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Article

Viorel Cosma

revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu

(b Bucharest, 2/Aug 14, 1893; d Bucharest, Feb 18, 1959). Romanian composer, pianist, conductor, teacher, music critic, and director of music programmes. A leading figure of the first half of the 20th century, he laid the foundation of the Romanian school in music, concert life, and musical journalism. He studied with A. Castaldi, D. Dinicu, D.G. Kiriac, and E. Saegiu at the Bucharest Conservatory (1903–11), completing his education with two periods of study in Paris (1913–14, 1923–4), where he studied with d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum and with Paul Vidal at the Conservatoire. A remarkable accompanist, he worked with Enescu, Thibaud, Mainardi, Moodie, and others during the period 1919–45. As a conductor he always achieved a soberly balanced performance; he conducted more than 1500 performances at the Romanian Opera in Bucharest (1921–59), where he specialized in the French repertory (Bizet, Massenet, and Gounod). In his capacities as conductor of the Romanian Philharmonic Society, and as conductor and artistic manager of the Romanian RSO, he did much to encourage Romanian composers. He was also active as a music critic for Romanian and French reviews. Much of his compositional work was done during his youth, including ...

Article

Stuart Campbell

( b Nizhniy Novgorod, Dec 21, 1836/Jan 2, 1837; d St Petersburg, 16/May 29, 1910). Russian composer, conductor, teacher and pianist .

Balakirev was the son of a minor government official. His musical education began with his mother’s piano tuition and proceeded to a course of summer lessons in Moscow with Aleksandr Dubuque. At that time the leading musical figure and patron in Nizhniy Novgorod (and author of books on Mozart and Beethoven) was Aleksandr Ulïbïshev, and it was through his household pianist and musical organizer Karl Eisrich that Balakirev’s induction to music, embracing the crucial discoveries of Chopin and Glinka, continued. Eisrich and Ulïbïshev provided Balakirev with further opportunities to play, read and listen to music, and to rehearse other musicians in orchestral and choral works, including, when he was 14, Mozart’s Requiem. His first surviving compositions date from the age of 15. Balakirev’s formal education began at the Gymnasium in Nizhniy Novgorod and continued after his mother’s death in ...

Article

Kara Gardner

(b Detroit, March 28, 1866; d Chicago, Dec 6, 1945). American violinist, conductor, musical director, teacher, and composer. Bendix was born to Jewish parents who had emigrated from Germany. His father William was a music teacher. Bendix began formal study at the Cincinnati College of Music where, at the age of twelve, he performed with the college orchestra, directed by Theodore Thomas. This began a long association between the two men, leading to Bendix’s appointment as first violinist and concertmaster of the Theodore Thomas Orchestra in 1886. In August 1893 Thomas resigned his position as music director of the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition following a series of unsuccessful concerts. Bendix took Thomas’s place as conductor of the Exposition orchestra. This created tension between the two men, and Bendix left the Thomas orchestra in 1896. He went on to serve as conductor at the Manhattan Opera House and to conduct orchestras for world fairs in St. Louis (...

Article

Joachim Braun

(Mikhaylovich)

(b Kovalyovka, South Ukraine, 7/April 19, 1863; d Moscow, Jan 21, 1931). Russian conductor, pianist, composer and teacher, uncle of Heinrich Neuhaus. He studied the piano with Stein and composition with Rimsky-Korsakov at the St Petersburg Conservatory, where he taught the piano from his graduation in 1885 until 1918 (excluding the years 1905–11), being appointed a professor in 1897. From 1895 to 1911 he was also conductor at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, where he gave the premières of Rimsky-Korsakov's Servilia (1902) and Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh (1907) and the Russian première of Tristan und Isolde (1899). In 1908 he conducted the Russian seasons in Paris, achieving wide recognition as a conductor and, more especially, as a pianist. He lived and worked in close contact with Anton Rubinstein, Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov, Rachmaninoff and Chaliapin. His performing style, influenced by Rubinstein's, was heroically brilliant and lyrically melodious; he gave the first performances of many piano works by Glazunov, Lyadov and Arensky, among others. He was well known as a teacher, first in St Petersburg, then in Kiev (...

