(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 ...
revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu
(b Stockholm, Nov 28, 1793; d Bremen, Sept 26, 1866). Swedish author, pedagogue, journalist, and composer. After an education administered mainly by private tutors, Almqvist attended university in Uppsala and graduated in 1816. He then took a position as a government clerk in Stockholm, where he engaged in youthful and idealistic movements that worshiped Gothic ideals, the early German romanticism, and Swedenborg’s teachings. He was soon the leading spirit in these circles, and with his visionary religiosity he gained almost prophet-like status among them. In an attempt to realize his ideals, from 1823 to 1824 he lived as a farmer in the remote Wermland but soon returned to Stockholm where in 1827 he became a teacher at the Military Academy of Karlberg; he took an additional teaching post in 1829 at the recently founded experimental college Nya Elementarskolan. There he served as headmaster from 1829 to 1841 and wrote a dozen textbooks on different subjects from linguistics to mathematics....
revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu
(b Bucharest, Dec 22, 1894/Jan 5, 1895; d Bucharest, Feb 4, 1974). Romanian composer, pianist, teacher, and critic. An erudite personality of Romanian music, he contributed to the formation of a Romanian school of composition during the inter-war years. At the Bucharest Conservatory (1906–13) he studied with Kiriac-Georgescu, Castaldi, Klenck, and Dunicu. In 1919 he graduated law school in Bucharest and then took the PhD in 1922 in Paris. During his stay in France, he participated in the courses of composition of Vincent d’Indy and Gabriel Faure. In 1920, he founded the Society of Romanian composers with other important musicians. At the Bucharest Conservatory (now the National University of Music Bucharest) he taught chamber music (1926–48) and composition (1948–59). His students include Stefan Niculescu, Dumitru Capoianu, and Aurel Stroe. He was not only a partner at the chamber concerts of George Enescu, but also promoted together with Enescu the new Romanian and French chamber music. He wrote for numerous publications on subjects ranging from music aesthetics to jazz and folk music, for instance, ‘George Enescu the Way I Met Him’ in ...
Larisa Georgievna Danko
(b St Petersburg, 17/July 29, 1884; d Moscow, Jan 27, 1949). Russian musicologist, composer and critic. He studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory from 1904 to 1910 with Rimsky-Korsakov and Lyadov, and graduated in 1908 from the faculty of history and philology of the University of St Petersburg. From 1910 he worked as a repetiteur; from 1916 edited and composed ballet music and from 1919 was a member of the board of directors and repertory consultant at the Mariinsky and Mikhaylovsky Theatres. In 1919 he became head of the Central Library for State Musical Theatres. In the same year, in association with Lyapunov and Bulich, he organized the music department at the Petrograd Institute for the History of the Arts (now the Zubov Institute for the History of the Arts); he was its director from 1921. Between 1922 and 1925 he was responsible for the organization there of concerts of contemporary music. He was made a professor at the Leningrad Conservatory in ...
Amanda M. Burt
revised by Thorkell Sigurbjörnsson
(b Ísafjörður, Oct 11, 1928). Icelandic composer, teacher and critic. He graduated in 1955 from the Reykjavík College of Music, where he studied the piano with Árni Kristjánsson and theory with Victor Urbancic. Further composition studies were undertaken at the RSAMD in Glasgow (1955–6) and at the Guildhall School of Music in London (1965). In 1961 he received a teacher's diploma from the Reykjavík College of Music. Ásgeirsson has conducted various choirs, and became the principal music critic of Morgunblaðið in 1970. Formerly president of the Icelandic Composers' Society, he has taught at various institutions and is currently professor at the Icelandic Teachers' College.
His works are mainly traditional in style though he has written a few serial compositions. He is particularly interested in reviving Icelandic folksongs and dances and has set related folk poetry found without music; he has also served as music director for productions of the ancient dances by the National Dance Company. In ...
(b Mariupol, Ukraine, near the north coast of the Sea of Azov, Sept 27, 1875; d Athens, May 16, 1924). Greek composer, critic, and music educator. After the return of his family to Athens in 1887 he studied music privately with Loudovikos Spinellis, and later, in 1895, he went to Naples, Italy, to study composition at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella with Paolo Serrao. He came back to Athens in 1901, where he clashed with the representatives of the biggest music institution, the Athens Conservatory, due to the shift of the repertory towards German instead of Italian music, and the changing of the method of music education. He founded, along with Georgios Lambelet, one of the most important cultural magazines of the period, the journal Kritiki (1903–4), through which he expressed his ideas about the paths of music education and Greek music. During the period ...
