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Article

John Beckwith

(b Budapest, April 12, 1919; d Kingston, ON, February 24, 2012). Canadian composer, conductor and pianist of Hungarian birth. He studied with Kodály at the Budapest Academy (1937–41). As a young man he spent a period with other Jewish youths in a forced-labour contingent of the Hungarian Army; his later war experiences – escape, then concealment by friends during the winter of 1944–5 – are described in the memoirs of the novelist Theresa de Kerpely (Teresa Kay). After a season as assistant conductor at the Budapest Opera (1945–6), he went to Paris for further studies in piano (Soulima Stravinsky), conducting (Fourestier) and composition (Boulanger), remaining there for three years. He moved to Canada in 1949 (taking Canadian nationality in 1955), and for three years held a Lady Davis Fellowship and an appointment as assistant professor at McGill University. There he founded the electronic music studio and served for six years as chair of the department of theoretical music. He held grants for electronic music research from the Canada Council (...

Article

Stephen Plaistow

(Davidovich)

(b Gor′kiy [now Nizhniy Novgorod], July 6, 1937). Russian pianist and conductor, naturalized Icelandic. He was born into a musical Jewish family and entered the Moscow Central School of Music in 1945; his teacher there for the next ten years was Anaida Sumbatyan. His first major recital, devoted entirely to Chopin, was in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in April 1955, and later that year he gained second prize at the fifth Warsaw International Chopin Competition. In 1956, now a pupil of Lev Oborin at the Moscow Conservatory, he was awarded first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. While still a student he made his first tour outside the USSR the following year, to East and West Germany. After graduating, it was inescapable that he should be groomed for the second International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1962 (the American Van Cliburn having won the first), and he duly restored national honour by carrying off a shared first prize (with John Ogdon). His London début followed in ...

Article

Alan Blyth

(b Buenos Aires, Nov 15, 1942). Israeli pianist and conductor. He was first taught by his parents and made his début as a pianist in Buenos Aires when he was seven. In 1951 the family moved to Europe where he played at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and thence to Israel. Back in Salzburg in 1954, he met Edwin Fischer and Furtwängler, both major influences on his future career. Studies at the Accademia di S Cecilia in Rome and with Boulanger completed his education.

Barenboim made his British début as a soloist in 1955 and his American début two years later, and first conducted, in Israel, in 1962. From 1964 he worked for some years with the English Chamber Orchestra as conductor and pianist, recording with them symphonies by Mozart and Haydn, and a series of Mozart piano concertos. Meanwhile he began an international career as a conductor. He directed the South Bank Summer Festival in London (...

Article

David Fanning

(b Moscow, April 3, 1948). American pianist of Russian birth. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Lev Oborin from 1965 to 1971, and took part in the Russian premières of works by Ligeti, Berio, Stockhausen and Cage, as well as the first performances of Denisov’s Ode and Schnittke’s ...

Article

Bryce Morrison

(b Rio de Janeiro, April 22, 1948). Brazilian pianist of Russian-Jewish extraction. He studied with Jacques Klein (a student of William Kapell) in Rio de Janeiro and later with Bruno Seidlhofer and Dieter Weber in Vienna. In 1972 he won first prize in the Busoni International Competition and made his début at the Wigmore Hall, London. Wary of instant acclaim, however, he declined Deutsche Grammophon's offer of a contract and in 1976 returned to Brazil, where he gave concerts and taught maths and physics. A decisive change of direction came in 1981, when he replaced Martha Argerich at a concert in the Netherlands; his success in Bach's First Partita, Chopin's Four Ballades and Prokofiev's Seventh Sonata prompted his return to Europe. Cohen's distinctive elegance and dynamism create their own ambience, especially in the music of Liszt, several of whose works, including the rarely heard Grande fantaisie sur Les Huguenots...

Article

Wesley Berg

(Joel)

(b Boston, June 30, 1942). Canadian composer and pianist of American birth. He studied at Boston University (BMus) and Michigan State University (MMus; PhD), and has taught at the University of Western Ontario, Acadia University, the University of Alberta (chair, 1986–9) and Queen's University, where he was director 1990–97. His compositional style has been described as post-Schoenbergian, employing a chromaticism controlled both by a limited number of pitch class sets and a sense of tonal hierarchy (Lewis, 1993). Many of his works are confessional. His fascination with the Canadian North has resulted in compositions such as Cry Wolf (1977), after a Cree Indian legend. In 1980 he began to explore themes from Jewish culture and history in works such as Morning: Peniel (1980), Zakhor: Remember (1983) and Small Worlds (1984). Several of these interests come together in Six Fantasy Pieces...