Article

Viorel Cosma

(b Iaşi, 9/May 21, 1899; d Sinaia, May 26, 1992). Romanian composer, violinist, teacher and conductor. He studied the violin in Iaşi (1908–12) with Eduard Caudella and in Craiova (1912–16) with Jean Bobescu and then entered the Schola Cantorum in Paris (1920–24, 1926–7) where he studied with Nestor Lejeune (violin), d’Indy (composition) and Paul le Flem (harmony). After starting his career as a solo violinist he became professor of violin at the conservatories of Cernăuţi and Braşov. In 1935 he was appointed conductor of the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Bucharest where he remained until 1972. Bobescu’s compositions range in theme from historical and biblical subjects to satirical comedy. Though post-Romantic in structure, his music has a pronounced lyrical character: the melodic writing is essentially Romanian but it is clothed in a traditional European harmonic language. His lively orchestration displays a perfect handling of timbres, especially of strings, which he used to achieve impressionistic shading in the operas....

Article

Stan Britt

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Dumfries, Scotland, April 21, 1933; d London, Feb 25, 2009). English trumpeter, flugelhorn player, bandleader, composer, writer, and teacher, brother of Mike Carr. His mother played ukulele and banjo. Carr grew up in northeast England, where he took piano lessons from the age of 12 and taught himself trumpet from 1950. After studying at King’s College, Newcastle upon Tyne (1952–60, degree, English literature, diploma, education) he served in the army (1956–8), then played with his brother in a band, the Emcee Five (1960 – August 1962). He briefly joined Don Rendell in November 1962 and, after recovering from illness, formed a long-lived quintet with Rendell from 1963 to July 1969; during this period he also worked with Joe Harriott (recording in 1969), Don Byas, and John McLaughlin. In September 1969 he formed his own band, Nucleus, which rapidly became recognized internationally for its experiments with jazz-rock. As a result of its performance at the Montreux International Jazz Festival in ...

Article

Scott Alan Southard

[Josef Horymír Capek]

(b Jestrebice, Bohemia, March 12, 1860; d Chicago, Aug 1, 1932). Czech violinist, teacher, conductor, and composer active chiefly in the USA. In 1867, Chapek’s father, a violinist and conductor, moved the family to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Following education there, Chapek entered the Prague Conservatory, studying violin with Bennewitz, theory and composition with Foerster, and meeting Dvorák. Upon graduation, he toured Europe (1882–3). Returning to America, Chapek continued to concertize widely (1883–93). In Milwaukee, he joined the Mendelssohn Quintet Club (1883–5) and later formed the Chapek String Quartet (1885–7). He was also concertmaster of Milwaukee’s Bach Symphony Orchestra (1885–8) and musical director of the Capital Theatre, Little Rock, Arkansas (1887–8).

In 1888, Chapek moved to Chicago to direct the violin department of the Chicago Conservatory (1888–1902); he would later head the violin departments of the Apollo (also until ...

Article

Romeo Ghircoiaşiu

(b Roman, 1866; d Bucharest, Dec 29, 1918). Romanian composer, pianist, teacher and conductor. After studying at the Leipzig Conservatory with Jadassohn (1886–91) and in Lwów with Karol Mikuli, he became conductor at the Rostock Opera and in Goslar. He also taught in these cities and at the conservatories of Bucharest and Brunswick, where he became director. He made some appearances in Germany as a pianist. His compositions (some manuscripts of which are in ...

