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Article

Liz Thomson

(Claxton)

(b Maynardville, TN, Sept 15, 1903; d Nashville, TN, Nov 23, 1992). American country singer-songwriter and publisher. He was first influenced by traditional music heard at home, much of it British, and by music at the church where his father was the pastor. His Southern Baptist heritage became evident in the mournful, wailing style of his vocals. A keen sportsman, he was denied a professional athletic career through ill-health, but learnt to play his father’s fiddle. His early career was in so-called medicine shows, and radio appearances with local musicians led to the formation of his first group, the Tennessee Crackerjacks. His first record followed in 1937, and he made his début on ‘The Grand Old Opry’ radio show, subsequently becoming a regular contributor as Roy Acuff and the Smoky Mountain Boys. His recording of the Carter family classic Wabash Cannonball earned him a gold disc and led to nationwide tours as well as work in Hollywood....

Article

Gary W. Kennedy and Barry Kernfeld

[Wilton Jameson ]

(b New Albany, IN, July 21, 1939). American educator, publisher, record producer, and saxophonist. He performed locally from the age of 15 and while studying at Indiana University (BM 1961; MM 1962) led groups that worked in southern Indiana and Kentucky. Having taught music education at Indiana University Southeast (1967–9) and classical saxophone at the University of Louisville (1970–72), in the early 1970s he established a week-long jazz workshop (or “jazz camp”) held during the summer; by the late 1990s the workshop took place twice annually. Aebersold also presented workshops in other countries, including Australia, Germany, England, Scotland, Denmark, and Canada. In 1992 he received an honorary doctorate in music from Indiana University and began teaching jazz improvisation at the the University of Louisville.

In addition to his principal instrument, Aebersold plays piano and double bass, but he is far better known as an educator than as a performer. In ...

Article

Carolyn Gianturco and Teresa M. Gialdroni

(b Mosso Santa Maria, nr Biella, Jan 31, 1921). Italian musicologist. He took diplomas in piano at the Parma Conservatory (1942) and in choral music at the Turin Conservatory (1948), and studied music history with Della Corte at Turin University, where he took an arts degree (1946). He subsequently taught music history in the conservatories of Bolzano (1950–51), Parma (1951–5) and Milan (1954–88); he has edited the journals Almanacco musicale italiano (1954–5), Ricordiana (1955–7) and Musica d’oggi (1958–63) and has been vice-director of Enciclopedia della musica Ricordi (1960–64). He has been a consulting editor for Ricordi since 1964. Music education is one of his major interests: he became director of the series Manuali di Didattica Musicale and Canti nel Mondo (Ricordi) in 1965, and editor of Educazione musicale...

Article

J.M. Thomson

(Georg)

(b Altona-Ottmarschen, Sept 24, 1902; d London, Jan 13, 1988). British editor and harpsichordist of German birth. He studied the piano and the flute at the Leipzig Conservatory, but turned from a musical career to the study of law, which he pursued at Halle and Freiburg. He qualified in 1930 and set up his own practice in 1933, often acting on behalf of Jews. In 1938 he was arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned for three months; shortly after his release he emigrated to London. After internment on the Isle of Man Bergmann worked at Schott as a packer, eventually becoming their most distinguished editor. He brought much hitherto unknown Baroque music into the repertory, especially that of Telemann, for whom he had a special affinity. His many editions include recorder sonatas by Handel, Francesco Barsanti, Francis Dieupart and (with Frans Brüggen) J.C. Schickhardt, and music by Blow and Purcell. Associated with Tippett at Morley College in London in the 1940s, he later taught at the Mary Ward Settlement which stimulated his flair for working with children and amateurs. He also appeared frequently at Alfred Deller's Stour Festival. As harpsichordist he performed with Ilse Wolf, April Cantelo and many other artists, and accompanied Deller in several recordings of Purcell's music. Endowed with a rare generosity of spirit, he encouraged recorder players, such as Brüggen and Michala Petri, and young scholars, notably David Lasocki. He also composed two sonatas for recorder....

