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Deanne Arkus Klein


(b Versailles, June 26, 1730; d after Aug 1792). French composer, harpsichordist and singer. The alternative first name Philibert apparently originated with Fétis. His father was head clerk of the royal house, and Cardonne began his career as a royal page, receiving music instruction from Collin de Blamont. He was a child prodigy; at the age of 13 a motet for large choir by him was performed before the king and at 15 he had an air tendre published in the Mercure de France (February 1746). His reputation quickly grew and pieces by him were included in the programmes of the royal chapel at Versailles and the Concert Spirituel. In 1745 he joined the royal chapel as singer and harpsichordist. During the 1750s he was a choir member at the Marquise de Pompadour’s theatre. There he was influenced by pastorales and ballets, and in 1752 his own pastorale ...


Rodney Slatford and Marita P. McClymonds

[Giovanni Battista; J.B.

(b Venice, 1761; d Bath, Feb 27, 1805). Italian composer, singer, violinist and music publisher. Born of a noble family, he studied the violin, cello and piano. In 1789 his Ati e Cibele, a favola per musica in two short scenes, was performed in Venice. This was soon followed by Pimmalione, a monodrama after Rousseau for tenor and orchestra with a small part for soprano, and Il ratto di Proserpina. Choron and Fayolle reported that, dissatisfied with Pimmalione, Cimador burnt the score and renounced composition. Artaria, however, advertised publication of the full score in 1791 in Vienna and excerpts were published later in London. The work achieved considerable popularity throughout Europe as a concert piece for both male and female singers, being revived as late as 1836. While still in Venice he wrote a double bass concerto for the young virtuoso Dragonetti; the manuscript survives, together with Dragonetti's additional variations on the final Rondo, which he evidently considered too short....


Roger J.V. Cotte

(b Lyons, May 13, 1735; d Lyons, Aug 29, 1821). French amateur violinist, singer and composer. He was active in Lyons as a pattern-designer and dealer in embroidered goods, as an official clerk and as musical director of the city (from 1794 or 1795). After the Revolution he became music instructor to the Duchesse d'Aumont in Paris (at the same time serving as corresponding member of the Lyons Academy), and later returned to Lyons, where he served on the directorial board of the conservatory. He was known as a gifted violinist, and composed harpsichord pieces, romances, a set of Trois duos concertants de violon et fugues (Paris, n.d.), a revolutionary hymn for the Rousseau celebrations at Lyons (14 October 1794) and some theatrical music (including an opéra comique, Le médecin de l'amour, and an overture to La Harpe's Mélanie). His only extant music, however, is that for which he is most famous, the instrumental interludes to Rousseau's melodrama ...


David Fuller and Bruce Gustafson

Member of Couperin family

(b Paris, 1675–6 or 1678–9; d Versailles, May 30, 1728). Singer and harpsichordist, daughter of (2) François Couperin (i). Titon du Tillet and the act of decease agree on the year of her death, but disagree as to her age, the former giving it as 52, the latter as 49; her date of birth is otherwise undocumented. On her reception as ...


Jane L. Berdes

( fl second half of the 18th century). Italian instrumentalist, singer and composer . She was a member of the coro (music school) of the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice during the tenure of the music director Bonaventura Furlanetto. Her patrician surname indicates that she was not a foundling, as were most of the wards of the Pietà, but an external pupil who either paid tuition or had been awarded a scholarship. (The music school had been founded in the late 17th century to train girls as musicians and was later reserved exclusively for daughters of the nobility.) Da Ponte is one of five composers so far identified among the members of the coro at the Pietà. Her known works are an unpublished set of four dances in a collection of monferrine (Piedmontese dances) composed in about 1775. (The manuscript is in I-Vc , correr esposti, 72 no.30, 305–8).

J.L. Baldauf-Berdes...


Michael Dubiaga Jr

[Daniele] (Pio)

(b Verona, May 5, 1715; d Verona, July 26, 1801). Italian composer, violinist, singer and librettist. In 1737 he began his 50-year career as a violinist and teacher in Verona. Employment by the Archbishop of Vác (Hungary) and the Mingotti opera troupe in Pressburg (now Bratislava) (1741) established him as a composer and singer. His Veronese stage début in Pietro Chiarini’s I fratelli riconosciuti (1743) was followed by a leading part in Il Siroe (1744) and in his own opera seria, Il Tigrane (1744). During a stay in Venice in 1746–7, he sang in several opere buffe (Teatro S Angelo) and composed a parody, Il gran Tamerlano (Teatro Vendramin). Appearances in the Trent summer opera productions Artaserse and Il Demetrio preceded a post at the Trent Bishopric.

