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Article

Carolyn Gianturco

(b Verdello, Sept 14, 1898; d Bergamo, Jan 22, 1981). Italian music critic. He took a diploma in composition at the Turin Conservatory (1929) and studied musicology with Cesari. His career as a critic was centred in Milan; after working on Secolo sera (1928–34), he succeeded Cesari at Corriere della sera, remaining there until his retirement (1973). In 1949 he founded the monthly journal La scala, which he edited until its closure in 1963; he was particularly interested in opera, especially its authentic performance. Abbiati also published a history of music in five volumes (1939–46), which he later updated and revised in four volumes (1967–8). This was well received, although (being the work of a single author) it was inevitably incomplete; the comments in the second edition on 20th-century composers, notably Italian composers of Abbiati’s own generation, are especially valuable as a contemporary response. His four-volume work on Verdi (...

Article

Israel J. Katz

(b Berlin, May 30, 1872; d Berlin, Jan 24, 1926). German physician and psychologist. He graduated in medicine at Berlin University in 1894, and thereafter dedicated himself primarily to psychoacoustics and the physiology of music. From 1896 to 1905 he was assistant professor under Carl Stumpf at the Psychological Institute of Berlin University (which in 1905 became the Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv). In 1900, when Hornbostel joined the staff, Abraham and Stumpf recorded on wax cylinders a visiting Siamese court orchestra – the first German attempt to record non-Western music. Abraham also recorded music from South Africa in the same year. In 1901 he published an article on absolute pitch which later (1906) resulted in a polemic between him and Auerbach. Adopting Stumpf's methods, Abraham and Hornbostel entered into a collaboration which laid the foundation for comparative musicology; he also collaborated with the physiologist and otologist K.L. Schaefer (...

Article

Joseph E. Morgan

(b New York, NY, Feb 18, 1908; d Dec 31, 1977). American journalist. After studying English literature, he worked for Billboard from 1934 to 1973, although he left during World War II to serve in the US Coast Guard. Ackerman began his career as a reporter and covered several subjects including vaudeville, radio, and TV before moving to music. He became music editor in 1949. His tenure at Billboard accompanied the emergence of rhythm and blues, country music, and rock ’n’ roll. Ackerman championed these new styles, recognizing their roots in earlier music traditions and their impact on popular music and culture in general. He published several articles in High Fidelity and received numerous awards including an honor from the Recording Industry Association of America for his outstanding service to American music. He also served on the President’s commission to select music for the White House Library and in ...

Article

Andrea F. Bohlman

(b San Francisco, CA, April 13, 1945). American dance critic. She studied at the University of California, Berkeley (BA 1966), and wrote on the Ballets Russes for her doctorate in comparative literature at Rutgers University (1984). With an enthusiasm for dance that has anchored her prolific career, Acocella was the senior critic and reviews editor for Dance Magazine and became the dance critic for the New Yorker in 1998. She has written about dance for many other publications including the Financial Times, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times Book Review, Art in America, and the Times Literary Supplement. In her books Acocella demonstrates a sustained interest in connecting the public with artistic personae and their voices, as illustrated in her biography of Mark Morris (1993), the essay collection Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints (2007), and three edited volumes of artists’ writings (...

Article

Jernej Weiss

(b Dobrova, nr Ljubljana, Slovenia; Dec 25, 1877; d Ljubljana, Dec 6, 1936). Slovenian music educator, conductor, and writer on music. Uncle of composer Bojan Adamič. He received his first musical education at the Ljubljana Glasbena Matica society music school, from 1911 to 1912 he studied at the Conservatory in Trieste, and in 1912 he passed the national examination at the Ljubljana Conservatory. During World War I he joined the Austrian Army, and from 1915 to 1920 was a prisoner of war at Tashkent. In 1920 he returned to Ljubljana, where he taught music at the teacher’s college and at the classical gymnasium until his retirement in 1932. From 1925 to 1928 he was conductor of the Orchestral Society at the Glasbena Matica music society, and from January 1928 to December 1929 editor of the Nova muzika (‘New Music’) magazine. He was also active as a music critic and reviewer for the magazines ...

