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Christopher Palmer and Sergio Miceli

(Alexandrovich)

(b St Petersburg, Russia, 16/29 Oct 1901; d Rome, Italy, 7 June 1983). Italian composer and conductor of Russian origin. A grandson of the composer Nikolay Sokolov and a brother of the cellist Massimo Amfitheatrof, he studied with Vītols in St. Petersburg and Křička in Prague, but the greater part of his training was undertaken in Rome, where he studied composition with Respighi at the Conservatorio di S Cecilia (diploma 1924) and the organ at the Pontifical Academy of Sacred Music. He was engaged as a pianist, organist, and chorus assistant at the Augusteo (1924–9), also conducting the orchestra under Molinari's supervision. Thereafter he was artistic director of the Genoa and Trieste radio stations and conductor and manager for Italian radio in Turin; he also conducted elsewhere in Europe. In 1937 he went to the United States as associate conductor of the Minneapolis SO, and in ...

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Giordano Montecchi

(b Milan, Oct 22, 1929; d Parma, Italy, July 29, 2014). Italian composer, pianist, and conductor. Having studied the piano from a young age, he began to appear at the age of 13 as a conductor and orchestral pianist specializing in light music, and in jazz groups. After the war, while establishing himself as a jazz musician, he completed his studies of the piano, composition, and conducting at the Milan Conservatory (with, among others, Renzo Bossi, Antonino Votto, and Giulini) and at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena (with Paul Van Kempen). Active for many years as a conductor of various musical groups and as a composer, his growing interest in jazz led him during the second half of the 1950s to attempt to combine jazz and classical music composition.

A key work was the octet Tempo e relazione (1957) – a piece in five movements based on two 12-note series – and from that point on Gaslini became recognized as a major figure of the Italian and wider jazz avant garde. His music continued to be characterized by a determination to integrate different idioms, including free jazz, serialism, pop, and electronics. Alongside this ‘multi-lingual’ approach, set apart from the American Third Stream, he made manifest a political commitment to working-class and student left-wing movements after ...

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Karel Steinmetz

[Plekancová-Vondráčková, Lucie]

(b Prague, 8 March 1980). Czech pop singer and actress. Her family was one of musicians (her father, Jiří Vondráček, is an actor and singer, her mother, Hana Sorrosová-Vondráčková, writes lyrics, and her aunt, Helena Vondráčková, is also a singer). Lucie was trained in music and drama at the Prague Conservatory and later obtained the doctorate in the Arts Faculty at Prague University (2006). From early childhood she appeared in films and TV serials for children; in 1992 she became a presenter of children’s programmes on TV, and in 1993 she issued her first record album. There have been more than 10 of these, and all have been enthusiastically received by her public in sales; she regularly features as one of the most popular Czech singers. As an actress, she often plays major roles in Czech films, stage plays, and musicals.