(b Parma, Italy, Sept 1, 1860; d Chicago, IL, Dec 19, 1919). Italian conductor, opera manager, and violinist. After violin study in Parma, he began to conduct there in 1880. Campanini was assistant conductor with the Metropolitan Opera in its inaugural season (1883–4), often leading his brother, tenor Italo. Returning to Europe, Campanini conducted extensively in Italy; successes there led to engagements in Spain and South America. In 1887 Campanini returned to the United States and conducted the American premiere of Verdi’s Otello (Academy of Music, New York, 16 April 1888). His wife Eva, sister of Luisa Tetrazzini, sang Desdemona. Returning once again to Europe, he conducted at Covent Garden, London, and led the premieres of Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur (1902) and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (1904) at La Scala, Milan. Campanini was principal conductor of Oscar Hammerstein’s Manhattan Opera Company during its first three seasons (...
R. Allen Lott
revised by Scott Alan Southard
(b Tirana, Albania, Dec 8, 1945). Albanian conductor and violinist. The son of vocalist Mihal Ciko and nephew of composer Nikolla Zoraqi, he was a leading member of the first generation of musicians to be trained by socialist-era Albania’s new music institutions. A virtuoso violinist, he graduated from the State Conservatory in 1967 and immediately assumed teaching duties and an appointment as concertmaster to the Theatre of Opera and Ballet’s Orchestra. Ciko was named artistic director of the same institution in 1970. Between 1973 and 1974, a number of musicians and artists came under attack for exhibiting so-called politically subversive attitudes. Caught up in this purge, Ciko was reassigned to Patos, a large village, where he remained effectively exiled until his rehabilitation a decade later. First reappointed to the faculty at the Arts Lyceum ‘Jordan Misja’ he then organized a successful string ensemble, Tirana’s Young Virtuosi, which toured and recorded in the country and abroad. Ciko was appointed director of the Radio-Television Orchestra in ...
John Moran and Ned Kellenberger
(b Vienna, 17 Nov 1780; d Vienna, 3 Nov 1842). Austrian violinist, conductor, and composer. He began to play the violin at the age of four with his father, who recognized his unusual musical gifts. At the age of five he began giving private concerts. At the age of seven the boy prodigy was enlisted in lessons under Kurzweil, concertmaster for Prince Grassalkovich. Shortly thereafter Clement gave his first public concert (11 April 1788). He spent two years in England (1790–92) giving concerts, appearing with Haydn, Salomon, and the young Bridgetower. Clement took a journal with him on his travels, consisting mostly of entries by people he met along the way, many of them illustrious, including entries by Haydn and Beethoven from 1791 and 1794 respectively. During this time Clement studied with the eminent violinist Giovanni Giornovichi, who mentored the young violinist. Back in Vienna in ...
(b Aurillac, June 18, 1784; d Tours, February 3, 1846). French conductor, composer, and violinist. He studied the violin with his uncle Jean Crémont in Limoges, and maybe with Pierre Baillot. He left France around 1800 and was presumably a student of Beethoven, as he wrote himself later. At the age of 19, he became the director, concertmaster, and conductor of the Imperial Theatre in Moscow. He left Russia in 1812, when the Great Fire destroyed the theatre and his music. He made a successful début in Paris in 1815 playing a Violin Concerto he had composed in Moscow, and then reached some important positions: principal conductor at the Odéon from 1824 to 1828, and then at the Opéra Comique. He imposed new dispositions and rigour in his orchestras, with a favourable outcome. He collaborated with Rossini, Meyerbeer, Weber, and other composers to rearrange their opéras comiques for the French scene. He also published a Clarinet Concerto, a Quartet, and string duos and trios, and composed ...
