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John Whenham

(b 1623–8; d Bologna, 1699, before 28 Jan). Italian singer, composer and instrument maker. He was an Augustinian monk who was employed from about 1649 as a soprano castrato at the Este court at Modena. On 13 November 1660 he was appointed to the choir of S Petronio, Bologna, with a stipend of 50 lire a month; he was discharged on 24 April 1662 but rejoined on 25 July 1663. In October 1665 he returned to Modena, where he succeeded Marco Uccellini as choirmaster of the cathedral. He vacated this post in November 1673 and by early 1674 was again living at Bologna. Between 1677 and 1681 he served as a singer in the cappella of Duke Francesco II of Modena. In 1685 he was made a member of the Accademia Filarmonica, Bologna, and seems to have spent his last years in or near that city. He wrote to the Duke of Modena in ...

Article

Andrew Hughes

(d 1286). ?French poet and priest. He was a canon and priest of the collegiate church of St Pierre in Lille, near Arras. About 1280, he wrote a metrical and rhymed paraphrase of the famous poem, Anticlaudianus, by the 12th-century theologian, philosopher and poet Alain de Lille. Its plot concerns Nature’s formation of a perfect man to be imbued with the Arts and Virtues, and an ascent to heaven, on which journey the music of the spheres is heard, to request a soul from God. Adam named his new work Ludus super Anticlaudianum. It survives today in one manuscript ( F-Lm 316), thought to be partly autograph. Adam’s work retains the plot, the moral and the didactic character of the original, but the forbidding allegory and encyclopedic tone is modified in favour of a simpler style and language so that the work, although in Latin, is almost like a ...

Article

Ruth M. Wilson

revised by Stephen L. Pinel

(b Philadelphia, PA, Aug 16, 1771; d Brooklyn, NY, Apr 30, 1861). American organist, church musician, teacher, instrument-maker, tunebook compiler, and composer. In addition to serving as the organist of Trinity Church, Peter Erben was a prominent church musician, organ builder, and music teacher in antebellum New York.

Peter was the son of Johann Adam Erben (d c1781), a Philadelphia distiller. By 1791 he was in New York working as a tanner, but turned his attention to music after a bankruptcy in 1796. He was successively the organist of Christ Church (1800), the Middle Dutch Reformed Church (1806), St. George’s Chapel (1808), St. John’s Chapel (1813), and ultimately Trinity Church (1820–39). From about 1800 he was also the founder and director of the Society for Cultivating Church Music and frequently presented public concerts with the charity children. Between ...