(b Pisky, near Khar′kiv, 8/Sept 20, 1876; d Paris, Jan 8, 1945). Ukrainian composer and pianist. Aged ten he was sent, along with his brother Yakiv (later known as the composer Stepovy), to sing in the choir of the Imperial Chapel in St Petersburg. It was during his time there (1886–95) that he began to compose under the influence of his teachers Balakirev and Lyapunov. He finished studies with Rimsky-Korsakov and Lyadov at the St Petersburg Conservatory in 1901, the year in which the latter conducted the first performance of the Lyric Poem, op.20. Akimenko then became the director of a music school in Tbilisi (1901–03). He performed widely as a pianist, particularly in France and Switzerland, and lived for a while in Paris (1903–06) before returning to Khar′kiv. In 1914 he was invited to teach composition and theory at the St Petersburg Conservatory, a post he held until ...
(b Bologoye, 22 July/Aug 4, 1905; d Moscow, June 17, 1994). Russian composer and conductor, son of Aleksandr Vasil′yevich Aleksandrov. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Glier, graduating in 1929, and worked as a music director in Moscow clubs (1923–9), music director of the Red Army Theatre (1930–37), lecturer at the Moscow Conservatory (1933–41) and leader of the Soviet Radio Song Ensemble (1942–7). From 1937 to 1946 he was deputy director of the Aleksandrov Red Army Song and Dance Ensemble, which was founded by his father and, after the latter's death, came under his direction. He received the State Prize (1950) and the title People's Artist of the USSR (1958). In Dva p′yesï (‘Two Pieces’) op.1 (1928) for piano he developed a compositional system synthesizing the principle of the 12-note series (with inversions and permutations) with a harmonic set technique and mirror symmetry. Later works, such as the well-known musical comedy ...
revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu
(b Bucharest, 2/Aug 14, 1893; d Bucharest, Feb 18, 1959). Romanian composer, pianist, conductor, teacher, music critic, and director of music programmes. A leading figure of the first half of the 20th century, he laid the foundation of the Romanian school in music, concert life, and musical journalism. He studied with A. Castaldi, D. Dinicu, D.G. Kiriac, and E. Saegiu at the Bucharest Conservatory (1903–11), completing his education with two periods of study in Paris (1913–14, 1923–4), where he studied with d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum and with Paul Vidal at the Conservatoire. A remarkable accompanist, he worked with Enescu, Thibaud, Mainardi, Moodie, and others during the period 1919–45. As a conductor he always achieved a soberly balanced performance; he conducted more than 1500 performances at the Romanian Opera in Bucharest (1921–59), where he specialized in the French repertory (Bizet, Massenet, and Gounod). In his capacities as conductor of the Romanian Philharmonic Society, and as conductor and artistic manager of the Romanian RSO, he did much to encourage Romanian composers. He was also active as a music critic for Romanian and French reviews. Much of his compositional work was done during his youth, including ...
(b Astigarraga, Guipúzcoa, 1893; d Seville, Dec 7, 1970). Spanish composer and organist. He studied with Donostia and others in San Sebastián, with Otaño at the Comillas Seminary, and in Paris with Eugène Cools. In 1919 he was appointed maestro de capilla at Orense Cathedral and then organist at Seville Cathedral, where he became ...
revised by Corneel Mertens and Diana von Volborth-Danys
(b Antwerp, Sept 12, 1876; d Antwerp, Oct 5, 1954). Belgian composer and conductor. He studied in Antwerp at the Flemish Music School (later called the Royal Flemish Conservatory) under Peter Benoit and Jan Blockx, and conducting under Eduard Keurvels. In 1903 he became professor at the Conservatory, and was director of that institution from 1934 to 1941, when he retired. He was also active as an orchestral and operatic conductor, and was a member of the Académie Royale de Belgique.
Alpaerts was one of the outstanding personalities in Flemish musical life, both as conductor and composer; he was also a great teacher and an admirable organizer. As a composer he was, like Paul Gilson and August de Boeck, a typical Flemish representative of the Impressionist school. However, his Impressionism came closer to Richard Strauss and Respighi than to Debussy. An example of this tendency is the symphonic poem ...
John M. Schechter
revised by Luis Merino
(b Santiago de Chile, June 22, 1922; d Santiago, Feb 3, 1999). Chilean composer and writer. Introduced to music by his father, a cellist, he studied theory and the piano at the Catholic Conservatory from 1935 to 1939. After graduating in civil engineering from the University of Chile (1945), he pursued work in composition with Jorge Urrutia Blondel at the National Conservatory (1948–52). He made his first experiments in electronic music when he was planning music programmes for Chilean Radio (1953–6), and in 1956 created the Experimental Sound Workshop at the Catholic University of Santiago. He taught both at the Catholic University and on the arts faculty of the University of Chile.
