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Article

Greg A. Handel

(Eugene)

(b West Hempstead, NY, April 26, 1956). American music educator, choral arranger, editor, and conductor. He was a member of the American Boychoir (1969–71), and received degrees from St Olaf College (BM 1978), the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (MM 1980), and Michigan State University (DMA 1987). He was on the summer faculty of the American Boychoir School and now serves on the Board of Trustees. He taught at Calvin College (1980–90) before becoming the fourth conductor of the St Olaf Choir and the Harry R. and Thora H. Tosdal Endowed Professor of Music (1990–). Armstrong is the editor for Earthsongs publications and co-editor of the St. Olaf Choir Series. He chronicled the history of the St Olaf Choir in his doctoral dissertation. He is featured on an instructional video for adolescent singers, Body, Mind, Spirit, Voice (2002...

Article

Roben Jones

[John Henderson ]

(b Whitehaven, TN, April 8, 1931). American singer-songwriter, producer, publisher, and entrepreneur. He began playing bluegrass while in the military and after his discharge in 1952, played at radio stations in Wheeling, West Virginia, and Boston. While enrolled in Memphis State University (from 1954), he worked nights and weekends at the Eagle’s Nest club. After working briefly for Fernwood Records, he was hired by Sun Records, where he recorded Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, among others. He wrote hits for several of Sun’s artists, including Johnny Cash’s singles “Ballad of a Teenage Queen” and “Guess things happen that way” (both Sun, 1958).

Clement left Sun in 1960 to became a staff producer for RCA in Nashville. In 1963 he moved to Texas, started a publishing company, and produced Dickey Lee’s hit “Patches” (Smash, 1963). After returning to Nashville in 1965, he discovered and produced Charlie Pride and wrote songs for a variety of country artists, including Pride (“Just between you and me,” RCA Victor, ...

Article

Evan Feldman

(b Port Huron, MI, April 17, 1943). American composer, conductor, educator, and publisher. He received some of his earliest training in the Salvation Army Instrumental Music program, a debt he later repaid as editor of their music publications. He undertook undergraduate studies at Wayne State University (BM 1966) and graduate studies at Michigan State (MM 1970), studying euphonium with Leonard Falcone and conducting with Harry Begian. His composition teachers were F. Maxwell Wood, James Gibb, Jere Hutchinson, and Irwin Fischer. He has over 400 works in his catalog, mostly tonal, many of which take their inspiration from literature. He is widely known for his symphonic band and brass band works, several of which have won major awards: Symphonic Triptych, Collage for Band (ASBDA/Volkwein, 1977, 1979), Mutanza, Symphonic Variants for Euphonium and Band (ABA/Ostwald, 1980, 1984), and Lochinvar (Coup de Vents, France, 1994). His prolific output for young musicians reflects his many years teaching at public school and college levels. He founded and presides over Curnow Music Press, Inc....

Article

Darlene Graves and Michael Graves

[William J. ]

(b Alexandria, IN, March 28, 1936). American gospel songwriter, performer, producer, and publisher. He grew up on a small farm in Indiana and graduated from Anderson College with a major in English and a minor in music. He went on to receive a master’s degree in guidance and counseling and met his future wife and song-producing partner, Gloria Sickal, while both were teaching high school. Gaither started singing gospel music as a child and in 1956 formed the Bill Gaither Trio with his brother Danny and his sister Mary Ann. He started his own publishing company in 1959. He continued to perform and compose while a teacher at Alexandria High School and in 1961 formed the Gaither Music Company to publish his works. After their marriage in 1962, Gaither and his wife wrote their first major song, “He touched me,” which was a significant hit by 1963. He re-formed the Bill Gaither Trio with Gloria and Danny, and in ...

Article

Jeremy Siepmann

(b Treysa, Hesse, July 28, 1948). German pianist, editor and author. He studied in Mannheim, at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart and finally at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, where his teachers were Aloys Kontarsky and Wilhelm Hecker. Since the start of his career he has concentrated almost exclusively on 20th-century works, about which he has written and published extensively. From 1980 to 1985 he edited and published the five-volume series of yearbooks Neuland, Ansätze zur Musik der Gegenwart. Henck has given frequent courses at Darmstadt and elsewhere and has made over 40 recordings, including the three sonatas by Boulez, Cage’s Music of Changes, Cheap Imitation and Music for Piano 1–84, three piano cycles by Gurdjieff/de Hartmann, Koechlin’s Les heures persanes, Stockhausen’s Klavierstücke I–IX and works by Schoenberg, Ives, Mompou, McGuire and Medek. Since 1984 he has recorded several discs of keyboard improvisations. He has also published many articles and books, including ...

