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Article

Absil, Jean  

Henri Vanhulst

(Nicolas Joseph)

(b Bonsecours, Hainaut, Oct 23, 1893; d Uccle, Brussels, Feb 2, 1974). Belgian composer. He studied the organ, the piano and harmony with Alphonse Oeyen, organist of Bonsecours. He continued his studies at the Ecole St Grégoire, Tournai, where he gave his first organ recital in 1912. In 1913 he entered the Brussels Conservatory to study with Desmet (organ), Edouard Samuel (practical harmony) and (from 1915) Lunssens (written harmony). He took a first prize for organ and harmony in 1916 and, after a year’s further work with Paulin Marchand (counterpoint) and Léon Du Bois (fugue), another for counterpoint and fugue. Abandoning the idea of a career as an organist, he went to Gilson for composition lessons (1920–22). In 1921 his First Symphony won the Agniez Prize; in 1921 he took the second Belgian Prix de Rome with the cantata La guerre and was appointed director of the Etterbeek Music School. From ...

Article

Ádám, Jenő  

Ferenc Bónis and Anna Dalos

(b Szigetszentmiklós, Dec 12, 1896; d Budapest, May 15, 1982). Hungarian composer, conductor and teacher. From 1911 until 1915 he received instruction in organ playing and theory at the Budapest teacher-training college. Then, as a prisoner of war (1916–20), he organized and conducted a men’s choir and an orchestra in Russia. He studied composition at the Budapest Academy of Music under Kodály (1921–25) and conducting in Weingartner’s masterclass in Basle (1933–5). He conducted the orchestra (1929–39) and the choir (1929–54) of the Budapest Academy where he also taught Hungarian folk music, choral conducting and methodology from 1939 to 1959, and where he directed the singing department from 1942 to 1957.

Ádám began his career as a conductor in Budapest in 1929 with a performance of Haydn’s The Seasons. From 1929 until 1933 he was deputy conductor of the Budapest Choral and Orchestral Society. With the male choir Budai Dalárda, which he directed from ...

Article

Agatea, Mario  

John Whenham

(b 1623–8; d Bologna, 1699, before 28 Jan). Italian singer, composer and instrument maker. He was an Augustinian monk who was employed from about 1649 as a soprano castrato at the Este court at Modena. On 13 November 1660 he was appointed to the choir of S Petronio, Bologna, with a stipend of 50 lire a month; he was discharged on 24 April 1662 but rejoined on 25 July 1663. In October 1665 he returned to Modena, where he succeeded Marco Uccellini as choirmaster of the cathedral. He vacated this post in November 1673 and by early 1674 was again living at Bologna. Between 1677 and 1681 he served as a singer in the cappella of Duke Francesco II of Modena. In 1685 he was made a member of the Accademia Filarmonica, Bologna, and seems to have spent his last years in or near that city. He wrote to the Duke of Modena in ...

Article

Alain, Albert  

Aurélie Decourt

Member of Alain family

(b March 1, 1880; d Saint Germain-en-Laye, Oct 15, 1971). French organist, composer, and organ builder. From a family of craftsmen, amateur musicians, and devout Catholics, Alain studied at the Paris Conservatoire (1896–1907) with Caussade, Vierne, and Guilmant, winning a premier prix for harmony in 1904. He was the organist of St Nicolas, Maisons-Laffitte (1900–18), of the Franciscan Chapel (1903–71), and of the parish of Saint Germain-en-Laye (1924–71).

With Abbé Clément Besse and the painter Maurice Denis, Alain formed a musical circle in Saint Germain. He participated in the revival of French church music along the lines prescribed in the Vatican’s Motu proprio of 1903. He composed new settings of canticles in which the sobriety of the melody did not preclude refined harmonies, with the frequent use of modality and chromaticism.

92 Latin motets, nine mass settings, and three oratorios complete his prolific output of religious music, mostly written for use in churches at Saint Germain-en-Laye, Versailles, and Paris between ...

