( 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 ...
(b St Gall, March 17, 1911; d Lausanne, March 17, 1959). Swiss composer, pianist and organist. He began his music studies in Zürich in 1932, for the most part teaching himself; from 1934 to 1937 he studied in Paris with Dupré, Paul Roës and Nadia Boulanger, and returned to Switzerland in 1940. Settling in Lausanne, he worked as a concert pianist, composer, music critic and broadcaster. His eclectic style took elements from the varied musical currents of the time, but he retained a basis of sonata form and tonal harmony. He favoured driving rhythms and his writing is complex and compact. (L. Marretta-Schär: Raffaele d’Alessandro: Leben und Werk, Winterthur, 1979)
Raquel Bustos Valderrama
(b Breslau [now Wrocław], June 8, 1924; d Aug 7, 2005). Chilean composer and educator of German origin. She emigrated to Chile in 1939 and adopted Chilean nationality in 1951. She studied with Frè Focke (1949–53) in Chile and with René Leibowitz and Olivier Messiaen in France in 1954. Through several significant educational projects she contributed to a better public understanding of contemporary music in Chile; she also promoted Chilean musical culture in Europe. Her works won international prizes and she received commissions from patrons and organizations in Europe and the USA. Her music, modernist in style and sometimes using sounds generated by unconventional means, includes two ballets, Las tres caras de la luna (1966) and … a false alarm on the nightbell once answered cannot be made good, no ever (1977–8), and several works for full orchestra, including Cinco epigramas (...
(b Ilimbav, Sibiu, May 14, 1914; d Bucharest, April 20, 1997). Romanian ethnomusicologist. He studied at the Bucharest Royal Academy of Music (1931–6) and became Brăiloiu's closest collaborator, working with him at the folklore archive of the Society of Romanian Composers (1935–49); he continued his research appointment there when the archive was incorporated in the Institute of Ethnography and Folklore (1949), undertaking several field studies and collecting numerous examples of Romanian folksong, some of which have been recorded. He was Brăiloiu's successor in the folklore department of the Royal Academy of Music (1943–8), where he held various posts before becoming professor (1954–9). In 1956 he did research in China and from 1965 to 1967 he was the folklore expert of the Ministry of Culture of the United Arab Republic in Cairo, where he made recordings of Egyptian and Nubian folksong. In ...
Dorothy C. Pratt
(b Constantinople, 1881; d Chamonix, July 27, 1954). Armenian cellist. He studied with Grützmacher and while a student played chamber music with Brahms and Joachim. At the age of 17 he appeared as the soloist in Strauss's Don Quixote with the composer conducting and scored a triumph; he was then invited to play concertos with Nikisch and Mahler. In 1901 he settled in Paris, where Casals saw some of his fingerings and recognized that Alexanian shared his own, then revolutionary, ideas on technique and interpretation. Many years' collaboration followed, leading to the publication in 1922 of their joint treatise Traité théorique et pratique du violoncelle and in 1929 of Alexanian's analytical edition of the solo cello suites of Bach. Alexanian was professor of the Casals class at the Ecole Normale de Musique from 1921 to 1937, when he left for the USA. His classes in Paris, Baltimore and New York attracted artists and students from all over the world, and his influence extended far beyond his own pupils (among them Maurice Eisenberg and Antonio Janigro) to such cellists as Feuermann, Cassadó, Piatigorsky and Fournier. He was also a conductor of distinction....
John C.G. Waterhouse, Virgilio Bernardoni and Johannes Streicher
(b Posillipo, Naples, March 8, 1875; d San Remo, Oct 27, 1954). Italian composer. After studying the piano privately with Alessandro Longo, and harmony and composition with Camillo de Nardis and Serrao at the Conservatorio di S Pietro a Majella, Naples, he moved in 1895 to Leipzig, where he completed his composition studies with Jadassohn. In 1896 he went to Berlin and launched himself as a pianist, though he did not continue this activity systematically for long: in later life he appeared in public only as a song accompanist and chamber music player, mainly in his own works. From 1899 until about 1905 he was based in Paris, but travelled as far afield as Russia. He then settled in Milan, moving in 1914 to San Remo, which remained at least his summer home for the rest of his life. From 1916 he taught composition at the Liceo Musicale, Bologna, which he directed from ...
