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Article

Charles Pitt

(b Hinsbourg, Jan 4, 1904; d Illkirch-Graffenstaden, Sept 7, 1984). French conductor, composer and opera administrator . He studied in Strasbourg with Erb and in Paris with Koechlin and Gédalge. He joined the Strasbourg Opera in 1933 as a répétiteur and stayed until he retired in 1972, being successively chorus master (1933–6), conductor from 1936, co-director (with Ernest Bour) from 1955 to 1960 and director (1960–72).

Adam sought to create a balanced repertory of French, German and Italian classics, together with contemporary works (such as Jean Martinon’s Hécube, 1956, which was specially commissioned) and revivals of rarely given masterpieces such as Les Troyens (1960) and Roussel’s Padmâvatî (1967). He gave the first French performances of Bizet’s Don Procopio (1958), Françaix’s L’apostrophe (1958), Dallapiccola’s Il prigioniero (1961), Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten (1965), Britten’s ...

Article

Xoán M. Carreira

(b Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, March 12, 1884; d El Ferrol, Coruña, Nov 4, 1938). Spanish composer and conductor He studied the flute and composition at the Madrid Conservatory, where he was a pupil of Tomás Bretón. After playing in chamber groups and touring abroad (1906–9), he was appointed director of music of a regiment in El Ferrol, where he spent the rest of his life except for a period in Africa, 1915–17. As well as a large amount of military music, three dramatic scenes and five symphonic poems, he composed many zarzuelas (alone and in collaboration), of which few survive. In 1928 he conducted the première of his opera Cantuxa, whose success led to further performances in Spain and at the Teatro Colón. A story of jealousy (including a death quarrel at a local folk festival) in rural Galicia, the opera exemplifies verismo in its continuous melodic tension, vocal characterization, immediacy of emotion and the anguish of its brutal ending. Of Baudot-Puente’s other opera, ...

Article

Adeodatas Tauragis

(b Vilnius, April 16, 1869; d Vilnius, March 7, 1953). Lithuanian conductor and composer . He studied the piano, composition and conducting at the St Petersburg conservatory with Rimsky-Korsakov, Lyadov and Glazunov, graduating in 1900. His début as an opera conductor took place in Gor’kiy (now Nizhny-Novgorod) in 1899...

Article

Arthur Jacobs

(Arthur)

(b London, March 14, 1887; d Killin, Perthshire, Dec 19, 1982). English conductor and composer. He was a choirboy at Westminster Abbey, organ scholar at Exeter College, Oxford (1908–12), and then a student at the St Petersburg Conservatory, where his teachers included Nikolay Tcherepnin and Maximilian Steinberg. He graduated in 1917 and after military service in Britain returned to Petrograd as an assistant to Albert Coates, at that time a conductor at the Mariinsky Theatre. In 1920, back in London, he joined the music staff at the Old Vic, which at that period presented opera as well as plays. In 1931, when Sadler’s Wells Theatre opened as an extension of that management, he became principal conductor of opera, and was largely responsible for the development of the company’s repertory and standards. He shared with Coates the first performances in Britain of Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tale of Tsar Saltan...

Article

José Antonio González

(b Bologna, c1770; d ?Mexico, after 1825). Italian composer and conductor. He was probably a pupil at the Bologna Conservatory and later studied with Paisiello and Cimarosa. In 1798 he was musical director at La Scala and his first opera, La citta nuova, was performed there. He went to Barcelona in 1803 and then lived in Madrid (1803–11) and Cuba (1811–22), composing several Spanish operas. In 1823 he was living in Mexico as a piano teacher and composer.

all lost

MDCP Madrid, Teatro de los Caños del Peral

Article

(b St Petersburg, 29 May/June 10, 1893; d Kiev, Feb 6, 1939). Russian conductor and composer . He studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory with Lyadov and Shteynberg (composition) and Nikolay Tcherepnin (conducting). Having led the orchestra at the Mariinsky Theatre he was conductor from 1918, and music director from 1925 to 1936. A talented opera conductor, he achieved a sensitive integration of voices and orchestra to dramatic as well as musical purpose. Under his direction the theatre staged notable productions of The Love for Three Oranges, Wozzeck and the original version of Boris Godunov between 1926 and 1928. In 1936 he became artistic director and chief conductor at the Kiev Opera, where he staged many operas by Ukrainian composers. He composed several works himself, and wrote articles on the problems of operatic dramaturgy.

I. Belza: ‘Vladimir Alexandrovich Dranishnikov’, Voprosï muzïkal’no-ispolnitel’skogo iskusstva [Problems in the Art of Musical Performance], v, ed. ...

Article

Piero Rattalino and Noël Goodwin

(b Buenos Aires, July 18, 1927). Italian conductor and composer, son of Benvenuto Franci. He studied at the Rome Conservatory and in 1952 attended Fernando Previtali’s conducting courses at the Accademia di S Cecilia. At first a conductor only of symphonic music, he made his operatic début in ...