Article

L. Brett Scott

(Walter)

(b Port Colborne, ON, Oct 14, 1927; d Caledon East, ON, April 3, 1998). Canadian choral conductor, arranger, editor, and teacher. After graduating from the University of Toronto (BM 1950), he conducted the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra and All-Varsity Mixed Chorus, was a choir member at St. Mary Magdelene Church under Healey Willan, and apprenticed with Sir Ernest MacMillan as assistant conductor of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. In 1964 he was appointed conductor of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, a position he held until 1997. He taught choral music at the University of Toronto from 1965 to 1968, and was Adjunct Professor from 1997 until his death in 1998. After his death, the University of Toronto’s Elmer Iseler Chair in Conducting was established in his honor.

Iseler’s work with his professional choirs established his reputation in Canada and internationally. In 1954 he helped found Canada’s first professional choir, the Toronto Festival Singers. He founded the Elmer Iseler Singers in ...

Article

Nadia Turbide

(b Cleveland, OH, Aug 13, 1907; d New York, NY, March 13, 2002). American soprano, music publisher, and concert manager. She studied singing with Ruth Thayer Burnham while attending Abbot Academy, Andover, and later at Wellesley College (BA 1929). After two years as an actress at the Cleveland Playhouse, she sang in Gabriel Pierné’s La croisade des enfants with the Cleveland Orchestra (1932). She was then coached by Eva Gauthier in New York and made her debut there in 1934 at Town Hall in the North American premiere of Handel’s solo cantata La Lucrezia. Three years later she sang Butterfly and Tosca with the Royal Flemish Opera in Antwerp. After meeting Sibelius in Finland, she returned to the United States and introduced a number of his songs in concert (1938). During World War II Johnson escorted a convoy of refugees from Paris to Spain and as a result of the ordeal lost her voice. She joined the staff of ...

Article

Arthur Jacobs

revised by Noël Goodwin

(Mathias)

(b London, Nov 19, 1934). English conductor, editor and translator. After reading Russian and German at Oxford University, he studied music privately with Iain Hamilton. As a Russian-language specialist, his first professional engagement was to coach Boris Godunov in Russian at Covent Garden in 1959. He assisted John Pritchard in preparing the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s ‘Musica Viva’ series in 1960, and became chorus master and assistant conductor of the New Opera Company the same year. In 1963 he began guest engagements with the BBC Welsh Orchestra and other orchestras. He conducted Scottish Opera in his own translation of Boris Godunov in 1967 and gave the first British performances of Fauré’s Pénélope (1970, RAM) and Haydn’s La fedeltà premiata (1971, Camden Festival). He was engaged by the Welsh National Opera and the Wexford Festival, and made his Covent Garden début with Boris Godunov in 1971. The next year he joined Sadler’s Wells Opera as assistant to the musical director and conducted, with conspicuous success, the first British stage performances of Prokofiev’s ...

Article

Sorab Modi

revised by Richard R. Bunbury

(b Bunceton, MO, Sept 1, 1917; d Staten Island, NY, Oct 7, 2007). American conductor, organist, and editor. He studied at Concordia College in River Forest, Illinois, the University of Chicago (BA 1942), the American Conservatory (BMus 1944, MMus 1946), and Yale University (PhD 1960); he also studied conducting with Nikolai Malko. He was music director at Zion Lutheran School in Chicago (1938–48) and a member of the organ and theory faculty at the American Conservatory (1945–7). From 1957 to 1966 he was an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and from 1967 until his retirement in 1983 he was a professor of music at the College of Staten Island in New York City. From his retirement until 1995 he was director of the Collegium Musicum in the Lutheran Summer Music Program. As an organist and choir director Mattfeld was associated with several churches in Chicago, New York, New Jersey, and New England (...

Article

Matthew Greenall

(b London, Sept 24, 1945). English composer, conductor and editor. He was a chorister at Highgate School, following which he studied music at Clare College, Cambridge. He then taught at the University of Southampton, returning to Clare College as the director of music in 1975. In 1979 he left to devote himself to composition and subsequently to found the Cambridge Singers, a professional choir with whom he has made many recordings, both of his own music and of other (mainly European) choral works. Rutter has concentrated on composing vocal music, particularly for choirs. Within this field he has become probably the most popular and widely performed composer of his generation, especially in the UK and the USA. His idiom grows out of the British choral tradition as exemplified by Holst, Vaughan Williams, Howells, Britten and Tippett, but also draws on a wider sympathy for European music of the later 19th and early 20th centuries, especially the harmonic and melodic language of Fauré, Duruflé and their contemporaries. Rutter's particular gift is for skilled craftsmanship and memorable phrase, found at its simplest in works such as the anthem ...

