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Elisabeth Cook

[Maria Antonia Josefa Johanna ]

(b Vienna, Nov 2, 1755; d Paris, Oct 16, 1793). Queen of France and patron of opera . The daughter of Emperor Franz I of Austria, she received her early tuition from Gluck (clavecin and singing) and Noverre (dance and deportment). As dauphine (1770) and later queen of France (1774), she supported a great many artists working within the field of opera. The success of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide at the Opéra in 1774 was due largely to the presence of the entire court at the première and to the dauphine’s enthusiastic applause for individual numbers. Accused of favouring Austrian interests too overtly, she was obliged to welcome Piccinni to Paris, and later favoured Sacchini until further criticism forced her to support native composers: for celebrations at Fontainebleau in 1786 Lemoyne’s Phèdre was staged in preference to Sacchini’s Oedipe à Colone. Works by Grétry (...

Article

[Marchioness of Ripon]

(b London, April 24, 1859; d London, Oct 27, 1917). English patron of London opera seasons from 1887 to 1914. A daughter of Sidney Herbert (Lord Herbert of Lea), Secretary of War during the Crimean War, and a close friend of the Prince and Princess of Wales, she ensured the social success of the 1887 opera season given by Augustus Harris at Drury Lane through her stipulation that he engage Jean de Reszke, then known in London only as a baritone. When Harris took over Covent Garden in 1888, she exerted great influence over the management committee or syndicate (on which her husband sat, as well as, after Harris’s death, her close collaborator H. V. Higgins) because she could persuade fashionable people to subscribe to the season in advance. She was partly responsible for the break with the tradition of giving all operas in Italian; she imposed the re-engagement of Melba after her initial near-failure, and later sustained Melba’s virtual control over casting. Herself unmusical, she was fired by enthusiasm for her friends among musicians....

Article

(b London, England, Dec 10, 1913; d Weehawken, NJ, Nov 30, 1988). American jazz patron of British birth. She was born a member of the British aristocracy, and a child of the English branch of the Rothschild family. As a young woman she married a French Baron, and shortly thereafter moved to New York. In the United States Pannonica (known as Nica) developed close relationships with a number of leading jazz musicians and became a major patron of jazz. She became known to musicians as a sympathetic ear and source of material support. In addition to financial help, she used her social position to intercede on behalf of musicians facing legal problems. Most famously, in 1957 she was instrumental in securing the return of Thelonious Monk’s license to perform in Manhattan nightclubs after it had been suspended due to questionable drug-related charges. Not simply a dilettante, Nica became a key member of New York’s jazz world. Her commitment to the musicians she knew famously led her to care for Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk through each one’s death. The Baroness’s importance in jazz can be seen in the many songs dedicated to her, including Monk’s “Pannonica,” Horace Silver’s “Nica’s Dream,” Sonny Clark’s “Nica,” and Kenny Drew’s “Blues for Nica.”...

Article

John Koegel

(b San Francisco, CA, Nov 7, 1875; d Flintridge, CA, Dec 25, 1954). American folklorist, writer, lecturer, music patron, and singer. Born into a wealthy family (her father James Hague was a prominent geologist and mining engineer), she used her inheritance to support her research into Latin American music, particularly Mexican American and Mexican folksong. Prior to moving to Pasadena, California, in 1920, she lived in New York and Stockbridge, Massachusetts. She studied music privately in France and Italy, was a member of the New York Oratorio Society, and directed church choirs in New York before she began work as a folklorist and folksinger by the early 1910s (she gave guitar-accompanied folksong recitals in that decade). Hague published numerous collections and studies of Mexican American, Mexican, and other Latin American folksongs; translated (with Marion Leffingwell) Julián Ribera y Tarragó’s Historia de la música árabe medieval y su influencia en la española...

Article

John A. Rice

(b Vienna, March 13, 1741; d Vienna, Feb 20, 1790). Holy Roman Emperor, Archduke of Austria, first son of Maria Theresa and Francis of Lorraine. As a patron of music and supervisor of the court theatres in Vienna, he helped to shape the city’s operatic life. During the first part of his long reign he shared power with Maria Theresa, but even before her death in 1780 he exercised considerable influence over operatic policy. Especially fond of the young Antonio Salieri, Joseph supported him with commissions and recommendations from 1770 onwards.

In the mid-1770s Joseph dismissed the impresario who was struggling to present Italian opera in the court theatres, and transformed the Burgtheater into a national theatre for the performance of spoken plays in German. In 1778 he organized a troupe of German singers to perform Singspiels there and it was for this troupe that Mozart wrote Die Entführung aus dem Serail...

