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Lisa A. Urkevich

[Muḥammed ‘Abdu ‘Othmān Marzuq al-Dehel al-‘Asīrī]

(b Jizan, Saudi Arabia, 1949). Saudi singer, composer and ‘ūd (lute) player. His father was a well-known sailor who died when Muḥammed was two years old. Muḥammed began singing at the age of six, and at nine he received his first vocal training through the study of Qur'anic recitation, which, along with the call to prayer (adhān), he offered at school events. About the age of 13 he became involved with amateur traditional singers and learnt to play the ‘ūd. Because of his close proximity to Yemen, he encountered master musicians of the al-yamānī style. He gained a diploma in shipbuilding and was offered a scholarship to study in Japan, but declined the offer, preferring to become a professional musician. His first recognized composition was Hala yā bū sha'ar tha'ir (1965). He went on to record over 80 albums in a variety of styles, including popular Egyptian styles, but he has been most appreciated for his folkloric, traditional Saudi and Gulf pieces. He gained an international reputation and has often been called ‘...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Kawasaki, Japan, May 3, 1949; d Sept 9, 1978). Japanese alto saxophonist. Self-taught, he played alto saxophone and reportedly had developed a distinctive style by the age of 20. He made his first recording in a duo with Masayuki Takayanagi in 1970, and during the 1970s he performed with Motoharu Yoshizawa, the avant-garde composer and violinist Takehisa Kosugi, Yosuke Yamashita, Derek Bailey, Milford Graves, and others; he also appeared frequently as an unaccompanied soloist, and made the majority of his recordings in this context. One of the legendary masters of Japanese free jazz of the 1970s, Abe also played bass clarinet, sopranino saxophone, harmonica, and other wind instruments.

Article

J. Michele Edwards

(Kimura)

(b Tokyo, April 18, 1937). Japanese marimba player and composer. After xylophone study with Eiichi Asabuki (1950–59), she earned two degrees from Tokyo Gakugei University, studying composition with Shosuke Ariga and Toshio Kashiwagi as well as percussion with Masao Imamura and Yusuke Oyake. An active professional performer since 1960, she has toured extensively in Europe, North America and Asia with annual recital tours since 1981. Through development of new technical skills and by expanding the repertory with over 70 commissions, she has contributed significantly to the status of marimba music, for which she was honoured by induction into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1993. After a decade of studio work and orchestral playing, she studied the performances of jazz artists such as Milt Jackson and Lionel Hampton in order to develop her own personal style of improvisation as a creative source for composition. Technically challenging yet idiomatic for the marimba, her works generally begin with improvisation and are later notated. Her compositions include wide dynamic ranges, techniques borrowed from folk music traditions and careful voicing of chords. Using four- and sometimes six-mallet technique, she often combines a melodic line with an impressionistic background of rhythmic patterns. Her performances of her compositions and those of other Japanese composers have been very influential on developments in the USA, especially since ...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(b Beirut, Aug 17, 1957). Lebanese ’ūd player and leader. He was classically trained on ’ūd and flute, and continued to study flute when he moved to Munich at the outbreak of the Lebanese civil war in the late 1970s. He made two albums as a flute player, one in a duo with the pianist Michael Armann (1981), but neither attracted much attention, so Abou-Khalil resumed playing the ’ūd. In 1986 he recorded as the leader of a seven-piece group which included Charlie Mariano, Glen Moore, and the percussionist Glen Velez, all of whom have taken part in his later recordings. Among his other guests have been Kenny Wheeler and Steve Swallow, and Sonny Fortune toured and recorded as a soloist with him in 1988 and 1990. In the 1990s he led a group with the harmonica player Howard Levy, Michel Godard, Mark Nauseef, and the Syrian percussionist Nabil Khaiat; its combination of ...

Article

Svetlana Sarkisyan

(b Yerevan, March 8, 1932). Armenian cellist and teacher. She studied first at the Yerevan Central Music School (where her teachers were K. Khizanov and L. Grigoryan) and then with Grigoryan at the Komitas Conservatory in Yerevan (1950–53). She continued her studies with Rostropovich at the Moscow Conservatory (1953–6) and became a laureate of the H. Wihan International Cello Competition (1955). In 1956 she made her début as a soloist with the Armenian PO, and has performed regularly with the orchestra since then. In 1960 she became professor of cello at the Yerevan Conservatory. She has performed widely in Russia, the USA, Canada and Western Europe, as a soloist and during numerous festivals, specializing in 20th-century works, notably those by Armenian composers. She has given premières of some 100 works, a number of which are dedicated to her. Her playing is distinguished by refinement of intonation, a broad range of colour and a strong dramatic impetus....