Article

J.M. Thomson

(b Vienna, Feb 27, 1928). Austrian recorder player, conductor, teacher, and composer. He studied the recorder with Hans Ulrich Staeps, Johannes Collette and Linda Höffer von Winterfeld, and keyboard instruments with Eta Harich-Schneider. He took his doctorate in philosophy at Vienna University in 1956. He cultivates a lyrical style of playing and is much attracted by improvisatory techniques in both early and contemporary music. His instrument collection includes a tenor trombone by Georg Neuschel of Nuremberg (1557), one of the oldest surviving specimens.

In 1958 he founded Musica Antiqua, known as the Ensemble Musica Antiqua from 1959. This group performed music of the Middle Ages to the Baroque on authentic instruments. In 1968 Clemencic founded a group known, from 1969, as the Clemencic Consort, an ensemble for the performance of medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and avant-garde music. Based in Vienna, it is notable for its exploration and staging of little-known 17th-century operas (such as Antonio Draghi’s ...

Article

Kurt Stone

revised by Gary L. Maas

(b Hamburg, June 9, 1912; d Frutigen, nr Berne, Aug 6, 1970). American composer, conductor and pianist of Swedish-German parentage. He began his formal musical education at the Cologne Hochschule für Musik, then fled the Nazi regime to continue his studies in Switzerland at the Zürich Conservatory and the University of Zürich. Later he studied composition with Boulanger in California. Dahl’s professional career began with coaching and conducting at the Zürich Stadttheater. In 1938 he left Europe for the USA and settled in Los Angeles. From then on the range of his musical activities and involvements was immense, including work for radio and film studios, composing, conducting, giving piano recitals and lecturing. He joined the faculty of the University of Southern California in 1945 and taught there until his death. Among his better-known former students is the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.

In addition to teaching composition, conducting and music history, Dahl directed the university’s symphony orchestra (...

Article

Gérard Streletski

[Edme, Edouard, Emile]

(b Paris, May 31, 1817; d Paris, Nov 6, 1897). French violinist, conductor, composer and teacher. At the age of six he began violin lessons with Sudre, who then took him and the young pianist Louis Lacombe on an ‘artistic journey’ of several months. On 1 March 1825 he entered the Conservatoire, where he studied for the next 16 years, winning several first and second prizes and, in 1838, second place in the Prix de Rome for his cantata La vendetta. His teachers included Habeneck, Reicha, Halévy and Berton; with the latter's help he gave a concert of his own compositions on 6 December 1840.

Deldevez began his professional career as a violinist, first at the Opéra from 1833, and then at the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire from 1839. However, conducting became more important, and he took up positions at both institutions from 1847 and 1872 respectively. He became principal conductor at the Opéra in ...

Article

John Warrack

(b Alverdissen, Lippe, Nov 7, 1828; d Bad Pyrmont, Sept 5, 1890). German pianist, teacher, conductor and composer. Having studied with Marxsen in Hamburg (1849) and Lobe in Leipzig, in 1857 he settled in Hamburg, where he founded a musical society and conducted it until 1868. He moved to Berlin in 1874, where he was Kapellmeister of the Royal Opera in Berlin (1886–8), and also conducted concerts. In 1876 he conducted the Silesian musical society founded in Breslau by Count Hochberg. A detailed description of his teaching methods is given by his pupils (see bibliography), especially by Amy Fay. These methods included avoiding lifting the fingers high, careful attention to muscular movement, special study of pedalling and the use of a low piano stool, all designed to cultivate a very soft, even, but penetrating tone. Among Deppe’s most distinguished pupils was Emil Sauer, and he also gave help and advice to Tovey. Deppe’s system was developed further by Adolf Mikeš, who became an influential exponent of it in Prague, and some of his principles were adopted by Leschetizky. His compositions include a symphony, overtures and songs; he also wrote an essay ‘Armleiden der Klavierspieler’ (in ...

