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(b 1843–4; d ?1917). English translator . He was a scholar of Oriel College, Oxford (BA 1866), and was ordained in the Church of England in 1868. He was choirmaster and organist of Christ Church, Marylebone, London, from 1878 to 1882.

For the production of Così fan tutte (at that time rarely staged) by the Royal College of Music at the Savoy Theatre in 1890, he wrote an amusing and elegant English version, ‘translated and adapted from the original Italian and the German paraphrase’, in a style Richard Brinsley Sheridan would not have disdained. It was published in vocal score by Novello, with the characters Fiordiligi and Guglielmo renamed Isidora and Gratiano, presumably for the convenience of English tongues. The long survival of this version, with modifications, extended to the ENO production of 1990. Browne also translated Cornelius’s Der Barbier von Bagdad (RCM, Savoy, 1891) and Hermann Goetz’s ...

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Jayson Greene

(b Alameda, CA, Jan 7, 1945). American rock journalist, author, and broadcaster. His father, born Fong Kwok Seung, changed his surname to Torres and posed as a Filipino in order to immigrate to the United States and sidestep the Chinese Exclusion Act. The family subsequently adopted the surname Fong-Torres. Ben Fong-Torres studied radio, television and film at San Francisco State University (BA 1966). He worked as a writer and senior editor for Rolling Stone, coming on board in 1969, shortly after the magazine’s inception, and staying until 1981. During his tenure, he conducted interviews with Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Linda Ronstadt, Marvin Gaye, Jefferson Airplane, Sly and the Family Stone, Paul McCartney, Bonnie Raitt, Steve Martin, and many others. His interview with Ray Charles received the Deems Taylor Award for Magazine Writing in 1974. Fong-Torres was also a DJ for San Francisco rock station KSAN-FM from ...

Article

Daphne G. Carr

(b Sussex, England, June 25, 1946). British popular music scholar and critic. Frith is a foundational figure in intellectual inquiry on popular music since his first book, The Sociology of Rock (1978). His scholarly work has influenced the terrain of cultural studies in the study of popular music, beginning with mass culture, media, criticism, consumption, leisure, and youth; moving to questions of “authenticity,” taste, cultural hierarchy, and legitimacy; record production and producers; questions of copyright and public policy; and historical accounts of local scenes and live music. Frith has written a number of influential general texts on popular music, co-edited numerous foundational anthologies, educated several generations of British pop scholars, and served as a prominent public intellectual on popular music as culture. Frith was a founding member of International Association for the Study of Popular Music and a founding editor of the journal Popular Music (...

Article

Michael C. Heller

(Mitchell )

(b Brooklyn, NY, March 21, 1948). American jazz and film critic and historian. After studying English at Grinnell College (BA 1972), he returned to New York and began writing on film for the Hollywood Reporter (1972) and on jazz for Down Beat (1972–3). Citing influence from the writers Martin Williams and Dan Morgenstern, he decided to focus his efforts exclusively on jazz and in 1973 was hired as a music critic by the Village Voice. His regular column “Weather Bird” became highly influential during the next three decades. Unlike critics who concentrated primarily on recent performances, Giddins wrote on a range of topics, including the legacies of historical figures, contemporary developments, and issues relating to jazz advocacy and education. From the 1980s he began publishing collections of his essays as well as book-length monographs, including biographies of Charlie Parker (1987), Louis Armstrong (...

Article

Arthur Jacobs

(b London, March 13, 1863; d London, May 17, 1933). English translator. He was one of the first British champions of Richard Strauss, with whom he became personally acquainted at the first performance in Berlin of Feuersnot (1912). His translation of Der Rosenkavalier, published in the vocal score and first performed in Birmingham in ...

Article

Travis D. Stimeling

[ard ]

(b Greensburg, PA, March 1, 1951). American country music critic and historian. An occasionally controversial journalist and tough critic, Kienzle’s work challenges notions of genre that are often used to separate country, jazz, pop, and rock into discrete categories, instead arguing for a holistic approach that is more representative of the diverse musical interests of recording artists. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh (BA, English, 1973), he sold his first reviews to Country Music Magazine and, over the next 25 years, served as a columnist, critic, and contributing editor for the publication. His contributions to Guitar Player and Vintage Guitar have documented the lives and careers of numerous country and jazz guitarists, while his reviews and articles for No Depression helped to shape the alternative country movement’s view of country music history. To date, he has contributed liner notes for more than 370 CD reissues of country, pop, and jazz records, including several notable releases for Sony Legacy and Bear Family Records. In ...

Article

Daniel Zager

[Leonard S. ]

(b Albany, NY, July 24, 1942). American writer. He studied philosophy at the University of Rochester (BA 1964) and Brown University (MA 1966, PhD 1969) and from 1969 taught philosophy at the University of Santa Clara; he also studied piano with Lennie Tristano. Among his published writings are The Great Jazz Pianists (1983), a collection of interviews with 27 jazz pianists that includes biographical material and discographies, and articles for Down Beat, Keyboard, and Guitar Player. He received the first Ralph J. Gleason Memorial Fund Award for Jazz Criticism at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1976. In the early 1980s he moved from Berkeley, California, to Lexington, Massachusetts.

(selective list)

The 101 Best Jazz Albums: a History of Jazz on Records (New York, 1980) [listeners’ guide] The Great Jazz Pianists, Speaking of their Lives and Music (New York, 1983) with D. Perlo: Jazz Portraits: the Lives and Music of the Jazz Masters...