Article

Igor Vajda

(b Spišský Štiavnik, Nov 20, 1918; d Piešt’any, July 7, 1967). Slovak composer and conductor . He studied composition with Alexander Moyzes at the Bratislava Academy (1934–9) and went on to study conducting with Bernardino Molinari at the Accademia di S Cecilia (1939–42). He began his conducting career at the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava (1942–9), was head of the Košice Opera (1949–52) and then chief opera conductor in Bratislava from 1953. His two operas are in a neo-romantic style. Martin a slnko (‘Martin and the Sun’; Bratislava, 18 Jan 1975), is a children’s opera to a libretto by Alexandra Braxatorisová after Branislav Kriška. The story is based on Slovak folk tales and the music draws inspiration from a number of styles, from Classicism to full-blown, especially Russian, Romanticism, from verismo to expressionism, and includes some symphonic jazz, all against a background of Slovak folksong. ...

Article

Ruth Pincoe

(b Norwich, April 11, 1912). Canadian composer, theorist and conductor of English origin. He moved to Canada in 1928, becoming a Canadian citizen in 1930. His composition teachers have included Alfred Whitehead in Montreal and Paul Hindemith at Yale University (1952–3). He also studied conducting with Willem van Otterloo in Utrecht (1956). From 1946 until his retirement in 1977, he taught at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He also conducted the Queen’s SO (1946–54), and founded and conducted both the Kingston Choral Society (1953–7) and the New SO of Kingston (1954–7).

George’s music is in a 20th-century idiom characterized by traditional formal structures and modal harmonies, and influenced by his studies of ethnomusicology and the structural aspects of music. His operas are large-scale works based on historical events with librettos adapted from contemporary writing. He has also composed many choral pieces....

Article

Stephen Banfield

(b London, May 26, 1893; d Hillingdon, Middlesex, June 13, 1962). English composer and conductor. Both his father and grandfather, of Belgian origin, held the post of principal conductor of the Carl Rosa Opera Company. After studying in Bruges, Liverpool and at the RCM, where Stanford taught him composition, he began his career as a professional violinist; he soon followed in the family footsteps by conducting opera, however, and as assistant to Beecham from 1916 frequently deputized for him on little or no rehearsal. By early 1922 he was conducting the Carl Rosa company at Covent Garden and in 1923 appeared there with the British National Opera Company.

From 1923 until 1947 Goossens spent part of each year in the USA, first conducting the Rochester PO, then (from 1931) the Cincinnati SO. In 1947 he moved to Australia as director of the New South Wales Conservatorium and resident conductor of the Sydney SO. His pioneer work included plans for the Sydney Opera House, which, however, were not to achieve fruition until more than ten years after his death. He returned to England in ...

Article

(b San Martino dall’Argine, nr Mantua, May 5, 1816; d Padua, July 19, 1896). Italian composer and conductor . He was a pupil of Alessandro Rolla in Milan before becoming director of the episcopal chapel at Cagliari (1834–6). Returning to Lombardy in 1836, he had his first opera première at Lodi that same year. He continued conducting at the Teatro Filarmonico in Verona, the Teatro Imperiale in Odessa (1845), and in Paris, Florence and elsewhere. After 1875 he retired to Padua and taught singing. His regard for Rossini can be seen in his setting of Il barbiere di Siviglia, written with Rossini’s permission, which was intended as an ‘informative study into the spirit, character and colouring of the immortal work of Rossini’s’ (L. Rognoni: Rossini, Parma, 1956, 3/1977).

Article

(Alfred Booth )

(b Birmingham, Sept 1, 1905). English composer, conductor and writer on music . He studied at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (BA and BMus, 1927). From 1926 to 1929 he was on the staff of the British National Opera Company and conducted Carmen, Faust and Samson et Dalila. In ...

Article

Elise Kirk

(b Pozsony [now Bratislava], June 25, 1915; d Cleveland, April 22, 1989). American composer and conductor of Hungarian birth. He studied at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest and conducted concerts of his own music at Bayreuth and Salzburg. In 1951 he emigrated to the USA, became an American citizen and settled in Cleveland. He established the American New Opera Theatre Society in 1954 to encourage the production of one-act operas by contemporary composers, and in 1955 he founded the series ‘Opera of the Air’ for the Cleveland radio station WSRS. Kondorossy’s own operas have been heard on Radio Free Europe, Voice of America and WSRS.

Kondorossy specialized in one-act operas which were lyrical and dramatic, yet simple to stage. His musical style shows influences of Bartók and Stravinsky. The story of The Voice, which takes place in New York City, resembles aspects of both The Telephone...

Article

Anne Girardot

(b Paris, Dec 13, 1898; d Paris, June 27, 1964). French composer and conductor . He studied at the Paris Conservatoire, where his teachers included Leroux; after this he was musical director at the Théâtre du Vieux Colombier (1921–5), artistic director of the Opéra-Comique (1936–9), choirmaster of the Paris Opéra (...

