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Adami, Giuseppe  

Julian Budden

(b Verona, Nov 4, 1878; d Milan, Oct 12, 1946). Italian playwright, librettist and journalist . After graduating in law at the University of Padua he devoted himself to literature, first as theatre critic of the Arena (Verona), then as playwright. His first stage work was the one-act comedy I fioi di Goldoni in Venetian dialect; thereafter he proved remarkably successful in a comic-sentimental vein with such plays as Una capanna e il tuo cuore (1913), Capelli bianchi (1915), Felicità Colombo (1935) and its sequel Nonna Felicità (1936). In 1911 he made the acquaintance of Giulio Ricordi, head of the publishing firm, of whom he left a valuable memoir in his Giulio Ricordi e i suoi musicisti (Milan, 1933, 2/1945 as Giulio Ricordi, amico dei musicisti). It was Ricordi who first put him in touch with Puccini, who briefly considered setting his Spanish-derived libretto ...


Bangs, Lester  

Jayson Greene

[Conway ]

(b Escondido, CA, Dec 13, 1948; d New York, NY, April 30, 1982). American rock critic. Bangs’s parents were devout Jehovah’s Witnesses; he was raised mostly by his mother after his father died in a house fire in 1955. Bangs began writing freelance reviews for Rolling Stone magazine in 1969, and would go on to write for Creem, The Village Voice, Penthouse, Playboy, New Musical Express, and many others. He wrote a 1980 book on the new-wave act Blondie and co-authored, with Paul Nelson, a biography of Rod Stewart, but the published works for which he is best known remain the two posthumous anthologies of his rock criticism: Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung (New York, 1987), edited by Greil Marcus; and Mainlines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste (New York, 2003), edited by John Morthland.

Bangs was inspired by the drug-fueled stream- of-consciousness style of Beat poets like William S. Burroughs and the confrontational, subjective New Journalism of Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe. Alongside John Mendelssohn, Nick Tosches, and Richard Meltzer, Bangs was grouped into the subset of early rock critics dubbed “the Noise Boys,” whose wild, digressive, slang-filled style contrasted with the more sober, academic approach of Greil Marcus and Robert Christgau. Bangs was an advocate of what would come to be called “punk rock,” celebrating its return to the raw, amateur spirit that defined the earliest rock ’n’ roll. He wrote critical pieces on many of the scene’s seminal acts, including The Ramones, Iggy and the Stooges, and the Velvet Underground. “I finally realized that grossness was the truest criterion for rock ’n’ roll, the cruder the clang and grind the more fun and longer listened-to the album would be,” Bangs wrote, and his prose aspired towards the same energy. Bangs died from respiratory and pulmonary complications related to the ingestion of Darvon....


Barbier, Marie-Anne  

Jérôme de La Gorce

(b Orléans, c1670; d Paris, 1745). French dramatist. After writing four tragedies for the Thé âtre Français, she is thought to have collaborated with the Abbé Pellegrin, who gave her advice, on several librettos: Les fêtes de l’été (1716), set by Montéclair, and Le judgement de Pâris...


Batka, Richard  

John Tyrrell

(b Prague, Dec 14, 1868; d Vienna, April 24, 1922). Austrian critic and writer of Czech descent . After graduating in German and musicology at the German University in Prague he worked as an editor (Neue Revue, Kunstwart) and as a music critic (Bohemia, Prager Tagblatt). In 1908 he moved to Vienna, where he continued his activities, editing Der Merker with Richard Specht and writing reviews for the Wiener Fremdenblatt. He also taught history of opera at the academy (1909–14). His publications include Aus der Opernwelt: Prager Kritiken und Skizzen (Munich, 1907) and Allgemeine Geschichte der Musik (Stuttgart, 1909–15). In addition to his writings on music, where he was one of the first German-speaking writers to deal with Czech music, he translated Czech, Italian and French operas into German, and wrote several opera librettos himself.

