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Article

Ronit Seter

[Berman, Bernhardt]

(b Wiesbaden, July 20, 1923). Israeli critic, composer and musicologist. He moved to Mandatory Palestine in 1936. After studying composition with Paul Ben-Haim, his most influential teacher, Bar-Am attended the Ecole Normale de Paris (1949–51). He studied musicology at Tel-Aviv University (BA 1977), where he became the principal lecturer for courses on Jewish music and Israeli contemporary music (1973–96) and the first director of the Archive of Israeli Music. The secretary general of the Israeli League of Composers (1960–76, 1976–8), he became chair of the organizing committee of the ISCM in Israel in 1980. Though most influential as the music critic of the Jerusalem Post between 1958 and 1995, Bar-Am also wrote many essays on Israeli music in Hebrew, English and German, notably ‘A Musical Gateway between East and West’ (Jerusalem Post, 20 April 1988). He ceased composing in the early 1970s but resumed in ...

Article

Leonardo Pinzauti

(b Livorno, Nov 29, 1818; d Florence, Nov 25, 1885). Italian music critic. Brought up in a wealthy Jewish family, he embarked simultaneously on classical and musical studies. He graduated in medicine from Pisa University and studied composition under Pietro Romani, having an opera performed in Florence in 1840 and another in 1847. Both were unsuccessful with the general public, although praised by some connoisseurs. Giving up composition, he soon became a prominent figure in Florentine cultural life as a critic and organizer. He founded and edited the journal L'armonia (1856–9). Through him began the Mattinate Beethoveniane, a series of concerts from which derived the Società del Quartetto di Firenze (1861), whose journal Boccherini (1862–82) he also edited, as well as a cycle of concerts of dramatic music (1865) dedicated to classic Italian opera composers such as Sacchini and Spontini, then largely forgotten. In ...

Article

(b Kolozsvár [now Cluj-Napoca], Aug 16, 1907; d Tel-Aviv, Nov 5, 1964). Israeli composer and music critic of Hungarian origin. He grew up in a highly religious family – some of his forebears were Hassidic rabbis – which originated from the Moravian town Boskovice. Educated at the Jewish lyceum Tarbut in Cluj during the period in which it briefly flourished before forced Romanization and repression of the Jews in Transylvania, he studied the piano with Hevesi Piroska and then in Vienna with Victor Ebenstein. In 1927 he took advanced studies in Paris with Lazar Levi (piano), Dukas (composition) and Boulanger, which shaped his predilection for French music, in particular Debussy and Milhaud. Back in Cluj, he became, in 1930, one of the conductors of the State Opera and founded a fine Jewish amateur orchestra named after Karl Goldmark. In 1937 he contributed to a volume on Jewish topics with a study of contemporary Jewish music, the revival of which he related to the Russian influence on music after Wagner. He followed Sabaneyev’s example in regarding the collection and publication of Jewish folksong as a prerequisite for the emergence of such a music, stressing the linear, non-harmonic nature of Jewish musical expression. Concurrent with the essay, he composed ...

Article

Edith Gerson-Kiwi

revised by Bret Werb

[Yuly Dmitrevich]

(b Berdyansk, Crimea, 4/April 16, 1868; d Tel-Aviv, Feb 11, 1927). Russian composer, critic, lexicographer and folklorist. He studied law at Kharkov University but soon turned to music, studying theory and composition with Taneyev and Ippolitov-Ivanov at the Moscow Conservatory (1893–7). From 1897 to 1919 he worked as a music critic for the newspaper Russkiye vedomosti. In 1901 his translation of Riemann’s Lexikon into Russian with newly written sections on Russian music was published in Moscow. Although an early opera, Esther, was performed in 1894, his work as a critic overshadowed that as a composer. Under the influence of the Russian nationalist music critic Vladimir Stasov, however, he turned his attention to Jewish folklore, collecting, arranging, performing and publishing the songs of eastern European Jews. In 1909 his first album of ten Jewish folksongs appeared in Moscow; a second volume followed later in the same year. Engel continued to promote his new interest with public lectures and a series of articles in ...

