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Article

H. Wiley Hitchcock

revised by Katherine K. Preston

(b Chicago, Dec 9, 1850; d Salt Lake City, Jan 5, 1891). American soprano and impresario. She studied first with her father and by the age of nine was performing professionally. She joined an itinerant concert troup in 1866 and after it disbanded went to New York to study with Achille Errani; her concert début there was in December 1871. In 1872 she went abroad to study with Sangiovanni in Milan and Marchesi, Wartel and Delle Sedie in Paris. Her operatic début at Covent Garden was as Marie in La fille du régiment (2 May 1876), but her contract was cancelled when she refused to sing Violetta on moral grounds.

Abbott secretly married Eugene Wetherell (d 1889); in 1876 they returned to the USA, where she gave concerts. Her American operatic début was in New York on 23 February 1877, again as Marie. In ...

Article

Sylvia Stoner-Hawkins

(b Forestville, NY, Jan 25, 1887; d Miami Beach, FL, Jan 31, 1995). American stage director, producer, playwright, and actor. During a 92-year career in the theater Abbott influenced the development of musical comedy and helped launch many important careers. He made his Broadway acting debut in 1913 and continued to act during the 1920s. He also began working as both a playwright and director. After his first hit, The Fall Guy, Abbott began to write and stage fast-paced melodramas. In 1932 he co-produced a farce called 20th Century; it was in this genre that he defined a fast-paced theatrical style that became known as the Abbott Touch. He was the leading director of musical comedies. Abbott also wrote the books for On your Toes (1936), The Boys from Syracuse (1938), and Pal Joey (1940), the scores of which were composed by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. In ...

Article

Alfred E. Lemmon

(fl 1890–95). Guatemalan musical educator and band director. He was the first director of the Guatemalan banda marcial and was appointed director of the National Conservatory of Music in 1890. His initial task in this post was the upgrading of the conservatory's facilities. He acquired a variety of musical instruments and enlarged the institution's library with music primarily from Germany. His tenure as director was marked by particular emphasis on the teaching of stringed instruments, especially the violin. Aberle also worked to establish a new plan of studies, which was accredited by the secretary of public education. If a student failed a course, he or she was given only one opportunity to repeat it successfully, while advanced students were excused courses where appropriate. Scholarships were awarded to exceptional students between the ages of nine and 15, and from 1893 select students were eligible for government scholarships for further studies in Europe....

Article

[Abrams, Richard Louis ]

(b Chicago, IL, Sept 19, 1930). American pianist, composer, and administrator. After receiving private piano lessons, he studied at the Chicago Musical College and taught himself the system of composition devised by Joseph Schillinger. He began to work professionally in 1948 and performed regularly at the Cotton Club in Chicago during the 1950s, accompanying visiting musicians such as Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt, and Max Roach. After composing and arranging for the Walter “King” Fleming band in the mid-1950s, Abrams joined the hard bop ensemble MJT+3 and made his recording debut on the group’s album DADDY-O PRESENTS MJT+3 (1957, VJ 1013). Beginning in 1961 Abrams led the Experimental Band, a composer-centered rehearsal ensemble whose members included the double bass player Donald Rafael Garrett, Jack DeJohnette, Roscoe Mitchell, and the reed player Joseph Jarman. He subsequently co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in 1965...

Article

Carmen Helena Téllez

(b Valera, May 7, 1939). Venezuelan cultural administrator. He founded the Venezuelan youth orchestra system. He earned degrees in economics from the Central University of Venezuela (1961) and composition and organ from the José Angel Lamas School of Music, Caracas (1964, 1966). From 1966 to 1974 he occupied various political and administrative positions, was a member of the Venezuelan parliament and worked for the Instituto Nacional de Cultura y Bellas Artes.

In the mid-1970s Abreu proposed a new system of youth orchestras coupling the needs of music education with the aim of national affirmation and social assistance for underprivileged young people. This network of orchestras, comprising students of all ages in all regions of the country, revolutionized the training of orchestra musicians but caused controversy among conservatory teachers and established professionals, some of whom questioned the project's empirical emphasis and criticized an arguably insufficient academic support. In spite of controversy and changing political and economic circumstances, the Simón Bolívar Orchestra in Caracas, the flagship ensemble of the movement, gradually attained professional status, outranking the traditional orchestras in Venezuela and earning a reputation as the best in Latin America during the 1990s....