Der polnische Jude (with V. Léon...


Belichenko, Sergey  

Leonard Bernardo

(Andrejevich )

(b Novosibirsk, Russian SFSR [now Russia], March 16, 1947). Russian drummer, writer, broadcaster, and educator. He began playing jazz in 1962, and after graduating from the state medical institute in Novosibirsk in 1971 he pursued a dual career as a jazz musician and an obstetrician. In 1975 he established Tvorcheskoye Dhazovoye Ob’yedinenie (Creative Jazz Unity), the first association of musicians and jazz promoters east of the Urals. He performed with Vladimir Tolkachev in the Musical Improvising Trio (1975–9), with Igor Dmitriev in various groups (including, from 1977, Zolotoye Gody Dhaza (Golden Jazz Years), with Vytautas Labutis in the quartet SibLitMash (Siberian-Lithuanian Jazz Machine, 1980s), and with Vagif Sadykhov in another quartet (1998), while also working as a freelance with Vladimir Chekasin, Anatoly Vapirov, Igor Butman, Joe Locke, Paul Bollenback, and former members of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, among others. In 1990 he began to broadcast on radio, and in ...


Benelli, Sem  

Luca Zoppelli

(b Filettole, nr Prato, Aug 10, 1877; d Zoagli, Dec 18, 1949). Italian dramatist . After working as a journalist, he wrote a successful comedy, Tignola, but thereafter turned to historical tragedies in hendecasyllabic verse set in the Italian Middle Ages and Renaissance, in the manner of D’Annunzio. La cena della beffe won international acclaim; it and five others were set as operas by Italian composers. After a period of adherence to Fascism (he sat in Parliament from 1921 until the murder of Matteotti in 1924) Benelli distanced himself from the regime and concentrated on writing plays with philosophical themes. He emigrated to Switzerland but returned to Italy after the end of World War II.

L’amore dei tre re, Montemezzi, 1913; Il mantellaccio, Setaccioli, comp. 1913, broadcast 1954; La cena delle beffe, Giordano, 1924; Rosmunda, E. Trentinaglia, 1929; Gorgona, L. Landi, comp. c1933; Proserpina, R. Bianchi, 1938...


Berendt, Joachim-Ernst  

H.L. Lindenmaier

(b Berlin, July 20, 1922; d Hamburg, Germany, Feb 4, 2000). German writer and record producer. Having first studied in Berlin he attended the University of Karlsruhe (1940–42). He was a founder in 1945 of the Südwestfunk Baden-Baden, where he led the jazz department until 1987, and in 1951 of the Deutsche Jazz Föderation. During the following decades he organized and directed many festivals and concert series (including Jazztime Baden-Baden, from 1947; the American Folk Blues Festival, 1962–8; the Berliner Jazztage, later known as the Jazzfest Berlin, 1964–72; the New Jazz Meeting Baden-Baden, which he founded in 1966; and the Olympic Games Jazz Festival in Munich, 1972) and was the producer and host of broadcasts both on radio (from the Baden-Baden festival) and television (“Jazz, gehört und gesehen,” 1954–72); he also organized an annual jazz concert at the Donaueschingen Festival for Contemporary Music (from ...


Bis, Hippolyte-Louis-Florent  

Christopher Smith

(b Douai, Aug 29, 1789; d Paris, March 3, 1855). French dramatist . While a clerk in the Droits Réunis in Lille he published pamphlets attacking the restored Bourbon monarchy, and was transferred to the Ministère des Finances in Paris. His first dramatic work, the tragedy Lothaire, written in collaboration with one F. Hay, was published in 1817 but not performed. Attila, a five-act verse tragedy, opened to acclaim at the Odéon, Paris, on 26 April 1822; its success, however, was probably due to Mlle George’s acting and to some propaganda that led to the banning of the tragedy. Blanche d’Aquitaine (Comedie-Française, 29 October 1827) also had marked political leanings; this play was probably the source upon which Felice Romani based his libretto for Donizetti’s Ugo, conte di Parigi (1832). Though not a particularly proficient playwright, Bis was called on to shorten Etienne de Jouy’s version of Schiller’s drama for Rossini’s ...


