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Agramonte y Piña, Emilio  

John Koegel

(b Puerto Príncipe, Cuba, ?Nov 28, 1844; d Havana, ?Dec 31, 1918). Pianist, music teacher, arranger, conductor, composer, and lawyer of Cuban birth, naturalized American. Born into a prominent family in Puerto Príncipe, Cuba (present-day Camagüey), Agramonte strongly supported the movement for independence from Spain. He studied music and the law in Cuba, Spain, and France. After vocal studies with Enrico Delle Sedie (1822–1907) and François Delsarte (1811–71) at the Paris Conservatory, he immigrated to the United States, settling in New York in 1869, where he remained until after Cuban independence in 1898. He became a US citizen in 1886.

In the 1870s and 1880s, Agramonte taught music at the Academy of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx. In the 1890s he taught with Dudley Buck and William Mason at the Metropolitan College of Music and ran his own School of Opera and Oratorio at his home, teaching singers such as ...


Calegari, Maria Cattarina  

Robert L. Kendrick


(b Bergamo, 1644; d Milan, after 1675). Italian composer. She was well known as a singer in her native city; on April 19, 1661 she took final vows at the Benedictine house of S Margarita in Milan. Maria Cattarina was her religious name. Marino Armellini’s account (Biblioteca benediction-casinensis, 1731) of her early death is inaccurate, since she is listed at this monastery into the 1670s. Calvi mentioned that her Motetti à voce sola was printed in 1659; no trace of this collection survives, nor of the madrigals, six-voice Masses, and Vespers that he reported she had composed. The disappearance of her music may have resulted from her conflicts with S Margarita over her spiritual dowry, as well as from Archbishop Alfonso Litta’s musical restrictions at the monastery in the 1660s.

FétisB; GerberNL; GroveW (R.L. Kendrick) [incl. further bibliography]; SainsburyD; SchillingE; SchmidlD; WaltherMLJ. Bowers...


Fromm, Herbert  

Jonas Westover

(b Kitzingen, Bavaria, Germany, Feb 23, 1905; d Brookline, MA, March 10, 1995). Composer, organist, conductor, and writer on music, of German birth. After attending the State Academy of Music in Munich, Germany (1925–9), he worked as a conductor in both Bielefeld and Würzburg in the early 1930s. Because his Jewish background prevented him from holding a state position under the Nazis, he became enmeshed in Jewish musical life in Frankfurt, where he was a member of the Jüdischer Kulturbund and a musician for the West End Synagogue. He immigrated to the United States in 1937 and took up a position as organist for Temple Beth Zion in Buffalo, New York, until 1941. Between 1940 and 1941 he studied with paul Hindemith , and was influenced to adopt modernist techniques in setting Jewish subjects and texts. He moved to Boston, where he worked at Temple Israel from ...


Gaither, Bill  

Darlene Graves and Michael Graves

[William J. ]

(b Alexandria, IN, March 28, 1936). American gospel songwriter, performer, producer, and publisher. He grew up on a small farm in Indiana and graduated from Anderson College with a major in English and a minor in music. He went on to receive a master’s degree in guidance and counseling and met his future wife and song-producing partner, Gloria Sickal, while both were teaching high school. Gaither started singing gospel music as a child and in 1956 formed the Bill Gaither Trio with his brother Danny and his sister Mary Ann. He started his own publishing company in 1959. He continued to perform and compose while a teacher at Alexandria High School and in 1961 formed the Gaither Music Company to publish his works. After their marriage in 1962, Gaither and his wife wrote their first major song, “He touched me,” which was a significant hit by 1963. He re-formed the Bill Gaither Trio with Gloria and Danny, and in ...


Müller, Georg Gottfried  


Wesley, Samuel  

Philip Olleson and Stanley C. Pelkey

Member of Wesley family

(b Bristol, Feb 24, 1766; d London, Oct 11, 1837). English composer and organist, younger son of Charles Wesley (i). Like his elder brother he was a child prodigy. According to his father’s account, he was able to play his first tune before he was three, at four had taught himself to read from a copy of Handel’s Samson, and at five ‘had all the recitatives, and choruses of Samson and the Messiah: both words and notes by heart’. He had his first organ lessons at the age of six from David Williams, a Bristol organist, and at seven was able to play a psalm tune during the service at St James’s Church. He also became proficient on the violin. His fame rapidly spread, and in 1774 William Boyce came to visit the family, saying to Wesley’s father, ‘Sir, I hear you have got an English Mozart in your house’. Shortly afterwards Wesley presented Boyce with the score of his oratorio ...


Wesley, Samuel Sebastian  

Nicholas Temperley and Peter Horton

Member of Wesley family

(b London, Aug 14, 1810; d Gloucester, April 19, 1876). English composer and organist, illegitimate son of Samuel Wesley and Sarah Suter. He was the greatest composer in the English cathedral tradition between Purcell and Stanford.

He was named after his father and his father’s hero, Bach. In his eighth year he was elected a chorister of the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, under William Hawes, and subsequently also sang regularly in the royal chapel at Brighton, delighting George IV. Like other choristers he was often taken by Hawes to sing at St Paul’s Cathedral and at the Madrigal Society and the Concert of Ancient Music. After leaving the choir in 1826 he held several appointments as organist in the London area and assisted his master, Hawes, both as pianist and ‘conductor of the chorus’ at the English Opera House at the Lyceum, Adelphi, and Olympic Theatres (...