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Article

Tibor Tallián

revised by Anna Dalos

(b Budapest, Sept 22, 1882; d Budapest, Feb 11, 1970). Hungarian composer and conductor, grandson of Kornél Ábrányi. He studied composition, the organ and piano at the Budapest Academy of Music, and spent a year with Nikisch in Leipzig. From 1904 he was a theatre conductor in Cologne, and from 1907 in Hanover. In 1911 he returned to Budapest to become conductor at the Royal Hungarian Opera House; he was director there (1919–20) and then at the Budapest Theatre (1921–6). He taught conducting at the Liszt Academy of Music.

Ábrányi was the most prolific Hungarian opera composer of his generation; between 1903 and 1923 five of his operas and a Singspiel were produced at the Budapest Opera House and the City Theatre. Rather than subscribing to the established Hungarian romantic opera style or folklore, Ábrányi composed in a cosmopolitan style. The operas Monna Vanna...

Article

Charles Pitt

(b Hinsbourg, Jan 4, 1904; d Illkirch-Graffenstaden, Sept 7, 1984). French conductor, composer and opera administrator . He studied in Strasbourg with Erb and in Paris with Koechlin and Gédalge. He joined the Strasbourg Opera in 1933 as a répétiteur and stayed until he retired in 1972, being successively chorus master (1933–6), conductor from 1936, co-director (with Ernest Bour) from 1955 to 1960 and director (1960–72).

Adam sought to create a balanced repertory of French, German and Italian classics, together with contemporary works (such as Jean Martinon’s Hécube, 1956, which was specially commissioned) and revivals of rarely given masterpieces such as Les Troyens (1960) and Roussel’s Padmâvatî (1967). He gave the first French performances of Bizet’s Don Procopio (1958), Françaix’s L’apostrophe (1958), Dallapiccola’s Il prigioniero (1961), Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten (1965), Britten’s ...

Article

Ferenc Bónis and Anna Dalos

(b Szigetszentmiklós, Dec 12, 1896; d Budapest, May 15, 1982). Hungarian composer, conductor and teacher. From 1911 until 1915 he received instruction in organ playing and theory at the Budapest teacher-training college. Then, as a prisoner of war (1916–20), he organized and conducted a men’s choir and an orchestra in Russia. He studied composition at the Budapest Academy of Music under Kodály (1921–25) and conducting in Weingartner’s masterclass in Basle (1933–5). He conducted the orchestra (1929–39) and the choir (1929–54) of the Budapest Academy where he also taught Hungarian folk music, choral conducting and methodology from 1939 to 1959, and where he directed the singing department from 1942 to 1957.

Ádám began his career as a conductor in Budapest in 1929 with a performance of Haydn’s The Seasons. From 1929 until 1933 he was deputy conductor of the Budapest Choral and Orchestral Society. With the male choir Budai Dalárda, which he directed from ...

Article

Dimitri Conomos

revised by George Leotsakos

(b Piraeus, May 19, 1929). Greek composer and musicologist. He graduated in theology from Athens University (1954), in neo-Byzantine music (1955) and harmony (1956) from the Piraeus League Conservatory, and in counterpoint, fugue and composition (1959) from the Hellenic Conservatory, where he studied with Yannis A. Papaïannou. At Brandeis University (1962–5) he studied composition (with Arthur Berger), Byzantine music palaeography and electronic music. In 1950 he revived the boys' choir of the Greek Royal Palace, which he directed until 1967. He also established and conducted the Athens Chamber Chorus (1958–61). Between 1961 and 1963 he taught Byzantine music at the Holy Cross Theological Academy, Boston, Massachusetts. In 1965 he established the first electronic music studio in Athens. He was a founder-member (1965) and later president (1975–85) of both the Hellenic Association for Contemporary Music and the Greek section of the ISCM. In ...

Article

Marie Rolf

(Hans)

(b Mannheim, March 4, 1928). American composer and conductor of German birth. Both of his parents were musical, his father being a cantor and composer of Jewish liturgical music. The family came to the USA in 1939 and Adler attended Boston University (BM 1948) and Harvard University (MA 1950). He studied composition with Aaron Copland, Paul Fromm, Paul Hindemith, Hugo Norden, Walter Piston and Randall Thompson; musicology with Karl Geiringer, A.T. Davison and Paul A. Pisk; and conducting with Sergey Koussevitzky at the Berkshire Music Center. In 1950 he joined the US Army and organized the Seventh Army SO, which he conducted in more than 75 concerts in Germany and Austria; he was awarded the Army Medal of Honor for his musical services. Subsequently he conducted concerts and operas, and lectured extensively throughout Europe and the USA. In 1957 he was appointed professor of composition at North Texas State University, and in ...

