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John Whenham

(b 1623–8; d Bologna, 1699, before 28 Jan). Italian singer, composer and instrument maker. He was an Augustinian monk who was employed from about 1649 as a soprano castrato at the Este court at Modena. On 13 November 1660 he was appointed to the choir of S Petronio, Bologna, with a stipend of 50 lire a month; he was discharged on 24 April 1662 but rejoined on 25 July 1663. In October 1665 he returned to Modena, where he succeeded Marco Uccellini as choirmaster of the cathedral. He vacated this post in November 1673 and by early 1674 was again living at Bologna. Between 1677 and 1681 he served as a singer in the cappella of Duke Francesco II of Modena. In 1685 he was made a member of the Accademia Filarmonica, Bologna, and seems to have spent his last years in or near that city. He wrote to the Duke of Modena in ...


Iain Fenlon

(b ?Ferrara; d Ferrara, Sept 20, 1569). Italian composer and singer. He was a relation (probably uncle) of Lodovico Agostini. He served as a singer at the ducal court of Ferrara between 1540 and 1545, and then as a beneficed priest and canon at Ferrara Cathedral. In 1563 Pendaglia described him as a priest, singer and practising doctor, and according to Scalabrini he was rector of S Salvatore, Ferrara. His known works comprise two four-voice madrigals published in Lodovico Agostini’s Musica … libro secondo de madrigali (RISM 15727), and two pieces to Latin texts, for six and seven voices respectively, in Lodovico’s Canones, et echo (RISM 1572¹³). His madrigals, Questa che’l cor m’accende and Deh salvator de l’anime smarite, both demonstrate a discreet understanding of contemporary madrigalian techniques.

B. Pendaglia: Quattro canti (Ferrara, 1563), 30 G.A. Scalabrini: Riassunto di spese di sacrestia del Duomo di Ferrara...


Iain Fenlon

(b Ferrara, 1534; d Ferrara, Sept 20, 1590). Italian composer and singer. He was a relation (probably nephew) of Agostino Agostini. He came from a family with strong musical traditions, and from an early age studied for a musical and religious career. The appearance of his first known piece in Barré’s Terzo libro delle muse (Rome, 15627) suggests that he received his early training in Rome, as does the dedication of his first book of six-part madrigals to Tiberio Cerasi, who was also the dedicatee of Marenzio’s first book of villanellas. According to Cavicchi (MGG1), he was associated from 1572 with the cappella of Ferrara Cathedral, where older members of his family had also worked; in 1577 his name first appeared in the payment records of the Ferrarese court of Duke Alfonso II d’Este, in whose service he remained until his death. During the 1580s he served as an informal composition tutor to Duke Guglielmo Gonzaga, with whom he exchanged letters on matters of mutual musical interest. He was associated with many notable poets, among them Tasso and Guarini, and with members of the highest aristocracy. He was a priest, and pursued a distinguished religious career which culminated in his being created a Monsignore and an apostolic prothonotary. Although he composed no liturgical music his writings on religious subjects, ...


Robert Stevenson

(b El Espinar, nr Segovia, c1530; d Mexico City, between 17 March and May 19, 1570). Spanish composer, active in Mexico. He served as a choirboy at Segovia Cathedral from 1542 to 1549, where he was taught by Gerónimo de Espinar (who later taught Victoria at Avila) and from 1544 by the maestro de capilla there, Bartolomé de Olaso (d 1567). He was employed at Salamanca University by Matheo Arévalo Sedeño, a rich nobleman, who later acted as his sponsor at Mexico City; he became a cathedral singer there on 16 October 1554 and, after being ordained, was appointed maestro de capilla on 2 January 1556. For the commemoration services for Charles V held in Mexico City on 29 November 1559 he composed an alternatim psalm setting in four parts. His several ‘motetes, villancicos y chanzonetas’ composed for Corpus Christi and Christmas (many to texts by Juan Bautista Corvera) earned the approval of the Archbishop Alonso de Montúfar, who had him promoted from prebendary to canon on ...


Victor Ravizza

revised by Gary Towne

[Albertis, Gaspare de; Albertus, Gaspare; Gaspare bergomensis; Gaspar de Padua]

(b Padua, c1489; d Bergamo, c1560). Italian composer. His entire career was spent at S Maria Maggiore, Bergamo, where he appeared as cleric in 1503, was ordained in 1514, became chaplain in 1515, and was listed as singer in 1517 and maestro di cappella by 1536. As the basilica’s principal composer, he copied nine or ten choirbooks, beginning in 1524. When the famous music theorist Pietro Aaron was admitted to the monastery of S Leonardo, Bergamo, in 1536, he was received by Alberti, who with 22 singers performed Vespers a cori spezzati. When forced into retirement in 1550, Alberti retained the manuscript choirbooks he had copied until he was reappointed in 1552 for another two years. In 1559 he made a living donation of all of his goods to S Maria Maggiore in return for a pension. Three composite choirbooks mostly copied by him are now in the Biblioteca Civica and are the only manuscript sources of Alberti’s creative production. Three of his masses were published in partbooks in Venice in ...


