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Article

Laurence Libin

(b Jirapa, Ghana, June 22, 1958). Ghanaian xylophone maker, player, and teacher. Born into a family of gyilli makers and players in northwest Ghana, Doozie began playing at six years of age. When he was 12 his father taught him to make his first gyilli and he was a practised maker by age 15. After secondary school Doozie moved to Accra to become a xylophonist with the Ghana Dance Ensemble. He was also an instructor at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon. Among other appointments, he has performed with the National SO Ghana and has been associated with the Institute of African Studies and the music and performing arts departments of the University of Ghana. In 1990 he established a workshop to produce xylophones; he made the xylophones used in the Broadway production of The Lion King. He has also restored instruments in museum collections. He continues to teach and perform and is managing director of Dagarti Arts and Music in Accra and a member of the Arts Council of Ghana. He is also involved in promoting fair trade practices. Doozie’s xylophone bars—from eight to 18 for each instrument—are made of aged, fire-dried planks of wood from male shea trees. Gourd resonators are affixed under the bars, which are tied to the curved frame. The tips of the wooden beaters are padded with rubber recycled from tyres....

Article

Kathryn Bridwell Briner

(David )

(b Chicago, IL, Jan 27, 1950). American horn player, historical horn maker, music educator, and composer. He studied horn with Ernani Angelucci, John Barrows, Helen Kotas, Ethel Merker, Frank Brouk, and Dale Clevenger. He was appointed assistant principal horn for the Detroit Symphony in 1972, and has also performed as principal horn with the Mexico City Philharmonic (1978–80), the Cincinnati Symphony (1984–6), the Toledo Symphony (1990–7), and as guest principal horn with the Antwerp Philharmonic/Royal Flemish Orchestra. He has taught the horn at Interlochen Arts Academy, Wheaton College, Oakland University, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Michigan, the School of Perfection in Mexico City, and the Carl Nielsen Academy in Odense, Denmark. Greer has written solo pieces for both the modern and natural (valveless) horn, as well as a mass for hunting horns and organ.

Noted for his flexible tone and facile technique, Greer has toured widely as a soloist and has made notable recordings, particularly on the natural horn; those recordings include Beethoven’s Sonata for horn, Brahms’ Trio for horn, violin, and piano, and the horn concertos of Mozart....

Article

Ellen Exner

(b Philadelphia, PA, 1945). American maker of historical woodwinds, performer, and teacher. He founded Levin Historical Instruments, Inc. around 1970 to produce period instrument replicas in collaboration with Steven Silverstein, who was once a partner in the business. Levin arrived on his instrument designs by exploring museum collections in Europe, particularly Germany and Holland. His mentors included friedrich von Huene , Anthony Baines, william Dowd , and Gerrit and Henk Klop. Eventually, his company offered Renaissance- and Baroque-style recorders, cornetti, shawms, and dulcians (fagotti), as well as Baroque and Classical bassoons and oboes. Levin dissolved the company in 1990 to pursue a career in software development and technical writing, but his instruments continue to be sought after and remain in use worldwide.

Levin graduated from the Manhattan School of Music (BA, 1967), where he studied modern bassoon with Elias Carmen. He became a faculty member at the Oberlin College Baroque Performance Institute (...

Article

Howard Schott

(b Berkeley, CA, June 25, 1948; d Portland, OR, March 3, 2001). American luthier. He attended Summerhill school in England. Having developed craft skills through constructing models, and repairing and rebuilding vehicles, he began to make musical instruments as a hobby. In 1971 he began an apprenticeship with Paul Schuback, a Portland, Oregon violin maker trained in Mirecourt, and in 1973 became a journeyman in the workshop of the Swiss lute maker Jacob van de Geest at Vevey. During these years Lundberg photographed, measured and studied lutes and viols in European collections. By the mid-1970s he had established his own workshop in Portland, and gained a reputation as an important maker of lutes and related instruments on historical models; he produced about 400 in total. Lundberg also restored historical instruments for museums and collectors, and freely shared his knowledge with apprentices. He lectured frequently on lute construction, in particular at the Erlangen ...

Article

Stephen Montague

(b Mount Vernon, NY, Nov 24, 1953). American composer, computer instruments inventor and educator. He studied composition and cello at the University of California, Santa Cruz (1971–3), Columbia University (1973–4), the Juilliard School (BM 1975, MM 1977), specialising in computer music technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University. His principal teachers were Luigi Dallapiccola (1973), Roger Sessions (1973–5) and Elliott Carter (1975–8). He was the principal cellist with the Canadian Opera Company (1975–6) and a guest composer at IRCAM, Paris (1978–9), where he subsequently served as director of musical research (1980–84). He returned to the United States and in 1985 joined the faculty of MIT as professor of music and media at its new media laboratory and became director of the Experimental Media Facility and head of the Hyperinstruments/Opera of the Future group where he continues to work. In ...

