(b Szent-György-Ábrány, Oct 15, 1822; d Budapest, Dec 20, 1903). Hungarian writer on music, composer and pianist. He came from the wealthy Eördögh family: the name means ‘devil’ and his father changed it to Ábrányi, the name of their estate. He studied the piano under János Kirch (1810–63) and Vilmos Dolegni. His first composition, Magyar ábránd (‘Hungarian Fantasy’), was published in 1841. In the early 1840s he gave concerts in Hungarian towns, and in 1846 left for Vienna to take piano lessons with Joseph Fischhof. There is no reliable evidence that he was ever a student of Chopin in Paris. From 1847 he lived in Pest, in the 1850s as a piano teacher, and studied composition with Mosonyi, together with whom he became a devoted follower of Liszt and Wagner. He was one of the founders of the first Hungarian music periodical, the Zenészeti lapok, in ...
(b ?Milan, c1644; d Vienna, Sept 22, 1685). Italian composer and musician. He is first heard of in a letter of 6 September 1671 in which the Prince-Bishop of Olomouc, Karl Liechtenstein-Kastelkorn, told J.H. Schmelzer that he need not have apologized for some apparent bad behaviour on Albertini’s part, since he himself in any case had a good opinion of him. At the time of his death (he was murdered) Albertini was chamber musician in Vienna to the dowager Empress Eleonora. He himself prepared for publication his printed collection of sonatas and signed the dedication to Leopold I, but it did not appear until seven years after his death (the delay may have been due to the cost of engraving, towards which the emperor had granted a subsidy as early as 1686). The 12 sonatas have no regular pattern or number of movements. Most of the opening and closing movements are adagios; two sonatas begin with a separate movement marked ‘Praeludium’ characterized by figuration over a supporting bass. The form of each movement stems as a rule from freely varied development of phrases – usually, but not always, the initial one – which reappear in new guises and thus with a fresh impulse. Larger sections are never repeated literally. In a few of the sonatas there are thematic connections between several (though never between all) movements. Sonata no.9 is a passacaglia whose theme is presented at the beginning and end as a canon at the 5th and whose formal sections sometimes overlap with the statements of the ostinato theme. Double stopping appears conspicuously in the last sonata, which consists entirely of imitative movements....
(b Mitau [now Jelgava, Latvia], 1794; d St Petersburg, 28 April/May 9, 1871). Russian music publisher, pianist and composer. In 1808 his family moved to Vilnius, where Bernard learnt to play the piano and decided on a musical career in preference to his father's military profession. Two years later he moved to Moscow, where he became involved in the leading musical circles, taking piano lessons from John Field and studying composition with Johann Hässler. Subsequently he decided to abandon his considerably successful performing career, and in 1816 was appointed to take charge of the serf orchestra on Count Potocki's estate. In 1822 he settled in St Petersburg and earned a reputation as a fine piano teacher.
As a composer, Bernard is known primarily for his songs and for an opera, Ol′ga, doch′ izgnannika (‘Olga, the Exile's Daughter’), which enjoyed some success when it was first produced in St Petersburg during the ...
revised by Klaus-Peter Koch
(b Kraków, May 12, 1805; d Dresden, Nov 2, 1881). Polish guitarist, composer and publisher. He studied in Vienna with Mauro Giuliani (1816–19). After a short career as a soloist he was made, in 1829, secretary of the senate of the Kraków Republic. When news of the 1830 Warsaw uprising reached him, he volunteered for the Polish Army and served as aide-de-camp to Bem; he was awarded the Virtuti Militari order. On the collapse of the uprising in 1831 he emigrated to Germany. In Leipzig he performed at the Gewandhaus with Karol Lipiński, Clara Wieck and others. Liszt called him ‘Chopin sur la guitare’. He wrote about 40 pieces for his instrument, mostly fantasies, marches, polonaises and waltzes, published by Hofmeister or Breitkopf & Härtel. In addition, he revised Carulli's tutor and published his own with Sennewald in Warsaw. He gained particular importance between 1833 and ...
(b c1570; d Copenhagen, Dec 20, 1632). Danish composer, anthologist, organist and instrumentalist probably of Dutch origin. Bonaventura Borchgrevinck, who was possibly his father, took him with him as a treble when he was appointed director of music at the Danish court at Copenhagen on 1 January 1587. Bonaventura left six months later but Melchior stayed on as an instrumentalist and rapidly gained the respect and confidence of the new king, Christian IV. In 1593 his salary was almost doubled, making him, despite his youth, the best-paid musician at court. In 1596 he was sent to Danzig to buy instruments and engage choristers, and at Christmas of that year he was appointed an organist with a further rise in salary. The next year he travelled to England, again to buy instruments, with the party that was sent to bring back the late King Frederik II's Order of the Garter. In ...
