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(b Pisky, near Khar′kiv, 8/Sept 20, 1876; d Paris, Jan 8, 1945). Ukrainian composer and pianist. Aged ten he was sent, along with his brother Yakiv (later known as the composer Stepovy), to sing in the choir of the Imperial Chapel in St Petersburg. It was during his time there (1886–95) that he began to compose under the influence of his teachers Balakirev and Lyapunov. He finished studies with Rimsky-Korsakov and Lyadov at the St Petersburg Conservatory in 1901, the year in which the latter conducted the first performance of the Lyric Poem, op.20. Akimenko then became the director of a music school in Tbilisi (1901–03). He performed widely as a pianist, particularly in France and Switzerland, and lived for a while in Paris (1903–06) before returning to Khar′kiv. In 1914 he was invited to teach composition and theory at the St Petersburg Conservatory, a post he held until ...

Article

Owen Wright

(fl first half of the 11th century). Arab musician and writer. The son of an eminent musician, he became a prominent singer at the Cairo court of the Fatimid caliph al-Ẓāhir (1021–36), and was still active as a teacher in 1057. His music treatise, completed after 1036 and entitled Ḥāwī al-funūn wa-salwat al-maḥzūn (‘Compendium of the arts to comfort sad hearts’), is of particular interest in that it deals with various topics of little concern to other authorities. Written from the perspective of a cultured musician rather than that of a philosopher-theorist, it calls upon a literary tradition of writing about music, and its historical content is frankly derivative, even if of interest for the implication of continuity with the court music of 9th-century Baghdad. But it is wide-ranging in its treatment of contemporary practice, dealing not only with such basics as mode and rhythm, but also with such matters as the normal sequence of events in performance, deportment and etiquette, the materials and construction of the ‘...

Article

Sophie Fuller

[Amanda Christina Elizabeth; Ring, Montague]

(b London, March 16, 1866; d London, March 5, 1956). English composer, singer and teacher. An important member of London’s black community, Amanda Ira Aldridge was the daughter of the famous tragic actor Ira Aldridge. In 1883 she won a scholarship to the RCM. A pupil of Jenny Lind, her successful career as a contralto was ended by damage to her throat caused by laryngitis. She then established a distinguished career as a teacher, with pupils that included Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson.

Aldridge started publishing her compositions in her thirties, using the pseudonym Montague Ring. Her surviving works are in a popular style with strong rhythmic appeal. She published over 25 songs, often with words by African-American poets, such as ‘Where the Paw-Paw Grows’ (words by H.E. Downing, 1907) and ‘Summah is de Lovin’ Time’ (P.L. Dunbar, 1925). Her best-known work, Three African Dances, for piano, uses themes with West African origins....

Article

Juan Orrego-Salas

revised by Luis Merino

(b Santiago, Sept 2, 1911; d Santiago, Aug 2, 1954). Chilean composer and pianist. He studied with Allende for composition and Renard for the piano at the Santiago National Conservatory (1923–35), where he then held appointments as coach at the opera department (1935), assistant professor of the piano (1937), professor of analysis (1940), and director (1945). At the same time he taught at the Liceo Manuel de Salas in Santiago. He was secretary-general to the Instituto de Extensión Musical (from 1941), a founder-director of the Escuela Moderna de Música, Santiago (1940), and a member of various arts societies. In 1943 he went to the USA as a guest of the Institute of International Education and in 1953 he was in Europe for the performance of his Wind Sextet at the ISCM Festival. His early compositions show the influences of French music and Chilean folklore; from the late 1940s his work became more Expressionist and abstract....

Article

Dave Arthur

(b Workington, Cumbria, Jan 13, 1941). English traditional singer, writer and teacher. She began singing American songs in 1957 with a band, Skiffle Group, which eventually adopted a repertory of British traditional songs. From the early 1960s Armstrong, partially sighted, combined a singing career with that of social worker. Influenced by singer Louis Killen, she studied traditional singers and analysed the synthesis of content, style and form in traditional performance. In 1964, she joined Ewan MacColl and Seeger family, §5's Critics Group. In New York in 1973 she attended a Balkan singing class run by Ethel Raim, a meeting that had a long-term influence on her both as a singer and teacher and as an activist in the Women's Movement. In 1975, Armstrong began teaching Voice Workshops which aimed to help singers and non-singers to express themselves through voice and song. Since the late 1980s, she has run joint voice workshops with her husband, Darien Pritchard, a movement and relaxation specialist. A politically committed artist, who frequently performs for women's peace and environmental groups, Armstrong has one of the most distinctive and emotive voices of the Folk Revival....

