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E. Douglas Bomberger

Concerts consisting exclusively of works by American composers. The practice of promoting American composers by segregating their music has recurred often since the middle of the 19th century and was especially in vogue in the late 1880s, during World War II, and in the years around the Bicentennial of American independence in 1976.

The American Music Association was founded in 1855 by C.J. Hopkins to counter the assertion that American composers had not written enough compositions to present an entire concert. It presented ten concerts of works by native composers and resident foreigners in three seasons before succumbing to the financial panic of 1857. In May 1877, Russian pianist Annette Essipoff performed American Composers’ Concerts in Boston and New York on stages decked with red, white and blue.

The fad for American Composers’ Concerts in the 1880s was a reaction to inequities in the copyright laws of the era. Because the United States did not have an international copyright agreement, publishers could reprint foreign works without paying royalties. Even the best American composers—who were entitled to royalties—found it difficult to compete against cheaply produced foreign compositions flooding the American market. In addition to lobbying for copyright protection, composers and performers were determined to introduce their works to the public through performances....

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[ASOL]

Organization founded in 1942 to provide artistic, financial and organizational support for American orchestras. In 1999 its members included nearly 900 symphony, chamber, youth and university orchestras. In addition to offering seminars and workshops for orchestra managers, staff and volunteers, the league sponsors an Orchestra Management Fellowship Program and provides scholarships for black American student musicians. In ...

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Eric Blom and Beverly Wilcox

(Fr.: ‘sacred’ or ‘witty’ concert

A concert series founded in Paris in 1725 by Anne Danican Philidor, initially to perform instrumental music and sacred works with Latin texts during Holy Week and feast days when the theatres were closed. Secular works with French texts were sung in special concerts français from 1728 to 1733, and in regular programmes from 1786 to the end of the series. The Concert Spirituel was at the centre of Paris’s non-operatic musical life until the founding of the Concert des Amateurs (1769). The last director, Bertheaume, abandoned the enterprise after the 13 May 1790 performance. Concerts spirituels, not connected to the original series but consisting of programmes on the Parisian model, or simply of sacred music, had been given in Vienna and other European centres beginning in the late 18th century; in Paris, theatre orchestras and concert societies began giving them during the French Revolution. They continued during periods of royalism and eventually became part of the tradition of the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire....

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Tatjana Marković

The first Serbian choral society in Serbia proper, founded in 1853 as the Belgrade Choral Society (Beogradsko pevačko društvo, henceforth BCS), renamed in 1929 as the First BCS. Working under the auspices of the royal family Obrenović, it was originally a male choir, later a mixed choir, and included a music school. Due to the lack of choir compositions in the Serbian language during the first years of BCS’s work, with Milan Milovuk, the repertoire was based on songs by German, Czech, Russian, and Hungarian composers. The national orientation, resulting in arrangements and stylizations of folk melodies and other compositions, was encouraged by Stevan Todorović, at various times a board member or the president and the main ideologist of the choral society, especially during the engagement of the most prominent Serbian composers as conductors, including Kornelije Stanković, Davorin Jenko, and Josif Marinković, culminating with Stevan Mokranjac. Mokranjac promoted his own choral music, as well as that of his contemporaries and predecessors, not only in the capital of Serbia and the places where a dispersed Serbian population lived (in what is now Vojvodina, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Macedonia), but also in Greece, Hungary, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire/Turkey, Russia, and Germany, performing concerts for the kings, emperors, and a sultan with great success. This peak in BCS history (...

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Viennese music society. Founded officially in 1814 (succeeding the Gesellschaft Adeliger Frauen, founded in 1812), it organized the foundation of a conservatory in 1817. Originally it had an amateur orchestra; now it organizes concerts at the Musikverein with local or visiting orchestras, as well as recitals. It has an important music collection. ...

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Richard D. Wetzel

[Harmonie Gesellschaft]

American Separatist group founded by George Rapp (b Iptingen, Württemberg, 1 Nov 1757; d Economy [now Ambridge], PA, 7 Aug 1847). Rapp and several hundred followers emigrated from Germany to the USA in 1804, and formed a communal society near Pittsburgh; they chose their name to reflect the intense religious spirit that bound them together. They built three towns (Harmony and Economy, Pennsylvania, and Harmony, Indiana) and grew wealthy through agricultural and industrial enterprises, but the practice of celibacy gradually reduced their membership and the society disbanded in 1906.

Harmonist musical activities were extensive, and were encouraged by Rapp, who was perhaps a flautist. Between 1825 and 1831 the society's physician, Johann Christoph Mueller (1777–1845), led an orchestra with a repertory of over 300 marches, dances, overtures and symphonies by Vanhal, Sterkel, Pleyel, Jommelli, Rossini, Mozart, Joseph Haydn and others. The orchestra and Harmonist choirs performed works by Haydn, Cherubini and J.G. Schade. Much of the music was arranged by Mueller and by the music publisher William C. Peters, a non-member engaged in ...