[Ricketts, Frederic Joseph]
(b London, Feb 21, 1881; d Reigate, May 15, 1945). English composer and bandmaster. As a cornet-player with the Royal Irish Regiment, he served in India. Subsequently he studied at Kneller Hall (1904–8), qualifying as a bandmaster, and in 1908 was appointed to the 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. In 1912, under the pseudonym Alford (his mother's name), he published the marches The Vedette and Holyrood, the first of a long series of marches. Two of the most famous, written during World War I, illustrate differing approaches to march-style. Colonel Bogey (1913) is in simple time; the golfing allusion of the title reflects the work's origin on the green, where Alford's partner would whistle the notes C and A instead of shouting ‘fore’. On the Quarter Deck (1917) is in the compound time made popular by the American John Philip Sousa. Alford is unlikely to have missed Sousa's concert on ...
(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: ...
(b Palma de Mallorca, Aug 24, 1931; d Madrid, October 29, 2006). Spanish composer. He began his musical studies at the Barcelona Conservatory with Gabriel Gálvez, Luis Millet, Juan Pich Santasusana, Joan Gibert Camins, Joaquín Zamocois and Eduardo Toldrá, and later removed to Geneva to broaden his training. His tireless professional work extended beyond composition to directing various musical and ballet groups, orchestration, performing as a pianist, music criticism on radio and television, and teaching. He taught composition and fugue at the Seville Conservatory until 1971, then composition at the Madrid Conservatory until his retirement in 1997.
Alís’s works number about 200 and comprise a wide variety of genres. Many of them were commissioned by various official organizations. Among them are the orchestral Sinfonietta, Música para un festival en Sevilla, Homenatge a Antoni Gaudí, Seis remembranzas a Eduardo Toldrá and Rêverie, all of which bear witness to his mastery of orchestration, tone-colour and intensity. Equally well known are his pieces for piano, his choral pieces and his string quartets. In addition to his serious music, he composed, orchestrated and conducted commercial and incidental music for publishing houses, CDs, theatre, radio, television and the cinema. A member of various juries of international competitions, he was made Commander of the Imperial Hispanic Order of Carlos V and received numerous honours and prizes....
(b Sin-le-Noble, Nord, May 25, 1923). French bassoonist and teacher. A precocious talent, he won a premier prix at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 17. He won a first prize at the Geneva International Competition in 1949 and was appointed to the Paris Opéra the same year. In ...
Terence J. O’Grady
revised by Bryan Proksch
(b Los Angeles, CA, March 31, 1935). American trumpeter, composer, bandleader, and record company executive. He studied trumpet as a child and left college to play in the army for a two-year period. After three years of producing records on his own, he launched A&M Records with Jerry Moss in 1962. A&M’s first issue was also Alpert’s first recording as a trumpeter and bandleader, The Lonely Bull (A&M, 1962). The title track included sounds from the bullring in Tijuana, Mexico, so Alpert dubbed his band the Tijuana Brass. His music exploited a distinctive combination of Mexican mariachi-style brass with jazz rhythms, which was dubbed Ameriachi. A string of hits including “Mexican Shuffle” (A&M, 1964) and “Tijuana Taxi” (A&M, 1965) followed. In 1966 Alpert had five recordings simultaneously listed on the Billboard Top 20. His cover of “This guy’s in love with you” reached no.1 in ...