Article

William Aide

revised by Gordana Lazarevich

(b Toronto, March 28, 1906; d Victoria, May 6, 2002). Canadian composer, conductor and violinist. He studied the violin with Luigi von Kunits, Kathleen Parlow and Marcel Chailley, and was a member of the Toronto SO (1923–36) and the Toronto Trio (1938–52). He began composition studies with John Weinzweig in Toronto in 1944 and continued with Charles Jones and Darius Milhaud. In 1952 he became head of the music department at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, where he was appointed composer-in-residence in 1966. His other activities included co-founding the Canadian League of Composers (1951), conducting the Saskatoon SO (1957–60) and serving as a member of the Canada Council (1966–9). His numerous CBC commissions included the Algonquin Symphony (1957–8), Rondino for nine instruments (1961) and an opera, Grant, Warden of the Plains (1967). After his retirement in ...

Article

Richard Crawford

revised by Nym Cooke

(b Norwich, CT, March 22, 1762; d Philadelphia, cSept 30, 1793). American singing teacher, concert organizer and tune book compiler. In 1783 he assisted Andrew Law in a Philadelphia singing school. Later he worked in the city as a wool-card manufacturer and merchant; he was a volunteer in the citizens’ committee organized during Philadelphia’s yellow-fever epidemic of 1793, and died of that disease. In 1784 he opened an ‘Institution for the Encouragement of Church Music’, later reorganizing it as the Uranian Academy. Adgate presented many concerts during the mid- to late 1780s, most notably a ‘Grand Concert’ on 4 May 1786, at which works by Handel, James Lyon, William Billings, William Tuckey and others were performed by 230 choristers and an orchestra of 50. Adgate’s first known compilation is an anthology of sacred texts: Select Psalms and Hymns for the Use of Mr. Adgate’s Pupils (Philadelphia, 1787...

Article

Martin Bernheimer

(b Vienna, April 2, 1905; d Ross, CA, Feb 9, 1988). American conductor and opera director of Austrian birth. He was educated at the Musikakademie and university in Vienna, and made his début in 1925 as a conductor for the Max Reinhardt theatre, then conducted at the Volksoper and opera houses in Germany, Italy and Czechoslovakia. He assisted Toscanini in Salzburg (1936) and went to the USA in 1938 for an engagement with the Chicago Opera. He worked for the San Francisco Opera from 1943 to 1981, initially as chorus master, then as artistic director in 1953 and general director from 1956. Although he occasionally conducted, most of his time was devoted to administrative duties. During his regime the San Francisco Opera grew increasingly adventurous in repertory, and became noted for the engagement of unproven talent and the implementation of modern staging techniques. By 1972 Adler had lengthened the season from five weeks to ten and he also formed subsidiary organizations in San Francisco to stage experimental works, to perform in schools and other unconventional locales, and to train young singers. He retired in ...

Article

Paul D. Fischer

(b Chicago, IL, Dec 13, 1933). American record producer, songwriter, artist manager, label owner, and entrepreneur. He was most active in the popular-music industry from the 1950s to the 1970s. He held jobs in publishing and became co-manager of Jan and Dean with Herb Alpert. Under the pseudonym Barbara Campbell, the pair co-wrote “Only Sixteen” for Sam Cooke. Adler also co-wrote “Wonderful World” with Alpert and Cooke. In 1964 he founded Dunhill Records, which was sold to ABC in 1966. He later brought the songwriter P.F. Sloan and the singer Barry McGuire together for “Eve of Destruction.” While the manager and producer of the Mamas and Papas, he co-produced the Monterey international pop festival in 1967, insisting that the event be filmed and retaining those rights. The following year he founded Ode Records, which is noted for releasing Carole King’s album Tapestry. He also produced records and directed a series of “stoner” films for Cheech and Chong. He also served as an executive producer for and bought the US rights to the film ...

Article

Elliott W. Galkin

(b Jablonec, Dec 2, 1899; d Ridgefield, CT, Oct 2, 1990). American conductor. After studying composition and conducting with Zemlinsky at the Prague Conservatory, he became music director of the Bremen Staatsoper (1929–32) and the Ukrainian State Philharmonia, Kiev (1932–7), and also appeared as a guest conductor throughout Europe. He left for the USA in 1939 and made his début with the New York PO in 1940, after which he toured in the USA. From 1949 to 1959 he was music and artistic director of the NBC-TV Opera Company, sharing artistic responsibility with Toscanini. Adler was musical director of the Baltimore SO from 1959 to 1968, and in 1969 became music and artistic director of WNET (National Educational Television). His Metropolitan Opera début was in 1972. He was director of the American Opera Center at the Juilliard School from 1973 to 1981. Adler was a pioneer director of television opera in the USA and commissioned many works for the medium; among them Menotti’s ...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy and Barry Kernfeld

[Wilton Jameson ]

(b New Albany, IN, July 21, 1939). American educator, publisher, record producer, and saxophonist. He performed locally from the age of 15 and while studying at Indiana University (BM 1961; MM 1962) led groups that worked in southern Indiana and Kentucky. Having taught music education at Indiana University Southeast (1967–9) and classical saxophone at the University of Louisville (1970–72), in the early 1970s he established a week-long jazz workshop (or “jazz camp”) held during the summer; by the late 1990s the workshop took place twice annually. Aebersold also presented workshops in other countries, including Australia, Germany, England, Scotland, Denmark, and Canada. In 1992 he received an honorary doctorate in music from Indiana University and began teaching jazz improvisation at the the University of Louisville.

