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Bonnie J. Blackburn

[Piero]

(b Florence, c1480; d after 1545). Italian theorist and composer. Nothing is known of Aaron’s early training, his teacher, or his career before 1516. He claims to have had ‘the greatest friendship and familiarity’ with Josquin, Obrecht, Isaac, and Agricola in Florence (most likely between 1487 and 1495, and not necessarily at the same time). By 1516 he was a priest in Imola, where he wrote his first book, Libri tres de institutione harmonica, translated into Latin by the humanist Giovanni Antonio Flaminio. A contemporary poem by Achille Bocchi praises Aaron for rescuing music ‘from squalor and dismal neglect’. By March 1520 he was a singer in Imola Cathedral and from the next year a chaplain; he was also paid by the city to teach music to those who wished to learn. His career in Imola ended abruptly in June 1522 when he was wounded in a factional uprising and his chapel in the cathedral destroyed (Blackburn, forthcoming). By ...

Article

Giovanni Carli Ballola

revised by Roberta Montemorra Marvin

(b Alessandria, March 20, 1851; d Alessandria, May 2, 1894). Italian organist and composer. He began his musical studies with his stepfather, Pietro Cornaglia. From 1868 to 1871 he attended the Milan Conservatory, studying the piano with Antonio Angeleri and composition with Lauro Rossi and Mazzucato. His graduation exercise, the cantata Caino e Abele, won the first prize and a medal of honour. He toured abroad as a concert pianist, but from 1880 until his death was organist at the cathedral in Alessandria, where he also founded a school of composition, singing and piano, and conducted concerts for the Associazione filarmonica alessandrina. He composed three operas, Isabella Spinola (1877, Milan), Maria di Warden (1884, Venice) and Una partita a scacchi (1892, Pavia), the latter based on Giuseppe Giacosa's popular comedy. In these works, which did not have much success, Abbà Cornaglia remained uninfluenced by the innovatory tendencies of the ‘Scapigliatura’ and of Catalani and by the new ...

Article

Margaret Murata

(b Città di Castello, Jan 26, 1595; d Città di Castello, ? after March 15, 1679). Italian composer and teacher. He travelled to Rome with his brother Guidobaldo, an artist, in 1623 and 1625 (Andrae, 17–19), and was employed at S Giovanni in Laterano from January 1627 to May 1629. According to his verse autobiography (in I-Rvat ) he served there ‘seven years and some months’, or from 1622, but neither this nor his statement that he held earlier positions in Città di Castello and at the Gesù in Rome have been confirmed. He subsequently served as maestro di cappella at the cathedrals of Città di Castello (June 1629 to May 1632, December 1635 to November 1640 and May 1677 to March 1679) and Orvieto (December 1632 to 1635). In Rome his principal tenures were at S Maria Maggiore, where he trained boy sopranos (...

Article

Guy Bourligueux

(b Salon-de-Provence, bap. Feb 24, 1674; d after 1733). French composer. He was the son of Jean Abeille, a royal notary, and may have been a choirboy at the collegiate church of St Laurent in Salon-de-Provence. From 1699 to 1700 he was maître de chapelle of the primate’s church of St Trophime, Arles; from 31 March 1713 until 17 October 1713, when he was succeeded by François Pétouille, he was vicaire de choeur and maître de musique at the royal parish church of St Germain-l’Auxerrois in Paris. No further details of his life are known.

His most important compositions were two volumes of the Psalms of David translated into French by Antoine Godeau, Bishop of Vence, dedicated to Mme de Maintenon and intended for the use of the young ladies at St Cyr. The 150 psalms are set with considerable skill and variety: the earlier ones are short and simple, but the later ones, in three parts alternating with ...

Article

[Petrus Abailardus]

(b Le Pallet, nr Nantes, 1079; d Saint-Marcel, nr Chalon-sur-Saône, April 21, 1142). French philosopher, poet and musician of Breton origin. After studying philosophy in Paris, he taught dialectic at the cathedral school. His love affair with Heloise, the young niece of Canon Fulbert, brought him fame as a musician. However, after they had secretly married in 1118 Fulbert had Abelard castrated. Heloise became a nun and he became a monk at St Denis. His highly original scholastic method and his restless and blunt nature aroused opposition to his teaching; principal among his opponents was Bernard of Clairvaux. After condemnation by the Council of Sens in 1140, Abelard found support from Peter the Venerable, Benedictine Abbot of Cluny.

Abelard’s songs are few beside his numerous theological and philosophical writings. Heloise’s testimony suggests that his love songs must have been important from both a literary and a musical point of view. In a later letter (probably revised by Abelard) she declared that he had ‘the gift of poetry and the gift of song’; he ‘composed quite a number of metrical and rhythmic love songs. The great charm and sweetness in language and music, and a soft attractiveness of the melody obliged even the unlettered’. These songs, presumably in Latin, have all been lost: they have not been identified among the anonymous repertory....