Bill C. Malone
revised by Barry Mazor
[Chester Burton ]
(b nr Luttrell, TN, June 20, 1924, d Nashville, TN, June 30, 2001). American country-music guitarist and recording company executive. Although the first instrument he played professionally was the fiddle, he became internationally famous as a guitarist. Developed while he was in high school, his guitar style was influenced by Merle Travis, Les Paul, Django Reinhardt, and George Barnes and was characterized by the use of the thumb to establish a rhythm on the lower strings and multiple fingers to play melodic or improvisational passages on the higher strings, sometimes with complex voicings. In the early 1940s Atkins toured with Archie Campbell and Bill Carlisle playing both fiddle and guitar, and appeared with them on WNOX radio in Knoxville. He then toured with the second generation Carter Family as a sideman and in 1946 joined Red Foley. After beginning his association with the “Grand Ole Opry” he settled in Nashville in ...
Thomas W. Bridges
revised by Maureen Buja
(b Langres; fl Rome, 1551–72). French printer. He was a singer in the Cappella Giulia intermittently from March 1552 until at least the end of 1554, and was also active as a composer: in 1552 his Madrigali a quattro voci were printed in Rome by Valerio and Luigi Dorico.
In 1555 he began to print music, publishing a series of collections entitled ‘delle muse’, Vicentino’s L’antica musica ridotta alla moderna pratica (1555; in 1551 Barrè had been a witness at the famous debate between Vicentino and Lusitano in Rome) and a few volumes devoted to single composers. His first publication, Il primo libro delle muse a cinque (1555), set a high standard, with canzone settings by Barrè himself, Berchem, Vincenzo Ruffo and Arcadelt, including Arcadelt’s superb setting of Petrarch’s Chiare, fresch’e dolci acque. Barrè’s Primo libro delle muse a quattro voci (1555) includes his own setting of four stanzas from Ariosto’s ...
Record label. It was launched in Harlem in 1921 by the Pace Phonograph Corp. (later renamed the Black Swan Phonograph Co.), whose principal Harry H. Pace (1884–1943) sought to make a phonograph record company a vehicle for social, political, and economic uplift for African Americans. The company aimed to issue high-quality records by African Americans in all styles of music—not just blues and popular genres, but also opera, concert music, and religious works. This catholicity, Pace believed, would undermine racial and cultural stereotypes about African Americans, on the one hand, and promote African Americans’ own cultural development, on the other. At the same time, the company sought to be an archetype of economic development, both a model and symbol of African American capital accumulation and economic self-determination. The venture grew out of Pace’s diverse background in music, business, and political activism: he was a former songwriting partner of W.C. Handy, with whom he established the Pace and Handy Music Publishing Co.; he had worked for important black-owned banking and insurance companies; and he had been a protégé of W.E.B. Du Bois, whom Pace recruited to sit on Black Swan’s board of directors. The name of the label was inspired by the 19th-century African American concert singer Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, whose sobriquet was “the Black Swan.” (Although Black Swan is often cited as the first black-owned record company, this distinction apparently belongs to Broome Records, established in Boston in ...
Benjamin J. Harbert
Publishing company. It was founded in 1953 by Grand Ole Opry manager Jim Denny and performer Webb Pierce. It was one of the original Nashville music publishing companies, competing with Acuff-Rose and Tree. Along with the Grand Ole Opry, these companies contributed to the initial consolidation of the country music industry. Its building was located on 7th Avenue across the street from the studio of Owen Bradley, a legendary local producer. With Bradley and an association with Decca Records, Cedarwood quickly surpassed Acuff-Rose as the premiere Nashville publishing house. Songs published under the Cedarwood name formed the repertoire of the Nashville country music industry; significant recorded works included “The Long Black Veil” by Lefty Frizzell, “So Wrong” by Patsy Cline, “Detroit City” by Bobby Bare, “Daddy Sang Bass” by Johnny Cash, and “The Comeback” by Faron Young. Other notable songwriters whose work was published by Cedarwood include Marijohn Wilkin, Buddy Holly, Danny Dill, Cindy Walker, Ronnie Self, and John D. Loudermilk. In the mid-1960s, Cedarwood began to develop its religious music catalog. Co-founder Denny died in ...