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....
revised by Luca Sala
[Clementi, Mutius Philippus Vincentius Franciscus Xaverius]
(b Rome, Jan 23, 1752; d Evesham, Worcs., March 10, 1832). English composer, keyboard player and virtuoso, teacher, music publisher, entrepreneur, and piano manufacturer of Italian birth.
The oldest of seven children of Nicola Clementi (1720–89), a silversmith, and Magdalena (née Kaiser), Clementi began studies in music in Rome at a very early age; his teachers were Antonio Boroni (1738–92), an organist named Cordicelli, Giuseppi Santarelli (1710–90), and possibly Gaetano Carpani. In January 1766, at the age of 13, he secured the post of organist at his home church, S Lorenzo in Damaso. In that year, however, his playing attracted the attention of an English traveller, Peter Beckford (1740–1811), cousin of the novelist William Beckford (1760–1844) and nephew of William Beckford (1709–70), twice Lord Mayor of London. According to Peter Beckford’s own forthright explanation, he ‘bought Clementi of his father for seven years’, and in late ...
David Nicholls and Joel Sachs
(b Menlo Park, CA, March 11, 1897; d Shady, NY, Dec 10, 1965). American composer, writer, pianist, publisher, and teacher. Described by Cage as “the open sesame for new music in America,” he was an early advocate for many of the main developments in 20th-century music, including the systematization of modernist techniques, the exploration of timbral resources, and transculturalism.
Many facets of Cowell’s remarkable personality resulted from the unusual circumstances of his upbringing. His father, Harry, had immigrated to British Columbia with his brother after their own father, the Dean of Kildare’s Anglican Cathedral, bought them some land. Finding no satisfaction in farming life, Harry moved to San Francisco in search of a literary career. Henry’s mother Clara (usually called Clarissa) Dixon, a gifted writer, was the daughter of a fundamentalist Midwestern farming family. She had left the church and their community, married, and produced a son called Clarence. After he ran away from home as a teenager, Clarissa fled her stifling small-town life for San Francisco. In the Bay area, she met Harry, with whom she founded a philosophical-anarchist newsletter. As dedicated anarchists, they rejected the heavy hand of government, including what they saw as the homogenizing power of conventional public schooling. They built a little cottage on the still-rural edge of Menlo Park, where Stanford University was being constructed. Henry Cowell was born there, and Menlo Park remained his principal base until ...
Harry B. Soria Jr.
[Albert R. ]
(b Honolulu, HI, Oct 1, 1879; d Honolulu, HI, Jan 23, 1933). Composer, arranger, publisher, pianist, and bandleader, active in Hawaii. Cunha’s compositions early in the 20th century spearheaded the development of the hapa haole song, featuring predominantly English lyrics with some references to Hawaii and the Hawaiian language, earning him the title of “Father of Hapa Haole Songs.” His innovation is credited with making Hawaii’s music accessible to a much wider audience, which rapidly grew to global proportions over the next few decades.
Cunha left Hawaii to attend Yale University, where he excelled in sports, the Yale Glee Club, and composed Yale’s “Boola, Boola.” Rather than practice law after graduation, he toured the mainland United States performing a new kind of Hawaiian song, combining the popular ragtime rhythm of American music with Hawaiian songs. Cunha returned to Hawaii and composed his first hapa haole song, “Waikiki Mermaid,” in ...
Rudolf A. Rasch
[La Vigne, Nicolas Martin de]
(b Chalon-sur-Saône, ?c1645; d after 1702). Dutch composer, guitarist and music publisher of French extraction. In 1667 he became a citizen of Amsterdam under the name Nicolas Martin de la Vigne, dit Des Rosiers. He must have remained in Amsterdam until about 1700. He married Anne Pointel, whose brother Antoine was also a musician and music publisher in Amsterdam. The two men cooperated, mainly, it seems, during the years 1687–91. Derosiers apparently took care of the printing (using a special fount with round note heads invented by Derosiers) and Pointel handled the selling; Pointel’s shop was styled ‘Au Rosier’, a pun on Derosiers’s name. They published mainly vocal and instrumental selections from Lully’s operas and works by Derosiers himself, but many of their publications have not survived. In 1692 they sold their stock to Victor Amadée de Chevalier; later (possibly in 1698) it came into the hands of Estienne Roger....
revised by Robert Spencer
(b ?London, c1591; d London, Nov 28, 1641). English anthologist, composer and lutenist, son of John Dowland. From the dedicatory letter to Sir Robert Sidney in A Musicall Banquet (RISM 161020) we learn that Sir Robert was Dowland's godfather. According to the dedication of his Varietie of Lute-Lessons (1610²³), to Sir Thomas Mounson, he received part of his education in Mounson's household while his father was abroad. Between May 1612 and January 1616 Robert was employed by William Cavendish, Earl of Devonshire. In February 1613 he was still in England; his name appears among the lute players who were engaged to play in Chapman's Masque of the Inner Temple and Lincoln's Inn, given at Whitehall as part of the marriage celebrations of Princess Elizabeth and Frederick, Elector Palatine. At some time in the early 1620s he was travelling on the Continent with a group of English actors who sought permission on ...
