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Lucrecia R. Kasilag

(b Santa Cruz, Manila, May 14, 1876; d Manila, April 23, 1944). Filipino composer, conductor and violin teacher. At an early age he studied solfège, composition, conducting and the violin with Ladislao Bonus. He played the violin in the Rizal Orchestra in his youth, and in 1910 he founded the Oriental Orchestra; in the early 1920s he conducted many zarzuelas and operas. He was the moving spirit behind the Manila Chamber Music Society, of which he became director in 1921. A well-known violin teacher, he also excelled as a nationalist composer. Among his works are the zarzuelas Ang sampaguita (‘The Sampaguita Flower’), Anak ng dagat (‘Son of the Sea’), Luha’t dugo (‘Tears and Blood’), Ang masamang kaugalian (‘The Bad Traits’), Delinquente and Declaracion de amor. Other compositions include a cantata, O! dios sa kalangitan (‘O God in Heaven’), Ibong adarna (‘The Adarna Bird’), a coloratura song, and Kundiman...

Article

Lisa A. Urkevich

[Muḥammed ‘Abdu ‘Othmān Marzuq al-Dehel al-‘Asīrī]

(b Jizan, Saudi Arabia, 1949). Saudi singer, composer and ‘ūd (lute) player. His father was a well-known sailor who died when Muḥammed was two years old. Muḥammed began singing at the age of six, and at nine he received his first vocal training through the study of Qur'anic recitation, which, along with the call to prayer (adhān), he offered at school events. About the age of 13 he became involved with amateur traditional singers and learnt to play the ‘ūd. Because of his close proximity to Yemen, he encountered master musicians of the al-yamānī style. He gained a diploma in shipbuilding and was offered a scholarship to study in Japan, but declined the offer, preferring to become a professional musician. His first recognized composition was Hala yā bū sha'ar tha'ir (1965). He went on to record over 80 albums in a variety of styles, including popular Egyptian styles, but he has been most appreciated for his folkloric, traditional Saudi and Gulf pieces. He gained an international reputation and has often been called ‘...

Article

J. Michele Edwards

(Kimura)

(b Tokyo, April 18, 1937). Japanese marimba player and composer. After xylophone study with Eiichi Asabuki (1950–59), she earned two degrees from Tokyo Gakugei University, studying composition with Shosuke Ariga and Toshio Kashiwagi as well as percussion with Masao Imamura and Yusuke Oyake. An active professional performer since 1960, she has toured extensively in Europe, North America and Asia with annual recital tours since 1981. Through development of new technical skills and by expanding the repertory with over 70 commissions, she has contributed significantly to the status of marimba music, for which she was honoured by induction into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1993. After a decade of studio work and orchestral playing, she studied the performances of jazz artists such as Milt Jackson and Lionel Hampton in order to develop her own personal style of improvisation as a creative source for composition. Technically challenging yet idiomatic for the marimba, her works generally begin with improvisation and are later notated. Her compositions include wide dynamic ranges, techniques borrowed from folk music traditions and careful voicing of chords. Using four- and sometimes six-mallet technique, she often combines a melodic line with an impressionistic background of rhythmic patterns. Her performances of her compositions and those of other Japanese composers have been very influential on developments in the USA, especially since ...

Article

Lucrecia R. Kasilag

(b Tagoloan, Oriental Misamis, July 13, 1922; d Fresno, CA, June 5, 1991). Filipina composer and conductor. She studied music at Lourdes College, the piano at St Scholastica’s College and composition at the Philippine Women’s University (MM 1957). Later she attended the Labunski School of Composition in Ohio, the Eastman School and the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. A nun of the Order of the Virgin Mary, she taught music theory and composition, conducted fund-raising concerts, and travelled widely to take part in international music conferences. In 1977 she moved to the USA, teaching at Kansas University and St Pius Seminary in Kentucky before moving to Fremont, California; in 1980 she was elected president of the Philippine Foundation of Performing Arts in America. Among the honours she received were the Republic Culture Heritage Award (1967) and the Philippines’ Independence Day Award (1973). She produced over 300 compositions and some published music textbooks. Her style is marked by neo-classical and Impressionist features, with quartal harmonies, added-note chords, pentatonic and modal scales....

Article

Lucrecia R. Kasilag

(b San Miguel, Bulacan, Feb 7, 1893; d Manila, March 21, 1934). Filipino composer, conductor and teacher. As a child he had violin lessons from his father, and in 1901 he wrote his first composition, Ang unang buko (‘The First Fruit’), a waltz. He was sent to study at the Liceo de Manila and he learnt to play the piano, but at the same time he had to take various jobs to support himself and his family. In 1916 he entered the Conservatory of the University of the Philippines, and in the next year he composed a march, U. P. Beloved, which won first prize in an open competition. He studied with Victoriano Carreon (singing), José Silos (bandurria), Bonifacio Abdon (violin) and José Estella (piano); he received a teacher’s certificate at the conservatory in 1921, and in 1923 he pursued postgraduate studies there.