Article

Sven Hansell

revised by Carlida Steffan

(b Venice, 1721 or 1722; d Padua, Oct 28, 1760). Italian composer. After studying with Galuppi, he became maestro di cappella of S Maria della Salute in Venice. In 1745 he left this post to serve the Modenese court as maestro di cappella to the archduchess, where his La pace fra la virtù e la bellezza was performed the following year. Adolfati provided recitatives, choruses and six arias for Hasse’s Lo starnuto d’Ercole (P.G. Martelli). A printed libretto indicates that it was performed with puppets (bambocci) at the Teatro S Girolamo, a very small theatre within the Venetian palace of Angelo Labia, in 1745 and during the carnival of 1746. From 1748 until early 1760 Adolfati was director of music at SS Annunziata del Vastato in Genoa; then he moved to Padua, where he succeeded Rampini as maestro di cappella on 30 May.

Adolfati's music did not please Metastasio, who heard his setting for Vienna of ...

Article

Jennifer Spencer

(b Tobol′sk, 31 Dec/Jan 12, 1821; d St Petersburg, 22 May/June 3, 1898). Russian violinist and composer. He received his musical education from his father, the violinist Yakov Ivanovich Afanas′yev, an illegitimate son of the writer and poet Prince Ivan Dolgorukov. In 1836 he made his début as a violinist in Moscow, and two years later was appointed leader of the Bol′shoy Theatre Orchestra. He resigned in 1841 to become conductor of the serf orchestra maintained by the wealthy landowner I.D. Shepelyov at Vïksa, near St Petersburg. In 1846 he decided to pursue a career as a solo violinist and toured the major provincial cities of Russia, settling in St Petersburg in 1851. There he made occasional appearances as a soloist, and also led the orchestra of the Italian Opera, sometimes deputizing for the regular conductor. In 1853 he became a piano teacher at the Smol′nïy Institute and relinquished his orchestral post. He visited western Europe in ...

Article

Ateş Orga

(b Moscow, Sept 8, 1947). Russian pianist, conductor, writer and poet. A student of Yakov Zak and Emil Gilels at the Moscow Conservatory (1965–73), he won the 1968 Leipzig Bach Competition, four years later taking the gold medal at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. After seeking political asylum in Belgium in 1974, he settled in France in 1980, but since 1989 he has returned regularly to his native country for concerts and recordings. Intent on philosophical truths more than absolutes of pianistic finish, placing emotions of the mind and spirit above ‘outward prettiness’, Afanassiev is a provocatively inspirational artist, indebted on his own admission to many of the great individualists of the past: Gilels, Gould, Horowitz, Michelangeli, Rachmaninoff and Sofronitsky all receive tribute in his ‘Homages & Ecstasies’ album (1996). Partial to mono/duographic programming, with a repertory extending from Froberger to Crumb, his extensive discography includes Bach (Book 1 of ...

Article

E. Eugene Helm

revised by Darrell Berg

(b Dobitschen, Saxe-Altenburg, Jan 4, 1720; d Berlin, Dec 2, 1774). German musicographer, composer, organist, singing master and conductor. His father occupied an important post as government agent and jurist in Dobitschen. Burney, who visited the Agricolas in 1772, reported that Johann Friedrich’s mother, born Maria Magdalena Manke, ‘was a near relation of the late Mr Handel, and in correspondence with him till the time of his death’; but later Handel research has failed to substantiate this claim.

Agricola began his study of music as a young child. In 1738 he entered the University of Leipzig, where he studied law; during this time he was a pupil of J.S. Bach and visited Dresden, where he heard performances of Passion oratorios and Easter music by Hasse. In 1741 he moved to Berlin, became a pupil of Quantz, made the acquaintance of C.P.E. Bach, C.H. Graun and other musicians, and embarked on a career that touched many aspects of Berlin’s musical life. He became keenly interested in music criticism and theoretical speculation in Berlin, and his work as a musicographer has proved to be his most lasting accomplishment. In ...

Article

Axel Helmer

(b Visby, June 5, 1805; d Stockholm, May 4, 1857). Swedish composer, conductor and organist. He studied music at the University of Uppsala and became the musical director of E.V. Djurstrms theatre company in 1828. From 1832 to 1842 he was a teacher at the Gymnasium in Vsterå and the city’s cathedral organist. He then moved to Stockholm, where he was a conductor of various theatre orchestras, for which he composed the music for about 100 productions, often in collaboration with August Blanche. His only full-length opera, Alfred den store (Alfred the Great), based on a text of Theodor Krner, was written in 1848 but never performed; another opera, Abu Hassan, was not finished. His other compositions include about 300 entractes, a vocal symphony, some orchestral works, a piano concerto and solo piano pieces. He also edited collections of Swedish and Nordic folksongs and folkdances and compiled a pocket dictionary of music (...