Article

Albisi, Abelardo  

William Waterhouse

( b 1872; d Switzerland, Jan 1938). Italian flute maker, flautist and composer . He was a flautist at La Scala, Milan, from 1897. In 1910 he invented his ‘Albisiphon’, a vertically-held, Boehm-system bass flute in C, with a T-shaped head, which he described in his Albisiphon: flauto ottava bassa (Milan, 1910). It was used by, among others, Mascagni in Parisina (1913), and Zandonai in Melenis (1912) and Francesca da Rimini (1914). The Dayton Miller Collection (Library of Congress, Washington, DC) possesses two models of an ‘albisiphon baritono’ in C and a tenor in F. There is also an example of another invention which Miller termed ‘half flute in C’ (that part of a regular flute played by the left hand, with a wooden handle for right hand) for which Albisi composed a concerto. He also made flutes in collaboration with the Milanese maker Luigi Vanotti in about ...

Article

Armingaud, Jules  

Cormac Newark

(b Bayonne, May 3, 1820; d Paris, Feb 27, 1900). French violinist and composer. A pupil of Alard, he attempted to enter the Paris Conservatoire in 1839 but was refused admission, according to Fétis, because of his advanced and individualistic talent. He played in the orchestra of the Opéra-Comique, and in the revolution of 1848 he was active, with Edouard Lalo, in the leftist Association des Artistes Musiciens. In 1855 he formed, with Lalo, Joseph Mas and Léon Jacquard, a string quartet in which he played first violin. The quartet enjoyed a great reputation for the works of Mendelssohn and Beethoven; many of their quartets had seldom been performed before. Clara Schumann apparently played with the Armingaud quartet during visits to Paris in 1862 and 1863. The ensemble was later transformed, by the addition of wind instruments, into the Société Classique. Armingaud was praised for his graceful but solid playing and his beautiful tone. His compositions, which run to at least op.53, are primarily light works for violin and piano, described by van der Straeten as ‘florid [and] showy’, but they also include a fantasy on themes from ...

Article

Bagge [Bach], Baron de  

Roger J.V. Cotte

[Ennal, Charles-Ernest]

(b Fockenhof, Kurland, Feb 14, 1722; d Paris, March 24, 1791). French dilettante, amateur violinist and composer, patron of the arts and instrument collector. A magnificent and very wealthy nobleman, he both amused and astounded his contemporaries. M. Audinot in his comic opera La musicomanie (1779), and possibly E.T.A. Hoffmann in his tale Die Serapionsbrüder (1819), attempted to evoke his strange personality, emphasizing its ridiculous nature.

At the death of his father, a landed nobleman, in 1747, Bagge inherited a large fortune which enabled him to study the violin in Italy with Tartini. By 1750 he had settled in Paris; in the following year he was awarded the title chambellan du Roi de Prusse (then Frederick II) and married the daughter of the Swiss banker Jacob Maudry. With Maudry's death in 1762 the very large inheritance proved a source of contention to the ill-matched couple and they soon separated. Bagge later attempted to gain possession of the inheritance of Mme Maudry, who had died in ...

Article

Bandt, Ros  

Warren Burt

(Rosalie Edith )

(b Geelong, Victoria, Aug 18, 1951). Australian composer, performer, installation and sound artist, instrument inventor, writer, educator, and researcher. Her early education consisted of high school in both Australia and Canada, followed by a BA (1971, Monash University), Dip Ed (1973, Monash), MA (1974, Monash), and PhD (1983, Monash). An interest in experimental music is apparent from her earliest compositions, many of which involve performance in specific places, improvisation, electronics, graphic notation, and the use of self-built and specially built instruments. These include Improvisations in Acoustic Chambers, 1981, and Soft and Fragile: Music in Glass and Clay, 1982. By 1977 an interest in sound installation and sound sculpture had become well established in her work (Winds and Circuits, Surfaces and Cavities), and is an area in which she has continued to the present day, having presented nearly 50 sound installations worldwide.

Bandt has also been involved in creating electro-acoustic works, often in collaboration with broadcasting organizations; work for or with radio forms a significant portion of her output. Many of these works, while using real-world elements, take a more narrative or illustrative approach to their material compared to the abstractionism of much electro-acoustic work. An electro-acoustic work such as ...