Article

Romeo Ghircoiaşiu

revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu

(b Blejoi-Prahova, Romania, March 19, 1847; d Bucharest, Romania, May 9, 1928). Romanian composer, cellist, conductor, and teacher. A master of the cello, he was not only a great interpreter with well-defined competence, but also a very good teacher who established a cello school (for which some of his works were especially created). He was an initiator of an important musical life based on chamber repertory.

After studying in Bucharest with Alexandru Flechtenmacher and Eduard Wachmann, he completed his education in Vienna with Schlessinger and in Paris with Franchomme. He was a cellist in the Romanian Philharmonic Society Orchestra and at the National Theatre. Later he conducted the orchestra of the Ministry of Public Instruction (the successor to the Philharmonic). Dimitrescu was also a moving spirit in the field of chamber music. As founder of the first permanent quartet in Bucharest (1880), he held many concerts of music from the great Classical and Romantic literature. As cello teacher at the Bucharest Conservatory, he helped to form a Romanian cello school (among his disciples were Dimitrie Dinicu and George Georgescu)....

Article

Zofia Chechlińska

(b Szczuczyńce, Podolia, 1857; d Otwock, nr Warsaw, Feb 26, 1923). Polish pianist, composer, conductor and teacher. At the St Petersburg Conservatory he studied the piano with Anton Rubinstein and composition with Nicholas Solovyev, and later orchestration with Rimsky-Korsakov. In 1891 he won first prize in the conservatory’s annual Rubinstein Composers’ Competition for his cantata Wieża goryjska (‘The Gorian tower’). While still a student, he organized and conducted the concerts of the St Petersburg Amateur Music Group, and on graduating he became the director of a local orchestra, also working as an accompanist and singing teacher. He moved to Warsaw in 1919 and co-directed the opera class at the conservatory with Antoni Różański from 1920. Dłuski was also made an honorary professor of the Brussels Conservatory.

Dłuski’s two piano sonatas were particularly successful, and were performed by Rubinstein. However, Dłuski’s main interest was in operatic and vocal music. He composed five operas, of which only one (...

Article

Bálint Vázsonyi

[Ernst von]

(b Pozsony [now Bratislava], July 27, 1877; d New York, Feb 9, 1960). Hungarian pianist, composer, conductor, teacher and administrator. Next to Liszt he ranks as the most versatile Hungarian musician, whose influence reached generations in all spheres of musical life. He is considered the first architect of Hungary’s musical culture in the 20th century.

He received his early training in Pozsony. His father, an outstanding amateur cellist, and Károly Forstner, cathedral organist, gave him lessons in piano playing and theory. Despite the absence of professional training, he showed an extraordinary appetite for music and made rapid progress. Having finished at the Gymnasium, he decided to obtain his formal education in music at the Budapest Academy. He was the first Hungarian of significant talent to do so and his example, as well as his personal intervention, induced Bartók (his friend from early schooldays) to follow the same course. Dohnányi studied the piano with Thomán and composition with Koessler, and received his artist’s diploma in ...

Article

Rolf Haglund

(b Karlstad, Nov 6, 1922). Swedish composer, teacher, conductor and harpsichordist. After attending the Ingesund Music School and the Stockholm Musikhögskolan (1942–7) he went to study at the Basle Schola Cantorum and elsewhere. He was a church organist (1948–60) and was then appointed to the Stockholm Musikhögskolan as teacher of aural training, the subject of his internationally known Modus novus and Modus vetus. In 1967 he founded the Camerata Holmiae, an ensemble of vocal soloists, which he conducts.

Initially a composer only of liturgical music, after his move to Gotland in 1971 he produced a number of original and intense pieces, both sacred and secular. His melodic lines on carefully chosen texts are often built in long cantilenas, oscillating between Gregorian-inspired elements and early Baroque polyphony, and, in particular, taking inspiration from the music of Monteverdi, whom he reveres.

