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Abbiati, Franco  

Carolyn Gianturco

(b Verdello, Sept 14, 1898; d Bergamo, Jan 22, 1981). Italian music critic. He took a diploma in composition at the Turin Conservatory (1929) and studied musicology with Cesari. His career as a critic was centred in Milan; after working on Secolo sera (1928–34), he succeeded Cesari at Corriere della sera, remaining there until his retirement (1973). In 1949 he founded the monthly journal La scala, which he edited until its closure in 1963; he was particularly interested in opera, especially its authentic performance. Abbiati also published a history of music in five volumes (1939–46), which he later updated and revised in four volumes (1967–8). This was well received, although (being the work of a single author) it was inevitably incomplete; the comments in the second edition on 20th-century composers, notably Italian composers of Abbiati’s own generation, are especially valuable as a contemporary response. His four-volume work on Verdi (...


Abraham, Otto  

Israel J. Katz

(b Berlin, May 30, 1872; d Berlin, Jan 24, 1926). German physician and psychologist. He graduated in medicine at Berlin University in 1894, and thereafter dedicated himself primarily to psychoacoustics and the physiology of music. From 1896 to 1905 he was assistant professor under Carl Stumpf at the Psychological Institute of Berlin University (which in 1905 became the Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv). In 1900, when Hornbostel joined the staff, Abraham and Stumpf recorded on wax cylinders a visiting Siamese court orchestra – the first German attempt to record non-Western music. Abraham also recorded music from South Africa in the same year. In 1901 he published an article on absolute pitch which later (1906) resulted in a polemic between him and Auerbach. Adopting Stumpf's methods, Abraham and Hornbostel entered into a collaboration which laid the foundation for comparative musicology; he also collaborated with the physiologist and otologist K.L. Schaefer (...


Ábrányi, Kornél  

Dezső Legány

(b Szent-György-Ábrány, Oct 15, 1822; d Budapest, Dec 20, 1903). Hungarian writer on music, composer and pianist. He came from the wealthy Eördögh family: the name means ‘devil’ and his father changed it to Ábrányi, the name of their estate. He studied the piano under János Kirch (1810–63) and Vilmos Dolegni. His first composition, Magyar ábránd (‘Hungarian Fantasy’), was published in 1841. In the early 1840s he gave concerts in Hungarian towns, and in 1846 left for Vienna to take piano lessons with Joseph Fischhof. There is no reliable evidence that he was ever a student of Chopin in Paris. From 1847 he lived in Pest, in the 1850s as a piano teacher, and studied composition with Mosonyi, together with whom he became a devoted follower of Liszt and Wagner. He was one of the founders of the first Hungarian music periodical, the Zenészeti lapok, in ...


Ackerman, Paul  

Joseph E. Morgan

(b New York, NY, Feb 18, 1908; d Dec 31, 1977). American journalist. After studying English literature, he worked for Billboard from 1934 to 1973, although he left during World War II to serve in the US Coast Guard. Ackerman began his career as a reporter and covered several subjects including vaudeville, radio, and TV before moving to music. He became music editor in 1949. His tenure at Billboard accompanied the emergence of rhythm and blues, country music, and rock ’n’ roll. Ackerman championed these new styles, recognizing their roots in earlier music traditions and their impact on popular music and culture in general. He published several articles in High Fidelity and received numerous awards including an honor from the Recording Industry Association of America for his outstanding service to American music. He also served on the President’s commission to select music for the White House Library and in ...


Acocella [née Ross], Joan (B.)  

Andrea F. Bohlman

(b San Francisco, CA, April 13, 1945). American dance critic. She studied at the University of California, Berkeley (BA 1966), and wrote on the Ballets Russes for her doctorate in comparative literature at Rutgers University (1984). With an enthusiasm for dance that has anchored her prolific career, Acocella was the senior critic and reviews editor for Dance Magazine and became the dance critic for the New Yorker in 1998. She has written about dance for many other publications including the Financial Times, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times Book Review, Art in America, and the Times Literary Supplement. In her books Acocella demonstrates a sustained interest in connecting the public with artistic personae and their voices, as illustrated in her biography of Mark Morris (1993), the essay collection Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints (2007), and three edited volumes of artists’ writings (...


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 ...