Article

Mireille Barrière

[Enrique ]

(b Tarrega, Nov 13, 1879; d Montreal, July 19, 1950). Canadian composer and conductor of Spanish birth. He studied at the monastery of Monserrat in Catalonia and at the Barcelona conservatory. In 1898 he went to France as a conductor of opera, and in 1901 to Montreal, where he at first conducted the orchestra of the Eldorado café. He was soon conducting opera (including, in 1914, his operettas Miss Meg and Le roman de Suzon) and from 1916 to 1921 he also directed the Berliner Gramophone Co. and the Compo record company. In 1930 he conducted a series of operas and operettas for the Canadian national radio station. Miró was inspired by folk music, particularly from his native Spain. His compositions won him the first competition of the Société des Concerts Symphoniques de Montréal (1936) and the Prix Lallemand.

operettas, first performed in Montreal

Article

Richard Taruskin

(Stepanovich )

(b St Petersburg, 11/Sept 23, 1878; d Leningrad, Jan 25, 1942). Russian librettist, pianist and conductor . He was the son of the opera singer Yevdokiya Vasil’yevna Golenishcheva-Kutuzova, through whom he was collaterally related to Musorgsky and to the painter Nikolay Roerich. Through his friendship with his exact contemporary Andrey Rimsky-Korsakov, the composer’s son, Mitusov became a habitué of the bi-weekly Wednesday musical gatherings at the Rimsky-Korsakovs’, where he met and befriended Stravinsky. A skilful versifier, he wrote the libretto for Stravinsky’s opera The Nightingale (1908–14), which is dedicated to him, and also made the singing translations from Verlaine which Stravinsky set to music in 1910. In the twenties he championed Stravinsky’s music as a performer. He died of hunger during the Leningrad blockade.

V. Yastrebtsev: Vospominaniya o N. A. Rimskom-Korsakove [Reminiscences of Rimsky-Korsakov], 2 (Leningrad, 1960) I. Stravinsky: Selected Correspondence, ed. R. Craft, 2 (New York, 1984)...

Article

Bruce Carr

(Heinrich Anton Magnus)

(b Hamburg, June 13, 1843; d New York, Dec 4, 1897). American conductor, impresario and composer of German birth. He went to New York in 1854, and studied the violin and piano; at the age of 16 he became leader of the Stadt Theater orchestra in New York. After a season in Milwaukee (1864–5) he returned to New York as chorus master at the Stadt Theater, where Karl Anschütz was trying to establish a German opera. In 1867 he took over as director for four seasons, during the last of which he brought a troupe from Europe to perform several German works, including Lohengrin in its first American production (3 April 1871). In 1872, with Carl Rosa and the tenor Theodor Wachtel, he presented a season of Italian opera at the Academy of Music, and from 1872 to 1874 he was manager of the Germania Theatre. Wachtel returned to the Academy in ...

Article

(William Edward)

(b London, 1840; d London, April 1902). English conductor and composer. He worked first as a music hall pianist in London, then went to India (conducting a theatre company, c1875) and soon after settled in Melbourne. There he wrote criticism for The Age and composed three stage works. His first, Alfred the Great, written in collaboration with Fred Lyster (brother of W. S. Lyster), was an ‘extravaganza’ including arrangements of popular airs and set pieces, and the third, also incorporating airs, tended towards the genre of pantomime; between them came I due studenti (set in 16th-century Spain) which includes large concerted numbers but is chiefly dependant on monologues. In 1891 Plumpton returned to London and the next year was appointed conductor at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre; he composed numbers for the burlesque King Kodak (Terry’s, 30 April 1894) and later served as musical director at the Palace Theatre....

Article

Manica Špendal

(b Trieste, June 3, 1890; d Ljubljana, Slovenia, Oct 2, 1951). Slovenian conductor and composer. He studied composition at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Trieste, remaining there to conduct at the Slovene Theatre, where he initiated operatic performances. He was then conductor of the Osijek Opera (1914–23), secretary and conductor of the Zagreb Opera (1923–4) and of the Belgrade Opera (1924–5), conductor and director of the Ljubljana Opera (1925–39) and of the Belgrade Opera (1939–41) and director of the Ljubljana Opera (1945–7). The Ljubljana Opera was much indebted to Polič for his efforts in raising standards and modernizing the repertory; he introduced recent operatic works based on indigenous and world literature. As a composer, he was particularly interested in opera and wrote two, which were both produced in Ljubljana. Mati Jugovićev (‘The Mother of the Jugović Brothers’), in three parts to a libretto by the composer, is based on L. Vojnonić’s ...

Article

(b Rome, May 29, 1791; d Florence, Jan 11, 1877). Italian conductor and composer . He was a pupil of Fenaroli and was for many years singing teacher at the Reale Istituto Musicale and conductor at the Teatro della Pergola at Florence. He wrote two operas, Il qui pro quo...