The piano concerto, which he wrote for these later courses, was the first concerto written by a Filipino. From the same period are ...

Article

James Wierzbicki

( b Sumatra, Nov 5, 1917; d New York, July 4, 1983). American cellist and composer . He spent the first six years of his life in Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), where his father, Tassilo Adam, worked as an ethnologist; after the family returned to Europe he studied at the Salzburg Mozarteum. In 1929 the family moved to New York, where Adam studied the cello with E. Stoffnegen, D.C. Dounis and (from 1938 to 1940) Feuermann; he also studied conducting with Barzin and composition with Blatt, and was a member of the National Orchestral Association, a training group for young instrumentalists (1935–40). From 1940 to 1943 he was principal cellist of the Minneapolis SO. After serving in the US Air Force during World War II, he studied composition in New York with Wolpe. In 1948 he formed the New Music Quartet, with which he performed until ...

Article

Dezső Legány

[Abranovics, Ritter von August]

(b Pera, Turkey, Nov 1, 1830; d Vienna, Oct 20, 1873). Violinist and composer of Croatian and Italian descent. In his childhood he lived in Constantinople, where his father was in the Austrian diplomatic service; his mother was the Contessa Franchini. From the age of 12 he studied in Vienna, and against his father’s will chose an artistic career as a student of Mayseder (violin, 1850–54) and Hoffmann (composition). After 1855 he had a career as an excellent violinist in various cities including Prague, Leipzig and (in 1858) Paris; he married in Pest in 1859. Nevertheless, he always remained close to the spirit of the orient, as is manifested in his literary works (e.g. Orientalische Musik). Among his 120 works there were operas composed to his own librettos, including the spectacular but short-lived Zrinyi (Pest, 1868, after Körner), Martinuzzi (Buda, 1870), choral works (a mass, ...

Article

Natan Shahar

(b Yekatrinoslav [now Dnepropetrovsk], Dec 5, 1894; d Tel-Aviv, April 2, 1982). Israeli composer and singer. He emigrated to Palestine from the Ukraine in 1906. He studied at the Teacher's Seminary in Jerusalem where his teachers included Abraham Zvi Idelsohn. During World War I he moved to Egypt and enlisted in the British Army. After the war he returned to Palestine and, while earning his living as an accountant, took singing lessons with Jehuda Har-Melaḥ. A countertenor with a phenomenal ability to improvise, he travelled to the USA in 1923 to further his singing studies; there he specialized in improvisation and distinctive vibrato singing, similar in style to Arab-Bedouin singing or ululation. Commissioned to write an orchestral accompaniment for songs improvised in a Bedouin style, he enlisted the compositional assistance of Lazar Seminski, who encouraged him to continue to compose. His first songs, Ya leil (‘Oh night’) and ...

Article

Mikko Heiniö

(b Voroshilovgrad, Armenia, Nov 23, 1953). Finnish composer of Armenian birth. He studied composition with Aram Khachaturian and instrumentation with Denisov in Moscow. On moving to Finland in 1978 he continued his studies at the Sibelius Academy, where he began to teach theory in 1982. His first works, which culminated in the Sonata for clarinet and piano (1981), recall the style of his teacher, Paavo Heininen, in their 12-note writing and linear polyphony. In his First String Quartet of the following year the instruments are treated as one; thereafter the texture of his works consists not of individual sounds but of webs characterized primarily by their rhythmic and harmonic density. The development of these webs, themselves sometimes the outcome of aleatory counterpoint, results in lively music within natural forms. Among his most successful works is the Cello Concerto (1984).

(selective list)

Article

Gerard Béhague

(b Montevideo, August 4, 1940). Uruguayan composer, musicologist and teacher of Armenian parentage. He studied composition with Tosar (1955–7, 1966–9), the piano with Adela Herrera-Lerena (1945–59), conducting with Jacques Bodmer (1966–9), musicology with Ayestarán (1964–6) and electro-acoustic techniques with Henry Jasa (1961–3). In Buenos Aires he studied at the Instituto Torcuato di Tella with Gandini and Kroepfl (1969), in Venice with Nono (1970), at the Darmstadt summer courses with Ligeti, Aloys Kontarsky, Xenakis, Globokar and Christian Wolff (1970, 1974), and at various of the Latin American Courses for Contemporary Music with Mumma, Rabe and others (1971–89).