(selective list)

Article

Noel Malcolm

revised by Valentina Sandu-Dediu

[Enesco, Georges]

(b Liveni Vîrnav [now George Enescu], nr Dorohoi, Romania, Aug 19, 1881; d Paris, France, 3/May 4, 1955). Romanian composer, violinist, conductor, and teacher. Enescu (also known by the French form of his name, Georges Enesco) was Romania’s greatest composer, the leading figure in Romanian musical life in the first half of the 20th century, and one of the best-known violinists of his generation.

Enescu came from a modest middle-class family (his father was an estate manager). He started to play the violin at the age of four, and began composing as soon as he learnt musical notation (aged five). In 1888 he entered the Konservatorium der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna. There he studied with Sigmund Bachrich and Joseph Hellmesberger jr (violin), Robert Fuchs (harmony), Joseph Hellmesberger sr (chamber music), and Ernst Ludwig (piano). He also learnt the organ and cello, frequented the Hofoper (for Wagner performances conducted by Hans Richter), and played Brahms’s works in the conservatory orchestra, in the composer’s presence. His first public performance, as a violinist, was at Slănic (north-eastern Romania) in ...

Article

Keith Horner

(b Castellammare di Stabia, Sept 29, 1855; d Florence, Nov 19, 1929). Italian pianist, composer, conductor and teacher. After studying the piano under B. Cesi and composition under P. Serrao at the conservatory of S Pietro a Majella, Naples, Esposito went to Paris in 1878. Four years later he began his long association with Dublin, the development of whose concert life owed much to his enthusiasm and initiative. As professor of the piano at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, his influence extended throughout the country, and he was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1905 by Trinity College, Dublin. He gave frequent chamber music and piano recitals under the auspices of the Royal Dublin Society and founded a small symphony orchestra which gave Sunday afternoon concerts at a low admission price in the Antient Concert Rooms. In 1899, by means of public subscription, he founded the Dublin Orchestral Society, which he conducted with much success until ...

Article

Fabio Fano

revised by Roberta Costa

(b Padua, May 18, 1875; d Tauriano di Spilimbergo, Friuli, Aug 14, 1961). Italian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher. He studied in Padua with Vittorio Orefice and Cesare Pollini (piano), who sent him in 1894 to Martucci at the Bologna Liceo Musicale. There he took a composition diploma (1897) and a law degree at the university (1901). Subsequently he studied in Germany, meeting Busoni, who advised and encouraged him. In 1900 he was appointed piano professor at the Bologna Liceo, and he then directed the conservatories of Parma (1905–12), Naples (1912–16), and Palermo (1916–22), ending his career as a piano teacher at the Milan Conservatory (1922–38, 1945–7). He worked intensively in each of these cities as a pianist, conductor, writer, promoter, and instructor of young musicians. As a composer he followed the example of Martucci, both in his classical instrumental style and in his basically italianate melody, though he differed from his teacher in his great love for operatic music....

Article

Claudio Casini

(b Naples, Aug 21, 1902; d Rome, Aug 3, 1979). Italian conductor, composer, teacher and pianist. He studied at the Naples Conservatory, and subsequently divided his career equally between the Italian scholastic system and performing organizations. He was director of the Cagliari Conservatory (1931–9), succeeded Malipiero as director of the Venice Conservatory (1952; for one year he also directed the Trieste Conservatory) and was director of the Rome Conservatory (1960–72). As president of the Accademia di S Cecilia, Rome (1972–6), where he had been artistic director (1944–7), Fasano developed a system of postgraduate and professional instruction unique to Rome. In 1941 he founded and became director of the Collegium Musicum Italicum, which later split into two connected organizations, the Virtuosi di Roma (1952) and the Teatro dell'Opera da Camera (1956). Through their tours at home and abroad, Fasano contributed greatly to popular knowledge of the 18th-century Italian repertory, particularly of Vivaldi and of Venetian and Neapolitan opera; similar groups have followed in the wake of those founded by him. Fasano edited the series Antica Musica Strumentale Italiana, which began in ...