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Article

Ferenc Bónis and Anna Dalos

(b Szigetszentmiklós, Dec 12, 1896; d Budapest, May 15, 1982). Hungarian composer, conductor and teacher. From 1911 until 1915 he received instruction in organ playing and theory at the Budapest teacher-training college. Then, as a prisoner of war (1916–20), he organized and conducted a men’s choir and an orchestra in Russia. He studied composition at the Budapest Academy of Music under Kodály (1921–25) and conducting in Weingartner’s masterclass in Basle (1933–5). He conducted the orchestra (1929–39) and the choir (1929–54) of the Budapest Academy where he also taught Hungarian folk music, choral conducting and methodology from 1939 to 1959, and where he directed the singing department from 1942 to 1957.

Ádám began his career as a conductor in Budapest in 1929 with a performance of Haydn’s The Seasons. From 1929 until 1933 he was deputy conductor of the Budapest Choral and Orchestral Society. With the male choir Budai Dalárda, which he directed from ...

Article

Marie Rolf

(Hans)

(b Mannheim, March 4, 1928). American composer and conductor of German birth. Both of his parents were musical, his father being a cantor and composer of Jewish liturgical music. The family came to the USA in 1939 and Adler attended Boston University (BM 1948) and Harvard University (MA 1950). He studied composition with Aaron Copland, Paul Fromm, Paul Hindemith, Hugo Norden, Walter Piston and Randall Thompson; musicology with Karl Geiringer, A.T. Davison and Paul A. Pisk; and conducting with Sergey Koussevitzky at the Berkshire Music Center. In 1950 he joined the US Army and organized the Seventh Army SO, which he conducted in more than 75 concerts in Germany and Austria; he was awarded the Army Medal of Honor for his musical services. Subsequently he conducted concerts and operas, and lectured extensively throughout Europe and the USA. In 1957 he was appointed professor of composition at North Texas State University, and in ...

Article

E. Eugene Helm

revised by Darrell Berg

(b Dobitschen, Saxe-Altenburg, Jan 4, 1720; d Berlin, Dec 2, 1774). German musicographer, composer, organist, singing master and conductor. His father occupied an important post as government agent and jurist in Dobitschen. Burney, who visited the Agricolas in 1772, reported that Johann Friedrich’s mother, born Maria Magdalena Manke, ‘was a near relation of the late Mr Handel, and in correspondence with him till the time of his death’; but later Handel research has failed to substantiate this claim.

Agricola began his study of music as a young child. In 1738 he entered the University of Leipzig, where he studied law; during this time he was a pupil of J.S. Bach and visited Dresden, where he heard performances of Passion oratorios and Easter music by Hasse. In 1741 he moved to Berlin, became a pupil of Quantz, made the acquaintance of C.P.E. Bach, C.H. Graun and other musicians, and embarked on a career that touched many aspects of Berlin’s musical life. He became keenly interested in music criticism and theoretical speculation in Berlin, and his work as a musicographer has proved to be his most lasting accomplishment. In ...

Article

Kathleen Dale

revised by Axel Helmer

(Emanuel)

(b Stockholm, Jan 19, 1860; d Stockholm, Jan 20, 1938). Swedish composer, organist and conductor. He attended the Swedish Royal Academy of Music (1882–6), studying counterpoint and composition with J. Dente, and was a pupil of Franck in Paris (1887–8). In Stockholm he was coach at the Royal Opera (1888–90), organist at the synagogue (1890–1928), music teacher at Norrmalm’s grammar school (1895–1923) and teacher at Richard Anderssons Musikskola (1897–1909). From 1886 he conducted several choirs, including the Bellman Choir (1895–1926), which he also founded, and the Philharmonic Society (1900–03). Åkerberg’s compositions often approach the style of Swedish folk music, especially the ballads Kung Svegder and Prinsessan och Svennen. They are technically sound but conventional.

MSS in S-Skma, Svenska Tonsättares Internationella Musikbyrå

Article

John C.G. Waterhouse

[Ottavio Felice Gaspare Maria]

(b Montegiorgio, Ascoli Piceno, Nov 16, 1881; d Montegiorgio, Dec 28, 1928). Italian musicologist, conductor and composer. He studied the piano, organ and composition at the Liceo Musicale di S Cecilia, Rome, where he gained his diploma in 1906 and was from 1912 professor of aesthetics and music history. He also graduated in 1907 from Rome University with a thesis on the Italian oratorio, subsequently expanded into an important book. His scholarly writings – notably those on Italian laudi spirituali and on Carissimi – in general helped to lay the foundations of modern Italian musicology. As a conductor he specialized in choral music, and in 1926 he founded the Madrigalisti Romani. He also fought hard for the improvement of Italian music education. His most ambitious composition, the opera Mirra, is eclectic and uneven, but shows technical enterprise – not least in the brief use of a specially constructed ‘pentaphonic harmonium’, in which the octave was divided into five equal parts (cf Indonesian ...