Boucicault [Bourcicault, Bourciquot], Dion  

Nigel Burton

[Dionysus Lardner ]

(b Dublin, Dec 26, 1820 or 1822; d New York, Sept 18, 1890). Irish dramatist . Known primarily as an actor, he played regularly in New York and London from the 1850s, excelling in his depictions of Irish heroes. Though nearly all his dramatic works were adaptations, they were often brilliantly constructed. His most successful pieces were London Assurance (1841, produced under the pseudonym Lee Morton); The Colleen Bawn, or The Brides of Garryowen (1860, after G. Griffin: The Collegians, or The Colleen Bawn), later adapted by Boucicault and John Oxenford as the libretto for Benedict’s opera The Lily of Killarney (1862); and Arrah-na-Pogue (1865). With B. N. Webster Boucicault adapted an opéra comique by Ambroise Thomas, Le panier fleuri, for London, as The Fox and the Goose, or The Widow’s Husband (1844, Adelphi Theatre).

DNB (J. Knight) J. W. Cole...


Boyer, Claude  

Alison Stonehouse

(b Albi, 1618; d Paris, July 22, 1688). French dramatist . Over a period of 50 years he wrote 23 plays, 14 of them tragedies, the rest machine-plays and comedies. He wrote the libretto for one opera, Méduse (C. H. Gervais, 1697); mainly in alexandrine verse, its plot revolves around Medusa’s love for Perseus and her jealous reaction to his love for Ismene. Boyer viewed Méduse as a tragedy set to music–a play to which intermèdes were added and in which spectacle was an important element. There are similarities with Metastasian drama in his plays Artaxerce, Porus, ou La générosité d’Alexandre and La mort de Démétrius; the last is echoed in Metastasio’s Antigono rather than Demetrio. Boyer’s Agamemnon was the source for the opera Cassandre (1706, Paris; music by Bouvard and Bertin de la Doué, libretto by Lagrange- Chancel), and Ulysse shows parallels with Rebel’s opera of the same name (...


Bradshaw, Sonny  

Val Wilmer

[Cecil Valentine ]

(b Kingston, Jamaica, March 28, 1926; d Romford, England, Oct 10, 2009). Jamaican trumpeter, flugelhorn player, conductor, arranger, bandleader, journalist, and broadcaster. Self-taught on clarinet, he changed to trumpet to play with the big bands of the drummer Redver Cooke and the saxophonist Eric Deans, then formed the Beboppers with Ernest Ranglin and Dizzy Reece. He performed annually with the Jamaica All-Stars, and in 1950 he formed a septet which included Joe Harriott. From 1954 he promoted concerts and festivals, organizing the annual Big Band, which featured the island’s leading talents, notably Wilton “Bogey” Gaynair, Don Drummond, and the pianist (later politician) Seymour “Foggy” Mullings. Ranglin, Roland Alphonso, and the trombonist Emanuel “Rico” Rodriguez joined this ensemble to accompany such visiting artists as Sarah Vaughan, Donald Byrd, and Jimmy Owens. Bradshaw, who played in a raw, direct style influenced by Dizzy Gillespie, was a tireless promoter of Jamaican music. For 25 years he served as president of the Jamaican Federation of Musicians, and he arranged the island’s national anthem. Although he recorded extensively and toured throughout the Americas playing reggae, jazz was his preferred mode of expression. Among the guests who appeared with his poll-winning small group are Roy Haynes, Reece, Coleridge Goode, and Byard Lancaster. In the 1990s he travelled to England annually, playing in Birmingham with Andy Hamilton’s band....


