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John Whenham

(b 1623–8; d Bologna, 1699, before 28 Jan). Italian singer, composer and instrument maker. He was an Augustinian monk who was employed from about 1649 as a soprano castrato at the Este court at Modena. On 13 November 1660 he was appointed to the choir of S Petronio, Bologna, with a stipend of 50 lire a month; he was discharged on 24 April 1662 but rejoined on 25 July 1663. In October 1665 he returned to Modena, where he succeeded Marco Uccellini as choirmaster of the cathedral. He vacated this post in November 1673 and by early 1674 was again living at Bologna. Between 1677 and 1681 he served as a singer in the cappella of Duke Francesco II of Modena. In 1685 he was made a member of the Accademia Filarmonica, Bologna, and seems to have spent his last years in or near that city. He wrote to the Duke of Modena in ...

Article

William Waterhouse

( b 1872; d Switzerland, Jan 1938). Italian flute maker, flautist and composer . He was a flautist at La Scala, Milan, from 1897. In 1910 he invented his ‘Albisiphon’, a vertically-held, Boehm-system bass flute in C, with a T-shaped head, which he described in his Albisiphon: flauto ottava bassa (Milan, 1910). It was used by, among others, Mascagni in Parisina (1913), and Zandonai in Melenis (1912) and Francesca da Rimini (1914). The Dayton Miller Collection (Library of Congress, Washington, DC) possesses two models of an ‘albisiphon baritono’ in C and a tenor in F. There is also an example of another invention which Miller termed ‘half flute in C’ (that part of a regular flute played by the left hand, with a wooden handle for right hand) for which Albisi composed a concerto. He also made flutes in collaboration with the Milanese maker Luigi Vanotti in about ...

Article

Lyndesay G. Langwill

revised by James B. Kopp

(b Ronsdorf [now Wuppertal], Germany, Oct 3, 1786; d Biebrich, Germany, Sept 14, 1843). German bassoonist, inventor, and composer. Largely self-taught, he was a professional bassoonist in Cologne from 1808. After a period with the Frankfurt Nationaltheater (1812–14) he returned to Cologne as bandmaster of the 3rd Prussian Militia, then accepted a similar position in Mainz (1816), where he met the acoustician and theorist Gottfried Weber. His association with Weber influenced his subsequent career and led him to make fundamental improvements to the bassoon. In 1817 he experimented in the instrument factory of B. Schotts Söhne. He first published his findings in Traité sur le perfectionnement du basson avec deux tableaux (Mainz, c1823), describing his improved 15-key bassoon. In 1820, after Weber’s departure from Mainz, Almenräder returned to Cologne where he taught and performed and also made flutes and clarinets in his own workshop. He gave this up in ...

Article

Hugh Davies and Susan McClary

(b Chicago, IL, June 5, 1947). American performance artist, composer, and instrument innovator. Although she played the violin from childhood, she received her formal training in the visual arts (Barnard College, BA 1969; Columbia University, MFA 1972). During the 1970s she became one of the most celebrated practitioners of performance art. Her work has incorporated graphics, lighting, sculpture, mime, slides, film, speech, music, and many electronic devices, some of her own design. By 1976 her performances were featured prominently in museums and concert venues across Europe and North America.

Anderson has achieved great visibility, in part because of her originality: coming to music from the visual arts, she was free to manipulate sounds as she liked. Her unexpected crossover into the popular domain brought her a degree of fame and influence usually unavailable to avant-garde artists.

Since the mid-1970s Anderson has developed several instruments for use in her performances and exhibitions. A typical programme for one of her live shows includes all or part of her large-scale music theatre work ...

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

Lorenzo Bianconi

revised by Andrea Chegai

(b Urbino; fl 1591–6; d ?Venice, ?1607). Italian composer, poet and instrument inventor. A connection with Urbino is suggested by the dedications to the Della Rovere family of his two surviving publications; his book of madrigals further includes a preface addressed to ‘miei Signori & Patriotti’ of Urbino. He was maestro di cappella at Venice Cathedral (S Pietro di Castello) from 1591 until at least 1596. His whereabouts after 1596 are unknown; a notice in a necrology from S Maria Formosa, Venice, may refer to his death in 1607.

