(b Bitonto, nr Bari; d after 1651). Italian composer and guitarist. He is known by four books of pieces for five-course Baroque guitar. They consist mainly of simple battute accompaniments to popular songs and dances of the early 17th century such as the passacaglia, ciaccona, folia, Ruggiero and aria di Fiorenza. The accompaniments are set down in the alphabet system of chord notation (alfabeto) devised by Girolamo Montesardo, in which letters of the alphabet designate fingering positions for various major and minor chords. Each of Abatessa’s books contains instructions concerning the interpretation of the alphabet tablature, the fingering of the chords and the tuning of the guitar; the 1652 book also explains how to tune the guitar with the harp, presumably for the simultaneous playing of continuo parts. The 1627 collection gives instructions regarding the execution of certain kinds of strum such as the trillo and ...
revised by Gary R. Boye
Giovanni Carli Ballola
revised by Roberta Montemorra Marvin
(b Alessandria, March 20, 1851; d Alessandria, May 2, 1894). Italian organist and composer. He began his musical studies with his stepfather, Pietro Cornaglia. From 1868 to 1871 he attended the Milan Conservatory, studying the piano with Antonio Angeleri and composition with Lauro Rossi and Mazzucato. His graduation exercise, the cantata Caino e Abele, won the first prize and a medal of honour. He toured abroad as a concert pianist, but from 1880 until his death was organist at the cathedral in Alessandria, where he also founded a school of composition, singing and piano, and conducted concerts for the Associazione filarmonica alessandrina. He composed three operas, Isabella Spinola (1877, Milan), Maria di Warden (1884, Venice) and Una partita a scacchi (1892, Pavia), the latter based on Giuseppe Giacosa's popular comedy. In these works, which did not have much success, Abbà Cornaglia remained uninfluenced by the innovatory tendencies of the ‘Scapigliatura’ and of Catalani and by the new ...
(b c1420; d 1497). English church musician. He was noted as a fine singer and skilful organist. After service in the household of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (until 1447), and as a lay clerk of Eton College (1447–51), where he was one of the four clerks specially responsible for singing polyphony in the college chapel, he became a clerk of the Chapel Royal in 1451, and Master of the Choristers there from 1455 to 1478. His duties included teaching the boys to play the organ and to sing plainsong and improvised polyphony; also it seems probable that he was instrumental in the introduction about this time of the use of boys’ voices in composed polyphony. The award to him in 1464 of a Cambridge MusB reflects his eminence in the musical profession – he is the earliest known recipient of this degree – while the patronage of Bishop Bekynton brought him valuable sinecures in the diocese of Bath and Wells. His last years were spent as a resident of Sanctuary Yard, Westminster Abbey....
(b Sibiu, Nov 3, 1940; d Munich, May 27, 2006). German composer of Romanian birth. He studied the piano, the organ and theory privately with Franz Xaver Dressler in Sibiu (1950–58). From 1959 to 1964 he studied composition with Toduta at the Cluj Academy of Music where, after receiving his diploma, he remained to teach composition and music theory. In 1969 he moved to the Federal Republic of Germany to teach at the Robert Schumann Conservatory, Düsseldorf (1969–72) and attend the Darmstadt summer course (1969). He was appointed to teach theory and composition at the Munich Musikhochschule in 1972, becoming professor of composition there in 1976. His awards included the composition prize of the Prague Spring Festival (1966), the Stuttgart Stamitz prize (1970), the city of Stuttgart composition prize (1971), the Stroud Festival composition prize, the Hitzacker prize (...
(b Antwerp, c1554; d Antwerp, bur. Feb 27, 1604). Flemish lutenist, teacher and composer. He went to Rome to study in 1574, a visit that probably accounts for the Italian elements in his publications. He was a Protestant, but after the fall of Antwerp in 1585 he was compelled for political reasons to embrace the Catholic faith. With his brother Gysbrecht he opened a school for lutenists at Antwerp, but in 1587 they came into conflict with the musicians’ guild because neither of them was a member; later, however, Emanuel must have qualified as a freeman of the guild, for he occasionally assumed the title of master. He was appointed captain of the citizens’ watch, which brought him a regular income, and in 1595 he took part in the relief of the nearby town of Lier, which had been occupied by the Dutch. He moved in the highest circles in Antwerp, and the principal families doubtless admired his virtuosity as a lutenist and engaged him to perform. His publications brought him wider fame, and they were to be found in the libraries of many prominent people, among them Constantijn Huygens, King João IV of Portugal and Cardinal Mazarin. He was mentioned by Adrian Denss (...