Article

Bruce Carr

revised by George Biddlecombe

(François)

(b L’Isle, nr Avignon, Oct 4, 1779; d Paris, Feb 2, 1866). French conductor and composer. He became conductor at the theatre at Marseilles when he was 17. He moved to Paris in 1817, where his opera Les jeux floraux was performed, with little success, in 1818. He was conductor at the Théâtre du Gymnase from 1820 to 1821 and at the Théâtre Français from 1822 to 1832. He composed various songs, of which Michel et Christine (1821) was particularly popular. Aimon later turned to teaching: his Abécédaire musical appeared in 11 editions by 1866. (DBF; G. d'Orgeval)

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Article

Kathleen Dale

revised by Axel Helmer

(Emanuel)

(b Stockholm, Jan 19, 1860; d Stockholm, Jan 20, 1938). Swedish composer, organist and conductor. He attended the Swedish Royal Academy of Music (1882–6), studying counterpoint and composition with J. Dente, and was a pupil of Franck in Paris (1887–8). In Stockholm he was coach at the Royal Opera (1888–90), organist at the synagogue (1890–1928), music teacher at Norrmalm’s grammar school (1895–1923) and teacher at Richard Anderssons Musikskola (1897–1909). From 1886 he conducted several choirs, including the Bellman Choir (1895–1926), which he also founded, and the Philharmonic Society (1900–03). Åkerberg’s compositions often approach the style of Swedish folk music, especially the ballads Kung Svegder and Prinsessan och Svennen. They are technically sound but conventional.

MSS in S-Skma, Svenska Tonsättares Internationella Musikbyrå

Article

John C.G. Waterhouse

[Ottavio Felice Gaspare Maria]

(b Montegiorgio, Ascoli Piceno, Nov 16, 1881; d Montegiorgio, Dec 28, 1928). Italian musicologist, conductor and composer. He studied the piano, organ and composition at the Liceo Musicale di S Cecilia, Rome, where he gained his diploma in 1906 and was from 1912 professor of aesthetics and music history. He also graduated in 1907 from Rome University with a thesis on the Italian oratorio, subsequently expanded into an important book. His scholarly writings – notably those on Italian laudi spirituali and on Carissimi – in general helped to lay the foundations of modern Italian musicology. As a conductor he specialized in choral music, and in 1926 he founded the Madrigalisti Romani. He also fought hard for the improvement of Italian music education. His most ambitious composition, the opera Mirra, is eclectic and uneven, but shows technical enterprise – not least in the brief use of a specially constructed ‘pentaphonic harmonium’, in which the octave was divided into five equal parts (cf Indonesian ...

Article

Barbara Chmara-Żackiewicz

(b Pesaro, Nov 30, 1748; d Warsaw, March 27, 1812). Italian composer and conductor, active in Poland. The earliest reference to his activities in Warsaw dates from 12 April 1773, when King Stanisław August Poniatowski paid him a fee for a concert. From the middle of 1782 for about two years he was the king’s maître de chapelle, during which time his main duty was to direct concerts at both the Royal Castle and the Orangerie Theatre in the gardens of Łazienki Palace (both in Warsaw). On 17 September 1784 he conducted J.D. Holland’s opera Agatka at the court of Karol Radziwiłł in Nieśwież, and in the autumn of the same year he tried to promote an opera of his own in Vienna, but without much success. In 1785 he presented his opera Circe und Ulisses in Hamburg, and from about the middle of 1785 until the beginning of ...

Article

Jiří Sehnal

(b c1660; d Olomouc, Oct 3, 1735). German composer. After 1690 he came to Olomouc from Vienna and entered the services of the Olomouc chapter; in 1691 he became musical director at the cathedral. In 1696 he married Magdalena Cecilie Zindel, daughter of the cathedral organist. Although his salary was raised from 100 to 300 florins by 1702, Albertini complained throughout his life of the low pay and engaged in continual battles with the chapter, which refused to meet his demands and blamed him for the decline of music in the cathedral. In 1708 Albertini requested special leave to perform his compositions before the Emperor Joseph I in Vienna; he overstayed his leave and the chapter gave him notice, which was revoked only after the emperor’s direct intervention. In spite of perpetually strained relations with the chapter Albertini remained in his post until his death. He was probably related to the Ignaz Albertini who applied for a musical post in Olomouc as early as ...

