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Rainer E. Lotz

[Giovanni]

(bSan Girolamo di Lusiana, province of Vicenza, Italy, May 15, 1898; dMilan, Aug 1960). Italianbandleader, saxophonist, and violinist. He was brought up in Switzerland, where he formed a café orchestra with his brother Felice, who played banjo and violin. From 1925 to 1932 he toured Italy, Germany, and Switzerland and made several recordings as a leader for Homocord (1927–8, including Just Once Again, 2514, and Say it with a Red Rose, 2524, both 1928), in which Arthur Briggs may have taken part. Abriani held an engagement in Calcutta from 1932 to 1934, during which time he recorded for HMV’s Twin label. After returning to Europe he toured (1934–9) and made further recordings (1937–9), and then settled in Italy. Although he was not himself a jazz soloist, he often employed excellent jazz players as his sidemen. (A. Mazzoletti: Il jazz in Italia: dalle origini al dopoguerra...

Article

Piero Rattalino

(b Turin, Sept 26, 1941). Italian violinist and conductor. He studied the violin with Luigi d’Ambrosio at the Naples Conservatory, took the diploma in 1956 and a postgraduate course with Yvonne Astruc at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena. He won the international competitions at Vercelli (1955) and Geneva (1956), and in 1958 both the RAI Spring Trophy and the Premio Paganini international violin competition at Genoa. He toured throughout Europe and North and South America and soon became one of the best-known and most admired Italian violinists of his generation. An instinctive player with an easy, agile and brilliant technique, he is an all-round musician with a repertory ranging from Vivaldi and Bach to contemporary composers, many of whom have written works for him, including Franco Donatoni (Argot for solo violin, 1979) and Xenakis (Dikhtas, 1980). He is considered a fine interpreter of Paganini (whose 24 capriccios and six concertos he has recorded). Accardo has developed an interest in chamber music and is one of the organizers of the ensemble music week held at Naples each year; in ...

Article

Jennifer Spencer

(b Tobol′sk, 31 Dec/Jan 12, 1821; d St Petersburg, 22 May/June 3, 1898). Russian violinist and composer. He received his musical education from his father, the violinist Yakov Ivanovich Afanas′yev, an illegitimate son of the writer and poet Prince Ivan Dolgorukov. In 1836 he made his début as a violinist in Moscow, and two years later was appointed leader of the Bol′shoy Theatre Orchestra. He resigned in 1841 to become conductor of the serf orchestra maintained by the wealthy landowner I.D. Shepelyov at Vïksa, near St Petersburg. In 1846 he decided to pursue a career as a solo violinist and toured the major provincial cities of Russia, settling in St Petersburg in 1851. There he made occasional appearances as a soloist, and also led the orchestra of the Italian Opera, sometimes deputizing for the regular conductor. In 1853 he became a piano teacher at the Smol′nïy Institute and relinquished his orchestral post. He visited western Europe in ...

Article

Ateş Orga

(b Moscow, Sept 8, 1947). Russian pianist, conductor, writer and poet. A student of Yakov Zak and Emil Gilels at the Moscow Conservatory (1965–73), he won the 1968 Leipzig Bach Competition, four years later taking the gold medal at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. After seeking political asylum in Belgium in 1974, he settled in France in 1980, but since 1989 he has returned regularly to his native country for concerts and recordings. Intent on philosophical truths more than absolutes of pianistic finish, placing emotions of the mind and spirit above ‘outward prettiness’, Afanassiev is a provocatively inspirational artist, indebted on his own admission to many of the great individualists of the past: Gilels, Gould, Horowitz, Michelangeli, Rachmaninoff and Sofronitsky all receive tribute in his ‘Homages & Ecstasies’ album (1996). Partial to mono/duographic programming, with a repertory extending from Froberger to Crumb, his extensive discography includes Bach (Book 1 of ...

Article

Saul Novack

(Ludwig)

(b Cologne, Nov 17, 1902; d Basle, Oct 19, 1996). American musicologist and pianist of German origin. After schooling in Cologne he was awarded a music teacher's diploma by the Austrian State Commission in 1930. He studied musicology at the University of Vienna (1933–8), and took the doctorate in 1938 with a dissertation on acoustical psychology. He also studied privately with Schenker. In 1940 he emigrated to the USA, later becoming an American citizen, and was active as a conductor, teacher, accompanist and répétiteur. He held teaching posts at the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music and Art (1947–53) and the University of California at Los Angeles (1953–6) before his appointment in 1956 as professor of music at the California State University at Los Angeles, where he taught until his retirement in 1970 as professor emeritus. He frequently served as accompanist to distinguished singers such as Elisabeth Schumann, Pinza and Fischer-Dieskau, and assisted Lotte Lehmann in her art-song courses. Albersheim was one of the first to write on the importance of the theories of Heinrich Schenker, whose influence is occasionally reflected in his writings. He wrote mainly on acoustics and the psychology of hearing, as well as its relationship to musical aesthetics....

