(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 ...
revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu
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 ...
(b Orléans, Dec 23, 1823; d Paris, Aug 8, 1854). French organist, pianist, composer, pedagogue, and music critic. As a child, Dillon learned harmony and piano from her mother, Elisabeth. Dillon later took lessons from the organist Marius Gueit of the Eglise Saint-Paterne in Orléans, displaying a precocious talent for composition and improvisation. In 1837, she and her mother moved to the Parisian suburb of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Dillon failed to establish a performance career there, but when she was 17, she secured the post of organiste titutlaire at the cathedral in Meaux. She held that post until 1853, the year before her death.
Dillon attracted significant critical attention for her composition Contes fantastiques de Hoffmann (published 1847), which she called a ‘translation’ of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s work. She published this composition under the name ‘Juliette Godillon’, but after multiple reviews referred to her as ‘Juliette G. Dillon’, she assumed the name ‘Juliette Dillon’. In ...
(b Jackson, MS, Sept 14, 1910; d New York, NY, Aug 29, 1982). American conductor, composer, arranger, educator, and writer on music. After studying composition at the Cincinnati Conservatory, Engel moved to New York, where he had lessons in composition at the Juilliard School with rubin Goldmark and then privately with roger Sessions . During the late 1930s Engel provided incidental music for plays and dance groups and conducted his own Madrigal Singers under the auspices of the WPA. He conducted the premieres of Kurt Weill’s Johnny Johnson and Aaron Copland’s The Second Hurricane, and he also led the chorus in the audience at the improvised premiere of Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock.
Engel is best known for his work in commercial venues. He supplied vocal and choral arrangements and other forms of incidental music for theatrical and broadcast productions. As a conductor, his most successful shows on Broadway included Gian Carlo Menotti’s ...
revised by James Deaville
(b Würzburg, May 28, 1780; d Würzburg, Jan 5, 1862). German teacher, musical organizer, critic, theorist, conductor and composer. He studied music at the student institute of the Juliusspital in Würzburg, and studied law and philosophy at the university there. In 1801 he began his career as a violinist in the prince-bishop’s court orchestra. He also founded the Akademische Bande, a student choral and orchestral group, which in 1804 became the Akademisches Musikinstitut and was made part of the university, thus becoming the basis of the first state music school in Germany. His teaching and organizational work was of the highest importance and encompassed several disciplines and activities. He became reader in aesthetics in 1812, reader in pedagogical studies in 1819 and professor in 1821. In 1820 a singing school was established as part of the institute. He also conducted important historical concerts for King Ludwig I in ...
(b Göteborg, Dec 22, 1846; d Stockholm, March 11, 1925). Swedish conductor, composer, teacher and critic. Between 1866 and 1871 he studied in Leipzig with Reinecke, in Munich with Rheinberger and in Dresden with Rietz. He then returned to Göteborg, where he became conductor of the music society (1872–8); he later taught singing in Berlin (1879–83). Back in Sweden he was conductor of the Philharmonic Society in Stockholm (1885–95) and of the Royal Opera (1892–7), as well as founder and conductor of the South Swedish Philharmonic Society (1902–7). From 1909 to 1919 he taught composition at the Stockholm Conservatory.
Hallén’s compositions show an accomplished handling of formal elements and contain stylistic reminiscences of Swedish folk music and the works of other Swedish composers like Söderman. The salient feature of his style, however, and the one which strongly affected contemporary reaction, is its close, almost derivative relationship to German music. Wagner’s works and aesthetic ideas had a particularly strong and lasting influence on Hallén; his operas, although conceived with considerable dramatic skill, are largely dependent on Wagnerian models. As an enterprising and versatile conductor, he gave sympathetic performances of the Wagner operas and brought about performances of many choral masterpieces then almost unknown in Sweden, including the first Swedish performance of Bach's ...