Amenábar wrote for the voice, chamber groups, solo instruments, and ensembles, and he composed incidental music for the cinema and theatre. His electro-acoustic music carries special importance: such works as ...
revised by Luis Merino
(b Santiago, Sept 2, 1911; d Santiago, Aug 2, 1954). Chilean composer and pianist. He studied with Allende for composition and Renard for the piano at the Santiago National Conservatory (1923–35), where he then held appointments as coach at the opera department (1935), assistant professor of the piano (1937), professor of analysis (1940), and director (1945). At the same time he taught at the Liceo Manuel de Salas in Santiago. He was secretary-general to the Instituto de Extensión Musical (from 1941), a founder-director of the Escuela Moderna de Música, Santiago (1940), and a member of various arts societies. In 1943 he went to the USA as a guest of the Institute of International Education and in 1953 he was in Europe for the performance of his Wind Sextet at the ISCM Festival. His early compositions show the influences of French music and Chilean folklore; from the late 1940s his work became more Expressionist and abstract....
(b Detroit, March 28, 1866; d Chicago, Dec 6, 1945). American violinist, conductor, musical director, teacher, and composer. Bendix was born to Jewish parents who had emigrated from Germany. His father William was a music teacher. Bendix began formal study at the Cincinnati College of Music where, at the age of twelve, he performed with the college orchestra, directed by Theodore Thomas. This began a long association between the two men, leading to Bendix’s appointment as first violinist and concertmaster of the Theodore Thomas Orchestra in 1886. In August 1893 Thomas resigned his position as music director of the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition following a series of unsuccessful concerts. Bendix took Thomas’s place as conductor of the Exposition orchestra. This created tension between the two men, and Bendix left the Thomas orchestra in 1896. He went on to serve as conductor at the Manhattan Opera House and to conduct orchestras for world fairs in St. Louis (...
(b Milan, ? end of the 17th century; d Milan, ? c1758). Italian composer, possibly an impresario, singing teacher and violinist. 18th-century sources (e.g. BurneyH; GerberL; GerberNL and La BordeE) blur the distinction between two or more musicians active in Milan by failing to give first names. Only the revised edition of Mancini (1777) supplies Giuseppe Ferdinando as the composer’s first names and describes him as a prominent Milanese singing teacher without identifying him with the violinist, composer and impresario also active in Milan. In fact a family of Brivios could be involved, including an older singing teacher, Carlo Francesco Brivio, who appeared in Milanese operas of 1696, Teodolinda and L’Etna festante, the librettos for which call him ‘musico di S.E. il Castellano’ (the castle commander’s musician). Suggested as Giuseppe Ferdinando’s father (Martinotti in DBI), this Carlo Francesco may have been the bass employed in the ducal court chapel until ...
Claude V. Palisca
(b Rome, c1550; d Rome, March 11, 1602). Italian composer, organist, singing teacher, dancer, choreographer, administrator and diplomat. He was the composer of the first surviving play set entirely to music, the Rappresentatione di Anima, et di Corpo (Rome, 1600), the score of which is the earliest one printed with a figured bass.
Cavalieri was the son of Lavinia della Valle and Tommaso Cavalieri (1512–87), an architect and intimate friend of Michelangelo Buonarotti. His brother, Mario (d 1580), coordinated the Lenten music in the Oratorio del SS Crocifisso in S Marcello, Rome, between 1568 and 1579. He himself also participated in this Oratorio both as an organist and as a coordinator of Lenten music from 1578 until at least 1584 (the account books are missing for 1584–94); during his administration the yearly expenditure on music rose from 51 to 140 scudi....
(Carlo Zanobi Salvadore Maria )
(b Florence, 8/Sept 14, 1760; d Paris, March 15, 1842). Italian, composer, conductor, teacher, administrator, theorist, and music publisher, active in France. He took French citizenship, probably in 1794, and was a dominant figure in Parisian musical life for half a century. He was a successful opera composer during the Revolutionary period, and had comparable success with religious music from the beginning of the Restoration. He was made director of the Paris Conservatoire and consolidated its pre-eminent position in music education in Europe.