Article

Christiane Spieth-Weissenbacher

revised by José A. Bowen

(b Beausoleil, Alpes Maritimes, Sept 30, 1920). French conductor and cellist. He studied the cello with Umberto Benedetti, and attended the Paris Conservatoire until the age of 15. He returned there after the war to follow courses in fugue with Noël Gallon, composition with Büsser and Milhaud and analysis and musical aesthetics with Messiaen. He also studied conducting with Roger Desormière, Carl Schuricht and Hans Rosbaud. He began his career as a cellist, touring and recording both as a soloist and with the pianist Claude Helffer from 1949 to 1957. His career as a conductor started at the Opéra-Comique, where he was chorus master for three years; he then went to Nancy (director of music at the theatre), Toulouse (Théâtre du Capitole) and finally Strasbourg, where he became conductor of the Strasbourg RSO (1966–75). He later joined the Orchestre Nationale de France as a cellist (...

Article

Viorel Cosma

revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu

(b Bucharest, 2/Aug 14, 1893; d Bucharest, Feb 18, 1959). Romanian composer, pianist, conductor, teacher, music critic, and director of music programmes. A leading figure of the first half of the 20th century, he laid the foundation of the Romanian school in music, concert life, and musical journalism. He studied with A. Castaldi, D. Dinicu, D.G. Kiriac, and E. Saegiu at the Bucharest Conservatory (1903–11), completing his education with two periods of study in Paris (1913–14, 1923–4), where he studied with d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum and with Paul Vidal at the Conservatoire. A remarkable accompanist, he worked with Enescu, Thibaud, Mainardi, Moodie, and others during the period 1919–45. As a conductor he always achieved a soberly balanced performance; he conducted more than 1500 performances at the Romanian Opera in Bucharest (1921–59), where he specialized in the French repertory (Bizet, Massenet, and Gounod). In his capacities as conductor of the Romanian Philharmonic Society, and as conductor and artistic manager of the Romanian RSO, he did much to encourage Romanian composers. He was also active as a music critic for Romanian and French reviews. Much of his compositional work was done during his youth, including ...

Article

Richard Wigmore

( b Rome, Jan 25, 1960). Italian harpsichordist, organist and conductor . Largely self-taught, he conducted his first major concert, of Cavalli's Calisto, in Rome in 1985, with a group of singers that were to form the nucleus of a permanent ensemble, Concerto Italiano. The ensemble's first recording, of Monteverdi's fourth book of madrigals, was widely acclaimed for its passion and colour, winning a Gramophone award in 1994; subsequent recordings have included madrigals by Monteverdi, Marenzio and Frescobaldi, and vocal works by Lassus. In 1995 Alessandrini founded the complementary Concerto Italiano instrumental ensemble, with whom he has performed and recorded concertos by Bach and Vivaldi, and made an imaginative recording of Bach's Art of Fugue. His other recordings include Bach's sonatas for violin and harpsichord, vocal works by Vivaldi, Alessandro Scarlatti and Pergolesi, and Handel's Roman oratorio Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno. With Concerto Italiano he has appeared at major concert halls and festivals throughout Europe. In ...

Article

Rolf Haglund

(Emil)

(b Stockholm, May 1, 1872; d Falun, May 8, 1960). Swedish composer, conductor and violinist. He attended the Stockholm Conservatory (1887–91) and then took private lessons with Lindegren (composition) and Zetterquist (violin); from 1887 he also studied painting. A violinist in the Hovkapellet (the opera orchestra, 1890–92), he decided in 1892 to make his career in music. From 1904 to 1957 he conducted the Siljan Choir – a group of five church choirs and regional choirs in Dalarna – and he was the director of other choruses, including the Orphei Drängar (1910–47), with whom he made 22 tours throughout most of Europe. In addition he was Director Musices of Uppsala University (1910–39). A Hugo Alfvén Foundation has been established in Stockholm.

Alfvén's music is distinguished by orchestral subtlety and by a painterly exploitation of harmony and timbre. His output was almost entirely of programme music, often suggested by the Swedish archipelago; he commented that ‘my best ideas have come during my sea-voyages at night, and, in particular, the wild autumns have been my most wonderful times for composition’. A few pieces, often performed, have maintained his reputation: ...

