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Article

Marie Rolf

(Hans)

(b Mannheim, March 4, 1928). American composer and conductor of German birth. Both of his parents were musical, his father being a cantor and composer of Jewish liturgical music. The family came to the USA in 1939 and Adler attended Boston University (BM 1948) and Harvard University (MA 1950). He studied composition with Aaron Copland, Paul Fromm, Paul Hindemith, Hugo Norden, Walter Piston and Randall Thompson; musicology with Karl Geiringer, A.T. Davison and Paul A. Pisk; and conducting with Sergey Koussevitzky at the Berkshire Music Center. In 1950 he joined the US Army and organized the Seventh Army SO, which he conducted in more than 75 concerts in Germany and Austria; he was awarded the Army Medal of Honor for his musical services. Subsequently he conducted concerts and operas, and lectured extensively throughout Europe and the USA. In 1957 he was appointed professor of composition at North Texas State University, and in ...

Article

Kathleen Dale

revised by Axel Helmer

(Emanuel)

(b Stockholm, Jan 19, 1860; d Stockholm, Jan 20, 1938). Swedish composer, organist and conductor. He attended the Swedish Royal Academy of Music (1882–6), studying counterpoint and composition with J. Dente, and was a pupil of Franck in Paris (1887–8). In Stockholm he was coach at the Royal Opera (1888–90), organist at the synagogue (1890–1928), music teacher at Norrmalm’s grammar school (1895–1923) and teacher at Richard Anderssons Musikskola (1897–1909). From 1886 he conducted several choirs, including the Bellman Choir (1895–1926), which he also founded, and the Philharmonic Society (1900–03). Åkerberg’s compositions often approach the style of Swedish folk music, especially the ballads Kung Svegder and Prinsessan och Svennen. They are technically sound but conventional.

MSS in S-Skma, Svenska Tonsättares Internationella Musikbyrå

Article

John Beckwith

(b Budapest, April 12, 1919; d Kingston, ON, February 24, 2012). Canadian composer, conductor and pianist of Hungarian birth. He studied with Kodály at the Budapest Academy (1937–41). As a young man he spent a period with other Jewish youths in a forced-labour contingent of the Hungarian Army; his later war experiences – escape, then concealment by friends during the winter of 1944–5 – are described in the memoirs of the novelist Theresa de Kerpely (Teresa Kay). After a season as assistant conductor at the Budapest Opera (1945–6), he went to Paris for further studies in piano (Soulima Stravinsky), conducting (Fourestier) and composition (Boulanger), remaining there for three years. He moved to Canada in 1949 (taking Canadian nationality in 1955), and for three years held a Lady Davis Fellowship and an appointment as assistant professor at McGill University. There he founded the electronic music studio and served for six years as chair of the department of theoretical music. He held grants for electronic music research from the Canada Council (...

Article

Eliyahu Schleifer

(b Jerusalem, Sept 15, 1941). Israeli composer and conductor. He studied at the Rubin Academy of Music (teacher's diploma 1967, BMus 1972) and at the Salzburg Mozarteum (1976). From 1968 to 1973 he served as the director of Renanot, the Institute of Jewish Music, Jerusalem. In 1971 he joined the music department at Bar-Ilan University, where he founded an electro-acoustic laboratory in 1995. He has conducted numerous concerts in Israel, as well as national television and radio broadcasts. In 1973 he helped establish the Natanya SO, with which he has performed concerts of contemporary Israeli music. An award-winning youth orchestra conductor, he became music director of the Jerusalem Youth Orchestra in 1987.

Avitsur's compositions express a deep commitment to Jewish and Israeli culture. Many of his works are large-scale vocal compositions based on scenes from recent Jewish history. Much of his music, such as the Symphony no.2 ‘Shirat Hadorot’ (‘Generations’ chanting’, ...

Article

William Y. Elias

(b Brichevo, Bessarabia [now Moldavia], May 1, 1927; d Tel Hashomer, Israel, March 17, 2005). Israeli conductor and composer of Russian birth. Taken to Palestine as a child, he began violin lessons at the age of six. He later studied at the Milan Conservatory (1946–7), in Israel, and at the Paris Conservatoire (1951–4) while taking further studies with Nadia Boulanger, Chailley, Honegger and Messiaen. In 1954 he returned to Israel and taught conducting at the Music Teachers’ College, Tel-Aviv, and later at the Rubin Academy of Tel-Aviv University, where he was appointed a professor in 1975. In 1955 he formed the Rinat Choir, which quickly acquired a wide reputation and became the Israel Chamber Choir. Bertini’s orchestral début was also in 1955 with the Israel PO, with which he first toured the USA and East Asia in 1960. His British début was in 1965...

