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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

Christopher Larkin

German family firm of wind instrument makers. The business, located in Mainz, was established in 1782 by Franz Ambros Alexander (b Miltenberg, July 22, 1753; d Mainz, Dec 1, 1802), who was described in a Mainz Cathedral report of the same year as a wood-turner and wind instrument maker. Portraits depict Franz Ambros and his son Philipp (1787–1864) with clarinets. After his death, Alexander's business was continued by his widow and two of his sons, Claudius (1783–1816) and Philipp, later joined by a third, Kaspar Anton (1803–72). Under the direction of Philipp and Kaspar Anton the firm became known as Gebrüder Alexander, the name it still bears. Kaspar Anton's two sons Franz Anton (1838–1926) and Georg Philip (i) (1849–97) became the third generation to direct the company. Woodwind instruments, mainly for military use, were the firm's main products until the mid-19th century. By that time, however, band instrumentation had become more brass orientated; after Philipp's death in ...

Article

Robert Lamar Weaver

(bc1755; dc1829). Italian impresario and librettist. His family was from Vicenza. Though trained as a lawyer, he chose instead to become an actor like his parents, and joined first Pietro Rossi’s company in Venice and then, around 1777, the Compagnia Nazionale Toscana in Florence, directed by Giovanni Roffi. His first tragedy, Le glorie della religione di Malta, had success in many Italian theatres. He succeeded Roffi as impresario of the Teatro del Cocomero in 1785 and served until 1795, visiting Milan for a season in 1792.

Andolfati’s greatest importance lies in his cultivation of Florentine poets and composers for the Cocomero’s musical repertory. His contract there required him to translate French farces into Italian; in addition to the librettos listed below that are almost certainly his work, he probably wrote the otherwise anonymous librettos for most of the farse and some of the intermezzos given at the theatre during his tenure....

Article

(b Bourmont-en-Bassigny, Haute-Marne, June 7, 1732; d Paris, May 21, 1801). French impresario, singer and dramatist. He first made his name as a singer with the Opéra-Comique (after about 1758), chiefly in artisan roles; no doubt it was to exploit this special talent that he was allowed to put on an opéra comique of his own, Le tonnelier, after La Fontaine's Le cuvier (Foire St Laurent, 28 September 1761). The work failed but Audinot nevertheless joined the Comédie-Italienne when that company merged with the Opéra-Comique in 1762. Audinot revised the libretto of Le tonnelier with A.-F. Quétant, and the work was revived on 16 March 1765 at the Comédie-Italienne with new ariettes and ensembles by various composers. In this new version it had considerable success in France, Holland and Germany alike. Audinot left the Comédie-Italienne in 1767 and soon became one of the principal impresarios of the Paris stage. After attracting crowds to his puppet show at the Foire St Germain, he opened the Théâtre de l'Ambigu-Comique on ...

Article

Charles Beare

(b ?Salisbury, July 14, 1727; d Salisbury, Feb 18, 1795). English violin maker and instrument dealer. He lived and worked in Salisbury and, with Forster, did much to raise the standard of English violin making in the second half of the 18th century. Banks possibly learnt his craft from a relative or in London, perhaps with Wamsley. His woodwork, using native sycamore for backs and sides and pine for tops, looks like that of Duke and Joseph Hill, but he had even more in common with William Forster (i), since both used a thick, dark red oil-varnish, previously unknown in England. Banks might have worked in London on his own for a time, but most of his instruments are labelled from Salisbury. Banks is, like Forster, particularly famous for the many cellos he made. His violas were of the small size fashionable at the time and are less appreciated now, but his violins, though rare, are very good instruments tonally and sometimes pass for Italian. Of the cellos, most are built on a reduced Amati pattern and are very similar to the work of the Forsters, both in appearance and tone. Occasionally, however, Banks made a cello with features of Stradivari, and these are excellent in every way. Bows were sometimes branded by him, though they were doubtless made for him, and he was careful to brand his instruments, sometimes in many places. Some of the later instruments were made for and branded by the London firm of Longman & Broderip, who also employed lesser makers....

Article

Owain Edwards and William Weber

(b Halifax, bap. March 19, 1741; d London, June 8, 1799). English organist and concert organizer. He studied music with Hartley, organist at Rochdale, and later, when he was at Manchester Grammar School, with John Wainwright, deputy organist of the collegiate church. A distinguished academic career took him to Eton (1756), where he studied with Edward Webb, and King’s College, Cambridge, where he was elected a Fellow in 1770 and later appointed a tutor. He tutored the second son of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, and is thought to have written a treatise on harmony about this time. Later he held various civil service posts, as commissioner of the Victualling Office, commissioner of the Customs and as director of various hospitals. He invested the whole of his and his wife’s (see Bates [née Harrop], Sarah) fortunes in the Albion Mills project, and was nearly ruined when the mills were destroyed by fire in ...