(b Belgrade, Feb 10, 1927; d Belgrade, Oct 13, 2009). Serbian composer and music critic. He studied composition with Milenko Živković at the Academy of Music in Belgrade, graduating in 1955, and at the Accademia Nazionale di S. Cecilia in Rome (1967–8). He was a conductor of the choral society Napredak (1953–5), and then taught at Stanković music school (1955–66) and at the Music Academy (today Faculty of Music, 1966–96). As a music critic, he collaborated with various newspapers (Borba, Naša borba, Politika, Večernje novosti) and translated several books. He received awards from Udruženje kompozitora Srbije (‘the Association of Serbian composers’) and Yugoslav Radio, and received the Vukova nagrada. He followed the aesthetic of Stevan Mokranjac and his own professor Živković. His lyric music, predominantly choral, is distinguishable by his afinity for humour, both in his choice of lyrics and the musical means. He uses verbal punning (...
(b Coburg, June 30, 1823; d Basle, July 16, 1896). German critic, teacher and composer. He studied the piano and cello at the Prague Conservatory and moved to Vienna in 1842, where he studied theory with Sechter and was active performing, teaching and composing. He was appointed to the Vienna Conservatory in 1852, but his high standards and outspoken critical stance led to his dismissal in 1855. In 1859 Bagge became the editor of a new journal, the Deutsche Musik-Zeitung, which opposed the ‘New German’ sympathies of Franz Brendel’s Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. He moved to Leipzig in 1863 to edit the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung (later the Leipziger allgemeine musikalische Zeitung); it closely reflected his conviction that composers should strive to imitate music of the past. Bagge’s own reviews praise music by such composers as Bargiel, Volkmann, Reinecke and Kirchner. He regarded much of Brahms’s music as undisciplined, contributing to a critical climate that may have prompted Brahms to adopt a more classically-oriented style....
[Jones, (Everett) LeRoi]
(b Newark, NJ, Oct 7, 1934; d Newark, Jan 9, 2014). American writer. He studied piano, drums, and trumpet privately and attended Howard University (BA 1954). In the early 1960s he achieved wide recognition for his poetry and plays and for his writings about jazz, which included articles for Down Beat, Jazz, and Jazz Review; a selection of his writings, many from Down Beat, was published in 1967 as Black Music. His book Blues People (1963), the first full-length study of jazz by a black writer, is both a sociological inquiry, using blues and jazz as a means of understanding how African Americans became assimilated into American culture, and a superb discussion of the cultural context of the music in the United States. Besides his activities as a writer, Baraka was involved in many black cultural and community projects. He was a founder of the Black Arts Repertory Theater-School, which was in existence from ...
(b Manchester, April 27, 1803; d Vienna, Nov 23, 1848). German critic, composer and teacher. The son of a Hanau merchant who had settled in Manchester, he was taken as a child to Germany. He studied law in Jena, Berlin, Heidelberg and Leiden, taking a doctorate despite his prosecution for ‘demagogic activities’; his first compositions date from this time. Already an ardent revolutionary, in whom Wagner detected ‘a certain wildness and vehemence’ (Mein Leben), he held various posts in rapid succession, including those of lawyer in Elberfeld (c1830), editor of a Cologne commercial newspaper founded by his father, the Handelsblatt (1834), and critic for the Kölner Zeitung and Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. On the failure of the Handelsblatt, he devoted himself entirely to music. After the death of his father and his wife he moved to The Hague to teach theory and aesthetics at the Royal Music School (...
revised by Axel Helmer
(b Stockholm, June 6, 1804; d Stockholm, March 17, 1861). Swedish music critic, historian and composer. He was a pupil of Per Frigel. He earned his living as a clerk in the Swedish Customs and was for many years music critic for the Post och inrikes tidningar. In 1849 he was elected a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Music, the library of which he helped to catalogue. In 1850 he translated Birch’s Darstellung der Bühnenkunst into Swedish. He lectured extensively on music history at the conservatory in 1852, and wrote articles for the Ny tidning för musik during the whole period of its existence (1853–7). The most important of these was ‘En blick på tonkonsten i Sverige’, a survey of Swedish music during the previous 50 years. Boman is considered one of the most reliable and important Swedish writers on music before Adolf Lindgren. (...