Sven Hansell and Robert L. Kendrick
(b Milan, Oct 17, 1720; d Milan, Jan 19, 1795). Italian composer. As a girl she performed in her home while her elder sister Maria Gaetana (1718–99; she became a distinguished mathematician) lectured and debated in Latin. Charles de Brosses, who heard them on 16 July 1739 and was highly impressed, reported that Maria Teresa performed harpsichord pieces by Rameau and sang and played compositions of her own invention. Her first cantata, Il restauro d’Arcadia, was written in honour of the Austrian govenor Gian-Luca Pallavicini in Milan in 1747. In the following years, she sent La Sofonisba to Vienna for possible performance on Empress Maria Theresa’s nameday. At about this time she dedicated collections of her arias and instrumental pieces to the rulers of Saxony and Austria; according to Simonetti the Empress Maria Theresa sang arias that Agnesi had given her. She married Pier Antonio Pinottini on ...
(b Puerto Príncipe, Cuba, ?Nov 28, 1844; d Havana, ?Dec 31, 1918). Pianist, music teacher, arranger, conductor, composer, and lawyer of Cuban birth, naturalized American. Born into a prominent family in Puerto Príncipe, Cuba (present-day Camagüey), Agramonte strongly supported the movement for independence from Spain. He studied music and the law in Cuba, Spain, and France. After vocal studies with Enrico Delle Sedie (1822–1907) and François Delsarte (1811–71) at the Paris Conservatory, he immigrated to the United States, settling in New York in 1869, where he remained until after Cuban independence in 1898. He became a US citizen in 1886.
In the 1870s and 1880s, Agramonte taught music at the Academy of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx. In the 1890s he taught with Dudley Buck and William Mason at the Metropolitan College of Music and ran his own School of Opera and Oratorio at his home, teaching singers such as ...
(b Ballenstedt, July 13, 1790; d Berlin, Oct 8, 1873). German pianist, music teacher and composer, son of Carl Christian Agthe. He received his musical education from Ebeling in Magdeburg and Seebach in Klosterbergen before studying composition and counterpoint with M.G. Fischer in Erfurt. In 1810 he settled in Leipzig as a music teacher and second violinist in the Gewandhaus Orchestra, and there published his first compositions. He founded a music academy in Dresden with C. Kräger in 1823 which was publicly endorsed by Carl Maria von Weber; J.B. Logier’s methods of keyboard instruction were used there. In the next decade he set up similar institutes in Posen (1826), where Theodore and Adolf Kullak were his pupils, in Breslau (1831) and finally in Berlin (1832). He was forced to retire in 1845 because of weak eyesight. His compositions include at least nine opus numbers for piano (some with other instruments) and two manuscript songs in the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin....
(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 ...
(b Logroño, April 14, 1795; d Madrid, April 12, 1855). Spanish pianist, composer and teacher. He was the son of Mateo Pérez de Albéniz, a keyboard player and composer, from whom he received his first music lessons. Later he went to Paris for further training; he studied piano with Henri Herz and composition with Friedrich Kalkbrenner, and became a friend of Rossini. Upon his return to Spain he was organist at the church of S María in San Sebastián, and later at a church in Logroño. When Queen María Cristina founded the Madrid Conservatory he was appointed a professor, on 17 June 1830, and in 1834 he became organist of the royal chapel. He gave private instruction to Queen Isabel II, and was the first to introduce modern methods of keyboard technique and pedagogy into Spain. Although his compositions are of little interest, and are generally inferior to his father’s sonatas, he wrote a ...