Article

Michael C. Heller

(b Cardiff, UK, Jan 8, 1948). British jazz journalist and historian. He studied music theory and clarinet at the Welsh College of Music and Drama (1967–71), followed by ten years leading a jazz-rock band under the stage name Nick Stewart. In the early 1980s he began writing on jazz for various magazines and newspapers in the UK. Since then his pieces have appeared in a range of publications in Europe and the United States, including The Western Mail, Gramophone, The Observer, Jazzwise, Jazz Times, and The Wire. His writing expanded to book-length studies in the 1990s, including highly regarded biographies of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington, as well as broader surveys of jazz in the 1980s and jazz-rock. Since the early 2000s Nicholson has been a key chronicler of the European scene, especially movements blending jazz with local folkloric forms, classical music, and electronica. His controversial ...

Article

John Chilton

[Hans Georg ]

(b Brugg, Switzerland, April 7, 1918). Swiss writer. His numerous articles have appeared in magazines published in Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, and Canada, and he has given lectures on jazz in several countries. One of the most knowledgeable jazz writers, he specializes in musicians of the pre-bop era and writes with a deep understanding of the improviser’s craft; his biographical features clearly indicate the trust and confidence that his subjects, who are usually veteran musicians, place in him. Although Simmen studied piano for seven years he never played professionally, but his knowledge of keyboard technique makes his articles on jazz pianists particularly incisive. His extraordinarily acute musical ear allows him to recognize jazz soloists with ease, and his lectures on individual musicians are models of learned enthusiasm.

(selective list)

“Carnet de notes, xvii: Mrs. Emily Kraft-Banga and Mr. Kaiser Marshall,” BHcF, no.208 (1971), 4; no.209 (1971), 7; rev. Eng. trans. in ...

Article

Daniel Zager

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(b Cambridge, MA, Oct 18, 1908; d Key West, FL, Dec 18, 1966). American writer. He learned to play drums before attending Harvard University as an undergraduate (BS 1931) and law student (1932–4), then studied medieval English literature at Yale University (PhD 1942); at graduate school he was a founder of the United Hot Clubs of America, a jazz appreciation society. While pursuing a career as a professor in English literature at several universities he served as a columnist on jazz for Variety and Saturday Review, contributed to Down Beat, Record Changer, Esquire, Harper’s, and Life, and edited articles on jazz for Musical America. In 1950 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to begin work on The Story of Jazz (1956), a historical survey that became widely used. He developed a course on jazz at New York University in 1950 and another at Hunter College, where he settled the following year. Stearns founded the ...

Article

Thomas Bauman

(b Weimar, Jan 23, 1762; d Weimar, June 26, 1827). German writer . A copyist’s son from a large family, he was mostly self-educated as a youth. Later he studied law at Jena and Erlangen, then supported himself and his siblings by his pen. Goethe, who lived with and subsequently married Vulpius’s sister Christiane, tried to help him secure various positions. Vulpius translated and adapted Italian and German opera texts for the Bellomo company at Weimar during the 1780s, and supplied over two dozen new versions of previously composed operas to the Weimar court theatre, under Goethe’s direction from 1791 to 1817. On obtaining a position in the Weimar library in 1797, Vulpius turned to cultural-historical studies. The University of Jena conferred the PhD on him in 1809, and in 1816 he was knighted by the Weimar court. Vulpius’s original librettos, like his popular novels, show a decided taste for the sentimental, picaresque and supernatural. During the 1790s his revisions of several of Schikaneder’s librettos – by no means improvements – sparked a war of words between the two....

Article

Arthur Jacobs

(b London, Nov 14, 1933). English translator. With Michael Scott, he made a free adaptation of Donizetti’s Le convenienze e inconvenienze teatrali in its one-act form (as The Prima Donna’s Mother is a Drag) for a production at the Camden Festival in 1972. The following year he provided an English version of Offenbach’s ...

Article

Joseph E. Morgan

(b Milwaukee, WI, 1948). American music critic and scholar. He earned a BFA in clarinet from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and continued his studies at the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music where he earned a MM and a PhD in 1979. While completing his doctoral work he began his career in music journalism.

During his tenure as music critic at the Cincinnati Post (1974–8) and the St Louis Globe-Democrat (1978–84) Wierzbicki was prolific, writing more than 4000 reviews. In the late 80s his work appeared frequently in the review pages of national publications such as Opera News, Opera Quarterly, and High Fidelity. After an early affiliation with the NPR station in St Louis, writing for the weekly program “Music of Our Time” (1982–7), Wierzbicki achieved a national audience on NPR’s syndicated program “Performance Today” (1986–91).

After retiring from music journalism in the 90s, Wierzbicki pursued an academic career, publishing numerous scholarly articles and books, including one with the American Composer series on Elliott Carter (Chicago, ...

Article

Ian Mikyska

(b Brno, 13 March 1966). Czech composer, pedagogue, and writer on music, son of zdeněk zouhar. He studied composition at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (JAMU) in Brno (with Miloš Ištván and alois piňos) and musicology at the Masaryk University, followed by post-graduate studies at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz (with Herman Markus Preßl and younghi pagh-paan) and JAMU. He remains an external pedagogue at both these institutions, as well as being active as a researcher at the Palacký University Olomouc (vice-dean starting in 2010), Ostrava University, and Masaryk University.

His brand of postmodernism is surprisingly respectful, using disparate materials in a serious manner, and generally staying with a few pieces of material for the duration of a piece or movement. Often composed in an additive, evolutionary structure, his works are sonically reminiscent of New York post-minimalism, but are very European in their approach to expressivity and emotional intensity. This approach includes both the intense rhythms of ...