Aharonián has been influential as a teacher and as an organizer of activities in music and music education both in Uruguay and abroad. His teaching specializations range from composition, choral conducting and organology to analysis, musical folklore and music and society; he has taught mainly at the Uruguayan National University and the National Institute for Teacher Training, as well as privately. An assiduous participant and lecturer in seminars and workshops in Europe, the Americas and the Philippines, he has been a member of the executive committee of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music and of the presidential council of the ISCM, and the executive secretary of the Latin American Courses for Contemporary Music. He has received numerous awards from Uruguay and other countries for his work as a composer, musicologist and choral conductor, and commissions from France, Poland, Sweden and Germany....

Article

Razia Sultanova

(b Tashkent, March 1, 1921). Uzbek composer. After graduating from the Tashkent Conservatory (1945) where he was a pupil of Vasilenko Revutsky and A. Koslovsky, he took a postgraduate course under Steinberg and Voloshinov at the Leningrad Conservatory (1945–54). His lyrical and dramatic style is rooted in Uzbek traditional music; a number of his works reflect his interest in history, philosophy and poetry.

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Article

J. Bradford Robinson

(b Dairen, China, Dec 12, 1929). Japanese jazz composer, pianist and bandleader. She studied classical music and turned to jazz only in 1947 after moving to Japan. There she was discovered by Oscar Peterson, who urged her to take up a career in the USA. After studying at Berklee College of Music (1956–9) she became a highly regarded bop pianist, especially in groups with the alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano (who was at that time her husband). She worked in Japan (1961), joined Charles Mingus in the USA (1962–3), then returned to Japan until 1965. In 1973 she founded a large rehearsal band in Los Angeles with the tenor saxophonist and flautist Lew Tabackin, whom she had married in 1969. Its first album, Kogun (1974, RCA), was commercially successful in Japan, and the group attracted increasing popularity and critical acclaim until, by ...

Article

Faruk Yener

revised by Münir Nurettin Beken

(b Istanbul, May 6, 1908; d Ankara, Feb 16, 1999). Turkish composer. He was a member of the Turkish Five, a group of outstanding composers who, from the 1930s, promoted a Western musical style. Akses first played the violin and then took up the cello at the age of 14. He studied harmony with Cemal Reşit Rey at the Istanbul Municipal Conservatory. In 1926 he left for Vienna where he attended Joseph Marx’s harmony, counterpoint and composition classes for advanced students at the Academy. After receiving his diploma in 1931, he went to Prague and studied with Josef Suk and Alois Hába at the Prague Conservatory. He returned to Turkey in 1934 and was appointed a teacher of composition at the Music Teachers School, becoming its director in 1948. He then took a number of official positions: in 1949 he was director general of the Fine Arts Section of the Ministry of Education, then cultural attaché in Berne (...

Article

Masakata Kanazawa

(b Tokyo, July 12, 1925; d Tokyo, Jan 31, 1989). Japanese composer. The third son of the novelist Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, he studied at the Tokyo Music School with Hashimoto, Shimofusa and Ifukube for composition and with Kaneko for conducting. In 1949, the year of his graduation, he won first prize in the Japanese radio competition, and the next year his Music for Symphonic Orchestra attracted the attention of Thor Johnson, who conducted it more than 200 times in the USA alone. He formed with Dan and Mayuzumi the Sannin no Kai (Group of Three) in 1953, and visited Moscow for the first time in 1954, after which date he returned frequently to the USSR, sometimes appearing as a conductor; he was thus able to develop relationships with Shostakovich, Khachaturian, Kabalevsky and other Soviet composers. His work shows a strong kinship with Soviet music, particularly that of Prokofiev, whose scherzo style he skilfully emulated. He was also a master of modern orchestration, with a special fondness for strings. Other characteristic features of his music include an abundance of ostinatos and an individual kind of orientalism. His opera ...

Article

Owen Wright

[al-Urmawī]

(d Baghdad, 1294). Theorist, performer and composer, possibly of Azeri origin. He was a prominent court musician under the last Abbasid caliph, al-Musta‘ṣim (1242–58), although he first attracted attention for his skill as a calligrapher. Surviving the sack of Baghdad in 1258, he entered the service of the Mongol Il-Khans and became attached to the powerful Juwaynī family, but after their fall (1286) he lost favour, and died imprisoned for debt.

Ṣafī al-Dīn is one of the most important figures in the history of music theory in the Islamic Middle East, and the first great theorist since Ibn Sīnā (980–1037) and Ibn Zayla (d 1048) whose works are extant. His two treatises on music, the Kitāb al-adwār (‘Book of cycles’) and the later and fuller Risāla al-sharafiyya (‘The Sharafian treatise’), present a synthesis of elements found in the earlier theoretical tradition which dominated the thinking of all the more important theorists of the following two centuries....