revised by Kelly Hiser
(b Kankakee, IL, March 22, 1942; d San Rafael, CA, Sept 25, 1996). American composer, trombonist, conductor, and double bassist. He attended the University of Illinois, where he studied trombone with Robert Gray and composition with Kenneth Gaburo, herbert Brün , and salvatore Martirano (BM in performance 1965). He studied jazz improvisation with lee Konitz and electronic music with richard b. Hervig at the University of Iowa (1970–71). He was a member of the Harry Partch Ensemble (1961–2) and the Illinois Contemporary Chamber Players (1963–6) and was an associate artist at the University of Iowa Center for New Music and New Performing Arts (1969–74). From 1974 to 1984 English lived in Europe, where he performed widely as a soloist and with jazz and new music ensembles, at festivals, and on radio. He collaborated with his wife Candace Natvig, a singer and violinist; in ...
Anne Dhu McLucas
(b ?England, 1770; d Philadelphia, PA, Sept 16, 1826). American violinist, conductor, music teacher, and composer. He was active in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York from 1793 to 1826. He is said to have played at the Handel Commemoration in Westminster Abbey in 1784 and was advertised in Philadelphia as “the celebrated violinist from London.” In 1793 he was brought over from England by Thomas Wignell and Alexander Reinagle to lead the orchestra at the Chestnut Street Theater, which they founded and operated. He performed frequently in concerts with Benjamin Carr, Rayner Taylor, and Reinagle, sometimes appearing as “leader of the band,” while Reinagle was listed as “conductor”; his repertory included concertos and duets, which he usually performed with the cellist Menel. In 1814, although still living in Philadelphia, Gillingham appeared at Vauxhall Gardens in New York, and in 1816 he conducted a performance of Messiah with the New York Handel and Haydn Society. By ...
Stephen D. Winick
(b New York, NY, July 13, 1965). American traditional Irish fiddler, banjo player, and bandleader. Eileen Ivers was raised in the Bronx by Irish parents. She took up the fiddle at age nine, taking lessons with Irish fiddler Martin Mulvihill. She began competing in the All-Ireland championships as a teen, and ultimately won 35 championships, including nine solo fiddle titles and a tenth on tenor banjo, making her the most successful American-born competitor in the All-Ireland’s history.
During the 1980s, Ivers was a founding member of Cherish the Ladies, played with Mick Moloney’s ensemble The Green Fields of America, and toured and recorded in an influential duo with accordionist John Whelan. In 1990, she was invited to record and tour with the pop duo Hall & Oates, which she did for over a year. She then returned to New York, where she immersed herself in the multicultural music scene. In ...
(b Milan, Italy, Jan 21, 1918; d Milan, May 1, 1989). Italian cellist, conductor, and pedagogue. He was trained at the Milan Conservatory (1928–34) and under Diran Alexanian and Pablo Casals at the École normale de musique in Paris (1934–7). After starting his career as a soloist in Paris, London, and Amsterdam he won second prize at the international competition in Geneva. He took refuge from Italian Fascism and World War II by accepting a cello teaching post at the Zagreb Academy of Music in 1939, occupying it until 1955 in collaboration with Rudolf Matz. Janigro stayed in Zagreb until 1965, when he moved back to Milan. At first, besides teaching, he was active in Zagreb as a soloist and chamber musician, collaborating with the then-leading Croatian performers Božidar Kunc, Ivo Maček, and Stjepan Šulek, under conductors Krešimir Baranović, Lovro von Matačić, Friedrich Zaun, and others. The Maček-Šulek-Janigro Piano Trio has remained one of the best Croatian chamber ensembles of the 20th century....
Mark C. Gridley
revised by Charles Garrett
(b Chicago, IL, March 11, 1932; d New York, NY, Feb 24, 2007). American jazz violinist, composer, and bandleader. He was influenced by the violinists Jascha Heifetz, Eddie South, and Bruce Hayden, as well as the saxophonists Charlie Parker, Ornette Coleman, and John Coltrane. From 1965 to 1969 he played in Chicago with the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and the Creative Construction Company, becoming the leading violinist in the free jazz style. He then helped to organize the Revolutionary Ensemble (1971) and led his own trio (1977–9) and quintet (1982–3). In addition to collaborating with such musicians as Cecil Taylor, Joseph Jarman, and Myra Melford, he also contributed to the new music scene by serving on the board of directors of the Composer’s Forum. In his later career, he turned to creating theatrical productions, including the operas Mother of Three Sons...