Article

Digby Fairweather

revised by Alyn Shipton

(b London, Sept 15, 1896; d Leeds, June 12, 1971). English dance bandleader and violinist. His family emigrated when he was a youth to the USA, and he later worked in New York as the music director at the Club de Vingt (1917–20) and Clover Gardens (1922), in addition to making several recordings for Columbia (1923). However, from the 1920s he was active almost exclusively in London, where he was the music director at the Embassy Club (1920–26) and the Mayfair Hotel (1927–33). From 1927 his band regularly included American musicians, such as Sylvester Ahola, Danny Polo and the singer Sam Browne, and from the same year it performed regularly at the London Palladium and made several recordings. In 1928 the BBC began to broadcast a fortnightly programme from the Mayfair Hotel, and by autumn the following year Ambrose had become a national figure. In ...

Article

Hans Åstrand

(b Stockholm, March 13, 1914; d Malmö, Jan 4, 1972). Swedish composer, pianist and conductor. During the period 1936–8 he studied composition in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Paris and London, and later in Salzburg and Vienna. He was a piano pupil of Olof Wibergh in Stockholm and studied conducting with Paumgartner, Walter and Weingartner at the Salzburg Mozarteum. In 1934 he made his début as a pianist and composer in Malmö with the later discarded Concertino. He was conductor of the Hippodromtheater, the Malmö operetta theatre (1939–42, 1949–50), and in 1946 founded a chamber orchestra which he directed until its activities ceased in 1950. Thereafter he lived as a freelance composer in Malmö, latterly spending much time in Cologne and Vienna; he sometimes appeared as a pianist or conductor, particularly with the Malmö Ars Nova. His electronic works were composed in his own studio, FEM.

Anderberg’s music of the 1930s and 40s showed French influence, but later he went through a 12-note serial period, stimulated by his profound analyses of Schoenberg’s piano music. In this way he integrated new techniques into an individual style, solidly craftsmanlike in the orchestral works and instrumentally brilliant in the chamber music. Many of his works were suggested by literature or by contemporary events, the latter particularly in later years: the piano concerto (...

Article

Rudolf Klein

(b Vienna, May 16, 1927). Austrian conductor, viola player and composer. From 1941 to 1946 he studied theory, the piano, violin and organ at the Vienna Music Academy. After playing the viola in the Vienna SO and winning a medal at the Geneva Music Competition in 1948, he was engaged by the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra, and then by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (1949–52). From 1953 to 1956 he was principal viola player in the Vienna SO. He also won first prize for an organ composition in the competition in Haarlem in 1954.

Angerer’s subsequent career as a conductor has extended from the post of director and chief conductor of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra (1956–63), and numerous tours as guest conductor, to an engagement as composer and conductor of the Vienna Burgtheater (1960–64). In this capacity he wrote and performed music for various plays. He was principal conductor of the opera house of Bonn (...

Article

John Beckwith

(b Budapest, April 12, 1919; d Kingston, ON, February 24, 2012). Canadian composer, conductor and pianist of Hungarian birth. He studied with Kodály at the Budapest Academy (1937–41). As a young man he spent a period with other Jewish youths in a forced-labour contingent of the Hungarian Army; his later war experiences – escape, then concealment by friends during the winter of 1944–5 – are described in the memoirs of the novelist Theresa de Kerpely (Teresa Kay). After a season as assistant conductor at the Budapest Opera (1945–6), he went to Paris for further studies in piano (Soulima Stravinsky), conducting (Fourestier) and composition (Boulanger), remaining there for three years. He moved to Canada in 1949 (taking Canadian nationality in 1955), and for three years held a Lady Davis Fellowship and an appointment as assistant professor at McGill University. There he founded the electronic music studio and served for six years as chair of the department of theoretical music. He held grants for electronic music research from the Canada Council (...

Article

John Cowley and Howard Rye

(b Jamaica, c1900; d after 1954). Jamaican tenor saxophonist, clarinetist, and bandleader. He moved to Great Britain around 1924 and performed in dance bands there and in Europe until the early 1930s. He played in London with West Indian jazz musicians, including Leslie Thompson’s Emperors of Jazz (...

Article

Edward H. Tarr

(Laurent)

(b Lyons, Feb 28, 1825; d Paris, April 9, 1889). French cornet player and conductor. He studied the trumpet with Dauverné at the Paris Conservatoire from 1841 to 1845. He acquired renown for conducting salon orchestras, an activity that he took up in 1856, and later conducted at the Opéra. In 1857 he became professor of saxhorn at the Ecole Militaire, and in 1869, after an unsuccessful attempt seven years earlier, established a cornet class at the Conservatoire. He and Cerclier, who taught the trumpet, both succeeded Dauverné, thus originating a separation of the trumpet class into sections for cornet and for trumpet, a practice that has continued. In the summer seasons from 1873 to 1875 and in 1876, he conducted a French orchestra in St Petersburg and Pavlovsk, respectively, the reason for which he resigned his Conservatoire post in 1874. When the position became vacant again in ...