Article

Astrid Rajterová

(b Arad, Romania, Aug 12, 1885; d Bratislava, Aug 30, 1958). Slovak composer, conductor and teacher. He acquired his early musical education from various teachers, including Karol Forstner, organist of the cathedral of St Martin, Bratislava. From 1895 to 1903 he studied at the Royal Catholic Gymnasium in Poszony (now Bratislava), becoming friends with Bartók and Ernő Dohnányi, with whom he took an active part in the musical life of the school and of the town. From 1904 to 1908 he attended the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, studying composition with Koessler, the piano with Thomán and then Bartók, conducting with Ferenc Szandtner and chamber music performance with Popper. During his studies Albrecht enjoyed considerable success as a pianist, though he later decided to devote his time fully to composition. From 1908 he was organist at the cathedral in Bratislava and a teacher at the municipal music school. In ...

Article

(b Bologoye, 22 July/Aug 4, 1905; d Moscow, June 17, 1994). Russian composer and conductor, son of Aleksandr Vasil′yevich Aleksandrov. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Glier, graduating in 1929, and worked as a music director in Moscow clubs (1923–9), music director of the Red Army Theatre (1930–37), lecturer at the Moscow Conservatory (1933–41) and leader of the Soviet Radio Song Ensemble (1942–7). From 1937 to 1946 he was deputy director of the Aleksandrov Red Army Song and Dance Ensemble, which was founded by his father and, after the latter's death, came under his direction. He received the State Prize (1950) and the title People's Artist of the USSR (1958). In Dva p′yesï (‘Two Pieces’) op.1 (1928) for piano he developed a compositional system synthesizing the principle of the 12-note series (with inversions and permutations) with a harmonic set technique and mirror symmetry. Later works, such as the well-known musical comedy ...

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

(b Lisbon, May 21, 1940). Portuguese composer and conductor. He began his music studies with Marina Dwander, Artur Santos and Joly Braga Santos. In 1959 he completed his higher degree in piano studies with Campos Coelho at the National Conservatory, Lisbon. In 1960 he was awarded a grant from the Instituto de Alta Cultura to study piano with Schiske at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik. While there he also studied with Wladyslaw Kedra and Dieter Weber. He also studied composition with Cerha on a grant from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. He was the cultural attaché in Vienna (1974–81) and founded the Almeida-Pluhar-Marinoff Trio in 1983. He lectured both at the University of Oporto and at the House Museum of A’lvaro de Campos.

Almeida is a versatile artist whose activities range from improvisation to television scores, film-making, fiction and essay-writing. He has a wide public following within Portugal and distances himself from the institutional circles of Portuguese composition. His extensive output is somewhat uneven. Although the dominant idiom in his compositions is a wide tonality, with visible influence from Stravinsky, Hindemith, Eisler and Prokofiev, he often uses more modern means such as electro-acoustics....

Article

August Corbet

revised by Corneel Mertens and Diana von Volborth-Danys

(b Antwerp, Sept 12, 1876; d Antwerp, Oct 5, 1954). Belgian composer and conductor. He studied in Antwerp at the Flemish Music School (later called the Royal Flemish Conservatory) under Peter Benoit and Jan Blockx, and conducting under Eduard Keurvels. In 1903 he became professor at the Conservatory, and was director of that institution from 1934 to 1941, when he retired. He was also active as an orchestral and operatic conductor, and was a member of the Académie Royale de Belgique.

Alpaerts was one of the outstanding personalities in Flemish musical life, both as conductor and composer; he was also a great teacher and an admirable organizer. As a composer he was, like Paul Gilson and August de Boeck, a typical Flemish representative of the Impressionist school. However, his Impressionism came closer to Richard Strauss and Respighi than to Debussy. An example of this tendency is the symphonic poem ...

Article

Rreze Kryeziu

(b Skopje, Macedonia, Sept 23, 1909; d Pristina, Kosovo, Oct 21, 1991). Albanian composer, music pedagogue, conductor, and ethnomusicologist. He learned music by analysing the works of other composers and by attending private lessons with professors in Belgrade. During his secondary education he learned to play the violin, the cello, and the piano. He arrived in Kosovo to pursue a career as a music pedagogue. He spent a decade in Prizren (1946–56), which was typified by intense musical activity and during which time he directed the choir SH.K.A. ‘Agimi’ (1944) and was a professor and director of the School of Music (1948). (See E. Berisha: Studime dhe vështrime për muzikën, Pristina, 2004, 209–14).