In 1749 Dal Barba succeeded Domenico Zanata, former maestro di cappella at Verona Cathedral, as ...


Richard Platt

(b c1768; d Moscow, 1819). British composer, flautist and singer of Italian descent, son of Pietro Grassi Florio. According to Pohl, Florio made his début in London as a flautist in 1782, and Burney lists him as a tenor singer in the Handel Commemoration concerts in 1784. He was engaged as a flautist for Mme Mara's concerts in 1788. His earliest composition appears to be a duet sung by Mrs Bland and Miss Hayley at the end of Act 2 of Twelfth Night, performed at the King's Theatre on 31 May 1792.

In the summer of 1794 Elisabeth Mara caused a scandal by leaving her husband and running off to Bath with young Florio. He accompanied her to Dublin in 1796, but despite Mara's great success, Florio, who unwisely described himself as ‘first singer at the Hanover Square Concert’, was hissed by the audiences. His first complete score, ...


Winton Dean

(b c1741; d after 1779).?English mezzo-soprano and harpsichordist. She may have been the daughter of a Mrs Frederica who sang in the pasticcio opera L’incostanza delusa at the New Theatre in the Haymarket early in 1745. Cassandra was an infant prodigy as a harpsichordist; she played Handel keyboard concertos for her own benefit at the New Haymarket on 10 April 1749 at the reputed age of five and a half, and at Hickford’s Room on 29 April 1750. She and her mother gave two concerts at Amsterdam in July 1750. She studied singing under Paradies, and was engaged by Handel for his oratorio season of 1758, when she appeared in revivals of The Triumph of Time and Truth (Deceit), Belshazzar (Daniel), Jephtha (Storgè), Judas Maccabaeus (Israelite Man) and Messiah. On the last day of 1757 Lord Shaftesbury wrote that Handel ‘has just finished the composing of several new songs for Frederica his new singer, from whom he has great expectations’. These were the five additional songs (adapted from opera arias) first sung in ...


Ethyl L. Will

(b Le Mans, Aug 26, 1745; d Paris, Feb 23, 1807). French composer, guitarist, singer and ecclesiastic. In his youth he sang in the choir of Le Mans Cathedral and studied both music and literature at the maîtrise there. After moving to Paris he was an alto in the choir at Notre Dame and later appointed sous-maître de musique. During the Revolution he lost this position and was forced to earn his livelihood by teaching singing and the guitar. A celebrated guitarist as well as a diligent composer of both secular and sacred music, he furnished many guitar accompaniments for airs by other composers (e.g. Grétry, Devienne and Doche) and edited a volume of guitar solos (Petits airs, c1780) that included works by Grétry, Monsigny and Philidor. His own vocal compositions, admired for their beautiful and original melodies, enjoyed something of a vogue in Paris; before the Revolution he published at least ten vocal collections (...


Peter Branscombe

(b Steinkirchen, Aug 12, 1751; d Munich, Oct 21, 1805). Austrian composer, singer, violinist and conductor. He studied at Linz before moving to Vienna, where he probably continued his studies but also taught. In 1781 (Wurzbach) or 1782 (Lipowsky) he married the singer Johanna Roithner (who later sang at the Munich Opera until at least 1811). The couple were at Brünn (now Brno) in 1783 as members of Waizhofer's company, and in 1785 they moved on to Linz, where Lasser directed the company in the 1786–7 season. In 1788, after a brief season as director at Eszterháza, he rejoined Waizhofer, then at Graz. In 1791 the Lassers went to Munich, where he distinguished himself at court by singing arias in all four registers, and by playing a violin concerto. Apart from a successful guest appearance as singer and violinist in Berlin in 1797 he remained in Munich for the remainder of his life, well loved and respected as both man and musician....


Rudolph Angermüller, Hidemi Matsushita and Ron Rabin

(b Vienna, bap. May 15, 1759; d Vienna, Feb 1, 1824). Austrian composer, pianist, organist and singer. She was the daughter of the Imperial Secretary and Court Councillor to Empress Maria Theresa, after whom she was named (the empress was not however her godmother, as was formerly believed). Some time between her second and fifth year she became blind; Anton Mesmer was able to improve her condition only temporarily, in 1777–8. She received a broad education from Leopold Kozeluch (piano), Vincenzo Righini (singing), Salieri (singing, dramatic composition), Abbé Vogler (theory and composition) and Carl Friberth (theory). By 1775 she was performing as a pianist and singer in Viennese concert rooms and salons. Composers who wrote for her include Salieri (an organ concerto, 1773), Mozart (a piano concerto, probably k456) and possibly Haydn (a piano concerto, hXVIII:4).