Article

Gunter Hempel

(b Gotha, bap. Sept 12, 1753; d Leipzig, Nov 30, 1813). German composer and writer on music. Between 1777 and 1789 he was intermittently active in the Hamburg theatre, first as a singer and later as a violinist and music director. He also visited St Petersburg (c1780), was music director of the newly established theatre in Riga in 1782–3 and appeared in Moscow in 1785. In 1790 he moved to Leipzig, where he wrote the articles on music for J.G. Grohmann's Kurzgefasstes Handwörterbuch über die schönen Künste (1794). At the beginning of his career he composed mainly instrumental chamber works, but in Leipzig he published many songs and small instrumental pieces for amateurs. His song Die Forelle has been cited as a source of inspiration for Schubert's setting. According to Schilling, he was also a respected piano and mandolin player.

all published in Leipzig unless otherwise stated...

Article

Charles Beare

(b Stamford, Lincs., 1755; d London, March 1823). English violin maker and dealer. He learnt violin making as a pupil of Richard Duke, for whom he worked for 17 years, and the first instruments bearing his label and brand are very similar to those of his master. At the end of 1782 he took over Maurice Whitaker's shop in the Royal Exchange, London, and was joined by his nephew ‘Ned’ who had also been apprenticed to Duke. He seems on the evidence of his labels to have dealt in music and instruments, including his own. By 1790 his instruments, particularly the cellos, had absorbed something of the influence of Stradivari, and were most cleanly made on a good individual outline. They are often branded at the top of the back at this period. At the beginning of the 19th century Betts was employing some of the best workmen in London, including at times the Panormos and Lockey Hill. Many inexpensive new instruments were made for the shop, as well as bows of all qualities. After Betts’s death the business was continued by his nephew, Charles Vernon, and younger brother Arthur (...

Article

Jamie C. Kassler

(b Halifax, c1744; d Grantham, May 6, 1796). English bookseller and dictionary compiler. He was the eldest son of Nathaniel Binns, printer and bookseller in Halifax, under whom he studied the book business. Early in life he went to London as an apprentice of, or employee in, the firm of Crowder. By 1770 he had established his own firm in Leeds, where he was also a partner in the commercial bank of Scott, Binns, Nicholson & Smith, and an amateur performer on the violin and cello. He published a Dictionarium musica (sic) (London, 1770, 2/1790, 3/1791) which appeared under different titles and was issued under the pseudonym John Hoyle. The work is derived chiefly from the dictionary published by James Grassineau in 1740.

J. Nichols: Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century (London, 1812–15/R) J.C. Kassler: The Science of Music in Britain, 1714–1830...

Article

Frank Kidson

revised by William C. Smith and Peter Ward Jones

(b London, c1750; d London, Dec 19, 1819). English music seller, instrument dealer and publisher. From his early imprints it appears that he had been apprenticed to Walsh’s successors, William Randall and his wife Elizabeth. In 1783 he was in business with T. Beardmore as Beardmore & Birchall (or Birchall & Beardmore). From 1783 to May 1789 he was in partnership with Hugh Andrews as Birchall & Andrews; he also issued publications under the name Birchall & Co., and established a circulating music library. He then continued alone in the firm until 1819, though John Bland appears to have had some association with Birchall after he sold his own firm in 1795, until about 1801.

Birchall managed the series of Ancient Concerts and most of the benefit concerts of the time. In 1783 he proposed a complete reissue of Handel’s works in 80 folio volumes, but the project never materialized, though Birchall subsequently published many Handel items. In addition to glees, country dance books and much Italian vocal music, his publications included the first English edition of J.S. Bach’s ...

Article

Barbara Chmara-Żackiewicz

(b Glinno, nr Poznań, April 9, 1757; d Warsaw, July 23, 1829). Polish impresario, librettist, actor and singer. He was a central figure in the history of the Polish theatre. He studied in Kraków (1770–73), where he attended many theatrical and concert performances organized by Sierakowski, prompting him to change the direction of his career away from the army and towards the theatre. He probably completed his studies at the Piarist school in Warsaw. For a few months during 1778 he studied acting with L. Montbrun, a Warsaw theatrical impresario. Soon afterwards he made his début as an actor in N.T. Barthé’s comedy Zmyślona niewierność (‘Imaginary Infidelity’), and on 11 July 1778 as a singer and librettist in the première of Maciej Kamieński’s opera Poverty made Happy. In 1783 he became the director of the National Theatre in Warsaw, remaining in this position (with some breaks) until ...