Article

Benary, Barbara  

Jody Diamond

(b Bay Shore, NY, April 7, 1946). American composer, performer, instrument builder and ethnomusicologist. She received the BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and the MA and PhD from Wesleyan University, where she studied Indonesian and Indian music. She has performed with the ensembles of Philip Glass, Jon Gibson, Alvin Lucier, Philip Corner and Daniel Goode. In 1976 she co-founded, with Corner and Goode, the Gamelan Son of Lion, New York, a new music collective and repertory ensemble under her direction. In addition, she has built several Javanese-style iron gamelans, including the instruments used by the Gamelan Son of Lion and Gamelan Encantada, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Benary’s compositional output has been primarily in the areas of ensemble and chamber music, and music for the theatre. She has described herself as a ‘part-time minimalist who also likes to write melody’. Many of her works integrate world music forms, structures and instruments with traditional Western materials. Her works for gamelan ensemble, which number more than 30, have been performed internationally. ...

Article

Boehm, Theobald  

Philip Bate

revised by Ludwig Böhm

(b Munich, April 9, 1794; d Munich, Nov 25, 1881). German flute maker, flautist, composer and inventor. He worked out the proportions and devised the mechanism which are the bases of the modern flute. Boehm was the son of a goldsmith, in whose craft he became fully skilled at an early age. In childhood he taught himself the flageolet and one-keyed flute; by the age of 16 he had already grown dissatisfied with the latter, and in 1810 made himself a copy of a four-keyed instrument by Grenser of Dresden. Around the same time he also made a nine-keyed flute with a movable golden mouth-hole, based on the ideas of Johann Nepomuk Kapeller (1776–1825), flautist in the royal court orchestra in Munich. In 1810 Boehm began flute lessons with Kapeller, who gave him formal instruction until 1812, admitting then that he had no more to teach him....

Article

Brod, Henri  

Geoffrey Burgess

( b Paris, June 13, 1799; d Paris, 5/April 6, 1839). French oboist, wind instrument maker and composer . He studied at the Paris Conservatoire from 1812 under Gustave Vogt, who shared Brod’s Protestant Alsatian background. Having received the premier prix in 1818, the following year Brod was appointed second oboist in the Opéra orchestra alongside his teacher. During Vogt’s absences in 1826 and 1828 Brod filled Vogt’s place as first oboist. The abilities of the two players were often compared; Fétis found Brod’s tone sweeter than that of his teacher. A statuette by Dantan jeune (Paris, Musée Carnavalet) caricatures Brod playing a musette. He died just 3 months before he would have been eligible for a pension to support his wife and young son. His widow petitioned repeatedly for support from the administration of both the Conservatoire and Opéra.

Oboes by Brod, some made in collaboration with his brother Jean-Godefroy (...

Article

Casadesus, Marius  

David Cox

(Robert Max)

Member of Casadesus family

(b Paris, Oct 24, 1892; d Suresnes, Paris, Oct 13, 1981). French violinist, viol player, instrument maker, and composer, brother of Francis Casadesus. He founded and led the Marius Casadesus String Quartet and was a member of the Société des Instruments Anciens Casadesus. His compositions include ...

Article

Cepeda Atiles, Rafael  

Mareia Quintero Rivera

(b San Juan, PR, July 10, 1910; d Carolina, PR, July 21, 1996). American Puerto Rican composer, singer, percussionist, dancer, and drum-maker. A master of traditional bomba and plena, he was one the most prominent figures of Afro-Puerto Rican musical folklore in the 20th century. He is also known for his commitment to passing down these traditions to subsequent generations. Together with his wife, Caridad Brenes, a gifted dancer, he raised a family of skilled practitioners and maintained a lifelong practice of teaching in the community of Villa Palmeras, Santurce, the working-class area where they lived.