Article

Michael Steinberg

(José)

(b Boa Esperança, Oct 18, 1944). Brazilian pianist. He gave his first recital at the age of four, studied in Brazil with Nise Obino and Lucia Branco, and, after winning the International Competition in Rio de Janeiro at 13, with Bruno Seidlhofer in Vienna. In 1964 he won the Vianna da Motta Prize in Lisbon and the Dinu Lipatti Medal in London. He made his début in London and other European capitals in 1968, going to the USA in 1969 (playing with the New York PO and as a soloist with the RPO tour under Kempe), to Israel in 1970 and to Japan in 1971. He has subsequently performed much of the piano duo repertory with Martha Argerich, and has recorded with her works by Bartók and Ravel. His ample, unforced sound, the brilliance of his technique and the cleanness of his musical taste have made a strong impression, and he has developed a notable reputation as an interpreter of Chopin, whose complete Preludes he has recorded to acclaim....

Article

George Gelles

(b Satu-Mare, Sept 9, 1946). Israeli violinist of Romanian birth. She studied at the Rabin Academy in Tel-Aviv, and then in the USA as a protégée of Isaac Stern. She also worked with Josef Gingold at Indiana University (1966–7), and with Ivan Galamian at the Juilliard School (1967–9). She won the 1968 Paganini International Competition at Genoa, and the 1971 Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition at Brussels. Her prizewinning performance of the Sibelius concerto on the latter occasion was subsequently issued as a recording, and was praised for a maturity of approach and vibrant expression reminiscent of Ginette Neveu. Her New York recital début was in 1969, and her British début was at Windsor Castle in 1971. In 1986 she joined the faculty of Indiana University, where she gave the first performance of Donald Erb's Together Forever: Three Poems (1988) and recorded his violin concerto. She has toured widely, and is admired for intelligent and perceptive musicianship as well as spirited brilliance of technique....

Article

Ann Griffiths

(Rosemary)

( b Adelaide, May 9, 1961). Australian harpist . Having studied with the Salzedo method exponents June Loney (Sydney) and Alice Chalifoux (Cleveland, Ohio), she came to prominence as winner of the 1982 Israel Harp Contest. In 1994 she recorded a CD devoted to the solo harp music of Carlos Salzedo, and the same year was co-founder of ...

Article

Tully Potter

( b Tel-Aviv, March 22, 1946). Israeli viola player . She learnt the violin with her mother, then at the Israel Academy of Music and finally with Oedoen Partos at Tel-Aviv University, also studying art and mathematics. Having switched to the viola, she played in the Tel-Aviv Chamber Orchestra in 1968 and in the Israel PO from 1969 to 1974, gradually building up a solo career as a 20th-century specialist. In 1974 she moved to Toronto, becoming a major force in Canadian contemporary music; and from the 1990s she has been based alternately in Toronto and London. Golani has a charismatic stage presence and the ability to hold an audience's attention even with the most complex new music. In addition to playing and recording the mainstream viola repertory, such as the Bach suites, Bloch's Suite hébraïque, Joachim's Variations, the viola concertos of Martinů, Serly, Bartók, Bax and Rubbra, Benjamin's Fantasy and the Tertis version of the Elgar Cello Concerto, she has given the premières of more than 200 works, including 33 concertos. A number have been recorded. Music associated with her includes ...

Article

Eliyahu Schleifer

(b Budapest, March 5, 1932). Israeli composer, pianist and ethnomusicologist. As a young boy, he survived the Nazi invasion and miraculously escaped deportation. In 1949 he entered the composition department of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where he studied the piano with György Kósa and Erno Szégedi, composition with Endre Szervánszky and Ferenc Szabó, and ethnomusicology with Zoltán Kodály. As a Kodály disciple, he spent two years among the Hungarian gypsies, collecting songs and stories. This resulted in his Gypsy Cantata on poems of Miklos Randoti, which won first prize at the Warsaw International Youth Festival (1955).