(b Faenza, bap. Dec 31, 1716; d Faenza, Oct 12, 1785). Italian violinist, composer and teacher. He studied with Tartini, probably between 1730 or 1731 and 1733, by which date his name appears in the list of musicians at Faenza Cathedral, as third (and last) violinist under the direction of his brother, Don Francesco Alberghi, maestro di cappella. In 1742 he was referred to in Faenza chronicles as ‘Paolo Alberghi, Professore’, and both his virtuosity and his compositions – sonatas and violin concertos – were extravagantly praised. In 1753 he became first violinist and, on his brother’s death in 1760, maestro di cappella as well; he retained both positions until his death. Alberghi supplemented his small salary from the cathedral by playing for civic festivities and for the two academies of Faenza, and by composing and teaching; among his pupils were Bernardo Campagnoli, Antonio Bisoni, Cristoforo Babbi and possibly Giuseppe Sarti (unconfirmed). A portrait of Alberghi in the Biblioteca Comunale of Faenza (which, together with the Archivio Capitolare del Duomo, contains much biographical material in manuscript) indicates that he was blind in one eye....
(b Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula, May 22, 1910; d Tirana, Albania, Oct 6, 1985). Albanian pianist, arranger, pedagogue, and composer. Born in an Albanian-speaking enclave in Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula, she received early training in ballet and piano while growing up in a middle-class merchant family. After relocating to Korça, Albania in 1932, Gjoka became the primary accompanist for the local salon culture, which included the art-song singers Kristaq Antoniu, Mihal Ciko, Tefta Tashko-Koço, and Maria Kraja. She received a degree in piano performance from the Athens Conservatory in 1936. Following World War II, she taught at Tirana’s ‘Jordan Misja’ Arts Lyceum from its founding in 1946, and at the State Conservatory from 1962. In addition to training a generation of Albanian pianists, Gjoka was a tireless promoter of folk songs. During the socialist period, she was among the first women to collect folk songs, which she often arranged as elegant art songs for voice and piano. She also held an appointment at the Theater of Opera and Ballet in Tirana between ...
revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu
(b Bucharest, 2/Aug 14, 1893; d Bucharest, Feb 18, 1959). Romanian composer, pianist, conductor, teacher, music critic, and director of music programmes. A leading figure of the first half of the 20th century, he laid the foundation of the Romanian school in music, concert life, and musical journalism. He studied with A. Castaldi, D. Dinicu, D.G. Kiriac, and E. Saegiu at the Bucharest Conservatory (1903–11), completing his education with two periods of study in Paris (1913–14, 1923–4), where he studied with d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum and with Paul Vidal at the Conservatoire. A remarkable accompanist, he worked with Enescu, Thibaud, Mainardi, Moodie, and others during the period 1919–45. As a conductor he always achieved a soberly balanced performance; he conducted more than 1500 performances at the Romanian Opera in Bucharest (1921–59), where he specialized in the French repertory (Bizet, Massenet, and Gounod). In his capacities as conductor of the Romanian Philharmonic Society, and as conductor and artistic manager of the Romanian RSO, he did much to encourage Romanian composers. He was also active as a music critic for Romanian and French reviews. Much of his compositional work was done during his youth, including ...
(b Tehran, 1951). Iranian tār and setār player, teacher and composer. He studied at the National Music Conservatory in Tehran from the age of 13 and then at the University of Tehran from 1970 to 1974; his teachers included Habibollah Salehi, Ali Akbar Shahnazi, Nur Ali Borumand, Abdollah Davami, Mahmud Karimi, Yusef Forutan, Said Hormozi, Dariush Safvate and Hooshang Zarif. From 1971 Alizadeh studied and taught at the influential Centre for the Preservation and Propagation of Iranian Music in Tehran; he later taught music theory and tār at the University of Tehran. In 1976 he began his association with Iranian National Radio and Television, working as a soloist, a composer and a conductor. He co-founded the Chavosh Cultural Artistic Centre in 1977 and the Aref Ensemble in 1983; he also worked with the Sheyda Ensemble. In the early 1980s he studied musicology and composition at the University of Berlin. In ...
Eldonna L. May
(b Detroit, MI, April 13, 1953). American composer and pianist. As a teenager, she studied piano with Pearl Roberts McCullom. She received bachelor and master’s degrees in music composition at Wayne State University, studying with James Hartway. In 1983, she became the first female African American composer to receive the DMA in composition from the University of Michigan, where she studied with william Bolcom , Eugene Kurtz and Leslie Bassett. She also worked in electronic music with George Wilson for several years.
