(b Constantinople, 1881; d Chamonix, July 27, 1954). Armenian cellist. He studied with Grützmacher and while a student played chamber music with Brahms and Joachim. At the age of 17 he appeared as the soloist in Strauss's Don Quixote with the composer conducting and scored a triumph; he was then invited to play concertos with Nikisch and Mahler. In 1901 he settled in Paris, where Casals saw some of his fingerings and recognized that Alexanian shared his own, then revolutionary, ideas on technique and interpretation. Many years' collaboration followed, leading to the publication in 1922 of their joint treatise Traité théorique et pratique du violoncelle and in 1929 of Alexanian's analytical edition of the solo cello suites of Bach. Alexanian was professor of the Casals class at the Ecole Normale de Musique from 1921 to 1937, when he left for the USA. His classes in Paris, Baltimore and New York attracted artists and students from all over the world, and his influence extended far beyond his own pupils (among them Maurice Eisenberg and Antonio Janigro) to such cellists as Feuermann, Cassadó, Piatigorsky and Fournier. He was also a conductor of distinction....
Dorothy C. Pratt
John C.G. Waterhouse, Virgilio Bernardoni, and Johannes Streicher
(b Posillipo, Naples, March 8, 1875; d San Remo, Oct 27, 1954). Italian composer. After studying the piano privately with Alessandro Longo, and harmony and composition with Camillo de Nardis and Serrao at the Conservatorio di S Pietro a Majella, Naples, he moved in 1895 to Leipzig, where he completed his composition studies with Jadassohn. In 1896 he went to Berlin and launched himself as a pianist, though he did not continue this activity systematically for long: in later life he appeared in public only as a song accompanist and chamber music player, mainly in his own works. From 1899 until about 1905 he was based in Paris, but travelled as far afield as Russia. He then settled in Milan, moving in 1914 to San Remo, which remained at least his summer home for the rest of his life. From 1916 he taught composition at the Liceo Musicale, Bologna, which he directed from ...
(b Palma de Mallorca, Aug 24, 1931; d Madrid, October 29, 2006). Spanish composer. He began his musical studies at the Barcelona Conservatory with Gabriel Gálvez, Luis Millet, Juan Pich Santasusana, Joan Gibert Camins, Joaquín Zamocois and Eduardo Toldrá, and later removed to Geneva to broaden his training. His tireless professional work extended beyond composition to directing various musical and ballet groups, orchestration, performing as a pianist, music criticism on radio and television, and teaching. He taught composition and fugue at the Seville Conservatory until 1971, then composition at the Madrid Conservatory until his retirement in 1997.
Alís’s works number about 200 and comprise a wide variety of genres. Many of them were commissioned by various official organizations. Among them are the orchestral Sinfonietta, Música para un festival en Sevilla, Homenatge a Antoni Gaudí, Seis remembranzas a Eduardo Toldrá and Rêverie, all of which bear witness to his mastery of orchestration, tone-colour and intensity. Equally well known are his pieces for piano, his choral pieces and his string quartets. In addition to his serious music, he composed, orchestrated and conducted commercial and incidental music for publishing houses, CDs, theatre, radio, television and the cinema. A member of various juries of international competitions, he was made Commander of the Imperial Hispanic Order of Carlos V and received numerous honours and prizes....
(b Sin-le-Noble, Nord, May 25, 1923). French bassoonist and teacher. A precocious talent, he won a premier prix at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 17. He won a first prize at the Geneva International Competition in 1949 and was appointed to the Paris Opéra the same year. In ...
Raoul F. Camus
(b Port Jefferson, NY, April 15, 1923; d New York, June 26, 1981). American cornet and trumpet player and teacher. Because of damage at birth resulting in a withered right arm, he learned to play on instruments that were specially adapted for left-hand playing. Beginning lessons with his father at age five, by the time he was seven he was already performing as a soloist. At thirteen he studied with Del Staigers, considered one of the world’s great cornet soloists. In 1938 he began lessons with Ned Mahoney, cornet soloist with the Goldman Band, who convinced him to study at the Ernest Williams School of Music. In 1943, at the age of twenty, Burke was invited to join the Goldman Band, playing some 1100 solos over the next 32 years. In addition to the Goldman Band, Burke performed with the Cities Service Band of America (1948–56), the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra and the Baltimore SO....
