, composer, and political writer. He was educated at Westminster and Oxford (MA 1761) and spent several years in Europe. In Geneva (1765) he met Grétry, who wrote a flute concerto for him based on the improvisations he had played to Grétry to demonstrate his prowess. He spent time in Geneva with the exiled politician John Wilkes and met Voltaire in nearby Ferney. From the mid 1770s he was much involved in the musical and political life of Britain. He was brought into close contact with J.C. Bach and C.F. Abel through his brother-in-law Giovanni Gallini, who was concerned in the organization of the Bach-Abel subscription concerts, which the Earl is said to have subsidized. At his request, Abel composed Four Trios: Two for Two Flutes and a Bass op.16 and J.C. Bach is the author of one of two trios composed for the earl, ‘selected’ and published by Monzani in about ...

Article

(b Atri, 1458; d Conversano, Jan 19, 1529). Italian humanist, patron and theorist. He was a member of the Accademia Pontaniana in Naples and initiated a long-standing tradition of musical culture in the family of the dukes of Atri, who were important patrons; his son Giovanni Antonio Donato was also a lira player. Acquaviva d’Aragona financed the Neapolitan printer Antonio de Frizis and housed the press in his palace in Naples. One of the earliest examples of music printing in the kingdom of Naples was the Motetti libro primo printed by De Frizis in 1519 (it is no longer extant, but a copy was owned by Fernando Colón). In 1526 De Frizis printed Acquaviva d’Aragona’s Latin translation of Plutarch’s De virtute morali, which was followed by an extensive Latin commentary including a 76-page treatise De musica (the whole was reprinted in Frankfurt in 1609). Notable for its wealth of illustrations and for its incorporation into a broader context addressed to humanists in general rather than to a specialized musical readership, the treatise is largely based on the writings of Boethius and Gaffurius, and takes as its point of departure Plutarch’s observations on music’s power of suggestion. The ...

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Claudio Annibaldi

( b Rome, March 31, 1571; d Rome, February 10, 1621). Italian ecclesiastic and patron of music . Nephew of Pope Clement VIII, who created him cardinal in 1593, he acquired a leading role in the papal court by negotiating the reversion of the Duchy of Ferrara to the papacy (1598) and a treaty between France and Savoy over the disputed marquisate of Saluzzo (1601). Until his uncle’s death (1605), he was among Rome’s most influential patrons of music and art; among the composers who dedicated publications to him were Palestrina, Monte, Cavalieri and Luzzaschi, and his protégés included both members of the papal chapel (e.g. Felice Anerio, Ruggiero Giovanelli and Girolamo Rosini) and instrumentalists from the disbanded Ferrarese establishment (the Piccinini brothers and Rinaldo Dall’Arpa). Pietro’s influence declined during the pontificate of Paul V; the last great beneficiary of his patronage was Frescobaldi, who dedicated to him the ...

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(b ?Medina del Campo, 1394; ruled 1416–58; d Naples, June 27, 1458). Spanish monarch and patron. He was the son of Fernando I of Antequera and Leonor of Albuquerque. His activity as patron is usually divided into two periods, before and after he had settled in Naples (1433). He was an outstanding patron of minstrels, among them the shawm player Jehan Boisard and the lutenist Rodrigo de la Guitarra. The choir of his royal chapel was, according to his contemporaries, one of the finest of its day. In the two earliest records of its members, dating from 1413 and 1417, there are 13 singers, among them Gacian Reyneau and Leonart Tallender, and two organists. His singers were recruited from Spain, France and Germany: in October 1419 he sent one of them, Huguet lo Franch, to his native land in search of singers, providing him with a letter offering all kinds of privileges. In ...

Article

David B. Levy

(b Alsager, Cheshire, Sept 27, 1779; d London, Nov 15, 1846). English music critic and patron. He was proprietor of and writer for The Times, an association formed in 1817 through his friendship with Thomas Barnes. Alsager reported on financial matters and foreign news, but evidence reveals that both he and Barnes wrote most of the articles on theatre and music in The Times before the appointment in 1846, at Alsager's recommendation, of J.W. Davison as the first full-time music critic on a daily newspaper. Alsager was intimate with Charles Lamb, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Leigh Hunt and Keats, while his passion for music led to friendships with many important figures in London musical life, including Mendelssohn, Spohr, Smart, Moscheles and Ayrton (whose son married Alsager's daughter). Several English premières took place at Alsager's residence, most notably that of Beethoven's Missa solemnis on 24 December 1832. Alsager's desire to proselytize for Beethoven's piano sonatas and quartets, especially the late works, led to the establishment of the Queen Square Select Society (...