[John Henderson ]
(b Whitehaven, TN, April 8, 1931). American singer-songwriter, producer, publisher, and entrepreneur. He began playing bluegrass while in the military and after his discharge in 1952, played at radio stations in Wheeling, West Virginia, and Boston. While enrolled in Memphis State University (from 1954), he worked nights and weekends at the Eagle’s Nest club. After working briefly for Fernwood Records, he was hired by Sun Records, where he recorded Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, among others. He wrote hits for several of Sun’s artists, including Johnny Cash’s singles “Ballad of a Teenage Queen” and “Guess things happen that way” (both Sun, 1958).
Clement left Sun in 1960 to became a staff producer for RCA in Nashville. In 1963 he moved to Texas, started a publishing company, and produced Dickey Lee’s hit “Patches” (Smash, 1963). After returning to Nashville in 1965, he discovered and produced Charlie Pride and wrote songs for a variety of country artists, including Pride (“Just between you and me,” RCA Victor, ...
Record company. Formed in 1958 by Columbia Pictures, Colpix originally aimed to market soundtracks and spin-off recordings of Columbia’s movies and Screen Gems’ (another Columbia subsidiary) television shows. Colpix’s catalog featured scores by such illustrious film composers as Bernard Herrmann and a young John Williams, although the company’s biggest movie-derived success came in 1962 with Maurice Jarre’s Oscar-winning score for Lawrence of Arabia. On the television side, the company’s focus was split between animated characters (the Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound), comedians (George Burns, Woody Allen), and comely young actors-turned-singers (Paul Petersen, Shelley Fabares, both from The Donna Reed Show). Other notable acts included the celebrated singer Nina Simone (at Colpix from 1959 to 1964) and the Marcels (“Blue Moon”). In late 1962 Colpix began to shift more attention toward the pop market, acquiring Aldon Music and, with it, the recording label Dimension and its crop of successful Brill Building pop songwriters. Yet this new direction did not yield much commercial interest, and Colpix folded in ...
Firm of music and book publishers. Concordia Publishing House was founded in St. Louis in 1869 by immigrant German Lutherans for the purpose of printing their hymnals and other church literature, and takes its name from the Lutheran Book of Concord (1580). Its catalog, which has included music since ...
Benjamin J. Harbert
Record label. Established in New York in 1963 by David Freeman, County Records has helped to preserve and disseminate old-time music through re-releases of prewar string bands and field recordings. The original LP anthologies brought together 78s from Freeman’s collection of 1920s music; these artists include The Skillet-Lickers, Charlie Poole, and Uncle Dave Macon. In 1964, Freeman worked with Charles Faurot, who collected field recordings of living banjo players who played in the older clawhammer style. The best known work to come from this County series is the three volume Clawhammer Banjo. These records of Southeastern clawhammer banjo became source material for a new generation of revivalists who otherwise would not have heard these musicians. The 15 musicians recorded include Kyle Creed, Tommy Jarrell, and Wade Ward (the latter had also been recorded by folklorist Alan Lomax in 1959). In 1974, Freeman relocated County Records to the small town of Floyd, Virginia and grew the label through retail mail order. The label continues to reissue old-time and bluegrass music digitized on CDs. They also sell related books and video....
Record label. Active from 1967 to 1976, Dakar specialized in dance music and ballads performed by African American artists. Based in Chicago, Dakar was independently owned and operated by songwriter and producer Carl Davis, who was at the same time vice president of Brunswick Records, which recently had become independent. Between 1967 and 1970, while Brunswick was still part of Decca Records, Davis worked as a producer, and Dakar releases were distributed by Atlantic Records. In late 1971, Dakar became a subsidiary of Brunswick, which began to distribute Dakar’s recordings. The company is known for its releases of Chicago-based soul music. Balladeer Tyrone Davis, whose “Can I change my mind” rose to peak popularity in early 1969, was Dakar’s most notable artist; R&B artist Hamilton Bohannon was another mainstay for the label in the mid-1970s. Dakar and Brunswick were embroiled in a public payola trial in 1975 and 1976 that led to the company’s creative demise....