Article

Nicholas Tochka

(b Brockton, MA, USA, Nov 4, 1925). Albanian tenor and pedagogue. Born in the large Albanian immigrant colony in New England (USA), Athanasi returned as a child to his parents’ hometown of Korça, where he participated in its vibrant prewar choral, theatre, and sports scenes. During World War II, he performed with resistance groups singing patriotic and partisan songs and, in 1948, he was selected as a soloist in the newly formed National Army Ensemble by director Gaqo Avrazi. Athanasi was among a handful of young men in this ensemble to receive a scholarship to study in the Soviet Union, and following the completion of his degree in vocal performance at the Moscow State Conservatory in 1958, he was appointed soloist at Tirana’s Theatre of Opera and Ballet. He performed leading roles in premières of Albanian operas, and was active as a recitalist, performing a broad range of art music works from the Western European and Albanian repertories as well as arranged folk songs into the 1980s. In ...

Article

Laurie J. Sampsel

(b Milton, MA, Feb 18, 1760; d French Mills, NY, Nov 23, 1813). American composer, singing master, singer, and tunebook compiler. Babcock lived most of his life in Watertown, MA, where he worked as a hatter. As a teenager he fought in the Revolutionary War, and he died while enlisted in the Army during the War of 1812. He was active primarily as a psalmodist during the period from 1790 to 1810. Babcock was the choir leader at the Watertown Congregational church, sang at and composed music for town events, and taught singing schools there in 1798 and 1804. He may also have been an itinerant singing master in the Boston area. Babcock composed 75 extant pieces, including anthems, set pieces, fuging tunes, psalm, and hymn tunes. Most of his music was first published in his own tunebook, Middlesex Harmony, which was published in two editions (1795...

Article

William E. Boswell

(b Wenham, MA, July 10, 1811; d Boston, MA, March 11, 1889). American teacher, singer, and composer. He sang, directed choirs, and taught music in Salem, Massachusetts, and in 1833 toured the country with a concert company. He then settled in Bangor, Maine, as a businessman, but moved to Boston in 1837 to study music with John Paddon. He was director of music at W.E. Channing’s church for eight years, and succeeded Lowell Mason as superintendent of musical instruction in the Boston public schools in 1841. Also in that year he began holding “musical conventions,” which led to many appearances as soloist with the Handel and Haydn Society, of which he later became vice-president. He founded the Boston Music School and served as principal and head of the singing department until 1868, when he retired and the school closed. He was editor of the Boston Musical Journal for several years. Baker collaborated in compiling over 25 collections of songs, hymns, anthems, and glees, including ...

Article

Laurie Blunsom

(b Paris, ME, Sept 18, 1836; d after 1920). American contralto and teacher. Barry descended from old New England stock dating back to the early Puritans. She began her vocal studies early, and her first public appearances in 1863 were in Boston with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club and the Handel and Haydn Society. She later studied with Luigi Vannucini in Florence, Italy. Barry had significant success as a singer, performing operatic roles and singing oratorios throughout the USA and in Canada and Mexico. Married twice, Barry’s first husband was John S. Cary, brother of the singer Annie Louise Cary. Her second marriage to artist Charles A. Barry in 1868 ended in a sensational divorce in 1873. From 1877, Barry concentrated her musical career on teaching. She continued to be known and respected as a voice teacher in Boston well into her 80s.

G.T. Edwards: Music and Musicians of Maine...

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Jessica Payette

(b Brooklyn, NY, 1962). American soprano. Baskerville pursued vocal studies at the institution now known as the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, where she serves on the vocal faculty. She is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and was a finalist in the National Vocal Competition for Young Opera Singers in 1979.

Baskerville is highly regarded as both a jazz vocalist and operatic lead. As a jazz vocalist she appeared in the original Broadway production of Sophisticated Ladies in 1981, a revue celebrating the music of Duke Ellington, and sang “Creole Love Call” in The Cotton Club, a 1984 blockbuster film. She made her Metropolitan Opera House debut in 1985 with the role of Lily in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. In the 1989 remounting of the production she starred as Bess, earning favorable reviews for her expressive vocal nuances. In 1987...