(b Brunswick, Sept 5, 1820; d Königsberg [now Kaliningrad], Feb 16, 1886). German pianist, composer, critic and teacher. He quickly developed as a pianist and was sent to Vienna, where he studied the piano with C.M. von Bocklet and theory with Sechter and Seyfried. After a further two years in Brunswick, he settled in 1845 in Königsberg, where he initially worked in the theatre and conducted the Singverein. From 1847 Köhler devoted himself exclusively to piano pedagogy and to writing about music. He was music critic for the Hartungsche Zeitung for almost 40 years (1849–86), and contributed to Signale from 1844 until his death. His correspondence articles from Königsberg for Brendel's Neue Zeitschrift für Musik brought him to the attention of Liszt and Wagner in 1852, but it was his first book, Die Melodie der Sprache (1853), that established him as one of the leading New German writers, a reputation substantiated by his many journal articles, newspaper reviews and books of the 1850s and 60s. He also proposed the idea behind the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein, which he, Liszt and Brendel (among others) developed at the ...
Miroslav K. Černý
(b Prague, May 2, 1817; d Prague, July 22, 1868). Czech choirmaster, teacher, composer and critic. He was the son of the distinguished Prague choirmaster František Xaver Kolešovský (b Prague, 1781; d Prague, 12 June 1839), a pupil of J.A. Kozeluch. He studied the violin at the Prague Conservatory, theory, organ and singing at the Prague Organ School, and theory and composition with Tomášek and others. He was a member of the Estates Theatre Orchestra in Prague from 1835 until 1839, when he succeeded his father as choirmaster of St Štěpána; here, and later at St Ignác he continued his father's practice of presenting music by earlier Czech masters, especially F.X. Brixi. In the 1850s he was director of the Žofín Academy, an important Prague music institution with choir and school, but gave up the post to found his own school of singing and theory, where his pupils included Fibich. He also taught from ...
(b Rudersdorf, nr Berlin, Jan 30, 1844; d Jena, April 27, 1918). German critic, pianist and composer. Although he was best known as the owner and editor of the influential Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung (1882–1907), Lessmann had earlier studied the piano with Bülow and composition with Friedrich Kiel in Berlin. In 1866 he became a piano teacher at the Stern Conservatory and the following year joined the faculty of the Klavier-Schule Tausig, a position he held until Tausig's death in 1871. From 1872 he was head of the music department of the Kaiserin Augusta Stiftung, in Potsdam, and he also taught at the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory. The relationship with Bülow and Tausig was important in bringing him into personal contact with both Liszt and Wagner, and he became a staunch supporter of the New German School.
Lessmann was widely respected as a critic. His prose was judicious and tempered, and it was informed by many years of practical music-making. Generally speaking he championed the new and unusual in music. This made him the polar opposite of his older contemporary Eduard Hanslick, who was seen as representing the more conservative musicians of the time. Lessmann was a regular visitor to Bayreuth and gave generous coverage to the festivals of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein, of which Liszt was the lifetime president. Liszt thought well of him as a composer and transcribed his three ‘Tannhäuser’ songs for solo piano. He also wrote a monograph on Liszt (...
( b 1796; d 1866). Scottish dancing-master . He was the most prominent member of a family of dance teachers in Scotland in the early 19th century, whose descendants numbered more than 20 teachers over five generations and who were active in Scotland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand for some 200 years. With his brothers John, Robert and James, Lowe was influential in establishing Scottish dance in a modern ballroom form. The brothers taught in different parts of Scotland and together wrote Lowes’ Ball-Conductor and Assembly Guide (Edinburgh, c1830), one of the most extensive 19th-century dance manuals. Joseph Lowe also published many arrangements of Scottish dance-tunes for the piano. From 1851 to 1860 he was dance tutor to the family of Queen Victoria, and his journal of these years gives an insight into his teaching at Windsor and Balmoral. His workbook, which contains step descriptions of dances and some entries by his son Joseph Eager Lowe, who taught in New Zealand and Australia, is in the National Library of New Zealand....
revised by Katja Brooijmans
(b Haarlem, May 28, 1896; d Heerlen, May 22, 1977). Dutch composer, organist, critic and teacher. He studied organ with Jos Verheyen in Amsterdam and Louis Robert in Haarlem. He continued his studies with Jean Baptiste de Pauw (piano and organ) and Sem Dresden (composition) at the Amsterdam Conservatory. He received a state grant for study in Paris at the Schola Contorum with Vincent d’Indy and Louis Aubert. He then taught composition and analysis at the Rotterdam Conservatory and the Amsterdam Conservatory (1927–32). Prolifically active as a critic, he was appointed music editor (in 1933) for the De Tijd-Maasbode group and was since 1946 a regular contributor to the new music journal Mens en melodie.