Cepeda was a key figure in gaining national and international recognition for Afro-Puerto Rican musical genres. In the 1940s he created an ensemble for radio performances, and he later developed a stage version of bomba, which he presented in San Juan’s major hotels. Several of his compositions were popularized by Ismael Rivera and Rafael Cortijo. Cepeda also developed ties with the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, founded in ...

Article

Chédeville, Esprit Philippe  

Jane M. Bowers

Member of Chédeville family [Chefdeville]

(b Oulins, Sept 2, 1696; d Paris, March 9, 1762). French composer, musette maker, and musette player, brother of Pierre Chédeville. His career as a young man was parallel to that of Pierre, and he was only 13 when he began playing in the opera orchestra. In 1723 he acquired the reversion of Jean Hotteterre’s place in the Grands Hautbois, but when Pierre died in 1725 he took over his brother’s place and the reversion of Jean’s place passed to the youngest brother, Nicolas Chédeville. Before Pierre’s death Esprit Philippe was sometimes known as ‘Chedeville le cadet’; after it he called himself ‘Chedeville l’aîné’. On March 31, 1730 Esprit Philippe took out his first privilege to publish instrumental compositions, and soon the first of a series of works intended primarily for musette or hurdy-gurdy, the two most fashionable instruments champêtres of the time, appeared, the title-page describing him as an ‘oboe of the king’s chamber’ and ‘musette of the Académie Royale de Musique’. On ...

Article

Chédeville, Nicolas  

Jane M. Bowers

Member of Chédeville family [Chefdeville]

(b Sérez, Eure, Feb 20, 1705; d Paris, Aug 6, 1782). French composer, arranger, musette maker, player, and teacher, brother of Pierre and Esprit Philippe Chédeville. His great uncle Louis Hotteterre was one of his godfathers and may have taught him music and the art of turning instruments. In the early 1720s he entered the opera orchestra as oboe and musette player, and on November 1, 1725 he took over the reversion of Jean Hotteterre’s post in the Grands Hautbois from Esprit Philippe. After Jean’s death in 1732, he acquired the title to this post.

On December 2, 1729 he took out his first privilege to publish his own compositions. At first he called himself ‘Chedeville le jeune’ on the title-pages of these works; from op.3 he listed himself as ‘Chedeville le cadet’. The dedications of many of his works show that he was much sought after as a musette teacher by members of the most highly-placed families in France. He taught Princess Victoire from about ...

Article

Clementi, Muzio  

Leon Plantinga

revised by Luca Lévi Sala

[Clementi, Mutius Philippus Vincentius Franciscus Xaverius]

(b Rome, Jan 23, 1752; d Evesham, Worcs., March 10, 1832). English composer, keyboard player and virtuoso, teacher, music publisher, entrepreneur, and piano manufacturer of Italian birth.

The oldest of seven children of Nicola Clementi (1720–89), a silversmith, and Magdalena (née Kaiser), Clementi began studies in music in Rome at a very early age; his teachers were Antonio Boroni (1738–92), an organist named Cordicelli, Giuseppi Santarelli (1710–90), and possibly Gaetano Carpani. In January 1766, at the age of 13, he secured the post of organist at his home church, S Lorenzo in Damaso. In that year, however, his playing attracted the attention of an English traveller, Peter Beckford (1740–1811), cousin of the novelist William Beckford (1760–1844) and nephew of William Beckford (1709–70), twice Lord Mayor of London. According to Peter Beckford’s own forthright explanation, he ‘bought Clementi of his father for seven years’, and in late ...