(b Sarajevo, Bosnia, Dec 1, 1892; d Sarajevo, Oct 8, 1968). Bosnian conductor, cellist, music educator, and composer. He attended the private school of music known as Glasbena škola F. Matějovský in Sarajevo. He graduated in cello from the Royal Academy of Music in Zagreb in the class of Umberto Fabbri (1931). He worked as a teacher of cello, double-bass, and music theory in the District School of Music in Sarajevo (1923–41). Although he was not a formally trained conductor, he successfully led the orchestra of the National Theatre in Sarajevo (1925–41, with interruptions) and the Sarajevo Philharmonic (1927–36); and the choirs of the amateur singing societies the Workers Singing Society ‘Proleter’ (1927–9) and the Jewish Singing Society ‘Lira’ (1931–6). After World War II, he worked as an editor in the transcription of folk music, a conductor of a folk orchestra, and a music producer at the Radio-Television Sarajevo, where his work was of great importance in educating young Bosnian singers about the style of Bosnian folk song called ...
J. Bradford Robinson
(b Baltimore, MD, Dec 31, 1908; d Hollywood, CA, June 14, 1952). American jazz double bass player and bandleader. Originally a trombonist, he played tuba and double bass with Fletcher Henderson (1930–34, 1935–6) and Chick Webb (1934–5), attracting attention with his strong pulse and walking bass lines. In 1937 he established his own small group at the Onyx Club, New York, with the trumpeter Frankie Newton and the alto saxophonist Pete Brown. The following year the band’s personnel stabilized into a sextet: Charlie Shavers (trumpet), Russell Procope (alto saxophone), Buster Bailey (clarinet), Billy Kyle (piano), O’Neill Spencer (drums), and Kirby, with the frequent addition of the singer Maxine Sullivan (Kirby’s wife). From 1938 to 1942 this group was perhaps the leading small jazz ensemble in the swing style and gained a nationwide from its many recordings and network radio broadcasts. The group concentrated on a chamber jazz style with intricate arrangements (many of them by Shavers), a subdued dynamic level, light swing, and extremely precise ensemble playing. In this way they presaged many cool jazz groups of the late 1940s and early 1950s, particularly those of Lennie Tristano. From ...
(b Graz, Austria, Feb 24, 1884; d Honolulu, HI, Sept 20, 1957). American violinist and conductor. He studied violin with Otakar Ševčík at the Prague Conservatory and, after immigrating to the United States in the early 1900s, toured as a concert violinist and conductor, and served as director of a number of American and European music festivals. He headed the violin department at Yale University for 28 years. Having organized his own string quartet in Chicago (1913) and participated in the founding of the Coolidge Chamber Music Festival in Pittsfield, Massachusetts (1918), he was awarded the Coolidge Medal for distinguished service to chamber music in 1938. After retiring from Yale in 1952, he played in the violin section of the Honolulu Symphony as “honorary concertmaster” until his death. One of his early students was the comedian Jack Benny, whose attempts to play the violin were a regular part of his routine for many years....
(b La Crosse, WI, July 25, 1906; d Oxford, MS, March 11, 1991). American composer, conductor, and violinist. He attended the University of Wisconsin (BS 1930, chemical engineering; BM 1938), the Royal Conservatory in Ghent, Belgium (diploma in violin, 1933), and Teachers College, Columbia University (MA 1940, music education). He also studied composition with Cecil Burleigh and Roy Harris. He was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy in Rome (1940), but remained in New York due to World War II. He taught at the University of Texas at Austin (1942–4), Columbia University (1946–52), and the University of Mississippi (1952–72). During the 1970s he was music director of the Tupelo SO (Mississippi).