Article

E. Van Der Straeten

revised by David Charlton

(b Nordhausen, June 19, 1780; d Göttingen, June 2, 1846). German musical educationist and writer. He was the nephew of Gottlieb Heinroth, a singer, harpist and composer. He received his early musical instruction from his father, organist of the Peterskirche, Nordhausen. At the universities of Leipzig (1798) and Halle (1800) he studied literature, theology and education. His second post (1804) was at Israel Jacobson’s boarding school at Seesen, where he taught and composed new devotional music for the Jewish communities of Kassel and Berlin. At this period hatred of the French occupation prompted him to write popular songs against Napoleon which were circulated in manuscript.

In 1818, on Forkel’s death, Heinroth was invited to become musical director of the University of Göttingen. His predecessor’s great reputation made this a demanding position, but from the beginning Heinroth showed considerable enterprise. He formed and directed a choral society, lectured in both music and theology, and in ...

Article

Howard Schott

revised by Dennis K. McIntire

(b Berlin, Sept 27, 1930; d Redding, CT, Jan 23, 2002). American harpsichordist, fortepianist and critic, son of Alexander Kipnis. After studying at the Westport School of Music, Connecticut, and at Harvard, he worked as art and editorial director of Westminster Records (1955–9), as director of recorded music for a chain of radio stations based in New York (1959–61) and as a music critic (from 1955). In the meantime he took up the harpsichord professionally. Although essentially self-taught, he was guided and encouraged by a number of musicians, notably Thurston Dart. He made his début in a radio broadcast in New York in 1959 and gave his first recital there in 1962. He performed widely as a soloist with leading orchestras and as a recitalist, touring Europe, Israel, South America, Australia, the Soviet Union and East Asia. His teaching career began in 1964...

Article

[Samuel Moses]

(b Halle, May 15, 1795; d Berlin, May 17, 1866). German music theorist, critic and pedagogue. One of the most influential theorists of the 19th century, Marx named and codified sonata form. As a critic he awakened and cultivated early appreciation for the symphonies of Beethoven; as a pedagogue he worked to make music an integral part of the education of the individual and of the development of the German nation.

Marx was the son of a Jewish doctor in Halle. He entered the university there in 1812, studying law, and together with Carl Loewe also studied composition with Türk. He practised law in Naumberg from 1815 to 1821, and in 1819 converted to Protestantism, changing his forenames from Samuel Moses to Friedrich Heinrich Adolf Bernhard. In 1821 he moved to Berlin, where he increasingly gave himself over to music and studied for a short period with C.F. Zelter. The music publisher A.M. Schlesinger made him editor of the ...

Article

M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet

(b Berlin, June 13, 1887; d New York, April 22, 1967). American musicologist, conductor and critic, of German birth . He studied musicology with Friedlaender at the University of Berlin and law at the University of Heidelberg, where he received the doctorate in 1911. From 1913 to 1921 he worked as an operetta conductor in Osnabrück, Essen, Strasbourg, Bremen and elsewhere; later (1921–3) he was music director of the Berlin Kammeroper. In the 1920s and 30s he was a critic for the Lokalanzeiger and other newspapers (including a few Jewish ones) and a writer of programme notes for the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. He taught music theory and history at the Stern Conservatory and conducted several madrigal choirs. The Nazis identified him as an important Jewish music critic, but on account of his non-Jewish wife Anni he was spared the concentration camps. He did, however, have to endure forced labour as a porter in the Jüdische Bibliothek des Sicherheitshauptamtes. After the war he was able to resume teaching and was even invited to form an orchestra by the mayor of Schöneberg, but he was abruptly arrested by a Soviet patrol for obscure reasons. After his release he emigrated to the USA in ...

Article

Hans Åstrand

(b Helsinki, Sept 21, 1893; d Gustavsberg, nr Stockholm, March 5, 1977). Swedish composer and music critic of Finnish birth. Compared with his Swedish colleagues (he became a Swedish citizen in 1918) Pergament had a cosmopolitan background and training: he was born into a Jewish family; he studied in St Petersburg as a violinist (and served as such for four years in the Helsinki Philharmonic Society) and in Berlin at the Stern Conservatory; he also trained as an opera conductor; and he spent much of the interwar period in Berlin and Paris before settling permanently in Stockholm. There he worked steadily as a composer and as one of the city's most influential and trenchant music critics, with some part-time choral and orchestral conducting.