Article

Peter Branscombe

(b ? Moravia or Upper Austria, ?1740s; d Aachen, bur. Aug 7, 1792). Austrian theatre manager, actor and singer. He was engaged at Brünn (now Brno) in 1770, from the autumn of that year as director of the troupe. For long periods he toured in Austria, southern Germany and the Rhineland. In early summer 1776 he directed an opera season at the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna, in collaboration with Noverre: 14 works were given, almost all of them Singspiel adaptations of French operettas, many of which later became standard fare in Vienna. He was Joseph II’s original choice as producer for the new National Singspiel company, but his appointment was frustrated. However, he and his wife (Maria Anna [Marianne]; née Jacobs) appeared in his translation of the Sedaine-Monsigny Rose et Colas at the Burgtheater on 9 May 1778 and were with the company for the remainder of the season; their daughters appeared in minor roles....

Article

Peter Branscombe

(b ?Bonn, 1737; d Bruneck, Tyrol, 30/Oct 31, 1789). Italian impresario and bass. He is first mentioned as a buffo bass in Cajetan Molinari’s opera company at Prague in the 1762–3 season. He was later a prominent member of Bustelli’s company in Prague and Dresden. In 1777 he became director of the Elector of Saxony’s new company at Dresden; he also assumed responsibility for Leipzig. Under J.C. Brandes and later J.F. Reinecke as heads of drama the company’s repertory also included plays by Shakespeare, Lessing and Schiller. Operas performed included works by virtually all the leading Italian composers of the day. In 1781 Bondini also took over direction of the theatre at Count Thun’s palace in Prague and shortly afterwards Count Nostitz’s theatre. His company performed at Leipzig mainly in the summer and gave Die Entführung there at Michaelmas 1783 and at Dresden on 12 January 1785...

Article

[Bortnyansky, Dmitry Stepanovich]

(b Hlukhiv, Ukraine, 1751; d St Petersburg, 28 Sept/Oct 10, 1825). Ukrainian composer, singer and music director, active in Russia. He began his musical training early, possibly at the Hlukhiv choir school, and in 1758 went to sing in the Russian imperial court chapel in St Petersburg, where he became one of Empress Elizabeth's favourite choirboys. Singled out for his unusual talent, he was trained in opera and eventually performed major roles in court productions: in 1764 he played the role of Admetus in H.F. Raupach's Al′tsesta.

During this period he studied composition with Galuppi. In 1769, after Galuppi had left for Venice, Catherine the Great sent Bortnyans′ky to further his studies there, with Galuppi. His first extant compositions date from his years in Italy: he composed three opere serie, two of them, Creonte (1776) and Alcide (1778), for Venice and the third, ...

Article

Derek Adlam and Cyril Ehrlich

English firm of piano makers. John Broadwood (b Cockburnspath, Scotland, Oct 6, 1732; d London, 1812) was a joiner and cabinetmaker who went to London in 1761 and worked with the harpsichord maker Burkat Shudi. He married Shudi’s daughter in 1769 and became his partner in 1770. After Shudi’s death (1773) the partnership was continued with Shudi’s son, but Broadwood was the senior partner and from 1782 onwards he managed the firm alone from Shudi’s house in Great Pulteney Street. Broadwood continued to make harpsichords until at least 1793, but by this time the market had shifted almost completely towards pianos.

Broadwood’s early square pianos were modelled on those of Johannes Zumpe, but within a decade he completely reconstructed the design. Wrest plank and pins were shifted from the right, as in the clavichord, to the back of the case (distributing evenly the pressure on the bridge); the keys were straightened, dampers improved and Zumpe’s hand stops replaced by pedals. In ...

Article

Alice B. Belgray and Newell Jenkins

[Caetano, Cayetano]

(b ?Fano, 1744; d Colmenar de Orejo, nr Madrid, Dec 16, 1798). Italian composer, violinist and orchestra director, active in Spain. The son of Stefano Brunetti (of Fano) and Vittoria Perusini, he probably studied the violin in Livorno with Pietro Nardini. Having moved with his parents to Madrid by 1762 (the date of a collection with one small piece by him), he entered the service of Charles III in 1767 as a violinist of the royal chapel. He also taught music and the violin to the king’s son, the Prince of Asturias, and composed for the court. By 1771 his duties had expanded to include commissions for festivities at Aranjuez, and in 1779 he was appointed music director of such festivities.