Donald W. Krummel
(b Burton-in-Kendal, Cumbria, March 10, 1872; d Chicago, Sept 6, 1956). American composer, teacher and critic of British origin. He was educated in London and Cologne and began his career in Aberdeen. In 1897 he joined the Chicago Musical College as teacher of the violin, composition and history. He became president of the college (1916–25) and then moved to Northwestern University, first as special lecturer in history and form, then as professor of musicology (1937–42). His books The Standard Operas (Chicago, 1928) and The Standard Concert Guide (Chicago, 1932), republished together in 1936, were expansions of works by George P. Upton, whose role as Chicago’s leading music critic (for the Chicago Tribune) Borowski inherited. He was also responsible for building the music collection of the Newberry Library, beginning soon after his arrival in Chicago and continuing as a part-time staff member (...
(b Lisbon, Oct 12, 1890; d Lisbon, Nov 27, 1955). Portuguese composer, teacher, musicologist and critic. He studied composition in Lisbon privately with Augusto Machado and Tomás Borba, then with Désiré Pâque and Luigi Mancinelli. He also studied the piano and the violin. He completed his studies in Berlin with Humperdinck and Pâque (1910) and in Paris with Grovlez (1911). After his marriage he lived on Madeira for two years, returning to Lisbon in 1914. He taught at the Lisbon Conservatory (1916–39), later becoming its assistant director (1919–24). There he worked with Mota in the major reforms which began in 1918. At the same time he established himself as a composer, musicologist, critic and lecturer and slowly rose to a position of fundamental importance in Portuguese musical life. As a teacher, he also played an important role in the preparation of a new generation of composers. In the 1930s, he began to have difficulties with the political authorities and in ...
(b San Francisco, CA, June 2, 1903, d Shady, NY, Feb 23, 1995). American music documentarian. After college graduation, she taught music in Palo Alto and studied music theory with Ernest Bloch. Following her divorce from Kenneth Robertson in 1933, she moved to New York, studied with the composer henry Cowell, and worked at Henry Street Settlement. After joining the New Deal in 1936, she moved to Washington, DC, as Charles Seeger’s music assistant in the Resettlement Administration. A trip to North Carolina in 1936 inaugurated her documentary career. Soon she was documenting folk music in many states for the Resettlement Administration. By 1937 her focus had shifted from the South to the Great Lakes states and included the region’s varied ethnic music traditions. From 1938 to 1940 she headed the WPA-sponsored California Folk Music Project, documenting the state’s English-language, Spanish-language, and recent immigrant traditions. In 1941 she moved back to New York and married Cowell. She returned to documentary work in the 1950s. Tape replaced disc recordings, and the locale shifted to Nova Scotia, Ireland, and the folk and classical traditions of South and East Asia. Several Folkways albums highlight her fieldwork of the 1950s. She and her husband wrote ...
(b Orléans, Dec 23, 1823; d Paris, Aug 8, 1854). French organist, pianist, composer, pedagogue, and music critic. As a child, Dillon learned harmony and piano from her mother, Elisabeth. Dillon later took lessons from the organist Marius Gueit of the Eglise Saint-Paterne in Orléans, displaying a precocious talent for composition and improvisation. In 1837, she and her mother moved to the Parisian suburb of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Dillon failed to establish a performance career there, but when she was 17, she secured the post of organiste titutlaire at the cathedral in Meaux. She held that post until 1853, the year before her death.
Dillon attracted significant critical attention for her composition Contes fantastiques de Hoffmann (published 1847), which she called a ‘translation’ of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s work. She published this composition under the name ‘Juliette Godillon’, but after multiple reviews referred to her as ‘Juliette G. Dillon’, she assumed the name ‘Juliette Dillon’. In ...
