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Article

Christopher Palmer and Sergio Miceli

(Alexandrovich)

(b St Petersburg, Russia, 16/29 Oct 1901; d Rome, Italy, 7 June 1983). Italian composer and conductor of Russian origin. A grandson of the composer Nikolay Sokolov and a brother of the cellist Massimo Amfitheatrof, he studied with Vītols in St. Petersburg and Křička in Prague, but the greater part of his training was undertaken in Rome, where he studied composition with Respighi at the Conservatorio di S Cecilia (diploma 1924) and the organ at the Pontifical Academy of Sacred Music. He was engaged as a pianist, organist, and chorus assistant at the Augusteo (1924–9), also conducting the orchestra under Molinari's supervision. Thereafter he was artistic director of the Genoa and Trieste radio stations and conductor and manager for Italian radio in Turin; he also conducted elsewhere in Europe. In 1937 he went to the United States as associate conductor of the Minneapolis SO, and in ...

Article

Kenneth Winters

(b Toronto, ON, 3 April 1918, d Toronto, ON, 20 April 2000). Canadian composer and arts administrator. He studied the piano with Boris Berlin, and theory and composition with Healey Willan, Ernest MacMillan, and Leonard B. Smith, before continuing composition studies with Roy Harris and Bernard Wagenaar in New York (1940–41). For the next eight years, Applebaum worked for the National Film Board of Canada, producing some 250 film scores. During this period he became increasingly concerned with improving the position of professional musicians in Canada. His combined interests in creative and socioeconomic development led to a career that influenced every aspect of Canadian music. During the 1960s he served as consultant for CBC television and chair of the planning committee for the National Arts Centre, Ottawa. His 1965 Proposal for the Musical Development of the Capital Region led to the formation of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the University of Ottawa music department. Throughout the 1970s he served as executive director of the Ontario Arts Council and in ...

Article

Martin Marks

(b New York, NY, 19 April 1888; d Ukiah, CA, 13 Feb 1959). Composer and conductor. After private music study in Berlin, he conducted for Oscar Hammerstein's Manhattan Opera Company, which closed in 1910, and then for productions on Broadway. By 1921 he had become an assistant conductor at the Capitol Theater, where silent films were presented with full orchestral accompaniment; in 1923, in partnership with David Mendoza, he replaced Erno Rapée as principal conductor. In addition to conducting, he composed incidental film music for the Capitol as needed, including 57 pieces published in the Capitol Photoplay Series (New York, 1923–7). From 1925 to 1929 he collaborated with Mendoza in New York on compilation scores for at least 20 MGM films, beginning with The Big Parade. Their collaboration continued with the music for Don Juan (1926), the first feature film score to be presented using the Vitaphone process, which mechanically synchronized the playback of music recorded on wax discs with the projection of the film. In ...

Article

Richard Swift

revised by Steve Metcalf

(Seiko)

(b Seattle, WA, 9 July 1938). Composer. He studied composition with Robert Palmer (i) at Cornell University (MA in English literature 1961, DMA 1965), and continued his studies with Nadia Boulanger in Paris (1962–3), Ernst Pepping in Berlin (1965–6), and Gunther Schuller at the Berkshire Music Center (1966). He joined the faculty of UCLA in 1966 and was associate professor of music until 1976; during those years he founded and directed the Twice Ensemble, conducted the collegium musicum and was composer-in-residence for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (1971–4). He was Andrew Mellon Professor at the California Institute of Technology in 1975 and taught at the California Institute of the Arts (1976). In 1980 he became composer-in-residence for the San Francisco Ballet. He re-joined the UCLA faculty in 1996 and was Visiting Professor in 1999. He has written over 15 film scores and has worked as a consultant and arranger for stage musicals, including Duke Ellington's ...

Article

Daniel Goldmark

(b Minneapolis, MN, 28 March, 1941). Composer for television, conductor, arranger, and orchestrator. Clausen grew up in Jamestown, ND, where he took up French horn and piano, as well as singing in school choirs. He attended North Dakota State University studying mechanical engineering before a summer in New York City, before being exposed to first-run Broadway musicals and other professional musical settings convinced him he should pursue music instead. He took up string bass and baritone sax and graduated with a degree in music in 1963, followed by a masters degree at Berklee College of Music.