Article

DeVore, Darrell  

Laurence Libin

(b St Joseph, MO, July 11, 1939; d Petaluma, CA, July 9, 2005). American musician, composer, and experimental instrument maker. He was a jazz pianist in Kansas City before turning in the 1960s to playing keyboard with San Francisco rock groups. Disillusioned by commercial work, he began composing ‘fusion’ music and making instruments (often inspired by non-Western models) with which to play it. He described himself as an itinerant flute-maker and sold his popular bamboo flutes and other creations at Bay Area fairs and concerts. Inventions of his include the Wind Wand (a long dowel with a handle and an adjustable cross-piece intersecting a large rubber band stretched over the ends of the dowel; swung in a circle or back and forth, it produces four pitches); Spirit Catcher (a smaller Wind Wand with two rubber bands, producing eight tones); Butu (a section of bamboo with fingerholes, played by striking the bottom on a hard surface and fingering the holes to change the pitch); Groove Stick (a long bamboo scraper), as well as the Tank, the Circular Violin, and a bamboo xylophone. He shared his music and instruments with public school classes, where he was known as ‘Mr. Sound Magic’. In later years DeVore explored improvisation together with like-minded musicians and experimental instrument makers including Bart Hopkin, Tom Nunn, and Richard Waters. After DeVore’s death many of his instruments were donated to local schools....

Article

Domnich, Heinrich  

Horace Fitzpatrick

revised by Thomas Hiebert

(b Würzburg, March 13, 1767; d Paris, June 19, 1844). German horn player, composer and teacher, active in France. Son of the Hungarian-born principal horn at the Würzburg court, Friedrich Domnich (b Ofen, 9 June 1729; d Würzburg, 22 April 1790), he was the most famous of three horn-playing brothers; the others were Jacob (b Würzburg, 1758; d Philadelphia, after 1806), who in about 1790 emigrated to Philadelphia and taught and played extensively there, and Arnold (b Würzburg, 29 Sept 1771; d Meiningen, 14 July 1834), who was employed at the Saxe-Meiningen court from 1786 until 1834, becoming principal horn in 1803. At an early age Heinrich entered the band of Count von Elz at Mainz, but when subjected to livery service he left in 1783 for Paris, where he studied with Punto for two years. In 1785 he earned praise for the neatness and facility of his playing as second to Jean Lebrun in a double concerto at the Concert Spirituel; this was the first of at least eight appearances there by Domnich between ...

Article

Drummond, Dean  

Charles Corey

(b Los Angeles, CA, Jan 22, 1949; d Princeton, NJ, April 13, 2013).

American composer, conductor, performer, and instrument inventor. Drummond attended the University of Southern California and the California Institute of the Arts, and studied composition with Leonard Stein. He also worked as an assistant for harry Partch in the 1960s and 70s, and in 1990 became the Director of the Harry Partch Instrumentarium. Drummond’s music is microtonal, exploring the unique possibilities of expandable just intonation through the use of standard Western instruments, voice, electronics, Harry Partch’s instruments, and two just-intoned instruments of Drummond’s own invention—the zoomoozophone and the juststrokerods. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1995, and is co-director of Newband, a new music ensemble for which he frequently serves as a performer or conductor.

Drummond’s zoomoozophone, built in 1978, is a metallophone which employs 31 just-intoned pitches per octave. The instrument is based on a g′ of 392 Hz, and has a total range of just over four octaves. Made of aluminum bars, it has a full, resonant sound with a long sustain, and can be played by anywhere from one to four percussionists at a time. The juststrokerods have an even longer sustain; spanning one octave, this instrument contains 13 notes that form a just-intoned version of the equal-tempered chromatic scale. One or both of these instruments are employed in a large number of Drummond’s works as well as those by other composers such as Elizabeth Brown and John Cage....

Article

Durand, Werner  

Graham Lack

(b Karlsruhe, Feb 26, 1954). German composer, instrument builder and performer. He studied saxophone with Ariel Kalma in Paris, Indian classical music with Kamalesh Maitra in Berlin and India and the ney with Ali Reza Asgharia. Durand began constructing wind instruments, mostly built from PVC and plexiglass, in the early 1980s and performs his own music on these, as well as saxophone and ney. He is also active in collaborating with and organizing international music festivals and artist exchanges in the fields of both traditional and avant-garde music in Berlin and elsewhere. Recent collaborations include The Beatless Sax Oldrones, a saxophone quartet specializing in just intonation, and The Armchair Traveller, a group with Sebastian Hilken (cello and percussion), Hella von Plotz (glass harp) and Silvia Ocougne (acoustic guitars). He founded the group The Thirteenth Tribe, and continues to contribute music to theatre, dance, film and radio productions. In ...