Article

Thomas F. Heck

(Vassilievich )

(b Kharkiv, Ukraine, May 13, 1898; d Rosendale, NY, Nov 1986). American guitarist and editor of Ukrainian birth. His study of art at the Imperial Kharkiv Art School was halted by the Russian Revolution. He immigrated to the United States in 1922, and became successful in New York as a commercial artist. The classical guitar, to which Andrés Segovia first drew his attention in New York on a tour in 1928, captured Bobri’s deep interest. He became president of the Society of the Classic Guitar in 1936 and editor of its publication The Guitar Review (Guitar Review from 1961) in 1946. His own guitar pieces, editions of guitar music, pedagogical publications, and contributions to Guitar Review for over 35 years attest to his devotion to the instrument. He wrote The Segovia Technique (New York, 1972) and compiled A Musical Voyage with 2 Guitars (New York ...

Article

Piero Rattalino

[Giuseppina]

(b Varzi, Jan 23, 1914; d Carpena, nr Forlì, Feb 27, 1993). Italian violinist and editor. She studied under Michelangelo Abbado at the Milan Conservatory, taking the diploma in 1930; in 1936 she was awarded the composition diploma and later attended Serato’s masterclasses at the Accademia di S Cecilia, where she also graduated in chamber music. In 1940 she won the Paganini Prize. Her concert career began in 1937 but she became internationally known when she became an advocate of Boccherini, founding the Boccherini Quintet (1949) and the Carmirelli Quartet (1954), which toured to other European countries and made a number of successful recordings. Later she also became established as a soloist, and formed a duo with the pianist Sergio Lorenzi. In 1970 she played the complete cycle of Beethoven’s sonatas with Rudolf Serkin at Carnegie Hall, New York, and then in Rome and elsewhere. In ...

Article

John Edward Hasse

(b Chicago, March 23, 1881; d Los Angeles, Aug 17, 1955). American popular pianist, teacher and editor. He studied the piano as a youth and in 1903 opened a teaching studio in Chicago with the advertisement ‘Ragtime Taught in Ten Lessons’. He simplified African-American ragtime piano playing to three essential melodic-rhythmic patterns or ‘movements’, and these became the basis for his teaching method and for a series of instruction books he brought out from 1904. Christensen’s Rag-time Instruction Book for Piano went through numerous revisions and title changes to incorporate early jazz and, eventually, swing styles; one method book remained in print until at least 1955.

Early in his career Christensen began establishing branch schools to teach ragtime piano. By 1914 he had founded 50 branches, and by 1918 he had schools in most major cities in the USA and also some abroad. By 1935 these schools had taught ragtime, popular piano and jazz piano to approximately 500,000 (mostly white) pupils....

Article

Rodney Slatford and Marita P. McClymonds

[Giovanni Battista; J.B.

(b Venice, 1761; d Bath, Feb 27, 1805). Italian composer, singer, violinist and music publisher. Born of a noble family, he studied the violin, cello and piano. In 1789 his Ati e Cibele, a favola per musica in two short scenes, was performed in Venice. This was soon followed by Pimmalione, a monodrama after Rousseau for tenor and orchestra with a small part for soprano, and Il ratto di Proserpina. Choron and Fayolle reported that, dissatisfied with Pimmalione, Cimador burnt the score and renounced composition. Artaria, however, advertised publication of the full score in 1791 in Vienna and excerpts were published later in London. The work achieved considerable popularity throughout Europe as a concert piece for both male and female singers, being revived as late as 1836. While still in Venice he wrote a double bass concerto for the young virtuoso Dragonetti; the manuscript survives, together with Dragonetti's additional variations on the final Rondo, which he evidently considered too short....

Article

David Nicholls and Joel Sachs

(Dixon )

(b Menlo Park, CA, March 11, 1897; d Shady, NY, Dec 10, 1965). American composer, writer, pianist, publisher, and teacher. Described by Cage as “the open sesame for new music in America,” he was an early advocate for many of the main developments in 20th-century music, including the systematization of modernist techniques, the exploration of timbral resources, and transculturalism.