Article

Roger Bowers

(b c1420; d 1497). English church musician. He was noted as a fine singer and skilful organist. After service in the household of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (until 1447), and as a lay clerk of Eton College (1447–51), where he was one of the four clerks specially responsible for singing polyphony in the college chapel, he became a clerk of the Chapel Royal in 1451, and Master of the Choristers there from 1455 to 1478. His duties included teaching the boys to play the organ and to sing plainsong and improvised polyphony; also it seems probable that he was instrumental in the introduction about this time of the use of boys’ voices in composed polyphony. The award to him in 1464 of a Cambridge MusB reflects his eminence in the musical profession – he is the earliest known recipient of this degree – while the patronage of Bishop Bekynton brought him valuable sinecures in the diocese of Bath and Wells. His last years were spent as a resident of Sanctuary Yard, Westminster Abbey....

Article

Robin Langley

(b c1749; d after 1794). English composer, organist and cellist. According to his recommendation by Francis Hackwood to the Society of Musicians, on 1 February 1784 he was 35 years old, married with two children, organist of Brompton Chapel and a competent violinist, viola player and cellist. He performed as a cellist in the Handel commemoration concerts in 1784 and played in the band for the Academy of Ancient Music during the 1787–8 season. He probably also took part as a cellist in the concerts (held annually) at St Paul’s Cathedral for the relief of the clergy in 1785, 1789, 1790, 1793 and 1795.

From his extant published works it can be seen that Adams was a competent purveyor of small-scale vocal and instrumental works in the manner of Haigh, Osmond or Reeve. His music shows an awareness of changing styles: the early songs and canzonets accompanied either by harpsichord or orchestra with obbligato instrument are in the manner of Arne, giving way to a symphonic style like that of J.C. Bach or Hook in the three sonatas of op.4 (for piano or harpsichord with violin or flute accompaniment); his late sonata for piano duet shows some grasp of larger forms, and ...

Article

Nicholas Temperley

(b London, Sept 5, 1785; d London, Sept 15, 1858). English organist and composer. At 11 years of age he began to study music under Thomas Busby. He became organist at Carlisle Chapel, Lambeth (1802), at St Paul's, Deptford (1814), and at St George's, Camberwell (1824). On his appointment to the newly rebuilt church of St Dunstan-in-the-West, Fleet Street (1833), he retained the Camberwell post and he continued to hold both until his death. He was one of the most prominent organists of his time, and gave many performances of a kind that would now be termed ‘recitals’. He was much in demand at the openings of newly built organs, and from 1817 onwards he supervised and often took part in the periodic evening performances on Flight & Robson's giant ‘Apollonican’ in St Martin's Lane, London.

Adams was a master of the developing art of imitating orchestral effects on the organ. A typical recital of his, at the opening of the new Exeter Hall organ on ...

Article

Maria Eckhardt

(b Mosonszentjános, April 20, 1789; d Buda, 1862). Hungarian composer. From 1800 to 1827 he was a church musician in Győr. In 1827 he went to Pest-Buda, where he became a founding member of the Táborsky String Quartet (playing second violin). In 1838 he became regens chori of the Mátyás church in Buda, a post he held until his death. His daughter Adél (1820–99) married Ferenc Erkel and his son Vince (1826–71) became famous as a piano virtuoso in France and Switzerland.

Alder wrote a quantity of vocal and chamber music, much of which was published in his lifetime: a set of variations on a Hungarian theme and a Grande Polonaise for string quartet; a sonata for violin and piano; various piano works, including a sonatina, an ‘easy and agreeable’ fantasia, a set of variations, and a rondo on a theme from Rossini's La Cenerentola...

Article

Christine de Catanzaro

(b Niederachen, nr Inzell, Upper Bavaria, Oct 1, 1729; d Salzburg, Dec 22, 1777). German composer and organist. His father, Ulrich Adlgasser (1704–56), was a teacher and organist. On 4 December 1744 he registered in the ‘Grammatistae’ class at Salzburg University, and in the same year he became a chorister at the Salzburg court chapel. His brothers Joseph (b 1732), later organist at Laufen, and Georg (b 1736) were also choirboys in Salzburg. While a student he sang and acted in several Schuldramen, including seven by J.E. Eberlin. He studied the organ and violin, and probably also received instruction in composition from Eberlin.

Adlgasser became court and cathedral organist in 1750, shortly after Eberlin’s promotion to the post of Hofkapellmeister. According to Leopold Mozart’s account of the Salzburg musical establishment (in Marpurg’s Historisch-kritische Beyträge, iii, 1757) Adlgasser’s duties also included the accompaniment of court chamber music on the harpsichord and composing for both the court and the cathedral. After ...