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Christoph Wolff and Ulrich Leisinger

Member of Bach family

(46) (b Weimar, March 8, 1714; d Hamburg, Dec 14, 1788). Composer and church musician, the second surviving son of (7) Johann Sebastian Bach (24) and his first wife, Maria Barbara. He was the most important composer in Protestant Germany during the second half of the 18th century, and enjoyed unqualified admiration and recognition particularly as a teacher and keyboard composer.

He was baptized on 10 March 1714, with Telemann as one of his godfathers. In 1717 he moved with the family to Cöthen, where his father had been appointed Kapellmeister. His mother died in 1720, and in spring 1723 the family moved to Leipzig, where Emanuel began attending the Thomasschule as a day-boy on 14 June 1723. J.S. Bach said later that one of his reasons for accepting the post of Kantor at the Thomasschule was that his sons’ intellectual development suggested that they would benefit from a university education. Emanuel Bach received his musical training from his father, who gave him keyboard and organ lessons. There may once have been some kind of ...


Nicholas Temperley

(b Gloucester, Dec 13, 1770; d Holmer, nr Hereford, Feb 22, 1836). English organist and composer. He was the son of John Clarke of Malmesbury, Wiltshire (d. 1802) and Amphillis Whitfeld (d. 1813). He studied music at Oxford (against his family's wishes) under Philip Hayes. He was organist at Ludlow parish church, 1789, then at Armagh Cathedral, 1794, where his ‘irresponsibility and extravagance’ got him into bad odour with the authorities. Next he was Master of the Choristers at St Patrick's and Christ Church cathedrals, Dublin, 1798; organist of Trinity and St John's colleges, Cambridge, 1799; and organist of Hereford Cathedral, 1820. He was pensioned off by the Hereford chapter in 1833, having become incapacitated by paralysis. He took the BMus degree at Oxford (1793), honorary MusD at Dublin (1795) and MusD at Cambridge (1799, incorporated at Oxford, 1810). In ...


Jonas Westover

(b Kitzingen, Bavaria, Germany, Feb 23, 1905; d Brookline, MA, March 10, 1995). Composer, organist, conductor, and writer on music, of German birth. After attending the State Academy of Music in Munich, Germany (1925–9), he worked as a conductor in both Bielefeld and Würzburg in the early 1930s. Because his Jewish background prevented him from holding a state position under the Nazis, he became enmeshed in Jewish musical life in Frankfurt, where he was a member of the Jüdischer Kulturbund and a musician for the West End Synagogue. He immigrated to the United States in 1937 and took up a position as organist for Temple Beth Zion in Buffalo, New York, until 1941. Between 1940 and 1941 he studied with paul Hindemith , and was influenced to adopt modernist techniques in setting Jewish subjects and texts. He moved to Boston, where he worked at Temple Israel from ...


Hana Vlhová-Wörner

(b Prague, 1348; d Rome, 17 June 1400). Bohemian archbishop (1378–96) and composer of liturgical poetry. The list of his liturgical chants (alleluias, sequences, hymns, and two full sets of office chants for Marian feasts) and spiritual prayers (cantilenae and orationes) includes about 40 items, which makes him one of the most prolific late-medieval authors. The most important part of his compositions was intended for the feast of the Visitation of the BVM that was introduced on his initiative to the Roman calendar in 1389. While his texts were influenced by Classical poetry and therefore criticized for their unorthodox vocabulary, his melodies, composed mostly in the late-medieval chant style, enjoyed great popularity.

CSHSG.M. Dreves: Die Hymnen Johann von Jensteins (Prague, 1886)G.M. Dreves and C. Blume: AH, vol.48 (1905), 421–51V. Plocek: ‘Eine neu aufgefundene Sequenz von der heiligen Dorothea und ihre Beziehung zu Jenštejns “Decet huius”’, ...


Laura Otilia Vasiliu

(b Reuseni, Suceava county, Romania, May 2, 1944). Romanian composer, musicologist, and teacher . Rooted in the folklore of Bukovina and in Byzantine liturgical music, furthering the musical environment of his predecessors Ciprian Porumbescu and George Enescu, his works stand at the crossroads of tradition and modernity, having become established through their authentic expression and mastery of form. His personality has been influential in the musical life of Iaşi and the George Enescu University of Arts, which he served as a professor, dean, and rector.

He studied at the George Enescu Conservatory in Iaşi. He graduated in pedagogy and composition under Vasile Spătărelu. He attended composition classes led by Ştefan Niculescu, Aurel Stroe, and Anatol Vieru at the Vacanţele muzicale de la Piatra Neamt (‘Musical Holidays of Piatra Neamţ’, 1972–80), and then he studied with Roman Vlad at the Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome (1980). Up until ...


Lewis Lockwood, Noel O’Regan and Jessie Ann Owens


(b probably at Palestrina, almost certainly between Feb 3, 1525 and Feb 2, 1526; d Rome, Feb 2, 1594). Italian composer. He ranks with Lassus and Byrd as one of the towering figures in the music of the late 16th century. He was primarily a prolific composer of masses and motets but was also an important madrigalist. Among the native Italian musicians of the 16th century who sought to assimilate the richly developed polyphonic techniques of their French and Flemish predecessors, none mastered these techniques more completely or subordinated them more effectively to the requirements of musical cogency. His success in reconciling the functional and aesthetic aims of Catholic church music in the post-Tridentine period earned him an enduring reputation as the ideal Catholic composer, as well as giving his style (or, more precisely, later generations’ selective view of it) an iconic stature as a model of perfect achievement....


Esther R. Crookshank

(b Southampton, England, July 17, 1674; Stoke Newington, London, Nov 25, 1748). English hymn writer, clergyman, scholar, and author. Watts wrote hymns from age 20 for his Southampton congregation and from 1702 served as pastor in London. After giving up public ministry for health reasons in 1712, he exerted great influence on Puritan leaders in the American colonies through extensive correspondence and his published collections, which contained nearly 700 hymns and psalm paraphrases.

With The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament (1719) he undertook large-scale reform of Dissenting (non-Anglican) worship by writing new “Christianized” versifications of the Psalms; he believed the Psalter required revision to fit it for New Testament worship. His reform succeeded far beyond his expectations for many reasons, including the strong appeal of his vigorous, singable lyrics to Puritan ministers and worshippers in colonial New England, where they took deep root. Called the “liberator of English hymnody,” Watts produced psalm paraphrases and hymns that broke the grip of strict metrical psalmody in use for over a century in Protestant Britain and North America. Dozens of American compilers produced ...



Hana Vlhová-Wörner

[Záviš ze Zap, Zawissius]

(b c. 1350; d Olomouc c. 1422). Composer of liturgical and secular poetry. He studied at the universities in Prague (master of liberal arts), Rome, and Padua (doctor of theology and law) and acted after 1387 as an examiner at Prague University. He was the author of several liturgical chants (...