Article

James Wierzbicki

( b Sumatra, Nov 5, 1917; d New York, July 4, 1983). American cellist and composer . He spent the first six years of his life in Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), where his father, Tassilo Adam, worked as an ethnologist; after the family returned to Europe he studied at the Salzburg Mozarteum. In 1929 the family moved to New York, where Adam studied the cello with E. Stoffnegen, D.C. Dounis and (from 1938 to 1940) Feuermann; he also studied conducting with Barzin and composition with Blatt, and was a member of the National Orchestral Association, a training group for young instrumentalists (1935–40). From 1940 to 1943 he was principal cellist of the Minneapolis SO. After serving in the US Air Force during World War II, he studied composition in New York with Wolpe. In 1948 he formed the New Music Quartet, with which he performed until ...

Article

Michael Ethen

(Guy)

(b Kingston, ON, Nov 5, 1959). Canadian rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and photographer. The son of a diplomat, he spent his youth in England, Israel, Portugal, and Austria. After returning with his family to North America, he began performing and recording at the age of 15 with rock bands in British Columbia and Ontario. In 1978 he began what became a long and successful songwriting partnership with Jim Vallance, with whom he created most songs recorded under his name up to 1987, as well as songs recorded by Rod Stewart, Kiss, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Diamond, and the Canadian groups Prism, BTO, and Loverboy.

Adams’ albums characteristically alternate between down-tempo piano ballads and straight-ahead rock numbers. His third solo album, Cuts like a Knife (1983) launched him to the status of an international celebrity; its singles included the ballad “Straight from the Heart” and the anthem “Cuts like a Knife,” which both featured for weeks on magazine charts and music television. The next album, ...

Article

Dezső Legány

[Abranovics, Ritter von August]

(b Pera, Turkey, Nov 1, 1830; d Vienna, Oct 20, 1873). Violinist and composer of Croatian and Italian descent. In his childhood he lived in Constantinople, where his father was in the Austrian diplomatic service; his mother was the Contessa Franchini. From the age of 12 he studied in Vienna, and against his father’s will chose an artistic career as a student of Mayseder (violin, 1850–54) and Hoffmann (composition). After 1855 he had a career as an excellent violinist in various cities including Prague, Leipzig and (in 1858) Paris; he married in Pest in 1859. Nevertheless, he always remained close to the spirit of the orient, as is manifested in his literary works (e.g. Orientalische Musik). Among his 120 works there were operas composed to his own librettos, including the spectacular but short-lived Zrinyi (Pest, 1868, after Körner), Martinuzzi (Buda, 1870), choral works (a mass, ...

Article

Rainer E. Lotz

[Rama IX Bhumibol; Phoemipol Aduldej]

(b Cambridge, MA, Dec 5, 1927). Thai clarinetist and reed player. He was brought up in the USA and in Switzerland, where he learned to play clarinet; he later mastered the whole family of reed instruments, favoring soprano saxophone. Although he is interested in early jazz he was influenced predominantly by Benny Goodman, and participated in jam sessions with Goodman and other jazz musicians who visited Thailand, notably Jack Teagarden and Lionel Hampton. He occasionally plays with his court orchestra in a swing style of the 1940s that is modified by the strong influence of traditional Thai music, but, on account of his official status as the king of Thailand, no recordings by him have been authorized for distribution. (H. Esman and V. Bronsgeest: “Een jazz king: Koning Phoemipol,” ...

Article

M. Rusty Jones

(b Tehran, Iran, March 9, 1960). American guitarist and educator of Iranian birth. She took up the guitar at the age of ten, later moving to the United States. She received BM and MM degrees in guitar from the Boston Conservatory and the New England Conservatory of Music. In 1986, she was among 12 guitarists selected by Andrés Segovia to perform in his masterclasses held at the University of Southern California. In 1989, she earned a Doctorate of Music degree in guitar performance from Florida State University, under the direction of Bruce Holzman. She was the first woman worldwide to receive this degree. She studied with Oscar Ghiglia at the Banff School of Fine Arts, Aspen Music Festival, and Siena (Accademia Musicale Chigiana). Among her awards are a Grand Prize in the 1986 Aspen Music Festival Guitar Competition, Top Prize in the 1988 Guitar Foundation of America Competition, a NEA recording award, and selection by the United States Information Agency to Africa as an Artistic Ambassador in ...

