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Article

Viorel Cosma

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 ...

Article

Hans Åstrand and Bo Wallner

(Magnus)

(b Göteborg, Dec 12, 1887; d Stockholm, Feb 15, 1974). Swedish composer, administrator, conductor and critic. He studied the cello at school in Göteborg and then entered the Stockholm College of Technology. Having passed the examination in civil engineering in 1911, he spent his working life (1912–68) in the patent office. He was largely self-taught although he studied composition and instrumentation with Hallén at the Swedish Royal Academy of Music (1910–11), and partly used the state composer’s scholarships he received between 1911 and 1915 to study in Germany (1911 and 1913). He made his début as a conductor at Göteborg in 1912, when the programme included his First Symphony; thereafter (particularly during the 1920s) he often conducted his own music and that of contemporaries, both at home and abroad (where he promoted Swedish music). From 1916 to 1922 he was kapellmästare at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm; he also worked enthusiastically as co-founder and president (...

Article

Daniel Zager

[Jones, (Everett) LeRoi]

(b Newark, NJ, Oct 7, 1934). American writer. He studied piano, drums, and trumpet privately and attended Howard University (BA 1954). In the early 1960s he achieved wide recognition for his poetry and plays and for his writings about jazz, which included articles for Down Beat, Jazz, and Jazz Review; a selection of his writings, many from Down Beat, was published in 1967 as Black Music. His book Blues People (1963), the first full-length study of jazz by a black writer, is both a sociological inquiry, using blues and jazz as a means of understanding how African Americans became assimilated into American culture, and a superb discussion of the cultural context of the music in the United States. Besides his activities as a writer, Baraka has been involved in many black cultural and community projects. He was a founder of the Black Arts Repertory Theater-School, which was in existence from ...

Article

Gerald Bordman

revised by Jonas Westover

(b New York, NY, Sept 8, 1896; d New York, NY, July 30, 1983). American lyricist and librettist. He studied at Columbia University, where he was a contemporary of Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II, and served in the US Navy before becoming director of publicity and advertising in 1919 for the Goldwyn Pictures Corporation (from 1924 known as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer or MGM). He wrote verse in his spare time, and was asked by Jerome Kern to supply the lyrics for Dear Sir (1924). He also worked with Vernon Duke, Jimmy McHugh, and Ralph Rainger. But he is best remembered for the numerous songs he wrote in collaboration with arthur Schwartz , beginning in 1929 with the revue The Little Show (with “I guess I’ll have to change my plan”). Other collaborations with Schwartz include Three’s a Crowd (1930) and The Band Wagon (1931, containing the hit “Dancing in the Dark”). Their professional relationship extended over a period of more than 30 years to the production of the musical ...

Article

Israel J. Katz

(b Orense, Oct 1, 1918). Spanish pianist, composer, conductor, administrator, critic and writer on music. He studied piano and composition with José Cubiles and Conrado del Campo at the Madrid Conservatory, taking diplomas in piano (1935) and composition (1944); later he was a pupil of Marguerite Long, Lazare Lévy and Yves Nat in Paris and of Isidore Philipp in New York, and studied conducting with Luís de Freitas Branco and Louis Fourestier. He has made concert tours of Europe, North Africa and the USA. His professional activities have included the founding (1957) and directing of the Orense Conservatory of Music, giving piano masterclasses and teaching the interpretation of Spanish music at Música en Compostela (from 1958) and organizing the Manuel de Falla seminars and courses at Granada. He created (1962) the Semanas de Música Religiosa at Cuenca and as music adviser to the Instituto de Cultura Hispánica planned music festivals in Spain and the USA in collaboration with the Organization of American States; he has served as secretary-general of the Spanish section of ISCM (whose festivals he organized in ...

Article

Mark Anthony Neal

(b Chicago, IL, Jan 8, 1967). American R&B singer, writer, producer, and arranger. Kelly was born on the South side of Chicago. Raised, with his three siblings, by a single mother, he was encouraged to pursue a musical career by his high school music teacher and mentor, Lena McLin, who was the chair of the music department at the Kenwood Academy and the niece of the legendary gospel music composer Thomas Dorsey. In high school Kelly formed the group MGM (Musically Gifted Men), which won a $100,000 grand prize on the television talent show Big Break, hosted by Natalie Cole. The group eventually signed with Jive Records, though after creative and financial tensions, three of the members were replaced and the group renamed R. Kelly and Public Announcement. After a moderately successful debut that produced the hit singles “She’s Got That Vibe” and “Honey Love,” Kelly left the group in early ...

Article

Guido M. Gatti

revised by John C.G. Waterhouse

(b Rome, Nov 22, 1896; d Rome, July 1, 1973). Italian composer, music organizer and critic. He studied with Respighi and G.F. Malipiero, graduating from the Parma Conservatory in 1921, but in his work on behalf of modern music he came closer to Casella. He actively participated in the affairs of the Corporazione delle Nuove Musiche and the Italian section of the ISCM; and he showed the same zeal as director of the music division of the Direzione Generale dello Spettacolo attached to the Ministry of Popular Culture, as well as later in his post as manager of the Teatro Comunale, Florence (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino), 1936–44. He was then artistic director of the Teatro alla Scala, Milan (1947–9), and a director of the music department of Italian radio (1949–58). In 1959 the centre of his activity shifted to Venice, where he helped to organize, among other events, the Venice festivals. In the 1960s he also taught music history at the Università Italiana per Stranieri in Perugia....

