(b Menstetten, nr Altona, Hamburg, Feb 25, 1809; d London, May 26, 1886). French dancing-master and composer, father of Eugen d'Albert. He was the son of a captain of cavalry in the French army, on whose death in 1816 d'Albert and his mother emigrated to England. D'Albert received piano tuition in London from Kalkbrenner and composition lessons from S.S. Wesley. After a period with the ballet in Paris (with Saint-Georges he wrote the libretto for Adam's ballet-pantomime ...
revised by David Charlton
Bruce Alan Brown
[Gaspare, Gaspero] [Gasparini, Domenico Maria Angiolo]
(b Florence, Feb 9, 1731; d Milan, Feb 6, 1803). Italian choreographer, dancer and composer. Along with his rival Jean-Georges Noverre, Angiolini was one of the principal exponents of the new danza parlante, or ballet en action. He began his dance career in Lucca (1747) and also in Venice (1747–8, 1750–51), Turin and Spoleto (1751), Lucca again, this time also working as a choreographer, and Rome (1752–3) before moving to Vienna. There, in 1754 he married his partner, Maria Teresa Fogliazzi (1733–92), notwithstanding the rivalry of Casanova. During Carnival 1756–7 Angiolini produced ballets for the operas given at the Teatro Regio, Turin, also performing as primo ballerino, partnered by his wife. He returned to Vienna as premier danseur at the French theatre, and when the choreographer Franz Hilverding van Wewen departed for Russia in November 1758, the director Giacomo Durazzo named Angiolini as his successor. Gluck succeeded Joseph Starzer as composer of ballet music....
(b Paris, Oct 30, 1631; d Paris, early Feb 1705). French dancer, choreographer, composer and conductor. He has been wrongly identified with Charles-Louis Beauchamps. Called the father of all ballet-masters, he codified the five positions of feet and arms, and developed a rational system of dance notation which is now called after Raoul-Auger Feuillet, who published it (in his Chorégraphie, ou L’art de décrire la dance) in 1700.
Beauchamps was Louis XIV’s personal dancing-master and favourite partner in ballets de cour in the 1650s and 60s. Throughout his career he collaborated with Lully, whom he first met as comic dancer in, and later as composer of, ballets de cour. Beauchamps choreographed intermèdes and dances for Molière’s comédies-ballets, beginning with Les fâcheux (1661), for which he also composed the music and conducted the orchestra. He choreographed entrées for Le mariage forcé (1664), Le bourgeois gentilhomme...
Margaret M. McGowan
(fl early 17th century). French dancer, violinist and composer. The only known fact in his personal life is that he was married on 27 May 1637 to Antoinette Guibourg, the widow of the painter and costume designer Daniel Rabel. Belleville was in charge of organizing court entertainments for Louis XIII from c1616 to c1637 and contributed to nearly all ballets performed at court during this time. As a dancer he rivalled Louis Constantin and the celebrated dancing-master Jacques Cordier. He wrote all the dance tunes and some of the airs for Etienne Durand's Ballet de la délivrance de Renaud (1617) and for the Ballet de Tancrède (1619). His virtues as a musician were extolled by Michel de Marolles (Mémoires, Amsterdam edn, 1755, iii, pp.207–8), and together with the singer Marais it was said of him by contemporaries that ‘[ils] n'ont besoing que d'estre nommez pour avoir des louanges’. An allemande and a four-part instrumental piece, ...
(fl late 18th century). Irish ballet dancer and composer. He is probably the ‘Riccardo Bleck’ described as newly hired who danced at Florence in 1763. He composed a ballet in Parma in 1776 and several for Venice in 1777–8 when librettos refer to him as in the service of the Duke of Parma. He appeared again in Florence both as dancer and composer of ballets in 1779 and 1781–2. Michael Kelly met him in Naples in 1780 and said he ‘had gone abroad very young, and had become a very fine pantomime actor, and was considered the best grotesque dancer of his day’. In Naples he danced Artabanes in a ballet called Artaxerxes and Sancho Panza in one Kelly called The Achievements of Don Quixote. The articles on Kelly in the General Magazine for May and June 1788 mention his friendship with Blake, ‘a famous dancer now in London, and retired from the profession’. Blake published ...