Jerome Roche

revised by Noel O’Regan

(b Rome, 1582; d Rome, Feb 7, 1652). Italian composer and singer, brother of Domenico Allegri. From 1591 to 1596 he was a boy chorister and from 1601 to 1604 a tenor at S Luigi dei Francesi, Rome, where the maestro di cappella was G.B. Nanino. According to Allegri’s obituary he studied with G.M. Nanino (see Lionnet). He was active as a singer and composer at the cathedrals of Fermo (1607–21) and Tivoli, and by August 1628 he was maestro di cappella of Santo Spirito in Sassia, Rome. He joined the papal choir as an alto on 6 December 1629, under Urban VIII, and was elected its maestro di cappella for the jubilee year of 1650. In 1640 his fellow singers elected him to revise Palestrina’s hymns (necessitated by Urban VIII’s revision of the texts), which were published in Antwerp in 1644. His contemporaries clearly saw him as a worthy successor to Palestrina and a guardian of the ...


Isabel Pope

revised by Tess Knighton

(fl1482). Iberian composer. He was a singer in the Aragonese royal chapel of Ferdinand V over a period of almost 30 years, from 1482 until 1510. He was presented to various ecclesiastical benefices under royal patronage and held, presumably by proxy, the position of head chaplain of the Dominican monastery in Madrid until 1505.

He was also closely associated with Segovia Cathedral for the best part of his life, being appointed chapel master there from 1 October 1504. For some years he held both positions, but this must have proved incompatible for in the autumn of 1507 he was suspended from his post as chapel master for an unspecified breach of the rules and replaced by Francisco de San Juan. He remained a member of the chapter, however, and was much involved in cathedral business during long periods of absence from the royal chapel during the period ...


(b Heilbronn, c1535; d after 1575). German composer, Kantor and organist. He studied at Heidelberg in 1553 and at Tübingen in 1554, gaining the BA in 1555. He was Kantor at Mergentheim in Franconia in 1555 and from about 1560 to 1564 was organist at Feuchtwangen. In 1565 he was probably a court musician at Ansbach. In 1557 he applied for the post of Kantor at Hipoltstein, and in 1563–4 he applied unsuccessfully for the positions of organist at Windsheim and court musician in Württemberg. From 1569 to 1575 he was Kapellmeister and organist to Landgrave Philipp the Younger of Hesse at Schloss Rheinfels and organist at St Goar, south of Koblenz. However, he lost these posts over a dispute with the citizens of St Goar and was imprisoned. In an autobiographical threnody, Bis in den Himmel clage ich über Tyrannei (in A-Wn ), he complained to the emperor of his unjust treatment by Margrave Georg Friedrich of Ansbach-Brandenburg and Landgrave Philipp of Hesse. He composed ...


Walter Hüttel

(b Freiberg, Saxony, Oct 17, 1790; d Freiberg, Aug 21, 1854). German Kantor and composer. He studied at the Freiberg Gymnasium, then at Leipzig University, where he took the master’s degree. He continued his education with J.G. Schicht, W.F. Riem, G.C. Härtel and Friedrich Schneider and lived in Leipzig as a singer, pianist and music teacher. In 1821 he was given a post in Freiberg as the city’s music director, becoming the cathedral Kantor and a teacher at the Gymnasium and the teachers’ training college; he also founded the Singakademie in 1823 and reorganized the Bergmusikkorps. He visited Beethoven in Vienna and became a champion of his music; he was also a friend of Mendelssohn, Reissiger and Wagner. His most important pupils were K.F. Brendel, Reinhold Finsterbusch and Robert Volkmann.

Anacker anticipated the modern German Kantor who was principally concerned with musical education and artistic competence. His compositions, mainly sacred and secular choral, are distinguished for their modernity and emotional intensity; the oratorio ...


William F. Prizer

[Senese, Ser Ansano di Goro, Sano di Goro]

(b c1470; d 1524). Sienese composer, singer and priest. Ansanus can now be identified as Sano di Goro, the son of a Sienese wool shearer, who is first recorded as a clerk in the cathedral of Siena in March 1484. He joined the chapel as a chorister in 1485, and was ordained in 1500, by which time he was an adult singer. He was dismissed from the choir in 1507 after having written a bitter letter complaining about his treatment by the Opera of the cathedral. He returned to the cathedral's services, at least temporarily, from April 1511 to March 1512. In April 1515 he is again listed as a singer there, and thereafter was more or less permanently employed in the choir until February 1524, serving as maestro di cappella in 1517 and again from 1520 to 1524. He died at the end of 1524.