Article

Svetlana Sarkisyan

(b Riga, May 24, 1947). Armenian violinist and conductor. He began to study the violin in Riga and continued his studies at the Central Music School in Yerevan (1963–6), the Yerevan Conservatory (1966–8) and the Moscow Conservatory (1968–74), where his teachers were Y.I. Yankelevich and Leonid Kogan. From ...

Article

Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof

(b Muar, Johor, Malaysia, June 12, 1941). Malaysian singer and lute player. He became interested in music at an early age, as a result of watching bangsawan (Malay opera) performances; his father, a musician, was important in nurturing this interest. At the age of 18 he joined the Setia Ghazal Party in his home town (the principal centre of the syncretic vocal genre ghazal in Malaysia) as a singer and musician; he later joined the well-known Seri Maharani Ghazal, becoming famous as a gambus (short-necked lute) player (the lead instrument in ghazal ensembles) and featuring on Seri Maharani Ghazal's many recordings.

He has visited around 40 countries, often giving solo performances, but principally as a member of exchange troupes through the Malaysian Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism, which he joined in 1976. Shortly after joining this organization, he worked as a gambus teacher at Kompleks Budaya Negara (National Cultural Complex), where he continued until his retirement. He continues to work part-time at the Akademi Seni Kebangsaan (National Arts Academy). In addition to being a highly successful ...

Article

Mark Gilbert

(b Sendai, Japan, March 16, 1953). Japanese pianist and keyboard player. He grew up in Cleveland and studied piano, theory, and music history at the Cleveland Music School Settlement (1959–65). In his early teens he returned to Japan, where he read philosophy and composition at the International Christian University in Tokyo (1971–5); he then began, but did not complete, a doctorate in philosophy at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Apart from leading his own small groups, Akagi played with, among others, Art Pepper (1975), Blue Mitchell (1975), Eddie Harris (1976), Airto Moreira and Flora Purim (1979–86), Kazumi Watanabe (mid-1980s), Joe Farrell (1984–5), James Newton (from 1985), Allan Holdsworth and Jean-Luc Ponty (both 1986), Al Di Meola (1986–7), Miles Davis (1989–91), Steve Turre, Robin Eubanks (1990), Stanley Turrentine (from ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama

(b Tokyo, Jan 17, 1955). Japanese guitarist. Self-taught, he took up drums at the age of eight and guitar when he was ten. In 1975 he made his professional début with Isao Suzuki’s group Soul Family. He performed with Mikio Masuda, Motohiko Hino, Hiroshi Murakami, Yoshio Suzuki (...

Article

J. Bradford Robinson

(b Dairen, China, Dec 12, 1929). Japanese jazz composer, pianist and bandleader. She studied classical music and turned to jazz only in 1947 after moving to Japan. There she was discovered by Oscar Peterson, who urged her to take up a career in the USA. After studying at Berklee College of Music (1956–9) she became a highly regarded bop pianist, especially in groups with the alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano (who was at that time her husband). She worked in Japan (1961), joined Charles Mingus in the USA (1962–3), then returned to Japan until 1965. In 1973 she founded a large rehearsal band in Los Angeles with the tenor saxophonist and flautist Lew Tabackin, whom she had married in 1969. Its first album, Kogun (1974, RCA), was commercially successful in Japan, and the group attracted increasing popularity and critical acclaim until, by ...

Article

Owen Wright

[ibn Ghaybī al-Marāghi]

(b Maragh; d Herat, 1435). Timurid composer, performer and theorist. He first rose to prominence in the service of the Jalā’irid rulers of Iraq and Azerbaijan, al-Ḥusayn (1374–82) and Aḥmad (1382–1410). After the conquest of Baghdad by Tīmūr (1393), most of his career was spent in Samarkand and, especially, Herat, at the courts of Tīmūr and of his successors al-Khalīl (1404–9) and Shāh Rukh (1409–47).

‘Abd al-Qādir was one of the most important and influential theorists of the Systematist school. His most substantial surviving works are the Jāmi‘ al-al ḥān (‘Compendium of melodies’), largely completed in 1405 and revised in 1413, and the slighter Maqāṣid al-al ḥān (‘Purports of melodies’), which covers essentially the same ground and probably dates from 1418. Written in Persian, which was by then the language of culture, these works proved particularly influential among later 15th-century theorists; but although both thoughtful and highly competent, on the theoretical side they may be regarded as, essentially, restatements and amplifications of the theory elaborated by ...