Article

Mary Cyr

[not Jean-Baptiste]

(b Lunel, 1710; d Paris, Dec 1, 1772). French haute-contre singer, music teacher, cellist and composer. His début in 1733 at the Paris Opéra, according to La Borde, was in the monologue of Pélée, ‘Ciel! en voyant ce temple redoutable’ from Act 3 of Collasse's Thétis et Pélée (1689). He soon joined the Italian troupe, performing in divertissements between the acts of operas. After three years he returned to the Opéra and took several minor roles between 1737 and 1745 in Rameau's works: Un Athlète in Castor et Pollux (1737), Un Songe in Dardanus (1739), Lycurgue in Fêtes d'Hébé (1739), and Tacmas (replacing the well-known haute-contre Tribou) in the third entrée of Les Indes galantes (1743 revival). In 1743 he sang the title role in the première of Boismortier's ballet-comique, Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse, with the famous soprano Marie Fel as Altisidore. Two years later he retired from the opera to devote himself to teaching and playing the cello. He became first cellist of the orchestra at the Comédie-Italienne in ...

Article

A. Lindsey Kirwan

revised by Stephan Hörner

(b Dolsenhaim, nr Altenburg, Saxony, 1584; d Ulm, Jan 10, 1656). German composer, singer and teacher. His father having left him little in the way of worldly goods, he went as a young man to Schwandorf, Nördlingen, and then to Augsburg, where his first publication appeared in 1606. The title ‘Kaiserlicher Notar’, which he held from 1624, indicates a legal training. At the end of 1606 he was appointed a tenor in the Stuttgart court chapel and in 1608 acted also as composer to the duke, Johann Friedrich; however, his application for the post of Kapellmeister was unsuccessful. Despite a contemporary report that he was ‘a good musician and a fine composer’, he was dismissed in 1612 when the number of singers in the chapel was reduced. After this he appears to have employed his talents in various directions. Until 1624 he worked as Präzeptor and music director at Bopfingen, near Nördlingen; then for ten years he was Kapellmeister and probably also official scribe to Count Ludwig Eberhard of Öttingen before returning to Augsburg in ...

Article

(b Savigliano, Piedmont, 1776; d Bologna, Feb 12, 1854). Italian soprano and teacher. After singing at the age of 11 in a children's performance at the Teatro S Carlino in Naples, she studied with La Barbiera for four years and began her career as an operatic singer. By the time of her marriage to Felice Radicati in 1801, she was already well known in Italy as a prima donna. From 1801 to 1805 she continued to sing in Italy and, according to Schmidl, appeared in Russia in 1803. From 1805 to 1808 the Radicatis were in Germany and Austria; a Munich reviewer praised her in Cimarosa's Gli Orazi (September 1806) as ‘a sensitive, sweet singer with a voice not too strong or brilliant, but pleasant, clear and moving’. In 1809 she sang in the Netherlands on the invitation of Louis Bonaparte, and from 1810 to 1812...

Article

F.E. Kirby

(b Immecke, nr Meinerzhagen, 1536; d Dortmund, Aug 6, 1609). German theorist, teacher and Kantor. He was educated first in Münster and Dortmund, and later at Cologne University where he received the MA in 1560. After serving as teacher, Kantor and administrator for several years in various schools, mainly in Dortmund, he took up a post in 1567 as Kantor at the famous Reinoldi School there; he became Rektor in 1582 in succession to his former teacher and long-standing friend and colleague, Johann Lambach. His work in this post was widely acclaimed and in 1587 he was made Comes Palatinus by Emperor Rudolf II.

He is important for his treatise Erotematum musicae, originally published in 1573 under the title Musicae erotematum, and subsequently reprinted three times. The treatise, of the musica practica type, presents the fundamentals of music in question and answer form. For his formulations Beurhaus borrowed considerably, as was customary in a treatise of this kind, from other German theorists of the time, notably Agricola, Faber (both Gregor and Heinrich), Figulus, Galliculus, Ornithoparchus, Wilfflingseder and Zanger....

Article

Tony Gould

(b Sydney, Feb 8, 1947). Australian singer. She first studied piano. From 1968 to 1971 she sang with a cooperative group, the Affair, touring Australia and England, after which she joined the Daly–Wilson Big Band and worked as a studio musician and in cabaret. In 1973–4 she toured North America, where she appeared on television and performed with her ensemble Compared to What. Following her return to Australia she presented her own radio program, “Kerrie Biddell and Friends,” for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. During the 1970s she recorded three albums as a leader. In 1982 she formed a duo with the pianist Julian Lee and joined the faculty of the New South Wales Conservatorium in Sydney to teach jazz. She remained active through the 1990s. Biddell possesses a powerful voice with an uncommonly wide range and is a gifted improviser; she may be heard to particular advantage on the track ...