Gabriella Biagi Ravenni
(b Lucca, Feb 5, 1742; d after 1798). Italian librettist, dancer and choreographer. A brother of Luigi Boccherini, he made his début as a dancer in Venice in 1757, but his major successes were achieved in Vienna between 1759 and 1767 (for example, Noverre’s revived Médée et Jason) and from 1769 to 1771. He used this success to begin a career as a librettist; he was a member of the Accademia dell’Arcadia (with the name of Argindo Bolimeo) and published a collection of sonnets. His libretto Turno, re dei Rutoli, a dramma tragico (Vienna, 1767), was never set to music, but reveals a progressive approach to drama; its commendation by Calzabigi, appended to the libretto, led to contact with Salieri, who set to music most of Boccherini’s subsequent librettos. These reveal a talent for pantomime and choreography, and handle theatrical conventions with ease. From 1772 to 1775...
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....
(b Milan, ?1755; d after 1838). Italian dancer, choreographer and composer. A pupil of Noverre, he danced at the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna in 1775 and presented his first choreography at the Teatro S Agostino in Genoa during Carnival 1776. Most of Clerico’s works were created for the opera houses in Venice, where he worked during the 1780s at S Samuele, S Benedetto and S Moisè, and later in his career at the Fenice, and in Milan, where from 1790 he graced the stage of La Scala for nearly 40 years. He also created ballets for opera houses in Turin, Rome, Brescia, Padua, Bologna, Parma and Florence, and returned to work in Vienna, 1798–1800. Clerico often danced in his own ballets with his brother Gaetano and sister Rosa (who in 1786 married the choreographer and dancer Lorenzo Panzieri). Their exceptional abilities as dancers, according to Ritorni, contributed in part to the success of Clerico’s ballets. Not only was he a renowned choreographer and dancer, but he also composed the music for many of his ballets. He was considered the heir to Angiolini, and an important precursor of Viganò. His enormous output totals nearly 80 ballets, many of which were restaged throughout Italy and in foreign theatres....
(b Lyons, c1720; d ?Paris, after 1764). French dancer and composer. He first appeared on the stage at the Académie Royale de Musique in Lyons in 1739, dancing in Montéclair’s Jephté and Destouches’ Omphale. He may have been the Denis who worked in Paris at the Foire St Laurent and in the Grand Troupe Etrangère, between about 1738 and about 1742. In 1749 Denis arrived in Berlin with his wife, the ballerina Giovanna Cortini, called ‘La Pantaloncina’, and was shortly appointed maître de ballet to the Prussian court. He provided choreography and music for the ballets in about 50 stage works in which he and his wife danced, including Graun’s operas Coriolano (1749), Fetonte (1750), Armida (1751), Britannico (1751), Mithridate (1751), Orfeo (1752), Semiramide (1754), Ezio (1755), Montezuma (1755) and ...
Michael Barnard and Mary Hunter
(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 ...
Kate Van Winkle Keller
(b Paris, France, c1762; d Washington, DC, April 11, 1841). American dancing master, choreographer, and composer of dance music. He was born into a family named Landrin with close connections to the court of Louis XVI. He was a pupil of Maximilien Gardel (1741–87), and for six years he was dancing master for the Paris Opéra. He left Paris three days after the fall of the Bastille in 1789 and arrived in Philadelphia in mid-1790. He changed his name, placing advertisements for his dancing schools as Mr. De Duport. Chiefly a choreographer and teacher of social dancing, Duport blended amateur and professional dancing with theatrical standards of content and performance. He wrote music and created hornpipes and other solo dances for his students, as well as duos such as figured minuets, allemandes, and waltzes; group dances, including complex French contredanses, cotillions, and English country dances; and ballets for his classes to perform at recitals. A music copybook in Duport’s hand traces his creative career from ...
James R. Anthony
(b 1718; d Paris, after 1775). French composer, dancer, ?singer and harpsichordist. In his contemporary manuscript, Notices sur les oeuvres de théâtre, the Marquis d'Argenson commented that Duval, ‘une jeune fille de l'Opéra’, was 18 in 1736 when she composed Les Génies, ou Les caractères de l'Amour. Fétis gave 1769 as her death date; Choron identified her as a ‘singer at the Paris Opéra’ and claimed that she was ‘still living in 1770’; the Anecdotes dramatiques for 1775 referred to her as a ‘former actress at the Opéra’ and included a ‘Mlle Duval’ as a supernumerary among the dancers.
Duval was best known as the composer of Les Génies, ou Les caractères de l'Amour (libretto by Fleury [de Lyon]), a ballet-héröique in a prologue and four entrées (printed in Paris about 1736). The dedication page reveals that the Prince of Carignan was her ‘Protecteur’. Les Génies...
[Edvard, Eduard ]
(b Copenhagen, Denmark, 1843; d New York, NY, Feb 4, 1899). Composer, dancer, and playwright of Danish birth. He immigrated to the United States in about 1874 and was active in New York in both music and theater. He provided the music for several musical comedies, including A Circus in Town...
