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(b York Co., ME, Oct 6, 1816; d Montclair, NJ, Jan 7, 1868). American composer, teacher, organist, publisher, and piano manufacturer. In 1830 his family moved to Boston, where he studied music with Sumner Hill and attended Lowell Mason’s Academy of Music; he also sang in Mason’s Bowdoin Street church choir and later became organist there. From 1836 he taught music classes and gave private piano lessons in Machias, Maine, then in 1838 became a singing-school teacher in St. John’s, New Brunswick. Bradbury moved to New York in 1840 as choir leader of the First Baptist Church, Brooklyn, and the following year he accepted a position as organist at the Baptist Tabernacle in New York. He established singing classes for children similar to those of Mason in Boston; his annual music festivals with as many as 1000 children led to the introduction of music in New York’s public schools. He also published his first collection, ...

Article

Alan Tyson and Leon Plantinga

[Clementi, Mutius Philippus Vincentius Franciscus Xaverius]

(b Rome, Jan 23, 1752; d Evesham, Worcs., March 10, 1832). English composer, keyboard player and teacher, music publisher and piano manufacturer of Italian birth.

Leon Plantinga

The oldest of seven children of Nicolo Clementi (1720–89), a silversmith, and Magdalena, née Kaiser, Clementi began studies in music in Rome at a very early age; his teachers were Antonio Boroni (1738–92), an organist named Cordicelli, Giuseppi Santarelli (1710–90) and possibly Gaetano Carpani. In January 1766, at the age of 13, he secured the post of organist at his home church, S Lorenzo in Damaso. In that year, however, his playing attracted the attention of an English traveller, Peter Beckford (1740–1811), cousin of the novelist William Beckford (1760–1844) and nephew of William Beckford (1709–70), twice Lord Mayor of London. According to Peter Beckford’s own forthright explanation, he ‘bought Clementi of his father for seven years’, and in late ...

Article

Katherine K. Preston

(b Warren, MA, Oct 7, 1832; d Englewood, NJ, Oct 18, 1918). American composer, writer, editor, and organ-maker. His early education was at the Elmira (New York) Academy, where he demonstrated a gift for composition. He subsequently spent several years teaching music and languages in New York City and served as organist at the Broadway Tabernacle Church to earn money for study abroad. In 1855 he went to Leipzig to pursue studies in law, philosophy, and music. At the Leipzig Conservatory he studied with E.F. Richter, M. Hauptmann (theory and composition) and L. Plaidy (piano); he later studied organ with Haupt in Berlin. Several of his compositions were performed in Leipzig and Berlin; both Liszt and Spohr expressed interest in his work as a composer. In 1857 Converse returned to America via England, where he declined an invitation by Sterndale Bennett to submit his sacred cantata When the Lord Turned Again...

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 ...

Article

Howard Mayer Brown

revised by Lynda Sayce

(b Nuremberg, c1500; d Nuremberg, 1570). German instrumentalist, lute maker and compiler and arranger of several volumes of instrumental music. He was probably the son of Conrad Gerle (d 1521), a well-known lute maker in Nuremberg. He may be presumed to have spent his life in his native city. He may have been related to Georg Gerle who worked as an instrument maker in Innsbruck during the second half of the 16th century.

Hieronymus Formschneider of Nuremberg published three volumes of music by Hans Gerle: Musica teusch, auf die Instrument der grossen unnd kleinen Geygen, auch Lautten (1532), Tabulatur auff die Laudten (1533) and Eyn newes sehr künstlichs Lautenbuch (1552). On the title-page of the last volume the author called himself ‘Hans Gerle den Eltern’ (the elder), implying the existence of a younger relative with the same forename.

The first volume, ...

Article

Lasairíona Duignan

revised by Barra R. Boydell

(d Dublin, 1813). Irish composer, music publisher and instrument maker. George Petrie considered him to have been the ‘most eminent British composer of military music in his time’. A Collection of Quick and Slow Marches, Troops &c. can be dated 1795–8. A square piano dated 1796 bears Holden’s name (possibly as seller rather than maker). In 1805, described as a ‘military music master and instrument maker’, he had premises in Arran Quay, Dublin. Nothing further is known about Holden’s apparent activities as an instrument maker. In 1806 he moved to Parliament Street, where he opened a music shop and began publishing, largely his own music although this continued to be issued by other Dublin publishers. On his death the business was continued by his widow until about 1818. Holden's publications included A Collection of Old Established Irish Slow and Quick Tunes (c1807); many of the airs may have been collected by his son Francis Holden. The elder Holden published two more collections of Irish music (issued periodically), collections of Welsh tunes, masonic songs and country dances, numbers of marches and quick steps, often dedicated to specific regiments and corps, and many individual songs and other instrumental pieces....

Article

Richard Crawford

(b Medway, MA, Feb 27, 1784; d Brookline, MA, 1864). American composer, compiler, teacher, and organ builder. He worked from 1806 to 1820 as a music teacher in New York City, though he spent some time in Albany in 1819. In September 1820 he performed at Boston’s Columbian Museum on the Apollino, a panharmonicon that he claimed to have invented (announced in The Euterpeiad, i/23 (1820), 91). He later built reed organs and in 1836 exhibited an eight-stop instrument of his own design at Boston’s Mechanic’s Fair. He compiled The Washington Choir (Boston, 1843), a collection of temperance music that identifies him on its title-page as “pupil of Dr. G.K. Jackson,” who was active in New York between 1802 and 1812. Plimpton’s few surviving compositions include eight marches, an air, a waltz, and a minuet in The Universal Repository of Music (a collection now in the New York Public Library, which he copyrighted on ...