(b Plzeň, Sept 29, 1882; d Iriški Venac, March 27, 1938). Yugoslav music publisher, conductor, composer, violinist of Czech origin. After working as a freelance musician in Sofia, Bulgaria (1897–1903), he settled in Belgrade in 1903 where he took the post of concertmaster in the National Theater (1904–09) and temporarily in the Orchestra of ‘Kraljeva garda’ [King’s guards]. He was also the conductor and director of several singing societies (‘Lira’ [Lyre], ‘Harmonija’ [Harmony], etc.) as well as of his own salon orchestra which performed regularly in the hotel ‘Moskva’ [Moscow] (1908–14). He was a founder and owner of the publishing house ‘Edition Frajt’, (1921–41), which was dedicated solely to music publishing. It released more than 800 volumes consisting mostly of the works of Austrian, Yugoslav, German, Russian, Czech, and Hungarian composers. The largest part of the collection comprised arias from operettas and operas, arrangements of folk songs and folk dances, salon lyrical character pieces, and popular songs and dances. In addition to the works of established Serbian composers from the 19th century (Davorin Jenko, Stevan Mokranjac, Josip Marinković), Frajt`s catalogue included the works of many Yugoslav composers of his time (Petar Krstić, Stevan Hristić, Mihovil Logar, Marko Tajčević, etc.). Among them were the numerous popular songs based mostly on the rhythm of popular social dances of that period and arrangements of folk songs and dances composed by Frajt himself. Frajt was also the author of several pieces for orchestra (‘Srpska igra’ br. 1 i 2 [Serbian dance no.1 and 2]), vocal-instrumental ensemble (‘Misa u B-duru’ [Mass in B Major]), solo songs, and works for violin solo and violin and piano....
Horace Clarence Boyer
(b Fayette, MS, Sept 10, 1899; d Chicago, IL, Aug 26, 1963). American gospel pianist, composer, and publisher. He sang in local choirs before settling in Chicago in 1927. There he joined the Ebenezer Baptist Church and became co-director of its junior choir with Thomas A. Dorsey. With Dorsey he organized in 1931 the first known black gospel chorus. In 1932, with Dorsey, Sallie Martin, and Magnolia Lewis Butts, he formed the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, and the same year he and Roberta Martin, pianist for his junior choir, founded the Martin–Frye Quartet (renamed the Roberta Martin Singers in 1935). In the late 1940s Frye began an association with Mahalia Jackson, and it was for her that he surreptitiously secured the song “Move on up a little higher”; her recording in 1947 was a great success, selling over a million copies. Frye later published this composition as his own (he opened a publishing house in the early 1950s), without crediting its rightful composer, William Herbert Brewster. He did, however, compose several well-known gospel songs, including “I am sending my timber up to heaven” (...
Howard Mayer Brown
revised by Lynda Sayce
(b Nuremberg, c1500; d Nuremberg, 1570). German instrumentalist, lute maker and compiler and arranger of several volumes of instrumental music. He was probably the son of Conrad Gerle (d 1521), a well-known lute maker in Nuremberg. He may be presumed to have spent his life in his native city. He may have been related to Georg Gerle who worked as an instrument maker in Innsbruck during the second half of the 16th century.
Hieronymus Formschneider of Nuremberg published three volumes of music by Hans Gerle: Musica teusch, auf die Instrument der grossen unnd kleinen Geygen, auch Lautten (1532), Tabulatur auff die Laudten (1533) and Eyn newes sehr künstlichs Lautenbuch (1552). On the title-page of the last volume the author called himself ‘Hans Gerle den Eltern’ (the elder), implying the existence of a younger relative with the same forename.
The first volume, ...
James R. Hines, Barbara Turchin and Nicholas Michael Butler
(b Hesse-Kassel, Germany, c1786; d New York, NY, July 30, 1829). American theater manager, pianist, organist, composer, and music publisher of German birth. He moved to the United States at the end of the 18th century and was probably related to the musician George Gilfert who was in New York as early at 1789. In his first New York advertisement in 1800, he was described as a musician “lately from Europe.” The New York directory of 1805 lists him as a music teacher in that city, but in 1806 he migrated to Charleston, South Carolina, with a number of other theater musicians. He presented his first concert there on 3 March 1807 and quickly became a favorite member of the local music scene. In December 1809 he became the organist of St. John’s Lutheran Church, and in December 1810 he opened a music store in partnership with a fellow German musician, Philip Muck, under the name C. Gilfert and Company. This institution chiefly sold imported instruments, accessories, and music, but in early ...