Following the failure of the Hungarian uprising, Hajdu escaped to France, where he studied with Milhaud and Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire. At the same time he wrote music for films and conducted youth choirs. From 1959 to 1961 he taught the piano and composition at the Tunis Conservatory and was active in ethnomusicological research there. This period is represented in his ...

Article

Thomas F. Heck

(b Minneapolis, MN, Aug 7, 1956). American guitarist. She studied the guitar with Jeffrey Van in Minneapolis, and while at Yale University she was coached by Rosalyn Tureck. She also studied with Oscar Ghiglia, Alirio Diaz and Segovia. She won first prizes at the Toronto International Guitar Competition (1975), the Munich International Competition (1976), and the Queen Sofia competition in Madrid (1979). Her New York début was at Alice Tully Hall in 1979, following débuts in London (1977) and Tokyo (1978). She taught at the Manhattan School of Music, 1979–89, and in 1989 founded the guitar department at the Juilliard School; she also teaches at the Aspen Music Festival. Isbin has established an international reputation as a recitalist and concerto soloist, and has toured South America, Japan and Israel as well as the USA and Europe. She has made many recordings, including a significant disc of American guitar concertos by Corigliano, Lukas Foss and Joseph Schwantner, all of which were written for her. She has contributed many articles on the guitar, and together with Rosalyn Tureck has published an edition for guitar of the Bach lute suites....

Article

James Wierzbicki

(b Tel-Aviv, Jan 15, 1946). Israeli pianist. He moved to the USA in 1962 to study at the Juilliard School of Music with Edward Steuermann and Ilona Kabos. In 1967 he made his New York recital début and won the Young Concert Artists Award; the following year he performed Beethoven's Piano Concerto no.4 in a nationally televised concert with Bernstein and the New York PO. After winning first prize in the Leventritt Competition (1969), he made his European début with Previn and the LSO in 1970. Since then he has maintained an active career as a recitalist and soloist, appearing with the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago SO, Boston SO, Berlin PO, LSO and LPO and the Israel PO, and in Japan, Australia and Latin America. He has performed regularly with the violinist Jaime Laredo and the cellist Sharon Robinson since 1976, and in 1981 the three officially formed the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio; together with the Guarneri Quartet they presented Brahms's complete works for piano and strings in New York in ...

Article

Noël Goodwin

(Tapani)

(b Helsinki, March 7, 1946). Finnish conductor and violinist. The son of a double bass player in the Helsinki PO, he was given violin lessons and entered the Sibelius Academy at the age of six as a pupil of Onni Suhonen. He became a violinist in the Helsinki Youth Orchestra, and at 18 the leader of the Suhonen Quartet. A year later he joined the Helsinki PO as associate principal second violin, and became leader of the Finnish National Opera Orchestra (1966–8), where he also gained experience as third conductor with the opera company. Self-taught as a conductor, he won the first Herbert von Karajan International Competition at Berlin (1969), which led to engagements with major orchestras in Europe, the USA, Israel and Japan, and to recordings; these brought him a reputation for youthful spontaneity tempered by sensitivity and disciplined feeling. His British début was with the NPO at the Festival Hall 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

Margaret Campbell

(b Riga, Jan 10, 1948). Israeli cellist of Latvian birth . He had his first lessons at the age of eight, attended Children's Music School and Riga Conservatory and in 1965 moved to Leningrad. In 1966 he won a major prize in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, after which he studied with Rostropovich at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1970 he was imprisoned for 14 months in a labour camp near Gor′kiy, and in 1972 left the USSR for Israel. From this time he followed an increasingly successful solo career: his US début was at Carnegie Hall in 1973, and his London concerto début with the RPO in 1976, followed in 1977 by a recital début with Lupu at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Maisky later established a duo with Martha Argerich, with whom he has made many recordings, among them outstanding performances of the complete Beethoven sonatas and the sonatas by Franck and Debussy. His recording of Brahms's Double Concerto with Gidon Kremer and the Vienna PO under Bernstein is also notable, though his recordings of the Dvořák and Shostakovich cello concertos have been criticized for their idiosyncrasy and rhythmic wilfulness. Rostropovich has said of Maisky's playing that it ‘combines poetry and exquisite delicacy with great temperament and brilliant technique’. He plays a Domenico Montagnana cello dated ...