His familiarity with folk music is evidenced by his analyses of Albanian folk songs, which he summarized in a seven volume work called Albanian Folk Music. As a result of this work, he became known as the first ethnomusicologist specializing in Albanian folklore....

Article

E. Douglas Bomberger

(b Neef, Rheinland, Oct 28, 1856; d Los Angeles, Jan 28, 1932). American conductor, composer, and voice teacher of German birth. He was brought to America at age eleven, received his first musical training from his father, Clemens Arens, and later studied with John Singenberger at the Normal College in St. Francis, Wisconsin. After further studies with Joseph Rheinberger in Munich 1881–3 and with Franz Wüllner in Dresden 1883–4, where he earned a Preiszeugnis (one of six in a student body of 734), he settled in Cleveland as conductor of the Cleveland Philharmonic Society and the Cleveland Gesangverein.

He returned to Europe around 1890 to study vocal pedagogy with Julius Hey in Berlin. In 1891 and 1892 he conducted American Composers’ Concerts with orchestras in Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, Weimar, Hamburg, and Sondershausen, concluding his tour with an appearance at the Vienna Musical and Theatrical Exhibition on 5 July 1892...

Article

Stuart Campbell

( b Nizhniy Novgorod, Dec 21, 1836/Jan 2, 1837; d St Petersburg, 16/May 29, 1910). Russian composer, conductor, teacher and pianist .

Balakirev was the son of a minor government official. His musical education began with his mother’s piano tuition and proceeded to a course of summer lessons in Moscow with Aleksandr Dubuque. At that time the leading musical figure and patron in Nizhniy Novgorod (and author of books on Mozart and Beethoven) was Aleksandr Ulïbïshev, and it was through his household pianist and musical organizer Karl Eisrich that Balakirev’s induction to music, embracing the crucial discoveries of Chopin and Glinka, continued. Eisrich and Ulïbïshev provided Balakirev with further opportunities to play, read and listen to music, and to rehearse other musicians in orchestral and choral works, including, when he was 14, Mozart’s Requiem. His first surviving compositions date from the age of 15. Balakirev’s formal education began at the Gymnasium in Nizhniy Novgorod and continued after his mother’s death in ...

Article

Gérard Streletski

(b Marseilles, Sept 4, 1816; d Paris, July 2, 1878). French composer, teacher and conductor. He became a student at the Paris Conservatoire in 1834, and studied composition with Henri-Montan Berton and Halévy. He won premiers prix for harmony and accompaniment (1836), counterpoint and fugue (1836) and for organ playing (1839). The jury of the Prix de Rome awarded him a second prize on 30 April 1839, and the first prize on 23 May 1840. His cantata written for the competition, Loÿse de Montfort, was performed at the Opéra on 7 October 1840.

On completing his studies he divided his time mainly between teaching and composition, and worked occasionally as a conductor. He held an unsalaried post as teacher of harmony and accompaniment at the Conservatoire from 1838 to 1 April 1841 and was appointed accompanist to the opera class on 1 December 1839...

Article

Kara Gardner

(b Detroit, March 28, 1866; d Chicago, Dec 6, 1945). American violinist, conductor, musical director, teacher, and composer. Bendix was born to Jewish parents who had emigrated from Germany. His father William was a music teacher. Bendix began formal study at the Cincinnati College of Music where, at the age of twelve, he performed with the college orchestra, directed by Theodore Thomas. This began a long association between the two men, leading to Bendix’s appointment as first violinist and concertmaster of the Theodore Thomas Orchestra in 1886. In August 1893 Thomas resigned his position as music director of the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition following a series of unsuccessful concerts. Bendix took Thomas’s place as conductor of the Exposition orchestra. This created tension between the two men, and Bendix left the Thomas orchestra in 1896. He went on to serve as conductor at the Manhattan Opera House and to conduct orchestras for world fairs in St. Louis (...