Many facets of Cowell’s remarkable personality resulted from the unusual circumstances of his upbringing. His father, Harry, had immigrated to British Columbia with his brother after their own father, the Dean of Kildare’s Anglican Cathedral, bought them some land. Finding no satisfaction in farming life, Harry moved to San Francisco in search of a literary career. Henry’s mother Clara (usually called Clarissa) Dixon, a gifted writer, was the daughter of a fundamentalist Midwestern farming family. She had left the church and their community, married, and produced a son called Clarence. After he ran away from home as a teenager, Clarissa fled her stifling small-town life for San Francisco. In the Bay area, she met Harry, with whom she founded a philosophical-anarchist newsletter. As dedicated anarchists, they rejected the heavy hand of government, including what they saw as the homogenizing power of conventional public schooling. They built a little cottage on the still-rural edge of Menlo Park, where Stanford University was being constructed. Henry Cowell was born there, and Menlo Park remained his principal base until ...

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

Daniel Zager

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Jim ]

(b Berwyn, IL, Sept 3, 1940). American editor, writer, teacher, leader, and pianist. He studied composition at the University of Illinois (BMus 1962, MMus 1963, DMA 1971) and from 1966 taught at the University of Michigan. In his work as an editor and writer he has devoted particular attention to the music of Jelly Roll Morton; his book Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton: the Collected Piano Music (1982) offers a comprehensive edition of transcriptions of a jazz musician’s work and includes biographical material and analysis. He also wrote entries on major jazz musicians for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (London, 1980). As a pianist Dapogny has performed widely in concert and on radio and television, and he recorded as the leader of the Chicago Jazz Band, in a duo with Butch Thompson, and with the State Street Aces, the Mysterious Babies, and Sippie Wallace. His Chicago Jazz Band, founded 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

Paul Oliver

[Georgia Tom ]

(b Villa Rica, GA, July 1, 1899; d Chicago, IL, Jan 23, 1993). American blues singer, gospel songwriter, pianist, and publisher. The son of an African American revivalist preacher, he moved in 1910 to Atlanta, where he came under the influence of local blues pianists. He left for Chicago during World War I and studied at the Chicago College of Composition and Arranging, also becoming an agent for Paramount records. Dorsey’s compositions at the time included “Riverside Blues” (recorded by King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, 1923, Para.). His skill as a pianist, composer, and arranger gained him a job with Les Hite’s Whispering Serenaders in 1923, and soon afterwards he formed his own Wildcats Jazz Band, with which Ma Rainey performed. As “Georgia Tom” he made several recordings with her, usually including the slide guitarist Tampa Red (Hudson Whittaker). In the late 1920s Dorsey formed a duo with Tampa Red; their blues recording “Tight like that” (...

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

Horace Clarence Boyer

(b Fayette, MS, Sept 10, 1899; d Chicago, IL, Aug 26, 1963). American gospel pianist, composer, and publisher. He sang in local choirs before settling in Chicago in 1927. There he joined the Ebenezer Baptist Church and became co-director of its junior choir with Thomas A. Dorsey. With Dorsey he organized in 1931 the first known black gospel chorus. In 1932, with Dorsey, Sallie Martin, and Magnolia Lewis Butts, he formed the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, and the same year he and Roberta Martin, pianist for his junior choir, founded the Martin–Frye Quartet (renamed the Roberta Martin Singers in 1935). In the late 1940s Frye began an association with Mahalia Jackson, and it was for her that he surreptitiously secured the song “Move on up a little higher”; her recording in 1947 was a great success, selling over a million copies. Frye later published this composition as his own (he opened a publishing house in the early 1950s), without crediting its rightful composer, William Herbert Brewster. He did, however, compose several well-known gospel songs, including “I am sending my timber up to heaven” (...