Article

(b Berlin, Nov 9, 1723; d Berlin, March 30, 1787). German patron, amateur musician and composer. The youngest sister of Frederick the Great, she seems to have sought and received his advice on musical matters. A music exercise book, dated 1735, which she shared with her sister Luise Ulrike, indicates an early commitment to musical studies, but it is not certain precisely when Amalia’s formal musical training began. By 1740 she and Ulrike were receiving regular instruction from the cathedral organist, Gottfried Hayne (1684–1758), and this continued until 1742. Amalia apparently reached a high level of accomplishment as a player of stringed keyboard instruments and in about 1755 began to devote herself enthusiastically to playing the organ. Although contemporary reports, including her own letters, suggest that she also played the lute, the violin and the flute, they indicate that she was far less proficient on those instruments....

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(b Wolfenbüttel, Oct 24, 1739; d Weimar, April 10, 1807). German amateur musician and patron. She was the daughter of Duke Karl I of Brunswick and a niece of Frederick the Great. As a child she was given a good musical education. At the age of 16 she married the 18-year-old Duke Ernst August Konstantin of Saxe-Weimar; after his death two years later until the accession of her eldest son Duke Karl August on 3 September 1775 she conducted the regency. Despite her heavy official responsibilities she cultivated intellectual interests, especially music. She continued to take lessons in composition and keyboard playing from the leading musician in Weimar at that time, Ernst Wilhelm Wolf (later the court Kapellmeister), and gathered round her a group of scholars, poets and musicians, professional and amateur, which was a lively centre of discussion and music-making. In this ‘court of the muses’, as Wilhelm Bode called it, whose members included Wieland, Herder and eventually Goethe, Anna Amalia herself played a significant part in bringing together the poetry of ‘Weimar Classicism’ and the music of the time. J.A. Hiller's most successful Singspiel, ...

Article

Elisabeth Cook

[Maria Antonia Josefa Johanna ]

(b Vienna, Nov 2, 1755; d Paris, Oct 16, 1793). Queen of France and patron of opera . The daughter of Emperor Franz I of Austria, she received her early tuition from Gluck (clavecin and singing) and Noverre (dance and deportment). As dauphine (1770) and later queen of France (1774), she supported a great many artists working within the field of opera. The success of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide at the Opéra in 1774 was due largely to the presence of the entire court at the première and to the dauphine’s enthusiastic applause for individual numbers. Accused of favouring Austrian interests too overtly, she was obliged to welcome Piccinni to Paris, and later favoured Sacchini until further criticism forced her to support native composers: for celebrations at Fontainebleau in 1786 Lemoyne’s Phèdre was staged in preference to Sacchini’s Oedipe à Colone. Works by Grétry (...

Article

Roger J.V. Cotte

[Ennal, Charles-Ernest]

(b Fockenhof, Kurland, Feb 14, 1722; d Paris, March 24, 1791). French dilettante, amateur violinist and composer, patron of the arts and instrument collector. A magnificent and very wealthy nobleman, he both amused and astounded his contemporaries. M. Audinot in his comic opera La musicomanie (1779), and possibly E.T.A. Hoffmann in his tale Die Serapionsbrüder (1819), attempted to evoke his strange personality, emphasizing its ridiculous nature.

At the death of his father, a landed nobleman, in 1747, Bagge inherited a large fortune which enabled him to study the violin in Italy with Tartini. By 1750 he had settled in Paris; in the following year he was awarded the title chambellan du Roi de Prusse (then Frederick II) and married the daughter of the Swiss banker Jacob Maudry. With Maudry's death in 1762 the very large inheritance proved a source of contention to the ill-matched couple and they soon separated. Bagge later attempted to gain possession of the inheritance of Mme Maudry, who had died in ...

Article

Adrienne Fried Block

(Ray )

(b Lewiston, IL, May 26, 1886; d San Diego, Aug 28, 1975). American composer, teacher and patron. She studied with Rudolf Ganz and Felix Borowski at the Chicago Musical College (BM 1906) and with Heniot Levy and Adolf Weidig at the American Conservatory, Chicago; she also studied composition in Chicago with Wilhelm Middleschulte and in Berlin with Hugo Kaun (1909–10). From 1917 to 1926 she taught music at the San Diego High School. A respected and influential leader of musical life in San Diego, she helped to found the San Diego Opera Guild and the San Diego Civic SO (of which she was chairwoman for 14 years). Barnett wrote some 60 art songs, 49 of which were published by G. Schirmer and Summy between 1906 and 1932. They display a lyrical gift, sure tonal sense and, despite her German training, strong French harmonic influence. They are often exotic and colourful, especially ...