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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

Charles Corey

(b Los Angeles, CA, Jan 22, 1949; d Princeton, NJ, April 13, 2013).

American composer, conductor, performer, and instrument inventor. Drummond attended the University of Southern California and the California Institute of the Arts, and studied composition with Leonard Stein. He also worked as an assistant for harry Partch in the 1960s and 70s, and in 1990 became the Director of the Harry Partch Instrumentarium. Drummond’s music is microtonal, exploring the unique possibilities of expandable just intonation through the use of standard Western instruments, voice, electronics, Harry Partch’s instruments, and two just-intoned instruments of Drummond’s own invention—the zoomoozophone and the juststrokerods. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1995, and is co-director of Newband, a new music ensemble for which he frequently serves as a performer or conductor.

Drummond’s zoomoozophone, built in 1978, is a metallophone which employs 31 just-intoned pitches per octave. The instrument is based on a g′ of 392 Hz, and has a total range of just over four octaves. Made of aluminum bars, it has a full, resonant sound with a long sustain, and can be played by anywhere from one to four percussionists at a time. The juststrokerods have an even longer sustain; spanning one octave, this instrument contains 13 notes that form a just-intoned version of the equal-tempered chromatic scale. One or both of these instruments are employed in a large number of Drummond’s works as well as those by other composers such as Elizabeth Brown and John Cage....

Article

Helmut Kallmann

[Johann Friedrich Conrad; Frédéric]

(b Hanover, Aug 10, 1759; d Quebec, 12/Jan 13, 1836). Canadian musician of German birth. The son of a military band musician, he is reported to have been a violin prodigy. In 1777 he enlisted in one of the Brunswick regiments destined for Canada. Discharged in 1783, he settled in Quebec, where he made a living as instrumentalist, teacher, tuner, repairman, and importer of instruments and sheet music. He was probably the first full-time musician in Canada who left a mark both immediate and lasting. His activities, probably as a director and conductor, enhanced the holding of subscription concerts in Quebec in the 1790s, featuring orchestral and chamber music by J.C. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Pleyel and others. Many of the printed parts assumed to have been supplied by Glackemeyer are still preserved. Prince Edward (later Duke of Kent), in Quebec 1791–4, is said to have appointed him a regimental bandmaster....

Article

Trevor Herbert

(b Belfast, Aug 12, 1839; d Manchester, Dec 12, 1911). English clarinettist, brass band conductor and teacher. He was the son of a military bandmaster and had a precocious musical talent; by the age of 11 he was appearing as a piccolo soloist with Louis Jullien’s orchestra. He also appears to have been a talented pianist, but it was as a clarinettist that he made his mark as a player. After touring with a number of theatre bands he became leader of the Harrogate Spa Band, and in 1861 he joined the Hallé Orchestra in which he remained for most of his playing career. In the 1850s he started to conduct brass bands, and he went on to have influential associations with the most successful Victorian bands, particularly the Meltham Mills Band. At the time of his death Gladney was widely referred to as the father of the brass band movement. With two other successful Victorian band conductors, Edwin Swift and Alexander Owen, he shaped the format and idiom of the British brass band. The standard instrumentation comes from their preferred combination of forces (...

Article

Robert E. Eliason

(b Lyme, NH, May 16, 1822; d Boston, Feb 11, 1900). American bandleader, bugle player and brass instrument manufacturer. He was an accomplished keyed bugle player and led several bands, first in Hartford, Connecticut (1844–5), then in New Haven (1845–6). Shortly after he became director and E♭ bugle soloist with the Lowell, Massachusetts, brass band. He was presented with an extremely fine E♭ keyed bugle of solid gold on 15 April 1850 by the members of the Lowell band. In 1856 Hall succeeded Patrick S. Gilmore as leader of the Boston Brass Band, a position he retained for many years.

In 1862, after a year of partnership with J. Lathrop Allen, a leading Boston instrument maker, Hall began his own brass instrument manufactory and importing business. He was joined by Benjamin F. Quinby, and from 1866 to 1875 Hall & Quinby were leading producers and importers of brass instruments in Boston. Their instruments were made in circular and over-shoulder forms as well as in the shapes common today, and they were usually equipped with Allen valves. Although most of Hall & Quinby’s instruments were pitched alternately in E♭ and B♭ like saxhorns, they also made brass instruments pitched a 3rd apart, like those in the ...