When Charles IV became king (1788) he appointed Brunetti director of the newly formed royal chamber orchestra; Brunetti wrote much for the group and selected a wide repertory from contemporary European composers, with works of Haydn strongly featured. Brunetti was also responsible for collecting and maintaining the royal library, and he is partly responsible for the rich collection now housed in the royal palace, Madrid. In spite of the social and governmental weaknesses of his court, the king’s interest in art (as Goya’s patron), his accomplishments as a violinist and his insatiable appetite for new works provided a stimulating cultural atmosphere in which Brunetti flourished. Brunetti was also a welcome and frequent visitor at the court of the Duke of Alba, to whom he dedicated several works, and his influence extended to numerous other courts in Madrid, including that of Boccherini’s patron, the Infante Don Luis. He remained in Charles’s service until his death, which occurred within a month of his second marriage. He was survived by a daughter and a son Francesco (...

Article

Tomislav Volek

(d Vienna, before April 10, 1781). Italian impresario, active in Bohemia and Germany. He was a merchant in Brno. On 13 January 1764 he applied to lease the theatre in the Old Town of Prague; his opera company opened at the theatre on 4 October 1764 with Vologeso (with Pietro DeMezzo in the title role) by the musical director, Domenico Fischietti. He later introduced opere buffe, by Galuppi, Pietro Guglielmi, Gassmann, Hasse, Borono, Piccinni, Righini, Paisiello and others, which gradually came to dominate the repertory. Each summer the company was at Carlsbad (now Karlový Vary); they also visited Laibach (now Ljubljana) (Carnival 1769), Hamburg (1770) and Leipzig (1773). From 1765 Bustelli had a company at Dresden where, in 1770, 1776 and 1778, he negotiated contracts and subsidies from the electoral court. Between 1765 and 1778 the Prague and Dresden companies shared musical directors, repertory and singers. But at the same time Bustelli paid regard to local interests; in Prague he introduced works by the Czech composers Mysliveček and J.A. Kozeluch and in Dresden works by J.G. Naumann. His successor was Pasquale Bondini, a member of his company. Some opera scores from his estate were bought for Haydn’s ensemble at Eszterháza....

Article

(b Montaigut-sur-Save, Jan 26, 1700; d Paris, May 3, 1788). French concert entrepreneur and cellist. He served as basse du grand choeur in the Paris Opéra orchestra from 1736 to 1755. That he played the cello, rather than the basse de viole, is implied by Corrette in 1741: ‘at the Musique du Roi, at the Opéra, and in concerts, it is the violoncello that plays the basse continue’. By 1748 Capperan was rehearsing singers as a maître de chant. His health began failing by 1753. He had obtained the survivance of a charge in the Vingt-Quatre Violons du Roi in 1746 and succeeded to the post in 1749; he resigned it in 1759 to André-Joseph Exaudet. The Affiches de Paris reported his burial at St. Roch in Paris; the Almanach musicale gave the date of death.

On 14 June 1748, Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace Royer made Capperan a 25 percent partner in the ...

Article

Robert Lamar Weaver

(b Tuscany, c1730; d after 1792). Italian librettist and stage director. He was one of two poets at the Teatro del Cocomero in Florence around 1755, a position requiring him to alter and add to librettos by other authors, notably Goldoni. His I matrimoni in maschera (1763) and L’amore industrioso (1765), comic operas composed by G. M. Rutini, established the reputations of both men in Italy and can be regarded as Casorri’s masterpieces. He was an active translator into Italian of French farces, the most successful being Il disertore, originally by L. S. Mercier and set to music by Giuseppe Gazzaniga, which probably owed its popularity to its unswerving morality and optimism. Casorri wrote two opera seria librettos, Attalo, re di Bitinia (1780) and Mesenzio, re d’Etruria, the latter set by the young Cherubini in 1782; both are solemn and noble, though conventional. In the 1790s Casorri directed a Tuscan prose company which performed in the Palla a Corda and the Piazza Vecchia theatres. His principal composer there was Neri Bondi; Casorri wrote and translated intermezzos and farces for the company to perform....

Article

Sylvette Milliot

(b 1722; d Paris, Oct 6, 1787). French music dealer, daughter of Andrea Castagneri. After her father’s death she bought a licence as a stationer on 27 September 1747 and settled in the rue des Prouvaires ‘A la musique royale’. On 4 January 1748 she married the sculptor Pierre Hutin (...