Article

Ilkka Oramo

( Antero Yrjönpoika )

(b Oulu, May 30, 1932; d Tampere, Aug 1, 1981). Finnish composer, critic and music administrator . He studied composition with Kilpinen (1949–54) and made several study trips abroad (e.g. to China, Italy, France and Germany). He was librarian of the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki (1956–61), music critic of the daily papers Kauppalehti and Uusi Suomi (1956–70), programme director of the Jyväskylä Arts Festival (1956–9 and 1962–8) and director of the Helsinki Festival (1969–77). He retired in 1977 and moved to Rome, where he devoted himself to composition. His belief in music as a social force was reflected in his many activities: he was founding member of the Finnish Music Library Association (1954) and the Finnish section of Jeunesses Musicales (1957), and he introduced the concept of the modern art festival to Finland. As a writer he had a special talent for exciting public debate. Before his involvement in music administration he occasionally performed as an accompanist of lieder. He was a conservative as a composer: he carried on the tradition of the German lied, citing Schumann, Wolf, Kilpinen and the Italian Renaissance madrigal as his main sources of inspiration. He wrote about 250 songs on ancient Chinese poetry (e.g. Li-Tai-Po, Jyan-Tsen and Tu-Fu) and on contemporary Finnish poetry. Other works included five madrigals (...

Article

Ferenc Bónis

(b Budapest, Jan 1, 1892; d Budapest, Nov 4, 1935). Hungarian director, composer and critic . He studied composition with Koessler and Viktor Herzfeld at the Budapest Academy of Music (1906–11) and later taught at the Fodor Conservatory (1912–19) and at the Budapest College of Music (1919–25). He also wrote music criticism for various daily newspapers in the Hungarian capital from 1919 to 1925. From August 1925 until his early death he was artistic director of the Royal Hungarian Opera House in Budapest. His tenure brought consolidation and higher artistic standards to the institution between the two world wars. By engaging young artists (János Ferencsik as co-répétiteur, later conductor, and Kálmán Nádasdy and Gusztáv Oláh as directors), he ushered in a new phase in the history of the opera house. Radnai engaged the leading Italian conductor Sergio Failoni as chief conductor for the Wagner, Verdi, Bartók and Kodály repertory. He was as eager to produce the works of contemporary Hungarian composers (Jenő Ádám, Bartók, Ernő Dohnányi, Hubay, Kodály, Kósa, Albert Siklós, Tivadar Szántó, Leó Weiner) as those of earlier masters of Hungarian music (Erkel, Liszt, Mosonyi) and of his foreign contemporaries (Debussy, Falla, Hindemith, Malipiero, Milhaud, Ravel, Respighi, Richard Strauss, Stravinsky, Zandonai). In revitalizing the design and production side, establishing discipline during rehearsals and performances, and educating a young and gifted generation of singers, Radnai created one of the most successful chapters in the history of Hungarian opera. He also contributed knowledgeable studies of works by Gounod, Erkel, Poldini and Goldmark to the literature of operatic analysis....

Article

Melinda Berlász

(b Budapest, Nov 15, 1878; d Budapest, Oct 27, 1943). Hungarian composer, critic and administrator. In accordance with his parents' wishes he studied law in Kolozsvár and Budapest, taking his diploma in 1907. He never attended a music college, though he took piano lessons with Ödön Farkas in Kolozsvár and was a composition pupil of A. Siklós in Budapest. His careers as critic and composer began almost simultaneously: in 1908 he published his first criticism in the Budapest newspaper Népszava, and his first compositions were settings of Endre Ady's Vér és arany (‘Blood and Gold’), published in the same year. He worked for Népszava until 1914 and then for Világ (1917–19) and he was one of the first to recognize the value of the work of Bartók and Kodály. Nonetheless, his most important contribution was his own songs: he worked almost exclusively in that genre, producing more than 500. His songs were first heard at literary gatherings in cafés during the period ...

Article

Lyse Richer

revised by Marie-Thérèse Lefebvre

(b Montreal, Dec 24, 1915; d Montreal, June 24, 1994). Canadian composer, critic and administrator. He had violin lessons with Lucien Sicotte (1922–35), studied composition with Claude Champagne (1939–42) and took a literature degree at the University of Montreal (1939). Throughout his life he dedicated himself to the education of the young and the general public. He served as secretary of the Quebec Province Conservatory (1942–63), lecturer at the University of Montreal (1951–66), director of music broadcasting for the CBC (1963–6) and cultural adviser with the Quebec delegation in Paris (1966–70). Vallerand was then successively director-general for training (1970), the conservatories (1971) and the performing arts (from 1972) for the Quebec Ministry of Cultural Affairs. His career as a music critic began as editor of the Quartier latin (...

Article

Leah G. Weinberg

(b Exeter, NH, Nov 8, 1961). American Musician, songwriter, record company founder, and author. Zanes was raised near Concord, New Hampshire, and after attending Oberlin College for one year, moved to Boston. There, Zanes, his brother Warren, the bass player Tom Lloyd, and the drummer Steve Morrell formed the Del Fuegos. The roots-rock band produced five albums between 1984 and 1989, with singles “Don’t Run Wild,” “I still want you,” “Name Names,” and “Move with me Sister.” After the Del Fuegos disbanded and Zanes’s solo album Cool Down Time failed to sell, he began to listen to banjo songs, cowboy tunes, and traditional songs that he remembered from childhood. After his daughter Anna was born, Zanes’s dissatisfaction with the American children’s music market led him to form a family-oriented band that merged folk and rock styles and instrumentation. Initially known as the Wonderland String Band, the New York based-group underwent changes in title and personnel, first to the Rocket Ship Revue, and then to Dan Zanes & Friends. The seven-member band has produced nine albums on Zanes’s label, Festival Five Records, which include original songs as well as folk, traditional, and gospel songs from the United States, Jamaica, Africa, and Mexico. ...