Article

[Lohelius, Joannes]

(b Lahošť, nr Duchcov, Bohemia, Dec 31, 1724; d Strahov, Prague, Feb 22, 1788). Bohemian composer, choirmaster, organist and organ builder. He was a church organist first in Bohosudov and from about 1741 in Prague. After finishing his philosophical studies he joined the Premonstratensian order in August 1747, taking the name Joannes Lohelius, under which most of his music was written. His earliest autographs date from about 1755. Besides serving as choirmaster of the monastic churches at Milevsko (1749–50) and at Strahov (from November 1756), he spent 15 years rebuilding the Strahov church organ, making it one of the best and largest in Bohemia at the time (Mozart tested and admired it in autumn 1787); he also designed the organ of the Barnabite monastic church of St Salvator in Prague.

Oehlschlägel was a pupil of J.A. Sehling and Franz Habermann, but he evidently felt a strong inclination towards the more modern idiom of his younger contemporaries Antonio Boroni and F.X. Brixi; works of the latter are predominant in the music he copied for the Strahov choir. His own works show an amalgamation of pre-Classical and early Classical elements. His church oratorios are operatic in style, with large da capo arias, and are remarkable for the skilful treatment of wind instruments in their orchestral accompaniments. Although he was one of the most authoritative and prolific composers of Bohemian church music in the second half of the 18th century, none of his works was printed during his lifetime....

Article

Klaus Wolfgang Niemöller

(b Bamberg, Nov 8, 1718; d Karlsruhe, Oct 24, 1809). German composer, conductor and glass harmonica maker. He received his musical education from the organ builder J.P. Seuffert in Würzburg and was a musician at the Rastatt court from about 1745 until its dissolution in 1771. There he was Konzertmeister in 1762 (leading the orchestra from the harpsichord) and Kapellmeister from 1765. In 1772 he became Konzertmeister at the Karlsruhe court, but in 1775 he went to Cologne as Kapellmeister at the cathedral and director of public concerts. Although his stay was brief, he had a lasting influence on Cologne’s musical life through his sacred compositions (in particular his mass for Epiphany, 1776, published in 1781) and through his introduction of modern orchestral methods in the style of Mannheim. In 1777 he accepted an invitation to return to Karlsruhe as Kapellmeister, and was also active there as a teacher and maker of glass harmonicas, whose range he extended from two octaves to four (...

Article

(b Strelna, Russia, 1848; d Tallinn, Estonia, 1925). Russian baron, military officer, musician, and instrument collector. From 1882 he led the St Petersburg court vocal and instrumental ensemble, which used some violins and flutes that had belonged to Alexander I (whose ancestor Peter III had acquired more than 60 valuable instruments). From 1897 Shtakelberg directed the court’s professional orchestra. In 1899 he joined a commission to examine the status of the imperial theatres. With the support of Alexander III, a serious amateur musician, Shtakelberg initiated in 1902 a museum of music that was to have five divisions: a comprehensive collection of instruments of all peoples from antiquity to the present; a centre for instrument design and construction, intended to encourage Russian manufacture; an acoustical laboratory for the exploration and explanation of musical sound; a musicological research library, with a section on the history of music printing; and an archive of music manuscripts, iconography, and memorabilia. The museum was to be complemented with concerts, using instruments from the collection or copies. The project was not completed, but through extensive correspondence and exchanges with other European and American collectors, donations from Russian nobles—the empress Maria Feodorovna herself donated a group of richly decorated Persian instruments—and his own travels, Shtakelberg built an impressive assemblage of historical and exotic instruments that formed the nucleus of the present collection of the St Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music....

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 ...

Article

Robert E. Eliason

(b West Swanzey, NH, Sept 14, 1832; d Brooklyn, NY, Oct 23, 1912). American manufacturer and importer of musical instruments and bandleader . Both John Stratton and George William Stratton, his brother, older by two years, were precocious young musicians. Both boys studied music avidly, George learning the clarinet and violin and John the trombone, E♭ keyed bugle and cornet. For three years beginning in 1839 the boys and their father travelled around New England giving concerts.

John began his career as a bandleader in Worcester, Massachusetts. He then went to Hartford, Connecticut, where he directed the Hartford Cornet Band and opened his first music store. In 1857 or 1858 he moved to New York, where he established a brass instrument factory and led Stratton's Palace Garden Orchestra. His brother ran a music store in Boston. John's business prospered during the Civil War years and as soon as the war was over he began establishing factories in Germany to supply his own New York store and his brother's in Boston. After founding brass instrument factories at Markneukirchen in ...