Margaret M. McGowan
(b c1630; d after 1666). French dancer, instrumentalist and composer. His first name is unknown. He regularly performed in court ballets from 1653, when he was mentioned as playing the role of ‘une assez laide bourgeoise’ in Le ballet de la nuit, to 1666, when he danced as a muse in ...
(b Kuta, Bali, ?1883; d Kuta, 1983). Balinese composer, performer and dancer. He was a pre-eminent figure in Balinese music between the Dutch takeover in 1906 and the onset of World War II, a crucial period during which the old court system was in decline and the performing arts were enjoying a new secular and popular role. Lotring trained as a dancer at the court of Blahbatuh. Until retreating from public life in the late 1940s he drummed, choreographed and taught music to gamelan clubs in Kuta and throughout southern Bali. As well as instrumental works mainly for gamelan ensembles of the palegongan type, he reworked the legong dance form with elements of the modern kebyar style. He taught his music in numerous villages, freely reworking his compositions each time, so that contrasting variants of each work exist. The instrumental pieces achieved wide success in the 1920s and 30s as preludes for dances or dramas given in recreational contexts. Their rhapsodic, distinctively modern forms, innovative textures and patterns, and assimilation of materials from older gamelan genres (such as the incorporation of the 5 + 3 rhythm of ...
( 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....
Jérôme de La Gorce
[Lulli, Giovanni Battista]
Member of Lully family
(b Florence, Nov 28, 1632; d Paris, March 22, 1687). Composer, dancer and instrumentalist of Italian birth.
Lully's origins were modest. His father, Lorenzo (1599–1667), seems to have come from peasant stock; like his ancestors, he was born in Tuscany in the Mugello area and probably at Campestri, where he, his brothers and a cousin owned a chestnut wood. By the age of twenty he was living in Florence, and in 1620 he married a miller's daughter, Catarina del Sera (or del Seta). They had three children: Verginio (1621–38), Giovanni Battista and Margherita (d 1639). Little is known about the education of the younger son. He may have learnt writing and arithmetic at an early age from his father, who became a miller and a businessman, but the boy probably had to turn to the Franciscan friars of the Via Borgo Ognissanti, where his parents lived, for his introduction to music and instruction on the guitar and violin, which he must have learnt in his youth. According to Le Cerf de la Viéville, his first music master was ‘a good Franciscan friar’. It is not known how he came to be chosen to go to France as an Italian tutor to Louis XIV's cousin Anne-Marie-Louise d'Orléans, known as the ‘Grande Mademoiselle’, who was studying the language at the time, but he was engaged by the princess's uncle Roger de Lorraine, the chevalier de Guise, who visited Florence in ...
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...
J.G. Prod’homme and Marian Smith
(b Paris, Sept 17, 1821; d Paris, Sept 2, 1870). French violinist, dancer, choreographer and composer. His real surname was Michel. He studied ballet with his father, a ballet-master at the royal theatre in Stuttgart, and studied the violin with Paganini and Mayseder. He made his début as a violinist in Stuttgart in 1834 and as a dancer in Munich in 1835, when he adopted the name Saint-Léon. In 1837–8 he studied ballet with François Decombe (known as Albert) at the Paris Opéra. From 1838 he toured Europe as a dancer and in 1843 he created the ballet La vivandiera ed il postiglione (music by Rolland) in Rome. He married the ballerina Fanny Cerrito (1817–1909) in 1845; they danced together frequently until their separation in 1851. Meanwhile he became famous as a choreographer. In the early 1850s he was premier maître de ballet at the Opéra. He appeared as choreographer, dancer and violinist in ...
(b Copenhagen, April 28, 1757; d Copenhagen, Aug 9, 1835). Danish composer, dancer and violinist. In 1772 he joined the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen as a dancer, and in 1775 became a member of the court chapel. The dancer and choreographer Vincenzo Galeotti, recognizing Schall’s ability, appointed him répétiteur and director of ballet at the Royal Theatre in 1776; he also engaged Schall to compose music for many of his ballets. After travelling in the late 1780s to Paris, Dresden, Berlin and Prague (where he met Mozart), Schall returned to Copenhagen in 1792 to take Hartmann’s place as Konzertmeister at the Opera, working successively under J.A.P. Schulz and F.L.A. Kunzen. In 1795 Schall became composer to the Royal Ballet and in 1818 music director at the Opera, where he remained until 1834; he conducted the première of Weber’s Freischütz overture there in 1820.
Though self-taught as a composer, Schall was rated highly by his contemporaries, and his experience as a violinist (he played in the court chapel from ...