Article

J.A. Fuller Maitland

revised by Robert Philip

(b Aachen, April 21, 1871; d Berlin, Aug 24, 1958). German conductor and composer. In Berlin he studied the piano under Ernst Rudorff, and composition under Woldemar Bargiel and later under Humperdinck. He was conductor at the Stadttheater, Aachen (1893–9) and then at the Neues Deutsches Theater in Prague (1899–1906), where his reputation as a conductor and composer of opera became well established. In 1906 he was appointed conductor of the Royal Opera House, Berlin, where he became Generalmusikdirektor in 1913. In 1923 he moved to the Deutsches Opernhaus, Berlin, as artistic director, and this was followed by a year at the Berlin Volksoper in 1924, and a year at the Vienna Volksoper in 1925. In 1926 he returned to Berlin as conductor of the Staatsoper on Unter den Linden, and remained there, achieving great success, until, being Jewish, he found himself unable to return from a guest engagement at Rīga in ...

Article

Fritz Hennenberg

(b Hamburg, Dec 19, 1894; d Königs Wusterhausen, June 28, 1979). German composer and conductor.

His grandfather, Moses B. Dessau, was cantor in the Hamburg synagogue. Dessau began violin lessons at the age of six and appeared as a soloist at the age of 11. In 1909 he moved to Berlin, where he studied the violin at the Klindworth-Schwarwenka Conservatory with Florian Zajic. When Zajic advised him to discontinue his violin studies, he decided to become a composer and conductor, studying privately with Eduard Behm and Max Loewengard. In 1912 he became a répétiteur at the Hamburg opera house. Thanks to his cousin Jean Gilbert, who had built up an operetta empire, he was appointed Kapellmeister at the Tivoli Theatre in Bremen in 1914. He began to establish his reputation as a composer in 1915 when his piano sonata was given its first performance by Bruno Eisner in Berlin. After serving in World War I, he gained more experience in the theatre at the Hamburg Kammerspiele, where he worked as both a composer and a conductor. He went on to hold posts as an opera conductor in Cologne (...

Article

Paul Griffiths

revised by Jeremy Drake

(b Vienna, Nov 17, 1892; d Paris, Nov 22, 1982). French composer, teacher and conductor of Austrian origin. He studied at the University of Vienna (1910–15) and with Schoenberg (1913–20), also serving in World War I. During the 1920s he worked as a theatre conductor in several European countries and composed large orchestral scores for Pabst’s Die freudlose Gasse and Der Schatz. In Berlin in 1923, following the example of Schoenberg's Verein für Musikalische Privataufführungen, he founded an orchestra for private performances. He moved to Paris in 1924, and there gave the French premières of works by Schoenberg, Webern and Berg (including the Kammerkonzert in 1927). He also founded Le Miroir Jiddish, a Jewish theatre ensemble, which gave concerts in England. In 1934 he took up a chair at the University of Madrid, where he was musical director for the Casa Cinematográfica Aranjuez, but the civil war forced his return to Paris the next year. He then worked as a pianist and revue composer before volunteering for service in the French Foreign Legion (...

Article

Andrew D. McCredie

[Wolf, Markus]

(b Lemberg [now L′viv], Dec 27, 1874; d Basle, July 19, 1951). German composer and conductor. He studied the piano with Herzogenberg in Berlin, and harmony and composition with Rheinberger and Thuille in Munich. After brief engagements as Kapellmeister in Saarbrücken (1906–7) and Lübeck (1910–11), productions of his ballet Rialon (Munich, 1911) and his opera Judith (Nuremberg, 1921) gained him recognition as a composer. He resumed his conducting career in Leipzig in 1920 and later conducted in Berlin (1929–33). In these years Ettinger showed a particular fondness for the Literaturoper, writing operas based on texts by Boccaccio, Friedrich Hebbel, Georg Kaiser, Goethe, Frank Wedekind and Emile Zola.

In 1933 the political situation in Germany forced Ettinger, a descendant of Eastern European Jews, to emigrate to Switzerland. There he began to compose Bekenntnis music in opposition to the Third Reich. Among these works are oratorios and cantatas on Jewish themes and texts, such as ...

Article

Claudio Casini

(b Milan, May 3, 1910). Italian conductor and composer. He studied first with his father Arnaldo Galliera (1871–1934), a composer and teacher of organ composition at the Parma Conservatory, and then at the Milan Conservatory, where he graduated in the piano, the organ and composition; in 1932 he obtained a lectureship there in the organ and organ composition. He made his conducting début at Rome in 1941 with the orchestra of the Accademia di S Cecilia. After a period in Switzerland during World War II he resumed his career in 1945 with a concert at the Lucerne Festival. He subsequently pursued his career mainly in other countries, with tours in Europe, Israel, North and South America, South Africa and Australia. From 1957 to 1960 he was resident conductor at the Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa, and from 1964 to 1972 was artistic director and resident conductor of the Strasbourg municipal orchestra. He made several recordings with the Philharmonia Orchestra including ...