Article

Ivan Zivanović

(Felix)

(b Županja, Dec 10, 1869; d Zagreb, April 18, 1933). Croatian composer, conductor and publisher. In Graz he studied music, where, in keeping with the family tradition, he was also required to finish business college. From 1893 to 1895 he was conductor at the joint theatres of the Graz municipality. He then conducted opera at the new theatre in Zagreb (the Croatian National Theatre) until 1903, when the company’s activities were suspended, and returned to the opera as both director and conductor in 1909 having spent the interim years composing in Vienna; this was the only period when Albini was actively engaged in composition. He remained at the opera until 1919, and thereafter founded and directed the Croatian Copyright Centre as well as his own publishing house. Consequently, he laid fthe oundations for modern music publishing in Croatia.

Albini's composition focussed almost entirely on music for the stage, particularly operetta. Combining Croatian folk motifs, his exuberant melodic invention and skilful sense of drama, he transcended the musical and dramatic limitations characteristic of operetta of his time. He achieved greatest success and international reputation with ...

Article

Astrid Rajterová

(b Arad, Romania, Aug 12, 1885; d Bratislava, Aug 30, 1958). Slovak composer, conductor and teacher. He acquired his early musical education from various teachers, including Karol Forstner, organist of the cathedral of St Martin, Bratislava. From 1895 to 1903 he studied at the Royal Catholic Gymnasium in Poszony (now Bratislava), becoming friends with Bartók and Ernő Dohnányi, with whom he took an active part in the musical life of the school and of the town. From 1904 to 1908 he attended the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, studying composition with Koessler, the piano with Thomán and then Bartók, conducting with Ferenc Szandtner and chamber music performance with Popper. During his studies Albrecht enjoyed considerable success as a pianist, though he later decided to devote his time fully to composition. From 1908 he was organist at the cathedral in Bratislava and a teacher at the municipal music school. In ...

Article

Howard Serwer

(b Görmar, nr Mühlhausen, Jan 8, 1732; d Mühlhausen, 1773). German writer on music and composer. He was a magister of philosophy, an honorary member of the German Society of Altdorf University, and an imperial poet laureate. His writings include an original work on theory, contributions to the current discussions of Rameau's theories which he favoured, and translations and editions of works of others. In addition, he published an important article on the state of music in Mühlhausen, two in defence of music in the church, and one on the German language. His compositions, consisting largely of sacred vocal works to his own texts, were mostly written for the Marienkirche in Mühlhausen, where he was Kantor and music director. They include a setting of the Passion and a yearly cycle of cantatas (texts published in 1764), as well as two published collections of keyboard and vocal pieces intended for students. Only a sacred song ...

Article

Alcman  

Warren Anderson

revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen

[Alkman]

(fl c. 630 bce). Greek lyric poet. He was possibly a native of Sardis in Lydia. Alcman spent his entire professional life in Sparta. This city was then startlingly different from the grim barracks state that it had been and would again become: its citizens cultivated art, poetry, music, and dance with intensity and brilliance. The poet himself commented on this: ‘To play well upon the lyre weighs evenly with the steel’, that is, military valour (Edmonds, frag.62).

As the trainer of a choir of girls who sang and danced at Spartan religious festivals, Alcman wrote maiden-songs (see Partheneia), which brought him particular fame. Extensive portions of one of these have survived (PLouvre E3320); the lines recreate with great immediacy the half-humorous, half-impassioned rivalry of his young choristers. For solo performance he composed proöimia, preludes to the recitation of Homeric poetry (see Terpander...

Article

Galina Grigor′yeva

(b St Petersburg, April 1, 1883; d Berlin, July 8, 1946). Russian composer and conductor. He studied with Glazunov and Lyadov at the St Petersburg Conservatory and with Vasilenko at the Moscow Conservatory. From 1918 he taught at the Moscow Conservatory, where he was made head of the choral conducting department in 1925. Choral music gradually became the centre of his attention; most of it was composed for the Soviet Army Song and Dance Ensemble, which he founded in 1928 and which he led to great success in the USSR and abroad. After his death the ensemble was named after him.

Aleksandrov’s choral songs are of various types: rousing, heroic, lyrical and comic. They are simple in style, always linked with Russian folksong and sometimes show delicate polyphonic writing. Svyashchennaya voyna (‘A Holy War’, text by Lebedev-Kumach) was written in the first few days of fighting against German invasion in ...