The compositions in his Rome Prize entry represent Kreutz’s two main styles: light treatments of vernacular music, in the Paul Bunyan Suite (1939), and serious concert music, in ...
(b New York, NY, May 31, 1960). American conductor and violist. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, he is known for extensive recordings on Naxos, Brilliant Classics, and Marco Polo. In 1992, Kuchar was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Ukrainian State Symphony Orchestra, and later Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the renamed (1994) National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (NSOU). His recordings of the complete symphonies of Boris Lyatoshynsky for Marco Polo (1993, 1994) marked the first time a significant Ukrainian composer was featured on a major international recording label. This was followed by over 80 CDs with that orchestra for Naxos of the cycle of the complete orchestral works of Prokofiev, and works by Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Mussorgsky, Khachaturian as well as several early entries in the noted Naxos “American Classics” series, including works by Piston, Antheil, Lees, Harris, and Gould. In ...
(b Irvington, NJ, April 3, 1936; d Geneva, NY, July 6, 1961). American jazz double bass player, composer, and bandleader. While growing up in Geneva, New York, he took up clarinet, after which he played tenor saxophone at high school. The music education program he attended at Ithaca College required that LaFaro learn a string instrument, and so at age 18 he began to focus on double bass. He subsequently played with the Buddy Morrow band from 1955 to 1956, during which period he decided to move to Los Angeles to establish himself professionally. After playing with Chet Baker’s band for a year, he moved between Chicago, where he played with Ira Sullivan, and Southern California, where he worked with Sonny Rollins, Harold Land, and Barney Kessel.
LaFaro’s move to New York in 1959 proved immediately fruitful; that year he performed with a number of important bandleaders, including Stan Kenton and Benny Goodman. In that year LaFaro also joined the Bill Evans Trio, the group in which he cemented his reputation as an innovator on his instrument. In this trio, which also featured the drummer Paul Motian, LaFaro was accorded tremendous freedom to deviate from the traditional 4/4 walking bass line. His approach to the bass within this ensemble was as much melodic as it was focused on keeping time and establishing the harmony. Additionally he was granted substantial space for improvisation, which allowed him to showcase his nimble, bebop-influenced technique. Evans’s trio recorded “Jade Visions,” a LaFaro composition with static modal harmony that served as a showcase for his prodigious technique....
(b Canton, OH, Aug 18, 1905; d West Redding, CT, July 31, 1978). American composer, violinist, bandleader, recording engineer, and producer. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University, he performed as a light classical violinist in the United States and Europe. During the 1930s he studied conducting with Maurice Frigara in Paris. After a near-fatal car accident in 1940, he organized his own dance band, the Light Brigade, which recorded for RCA and Columbia. After he disbanded it at the turn of the decade, Light devoted himself to management, working for several record companies before becoming president of Waldorf Music Hall Records in 1954. He founded his own label, Grand Award, in 1956 and had success with Dixieland and honky-tonk piano albums. In 1959, he founded Command Records on which he released Persuasive Percussion, the first in a successful series of high-fidelity albums that used stereo technology to great advantage. Over the next two decades, he continued to produce hit albums drawing on the latest technological savvy and packaged with covers usually designed by Josef Albers. Musicians who appeared on Light’s albums include the Free Design, Doc Severinsen, Dick Hyman, Bobby Byrne, and Bobby Hackett. In ...
(b Pittsburgh, PA, Nov 7, 1949). American conductor, educator, violinist, and violist. She began her musical studies in fourth grade on violin. She attended the University of Michigan (BMus 1971, MMus 1972) where she studied with conductor/violinist Elizabeth A.H. Green. Mabrey pursued coursework toward a DMA in orchestral conducting at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati under the guidance of Theo Alcantara and Louis Lane.