Article

Joseph A. Brown

(b Knoxville, Nov 27, 1909; d New York, May 16, 1955). American novelist, screenwriter, journalist, poet, and film critic. Son of Laura Tyler Agee and Hugh James (Jay) Agee, James Agee graduated from Exeter Academy and Harvard University (1932), before becoming a staff writer for Fortune magazine, eventually writing film reviews for both Time (1939) and The Nation (1942). On assignment from Fortune, Agee worked in collaboration with the photographer Walker Evans on the study of Alabama tenant farmers, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (Boston, 1941). His book of poetry, Permit Me Voyage, was published by the Yale Series of Younger Poets (New Haven, CT, 1934). In 1951, Agee published the novella, The Morning Watch(Boston). He was the principal author of the screenplay for The African Queen (1950) and The Night of the Hunter (1954...

Article

Ricardo Miranda Pérez

(b Mexico City, Dec 5, 1938). Mexican musicologist, writer and critic. He studied at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música under Armando Montiel, Esperanza Pulido and José Pablo Moncayo. He was also a pupil of Otto Mayer-Serra. At the beginning of his career he dedicated himself to composition, which led him to take courses at the Paris Conservatoire as well as spending time in Darmstadt, Venice and London, where he took instruction from Daniel Lesur, Pierre Boulez, Bruno Maderna and Pierre Wissmer. Among his most important compositions are works for stage and film, which have earned him several prizes. Nevertheless, his most important work is in the fields of criticism and research, although his valuable contributions in the fields of theatre and opera production must also be remembered. As a critic, Alcaraz has played a fundamental role in making diverse repertories known in Mexico, ranging from ancient to contemporary music. He has insistently disseminated and analysed the Mexican repertory, particularly that of the 20th century. His knowledge, combined with a keen sense of humour and a stance legendary for being radical and uncompromising, has made him into one of the most authoritative and recognized critical voices in Mexico and Latin America. As a musicologist, Alcaraz has occupied himself with the discussion and assessment of the Mexican school of the 20th century. His works on composers such as Carlos Chávez, Rodolfo Halffter and José Pablo Moncayo are fundamental, as are his numerous essays on authors such as Rolón, Carillo, Huízar, Revueltas, Sandi, Galindo Dimas, Enríquez and Estrada. As a music critic, he has written for over 20 years (since ...

Article

H.C. Colles

revised by Malcolm Turner

(b Providence, RI, July 31, 1863; d Rome, June 2, 1937). American critic. He was educated at Harvard University, where he studied music under J.K. Paine, graduating in 1885. In the same year he became music critic to the Providence Journal, after serving his apprenticeship in general journalism. In 1889 he became private secretary to US Senator Dixon, and at the same time held the post of music critic to the Evening Star, Washington. In 1891 he relinquished both posts to join the staff of the New York Tribune, on which paper he held various editorial posts, particularly that of assistant critic to H.E. Krehbiel, until 1902, when he became music editor of the New York Times; he retired in 1923, remaining on the editorial staff in an advisory capacity.

Throughout his career Aldrich was notable for the breadth of his musical knowledge and the soundness of his judgment; in general he was sympathetic to modern music, though vehemently opposed to extreme trends. As one might expect from a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters he was distinguished for the excellence of his style and for the wit and urbanity of his writing. He collected an important library of books on music, which he catalogued during the leisure of his later years; it remained intact in the possession of his heirs until ...

Article

Viorel Cosma

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 ...

Article

Robert Paul Kolt

(b Portland, OR, Dec 15, 1906; d Richmond, CA, Aug 19, 1999). American pianist, organist, accompanist, educator, and critic. After childhood training in piano and organ, Allen received his formal music education at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, OH, (BM, 1928, MM 1936), where he studied piano with George C. Hastings and Frank H. Shaw; in the interim he studied with Gordon Stanley and James Friskin at the Juilliard School (1928–9). He taught at Howard University, Washington, DC (1929–35), and at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee (1936–43, 1951). Allen held a fellowship from the US Department of Education to study piano with Egon Petri in Kraków, Poland (1938–9). When his visit was cut short by the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, he used the remainder of his fellowship to study with Isabelle Vengerova at the Mannes College of Music in New York City (...

Article

Michael Hovland

(b Atlantic, PA, Dec 15, 1888; d Stamford, CT, Feb 28, 1959). American playwright. After studies at the University of North Dakota and at Stanford University he taught in North Dakota and California. In 1918 he moved to New York, where he worked for several years as a journalist before establishing himself as a playwright. His writings include several verse dramas, radio plays, film scripts, music dramas, essays, and one volume of poetry.

