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Mikhail Grigor′yevich Byalik

(b Khosrekh, Daghestan, Russia, Nov 16, 1936). Russian composer and singer. Chalayev is a Lak, one of the many tribes inhabiting Daghestan, a mountainous republic on the Caspian Sea. As a boy, he was occupied with traditional peasant labours, but nonetheless mastered the method of throat singing peculiar to Daghestan; because of his penetrating and vibrant voice, he became a favourite participant in festivities in the mountain village of Khosrekh. He later studied foreign languages at the University of Daghestan, and at the age of 18 started taking piano lessons and studying music theory with G.A. Gasanov, who is credited with the foundation of professional Western music in the republic. From 1959 to 1968 he studied at the composition faculty of the Moscow Conservatory under V.G. Fere. He lives in Moscow, spending long periods in Daghestan. He is a People’s Artist of Daghestan (1971) and a People’s Artist of Russia (...

Article

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 ...

Article

Jessica Payette

(Ferrée )

(b New York, NY, Feb 18, 1943). American composer, opera singer, and educator. She studied literature and music at Columbia University, earning both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Her primary voice teachers were soprano Helen Merritt and Marina Ahmed Alam, a Hindustani raga singer. She studied composition with vladimir Ussachevsky , whom she first encountered in an undergraduate counterpoint course, and otto Luening . Ussachevsky eventually taught her the methods he developed for studio electronics and became her principal supervisor. During her student years she collaborated with Ussachevsky on film and television scores, including Line of Apogee and Incredible Voyage, which combined pure electronic and concrète sound sources; Shields also embraced this approach for many of her electronic music-theater pieces and operas. Her DMA in composition was conferred in 1975 with the completion of the third segment of a tripartite opera, begun in 1970, entitled The Odyssey of Ulysses the Palmiped...