Article

Owen Wright

[ibn Ghaybī al-Marāghi]

(b Maragh; d Herat, 1435). Timurid composer, performer and theorist. He first rose to prominence in the service of the Jalā’irid rulers of Iraq and Azerbaijan, al-Ḥusayn (1374–82) and Aḥmad (1382–1410). After the conquest of Baghdad by Tīmūr (1393), most of his career was spent in Samarkand and, especially, Herat, at the courts of Tīmūr and of his successors al-Khalīl (1404–9) and Shāh Rukh (1409–47).

‘Abd al-Qādir was one of the most important and influential theorists of the Systematist school. His most substantial surviving works are the Jāmi‘ al-al ḥān (‘Compendium of melodies’), largely completed in 1405 and revised in 1413, and the slighter Maqāṣid al-al ḥān (‘Purports of melodies’), which covers essentially the same ground and probably dates from 1418. Written in Persian, which was by then the language of culture, these works proved particularly influential among later 15th-century theorists; but although both thoughtful and highly competent, on the theoretical side they may be regarded as, essentially, restatements and amplifications of the theory elaborated by ...

Article

Elliott Antokoletz

(b Kasan, Russia [now Uzbekistan], 7/March 19, 1891; d Heidelberg, March 15, 1976). German composer of Russian birth. His composition teachers included Heinrich Lang (Stuttgart, 1911–13), Alexandr Taneyev (Moscow, 1914–15), Glazunov (Petrograd [St Petersburg], 1918), Vitols (Petrograd, 1918) and Ewald Strässer (Stuttgart, 1922). He taught at the Moscow Musiktechnikum, the Stuttgart Conservatory (where he also served as vice-director) and the Heidelberg Musikhochschule, among others. His many honours include the Glinka Prize of the Belyayev Foundation, Bonn (1962), the Stamitz Prize of the Künstlergilde, Esslingen (1966), and a posthumous Russian-German Cultural Prize, awarded jointly with his son (1991).

Inspired by the music of other cultures, Albrecht's Liturgie des Johannes Chrysostomus (1924–6) reveals Byzantine and ancient Greek elements. Hebrew folklore is found in his Das Lied der Lieder (1964) and Gregorian influences are audible in the Mass (...

Article

Rudolf A. Rasch

(b Amsterdam, Nov 16, 1664; d Batavia, Dutch East Indies, Oct 4, 1721). Netherlands poet and playwright . Born into a wealthy family, he studied law in Leiden and Utrecht. He was one of the most important and prolific Netherlands poets and playwrights of the decades around 1700, although his works are now little esteemed. He wrote numerous song texts, as well as librettos for ...

Article

Jehoash Hirshberg

(Heinz)

(b Berlin, Aug 9, 1915). Israeli composer of German birth. His studies at the Stern Conservatory were halted in 1936 as a result of the Nazi persecution, and in the same year he emigrated to Palestine. There he studied composition with Wolpe and the piano with Irma Wolpe-Schoenberg and Ilona Vince-Kraus. As a student he made his living as a café jazz pianist in Jersualem and established himself as an excellent improviser. From 1945 until his retirement he was a professor at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem. A highly versatile musician, he taught the piano, the harpsichord, theory, composition and improvisation. He also lectured in the musicology departments of Tel-Aviv University, the Hebrew University, the Institut Jaques-Dalcroze, Geneva, and New York University.

One of the diverse group of composers who emigrated from Europe to Palestine during the 1930s, Alexander experienced the tension between the ideological pressure to create a new national style with a nebulous Middle Eastern and folklike orientation, and the urge to keep abreast of current Western music. This tension is reflected in the contrast between the post-Romantic chromaticism of ...

Article

Geoffrey Self

[Ricketts, Frederic Joseph]

(b London, Feb 21, 1881; d Reigate, May 15, 1945). English composer and bandmaster. As a cornet-player with the Royal Irish Regiment, he served in India. Subsequently he studied at Kneller Hall (1904–8), qualifying as a bandmaster, and in 1908 was appointed to the 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. In 1912, under the pseudonym Alford (his mother's name), he published the marches The Vedette and Holyrood, the first of a long series of marches. Two of the most famous, written during World War I, illustrate differing approaches to march-style. Colonel Bogey (1913) is in simple time; the golfing allusion of the title reflects the work's origin on the green, where Alford's partner would whistle the notes C and A instead of shouting ‘fore’. On the Quarter Deck (1917) is in the compound time made popular by the American John Philip Sousa. Alford is unlikely to have missed Sousa's concert on ...