Article

Margaret Campbell

(b Moscow, Oct 30, 1957). Israeli violinist, viola player and conductor of Russian birth . He studied in Israel with Ilona Feher from 1964 to 1973, and made his début with the Israel PO under Zubin Mehta in 1968. In 1973 he went to the USA for his Carnegie Hall début and to study with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School. In 1977 he made a major European tour, appearing with leading orchestras and conductors, and he has subsequently followed an international career as a soloist and chamber music player. He has given recitals with the pianists Itamar Golan and Georges Pludermacher, and as a member of the Golan-Mintz-Haimovitz Trio. He was music director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra from 1989 to 1993, and has also conducted the Israel PO and the Rotterdam PO; in 1994 he was appointed music director of the Limburg SO in Maastricht. Mintz has recorded both violin and viola repertory, and has been awarded the Grand Prix du Disque on several occasions. In ...

Article

Tully Potter

( b Tel-Aviv, Aug 31, 1945). Israeli violinist . He initially taught himself to play, first on a toy fiddle and then on a child's violin. At four he was stricken with poliomyelitis which left him permanently disabled. During a year's convalescence he continued to practise and he then entered the Tel-Aviv Academy of Music to study with Rivka Goldgart. By the time he gave his first solo recital, at ten, he had already made a number of appearances with the Ramat-Gan and Broadcasting Orchestras. In 1958 he played twice on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ on television in New York and decided to remain there, making a nationwide US tour and entering the Juilliard School of Music to study with Dorothy Delay and Ivan Galamian. He made his Carnegie Hall début in 1963 and the following year won the Leventritt Memorial Award. In 1965 he toured his native country and in the ...

Article

Edward Greenfield

[Priwin, Andreas Ludwig ]

( b Berlin, April 6, 1929). American conductor, pianist and composer of German birth . Son of a prosperous lawyer who was also a talented amateur musician, he showed exceptional musical talent from his earliest years. Playing piano duets with his father, he quickly developed phenomenal sight-reading ability, and at the age of six entered the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, studying the piano with Rudolf Breithaupt. In 1938 his family (of Russian-Jewish origin) left Germany for Paris, where he studied briefly at the Conservatoire. Emigrating to the USA the following year, the family settled in Los Angeles, where in 1943 he became an American citizen. While still at school he quickly learnt to use his talents as a pianist, playing accompaniments to silent films in a cult movie house and later becoming an orchestrator at the MGM film studios. This led to commissions to write film music of his own, which – following the practice of the studios – he had to conduct himself. This, in turn, fostered an ambition to conduct more widely, and he was soon conducting local performances of the classical repertory with players from the studio orchestras. Meanwhile he was developing a talent for playing jazz, and while still at school was performing in clubs, soon afterwards making his first recordings. At the same time he took composition lessons, with Joseph Achron, Ernst Toch and Castelnuovo-Tedesco among his teachers, and was invited by the violinist Josef Szigeti to play in private performances of chamber music. Previn was called up for army service in ...

Article

William Y. Elias

revised by Irina Boga

(b Iaşi, April 17, 1929; d Jerusalem, 9 May, 2009). Romanian-born Israeli conductor, composer, and violinist. He studied the violin (with Garabet Avakian) and conducting (with Constantin Silvestri) at the Bucharest Academy of Music (1945–7). In 1957 Rodan pursued advanced studies in conducting and chamber music at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary. He made his début with the Romanian RSO in 1953. In 1961 he moved to Israel and conducted the Israel PO, becoming chief conductor and music adviser to the Israel Broadcasting SO (1963–72). As a conductor he preferred post-Romantic and less extreme contemporary music. In 1965 he founded the Jerusalem Chamber Orchestra and, as its permanent conductor until 1969, toured with it to Europe, East Asia, Australia, South Africa, and the USA. Rodan appeared as a guest with various European orchestras and frequently conducted at the Israel and Arthur Rubinstein festivals, with such soloists as Rubinstein himself, Barenboim, Rampal, Perlman, and du Pré. In ...