Article

Hugh Davies

(b Los Angeles, 1910; d Los Angeles, Dec 17, 2000). American piano teacher and designer of the Rhodes electric piano . The son of a baker, his grounding was in the sciences and he took an architectural degree at Los Angeles Polytechnic High School. Around 1930 he established the Harold Rhodes School of Popular Piano. During World War II he taught the piano to fellow servicemen, and then to hospital patients. For this he built his 29-note Air Corps Piano (1942), which could be played in bed and resembled a large toy piano; it used scrap parts from aeroplanes, including lengths of flattened aluminium tubing, mounted like xylophone bars, instead of strings. Thousands were built for Air Corps Hospitals. By 1947, working in California, Rhodes had developed the idea in the three-octave Pre-Piano, with electrostatic pickups, which was marketed for two years.

While in partnership with guitar builder Leo Fender, the only direct result of which was the Rhodes Piano Bass (marketed ...

Article

Hugh Davies

(b Los Angeles, 1910; d Los Angeles, Dec 17, 2000). American piano teacher and designer of the Rhodes electric piano. The son of a baker, he was grounded in science and took an architectural degree at Los Angeles Polytechnic High School. About 1930 he established the Harold Rhodes School of Popular Piano. During World War II the Army Air Surgeon General asked him to develop a music therapy programme for servicemen in hospitals. For this he designed his 29-note Air Corps Piano, or ‘Xylette’ (1942), which could be played in bed and resembled a large, 15-pound toy piano; initially it used parts from wrecked aeroplanes and scrap plywood from engine crates. Instead of strings it had graduated lengths of flattened aluminium tubing from B-17 wings, mounted like xylophone bars and played from a piano-type keyboard. Thousands were built between 1942 and 1945, primarily for Air Corps hospitals; many of these ‘Make and Play’ instruments were assembled by the patients, following a manual that Rhodes wrote....

Article

Hans Klotz

(b Kaufbeuren, Feb 12, 1925; d Sept 2004). German organ builder.

He studied the organ and piano at the Händelkonservatorium in Munich and became the organist in Kaufbeuren in 1946. He received his training in organ building from the Hindelang brothers in Ebenhofen (1945–8) and then worked for Josef Zeilhuber in Altstätten (1949), Albert Moser in Munich (1949–53) and A. Mårtenson in Lund (1953–5). He took his master’s examinations in Munich in 1952 and set up his own business in Kaufbeuren on 1 April 1955. He built organs exclusively with slider chests and mechanical action in cases of solid timber. His display pipes are 90% tin, his mixtures 80%; all the other pipes are 50% spotted metal. He occasionally lectured on the design of organ façades, the use of materials, and voicing. Schmid’s firm had built some 200 new organs by ...

Article

William Waterhouse

(b Hirschberg [now Jelenia Góra, Poland], March 31, 1853; d Leipzig, Jan 16, 1940). German flautist, teacher and inventor . He performed as principal flautist in the Gewandhaus Orchestra from 1881 to 1917, and taught at the Leipzig Conservatory from 1908 to 1932. Schwedler was the last major exponent of the conical-bore ‘simple-system’ flute, whose advantages he strove to retain whilst matching the manifest advantages of Boehm's 1847 system. In 1885 he designed the ‘Schwedler-Kruspe flute’, built for him by Friedrich Wilhelm Kruspe. In 1898 Schwedler designed his ‘Reformflöte’, collaborating with F.W. Kruspe's son, Carl jr (established since 1893 in Leipzig), which he later improved in 1912. Among improved features of these models were head-joint in metal, redesigned embouchure-hole and a mechanism to facilitate the fingering of F/F♯. After a rift with Krupse, Schwedler’s later models were made from 1917 by Moritz-Max Mönnig (1875–1949), the last of which Hindemith dubbed ‘the six-cylinder flute’, because of its technical complexity. These developments are documented in his ...

Article

Sabine K. Klaus

(b Detroit, MI, July 12, 1957). American horn player, teacher, and brass instrument maker. He was a pupil of lowell Greer (Detroit Symphony Orchestra) and Philip Farkas (Indiana University) and holds a BM from Wayne State University and a MM degree from Indiana University.

A pioneer in the United States in natural horn performance and teaching, Seraphinoff has been on the faculty of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (modern and natural horn) since 1986, and has made reproductions of baroque and classical natural horns and trumpets since 1983. As a modern horn player he has performed with the Toledo Symphony, Michigan Opera, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. His activities as natural horn player include performances with virtually every period instrument orchestra in the United States, including the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, and the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra. His publications cover a wide range of topics, from horn performance and history to brass instrument technology. Since ...