Brandes, Johann Christian  

Thomas Bauman

(b Stettin [now Szczecin], Nov 15, 1735; d Berlin, Nov 10, 1799). German playwright. He fled his family business at the age of 18 and eventually joined an itinerant theatrical company. He was an indifferent actor but won considerable popularity as a playwright. In May 1772 he and his actress wife Charlotte, then both with the Seyler company in Weimar, saw the first German melodrama, Anton Schweitzer’s setting (now lost) of Rousseau’s Pygmalion, in translation. Using H. W. von Gerstenberg’s tragic cantata Ariadne auf Naxos as a model, Brandes prepared a dramatic scene in the new genre to display Charlotte’s abilities. Schweitzer temporized in setting Brandes’s text, and after the troupe moved to Gotha it was given to the court Kapellmeister there, Georg Benda. The première of Ariadne auf Naxos on 27 January 1775 was a resounding success, mainly because of Benda’s music and Charlotte’s acting. Brandes wrote a second melodrama for his wife while he was theatrical director at Dresden in ...


Browne, Marmaduke E(dmonstone)  

Arthur Jacobs

(b 1843–4; d ?1917). English translator . He was a scholar of Oriel College, Oxford (BA 1866), and was ordained in the Church of England in 1868. He was choirmaster and organist of Christ Church, Marylebone, London, from 1878 to 1882.

For the production of Così fan tutte (at that time rarely staged) by the Royal College of Music at the Savoy Theatre in 1890, he wrote an amusing and elegant English version, ‘translated and adapted from the original Italian and the German paraphrase’, in a style Richard Brinsley Sheridan would not have disdained. It was published in vocal score by Novello, with the characters Fiordiligi and Guglielmo renamed Isidora and Gratiano, presumably for the convenience of English tongues. The long survival of this version, with modifications, extended to the ENO production of 1990. Browne also translated Cornelius’s Der Barbier von Bagdad (RCM, Savoy, 1891) and Hermann Goetz’s ...


Bulgakov, Mikhail Afanas’yevich  

Andrew Clements

(b Kiev, May 14, 1891; d Moscow, March 10, 1940). Soviet novelist . He graduated in medicine from Kiev University in 1916 but soon abandoned that career to work as a writer, travelling throughout Russia before settling in Moscow in 1921. His first success was in 1926, with the play Dni Turbinykh (‘The Day of the Turbinykh’), a dramatization of his own novel Belaya gvardiya (‘The White Guard’). The play was later suppressed; in fact all his work was banned by Stalin from 1929. Bulgakov’s masterpiece, Master i Margarita (‘The Master and Margarita’, 1938), an allegorical novel about the Stalinist terrors, remained unpublished until 1966. Its exotic mixture of fantasy and satire – the devil incarnated in Moscow interwoven with a retelling of the Crucifixion from the viewpoint of Pontius Pilate – prefigured ‘magic realism’; its operatic potential has attracted several composers, including Slonimsky (1989, concert perf.), Rainer Kunad (...


Bulwer-Lytton, Edward (George Earle Lytton), 1st Baron Lytton  

Barry Millington

(b London, May 25, 1803; d Torquay, Jan 18, 1873). English writer . The son of General Bulwer and Elizabeth Lytton, he was born into a comfortable family background, but from the age of 22 was obliged to earn his living from writing. Having produced a volume of poetry at the age of 17, he went on to write a vast number of novels, plays, poems and journalistic articles. He also had a distinguished career in politics, entering the House of Commons as a Whig in 1831 but defecting to the Tory Party for whom he served as Colonial Secretary (1858–9) before being made a peer in 1866. On inheriting Knebworth from his mother in 1843 he took the additional name -Lytton, although he was still known as Bulwer and generally published under the name Bulwer Lytton; in 1866 he was created Baron Lytton of Knebworth.

Bulwer’s novel ...