In addition to his principal instrument, Aebersold plays piano and double bass, but he is far better known as an educator than as a performer. In ...

Article

Susan Au

(b Rogers, TX, Jan 5, 1931; d New York, Dec 1, 1989). American dancer, choreographer, and dance company director. He began to study dance at Lester Horton’s studio in Los Angeles in 1949 and went to the East Coast as a member of Horton’s dance company in 1953. After Horton’s sudden death and the company’s disbandment he joined the cast of the Broadway musical House of Flowers (1954), the first of several musicals and plays in which he appeared. In 1958 he assembled a group of dancers to perform his choreography at the 92nd Street YM-YWHA in New York City, and this group eventually grew into the company now called the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. His choreographic style combined modern dance, ballet, jazz dance, and elements of social and ethnic dance forms. Many of his works reflect the African-American experience in their themes and music; his best-known work, ...

Article

Richard Crawford

revised by Nym Cooke

(b Dalkeith, c1746; d Philadelphia, Sept 8, 1831). American music engraver, publisher and dealer of Scottish birth. He also worked as a metalsmith for much of his life. Arriving in Philadelphia by 1785, he began his career as a music publisher in 1787 with three large works: Alexander Reinagle’s A Selection of the most Favorite Scots Tunes, William Brown’s Three Rondos for the Piano Forte or Harpsichord, and his own A Compilation of the Litanies and Vespers Hymns and Anthems (2/1791), the only 18th-century American collection of music for the Roman Catholic Church. In 1788 he issued another anthology by Reinagle and also probably Francis Hopkinson’s Seven Songs; a few pieces of sheet music and more of Reinagle’s song collections followed in 1789. By 1793 he had brought out at least 20 titles, but between then and 1806 he published only the compendious Scots Musical Museum...

Article

Bruce Mather

(Morris)

(b Kentville, NS, Aug 28, 1939). Canadian flautist, conductor and composer. He studied with Nicholas Fiore (in Toronto) and Marcel Moyse; later with Rampal and Gazzelloni. He was principal flautist of the Vancouver SO (1958–9) and of the Toronto SO (1965–70). In 1971 he was a prizewinner of the Concours International de Flûte de Paris. In 1964 he formed the Lyric Arts Trio with his wife, the pianist Marion Ross, and the soprano Mary Morrison. He is musical director of New Music Concerts (Toronto) and Music Today (Shaw Festival, Ontario), as well as a soloist whose engagements take him to Europe, North America, Japan and Iceland. In 1977 he was one of 12 instrumentalists invited by Boulez to give a solo recital at IRCAM in Paris. Some 50 works have been wrtten for him by composers including Carter, Crumb, R. Murray Schafer and Takemitsu. Technically adept, he has a pure, intense tone and a finished sense of phrasing. In ...

Article

Don C. Gillespie

(Hugh)

(b Gary, IN, Oct 20, 1944; d Ann Arbor, MI, Sept 17, 1998). American composer, organist and pianist. He attended the Juilliard Preparatory Department (1959–62), the University of Michigan (1963–70) and the Paris Conservatoire (1968–9), studying composition with Ross Lee Finney, George Rochberg and Olivier Messiaen, and the organ with Marilyn Mason. His many commissions and honours included two awards from the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Queen Marie-José Prize (for his Organbook I) and an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1979 he was selected to represent the USA in UNESCO's International Rostrum of Composers. He joined the composition department at the University of Michigan in 1970, where, as associate director of the electronic music studio, he pursued research into live and electronic modification of acoustic instruments. Through his own modern rag compositions and his performances and recordings of classical ragtime, stride piano and boogie-woogie, which include a recording of the complete works of Scott Joplin, Albright was a principal figure in the revival of interest in ragtime and stride masters. He gave many first performances of organ and piano works by American and European composers and commissioned a series of organ works that has substantially enriched the contemporary repertory for that instrument....