After moving to southern California, his first high-profile professional gig was as an arranger for the second season of The Donny and Marie Show, and eventually conductor and music director for the show’s third season. He moved away from variety and into scripted drama with his work on Moonlighting; during this time he also scored the comedy series ...

Article

Ryan Dohoney

(b Concord, NH, March 7, 1940; d Cheektowaga, NY, April 9, 2016). American filmmaker, composer, violinist, and media artist. He began playing violin in his youth and studied with Ronald Knudsen. He became fascinated with the physics of sounds and interested in intonation, the harmonic series, long-held tones, and the act of close listening. He attended Harvard University and received an AB in mathematics in 1962. While at Harvard he met Henry Flynt and Christian George Wolff and became involved with the post-Cagean avant garde based in New York. In 1959 Conrad met La Monte Young, who became a frequent collaborator in the mid-1960s. Conrad credited an encounter with the music of 17th-century composer and violinist Heinrich Ignaz Biber in the late 1950s with a profound transformation of his musical thinking, drawing his attention to variable tunings and the role of timbre as an aesthetic concern. Conrad’s exposure to the music of Ali Akbar Khan also heightened his interest in drones as a basis for musical performance....

Article

Neil Lerner

(b Brooklyn, NY, 14 Nov 1900; d North Tarrytown, NY, 2 Dec 1990). American composer for screen, stage, and concert hall. Before Aaron Copland became interested in writing music for film in the late 1930s, he was already recognized as one of his generation’s leading composers. Notable early works like his Piano Concerto (1926) or his Piano Variations (1930) were regarded as modernist for their use of jazz elements and extended dissonances, but by the mid-1930s Copland’s output was becoming more accessible to wider audiences, with pieces like El Salón México (1936) and Billy the Kid (1938). His interest in film music occurred, then, as part of his broader efforts to cultivate and reach a larger audience, a shift to a more accessible musical style that has been connected with Copland’s own phrase, ‘imposed simplicity’. At the time Copland pondered the writing of film music—he travelled to Hollywood in June of ...

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Alan Silvestri poses in the press room with the award for outstanding music direction for a series (original dramatic score) for his work on "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" and the award for outstanding main title theme music for his work on "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" at the 2014 Creative Arts Emmys at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, in Los Angeles....

Article

Richard C. Lynch

(b New York, NY, 5 July 1912; d Rancho Mirage, CA, 30 Dec 1993). Lyricist and composer. He attended Cornell University for two years, then left to study law briefly at St. John's University, soon giving up these pursuits to follow his love for songwriting. He started writing lyrics for popular songs in the early 1930s, achieving his first major successes (1939–40) in partnership with André Kostelanetz. He subsequently wrote over 1000 songs, including many for film and television, receiving eight Academy Award nominations, the first in 1950 for his song “Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Boo” from the Walt Disney animated film of Cinderella. In the early 1950s he wrote songs with Jerry Livingston for three musicals for Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis; other collaborators have included Ellington, Bacharach, Basie, Gold, and Mancini. His composing style was flexible enough to produce hits for The Shirelles, Ella Fitzgerald, and the Judds as well as theme music for ...

Article

George J. Ferencz

(b Hartford, CT, 3 Aug 1906; d Los Angeles, CA, 26 Sept 1972). Conductor, composer, arranger, and film producer. He attended Loyola College, later studying with Joseph Schillinger and Ernst Toch. Beginning in 1927, he conducted Broadway musicals by several of its leading songwriters, including Schwartz (Flying Colors, 1932), Romberg (May Wine, 1935), Arlen (Hooray for What?, 1937), Porter (Leave it to Me, 1938), Kern (Very Warm for May, 1939), and Berlin (Louisiana Purchase, 1940). He also appeared frequently as a network radio conductor during the 1930s. He joined Paramount in 1941 and worked on several dozen films, variously as composer, arranger, conductor, or musical director, including Holiday Inn (1942), Lady in the Dark (1944), and Blue Skies (1946). He also served as producer for the lavish Paramount musicals White Christmas...