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Article

Jürg Stenzl

(b Bucharest, Oct 18, 1909; d Wabern, nr Berne, March 9, 1960). Swiss conductor . After studying at the Royal Academy in Bucharest and the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, he became Kapellmeister at the Düsseldorf Opera House, and in 1932 chief Kapellmeister and opera director at the German Theatre in Brno. He was chief Kapellmeister at the Berne Municipal Theatre (...

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

Noël Goodwin

(Havell )

(b London, July 2, 1922; d Beaconsfield, February 24, 2007). English conductor . After studies at the RAM, in 1947 he joined the New London Opera Company at the Cambridge Theatre as a répétiteur; he made his début there that year conducting Carl Ebert’s production of Rigoletto. He went to Glyndebourne as a répétiteur in 1950, returning (1953–8) as chorus master and associate conductor, working closely with Vittorio Gui on the Italian repertory. During that period he was also principal conductor at the Wexford Festival. In 1959 he became a resident conductor at Covent Garden, where he remained until 1965, giving over 200 performances of 16 operas. He toured with the English Opera Group to the USSR and Portugal, conducting Albert Herring and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. From 1963 to 1967 he was music director of the WNO. He first conducted the Sadler’s Wells Opera in 1957...

Article

Xoán M. Carreira

(b Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, March 12, 1884; d El Ferrol, Coruña, Nov 4, 1938). Spanish composer and conductor He studied the flute and composition at the Madrid Conservatory, where he was a pupil of Tomás Bretón. After playing in chamber groups and touring abroad (1906–9), he was appointed director of music of a regiment in El Ferrol, where he spent the rest of his life except for a period in Africa, 1915–17. As well as a large amount of military music, three dramatic scenes and five symphonic poems, he composed many zarzuelas (alone and in collaboration), of which few survive. In 1928 he conducted the première of his opera Cantuxa, whose success led to further performances in Spain and at the Teatro Colón. A story of jealousy (including a death quarrel at a local folk festival) in rural Galicia, the opera exemplifies verismo in its continuous melodic tension, vocal characterization, immediacy of emotion and the anguish of its brutal ending. Of Baudot-Puente’s other opera, ...

Article

Piero Rattalino

(b Bitonto, Bari, Feb 17, 1888; d Rome, Feb 8, 1964). Italian conductor . At the Naples Conservatory he studied with Alessandro Longo, Nicola d’Arienzo and Giuseppe Martucci. He made his début at the S Carlo with Aida in 1908, and as music director of the Caramba-Scognamiglio Operetta Company, 1912–16, he toured Italy. In 1917 he went to the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, and for some years alternated between South America and Europe. He first appeared at Covent Garden in 1926, conducting Boito’s Mefistofele at Shalyapin’s Covent Garden début and participating in Melba’s farewell performance. From 1926 to 1930 he was a regular conductor of the Italian repertory at Covent Garden, during which time he conducted the British première of Turandot (1927) and the London débuts of Ponselle (1929) and Gigli (1930), and from 1926 to 1935 he was also guest conductor at the Metropolitan. In ...

Article

Elvidio Surian and Noël Goodwin

(b Caprese Michelangelo, Arezzo, May 8, 1933). Italian conductor . He studied the violin and composition in Florence and Padua, and conducting in Perugia and Hilversum, winning a prize in the 1961 Italian Radio international competition which brought him to the attention of Tullio Serafin. His début was at Bologna in ...

Article

Noël Goodwin

(Paul Dallon )

(b London, Aug 26, 1939). English conductor , son of Warwick Braithwaite. He studied conducting with Maurice Miles at the RAM (1957–61), with Hans Swarowsky in Vienna (1961–3), and at the Bayreuth masterclasses. His professional début was with the WNO in Don Pasquale (1966), and after an auspicious début with Sadler’s Wells Opera in a new production of Les contes d’Hoffmann (1970) he was appointed resident conductor with the company (1971–2) and associate principal conductor (1972–4). During that time he was much admired for his well-paced and expressive conducting of Bizet, Puccini and Verdi, and for the British première of Penderecki’s The Devils of Loudun (1973), shortly after his Covent Garden début with Tannhäuser. He was music director for Glyndebourne Touring Opera, 1976–80, and for Stora Teater Opera, Göteborg, 1981–4. In the mid-1980s he began to be active in Australia, where he became chief conductor of the Adelaide SO in ...