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English choral society. It is the most famous, though not the oldest, of the Yorkshire choral societies. It was founded in 1836 by 16 local musicians, recruiting its members mainly from the mixed choirs of nonconformist churches. The original group of about 70 singers and instrumentalists gave quarterly performances for friends and subscribers. From 1881 the choir gave regular concerts in Huddersfield Town Hall. It employed professional orchestras regularly from 1942 and in 1993 began a collaboration with the BBC PO. It became well known for its performances of Handel’s Messiah. Membership of the choir reached a peak of 400 in the 1930s; the beginning the 21st century it was around 200. It supports the Huddersfield Choral Society Youth Choir and Children’s Choir. Under distinguished conductors including Henry Coward, Malcolm Sargent, John Pritchard, Owain Arwel Hughes, Jane Glover and Martyn Brabbins, the choir developed an international reputation. It made the first of its regular visits to London in ...

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E. Douglas Bomberger

American organization of composers. The society was founded in 1889 by a group of composers who wished to hear more performances of their works. It presented both public and private performances of mostly unpublished works throughout the 1890s. During its heyday in the early 1890s, the society presented two orchestral concerts and one chamber concert per year in Chickering Hall. A perpetual source of tension was the divergent goals of professional and amateur members, typified by the brief and contentious presidency of Edward A. MacDowell (1899–1900), who wished to broaden the society’s repertoire to include eminent foreign composers. After some notable successes, the members experienced disagreements over procedural issues, and the group’s activities were significantly reduced in 1901. It was disbanded in 1918.

The significance of the organization was to build on the successes of the American Composers’ Concert movement by allowing composers to control the selection and performance of their own works. Especially noteworthy was the large number of female members, who found opportunities that were not available elsewhere. The group inspired the American Composers’ Choral Association (founded in ...

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British trade union. It was formed in 1921 by the amalgamation of the National Orchestral Union of Professional Musicians (founded 1891 and mainly London-based) and the Amalgamated Musicians' Union (founded 1893 in Manchester and Birmingham and later active throughout the provinces). The union's main aim is the improvement of the social and economic status of musicians, and with 33,000 members in 1995 it is the second largest musicians' organization in the world (after the American Federation of Musicians). It operates through negotiated agreements with such bodies as broadcasting organizations, opera houses, the British Phonographic Industry, the Association of British Orchestras and the Film Production Association. Its policy is to achieve the highest degree of organization in all areas of the musical profession, defined as ‘those engaged in performing, teaching or writing music’. Instrumentalists constitute the greater part of its membership, singers usually being members of the British Actors' Equity Association, with which the union developed close links in the 1970s. It participates in several other organizations in order to achieve its objectives, such as the Trades Union Congress, the Federation of Entertainment Unions and the Performers' Alliance. A founder-member of the National Music Council, its experience in all areas of British musical life has made it an advisory body to organizations concerned with the musical profession, broadcasting, copyright etc. (...

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American organization. It was founded in 1933 as the National Association for American Composers and Conductors under the guidance of the composer and conductor Henry Hadley ‘to arrange and encourage performances of works by American composers and to help develop understanding and friendly cooperation between composers and conductors’. To this end, regular seasons of concerts devoted to American music were for many years its major activity. The 5000 works presented during its first 40 years included 2000 premières and many performances of early works, some from the pre-Revolutionary period. In later years, under its president Leon Barzin, the final concert of each season was given by a full orchestra in Carnegie Hall as part of the American Music Festival mounted by the radio station WNYC. Other presidents over the years have included Lawrence Tibbett, Sigmund Spaeth and Robert Russell Bennett. The organization established an archive of American music at the New York Public Library and held an annual concert and reception at which the Henry Hadley Medal was awarded to individuals or institutions for ‘distinguished services to American music’. It also co-sponsored the Lado Composition Competition and, in the 1950s, arranged orchestral ‘reading concerts’ for trial performances of works by member composers. At the height of its activities, the association had 1200 members in 48 states. It became considerably less active after the death in ...

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John Shepard

revised by Michael Mauskapf

Organization founded in 1930 “to train American orchestra musicians in orchestral techniques and repertoire, providing them with the necessary experience and level of expertise to enter professional orchestra careers.” Originally called the American Orchestral Society and later reorganized by Mary Flagler Cary, Franklin Robinson, and Léon Barzin, the Association gave its first concert at Carnegie Hall on 28 October 1930, making it the oldest training orchestra in the United States. Barzin, who later became founding music director of the New York City Ballet, led the Association until 1958 and again from 1970–76. He remained involved with the organization into his 90s, and an annual award has been given in his honor. The orchestra has not only explored the standard repertory but has also given more than 60 world premieres, 25 American premieres, and 60 New York premieres. It has rehearsed and performed under such guest conductors as Aaron Copland and Bernard Haitink, and has accompanied soloists such as Emanuel Feuermann, Myra Hess, Philippe Entremont, and Itzhak Perlman. During World War II, the orchestra played at army camps and hospitals and gave 25 war-bond concerts over the New York radio station WQXR. It was the official orchestra of the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto in ...

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English musical society . Its foundation in November 1888 (reported in the Musical Times, March 1889) marked an important stage in the revival in England of plainsong as music for use in the Anglican Church. Its declared aims were to form a centre for the dissemination of information, to publish facsimiles and translations of foreign works, and to form a catalogue of all plainsong and measured music in England dating from before the Reformation. H.B. Briggs was honorary secretary until 1901; Anselm Hughes became secretary in 1926, and was until his death in 1974 a leading figure in the society. More recently, the chair has been held by Derek Turner, Frank Llewelyn Harrison, John Stevens, Christopher Page and John Harper.

The society maintained a choir for several decades, but has laid chief stress on the scientific study of plainsong and medieval music. Its numerous publications have been its chief claim to importance. By ...

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