David L. Crouse
revised by David W. Music
(b Tennessee, Oct 13, 1792; d Franklin, TN, Oct 18, 1859). American singing-school teacher and tunebook compiler. Nothing is known of his early activities or training, but by 1817 Carden was an established singing-school teacher in the Tennessee area. He taught a singing school in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1820, but probably returned to Tennessee shortly thereafter. In September 1822, Carden advertised a singing school in Nashville; he apparently continued to live in the Nashville area until 1850, when he moved to Williamson County (probably Franklin). His first tunebook, The Missouri Harmony, “published by the compiler” in St. Louis but printed in Cincinnati (1820, 2/1850/R 1975, 1994; modern revision, 2005), was the most popular fasola shape-note tunebook of the South and West until the Civil War, achieving at least 24 editions and reprints through 1857; however, Carden seems to have given up his interest in the book after the first edition, and subsequent issues were apparently the work of the Cincinnati printers. Carden procured shape-note music type and published two more tunebooks himself: ...
American ballet dancers, teachers, choreographers, and company directors. Three of the four Christensen brothers made their careers in dance. Members of a Danish Mormon family that had settled in America, they were taught folk and social dancing by their father and grandfather and trained in ballet by various teachers. All three were instrumental in establishing and popularizing ballet in the western United States.
Willam Farr Christensen (b Brigham City, UT, Aug 27, 1902; d Salt Lake City, Oct 14, 2001) was the eldest of the brothers. After touring the vaudeville circuit, he opened a ballet school in 1932 in Portland, Oregon, from which sprang the Portland Ballet. In 1937 he joined the San Francisco Opera Ballet, where, as ballet-master, he staged the first full-length American productions of Coppélia (1939), Swan Lake (1940), and The Nutcracker (1944). Returning to Utah in 1951, he taught ballet at the state university and founded a performing group that eventually became known as Ballet West....
(b New York, 27 Sept 1941; d Chicago, 13 June 2017). American musicologist. He graduated BA from Amherst College in 1963. He then studied at Princeton University under Strunk and Lockwood, taking the MFA in 1965 and the PhD in 1970. In 1968 he joined the faculty at the University of Chicago. He was on the board of directors of the AMS, 1974–6, and was on the editorial boards of the Rossini and Verdi critical editions.
Gossett’s interests include 15th-century sacred music, the theoretical writings of Rameau, and 19th-century Italian opera, particularly the works of Rossini. His dissertation and subsequent articles on Rossini stress the need to investigate manuscript sources of music and librettos; in them he distinguishes authentic from unauthentic sources, points out those aspects of a work which arise from specific performances or operatic conventions, and identifies Rossini’s borrowings and self-borrowings. He wrote many of the introductions for two facsimile series, ...
John A. Emerson
revised by Christopher E. Mehrens
[Pasmore, Harriet Horn ]
(b San Francisco, CA, May 12, 1892; d Sonoma, CA, Jan 25, 1986). American Contralto, teacher, and music therapist. After attending the University of California, Berkeley (BA, French, 1914), she taught piano and then voice at Pomona College in Claremont, California (1914–20). After study and concert performances in Europe (1920–25) she returned to the United States and performed and taught privately in New York (1925–35) and Hollywood, California (1936–40). During the 1930s Pazmor was noted for her performances of contemporary American art songs. Her programs regularly included works by Charles Ives, Henry Cowell, Carl Ruggles, John Cage, Ernst Bacon, Ruth Crawford, Roger Sessions, Lou Harrison, Aaron Copland, and William Grant Still. She gave recitals for organizations such as the League of Composers and the Pan American Association of Composers, and at academic institutions including the New School for Social Research, Columbia University, Princeton University, and Harvard University. She studied music therapy at Boston University (MM ...
Victor H. Mattfeld
(b Eisfeld an der Werre, Suhl, 1488; d Wittenberg, Aug 6, 1548). German publisher. Working in Wittenberg, removed from the main centres of music publication, he became one of the most important music publishers, particularly for the Reformation church. He studied at the University of Wittenberg (1512–14), and then worked for four years in the publishing house of Johann Rhau-Grunenberg (presumably his uncle). In 1518 he left Wittenberg to become Kantor of the Thomasschule and Thomaskirche in Leipzig, a position he held until at least 1 May 1520. On 18 September 1518 he also joined the faculty of the University of Leipzig, lecturing in music theory.
Rhau may have been associated with the circle of theologians surrounding Luther in Wittenberg; as a resident of that city at the time of the nailing of the 95 theses, he was certainly aware of Luther’s position. In June 1519...