Article

Arthur Jacobs

(b Dunedin, Jan 9, 1896; d London, Jan 18, 1971). New Zealand conductor . After study at the RAM from 1916, he joined the O’Mara Opera Company (a British touring company) as a conductor in 1919, and thereafter was associated with opera for most of his career. After a period at the BBC’s West Region he became a regular conductor of the Vic-Wells (later Sadler’s Wells) Opera from 1932 to 1940, conducting the company’s first productions of such works as Fra Diavolo, Die Meistersinger and Don Carlos. He moved to Covent Garden as conductor of ballet and later (1950–53) of opera and was artistic director of the Australian National Opera in its 1954 and 1955 seasons. From 1956 to 1960 he was musical director of the expanding WNO (conducting Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night and Boito’s Mefistofele, among other works), and then rejoined Sadler’s Wells Opera, retiring in 1968...

Article

Harold Rosenthal

(b Melbourne, Jan 28, 1883; d St Albans, Jan 25, 1970). Australian conductor . He studied in London with August Wilhelmj and in Leipzig with Arthur Nikisch. After engagements in Breslau and Görlitz he settled in England and was engaged by the Moody-Manners Opera Company (1914–16) and the Beecham Opera Company (1916–17 and 1919–20). When the latter went into liquidation in 1920, Buesst was one of the prime movers in establishing the British National Opera Company, which he conducted from 1922 to 1928; at Covent Garden in January 1923 he conducted the company’s performance of Hänsel und Gretel, one of the first opera broadcasts. He also conducted the first London performance of Boughton’s Alkestis in 1924. In 1933 he was appointed assistant music director of the BBC and he later taught at the three main London music colleges. He wrote the excellent analysis Richard Wagner: the Nibelung’s Ring: an Act by Act Guide to the Plot and Music...

Article

Adeodatas Tauragis

(b Vilnius, April 16, 1869; d Vilnius, March 7, 1953). Lithuanian conductor and composer . He studied the piano, composition and conducting at the St Petersburg conservatory with Rimsky-Korsakov, Lyadov and Glazunov, graduating in 1900. His début as an opera conductor took place in Gor’kiy (now Nizhny-Novgorod) in 1899...

Article

Alan Blyth

(b Milan, Feb 18, 1934). Italian conductor. He studied at the Milan Conservatory and at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, where he conducted a student performance of Otello. He made his professional début with Don Giovanni at the Teatro Nuovo, Milan, in 1964, and in 1966 he conducted Busoni’s Die Brautwahl at the Maggio Musicale, Florence. His performance of Rossini’s L’equivoco stravagante at the Wexford Festival in 1968 was widely admired, and in 1969 he conducted Il signor Bruschino and Gianni Schicchi at the Edinburgh Festival. The same year he made his American début with I puritani at the Chicago Lyric Opera. He appeared for the first time at Covent Garden in 1970, conducting La traviata, and at Glyndebourne in 1971 with Ariadne auf Naxos. He made his Paris Opéra début in 1973 with La bohème, and since 1975 has worked mainly in Germany. Ceccato recorded La traviata...

Article

Arthur Jacobs

(Arthur)

(b London, March 14, 1887; d Killin, Perthshire, Dec 19, 1982). English conductor and composer. He was a choirboy at Westminster Abbey, organ scholar at Exeter College, Oxford (1908–12), and then a student at the St Petersburg Conservatory, where his teachers included Nikolay Tcherepnin and Maximilian Steinberg. He graduated in 1917 and after military service in Britain returned to Petrograd as an assistant to Albert Coates, at that time a conductor at the Mariinsky Theatre. In 1920, back in London, he joined the music staff at the Old Vic, which at that period presented opera as well as plays. In 1931, when Sadler’s Wells Theatre opened as an extension of that management, he became principal conductor of opera, and was largely responsible for the development of the company’s repertory and standards. He shared with Coates the first performances in Britain of Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tale of Tsar Saltan...

Article

Jürg Stenzl

(b Zürich, March 19, 1892; d Zürich, Aug 25, 1972). Swiss conductor . He studied at the Zürich Conservatory and then in Cologne while working as a répétiteur at the opera house and the Bayreuth Festival. At that time (1911–12) he started appearing as a conductor and was engaged as director of music at Lucerne (...

Article

Svetlana Sarkisyan

(b Jerusalem, Sept 8, 1922). Armenian conductor. In 1945 he graduated from the Jerusalem Conservatory, where he studied conducting with Walter Pfeffer and composition with Josef Grinthal; he then moved to Paris, where he continued his studies with Roger Désormière and Jean-Louis Martinet. In 1957 he became chief conductor of the Armenian PO in Erevan. In 1966 he was appointed director of the Armenian Television and Radio SO, simultaneously working at the Leipzig Opera. After serving as the director of the Spendiaryan Theatre, Erevan (1971–4), he moved to Marseilles. He has appeared as a guest conductor in Munich, Vienna, Amsterdam, the USA and South Africa. In September 1991 he again became music director of the Spendiaryan Theatre in Erevan.