Bürde, Samuel Gottlieb  

Thomas Bauman

(b Breslau, Dec 7, 1753; d Berlin, April 28, 1831). German writer . After studies at Halle he worked as a teacher and private secretary. His literary endeavours, warmly supported by Wieland, included poetry, plays, librettos and copious translations from the French and English. Don Sylvio von Rosalva, his first and most popular opera text, is based on Wieland’s fashionable novel ...


Burgoyne, John  

Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(b London, Feb 4, 1723; d London, Aug 4, 1792). English dramatist . ‘Gentleman Johnny’ Burgoyne, the English general forced to surrender to the Americans at Saratoga (1777), was the librettist of William Jackson’s only successful opera, The Lord of the Manor (1780), in the preface to which he advocated English ‘musical comedy’. Garrick’s staging of his first dramatic piece, ...


Čapek, Karel  

John Tyrrell

(b Malé Svatoňovice, nr Trutnov, Jan 9, 1890; d Prague, Dec 25, 1938). Czech writer and dramatist. He was the best-known Czech writer between the two world wars, with works widely published in many languages. Although his final novel, incomplete at his death, was about a charlatan composer, and his detective story about the conductor Kalina may have had Janáček in mind (Fischmann, 146), he had no close relationship to music and took no hand in the adaptation of his works into operas apart from Zdeněk Folprecht’s one-act opera Lásky hra osudná (‘The Fatal Game of Love’), for which he wrote the libretto (1922) with his brother Josef.

Ze života hmyzu [From the Life of the Insects] (play, with J. Čapek, 1922): Kalmanoff, 1977, as Insect Comedy; Cikker, 1987 Věc Makropulos [The Makropulos Affair] (play, 1922): Janáček, 1926 Krakatit [invented word, from ‘Krakatoa’] (novel, 1924): Berkovec, 1961; Kašlík, 1961...


Catherine [Yekaterina] II  

Richard Taruskin

[née Sophie Auguste Fredericke von Anhalt-Zerbst]

(b Stettin [now Szczecin], 21 April/May 2, 1729; d Tsarskoye Selo, 6/Nov 17, 1796). Empress of Russia. She acceded in 1762 following a palace coup against her husband Peter III, and became known as ‘Catherine the Great’. Continuing the policy of her predecessors, the empresses Anna (reigned 1730–40) and Elizabeth (1741–61), she maintained a court opera theatre staffed by Italians, personally patronizing Cimarosa, Paisiello, Galuppi and Sarti, as well as her special favourite, the italianized Spaniard Martín y Soler. She also patronized comic opera in the vernacular and encouraged native talent to apply itself to this genre. Among the talents she nurtured was her own very modest one as a dramatist, which she exercised, as she put it to a friend, for the sake of relaxation and distraction from affairs of state. With the assistance of two literary secretaries, Ivan Yelagin and Alexander Khrapovitsky, she wrote three volumes of Russian plays and a fourth in French....


Christgau, Robert  

Jayson Greene

(b New York, NY, April 18, 1942). American rock critic. Known as “the dean of American rock critics,” Christgau first emerged as one of the trade’s earliest professionals. Beginning in 1967 as the music columnist for Esquire, Christgau worked briefly at the Village Voice and Newsday as a critic before beginning his 37-year tenure as music editor of the Village Voice in 1974. During this time, Christgau mentored dozens of critics and established the Voice as a widely acknowledged home for serious rock criticism. He also inaugurated, in 1971, the annual Pazz & Jop music poll, which compiles the “top ten” lists submitted by music critics nationwide.

Christgau is perhaps best known for his capsule reviews, which have been published since 1969 in his Consumer Guide columns. Dry, witty, terse, and densely packed with allusions and asides, Christgau’s blurbs, accompanied by assigned letter grades, promoted a persuasive style of serious, incisive criticism of rock music; many of his reviews have been reprinted in popular book-length compilations. He was an early supporter of the hip-hop and riot grrrl movements and an avid proponent of African popular music. Few rock critics have established such a national presence and identity. Rock musicians ranging from Lou Reed of the Velvet Underground to Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth have name-checked him in song....