Article

Peter G. Davis

revised by Nicola Badolato

(b New York, NY, Sept 16, 1949). American director, twin brother of David Alden. The son of the playwright Jerome Alden and the Broadway dancer Barbara Gaye, he studied at the University of Pennsylvania and began his professional career as an actor, appearing in Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival Tony Award-winning rock musical Two Gentlemen of Verona (1971). After a brief period in the Broadway musical theater, he was an assistant to Jean-Pierre Ponnelle from 1978 to 1982 in Houston, Paris, and Salzburg. Since then he has staged operas in many American cities, and has been director of production at Long Beach Opera (California) and associate director of Opera at the Academy in New York. These two smaller companies encourage innovation, and Alden has pursued an enlivening approach that has proved controversial but seldom dull; his version of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas was presented as a cautionary tale of the flesh for British schoolgirls, while Offenbach’s La vie parisienne was updated to reflect the drug culture of present-day New York. The results may sometimes be controversial, but they invariably show a questing spirit, a lively theatrical imagination, and genuine love for the work at hand. Alden made his European debut in ...

Article

Patrick O’Connor

(b New York, NY, Sept 16, 1949). American opera producer, twin brother of Christopher Alden.

His early productions in America in the late 1970s were well received but gave no hint of the Brechtian, often violent bent that later characterized his stagings in Europe. His staging of Wozzeck first at the Metropolitan in 1980 and then at the Scottish Opera later that year was favorably noted by Opera magazine, reversing the disdain that had greeted his Rigoletto for the same company in 1979. A punk version of The Rake’s Progress (1982, Amsterdam) led to a notorious Mazepa (1984), his first work for the English National Opera, which with its chainsaws and strip lighting entered local operatic folklore as an extreme of director’s folly. This established his reputation, however, and his ENO Simon Boccanegra (1987) and Un ballo in maschera (1989), both designed by David Fielding, were seen to create a new house style that, though controversial and alienating, was both musical and dramatically stimulating. Alden has staged the American premières of Szymanowski’s ...

Article

Claude Conyers

[Dorothea Moses]

(b Atlanta, GA, April 22, 1904; d Atlanta, GA, Nov 17, 1986). American ballet dancer, choreographer, teacher, and company director. Having suffered osteomylitis in early childhood, she was given ballet lessons to restore her strength. They not only did that but set her on course for her life’s work. Dismayed by the lack of training and performing opportunities for ballet dancers in Atlanta, she vowed to create them if she could. After continued study with teachers in Atlanta and New York, she opened her own studio in Atlanta in 1921 and originated a dance enrichment program in Atlanta public schools in 1927. Two years later she founded the Dorothy Alexander Dance Concert Group and began to present public programs with her pupils. This group eventually became the Atlanta Ballet, the nation’s oldest regional company. From its inception until the mid-1950s, “Miss Dorothy” created some eighty ballets for the company, including lyrical works for adult audiences as well as story ballets for children. Although she usually worked to the music of popular European composers, she sometimes commissioned works from local composers. Notable are ...

Article

Horace Clarence Boyer

revised by Tammy L. Kernodle

(b Hamilton, MS, Jan 21, 1916; d Los Angeles, CA, July 8, 1996). American gospel singer, manager, and promoter. He moved to Los Angeles in the early 1940s to become a member of the Southern Gospel Singers, an all-male quartet. In 1946 he joined the Pilgrim Travelers, another male quartet, of which he soon became the guiding force. During its period of greatest popularity in the 1950s and 1960s the group became known for its close and smooth harmonies. Its members have included Kylo Turner and Keith Barber (leads), Jesse Whitaker (baritone), and Raphael Taylor (bass); jazz singer Lou Rawls also sang with the group in the late 1950s. Among their popular recordings were “Mother Bowed” (1950) and “I was there when the spirit came” (1952). The group performed in concert throughout the United States and won acclaim for their appearances at the Apollo Theater in New York. When the Travelers disbanded following a car accident that left Rawls hospitalized, Alexander shifted his focus to production and management. Alexander was instrumental in securing a recording contract for Dorothy Love Coates and the Original Gospel Harmonettes, recommended the singer Jessy Dixon to Brother Joe May and is credited as one of Little Richard’s early mentors and managers. He started working with Sam Cooke, who left gospel music in the late 1950s to pursue a career in pop music, and together they formed SAR records in ...

Article

Frank Merkling

revised by Karen M. Bryan

(Clearman)

(b Kirksville, MO, March 10, 1921; d Bloomington, IN, Dec 31, 2003). American opera director and teacher. He pursued graduate study at Indiana University, where he staged the choral episodes of Britten’s Billy Budd for the first American production (1952). While a member of the Indiana University faculty (1953–88), he directed more than 130 works, including the first presentation outside New York of Bernstein’s Candide (1958), American premieres of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Christmas Eve (1977) and Martinů’s The Greek Passion (1981 at the Metropolitan Opera House), and world premieres of John Eaton’s Myshkin (1973) and (for children) The Lion and Androcles (1974). He was a guest director for the Houston Opera, Kansas City Lyric Opera, Cincinnati Summer Opera, Detroit Opera, and New York Pro Musica. He was also involved in modern recreations of liturgical drama and Renaissance entertainments. In ...