The sole source of his music is the ...


Almonte Howell

(b southern France; fl 1609–14). Spanish liturgist of French birth. A Dominican friar, educated at the monastery at Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, Provence, he served as cantor in a number of houses of his order in France, Aragon and Castile, including S Pablo at Valladolid and finally S María de Atocha in Madrid. He was commissioned to prepare a new simplified processional for the Spanish Dominicans, Processionarium secundum morem almi ordinis Praedicatorum S.P.N. Dominici (Madrid, 1609), which contains information on past chant manuals of the order, and the rubrics and music for the special services involving processions. Its music was badly garbled by the printer. Artufel’s second work, Modo de rezar las horas canónicas conforme al rezo de los Frayles Predicadores … con un Arte de canto llano y con la entonación de los hymnos y sus rúbricas (Valladolid, 1614), is in three parts with separate paginations. The first, a ceremonial for the Office, is chiefly an extract in translation from the Dominican Ordinary but with some interesting added material on the use of the organ; the second part contains the hymn intonations; the third is a manual on chant consisting of 23 chapters on the rudiments of music (notation, solmization, intervals, modes) and a collection of examples. The bulk of the technical material is taken verbatim from the ...


Leland Earl Bartholomew

revised by Franco Colussi

(b ?Crema; d Ceneda, March 24, 1616). Italian composer, singer and priest. He had been appointed priest and contralto singer at Padua Cathedral on 5 May 1577 and he served there for more than 20 years in various capacities. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the post of maestro di cappella at the cathedral in 1580, but served as a substitute in the post, being the most senior member of the choir, after Costanzo Porta’s dismissal and until the election of G.B. Mosto (from May to December 1595), and again during the latter’s absence and after his death until the election of Lelio Bertani (from March 1596 to November 1598). He had various disputes with the new maestro in April 1600. The following year, on the recommendation of Bishop Leonardo Mocenigo, he was elected maestro di cappella of Ceneda Cathedral, a post which he held, despite new disputes with a local canon, until his death. During these final years he published his ...


Alexander Lingas

[Bereketēs, Petros; Byzantios, ho Melōdos, Glykys, Tzelepēs, Kouspazoglou]

(b Constantinople, ?1665; d ?1725). Romaic (Greek) composer and cantor. Though undoubtedly influenced by the works of Panagiotes, Germanos and Balasios, he appears never to have been directly associated with the patriarchal court that nurtured his older colleagues. His own substantial contributions to their continuing renewal of Byzantine chanting were made instead from the Constantinopolitan parish church of St Constantine (in the district of Hypsomatheia), where Bereketes held successively the offices of reader, domestikos, and prōtopsaltēs.

Among the traditional repertories, Bereketes virtually ignored the stichērarion and heirmologion recently ‘beautified’ by Panagiotes, Germanos, and Balasios in order to focus his compositional skills on the more structurally malleable chants of the Papadikē. He also brought the newer paraliturgical genre of the kalophonic heirmos to its highest point with the composition of 45 heirmoi for use in monastic refectories or during the distribution of antidoron (blessed bread) at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy. Cultivating what Chatzigiakoumis and Stathis have described as a comparatively popular style of liturgical music, he occasionally composed works incorporating elements of the Arabo-Persian tradition of Ottoman secular music. Among his chants for Orthros are settings of the first and second ...


Walter Blankenburg


(b Celle, 1535; d Lüneburg, April 17, 1575). German Kantor, composer and theologian. He studied first at the Johannisschule in Lüneburg where Lucas Lossius was one of his teachers, and from 1555 in Wittenberg. He was appointed town Kantor in Lüneburg in 1558. In 1562 he accepted a post as a preacher at the Nikolaikirche, Lüneburg, and performed the duties concurrently with those of Kantor until 1564; in that year Christoph Praetorius, an uncle of Michael Praetorius, took over Bertram’s town post. From 1571 or 1572 until his death he was principal pastor in Lüneburg.

Bertram’s life story is characteristic of many early Lutheran figures whose first occupation as a Kantor was merely a stepping-stone to the profession of pastor. His are the earliest compositions by a Lüneburg Kantor to have survived. The most important is his contribution to the Erotemata musicae practicae (Nuremberg, 1563), a book of instruction designed by Lossius for music teaching in Lüneburg. In the preface it is stated that Bertram had ‘carefully compiled and extended the book with pleasing and suitable music examples’; it is possible that he was also responsible for the remaining music examples that cannot be identified. To the ...