Samuel F. Pogue
revised by Frank Dobbins
(fl Lyons, 1550–84). French music printer, bookseller, composer and instrumentalist. In 1551 he prepared the third in a series of four books of music for guitar printed in Paris by Robert Granjon and Michel Fezandat (RISM 1551²²). In the dedication Gorlier wrote apologetically of the four-course guitar and his reasons for composing for an inferior instrument, saying that he wanted to show that it was as capable as larger instruments of reproducing music in two or three parts. Besides being an ‘excellent joueur’ on the guitar, as cited on the title-page, he evidently played the spinet; in a pamphlet (now lost) concerning Loys Bourgeois’ Droict chemin de musique (1550) Bourgeois called him ‘trougnon d’épinette’ (‘garbage of the spinet’) and complained that he had not been educated in classical languages and mathematics like the singer-composers in Lyons, Layolle Roussel and Jambe de Fer.
Gorlier was granted a privilege for printing music on ...
[Grice, George General; Qusim, Basheer]
(b Pensacola, FL, Nov 28, 1925; d Pensacola, FL, March 14, 1983). American jazz saxophonist, flutist, composer, arranger, music publisher, and teacher. Known more as a composer and arranger than as an instrumentalist, he was nonetheless an alto saxophonist out of the Charlie Parker tradition with a lyrical bent and a recognizable style and sound. He studied clarinet initially and after serving in the US Navy (1944–6) attended the Boston Conservatory (to 1952). His first exposure came through an encounter with the saxophonist Stan Getz in Boston who recorded several of Gryce’s compositions. After moving to New York in 1953, Gryce was soon a part of the city’s vibrant milieu, recording with the drummer Max Roach and the pianist Tadd Dameron. Throughout his career, Gryce collaborated with a number of noted trumpet players including Clifford Brown, Art Farmer, Donald Byrd, and Richard Williams. With Byrd, he co-led the Jazz Lab, which made a number of highly regarded recordings in ...
(b Kansas City, MO, Jan 12, 1884; d New York, Jan 12, 1964). American pianist, composer, music director, writer, and editor. Horst grew up in a German family that prized music and he first studied violin. After elementary school, the end of his formal education, he took up piano, honed his skills, and soon supported himself as a musician, playing ragtime and improvisations in dance and gambling halls, performing with theater pit orchestras, and accompanying solo classical recitalists.
On the West Coast in 1915, Horst encountered Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, who hired him as accompanist for their Denishawn company and subsequently as music director of their new school. He remained for ten years. Immersed in the developing new abstract form of dancing, he examined the relationship of music to dance, especially through St. Denis’s “music visualizations.” He began to study musical structure and composition, and left Denishawn to continue learning in Vienna and becoming better informed in contemporary theater, art, literature, and film—knowledge he passed on to future choreographers in his book (with Caroll Russell) ...
(b London, Jan 1, 1896; d Brighton, Feb 2, 1976). English composer, pianist, adjudicator and publisher . He began to learn both the violin and the piano at the age of seven. At 16, a piano scholarship at the Modern School of Music, London, enabled him to receive lessons from Busoni. In 1916 he won a composition scholarship at the RCM, where, with a break for military service, he studied with Stanford and then Holst until 1922. Before leaving the RCM, Jacobson accompanied the tenor John Coates for two years. He also began a lifelong association with J. Curwen & Sons, originally as a reader and editor, becoming a director (1933) and chairman (1950–72). He resumed concert appearances during World War II, giving recitals, notably, with the contralto Kathleen Ferrier. Jacobson was highly regarded in festival adjudicating, with which he was involved for 50 years. As an extension of such work, he was chairman of the National Youth Orchestra’s executive committee (...
John H. Baron
(b Kraków, c1798; d Paris, Aug 10, 1860). American pianist, composer and publisher of Polish birth. He was in New Orleans by 1818, when he is recorded as taking part in a concert; he frequently played the piano, as soloist and accompanist, until 1830. He is credited with the first performance in the USA of a piano concerto by Beethoven, in 1819. In 1824 he composed A Warlike Symphony, Grand Military March, and a comic opera, The Military Stay, all now lost. He became a music dealer in 1826 and opened his own store in New Orleans in 1830, but sold it in 1846 to W.T. Mayo (who sold it in turn in 1854 to P.P. Werlein). In the early 1830s Johns published jointly with Pleyel in Paris his Album louisianais, an elegant collection of songs and piano pieces, the first music known to have been written and published in New Orleans. A few pieces of sheet music also survive. He went to Paris in ...