Article

Marie-Thérèse Buyssens

(Leonard Leopold)

(b Harlebeke, Aug 17, 1834; d Antwerp, March 8, 1901). Belgian composer, conductor and teacher. He received his first music lessons from his father and then studied the piano and the organ with Carlier, verger and organist at Desselgem. In 1851 he became a pupil at the Brussels Conservatory, where he took courses in piano, harmony, counterpoint, fugue and composition, winning first prize in harmony and composition in 1854. His chief teacher was the director, François-Joseph Fétis. Having completed his studies at the conservatory, he continued to study with C.-L. Hanssens, director of the Théâtre de la Monnaie. During these years Benoit was in severe financial straits and was obliged to take a post as additional triangle player with the Monnaie orchestra. In 1856 he became conductor of the Park Theatre at Brussels. He won the Belgian Prix de Rome in 1857 with his cantata Le meurtre d'Abel...

Article

Joachim Braun

(Mikhaylovich)

(b Kovalyovka, South Ukraine, 7/April 19, 1863; d Moscow, Jan 21, 1931). Russian conductor, pianist, composer and teacher, uncle of Heinrich Neuhaus. He studied the piano with Stein and composition with Rimsky-Korsakov at the St Petersburg Conservatory, where he taught the piano from his graduation in 1885 until 1918 (excluding the years 1905–11), being appointed a professor in 1897. From 1895 to 1911 he was also conductor at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, where he gave the premières of Rimsky-Korsakov's Servilia (1902) and Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh (1907) and the Russian première of Tristan und Isolde (1899). In 1908 he conducted the Russian seasons in Paris, achieving wide recognition as a conductor and, more especially, as a pianist. He lived and worked in close contact with Anton Rubinstein, Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov, Rachmaninoff and Chaliapin. His performing style, influenced by Rubinstein's, was heroically brilliant and lyrically melodious; he gave the first performances of many piano works by Glazunov, Lyadov and Arensky, among others. He was well known as a teacher, first in St Petersburg, then in Kiev (...

Article

(b Brensbach, Germany, Dec 16, 1849; d Dayton, OH, March 27, 1916). American conductor, organist, teacher, and composer of German origin. Blumenschein studied in Leipzig and after emigrating first settled in Pittsburgh. He moved to Ohio in 1876 to work briefly as an organist and choral conductor in the Ohio River towns of Portsmouth and Ironton. In 1878 he transferred to Dayton to become organist of the Third Presbyterian Church and from 1878 to 1907 conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic Society (as of 1913, the Dayton Choral Society), an ensemble of around 100 members that concentrated on presenting major works by Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, and others. He also conducted German singing societies in Indianapolis and Springfield, Ohio, as well as Sängerfeste, or regional gatherings of these German singing societies, in Dayton and Springfield. In addition he offered private lessons in piano and voice. He is supposed to have written about 150 pieces, although the highest opus number found is 127, a ...

Article

Viorel Cosma

(b Iaşi, 9/May 21, 1899; d Sinaia, May 26, 1992). Romanian composer, violinist, teacher and conductor. He studied the violin in Iaşi (1908–12) with Eduard Caudella and in Craiova (1912–16) with Jean Bobescu and then entered the Schola Cantorum in Paris (1920–24, 1926–7) where he studied with Nestor Lejeune (violin), d’Indy (composition) and Paul le Flem (harmony). After starting his career as a solo violinist he became professor of violin at the conservatories of Cernăuţi and Braşov. In 1935 he was appointed conductor of the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Bucharest where he remained until 1972. Bobescu’s compositions range in theme from historical and biblical subjects to satirical comedy. Though post-Romantic in structure, his music has a pronounced lyrical character: the melodic writing is essentially Romanian but it is clothed in a traditional European harmonic language. His lively orchestration displays a perfect handling of timbres, especially of strings, which he used to achieve impressionistic shading in the operas....

Article

Andrea Lanza

(b Parma, May 15, 1841; d Turin, Feb 21, 1919). Italian conductor, teacher and composer. He studied at the music school in Parma with Giuseppe del Maino (violin), Griffini (singing) and Giovanni Rossi (composition). After graduating in 1859 he became leader and assistant conductor at Reggio nell'Emilia (1864–6) and at the Teatro della Concordia, Cremona, under Ponchielli (1866–7). He was director of the Civica Scuola di Musica in Savona (1867–73), and then became conductor at the Teatro Francesco Morlacchi in Perugia (1874–5). From 1876 he directed the Liceo Musicale and conducted the orchestra at the Teatro Municipale in Piacenza. Recommended by Ricordi and Verdi, he became conductor at the Teatro Regio in Turin from 1884 to 1889, where he conducted Le Villi, Lohengrin, Tannhäuser and Verdi's Otello, among other operas; in 1885–6 he conducted the last symphonic concerts of the Concerti Popolari there. A strict and gifted teacher, he was, from ...