In the biographical preface to his work catalogue, compiled in 1831, Cherubini gave 8 and 14 September as his dates of birth, but the records of the baptistery of S Giovanni state that he was born on 14 September (and baptized the following day). He was the tenth of 12 children. It has been claimed that his mother died when he was four years old (Pougin, ...
Eldonna L. May
(b Detroit, MI, Jan 1, 1929; d Detroit, MI, July 2010). American singer, educator, choral director, and composer. He worked tirelessly to promote and preserve the works of African American musicians through coalition building and artistic entrepreneurship by founding the Brazeal Dennard Chorale and cofounding the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s “Classical Roots” concert series in 1976. Dennard attended Highland Park Junior College (1954–56) and he received his undergraduate (1959) and master’s (1962) degrees in music education from Wayne State University. He first gained exposure to music through attending church choir rehearsals with his mother. He studied piano and voice with Dean Robert L. Nolan and later sang with the Robert Nolan Choir. His professional career began at age 17 as conductor of the Angelic Choir at Peoples Baptist Church in Detroit. From 1951 to 1953 he was responsible for the music for all chapel services while serving as a corporal in the US Army in Virginia. Beginning in ...
(b Pozsony [now Bratislava], July 27, 1877; d New York, Feb 9, 1960). Hungarian pianist, composer, conductor, teacher and administrator. Next to Liszt he ranks as the most versatile Hungarian musician, whose influence reached generations in all spheres of musical life. He is considered the first architect of Hungary’s musical culture in the 20th century.
He received his early training in Pozsony. His father, an outstanding amateur cellist, and Károly Forstner, cathedral organist, gave him lessons in piano playing and theory. Despite the absence of professional training, he showed an extraordinary appetite for music and made rapid progress. Having finished at the Gymnasium, he decided to obtain his formal education in music at the Budapest Academy. He was the first Hungarian of significant talent to do so and his example, as well as his personal intervention, induced Bartók (his friend from early schooldays) to follow the same course. Dohnányi studied the piano with Thomán and composition with Koessler, and received his artist’s diploma in ...
revised by Jernej Weiss
(b Osenice, nr Jičín, Czech Republic, Dec 20, 1837; d Novo Mesto, Slovenia, June 17, 1926). Slovenian composer, conductor, choir director, and music educator of Czech birth. Uncle of Josef Bohuslav Foerster.
Foerster studied law (graduated in 1863) and music (including work with Smetana) in Prague. He was choirmaster of the cathedral in Senj, Croatia (1865–7), and from 1867 onward worked in Ljubljana. He was conductor of the Dramatical Society, choirmaster of the National Reading Society, choirmaster of the cathedral (1868–1909), and music teacher at Ljubljana’s secondary schools. In 1877 he established the Organ School in Ljubljana, was co-founder of the Cerkveni glasbenik (‘Church Musician’) journal, and was its long-time editor (1878–1908). After his retirement in 1909, he remained active as a composer. In 1917 he moved to Novo Mesto (Slovenia), where he devoted most of his time to collecting and arranging his compositions....
revised by James Deaville
(b Würzburg, May 28, 1780; d Würzburg, Jan 5, 1862). German teacher, musical organizer, critic, theorist, conductor and composer. He studied music at the student institute of the Juliusspital in Würzburg, and studied law and philosophy at the university there. In 1801 he began his career as a violinist in the prince-bishop’s court orchestra. He also founded the Akademische Bande, a student choral and orchestral group, which in 1804 became the Akademisches Musikinstitut and was made part of the university, thus becoming the basis of the first state music school in Germany. His teaching and organizational work was of the highest importance and encompassed several disciplines and activities. He became reader in aesthetics in 1812, reader in pedagogical studies in 1819 and professor in 1821. In 1820 a singing school was established as part of the institute. He also conducted important historical concerts for King Ludwig I in ...
(bap. Aldersgate, London, Feb 26, 1724; d London, April 15, 1764). English amateur musician. ‘In his younger days he was a great beau’, said Hawkins, who is the chief source of information about Immyns. ‘He had been guilty of some indiscretions, which proved an effectual bar to success in his profession, and reduced him to the necessity of becoming a clerk to an attorney in the city’. He cultivated music assiduously, playing the flute, viola da gamba and harpsichord, and had a ‘cracked counter-tenor voice’. As a member of the Academy of Ancient Music, and as a student and copyist to Pepusch, he became familiar with much old music, which he preferred to that of his own day. In 1741 he founded the Madrigal Society, which began as a small group of mechanics and tradesmen experienced in psalmody, meeting at a tavern in Fleet Street. Immyns was ‘both their president and instructor’, and in preparation for the meetings he copied out some 200 madrigals and canons: his MS survives at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. The music was confined to madrigals and other old music, by such composers as Ruffo, Lassus, Marenzio, Vecchi and Gesualdo; the English madrigalists were also explored. Immyns copied seven Palestrina motets for the society's use. From these modest beginnings sprang what is now the oldest musical association in existence....