Article

Christian Poché

(b al-A‘zamiyya, June 1921). Iraqi ethnomusicologist and sanṭūr player. The focus of his studies has been on the maqām. He became interested in this in the 1930s after hearing the singing of the masters Muḥammad al-Qundarjī (d 1945) and ‘Abbās aL-Shaykhalī (1881–1967) and in 1937 began learning the maqām himself. In about 1949 he started lessons on the san ṭūr with Sha‘ūbī Ibrāhīm Khalīl (b 1925) and founded a chamber ensemble, al-shalghīal-baghdādī, in 1950. He has widely researched the maqām, making it publicly known with his writings and by touring widely with his chamber ensemble. He is also an expert on manuscripts and has published annotations of treatises by classical authors.

Mukhtārāt al-Abūdhiyya al-‘Iraqiyya [Selections of Iraqi Abūdhiyya] (Baghdad, 1949) al-Maqām al-‘Irāqī [Al-Maqām Al-Iraqi: studies in the classical music of Iraq] (Baghdad, 1961, 2/1983) al-Abūdhiyya [The Abūdhiyya] (Baghdad, 1962) Ḥall Rum ūz Kit...

Article

Dorothy C. Pratt

(b Constantinople, 1881; d Chamonix, July 27, 1954). Armenian cellist. He studied with Grützmacher and while a student played chamber music with Brahms and Joachim. At the age of 17 he appeared as the soloist in Strauss's Don Quixote with the composer conducting and scored a triumph; he was then invited to play concertos with Nikisch and Mahler. In 1901 he settled in Paris, where Casals saw some of his fingerings and recognized that Alexanian shared his own, then revolutionary, ideas on technique and interpretation. Many years' collaboration followed, leading to the publication in 1922 of their joint treatise Traité théorique et pratique du violoncelle and in 1929 of Alexanian's analytical edition of the solo cello suites of Bach. Alexanian was professor of the Casals class at the Ecole Normale de Musique from 1921 to 1937, when he left for the USA. His classes in Paris, Baltimore and New York attracted artists and students from all over the world, and his influence extended far beyond his own pupils (among them Maurice Eisenberg and Antonio Janigro) to such cellists as Feuermann, Cassadó, Piatigorsky and Fournier. He was also a conductor of distinction....

Article

Marina Lobanova

(Ali Aga Kïzï)

(b Baku, May 28, 1947). Azerbaijani composer and pianist. She studied at the Music School attached to the Azerbaijan State Conservatory (1954–65) and then at the conservatory itself (composition with Kara Karayev and the piano with Khalilov), graduating in 1970 as a pianist and 1972 as a composer. She then attended a postgraduate course under Karayev (1974–6) and at the same time served as his assistant (1970–76) before being appointed assistant professor (1976–89) and then professor (1996 onwards). During the 1960s and 70s she encouraged the dissemination of new music by giving the first performances in Azerbaijan of works by Berg, Cage, Crumb, Messiaen and Schoenberg as well as playing works by Soviet composers such as Denisov, Gubaydulina and Schnittke. She also frequently took part in festivals around the former Soviet Union, while in 1988 she was elected to join the Friends of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute of Los Angeles and in ...

Article

Theodore Levin

(b Keles, Uzbekistan, 1922). Uzbek musician. He was a musical autodidact from an early age, teaching himself to play the dutār, the ṭanbūr and, later, the sato, or bowed ṭanbūr, and the violin. In 1942, after being wounded in World War II, he joined the music ensemble of the Muqimi Theatre of Musical Drama in Tashkent. In 1948 he moved to the Uzbek radio station, where he worked until 1952, when all the traditional music ensembles at the radio were disbanded and replaced by note-reading orchestras. From 1952 to 1957 Alimatov worked as a freelance musician, performing mostly at weddings. In 1957 he became a founding member of the Makom Ensemble of Uzbekistan Radio under the direction of Yunus Rajabi, and performed in this ensemble until 1982. In addition to his work in the Makom Ensemble, Alimatov made his own recordings of traditional and classical music. However, because his performances did not conform to official stylistic canons, his recordings were banned from the radio from ...