Characteristic of Monnikendam’s working method is his constancy towards a basic idea. This could be a melodic principle such as the Gregorian chant melody in the Sinfonia sacra (1947...
revised by Laura Otilia Vasiliu
(b Bucharest, Romania, Oct 1, 1890; d Bucharest, Jan 19, 1951). Romanian composer, conductor, music critic, teacher, and violinist. Along with Alfred Alessandrescu and Ion Nonna Otescu, Nottara was among the first disciples of the renowned composition professor Alfonso Castaldi from the Bucharest Conservatory. First under the influence of French impressionism, then of Italian verismo, Nottara’s work then gradually integrated with the tendency of forming a Romanian national style in the first half of the 20th century.
He studied at the Bucharest Conservatory (1900–07) with D.G. Kiriac (music theory and solfège), Alfonso Castaldi (composition), and Robert Klenck (violin); he continued his studies under George Enescu and Berthelier (violin) in Paris (1907–9), and under Klinger (violin) and Schatzenholz (composition) at the Königliche Akademie der Künste, Berlin, (1909–13). His career as a violinist included orchestral playing in the Bucharest PO (1905–7, 1918–20), leading a string quartet (...
(b Breslau, Oct 3, 1807; d Florence, Nov 18, 1887). German singing teacher, violinist, composer and critic. He studied singing with the Kantors Strauch and Förster, and learnt the violin with Joseph Mayseder. His initial career was as a violinist. About 1834 he settled in Paris, as a performer, critic and composer, and editor of and contributor to the new Gazette et revue musicale; he was also a correspondent for the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. He was a prolific composer for the violin and of solo songs. After 1840 Panofka’s interest turned towards the art and techniques of the great singers he heard in Paris. He studied the methods of Marco Bordogni, and went to London in 1847 and directed the chorus of the Royal Italian Opera under Lumley. He met Jenny Lind there and studied her vocal techniques, as well as those of Lablache, Fraschini and Staudigl. In London he was esteemed more as a singing teacher than as a violinist. His first didactic work, the ...
Ralph Scott Grover
(b Northampton, May 23, 1901; d Gerrards Cross, Feb 14, 1986). English composer, critic, pianist and teacher.
Born into a poor working-class family, Rubbra was fortunate in having music-loving parents. His mother’s pure soprano voice was prominent in her church choir, and she was in demand locally as a soloist. He began piano lessons at eight, transferring later to a teacher who added instruction in harmony and counterpoint. In his uncle’s music shop he discovered the music of Cyril Scott and Debussy. Leaving school at 14 to help his family financially, he worked as an office boy, then a railway clerk. At 17 he organized an all-Scott concert in Northampton, prompting the composer to accept him as a private pupil. In 1920 he won a composition scholarship to Reading University for study with Holst, and also piano with Evlyn Howard-Jones. In 1921 Rubbra won an open scholarship to the Royal College of Music where his teachers were, Holst, Howard-Jones (privately) and R.O. Morris in counterpoint; Vaughan Williams was used as a substitute during Holst’s absences. Of Rubbra’s earliest compositions, some of his songs were published during his RCM days. One, ...
Leah G. Weinberg
(b Exeter, NH, Nov 8, 1961). American Musician, songwriter, record company founder, and author. Zanes was raised near Concord, New Hampshire, and after attending Oberlin College for one year, moved to Boston. There, Zanes, his brother Warren, the bass player Tom Lloyd, and the drummer Steve Morrell formed the Del Fuegos. The roots-rock band produced five albums between 1984 and 1989, with singles “Don’t Run Wild,” “I still want you,” “Name Names,” and “Move with me Sister.” After the Del Fuegos disbanded and Zanes’s solo album Cool Down Time failed to sell, he began to listen to banjo songs, cowboy tunes, and traditional songs that he remembered from childhood. After his daughter Anna was born, Zanes’s dissatisfaction with the American children’s music market led him to form a family-oriented band that merged folk and rock styles and instrumentation. Initially known as the Wonderland String Band, the New York based-group underwent changes in title and personnel, first to the Rocket Ship Revue, and then to Dan Zanes & Friends. The seven-member band has produced nine albums on Zanes’s label, Festival Five Records, which include original songs as well as folk, traditional, and gospel songs from the United States, Jamaica, Africa, and Mexico. ...