Mabrey taught and conducted at Winona State University (1978–80) and Grand Valley State University in Michigan (1982–89). At Grand Valley she served as Assistant Professor and later Assistant Dean. Notably, Mabrey developed and directed two significant symposia at the University of Oregon Center for the Study of Women in Society in the mid-1980s that featured composers such as Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Tania León, Libby Larsen, and Pauline Oliveros. A conductor and clinician for the Interlochen National Music Camp and Encore Music Camp of Pennsylvania, Mabrey also conducted Honors and All-State Orchestras across the nation. As a guest conductor she appeared with the Sinfonietta Frankfurt, Oregon Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony of Washington, and the Savannah Symphony for the Black Heritage Concert Series....
[Joseph Emmett ]
(b Weaverville, NC, July 20, 1898; d Concord, NC, June 12, 1971). American singer, fiddler, and bandleader. A breakdown fiddler who played in an early country style similar to that of Fiddlin’ John Carson, J.E. and his younger brother Wade formed Mainers’ Mountaineers while both were full-time employees at a cotton mill in Concord, North Carolina. They performed informally until they appeared with the Lay Brothers on WSOC in nearby Gastonia. In 1934 they signed with Crazy Water Crystals, a laxative company that sponsored them on the powerful stations WBT (Charlotte) and WPTF (Raleigh) and provided enough exposure to let them become full-time performers. When Wade left to seek other opportunities in 1937, J.E. promptly formed a new band with Leonard “Handsome” Stokes, George Morris, and DeWitt “Snuffy” Jenkins, who was developing an advanced banjo style that anticipated the three-finger approach that Earl Scruggs perfected in the 1940s. Drinking problems led to J.E.’s band firing him in ...
(b Buncombe County, NC, April 21, 1907; d Flint, MI, Sept 12, 2011). American singer, banjo player, guitarist, and bandleader. Formed Mainers’ Mountaineers with his brother J.E. from 1934–36 and thereafter with his own Sons of the Mountaineers, Mainer furthered the growth and development of mountain string band music in the 1930s. In an era that saw the rising popularity of western swing, honky-tonk, and Hollywood cowboy songs, the Mainers successfully recycled traditional tunes and kept the sound of rural fiddle and banjo prominent on Southeastern radio, in small performance venues, and on more than 150 recordings made for RCA between 1935 and 1941. Mainer versions of “Down in the Willow Garden,” “Wild Bill Jones,” “Riding on That Train 45,” “Maple on the Hill,” and “Old Ruben” became folk and bluegrass classics.
On invitation from Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish, Mainer’s band performed in concert with the Golden Gate Quartet, Josh White, and Burl Ives at the White House in ...
Gregory N. Reish
(b Sneedville, TN, Aug 10, 1927; d Nashville, TN, May 14, 2005). American bluegrass and country singer, guitarist, and bandleader. Known as the “King of Bluegrass,” Martin began his career as guitarist and lead singer of bill Monroe ’s Blue Grass Boys from late 1949 to 1954, also working occasionally with the Osborne Brothers. Martin contributed to some of the Blue Grass Boys’ most influential and highly regarded recordings for Decca during this period. In 1955, Martin formed his own group, the Sunny Mountain Boys. Based initially in Detroit, the band’s lineup featured the young Kentucky banjoist J.D. Crowe, joined later by mandolinist Paul Williams. In 1956, Martin signed with Decca, producing a string of country hits into the 1960s.
Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys presented a hard-edged style that appealed to a wide range of country music fans. His own driving rhythm guitar and highly expressive lead vocals, coupled with Williams’s pure high tenor harmony and Crowe’s blues-inflected banjo backup, produced some of the most memorable and commercially successful recordings of the era without the stylistic concessions to folk revivalism that other bluegrass bands were making. Their repertory included secular and often raucous Martin songs such as “You don’t know my mind” (Decca, ...