Article

Paul C. Echols

revised by Esther R. Crookshank

(b New York, NY, March 8, 1839; d Poland Springs, ME, July 10, 1909). American philanthropist, activist, composer, and hymnal compiler. She was the daughter of lay Methodist evangelists Phoebe Palmer (1807–74), considered the founder of the American Holiness movement, and medical doctor Walter Palmer. The younger Phoebe began composing hymns and songs as a child; two of her earliest tunes, set to hymn texts by her mother, were published in Joseph Hillman’s revival song collection, The Revivalist (1868). At 16 she married Joseph F. Knapp, later founder of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of New York. As a wealthy society woman in New York, she entertained dignitaries, including four American presidents, at evening musicales held regularly in her home; a trained singer, she often performed at these events. She also hosted religious leaders, social reformers including Harriet Beecher Stowe, and female gospel hymn writers such as Fanny Crosby, with whom she formed a close friendship. In the late 1860s, Knapp wrote her most successful piece, the tune “Assurance,” to Crosby’s text “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.” It was circulated internationally after Ira D. Sankey included it in ...

Article

John A. Rice

[Pietro Leopoldo]

(b Vienna, May 5, 1747; d Vienna, March 1, 1792). Holy Roman Emperor, patron of music, third son of Empress Maria Theresa Habsburg and Francis of Lorraine. As a patron Leopold influenced operatic life in both Tuscany, which he ruled as Grand Duke from 1765 to 1790, and Vienna. In Tuscany he hired as virtuosi di camera several leading opera singers, among them Giovanni Manzuoli, Giusto Ferdinando Tenducci and Tommaso Guarducci, and subsidized the performance of several innovatory operas by Traetta, including his masterpiece, Ifigenia in Tauride (1763, Vienna; revived in Florence in 1768). In 1790 Leopold succeeded his brother Joseph II in Vienna and brought with him a taste for Italian opera as it was cultivated in Florence. He undertook a major transformation of the Viennese court opera in 1791, dismissing some of those who had contributed much to Viennese opera during the previous decade (including Lorenzo da Ponte) and hiring singers with whom he had become familiar in Florence. His policies for comic opera are reflected in Cimarosa’s ...

Article

Barry Millington

(b Nymphenburg, nr Munich, Aug 25, 1845; d Lake Starnberg, nr Munich, June 13, 1886). Bavarian King and patron of Richard Wagner (see Wagner family (opera) §(1)). On ascending the Bavarian throne in 1864, at the age of 18, he befriended Wagner – whose works he admired with a passion bordering on neurosis – and initiated the generous financial support that allowed the composer not only to devote his energies to his ambitious projects (and to execute them without need for artistic compromise) but also to live in a state of luxury to which he had not previously been accustomed. There was indisputably an element of opportunism in Wagner’s relationship with the king, and Ludwig’s obsession with Wagner and his music was one reason for his neglect of affairs of state and resulting unpopularity. His patronage should, however, be put in perspective: the total amount received by Wagner over the 19 years of their acquaintance – including stipend, rent and the cash value of presents – was 562914 marks, or less than one seventh of the annual Civil List....

Article

Carlo Vitali

(Ignazio Gaspare Melchiorre Baldassarre)

(b Bologna, June 17, 1684; d Bologna, Nov 11, 1750). Italian patron. The second son of Count Cornelio and Maria Caterina Bentivoglio, he was married to Princess Eleonora Colonna of Rome. In 1740 he was appointed privy councillor to the German emperor Karl VI. With his fine taste, considerable wealth and personal or family connections he had a far-reaching influence on European theatrical life, not only in Bologna (where he led the management committee of the Malvezzi theatre), but also in Venice, Florence, Rome, Vienna, London and in various German cities. His correspondence during 1717–50 ( I-Bas ), includes many letters from his protégés, most importantly Farinelli, in whose career and personal affairs he took an interest from an early stage. Among composers, he favoured Leo, Hasse, Sandoni, G. M. Orlandini and L. A. Predieri, often providing them with commissions for new operas or court employments; but not Vivaldi, whom he apparently disliked. Among prima donnas, he sponsored Tesi, Bordoni, Cuzzoni, Turcotti and Anna Maria Peruzzi (‘La Parrucchiera’); as for male singers, he showed a predilection for such representatives of the modern school as (besides Farinelli) the castrato Giuseppe Appiani and the tenors Fabri and Babbi....

Article

Elisabeth Cook

[Poisson, Jeanne Antoinette ]

(b Paris, Dec 29, 1721; d Versailles, April 16, 1764). French patron . She married Guillaume Lenormand, Seigneur d’Etioles, in 1741 and established a popular salon frequented by such leading literary figures as Pompeo magno Voltaire, C.-L. de Secondat, Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu and Fontenelle. In 1745 she became Louis XV’s mistress and was granted the title ‘Marquise de Pompadour’. In this capacity she was able to encourage many more artists, including the composers François Rebel, Mion and La Garde and the librettists Pierre Laujon, Moncrif and P.-C. Nivelle de La Chaussée. In 1747 she formed her own amateur théâtre at Versailles, the Theatre des Petits Cabinets, which moved to Bellevue; in 1752. During the next seven years some 33 operatic works, mainly in the pastoral genre, were performed, with Mme de Pompadour often taking the leading role. The Duke of Luynes judged her voice small but pleasant. She was, moreover, an excellent musician and an attractive, competent actress....