The varied experiences of Pergament's formative years gave him a breadth of perspective which is obvious in his vast output and which sets him apart from his compatriots. His interest in Russian music (particularly Musorgsky) and German Expressionism is balanced with Impressionist touches and later French traits, notably from Les Six. Besides this, some of his most important works treat Jewish themes and are partly influenced by Hebrew cantillation. ...

Article

(b 1542; d Mantua, 1612). Italian Jewish physician and writer on Hebrew antiquities. He discussed music, at great length, in his final work Shil ṭei ha-gibborim (‘Shields of Heroes’; Mantua, 1612), in which he glorified the ancient Temple, its architecture, its liturgy and its music. Ten of the 90 chapters are devoted to music. Portaleone conceived the music of the Levites after Italian Renaissance practices and humanist music theory: thus the discussion turns on polyphony, lute tablatures, contemporary instruments (in analogy to ancient ones, which are described in considerable detail), modes, the doctrine of ethos, simple and compound intervals and the differentiation between consonance and dissonance. He maintained that music in the Temple was a learned art, acquired after a rigorous course of training; it was notated, thus meant to be preserved; its performance was based on written sources. Portaleone acknowledged Judah Moscato as his teacher, although he noted that they conceived music differently: whereas Moscato spoke, generally, of number, harmony and ‘science’, treating music for its cosmological and spiritual connotations, his pupil was concerned with ...

Article

Jehoash Hirshberg

(b Russia, 1899; d Tel Aviv, 1968). Israeli critic, choral conductor and composer of Russian birth. In 1925, soon after his emigration to Palestine, he was appointed music critic of the newly founded socialist daily Davar, a position he retained throughout his life. He changed his surname from Rabinowitz to the more Hebrew Ravina in 1930. His frequent and detailed reviews, which insisted on a high standard of performance and programming, and sought a genuine Jewish musical style, were highly influential. In an attempt to bring music to the people, he collaborated with David Shor on an ambitious education project that included public lectures, the publication of popular music appreciation booklets and song anthologies, and the establishment of a nation-wide network of amateur choirs. He was also a strong supporter of contemporary music in Palestine. His many songs (around 60), mostly written for young children, were intended as part of a newly composed folksong repertory....

Article

Edward Garden and Stuart Campbell

(b St Petersburg, 11/Jan 23, 1820; d St Petersburg, 20 Jan/Feb 1, 1871). Russian composer and critic. Although he never occupied any official position, never taught, and belonged to no organized group or faction, Serov was one of the most significant and, except for Anton Rubinstein, the most influential Russian musician of the 1860s. His critical writings are unrivalled in his country’s literature for breadth and weight. Many of his essays have been reprinted numerous times and have continued to exert a strong authority. His operas were the outstanding contributions to the Russian musical stage between Dargomïzhsky’s Rusalka and the early works of Tchaikovsky and The Five. They have not survived in the repertory.

Serov’s mother was of German-Jewish origin, his father a distinguished civil servant. He was educated at the School of Jurisprudence, where music was encouraged. There he became friendly with fellow student Vladimir Stasov, four years his junior, with whom he later quarrelled irrevocably. He left the school in ...

Article

Richard Evidon

revised by Tamara Levitz

(b Vienna, Nov 28, 1881; d Petrópolis, Brazil, Feb 22, 1942). Austrian writer . In his day a leading European literary figure, he was exceptionally cultivated and had deep humanistic sympathies. His active pacifism dates from his exile in Zürich (1917–18), during which time he met several noteworthy musical figures. After the war he became one of the more highly regarded, widely read and translated Austrian writers of his generation. In 1934 he emigrated to England, and in 1941 settled in Brazil. Distraught at the persecution of the Jews, Zweig committed suicide, together with his wife, in 1942.

His writings include several on musicians – Busoni, Toscanini and Bruno Walter, who were his close friends (Berg was another), as well as Handel, Mahler and Richard Strauss. His significance for music history lies largely in his collaboration with Strauss, which began in 1932. Only one work was produced, the comic opera ...