(b Copenhagen, Feb 28, 1916; d Feb 7, 2017). Danish violinist, entertainer, and singer. He began playing violin as a young child. As a schoolboy he heard the popular violinists Eli Donde and Otto Lington, but did not at first consider music as a career. He undertook studies in sculpture (at the Academy of Arts in Copenhagen), dentistry, and law, and during the same period led amateur orchestras. In 1933 he made his professional début at the Apollo Theater in Copenhagen, and the following year he formed a sextet, along the lines of Joe Venuti’s groups, which first recorded in 1935. In 1936 he heard Stuff Smith’s contemporary recordings; these exerted a great influence on his understanding of how the violin might be used as a jazz instrument. Asmussen played with the Mills Brothers (1937) and Fats Waller (1938) when they toured Denmark, and he recorded with Oscar Alemán (...
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revised by Anthony Barnett
Christoph Wolff and Walter Emery
Member of Bach family
(24) (b Eisenach, March 21, 1685; d Leipzig, July 28, 1750). Composer and organist. The most important member of the family, his genius combined outstanding performing musicianship with supreme creative powers in which forceful and original inventiveness, technical mastery and intellectual control are perfectly balanced. While it was in the former capacity, as a keyboard virtuoso, that in his lifetime he acquired an almost legendary fame, it is the latter virtues and accomplishments, as a composer, that by the end of the 18th century earned him a unique historical position. His musical language was distinctive and extraordinarily varied, drawing together and surmounting the techniques, the styles and the general achievements of his own and earlier generations and leading on to new perspectives which later ages have received and understood in a great variety of ways.
The first authentic posthumous account of his life, with a summary catalogue of his works, was put together by his son Carl Philipp Emanuel and his pupil J.F. Agricola soon after his death and certainly before ...
Bonnie C. Wade
revised by Inderjit N. Kaur
(b Miraj, 1905; d 1989). North Indian (Hindustani) classical music vocalist. She was the daughter of Abdul Karim Khan of the Kirana gharānā and studied with her father’s cousin, Abdul Wahid Khan. Her first important opportunity as a vocalist came when Vishnu Digambar Paluskar invited her to sing in public in 1922. After the Maharashtrian revival of theatre broke the ban on women appearing on the professional stage in that region, Barodekar performed in plays with mixed casts. When live theatre waned in the face of the new film industry, she joined artists who were introducing art music to the non-court world in North India.
Barodekar enjoyed a long and successful career as concert singer, regional theatre singer/actress, broadcasting artist and recording artist. She had a large number of releases with major labels, including HMV, Odeon, and Columbia. Barodekar was the first female musician to be invited to the prestigious Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan in ...
Barbara Garvey Jackson
revised by Dominique-René de Lerma
(b Chicago, IL, 3 March 1913; d Los Angeles, CA, 26 April 1972). Composer, pianist, and teacher. She began musical studies with her mother, whose home was a gathering place for young black writers, artists, and musicians including Will Marion Cook, Lillian Evanti, Abbie Mitchell, and Florence Price. Bonds showed promise early, composing her first work, Marquette Street Blues, at the age of five. In high school Bonds studied piano and composition with Florence Bea Price and later with William Levi Dawson; she received BM and MM degrees from Northwestern University (1933, 1934). She moved to New York in 1939 and in 1940 married Lawrence Richardson. At the Juilliard Graduate School she studied the piano with Djane Herz and composition with Robert Starer. Other teachers included Roy Harris, Emerson Harper, and Walter Gossett.
Bonds first came to public notice when she won the Wanamaker prize in ...
Ann Glazer Niren
(b (Mokraia) Kaligorka, Ukraine, 24 April 1885/1887; d Boston, 31 March 1975). Music director, composer, pianist, and organist. Braslavsky likely received early musical instruction from his father, Hersh, a cantor at the Great Synagogue in Uman, Ukraine. Braslavsky later served as a Lieutenant in the Russian army, where he conducted several military bands. He studied at the Kaiserlich-Königliche Akademie für Musik und Darstellende Kunst and the University of Vienna. In Vienna, Braslavsky taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary and conducted the Jewish Choral Society and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, which performed several of his compositions; these early works are unpublished.
In 1928, Congregation Mishkan Tefila of Boston hired Braslavsky to serve as its music director, where he conducted the choir, played organ, and composed Jewish choral works, some of which also remain unpublished. Braslavsky’s music exhibits a synthesis of eastern European synagogue music and Western traditional tonal idioms. Important works include the collection ...
