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Article

Jan Trojan and Geoffrey Chew

(b Rataje u Kroměříže, June 3, 1887; d Prague, Jan 25, 1949). Czech composer and musicologist. He studied at Prague University under Nejedlý and Hostinský, receiving the PhD in 1912 for a dissertation on Moravian folk opera in the 18th century. He studied composition under Novák (1908–10) and counterpoint under Ostrčil (1920), and he devoted himself to composition after his appointment as head of the musical archive at the National Museum in Prague (now the Muzeum české hudby) in 1915, though his contemporaries always regarded him as a Moravian composer. In the 1920s he was an official in the Society for Modern Music. Passing from late-Romanticism into a distinctive modernism after World War I, his music remained broadly lyrical, with traces of Moravian folk influence, and with mainly triadic (though often non-functional) harmony. Most of his numerous works are cast in extended forms. His vocal works remained in the repertoire long after World War II, especially the choral works....

Article

Beatriz Martínez del Fresno

(b Madrid, Dec 20, 1886; d Madrid, Dec 22, 1973). Spanish composer, librarian, critic and musicologist. He studied with his father and Antonio Santamaría, and from 1899 at the Madrid Conservatory with Andrés Monge, Manuel Fernández Grajal, Pedro Fontanilla, Felipe Pedrell and Emilio Serrano. Gómez won first prizes in harmony (1902), piano (1904) and composition (1908). He also studied history at Madrid University, earning a first degree (1907) and a doctorate (1918). After working as an arranger at the Teatro Real (1908–11) he was director of the Toledo Archaeological Museum (1911–13), head of the music section of the National Library (1913–15) and librarian of the Madrid Conservatory (1915–56). Among the subjects he taught was composition, which he taught to the group of composers known as the Generation of ’51.

Backed by Bretón and Bartolomé Pérez Casas at the beginning of his composing career, Gómez composed more than 100 works, some of which won national awards. His music wavers between neo-Romanticism (...

Article

Jon Newsom

revised by H. Wiley Hitchcock

(b Lafayette [now part of Jersey City], NJ, Oct 6, 1873; d New York, Oct 30, 1928). American musicologist, librarian, editor and composer. As a boy he was sent to Germany to study; he was a piano pupil of James Kwast (1883–93) and later attended courses at the universities of Heidelberg and Munich, developing his interests in philosophy and, especially, musicology. He studied composition in Munich with Melchior Ernst Sachs, composition and orchestration with Iwan Knorr in Frankfurt, and conducting with Carl Schröder at the Sondershausen Conservatory.

In 1899 Sonneck returned to the USA and for three years travelled from New England to South Carolina, collecting references to American musical life before 1800, primarily from newspapers. He also did much work in the new Library of Congress building, and in 1902 the librarian Herbert Putnam made him head of the newly formed music division, where he organized and developed what was to become one of the most comprehensive collections of music, manuscripts and books on music in the world. He established its unrivalled archive of opera scores and librettos, and in ...