Adamič, Emil  

Jernej Weiss

(b Dobrova, nr Ljubljana, Slovenia; Dec 25, 1877; d Ljubljana, Dec 6, 1936). Slovenian music educator, conductor, and writer on music. Uncle of composer Bojan Adamič. He received his first musical education at the Ljubljana Glasbena Matica society music school, from 1911 to 1912 he studied at the Conservatory in Trieste, and in 1912 he passed the national examination at the Ljubljana Conservatory. During World War I he joined the Austrian Army, and from 1915 to 1920 was a prisoner of war at Tashkent. In 1920 he returned to Ljubljana, where he taught music at the teacher’s college and at the classical gymnasium until his retirement in 1932. From 1925 to 1928 he was conductor of the Orchestral Society at the Glasbena Matica music society, and from January 1928 to December 1929 editor of the Nova muzika (‘New Music’) magazine. He was also active as a music critic and reviewer for the magazines ...


Agee, James Rufus  

Joseph A. Brown

(b Knoxville, Nov 27, 1909; d New York, May 16, 1955). American novelist, screenwriter, journalist, poet, and film critic. Son of Laura Tyler Agee and Hugh James (Jay) Agee, James Agee graduated from Exeter Academy and Harvard University (1932), before becoming a staff writer for Fortune magazine, eventually writing film reviews for both Time (1939) and The Nation (1942). On assignment from Fortune, Agee worked in collaboration with the photographer Walker Evans on the study of Alabama tenant farmers, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (Boston, 1941). His book of poetry, Permit Me Voyage, was published by the Yale Series of Younger Poets (New Haven, CT, 1934). In 1951, Agee published the novella, The Morning Watch(Boston). He was the principal author of the screenplay for The African Queen (1950) and The Night of the Hunter (1954...


Quṭb al-Dīn  

Owen Wright

[Maḥmūd ibn Mas‘ūd al-Shīrāzī]

(b Shiraz, 1236; d Tabriz, 1311). Persian physician and scientist. The most outstanding pupil of the mathematician Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī, he is particularly known for his work in medicine, optics and astronomy. His encyclopedia, Durrat al-tāj (‘Pearl of the crown’) demonstrates his mastery of the whole range of traditional medieval scholarship, and contains within its treatment of the mathematical sciences (quadrivium) a lengthy section on music. This is mainly a restatement of the musical theory developed by Ṣafī al-Dīn, but is important for its attention to musical practice, particularly in its codification and description of modes and rhythmic cycles. In both areas it points to the existence of a wider range of structures than is apparent from the works of Ṣafī al-Dīn; its treatment of the modes in particular is far fuller, and is less restricted by purely theoretical concerns. It ends with the most extended, complex and precise example of notation to be found in the works of the medieval Arab and Persian theorists, a unique document which allows some insight into the nature of the compositional practice of the period with regard not only to formal, modal and rhythmic strategies but also to techniques of text setting....


Ibn al-Ṭaḥḥān  

Owen Wright

(fl first half of the 11th century). Arab musician and writer. The son of an eminent musician, he became a prominent singer at the Cairo court of the Fatimid caliph al-Ẓāhir (1021–36), and was still active as a teacher in 1057. His music treatise, completed after 1036 and entitled Ḥāwī al-funūn wa-salwat al-maḥzūn (‘Compendium of the arts to comfort sad hearts’), is of particular interest in that it deals with various topics of little concern to other authorities. Written from the perspective of a cultured musician rather than that of a philosopher-theorist, it calls upon a literary tradition of writing about music, and its historical content is frankly derivative, even if of interest for the implication of continuity with the court music of 9th-century Baghdad. But it is wide-ranging in its treatment of contemporary practice, dealing not only with such basics as mode and rhythm, but also with such matters as the normal sequence of events in performance, deportment and etiquette, the materials and construction of the ‘...


Alberti, Leon Battista  

Charles E. Brewer

(b Genoa, Feb 14, 1404; d Rome, April 3, 1472). Italian humanist, architect and writer. His formal studies began at the gymnasium of Gasparino Barzizza at Padua, where he became friends with Tommaso Parentucelli (later Pope Nicholas V). He went to Bologna, probably in 1421, to study law but became increasingly interested in mathematics, and met the polymath Paolo Toscanelli. In 1431, Alberti joined the Papal civil service in Rome, becoming Papal inspector of monuments (1447–55). He held various ecclesiastical posts, becoming successively prior of S Martino in Gangalandi at Signa, near Florence, rector of Borgo San Lorenzo and canon of Florence Cathedral.