(b Taganrog, Russia, 21 March/2 April 1851; d Manchester, England, 22 Jan 1929). Russian violinist and pedagogue. From 1860 to 1867 he studied with Joseph Hellmesberger at the Vienna Conservatoire, playing in Hellmesberger’s concerts, eventually becoming second violin in his quartet. In Vienna he first met Brahms and the conductor Hans Richter. In 1870 he returned to Russia, where he made the acquaintance of Tchaikovsky and in 1875 was appointed a teacher at the Moscow Conservatoire. From 1878 to 1880 he was the Director of the Kiev Symphony Society. During three years of European touring, 1880–83, he gave the first performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in December 1881, with the Vienna Philharmonic under Richter. Its originally dedicatee, Leopold Auer, had deemed the concerto unplayable and Tchaikovsky subsequently rededicated it to Brodsky. After his appointment as Professor of Violin at the Leipzig Conservatoire in 1883 Brodsky founded his first string quartet. In Leipzig he gave the premières of works by Grieg and Busoni, with whom he formed lasting friendships. His leadership of Walter Damrosch’s New York Symphony Orchestra, ...
revised by Barry Kernfeld
(b Shreveport, LA, July 1, 1952; d Los Angeles, Feb 3, 2018). Drummer and percussionist. His family moved to Los Angeles in 1960 and he began drumming when he was 12 or 13. He studied music in high school, and at the same time performed with Willie Bobo and Gerald Wilson; he then attended the Dominquez Hills campus of California State College for two years, studying music education, and played with Wilson, Hugh Masekela, Herbie Hancock (1970–71), Eddie Harris, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis (both 1971), and Freddie Hubbard before joining George Duke, with whom he worked intermittently from 1972 through the 1990s. From 1974 to 1976 he toured with Carlos Santana. He spent a further period with Hancock (1977–80) and led his own group, Chocolate Jam Company (1979–81), but during the 1980s worked mostly as a record producer for several pop musicians, including Kenny Rogers and Michael Jackson, and as a session musician. In addition to his continuing association with Duke, Chancler was a member of The Meeting, which was formed in ...
revised by Barry Kernfeld
(b Kansas City, KS, Feb 15, 1937; d Atlanta, GA, April 8, 2018). American tenor saxophonist and educator. He grew up in a musical family, and while at high school briefly learned trombone before taking up clarinet and saxophone. At around the age of 18 he worked with Jay McShann, following which he had the unusual distinction of being one of the few men to have played in Tiny Davis’s “all-girl” band. He won a scholarship to study at the University of Kansas, where he gained a BA in music education and led a hard-bop band that included Carmell Jones and Donald Dean. After a period in Chicago, when he played with Ira Sullivan, John Gilmore, and Johnny Griffin at jam sessions, he served in the military (from 1960), played in an army band in Berlin, and began to work with Benny Bailey. In January 1963, through Bailey, he met Kenny Clarke when he was deputizing for Lucky Thompson at a concert in Germany. He remained in Europe following his discharge and from ...
(b Vienna, 9 March 1885; d Vienna, 27 May 1964). Austrian Jewish music historian, educator, and critic. In 1912 he graduated from Vienna’s Imperial Academy of Science with a doctoral dissertation entitled Die indische Musik der vedischen und der klassischen Zeit (‘The Indian Music of the Vedic and the Classical Period’) under the supervision of Leopold Shröder. Felber’s dissertation remains an authoritative source for modern scholars interested in the recitation techniques and ethos of early South Asian music. Prior to his arrival in China, he was active in the Indian community in Vienna and had given lectures on Indian music at the Indian Club. Furthermore, he felt privileged to have met the legendary Nobel laureate Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore who was also a noted musician. During their meeting, Tagore shared his views on the aesthetics of European music and Indian classical music with him. After the Anschluss (...
revised by Barry Kernfeld
(b Philadelphia, May 19, 1939; d Oct 25, 2018). American alto saxophonist. He studied music from the age of 18 and worked in Philadelphia with rhythm-and-blues groups. Having played jazz with the singer Carolyn Harris until 1967 he moved to New York, where he joined Elvin Jones for four months as Frank Foster’s replacement. He returned to Philadelphia and was then again in New York with Mongo Santamaria (1968 – early 1970). After spending ten months of 1970 playing in Los Angeles, he went once more to New York and in 1971 joined McCoy Tyner. He was active as a leader for a brief period (1973), recorded with Abdullah Ibrahim’s big band (1973), and was a member of groups led by Buddy Rich and Miles Davis (August 1974 – May 1975); he recorded as a sideman with Michael Carvin (1975) and Charles Mingus (...