Article

Noal Cohen

[Grice, George General; Qusim, Basheer]

(b Pensacola, FL, Nov 28, 1925; d Pensacola, FL, March 14, 1983). American jazz saxophonist, flutist, composer, arranger, music publisher, and teacher. Known more as a composer and arranger than as an instrumentalist, he was nonetheless an alto saxophonist out of the Charlie Parker tradition with a lyrical bent and a recognizable style and sound. He studied clarinet initially and after serving in the US Navy (1944–6) attended the Boston Conservatory (to 1952). His first exposure came through an encounter with the saxophonist Stan Getz in Boston who recorded several of Gryce’s compositions. After moving to New York in 1953, Gryce was soon a part of the city’s vibrant milieu, recording with the drummer Max Roach and the pianist Tadd Dameron. Throughout his career, Gryce collaborated with a number of noted trumpet players including Clifford Brown, Art Farmer, Donald Byrd, and Richard Williams. With Byrd, he co-led the Jazz Lab, which made a number of highly regarded recordings in ...

Article

Jeremy Siepmann

(b Treysa, Hesse, July 28, 1948). German pianist, editor and author. He studied in Mannheim, at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart and finally at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, where his teachers were Aloys Kontarsky and Wilhelm Hecker. Since the start of his career he has concentrated almost exclusively on 20th-century works, about which he has written and published extensively. From 1980 to 1985 he edited and published the five-volume series of yearbooks Neuland, Ansätze zur Musik der Gegenwart. Henck has given frequent courses at Darmstadt and elsewhere and has made over 40 recordings, including the three sonatas by Boulez, Cage’s Music of Changes, Cheap Imitation and Music for Piano 1–84, three piano cycles by Gurdjieff/de Hartmann, Koechlin’s Les heures persanes, Stockhausen’s Klavierstücke I–IX and works by Schoenberg, Ives, Mompou, McGuire and Medek. Since 1984 he has recorded several discs of keyboard improvisations. He has also published many articles and books, including ...

Article

Barbara Palfy

(b Kansas City, MO, Jan 12, 1884; d New York, Jan 12, 1964). American pianist, composer, music director, writer, and editor. Horst grew up in a German family that prized music and he first studied violin. After elementary school, the end of his formal education, he took up piano, honed his skills, and soon supported himself as a musician, playing ragtime and improvisations in dance and gambling halls, performing with theater pit orchestras, and accompanying solo classical recitalists.

On the West Coast in 1915, Horst encountered Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, who hired him as accompanist for their Denishawn company and subsequently as music director of their new school. He remained for ten years. Immersed in the developing new abstract form of dancing, he examined the relationship of music to dance, especially through St. Denis’s “music visualizations.” He began to study musical structure and composition, and left Denishawn to continue learning in Vienna and becoming better informed in contemporary theater, art, literature, and film—knowledge he passed on to future choreographers in his book (with Caroll Russell) ...

Article

Michael Jacobson

(b London, Jan 1, 1896; d Brighton, Feb 2, 1976). English composer, pianist, adjudicator and publisher . He began to learn both the violin and the piano at the age of seven. At 16, a piano scholarship at the Modern School of Music, London, enabled him to receive lessons from Busoni. In 1916 he won a composition scholarship at the RCM, where, with a break for military service, he studied with Stanford and then Holst until 1922. Before leaving the RCM, Jacobson accompanied the tenor John Coates for two years. He also began a lifelong association with J. Curwen & Sons, originally as a reader and editor, becoming a director (1933) and chairman (1950–72). He resumed concert appearances during World War II, giving recitals, notably, with the contralto Kathleen Ferrier. Jacobson was highly regarded in festival adjudicating, with which he was involved for 50 years. As an extension of such work, he was chairman of the National Youth Orchestra’s executive committee (...

Article

Katherine K. Preston and Michael Meckna

(b Davenport, IA, March 15, 1924; d Seattle, March 5, 1977). American composer, music publisher and pianist . He studied composition with George McKay at the University of Washington (1938–42) and after military service joined the faculty there to teach piano and theory (1947–9). He was music director of the Eleanor King Dance Company (1947–50) and the pianist of the Seattle SO (1948–51); during these years he performed extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest in chamber ensembles and as a soloist.

In 1951 Johnson moved to New York, where he worked in the music publishing business as education director for Mercury Music (1951–4), head of the orchestral department at C.F. Peters (1954–8) and president of Dow Publishers (1957–62). After returning to Seattle, he served at the helm of the Cornish School of Music (1962–9) and in ...