Manuela Schwartz and G.W. Hopkins
(b Paris, Oct 1, 1865; d Paris, May 17, 1935). French composer, critic and teacher. Dukas was not only an influence on many French 20th-century composers and others such as Zemlinsky and Berg, but also remains important in his own right. His reputation rests on only a small number of compositions, notably the Piano Sonata, Ariane et Barbe-bleue, the ballet La Péri and L'apprenti sorcier. Dukas's influence as a critic, from 1892 to 1932, can be compared with Debussy's; his informed opinions reveal great sensitivity to the musical and aesthetic changes that took place during the period. With his high ideal of craftsmanship, Dukas was extremely self-critical and he destroyed a number of his compositions.
Dukas was the second son in a family of three children. His mother was a fine pianist and had a strong influence on him in the early years of his life, but she died giving birth to his sister when he was only five years old. His father, Jules Dukas, remained a central figure until his death in ...
John G. Suess
(b Minneapolis, May 10, 1898; d Cleveland, April 17, 1974). American composer, critic and teacher. After graduating from the University of Minnesota he studied composition with Bloch in New York (1919–21) and with Boulanger in Paris (1921–4). He received a Prix de Rome (1923), and during his stay in Rome (1924–7) he composed his best-known work, the ballet The Happy Hypocrite. In 1928 he returned to the USA and was appointed head of composition and theory at the Cleveland Institute. He quickly acquired a reputation as a teacher, working also at the Oberlin College Conservatory and the Eastman School summer school before he retired in 1945 to give his attention to composition and music criticism. From 1930 to 1936 he wrote programme notes for the Cleveland Orchestra, and he was music critic of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (1932–64), where his reviews were noted for candour and wit. Among the awards he received were the Paderewski Prize (...
(b Jackson, MS, Sept 14, 1910; d New York, NY, Aug 29, 1982). American conductor, composer, arranger, educator, and writer on music. After studying composition at the Cincinnati Conservatory, Engel moved to New York, where he had lessons in composition at the Juilliard School with rubin Goldmark and then privately with roger Sessions . During the late 1930s Engel provided incidental music for plays and dance groups and conducted his own Madrigal Singers under the auspices of the WPA. He conducted the premieres of Kurt Weill’s Johnny Johnson and Aaron Copland’s The Second Hurricane, and he also led the chorus in the audience at the improvised premiere of Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock.
Engel is best known for his work in commercial venues. He supplied vocal and choral arrangements and other forms of incidental music for theatrical and broadcast productions. As a conductor, his most successful shows on Broadway included Gian Carlo Menotti’s ...
revised by A.F. Leighton Thomas
(b Newcastle Emlyn, Dyfed, Sept 21, 1843; d London, April 19, 1913). Welsh music critic, teacher and composer. He earned his living as a draper and travelling salesman. Apart from taking lessons with John Roberts in 1858, he was self-taught in music, yet he became an influential figure in Welsh musical life. A prolific composer of vocal music, he was reputed to have won more than 60 prizes at eisteddfods but only his hymn tunes have lasted, notably ‘Glanceri’, ‘Eirinwg’, ‘Trewen’, ‘Gorffwysfa’ and ‘Bryndioddef’. In his 20s he began adjudicating in smaller eisteddfods and from 1879 appeared regularly at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, where his sound critical judgment and sincerity were valued by competitors. His concern to temper musical enthusiasm with a high standard of skill led him to produce an enormous number of articles aimed at educating his countrymen. Besides his weekly columns in the Cardiff Times...
Sue Carole DeVale
(b Franklin, CT, Feb 4, 1843; d Taftville, CT, Aug 14, 1898). American writer on music. He studied the organ at Oberlin College, then (1866–7) at Leipzig; he held appointments at Oberlin (1867–8), Ripon College, Wisconsin (1868–78), Milwaukee College for Women (1878–84), Milwaukee School of Music (1884–95) and Pomona College, California (1895). Fillmore was one of the first American writers to take a serious interest in the study of traditional (primarily Amerindian) musics. He believed that, according to the natural laws of physics and acoustics, the music of all cultures, like Western art music, has a harmonic basis in major and minor triads. Since few trained musicians shared his interest, his elaborate but misguided evolutionary scheme outlining the origin and development of all music received little criticism until after his death. Fillmore claimed to have transcribed many recordings collected by Alice Cunningham Fletcher, Franz Boas and others for their publications, but recent research does not corroborate this. His greatest contributions were his textbooks on Western music, which were widely read....