Balsamino is the author of a tragicomedy, La perla (Venice, 1596), which draws heavily on Tasso’s Aminta. He may have intended portions of the drama to be sung: one scene closes with a parody of the poem Ancor che col partir, famous for its setting by Rore. His only music publication, a book of six-part madrigals (Venice, 1594...

Article

Jody Diamond

(b Bay Shore, NY, April 7, 1946). American composer, performer, instrument builder and ethnomusicologist. She received the BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and the MA and PhD from Wesleyan University, where she studied Indonesian and Indian music. She has performed with the ensembles of Philip Glass, Jon Gibson, Alvin Lucier, Philip Corner and Daniel Goode. In 1976 she co-founded, with Corner and Goode, the Gamelan Son of Lion, New York, a new music collective and repertory ensemble under her direction. In addition, she has built several Javanese-style iron gamelans, including the instruments used by the Gamelan Son of Lion and Gamelan Encantada, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Benary’s compositional output has been primarily in the areas of ensemble and chamber music, and music for the theatre. She has described herself as a ‘part-time minimalist who also likes to write melody’. Many of her works integrate world music forms, structures and instruments with traditional Western materials. Her works for gamelan ensemble, which number more than 30, have been performed internationally. ...

Article

Kari Michelsen

(b Memel, Prussia, May 12, 1714; d Trondheim, Nov 4, 1787). Norwegian organist, composer, inventor and writer of German birth. He studied the organ with his father Heinrich Berlin, and in 1730 went to Copenhagen, where he became the pupil of the city musician Andreas Berg. In 1737 Berlin was appointed city musician in Trondheim, a post he held until 1767. From 1740 to his death he was organist at Trondheim Cathedral and from 1752 to 1761 at the Vår Frue Kirke. Berlin was probably the most exceptional and versatile figure in 18th-century Trondheim: he not only conscientiously carried out his duties as city musician, but published books and papers on a variety of subjects (including music theory, meteorology and astronomy); he arranged concerts, composed, and built instruments; he was for many years the head of the city fire-service and inspector of the city waterworks; he was a map designer and architect; and he owned one of the largest collections of music literature and instruments in Norway. His ...

Article

(b Reggio nell’Emilia, before 1675; d ?Ferrara, after 1694). Italian writer on wind instruments, cornettist and composer. A few biographical details are in his correspondence with the princes of Este, preserved in the Modena state archive. He was educated in Reggio nell’Emilia at the Servite convent and joined the Servite order; after studying away from home (possibly in Bologna, according to Cavicchi) he returned to Reggio nell’Emilia, then went to Ferrara in 1675 and lived in the Servite convent there. He was a musician at Ferrara Cathedral and a cornett virtuoso at the Accademia dello Spirito Santo. His Compendio musicale, its foreword dating from 1677, survives as a manuscript ( I-REm ). Dedicated to his patron, Abbot Ferrante Bentivoglio, it was probably intended for publication; a postscript of 1694 implies that it was not printed because of his patron’s death. It is mostly rather conservative; its significance lies in the detailed instructions on playing the recorder, the flageolet and especially the cornett, as practically no other wind instrument tutor is known from Italy or France for the period between ...

Article

(b Springfield, MA, June 13, 1965). American composer, performer, and instrument maker, based in Oakland, California. She holds the BA in Computer Science and Music from Dartmouth College (1987) and MA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College (1992), and since 1993 has taught electronic music at the College of San Mateo. She performs on french horn and acoustic and electronic instruments of her own design, often with the improvisation ensemble Vorticella. Among her original instruments are amplified rocking chairs, bull kelp horns, Leaf Speakers, the Gliss Glass, and the Sliding Speaker. Her composition Lift, Loft, Lull explores the sonic properties of balloons as resonators in instruments made of metal bars, pipes, plates, and scraps. Bobrowski’s kelp horns (1989 and later) are long, slender conical tubes of natural kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana), slowly dried and shaped, and blown like a brass instrument. Leaf Speakers (...