Article

Arthur Jacobs

revised by Tully Potter

(b Madrid, Dec 24, 1863; dSan Sebastián, June 2, 1939). Spanish violinist, conductor and composer. He studied the violin with Jesús Monasterio at the Madrid Conservatory, with Vieuxtemps at the Brussels Conservatory and with Joachim in Berlin. He travelled extensively both as a soloist and, together with Albéniz and Augustín Rubio, as a member of a celebrated piano trio, for which he composed three works. He appeared in London in 1891, playing works for violin and piano with Albéniz, and Bach’s Double Concerto with Joachim, and from 1894 to 1915 served with distinction as a professor of the violin and viola at the RCM.

In 1904 Arbós was appointed conductor of the Madrid SO and he was a leading influence in Spanish musical life until he resigned the conductorship on the outbreak of the Civil War in 1936. He was a guest conductor with the Boston SO and other American orchestras from ...

Article

Frank J. Cipolla

(b Lochside, Scotland, 1828; d New York, May 23, 1883). American bandmaster and cornetist of Scottish origin. He joined the 26th Regiment of the British Army, known as the Cameronians, at 13; he served in India and China, returned to Britain, then went to Canada with a military band. He reportedly deserted his regiment to assume the leadership of a band in Troy, New York, where he remained for six months before accepting a similar position in Worcester, Massachusetts. Three years later, in 1860, he joined the Gilmore Band, which in 1861 became attached to the 24th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment; he served with the band during the Civil War. Arbuckle was an outstanding cornet soloist, who was admired for his beautiful, cantabile style of playing. He was a soloist at the National Peace Jubilee of 1869 and the World Peace Jubilee of 1872, both of which were organized by Gilmore. In ...

Article

(b Novgorod, 30 June/July 12, 1861; d nr Terioki, Finland [now Zelenogorsk, Russia], Feb 25, 1906). Russian composer, pianist and conductor. His father, a doctor, was a keen cellist, and his mother an excellent pianist who gave him his first music lessons. By the age of nine he had already composed some songs and piano pieces. When the family moved to St Petersburg, Arensky took lessons with Zikke before entering the St Petersburg Conservatory (1879), where he studied composition with Rimsky-Korsakov and counterpoint and fugue with Johannsen. He graduated with a gold medal in 1882. Even before this Rimsky-Korsakov had been sufficiently impressed by Arensky’s talent to entrust him with a share in preparing the vocal score of The Snow Maiden. After graduating Arensky went straight to the Moscow Conservatory as a professor of harmony and counterpoint; among his pupils were to be Rachmaninoff, Skryabin and Glière. The move to Moscow brought him into close contact with Tchaikovsky, who gave him much practical encouragement, and Taneyev. From ...

Article

Erik Kjellberg

revised by Lars Westin

(b Hälsingborg, Sweden, Aug 7, 1920; d Stockholm, Feb 11, 1971). Swedish bandleader, arranger, and saxophonist. He led a big band in Malmö (1942–9), was a member of Thore Ehrling’s orchestra in Stockholm (1949–52), and worked as a studio musician. From 1956 to 1965 he was the leader of Radiobandet (the Swedish Radio Big Band), which achieved considerable success in the USA. First presented there as the Jazztone Mystery Band (an invention of the writer George T. Simon), it was mistaken by several critics and well-known musicians for one of the leading American big bands, and it received considerable further acclaim through albums released under Arnold’s own name. The ensemble played in a modernized swing style and included such prominent Swedish and Norwegian musicians as Arne Domnérus, Bengt Hallberg, Bjarne Nerem, Åke Persson, Carl-Henrik Norin, Egil Johansson, and Georg Riedel. Benny Bailey, living in Sweden at that time, was also an intermittent member, and he recorded as a soloist with the group, as did Nat Adderley and Coleman Hawkins as guests (all on ...

Article

Stephen Plaistow

(Davidovich)

(b Gor′kiy [now Nizhniy Novgorod], July 6, 1937). Russian pianist and conductor, naturalized Icelandic. He was born into a musical Jewish family and entered the Moscow Central School of Music in 1945; his teacher there for the next ten years was Anaida Sumbatyan. His first major recital, devoted entirely to Chopin, was in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in April 1955, and later that year he gained second prize at the fifth Warsaw International Chopin Competition. In 1956, now a pupil of Lev Oborin at the Moscow Conservatory, he was awarded first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. While still a student he made his first tour outside the USSR the following year, to East and West Germany. After graduating, it was inescapable that he should be groomed for the second International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1962 (the American Van Cliburn having won the first), and he duly restored national honour by carrying off a shared first prize (with John Ogdon). His London début followed in ...