Philippe Vendrix

(b c1579-1581; d Liège, May 30, 1654). Flemish composer, singer and priest. His name is first recorded in 1599, when he was one of the three duodeni seniori in the choir school of the cathedral of St Lambert, Liège. In the same year he received one of the two Toleolo bursaries. At that time he was probably about 18 to 20 years of age, and may have been a pupil of Dominus Henri Jamaer, singing master at the cathedral, and of his deputies Jacques Chabot and Narthodi Bartholdi. On 15 December 1606 he was appointed a singer at the cathedral, receiving a benefice (of the altar of St Aldegonde) from December 1611. In 1615 he seems to have spent a brief period in the collegiate church of St Denis as monitor choraylium, since on 12 September 1615 he was promoted to canon of the petite-table of the cathedral. A little later he became a priest, and was appointed ...


Denis Arnold

[Ionne a Cruce Clodiensis; Chiozzotto; Chiozzotto]

(b Chioggia, c1557; d Venice, May 15, 1609). Italian composer, singer and priest. One of the best and most influential composers of the Venetian school, he was in particular a master of the canzonetta and madrigal comedy.

Croce was a pupil of Zarlino, who made him a member of the choir of S Marco, Venice, while he was still a boy. He took orders before 1585 and for much of his life was in the employ of the church of S Maria Formosa, though the evidence is conflicting as to whether he was ever parish priest. According to one report to the Venetian procurators he was a reliable singer of moderate quality. In the early 1590s he was made vicemaestro di cappella of S Marco, in 1593 being in charge of the singing teaching at its seminary. On the death of Baldassare Donato in 1603 there was some dispute about the appointment of the ...


Hans-Christian Müller

revised by Hans-Otto Korth

[Nickel von Hof]

(b Hof an der Saale, c1485; d after 1546). German Kantor and composer. A member of a respected family of Hof, he matriculated on 16 October 1501 at Leipzig University where he took the Bachelor of Arts and later the Bachelor of Both Laws degrees. He then seems to have entered the church: having made an unsuccessful application to Zwickau, he was made provost of the Benedictine monastery at Steterburg, near Brunswick, in 1519. There he wrote a commentary on Matthew, Summula doctrinam Jhesu Christi ex Codice Matthei (Brunswick, 1521). Parts of it are written in Low German, betraying the influence of Luther (who preferred the use of the vernacular) and the Reformation movement. In January 1522 Decius was appointed rector of the Lyceum at Hanover, but within a few months he returned to Brunswick as a teacher at the schools attached to St Katherina and St Aegidien. It was probably during this year that he wrote three sacred hymns in Low German to replace parts of the Latin Ordinary of the Mass. In ...


Maria Lord

(b Tiruvarur, Tamil Nadu, March 24, 1776; d Ettayapuram, Tamil Nadu, October 21, 1835). South Indian composer and musician. He was a member of the Karnatak trimūrti (‘trinity’) of singer-saints (see also Tyāgarāja and Śāstri, Śyāma). Unlike the other two composers of the ‘trinity’, Muttusvāmi Dīkṣitar was born into a musical family. While he was still young his parents took him to Manali, an estate outside Madras, where his father, Rāmasvāmi Dīkṣitar, had been asked to perform. It was there that Muttusvāmi received his first training in vīṇā and vocal music from his father. At the age of 15 he accompanied a yogī on a pilgrimage to Varanasi, where he remained for five years. This period in the North is said to account for his long and serious compositions, which may be influenced by dhrupad. He is known as a bhakta of Devi and Subrahmanya, whose ...


Robert Thompson

(b c1656; d London, Feb 16, 1739). English cathedral singer and composer. According to Thomas Ford ( GB-Ob MS Mus. e. 17) he was ‘bred up under Capt Cook’ in the Chapel Royal. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, on 4 April 1674, later taking the degrees of BA (1677), MA (1680) and BD (1682). He was a chaplain of Christ Church from 1679 to 1711, although the college battel books suggest that after 1700 he was rarely present; from 22 December 1691 until his death he was a minor canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, where he also became sacrist and succentor. Estwick belonged to the Mermaid Tavern music club in Oxford and in 1726 was listed as a founder member of the Academy of Vocal Music ( Lbl Add. 11732). At the request of the stewards of the London Cecilian celebrations of ...


(b Mittweida, Dec 27, 1825; d Glauchau, Sept 14, 1902). German Kantor, composer and bass. He studied with A.F. Anacker at the Freiberg Seminary from 1840 to 1845, then became an assistant teacher in Chemnitz, the first of a number of teaching posts he held. In 1857 he succeeded Adolph Trube in a lifelong appointment as Kantor, music director and organist in Glauchau; his sacred music programmes, in which skilled soloists took part, were highly esteemed, and his direction of secular choral societies was noteworthy. Trained by Götze in Leipzig, he was also an excellent solo singer as well as being active as a poet, critic and politician. His output as a composer is dominated by vocal music. The large-scale sacred works include hymns, motets, psalm settings and an oratorio Jesu Tod und Begräbnis. He made significant contributions to smaller vocal genres, including the ballad, the male chorus and the mixed chorus....