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Gerald Abraham

(b Goldingen, Courland [now Kuldīga, Latvia], 3/March 15, 1838; d Moscow, 14/Feb 26, 1889). Russian cellist, composer and administrator. The son of a Jewish doctor and amateur violinist (Davidhoff), he studied mathematics at Moscow University, graduating in June 1858. He then went to Leipzig to study composition with Moritz Hauptmann. Moscheles and Ferdinand David happened to hear him play, and he was invited to perform his own B minor Concerto with the Gewandhaus Orchestra on 15 December. In the following year he succeeded Friedrich Grützmacher as principal cellist of the orchestra and cello professor at the conservatory; against his will, he was obliged to recognize his vocation as a cellist rather than as a composer. Despite his notorious distaste for intensive practising he was soon acclaimed as one of the greatest players of his day, superb as a soloist, perhaps even finer in chamber music....

Article

William Y. Elias

[Shosh ]

(b Cyprus, April 10, 1948). Israeli composer, teacher and stage director . She was born while her parents were in Cyprus en route to Israel. First taught music at the Tel-Aviv Conservatory and Telma Yalin Music High School, she graduated in 1970 from the Tel-Aviv Academy of Music, where her main study was the piano (she was a pupil of Madeleine Aufhauser); she also completed a degree in philosophy. During her period of compulsory military service, from 1970 to 1972, she was responsible for classical music at Galei-Zahal, the radio station of the Israeli Defence Forces, and wrote on music for Bahmane, the IDF’s weekly magazine. From 1973 to 1974 she studied composition with Hans Heimler in Guildford, England.

After Riseman’s return to Israel, her song cycle Eize yom yafe (‘What a Beautiful Day’) for male voice and chamber ensemble was recorded; a further cycle, Nine Haiku Songs, received its première at the Israel Festival in ...

Article

Christopher Hailey

(August Julius)

(b Monaco, March 23, 1878; d Berlin, March 21, 1934). Austrian composer, teacher, conductor and administrator. He is a central figure in that remarkable flowering of opera in Austria that included the works of Zemlinsky, Berg and Korngold. Integrating his aesthetic plurality (a mixture of Romanticism, naturalism, symbolism, Impressionism, Expressionism and Neue Sachlichkeit), timbral experimentation, strategies of extended tonality and conception of total music theatre into the narrative of 20th-century music has contributed to a more differentiated understanding of central European modernism.

Schreker was the oldest of four surviving children born to Ignaz Schrecker, a court photographer of Jewish birth, and Eleonore von Clossmann, a member of the Catholic aristocracy of eastern Styria. Ignaz Schrecker’s restless travels took him and his family from Vienna to Monaco, Spa, Brussels, Paris, Trieste and Pola before he settled at last in Linz in 1882. After his death in 1888 the family moved to Vienna, where in ...

Article

Mary Térey-Smith

(b Rio de Janeiro, March 8, 1705; d Lisbon, Oct 18, 1739). Portuguese playwright of Brazilian birth . After his Jewish parents were arrested by the Inquisition in 1712 he was taken by relatives to Lisbon, where he grew up. Despite constant surveillance by the clergy he completed his studies at Coimbra University and became a respected lawyer, as well as engaging in literary and theatrical activities. In 1732 he obtained permission to present operas with life-size puppets at the Teatro dos Bonecos in the Bairro Alto during carnival. He produced seven operas based on his own plays in the five years to 1737, when, on the orders of the Inquisition, he was arrested and tried for sacrilegious libel. He was burnt at the stake in Lisbon’s infamous auto-da-fé of 1739.

Da Silva’s satirical style points to his familiarity with the writings of Cervantes and Molière. The two operas for which music is extant (in ...