Anderson had a lifelong interest in the musical stage. For many years he was associated closely with Kurt Weill, with whom he collaborated on Knickerbocker Holiday and Lost in the Stars, a dramatization of Alan Paton’s novel Cry, the Beloved Country. Uncompleted works with Weill include Ulysses Africanus (whose leading role was intended for Paul Robeson) and Raft on the River, a musical adaptation of Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Weill and Anderson also collaborated on a scenic cantata, ...

Article

Viorel Cosma

revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu

(b Bucharest, Dec 22, 1894/Jan 5, 1895; d Bucharest, Feb 4, 1974). Romanian composer, pianist, teacher, and critic. An erudite personality of Romanian music, he contributed to the formation of a Romanian school of composition during the inter-war years. At the Bucharest Conservatory (1906–13) he studied with Kiriac-Georgescu, Castaldi, Klenck, and Dunicu. In 1919 he graduated law school in Bucharest and then took the PhD in 1922 in Paris. During his stay in France, he participated in the courses of composition of Vincent d’Indy and Gabriel Faure. In 1920, he founded the Society of Romanian composers with other important musicians. At the Bucharest Conservatory (now the National University of Music Bucharest) he taught chamber music (1926–48) and composition (1948–59). His students include Stefan Niculescu, Dumitru Capoianu, and Aurel Stroe. He was not only a partner at the chamber concerts of George Enescu, but also promoted together with Enescu the new Romanian and French chamber music. He wrote for numerous publications on subjects ranging from music aesthetics to jazz and folk music, for instance, ‘George Enescu the Way I Met Him’ in ...

Article

Nigel Simeone

( b London, June 5, 1914; d London, Jan 15, 2005). English critic, writer and concert organizer . In 1931 he was appointed assistant secretary of the Organ Music Society; he became secretary in 1935 and invited Marchal, Tournemire, Messiaen and Duruflé to perform in the society’s concerts. He was concert director of the LPO (1940–46) and from 1942 organizer of the Concerts de musique française for the Free French in London. Among the artists whom he invited to appear at these remarkable concerts were Teyte, Goodall, Pears, Britten and Tippett, and following the liberation of Paris many outstanding French musicians also performed in the series, including Poulenc, Bernac, Souzay, Neveu, Thibaud, Fournier, Gendron, Messiaen, Loriod and Dutilleux, several of whom established firm friendships with Aprahamian.

Aprahamian was deputy music critic of the Sunday Times (1948–89) and a regular contributor to Gramophone. Throughout his career he did much to foster French music in Britain; he was Messiaen’s earliest British advocate (they corresponded from ...

Article

Andrea F. Bohlman

(b Alexandria, LA, Jan 8, 1935; d San José, Costa Rica, March 16, 2001). American music critic. Ardoin studied composition and music theory at North Texas State College, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Oklahoma, and at Michigan State University. After completing army service in Germany, he began his professional career in New York City as an editor for Musical America and Philharmonic Hall, where he was responsible for program books. Before relocating to Dallas, he also contributed to The Saturday Review and The Times of London. In 1966 he became the music critic for The Dallas Morning News, a position he held until his retirement in 1998. Ardoin’s passion was opera: he contributed regularly to the Metropolitan Opera’s radio broadcasts and wrote four books about Maria Callas, among them a survey of her recordings (The Callas Legacy, 1977) and a reflection upon her teaching (...

Article

Larisa Georgievna Danko

[Glebov, Igor′]

(b St Petersburg, 17/July 29, 1884; d Moscow, Jan 27, 1949). Russian musicologist, composer and critic. He studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory from 1904 to 1910 with Rimsky-Korsakov and Lyadov, and graduated in 1908 from the faculty of history and philology of the University of St Petersburg. From 1910 he worked as a repetiteur; from 1916 edited and composed ballet music and from 1919 was a member of the board of directors and repertory consultant at the Mariinsky and Mikhaylovsky Theatres. In 1919 he became head of the Central Library for State Musical Theatres. In the same year, in association with Lyapunov and Bulich, he organized the music department at the Petrograd Institute for the History of the Arts (now the Zubov Institute for the History of the Arts); he was its director from 1921. Between 1922 and 1925 he was responsible for the organization there of concerts of contemporary music. He was made a professor at the Leningrad Conservatory in ...

