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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

[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

Charles Pitt

(b Hinsbourg, Jan 4, 1904; d Illkirch-Graffenstaden, Sept 7, 1984). French conductor, composer and opera administrator . He studied in Strasbourg with Erb and in Paris with Koechlin and Gédalge. He joined the Strasbourg Opera in 1933 as a répétiteur and stayed until he retired in 1972, being successively chorus master (1933–6), conductor from 1936, co-director (with Ernest Bour) from 1955 to 1960 and director (1960–72).

Adam sought to create a balanced repertory of French, German and Italian classics, together with contemporary works (such as Jean Martinon’s Hécube, 1956, which was specially commissioned) and revivals of rarely given masterpieces such as Les Troyens (1960) and Roussel’s Padmâvatî (1967). He gave the first French performances of Bizet’s Don Procopio (1958), Françaix’s L’apostrophe (1958), Dallapiccola’s Il prigioniero (1961), Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten (1965), Britten’s ...

Article

Dimitri Conomos

revised by George Leotsakos

(b Piraeus, May 19, 1929). Greek composer and musicologist. He graduated in theology from Athens University (1954), in neo-Byzantine music (1955) and harmony (1956) from the Piraeus League Conservatory, and in counterpoint, fugue and composition (1959) from the Hellenic Conservatory, where he studied with Yannis A. Papaïannou. At Brandeis University (1962–5) he studied composition (with Arthur Berger), Byzantine music palaeography and electronic music. In 1950 he revived the boys' choir of the Greek Royal Palace, which he directed until 1967. He also established and conducted the Athens Chamber Chorus (1958–61). Between 1961 and 1963 he taught Byzantine music at the Holy Cross Theological Academy, Boston, Massachusetts. In 1965 he established the first electronic music studio in Athens. He was a founder-member (1965) and later president (1975–85) of both the Hellenic Association for Contemporary Music and the Greek section of the ISCM. In ...

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

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

Ilkka Oramo

(b Forssa, March 9, 1949). Finnish composer. He studied composition with Einojuhani Rautavaara at the Sibelius Academy (diploma, 1971) and in Berlin with Boris Blacher (1971–2). From 1974 to 1988 he taught music theory at the Helsinki University and, as acting professor, composition at the Sibelius Academy (1988–93). Since 1993 he has worked as a freelance composer supported by a state scholarship. His many activities include membership of the board of the Society of Finnish Composers (1974–8, 1982–9 and 1997–2005) and the Finnish Cultural Foundation (1996–2005). He also in 1975 co-founded the Society for the Publication of Finnish Music (Edition Pan), later taken over by Edition Fazer. Since 1992 he has been composer-in-residence of the Lahti SO, which has recorded many of his orchestral works under Osmo Vänskä. As a member of the Programme Committees of the Helsinki PO (...

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

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

(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 ...

Article

Faruk Yener

revised by Münir Nurettin Beken

(b Istanbul, May 6, 1908; d Ankara, Feb 16, 1999). Turkish composer. He was a member of the Turkish Five, a group of outstanding composers who, from the 1930s, promoted a Western musical style. Akses first played the violin and then took up the cello at the age of 14. He studied harmony with Cemal Reşit Rey at the Istanbul Municipal Conservatory. In 1926 he left for Vienna where he attended Joseph Marx’s harmony, counterpoint and composition classes for advanced students at the Academy. After receiving his diploma in 1931, he went to Prague and studied with Josef Suk and Alois Hába at the Prague Conservatory. He returned to Turkey in 1934 and was appointed a teacher of composition at the Music Teachers School, becoming its director in 1948. He then took a number of official positions: in 1949 he was director general of the Fine Arts Section of the Ministry of Education, then cultural attaché in Berne (...

Article

Erkki Salmenhaara

[Erik]

(b Ilmajoki, Feb 2, 1911; d Tampere, Sept 2, 1996). Finnish musicologist and folklorist. He studied at Helsinki Conservatory (1929–36) and under A.O. Väisänen at Helsinki University (MA 1942), where he took the doctorate in 1956 with a dissertation on the polska in Finland. His extended fieldwork on folk music and instruments in Finland and Sweden resulted in a collection of over 10,000 melodies (now in Tampere University library). After teaching music at Helsinki Conservatory (1951–7) and lecturing at Helsinki University (1957–62) he held a research grant from the State Humanities Committee (1962–75). He was professor of folk research at Tampere University (1975–7) and director of the university folk research institute (1977–81). He was active in many folk music research organizations. A list of his writings is included in the Festschrift Kentältä kentälle: juhlakirja Erkki Ala-Könnin 70 - vuotispäiväksi 2.2.1981...

Article

Corneel Mertens

revised by Diana von Volborth-Danys

(b Antwerp, April 16, 1901; d Liedekerke, May 23, 1987). Belgian composer. He studied with Marinus de Jong at the Antwerp Conservatory. He was musical adviser and conductor of Het Vlaams Volkstoneel (a travelling Flemish theatre company) from 1924 to 1933, and assistant director with the NIR (Belgian National Broadcasting Service – Flemish Section) in Brussels until 1961. Later his activities were limited to music reviews (Het toneel) and composition. He became known for his modern stage music for Vlaams Volkstoneel and Théâtre du Marais. At first his musical style ranked him with the Expressionist school, but during World War II he turned to a more traditional, simple and comprehensible style, which slowly evolved from Expressionism into neo-classicism. Later on he experimented with atonal and serial music.

(selective list)

Article

Max Loppert

[Bronson Reginald ]

(b Harpenden, June 4, 1952). English director . Born into a distinguished theatrical family (his father was the impresario Donald Albery) he first gained a reputation in the British regional and avant-garde theatre with distinctive modern reappraisals of the classics marked by a cool, highly refined sense of visual style. His first opera production was of The Turn of the Screw, at the 1983 Musica Nel Chiostro festival at Batignano, Italy; this led to work with Opera North – Tippett’s Midsummer Marriage (1985), La finta giardiniera (1989), and most notably the production of Les Troyens (begun in 1986) that was later shared between Opera North, Welsh National Opera and Scottish Opera. In each of these, but most particularly in his triumphant production of the Berlioz epic, Albery’s invention of a modern visual and dramatic language that combined stillness, taut economy, intense feeling for states of psychological and poetic complexity, and deep musical responsiveness created a powerful impression of musico-dramatic revelation. For the ENO he produced Berlioz’s ...

Article

Eric Blom

revised by Malcolm Turner

(b Magdeburg, March 31, 1902; d Kiel, Jan 20, 1961). German musicologist. He studied at the Essen Conservatory (1913–21), at the University of Münster and (1921–5) at Berlin with Wolf, Abert, Sachs and von Hornbostel. From 1925 to 1937 he held various teaching posts, organized music festivals in Bremen (1929), Essen (1931) and Aachen (1933), and was active in the Reichsverband Deutscher Tonkünstler und Musiklehrer. After a short period as choral adviser to the Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, he joined the Staatliche Institut für Deutsche Musikforschung, Berlin, in 1939, becoming professor there in 1940 and director in 1941. In 1942 he was elected a member of the Senate of the Preussische Akademie der Künste, representing on that body the interests of musicology.

After the war he became director of the Landesinstitut für Musikforschung, Kiel, in 1947, where he remained until his death, becoming professor at the University of Kiel 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....