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Article

Harry B. Soria Jr.

[Albert R. ]

(b Honolulu, HI, Oct 1, 1879; d Honolulu, HI, Jan 23, 1933). Composer, arranger, publisher, pianist, and bandleader, active in Hawaii. Cunha’s compositions early in the 20th century spearheaded the development of the hapa haole song, featuring predominantly English lyrics with some references to Hawaii and the Hawaiian language, earning him the title of “Father of Hapa Haole Songs.” His innovation is credited with making Hawaii’s music accessible to a much wider audience, which rapidly grew to global proportions over the next few decades.

Cunha left Hawaii to attend Yale University, where he excelled in sports, the Yale Glee Club, and composed Yale’s “Boola, Boola.” Rather than practice law after graduation, he toured the mainland United States performing a new kind of Hawaiian song, combining the popular ragtime rhythm of American music with Hawaiian songs. Cunha returned to Hawaii and composed his first hapa haole song, “Waikiki Mermaid,” in ...

Article

J.M. Thomson

(b Dallas, TX, Jan 26, 1922; d Suffern, NY, Nov 4, 1999). American recorder player, editor, teacher, and conductor. His early musical experience included playing the trumpet in small jazz bands and in Broadway pit bands and arranging music for shows in New York. While studying with erich Katz at the New York College of Music he developed an interest in early music. He learned to play the recorder, crumhorn, sackbut, and viola da gamba and arranged and directed medieval and Renaissance music. He edited music for the American Recorder Society, which published several of his compositions, and later was general editor of the series Music for Recorders (Associated Music Publishers). He took part in the debut of the New York Pro Musica Antiqua under Noah Greenberg in 1953 and rejoined them from 1960 until 1970; during this time he became director of the instrumental consort and assistant director of the Renaissance band. He toured internationally with them and played on many recordings. In ...

Article

Ivana Vesić

(b Plzeň, Sept 29, 1882; d Iriški Venac, March 27, 1938). Yugoslav music publisher, conductor, composer, violinist of Czech origin. After working as a freelance musician in Sofia, Bulgaria (1897–1903), he settled in Belgrade in 1903 where he took the post of concertmaster in the National Theater (1904–09) and temporarily in the Orchestra of ‘Kraljeva garda’ [King’s guards]. He was also the conductor and director of several singing societies (‘Lira’ [Lyre], ‘Harmonija’ [Harmony], etc.) as well as of his own salon orchestra which performed regularly in the hotel ‘Moskva’ [Moscow] (1908–14). He was a founder and owner of the publishing house ‘Edition Frajt’, (1921–41), which was dedicated solely to music publishing. It released more than 800 volumes consisting mostly of the works of Austrian, Yugoslav, German, Russian, Czech, and Hungarian composers. The largest part of the collection comprised arias from operettas and operas, arrangements of folk songs and folk dances, salon lyrical character pieces, and popular songs and dances. In addition to the works of established Serbian composers from the 19th century (Davorin Jenko, Stevan Mokranjac, Josip Marinković), Frajt`s catalogue included the works of many Yugoslav composers of his time (Petar Krstić, Stevan Hristić, Mihovil Logar, Marko Tajčević, etc.). Among them were the numerous popular songs based mostly on the rhythm of popular social dances of that period and arrangements of folk songs and dances composed by Frajt himself. Frajt was also the author of several pieces for orchestra (‘Srpska igra’ br. 1 i 2 [Serbian dance no.1 and 2]), vocal-instrumental ensemble (‘Misa u B-duru’ [Mass in B Major]), solo songs, and works for violin solo and violin and piano....

Article

Article

Mark Berresford

(Coleman )

(b Brunswick, MO, Feb 7, 1882; d New York, NY, March 9, 1961). American clarinetist, bandleader, composer, and music publisher. His first professional engagement (c1897–8) was with a “pickaninny” band led by Nathaniel Clark Smith. In 1902 he was assistant leader of P.G. Lowery’s band with Forepaugh and Sells Circus and later that year joined Mahara’s Minstrels band under the leadership of W.C. Handy. In 1903 he formed his own band in Minneapolis, where he made the first recordings by an African American band. Sweatman moved to Chicago in 1908, where he led trios at the Grand and Monogram theaters. In 1911 he made his first vaudeville appearance, and in late 1916 made the first records recognizable as jazz performances. In 1918 Sweatman’s band was signed to an exclusive recording contract with Columbia, their records rivalling those by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. He continued to work through the 1920s and early 1930s in vaudeville, and in ...

Article

Deane L. Root

[Hubert Prior]

(b Island Pond, VT, July 28, 1901; d North Hollywood, CA, July 3, 1986). American bandleader, singer, saxophonist, actor and publisher. From 1918 he learnt the saxophone and played in a theatre orchestra in Portland, Maine, then attended the University of Maine (1921) and Yale University (to 1927). In 1928 he formed his own band, the Connecticut Yankees; he made his début as a singer in George White’s Scandals (1931), and appeared in Broadway musicals, television and over 20 films, mostly as a musician or comic actor. During the 1930s and 1940s, with his salutation ‘Heigh-ho, everybody!’, he was one of the most successful American bandleaders and singers, among the first crooners to inspire mass hysteria in his audience. With his thin, nasal voice and using a megaphone – later a microphone – he popularized the Maine Stein Song, the Yale Whiffenpoof Song, his own ...