Alston taught briefly at Wayne State University (1983), Oakland University (1987), and Eastern Michigan University (1988). In 1991, she rejoined the faculty at Oakland University, where she is an associate professor in music composition. Her music has been performed in the United States and abroad. Alston’s Four Moods for Piano and Three Rhapsodies for Piano were selected for New York premieres by the North/South Consonance Ensemble. ...
(b New Bloomfield, PA, Feb 8, 1904; d Newport, PA, June 3, 1976). American composer, pianist and teacher. She studied at Vassar College (AB 1925), Columbia University (AM in musicology, 1931) and the Eastman School of Music (MM in composition, 1932). Her teachers included Ernest Hutcheson (piano, 1925–6), Rubin Goldmark (composition, 1926–7) and, at Eastman, Howard Hanson and Bernard Rogers. She taught at Vassar from 1929 to 1931 and between 1938 and 1942. In 1942 she joined the faculty of Connecticut College for Women, teaching composition, theory, history and the piano. She became a full professor in 1956 and department chair in 1963.
Alter began to compose while at college and continued until she retired from teaching in 1969. While at Eastman she composed large works with orchestra which Hanson conducted; these included a staged ballet Anthony Comstock at the Festival of American Music in ...
(b Venice, Aug 28, 1917; d Venice, Feb 20, 1995). Italian composer, pianist and teacher. He studied at the Venice Conservatory, where he took his diploma in the piano (1938, with Tagliapietra), in composition (1946, with Gabriele Bianchi, a Malipiero pupil), and choral and orchestral conducting (1947, with Sante Zanon, Sanzogno and Scherchen). He had a concert career as a pianist, and was a coach for the opera seasons at La Fenice, where he also conducted from 1973 to 1985. He was awarded international prizes for composition, and received honours in recognition of his commitment to teaching, which manifested itself in a series of pedagogical texts, many of which remain in manuscript. The influence of the generazione dell’ottanta can be seen in his Sonata for string orchestra (1947), in which rigorous, economical contrapuntal writing is supported by a solid formal awareness, Classical in nature; melodies cultivate a French kind of archaism, tinged with modality. These elements remained typical of Amendola’s work, along with a predilection for the piano, for which he wrote some technically complex works (e.g. Fifth Sonata, ...
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....
(b Stockholm, Aug 22, 1851; d Stockholm, May 20, 1918). Swedish pianist, teacher and composer. At the Swedish Royal Academy of Music (1867–74) he studied the piano first with Johan van Boom and then with Ludvig Norman, harmony with Otto Winge, the organ with Gustaf Mankell and composition with Berens. After further piano study with Hilda Thegerström (1874–6), he went to Berlin, where he became a pupil of Clara Schumann and Heinrich Barth and also studied composition at the Hochschule für Musik with R. Wüerst and Friedrich Kiel. During this period he frequently deputized as a teacher for Barth, both at the Hochschule and privately. He returned to Stockholm in 1884 and two years later founded a piano school, where at first he was the only teacher of the instrument, with Sjögren as teacher of harmony. The school gradually developed a more general curriculum, including courses in other instruments and in singing, and became the country’s outstanding private music school. Noted Swedish musicians who studied at the school (Anderssons Musikskola) include Stenhammar, Astrid Berwald, Wiklund, Fryklöf and Gustaf Heintze. Andersson was appointed professor of piano at the Stockholm Conservatory in ...
(b Detroit, MI, Sept 24, 1951). American composer, theorist, and jazz saxophonist. He attended public schools in Detroit, including Cass Technical High School, where he studied jazz and led his own band, the Seven Sounds. He continued his education at the University of Michigan (BMEd 1973, MA 1974) and at Yale University (MDiv 1977, PhD music theory 1993). Andrews was ordained as a minister in 1978, serving as Yale University campus chaplain and as faculty member in the Music Department and Department of African American Studies for more than a decade. During that period he met Lloyd Richards, director of the Yale Repertory Theatre, and playwright August Wilson. Andrews became resident music director (1979–86) for the company and contributed original music scores to a number of Wilson’s plays, including Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Fences, The Piano Lesson, and Seven Guitars...