Article

Jean R. Freedman

[Margaret ]

(b New York, NY, June 17, 1935). American folksinger, songwriter, and folksong collector, daughter of musicologist charles Seeger and composer, educator, and folksong anthologist Ruth Crawford Seeger. Peggy learned piano, guitar, music theory, and transcription from her parents. With her brother mike Seeger , she learned banjo from a book written by their half-brother pete r. Seeger . She later became proficient on autoharp, Appalachian dulcimer, and English concertina. She made her first recording, Folk Songs of Courting and Complaint, while a student at Radcliffe College (1953–5). During the autumn of 1955, she studied at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. From 1956 to 1959 she traveled throughout Europe, the United States, Russia, and China before settling in England with folksinger, songwriter, and playwright Ewan MacColl [James Henry Miller] (1915–89), who became her musical partner, husband, and father of her children, Neill, Calum, and Kitty. With MacColl, she made more than 100 recordings of traditional Anglo-American ballads, political songs, love songs, work songs, and songs from literature. They frequently performed in folk clubs and concert halls, at festivals, on television, and in films. Seeger and MacColl felt that traditional music was a solid foundation on which the modern songwriter could build. They brought to their songwriting a political dimension, believing that folksongs represent the struggles of ordinary people whose lives are often ignored and whose creations are frequently slighted....

Article

Don Cusic

[Ragsdale, Harold Ray ]

(b Clarkdale, GA, Jan 24, 1939). American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger, music publisher, television star, and entrepreneur. Harold Ragsdale began his musical career with a high school band that played R&B songs by the Coasters, Drifters, and other R&B groups. In 1955 the family moved to Atlanta, where publisher Bill Lowery signed him as a songwriter and secured his first recording contract with Capitol Records; Capitol’s Head of A&R, Ken Nelson changed Ragsdale’s name to Ray Stevens. After attending Georgia State University, where he studied music, Stevens had his first success with his recording of “Jeremiah Peabody’s Poly Unsaturated Quick Dissolving Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green and Purple Pills” (Mercury, 1961). In 1962 he moved to Nashville, supplementing his own recording career with work as a session musician, arranger, and background vocalist. He garnered a number-one pop hit and his first Grammy with his recording of “Everything is beautiful” (Barnaby, ...

Article

Herman Trotter

(Philip)

(b Washington DC, Dec 6, 1946). American composer, performer, writer and publisher. He studied at SUNY, Buffalo (MA 1972, PhD 1976), where his teachers included Lejaren Hiller and Morton Feldman. He has been a member of Lukas Foss's Center of the Creative and Performing Arts and has held faculty positions at Empire State College, Buffalo (1974–86), and SUNY, Buffalo (1979–86). He has served as a critic and writer for Musical America/Opus Magazine, the Buffalo News and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is the author of Handbook of Instrumentation (Berkeley, California, 1985). Kallisti Music Press, of which he is the founder, has published the complete works of Anthony Philip Heinrich and 40 previously unpublished compositions by Hiller, as well as Stiller’s own works.

Stiller's music is eclectic and original, but makes no attempt to establish new sonic frontiers. His works are often scored for unusual combinations of instruments and many of his titles reveal a propensity towards the fanciful and whimsical. The chamber opera ...

Article

Gilles Potvin

(b Natashquan, Quebec, Oct 27, 1928). Canadian songwriter, singer, poet and publisher . He wrote poems and songs while teaching French and mathematics in Quebec City. He first sang publicly in 1960 and his success led to a first recording in 1962. Two years later, his song Jack Monoloy won second prize at an international competition in Sopot, Poland. His best-known song is Mon pays, also sung at Sopot in 1965. He has toured extensively in Canada and French-speaking countries of Europe. He was awarded a Grand Prix du Disque by the Académie Charles Cros in 1970 and 1984. Vigneault’s songs are about the people of Quebec, specifically those who live on his native north shore of the St Lawrence. Some of his songs contain social protest, some are simple love stories, some are whimsical and humorous.

EMC2 (C. Rioux) M. Gagné: Gilles Vigneault (Quebec City, 1977)...