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Lyndesay G. Langwill

revised by Rosemary Williamson

(von Ahn)

(b Newcastle upon Tyne, May 19, 1878; d Great Missenden, Nov 2, 1958). English collector and historian of instruments and composer. He was educated in Hanover (1892) and as a Macfarren scholar at the Royal Academy of Music (1893–1902, ARAM 1902), where he studied composition with Corder. After serving as assistant music master at Winchester College (1909–22), he returned to the RAM in 1922 as professor of harmony and counterpoint, becoming a Fellow of the RAM in the same year; he held the professorship until 1940.

Carse’s early compositions include an orchestral prelude to Byron’s Manfred, a dramatic cantata, The Lay of the Brown Rosary and two symphonies; his later works, for student orchestras and beginners, are light, tuneful and individual, and ideally suited to their purpose as teaching material. His reputation, however, rests on his study of the history of instruments and the orchestra, and on his collection of some 350 old wind instruments, which he gave to the Horniman Museum, London, in ...

Article

Joyce Lindorff

(b Fermo, June 30, 1671; d Beijing, Dec 10, 1746). Italian composer, theorist and instrument maker . He was the first Lazarist missionary to settle in China, and contributed to the cultural exchange between China and the West during the late Ming and early Qing dynasties. He was educated in Rome and arrived in China in 1711 after an arduous nine-year journey. There he succeeded the Portuguese Jesuit Tomás Pereira as court musician to Emperor Kangxi. Pedrini remained in China until his death, working closely with the emperor and simultaneously fulfilling his religious life and missionary goals. Life in the Chinese court was politically complex, and Pedrini was deeply involved in intrigues between the emperor, the Jesuits and Rome during the Rites controversy. Despite earning Kangxi’s esteem, he was twice imprisoned by the emperor.

There were many harpsichords at the Chinese court, gifts from foreign visitors, and there is evidence that Pedrini himself built instruments in China. His musical abilities were highly regarded by the emperor, who declared Pedrini’s lack of the Chinese language to be unimportant, since ‘harpsichords are tuned with the hands, and not with the tongue’. Pedrini’s op.3 sonatas (MS, Beijing National Library; the title-page bears the anagrammatic name ‘Nepridi’) are his only known extant compositions; they are strongly influenced by (and include several quotations from) Corelli’s op.5 set, to which they pay homage in the style, number, structure and types of movements. Pedrini also completed the fifth volume of ...

Article

George J. Buelow, Maribel Meisel and Philip R. Belt

(b Hohnstein, Saxony, Aug 10, 1699; d Nordhausen, May 20, 1782). German organist, composer, keyboard instrument designer and music theorist.

George J. Buelow

After early training in music from his father, he was sent in 1706 to nearby Dresden, where he joined the royal chapel as a soprano and took keyboard lessons from the Kapellmeister, J.C. Schmidt. In 1709 ill health forced him to live for a while with his godfather Hentschel in Bischofswerda. Returning to Dresden in 1710, on Schmidt’s recommendation he was appointed, together with the slightly younger C.H. Graun, Ratsdiskantist (town discantist). With his change of voice he enrolled at the Kreuzschule, where according to his autobiography (see Marpurg) he studied, among other subjects, fugue with Schmidt. He did not say, however, with whom he studied the organ, but he reported practising on the instruments in the Kreuz- and Sophienkirchen as well as on an organ in the royal residence. In ...

Article

Wolfgang Maria Hoffmann

(Alcantara) [Josef Anton]

(b Häselgehr, July 18, 1810; d Salzburg, Jan 25, 1882). Austrian composer, music theorist, organist, choirmaster and instrument maker. He was musically mainly self-taught; at the age or 9 he learnt to play the piano and organ, as well as the violin, harp, flute, clarinet and horn. When he was 11 he took lessons in harmony and basso continuo from P. Mauritius Gasteiger in Reutte. He attended the Gymnasium in Hall (1824–30), and took some organ and piano lessons from the organist Ignaz Heinz. He entered the Franciscan monastery of Salzburg in 1830 under the name of Peter von Alcantara, and was ordained in 1834. From 1837 to 1840 he was organist and choirmaster in Bolzano and Innsbruck, and he spent the rest of his life in the Franciscan monastery in Salzburg.

Singer became famous for the building of his ‘Pansymphonikon’ in 1845; this was a keyboard instrument with sets of reeds, two manuals and 42 registers which imitated an entire orchestra. He wrote contemplative works, a treatise on choral singing entitled ...