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Claude V. Palisca

(b Rome, c1550; d Rome, March 11, 1602). Italian composer, organist, singing teacher, dancer, choreographer, administrator and diplomat. He was the composer of the first surviving play set entirely to music, the Rappresentatione di Anima, et di Corpo (Rome, 1600), the score of which is the earliest one printed with a figured bass.

Cavalieri was the son of Lavinia della Valle and Tommaso Cavalieri (1512–87), an architect and intimate friend of Michelangelo Buonarotti. His brother, Mario (d 1580), coordinated the Lenten music in the Oratorio del SS Crocifisso in S Marcello, Rome, between 1568 and 1579. He himself also participated in this Oratorio both as an organist and as a coordinator of Lenten music from 1578 until at least 1584 (the account books are missing for 1584–94); during his administration the yearly expenditure on music rose from 51 to 140 scudi....

Article

(b mid-18th century; d Paris, 1815). French composer, dancer and teacher. He first acquired fame as a dancer. He danced at least once at the Comédie-Française in 1762 and was ballet-master there by 1764; he was an adjoint at the Opéra in 1774. In 1777 he made his début as a composer at the Concert Spirituel, and during the following ten years his compositions were performed there 25 times – the fourth-largest number of presentations of works by a native composer in that period. He was dismayed by the foreign domination of French musical life and, in response to an unfavourable review of his oratorio Les Macchabées (1780), wrote ‘It is unfortunate for a French musician to have been born in his own country’. He was master of dance at the Ecole Royale de Chant from its establishment in 1784 and made his début as an opera composer the following year with ...

Article

Allan Thomas

( b 1796; d 1866). Scottish dancing-master . He was the most prominent member of a family of dance teachers in Scotland in the early 19th century, whose descendants numbered more than 20 teachers over five generations and who were active in Scotland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand for some 200 years. With his brothers John, Robert and James, Lowe was influential in establishing Scottish dance in a modern ballroom form. The brothers taught in different parts of Scotland and together wrote Lowes’ Ball-Conductor and Assembly Guide (Edinburgh, c1830), one of the most extensive 19th-century dance manuals. Joseph Lowe also published many arrangements of Scottish dance-tunes for the piano. From 1851 to 1860 he was dance tutor to the family of Queen Victoria, and his journal of these years gives an insight into his teaching at Windsor and Balmoral. His workbook, which contains step descriptions of dances and some entries by his son Joseph Eager Lowe, who taught in New Zealand and Australia, is in the National Library of New Zealand....

Article

John H. Baron

revised by Georgie Durosoir

(b c1615; d Paris, April 18, 1688). French dancer, composer, poet, lutenist and lute teacher. He was director of entertainments for the Countess of Soissons from at least 1636 until her death in 1644; it was her patronage that enabled him to enter the court. He became a royal lutenist in 1646 and was still playing the lute at court in 1673. He was named a royal dancer in 1644, and it is in this capacity that he achieved his greatest renown. He danced in nearly every ballet de cour from then until 1665 (e.g. Ballet du dérèglement des passions, 1648; Ballet de Cassandre, 1651; Ballet de la galanterie du temps, 1656), often alongside the young Louis XIV and his favourite, Lully. He composed music for ballets, and sometimes also the words (e.g. Ballet des plaisirs troublés, 1657). According to the Mercure galant (July 1677...