On 18 August 1783 she set out on an extended tour towards Paris and London, in the company of her mother and Johann Riedinger, her amanuensis and librettist. She visited Mozart and his family in Salzburg on 27 August. After concerts in Frankfurt (...


(b in or nr Weimar, ?1751; d? Düsseldorf, ?1805). German tenor, pianist and composer. He worked as an actor-singer in Weimar and then in Gotha (1778). From 1779 to 1780 he performed at the Elector of Cologne's theatre in Bonn, where he became acquainted with Johann van Beethoven, a tenor in the elector's service. He lodged with the Beethoven family until his departure, and in return gave Johann's son, the young Ludwig, piano lessons. During the next ten years he continued to travel; in 1789 he became a member of Joseph Seconda's Leipzig theatrical company, which performed his musical interlude (or prelude) Die Freuden der Redlichen (to words by Schocher) with great success. He settled in Düsseldorf in 1794 or 1795, and worked as a music teacher, receiving regular payments from Beethoven through Nicolaus Simrock. His compositions, which also included a cantata, Der Friede (c...


Julie Anne Sadie

[first name unknown]

( fl late 18th century). Italian singer, keyboard player, teacher and composer . Originally from Turin, but in Paris at least from 1778 until 1783, Madame Ravissa quickly made her talents known by singing airs by Pasquale Anfossi and Antonio Sacchini at the Concert Spirituel (25 March 1778), publishing a collection of ...


Rachel E. Cowgill

(b ?London, 1752/3; d Camberwell, London, Nov 9, 1824). English composer, singer and virtuoso keyboard player, daughter of William Savage. She probably received her musical training alongside her father's pupils: R.J.S. Stevens recalls trying out an early vocal trio of his with ‘Miss Savage’ and her father. She became an accomplished composer of keyboard and vocal music in the galant style typical of the late 18th century. Her music was probably written for the Savage family home, and she seems to have performed only in private. Her cantata Strephan and Flavia takes its text from a collection of poems published by her mother in 1777, and shows careful attention to details of word-painting. Savage published her music at her own expense, shortly before the death of her parents. She was her father's sole heir, her elder brother having already inherited an estate in Yorkshire from their mother. In ...


Malcolm Boyd and Roberto Pagano

Member of Scarlatti family

(b Naples, Oct 26, 1685; d Madrid, July 23, 1757). Composer, harpsichordist, and singer; sixth child of (1) Alessandro Scarlatti and Antonia Anzaloni. He never used his first Christian name (which could have led to confusion with his nephew Giuseppe): his name is always given in Italy as Domenico (or the familiar Mimo) Scarlatti, and in Portugal and Spain as Domingo Escarlate (Escarlati or Escarlatti).

Roberto Pagano

There is no specific information on Domenico Scarlatti’s introduction to music. In so large a family of musicians, his uncle Francesco and brother Pietro, if not his father, would soon have noticed and nurtured his special gifts; biographers have speculated that he finished his musical education under Gaetano Greco or Bernardo Pasquini. Burney states that while Alessandro was living in Naples he entrusted Domenico to Francesco Gasparini in Rome (BurneyH, vol.2, 635), but Kirkpatrick suggests that Burney’s chronology is confused and attributes greater importance to Domenico’s contact with Gasparini in Venice between ...


(b Venice, Dec 9, 1745; d Venice, May 18, 1818). Italian composer, violinist and singer. Unusually for a woman composer at that time, there appear to have been no other musicians in her family and she became famous entirely through her own efforts. In 1753 she was admitted to the Ospedale dei Mendicanti in Venice, not as an orphan but as a musician who would be an asset to their all-female choir and orchestra. She must have been an outstanding violinist since in 1760 she was allowed to go to Padua to study with Tartini; as the lessons were delayed, Tartini wrote her a long letter explaining his violin playing methods and the best way to practise. It was copied in Padua before it was sent and by 1770 it was in print in Italy, shortly followed by translations into English (by Charles Burney), German and French. Sirmen was probably taught composition by the ...