Article

Robert Fajon

(b Lyons, c1683; d Paris, March 2, 1760). French composer, teacher and opera singer. The main source of information about him is the Parfaict brothers’ Dictionnaire des théâtres, which states that Bouvard entered the Opéra at a very young age to sing soprano parts, with a ‘voice of such a range that its like had never been heard’. After his voice broke, when he was about 16, he spent a couple of years in Rome. He was back in Paris by February 1701, where his first (Italian) air appeared in a collection published by Ballard. In 1702, thanks to the patronage of M. de Francine, the Académie Royale de Musique performed his first opera, Médus, with great success, but in 1706 Cassandre, composed in collaboration with Bertin de La Doué, was a failure. Throughout the years 1701–11 Bouvard regularly published airs in Ballard’s collections, initially airs sérieux...

Article

(b London, Sept 8, 1828; d after 1901). American soprano and music teacher of British birth. Born in London, she came to the USA as a young child. Her mother was a singer trained in the Italian school who provided her early musical education. At age 12, after her mother’s death, she continued her studies with Henry Derwort, Mlle Arnault, George Loder, and Eliza Loder. Although she was encouraged to pursue an operatic career, she chose to concentrate on English song and oratorio singing. She made her début in 1844 at age 16 at Apollo Hall in New York. She married C. E. L. Brinkerhoff in 1848 but continued to perform in New York and throughout the USA. In 1861 she traveled to Europe, singing in London and Paris, and attending voice classes at the Paris Conservatoire. Returning to New York, Brinkerhoff continued to sing and increasingly focused on teaching. In addition, she composed a number of songs, many of which became well known. She was well known in American musical circles, counting among her friends the pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk....

Article

(b Erie, PA, Dec 2, 1866; d Stamford, CT, Sept 12, 1949). American singer, composer, arranger, and music editor. His early music study included piano, voice, guitar, and bass viol. In January 1892 he won a scholarship at the National Conservatory of Music in New York. Among Conservatory faculty who influenced his career were Victor Herbert and Antonín Dvořák, director of the conservatory from September 1892 to April 1895. Burleigh became Dvořák’s copyist and librarian of the Conservatory orchestra, in which he played timpani and bass viol. He sang plantation songs and spirituals for Dvořák that he had learned from his grandfather, a former slave. Dvořák’s Symphony no.9 in E minor, “From the New World,” was written and premiered while Burleigh was at the Conservatory.

In New York Burleigh took his place among prominent African American singers such as soprano Sissieretta Jones (known as the Black Patti). In the years ...

Article

Nicholas Tochka

(b Korça, Albania, Jan 24, 1935). Albanian tenor and pedagogue. Identified early as a talented singer in his hometown of Korça, he attended the Arts Lyceum ‘Jordan Misja’ in Tirana where he received his first formal training, with the pedagogue Mihal Ciko. In 1957 he received a scholarship to study at the Moscow State Conservatory, where he remained until 1961. On his return to Tirana, Çako was named soloist to the Theater of Opera and Ballet, where he performed a number of leading roles in foreign and Albanian operas during the 1960s and 1970s. Chief among his roles in Albanian operatic works were Dhimitër in Lulja e Kujtimit (by P. Jakova, 1961), Doda in Mrika (by P. Jakova, 1966), and Muji in Vjosa (by T. Daija, 1980). In addition to art music, he interpreted light popular songs and arrangements of folk songs throughout his career. Named as a pedagogue to Tirana’s State Conservatory in ...

Article

John-Carlos Perea

(b Big Cove, Qualla Boundary, NC, May 13, 1918; d Big Cove, March 28, 2012). Native American elder, singer, dancer, banjoist, and teacher. A member of the Cherokee tribe, he was introduced to Cherokee music and dance as a child by his uncle Will West Long, an elder in the Big Cove community and co-author of Cherokee Dance and Drama (Berkeley, 1951, 2/1983). He taught and performed Cherokee music and dance and formed the Raven Rock Dancers in the 1980s. Calhoun is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing his work as a teacher and culture bearer including the first Sequoyah Award in 1988, the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award in 1990, and a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1992. He may be heard on such albums as Where the Ravens Roost: Cherokee Traditional Songs of Walker Calhoun (Mountain Heritage Center Recording, ...