(b Tarnopol, Galicia [now Ukraine], May 29, 1852; d Roudná, Tábor district, Bohemia, March 7, 1926). Czech teacher, administrator, pianist and composer of Galician origin. He was brought up in Klatovy, Bohemia, and in Prague, where he studied the piano and composition at the Proksch Institute; he also studied with Blodek, with Ludevít Procházka and at the Prague Organ School (1873–4). After a brief career as a piano virtuoso (1874–6), he was engaged as music teacher to the Fürstenbergs at their seat in Lány in 1876. He returned to Prague in 1884 and later that year accompanied Dvořák on his first visit to England. In 1889 he became a piano teacher at the Prague Conservatory and was, from 1907 until 1918, director. Although unpopular for his authoritarian approach, his good relations with Vienna enabled him to expand the conservatory; for instance, in 1909 he instituted master classes in composition under Vítězslav Novák. Through his piano transcriptions as well as his many editions he helped to popularize Smetana and other Czech composers. His own compositions, apart from piano music, include songs, two operas, two melodramas and two ballets, ...
Jean W. Thomas
(b Darmstadt, Germany, May 4, 1816; d Pittsburgh, PA, Feb 20, 1897). Composer, conductor, performer, merchant, impresario, and teacher of German birth. Kleber immigrated with his family to Pittsburgh around 1832 from Darmstadt, where he was trained in piano and voice. Three years later he launched his long career in Pittsburgh as music “professor” by becoming an instructor at Western Collegiate Institute for Young Ladies. In 1839 he organized a brass band, first known as the Kleber Band, then The Pittsburgh Band, described as the first brass band west of the Alleghenies. That year also marked his entry into the music business with a piano salesroom under the name “Ye Golden Harp.” By 1850 he was operating a growing business in pianos, organs, instruments, and sheet music. The store was a gathering place for the city’s musicians, including Stephen Foster, for whom Kleber served as a mentor.
Fluent in German, French, and Italian as well as English, Kleber acted as an impresario throughout much of his career, serving as a local manager for many European touring artists who were a mainstay of the American concert stage. He also organized concerts for local musicians, featuring himself variously as conductor, pianist, and singer. Considered by some to be brash, aggressive, self-promoting, and combative, he and Augustus, his brother and business partner, gained notoriety as well as a $100 fine each in ...
(b Piraeus, 1897; d Piraeus, 1981). Greek composer, music teacher, conductor, music manager, and historian.
He studied music theory with Geōrgios Lampelet and Armando Marsik at Athens Conservatory, and continued his studies in Leipzig with Fritz Benesevic and Max Steinizer. From 1914, and for several years, he was a teacher of vocal training in several schools and a professor in the Academy of Film Studies, of the Higher School of Cinema. He was a member of the board of the organization ‘Ellēnikon Melodrama’ [Greek Melodrama] and directing advisor; founder and conductor of the choir in the church of the Greek community in Leipzig; and founding member of the board of the Union of the Critics of the Theatre and Music, the organization ‘Arxaion Drama’ [Ancient Drama], the Greek Society of composers, writers, and publishers, among others. He was the director of the journal Mousika Chronika [Musical Chronicles] (...
(b Monaco, March 23, 1878; d Berlin, March 21, 1934). Austrian composer, teacher, conductor and administrator. He is a central figure in that remarkable flowering of opera in Austria that included the works of Zemlinsky, Berg and Korngold. Integrating his aesthetic plurality (a mixture of Romanticism, naturalism, symbolism, Impressionism, Expressionism and Neue Sachlichkeit), timbral experimentation, strategies of extended tonality and conception of total music theatre into the narrative of 20th-century music has contributed to a more differentiated understanding of central European modernism.
Schreker was the oldest of four surviving children born to Ignaz Schrecker, a court photographer of Jewish birth, and Eleonore von Clossmann, a member of the Catholic aristocracy of eastern Styria. Ignaz Schrecker’s restless travels took him and his family from Vienna to Monaco, Spa, Brussels, Paris, Trieste and Pola before he settled at last in Linz in 1882. After his death in 1888 the family moved to Vienna, where in ...