Early in his career, Alberti was influenced by Filippo Brunelleschi, to whom he dedicated the De pictura (1435). While in Rome, Alberti expanded his knowledge of classical architecture and sculpture through his survey of the city's monuments (Descriptio urbis Romae...


Alcaraz, José Antonio  

Ricardo Miranda Pérez

(b Mexico City, Dec 5, 1938). Mexican musicologist, writer and critic. He studied at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música under Armando Montiel, Esperanza Pulido and José Pablo Moncayo. He was also a pupil of Otto Mayer-Serra. At the beginning of his career he dedicated himself to composition, which led him to take courses at the Paris Conservatoire as well as spending time in Darmstadt, Venice and London, where he took instruction from Daniel Lesur, Pierre Boulez, Bruno Maderna and Pierre Wissmer. Among his most important compositions are works for stage and film, which have earned him several prizes. Nevertheless, his most important work is in the fields of criticism and research, although his valuable contributions in the fields of theatre and opera production must also be remembered. As a critic, Alcaraz has played a fundamental role in making diverse repertories known in Mexico, ranging from ancient to contemporary music. He has insistently disseminated and analysed the Mexican repertory, particularly that of the 20th century. His knowledge, combined with a keen sense of humour and a stance legendary for being radical and uncompromising, has made him into one of the most authoritative and recognized critical voices in Mexico and Latin America. As a musicologist, Alcaraz has occupied himself with the discussion and assessment of the Mexican school of the 20th century. His works on composers such as Carlos Chávez, Rodolfo Halffter and José Pablo Moncayo are fundamental, as are his numerous essays on authors such as Rolón, Carillo, Huízar, Revueltas, Sandi, Galindo Dimas, Enríquez and Estrada. As a music critic, he has written for over 20 years (since ...


Alcarotto [Alcarotti, Algarotti], Giovanni Francesco  

Glenn Watkins

revised by Serena dal Belin Peruffo

(b Novara, c1535; d May 8, 1596). Italian composer and organist. Of a well-to-do family, he travelled widely in his youth. He spent some years in Rome, where he probably completed his studies in theology. He served as parish priest at S Stefano, Novara, and S Giovanni Battista, Milan. After serving from 1570 to 1577 as organist at Como Cathedral, he returned to Novara on his nomination as prior at the cathedral there. Sometime between 7 October 1587 and May 1589, Alcarotto journeyed to the Holy Land; though he stayed only 16 days, he published an account of his journey, Del viaggio in Terra Santa (Novara, 1596), that is of interest for its description of music and musical instruments of the region.


Aldrich, Richard  

H.C. Colles

revised by Malcolm Turner

(b Providence, RI, July 31, 1863; d Rome, June 2, 1937). American critic. He was educated at Harvard University, where he studied music under J.K. Paine, graduating in 1885. In the same year he became music critic to the Providence Journal, after serving his apprenticeship in general journalism. In 1889 he became private secretary to US Senator Dixon, and at the same time held the post of music critic to the Evening Star, Washington. In 1891 he relinquished both posts to join the staff of the New York Tribune, on which paper he held various editorial posts, particularly that of assistant critic to H.E. Krehbiel, until 1902, when he became music editor of the New York Times; he retired in 1923, remaining on the editorial staff in an advisory capacity.

Throughout his career Aldrich was notable for the breadth of his musical knowledge and the soundness of his judgment; in general he was sympathetic to modern music, though vehemently opposed to extreme trends. As one might expect from a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters he was distinguished for the excellence of his style and for the wit and urbanity of his writing. He collected an important library of books on music, which he catalogued during the leisure of his later years; it remained intact in the possession of his heirs until ...


Alessandrescu, Alfred  

Viorel Cosma

revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu

(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 ...