Article

Amanda M. Burt

revised by Thorkell Sigurbjörnsson

(b Ísafjörður, Oct 11, 1928). Icelandic composer, teacher and critic. He graduated in 1955 from the Reykjavík College of Music, where he studied the piano with Árni Kristjánsson and theory with Victor Urbancic. Further composition studies were undertaken at the RSAMD in Glasgow (1955–6) and at the Guildhall School of Music in London (1965). In 1961 he received a teacher's diploma from the Reykjavík College of Music. Ásgeirsson has conducted various choirs, and became the principal music critic of Morgunblaðið in 1970. Formerly president of the Icelandic Composers' Society, he has taught at various institutions and is currently professor at the Icelandic Teachers' College.

His works are mainly traditional in style though he has written a few serial compositions. He is particularly interested in reviving Icelandic folksongs and dances and has set related folk poetry found without music; he has also served as music director for productions of the ancient dances by the National Dance Company. In ...

Article

Elizabeth Titrington Craft

(b Melrose, MA, Nov 28, 1894; d Huntsville, AL, Jan 13, 1984). American theater critic and author. Upon graduating from Harvard University in 1917, Atkinson taught English at Dartmouth College and worked at the Springfield Daily News and the Boston Evening Transcript before joining the New York Times as its Book Review editor in 1922. He held the post of drama critic at the Times from 1925 to 1960, with the exception of a wartime stint as a foreign correspondent. After retiring as drama critic, Atkinson wrote a Critic at Large column for the New York Times until 1965.

Arguably the most influential theater critic of his time, Atkinson was respected for his integrity as well as incisive, literate reviews. He reviewed such well-known and now canonical plays and musicals as Our Town, South Pacific, The Crucible, and West Side Story, but he was also known for his instrumental attention to Off Broadway during its emergence as a separate institution. Although Atkinson purposefully kept some distance from theater society during his tenure as critic, the theater world showed its appreciation upon his retirement. He received both Obie and Tony Award special citations as well as an honorary lifetime membership to Actors’ Equity. Atkinson was also a Pulitzer Prize winner, having earned the correspondence award in ...

Article

Hans Åstrand and Bo Wallner

(Magnus)

(b Göteborg, Dec 12, 1887; d Stockholm, Feb 15, 1974). Swedish composer, administrator, conductor and critic. He studied the cello at school in Göteborg and then entered the Stockholm College of Technology. Having passed the examination in civil engineering in 1911, he spent his working life (1912–68) in the patent office. He was largely self-taught although he studied composition and instrumentation with Hallén at the Swedish Royal Academy of Music (1910–11), and partly used the state composer’s scholarships he received between 1911 and 1915 to study in Germany (1911 and 1913). He made his début as a conductor at Göteborg in 1912, when the programme included his First Symphony; thereafter (particularly during the 1920s) he often conducted his own music and that of contemporaries, both at home and abroad (where he promoted Swedish music). From 1916 to 1922 he was kapellmästare at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm; he also worked enthusiastically as co-founder and president (...

Article

[Giorgos, Yorgos]

(b Mariupol, Ukraine, near the north coast of the Sea of Azov, Sept 27, 1875; d Athens, May 16, 1924). Greek composer, critic, and music educator. After the return of his family to Athens in 1887 he studied music privately with Loudovikos Spinellis, and later, in 1895, he went to Naples, Italy, to study composition at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella with Paolo Serrao. He came back to Athens in 1901, where he clashed with the representatives of the biggest music institution, the Athens Conservatory, due to the shift of the repertory towards German instead of Italian music, and the changing of the method of music education. He founded, along with Georgios Lambelet, one of the most important cultural magazines of the period, the journal Kritiki (1903–4), through which he expressed his ideas about the paths of music education and Greek music. During the period ...

Article

Caroline Polk O’Meara

(b New York, NY, 1961). American music critic and musician. He graduated from Columbia University in 1983. In the 1980s, he was a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, writing hundreds of pieces for the magazine. His success as a critic corresponded with the rise of “alternative” rock in the early 1990s, and he wrote cover articles on Nirvana and the B-52s during that period. Azerrad has published two books, Come As You Are: the Story of Nirvana (New York, 1993) and Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground (1981–1991) (Boston, 2002). Come As You Are was the first book about Nirvana and Kurt Cobain, written with the support of the band and published before Cobain’s death. Our Band Could Be Your Life is a collection of essays about 13 of the best-remembered underground bands from the 1980s and 1990s, and includes new interviews and archival research. ...