Dourian’s conducting, in the Romantic tradition, has been widely recognized for its strictness of conception and balance of form; his artistic temperament has led critics to compare him to Toscanini and Stokowski. He is noted for his interpretations of operas by Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Gounod, Borodin, Puccini and contemporary composers. Dourian has also composed choral and symphonic works, many of which are based on national musical themes....

Article

(b St Petersburg, 29 May/June 10, 1893; d Kiev, Feb 6, 1939). Russian conductor and composer . He studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory with Lyadov and Shteynberg (composition) and Nikolay Tcherepnin (conducting). Having led the orchestra at the Mariinsky Theatre he was conductor from 1918, and music director from 1925 to 1936. A talented opera conductor, he achieved a sensitive integration of voices and orchestra to dramatic as well as musical purpose. Under his direction the theatre staged notable productions of The Love for Three Oranges, Wozzeck and the original version of Boris Godunov between 1926 and 1928. In 1936 he became artistic director and chief conductor at the Kiev Opera, where he staged many operas by Ukrainian composers. He composed several works himself, and wrote articles on the problems of operatic dramaturgy.

I. Belza: ‘Vladimir Alexandrovich Dranishnikov’, Voprosï muzïkal’no-ispolnitel’skogo iskusstva [Problems in the Art of Musical Performance], v, ed. ...

Article

Péter P. Várnai and Noël Goodwin

(b Budapest, Feb 9, 1928). Hungarian conductor. He studied at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest (1946–50), and made his début with L’elisir d’amore in 1947 at the Budapest Comic Opera. From 1951 to 1988 he was conductor at the Budapest Opera, where he introduced to the Hungarian repertory such works as ...

Article

Piero Rattalino and Noël Goodwin

(b Buenos Aires, July 18, 1927). Italian conductor and composer, son of Benvenuto Franci. He studied at the Rome Conservatory and in 1952 attended Fernando Previtali’s conducting courses at the Accademia di S Cecilia. At first a conductor only of symphonic music, he made his operatic début in ...

Article

Arthur Jacobs and Noël Goodwin

(b Plymouth, Jan 29, 1932). English conductor. He studied at Dartington Hall (Devon) and at the Opera School (later to become the National School of Opera) in London. In 1959 he joined the music staff of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera; he was the company’s chorus master (1962–7) and its first conductor and head of music staff (1971–2). He conducted almost the whole range of works at Glyndebourne, from Mozart and Verdi to Maw’s The Rising of the Moon and Einem’s Der Besuch der alten Dame. When Glyndebourne Touring Opera was launched in 1968 he was appointed principal conductor, becoming music director in 1971, and remained in that post until 1974. He was music director of the New Opera Company of Adelaide, Australia (later the State Opera of South Australia) from 1975, and from 1981 to 1992 he was head of opera at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music (later, after amalgamation with the University of Sydney, the State Conservatorium of Music)....

Article

Igor Vajda

(b Spišský Štiavnik, Nov 20, 1918; d Piešt’any, July 7, 1967). Slovak composer and conductor . He studied composition with Alexander Moyzes at the Bratislava Academy (1934–9) and went on to study conducting with Bernardino Molinari at the Accademia di S Cecilia (1939–42). He began his conducting career at the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava (1942–9), was head of the Košice Opera (1949–52) and then chief opera conductor in Bratislava from 1953. His two operas are in a neo-romantic style. Martin a slnko (‘Martin and the Sun’; Bratislava, 18 Jan 1975), is a children’s opera to a libretto by Alexandra Braxatorisová after Branislav Kriška. The story is based on Slovak folk tales and the music draws inspiration from a number of styles, from Classicism to full-blown, especially Russian, Romanticism, from verismo to expressionism, and includes some symphonic jazz, all against a background of Slovak folksong. ...

Article

Noël Goodwin

(b London, March 13, 1945). English conductor. He studied piano at the RCM and took the répétiteur course at London Opera Centre before joining the music staff at the WNO in 1968, where he made his conducting début the next year. He joined the Glyndebourne Festival Opera staff in 1969. From 1972 he was second conductor at the Kassel Opera for three seasons, gaining valuable repertory experience before returning to London and, in 1977, becoming a staff conductor for the ENO. His work there has covered a range of operas from Mozart and Beethoven to Debussy and Britten, and includes the première of David Blake’s The Plumber’s Gift (1989). He has been music director for Nexus Opera since 1981 and for New Sussex Opera since 1989: in 1991 he conducted the first performance in England of Weill’s Lost in the Stars with the latter company, at the Brighton Festival. His conducting is informed by careful preparation and combines reliable assurance of musical style with concern for the needs of the singers....