Alió y Brea, Francisco  

Jocelyne Aubé

(b Barcelona, March 27, 1862; d Barcelona, March 31, 1908). Spanish composer, folklorist and music critic. He studied composition with Antonio Nicolau and Anselmo Barba and piano with C.G. Vidiella in Barcelona and was music critic for various journals there, including La renaixensa, L'avenç and, from 1905 to 1908, El poble català. He published his Collecció de 6 melodies per a cant i piano and five Cansons per cant i piano (both Barcelona, 1887), which are settings of poems by Angel Guimerá, Francisco Matheu y Fornells, Apeles Mestres and Jacinto Verdaguer. He illustrated the latter volume himself, and some of his work was displayed at an exhibition of the Sociedad de Acuarelistas in Barcelona. A distinguished folklorist as well as a sensitive composer and skilful melodist, he collected Catalan folksongs and published arrangements of 23 of these in Cansons populars catalanas (Barcelona, 1891). He used native rhythms and melodies in his songs and piano pieces (among them ...


Allen, William Duncan  

Robert Paul Kolt

(b Portland, OR, Dec 15, 1906; d Richmond, CA, Aug 19, 1999). American pianist, organist, accompanist, educator, and critic. After childhood training in piano and organ, Allen received his formal music education at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, OH, (BM, 1928, MM 1936), where he studied piano with George C. Hastings and Frank H. Shaw; in the interim he studied with Gordon Stanley and James Friskin at the Juilliard School (1928–9). He taught at Howard University, Washington, DC (1929–35), and at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee (1936–43, 1951). Allen held a fellowship from the US Department of Education to study piano with Egon Petri in Kraków, Poland (1938–9). When his visit was cut short by the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, he used the remainder of his fellowship to study with Isabelle Vengerova at the Mannes College of Music in New York City (...


Almqvist, Carl Jonas Love  

Lennart Hedwall

(b Stockholm, Nov 28, 1793; d Bremen, Sept 26, 1866). Swedish author, pedagogue, journalist, and composer. After an education administered mainly by private tutors, Almqvist attended university in Uppsala and graduated in 1816. He then took a position as a government clerk in Stockholm, where he engaged in youthful and idealistic movements that worshiped Gothic ideals, the early German romanticism, and Swedenborg’s teachings. He was soon the leading spirit in these circles, and with his visionary religiosity he gained almost prophet-like status among them. In an attempt to realize his ideals, from 1823 to 1824 he lived as a farmer in the remote Wermland but soon returned to Stockholm where in 1827 he became a teacher at the Military Academy of Karlberg; he took an additional teaching post in 1829 at the recently founded experimental college Nya Elementarskolan. There he served as headmaster from 1829 to 1841 and wrote a dozen textbooks on different subjects from linguistics to mathematics....


Alsager, Thomas Massa  

David B. Levy

(b Alsager, Cheshire, Sept 27, 1779; d London, Nov 15, 1846). English music critic and patron. He was proprietor of and writer for The Times, an association formed in 1817 through his friendship with Thomas Barnes. Alsager reported on financial matters and foreign news, but evidence reveals that both he and Barnes wrote most of the articles on theatre and music in The Times before the appointment in 1846, at Alsager's recommendation, of J.W. Davison as the first full-time music critic on a daily newspaper. Alsager was intimate with Charles Lamb, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Leigh Hunt and Keats, while his passion for music led to friendships with many important figures in London musical life, including Mendelssohn, Spohr, Smart, Moscheles and Ayrton (whose son married Alsager's daughter). Several English premières took place at Alsager's residence, most notably that of Beethoven's Missa solemnis on 24 December 1832. Alsager's desire to proselytize for Beethoven's piano sonatas and quartets, especially the late works, led to the establishment of the Queen Square Select Society (...


Ambros, August Wilhelm  

Philipp Naegele

(b Mauth [now Vysoké Mýto], Nov 17, 1816; d Vienna, June 28, 1876). Austrian music historian and critic. His mother, sister of the musicologist Kiesewetter, fostered his love of music, painting and architecture; the performance of older music in the Kiesewetter home belonged to Ambros’s strongest early impressions. He acquired a musical training, despite his father’s objections, through a keen enthusiasm, an exceptional memory and an unbounded capacity for work. A humanistic Gymnasium education, a doctorate of law completed in 1839 at Prague University and vast reading, with a youthful predilection for Jean Paul, underlay his later scholarship and influenced his prolix style. Robert Schumann was his spiritual and journalistic model, and as ‘Flamin’ he associated with enthusiastic young followers, including Hanslick as ‘Renatus’, in a Bohemian branch of the ‘Davidsbund’ to fight musical conservatism in Prague. He was indebted more to the concepts and methods of art historians and historians of antiquity, of law and of literature, than to such musical colleagues as Kiesewetter or Fétis....