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Århus  

Jens Peter Jacobsen

[Aarhus]

City in Denmark. It was a bishopric in 948; it is now the second largest city in the country. Early musical life revolved around the Domkirke (cathedral) and the attached Katedralskole. A significant musical figure in its early history was Morten Børup (c 1446–1526), known for his Latin school comedies. The cantor for 1760 to 1789 was Henrik Ernst Grosmann (1732–1811), whose cantatas are in the Statsbibliotek.

The increasing middle-class influence in the 19th century brought a flowering of secular music. Amateurs and professionals appeared together in popular clubs, with concerts and music to accompany theatrical performances. The Aarhus Musikforening (Music Society, founded 1843) dominated musical life for many years. The Aarhus Sangforening (Choral Society) was established in 1843, followed by several other choirs. From the 1830s, public concerts were held in the Vennelyst-Parken. After Århus became a garrison city in 1867, regimental and other musicians collaborated for symphony concerts....

Article

Arles  

Marc Signorile

City in Provence, France. Originally a Gallo-Greek settlement, it became a Roman colony in 46 bce and prospered as a maritime trading centre. It soon had a theatre, an amphitheatre, arenas and a circus. Archaeological finds now in the Musée d’Archéologie show that there was a lively interest in music at the time: the sarcophagus of Julia Tyrannia is decorated with carvings of two hydraulic organs, panpipes and a three-string kithara, and other sarcophagi preserved in the Alyscamps Roman cemetery are ornamented with reliefs showing kitharas and depictions of the aulos, barbitos, syrinx and hydraulic organ.

Christianity came early to Arles. In 314 the Emperor Constantine called the first of the 19 councils held in the city, and excommunicated the theatrici, actors and instrumentalists who were regarded as symbolic of paganism. Arles became the second city in the empire, and was designated the capital of the Gauls in 392, a title confirmed by Honorius in ...

Article

Arras  

Robert Falck

French city. It is in Northern France, capital of the modern département of Pas-de-Calais, formerly the province of Artois. From the 12th century Arras was an important commercial centre and, increasingly in the 13th century, a bastion of the urban middle class. Much of its activity as a literary and musical centre originated with the Confrérie des Jongleurs et des Bourgeois d’Arras, a lay religious guild whose existence is documented from the last decade of the 12th century to about the mid-14th. During a plague in Arras (according to local legend) the Virgin Mary appeared separately to two jongleurs, Pierre Normand and Itier of Brabant, telling them to go to Arras and there reconcile their differences before Bishop Lambert. When they did this in the church of Notre Dame in Arras the Virgin appeared again and gave them a candle (the sainte chandelle); its wax was poured into the water used to treat the wounds of the plague-stricken, and they were miraculously healed. This prompted the Confrérie; and although written accounts of the miracle in both Latin and French place it at the beginning of the 12th century, the Confrérie was more probably founded nearer the end of the century....

Article

Philip A. Jamison

City in North Carolina (pop. 83,318; metropolitan area 417,012; 2010 US Census). Situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, at the crossing of early livestock drover roads, Asheville was incorporated in 1797. Since the early 1800s, when visitors arrived by stagecoach, this small Appalachian mountain city has been promoted as a tourist destination (“The Land of the Sky”) for those seeking the beauty and cooler temperatures of the Southern Highlands. As a result, Asheville has never been culturally deprived. In 1876, residents were enjoying performances ranging from vaudeville to opera in an opera hall on the third floor the county courthouse. During the decade following the completion of the railroad in 1880, the city’s population quadrupled, and Asheville was transformed with the construction of dozens of resort hotels and George W. Vanderbilt’s Biltmore House (completed in 1895). During the summer months, dance orchestras played the latest waltzes and polkas in the hotel ballrooms every night of the week....

Article

Gregory Salmon

Capital of Turkmenistan. Although the Turkmen Dramatic Theatre, founded in 1929, presented some opera, regular productions came only with the establishment of an opera studio in 1937. The opera-ballet studio of the Turkmenskiy Muzïkal’nïy Teatr (founded 1940) formed the basis of the Turkmenskiy Teatr Operï i Baleta, which opened on 10 February 1941 with the first Turkmen national opera, Sud’ba bakhshi (‘The Fate of Bakhshi’) by G. Kakhiani, director of the opera theatre in Baku. Early premières included a number of national operas: A. G. Shaposhnikov’s Gyul’ i bil’bil’ (‘Rose and Nightingale’, 1943), Yu. S. Meytus and D. Ovezov’s Leyli i Medzhun (‘Leyli and Medzhun’, 1946) and Shaposhnikov and V. Mukhatov’s Kemine i kazï (‘Poet and Judge’, 1947). The repertory mixes Russian and European classics with new national operas, performed in Turkmen and in Russian. In 1948 Ashkhabad was struck by an earthquake which destroyed the theatre. In ...

Article

Assisi  

Elvidio Surian

revised by Caterina Pampaloni

Italian city. It is situated in the Umbria region. The earliest evidence of a flourishing musical activity in Assisi is given by a Franciscan breviary and two fragments with neumatic notation from the 13th century ( I-Ac 683, 694 and 696). Another source from the same century ( Ac 695), including nine compositions in early polyphonic style and probably originating at Reims, provides a link between Assisi’s musical life and the prevailing polyphonic practice of the time. Giuliano da Spira (d c 1250) was at Assisi (1227–30) after having served at the court of Louis VIII in Paris; he was delegated to compose the first rhythmical Office of the Franciscan Order. Troubadour songs were cultivated by several secular societies (the most famous being the Del Monte) and were heard on 1 May each year when the town’s districts competed in a musical contest called the Calendimaggio....

Article

Mark Aronovich Etinger

Town in Russia. Located near the mouth of the Volga, it became famous at the end of the 19th century as a centre of music in the south of Russia. Opera troupes and soloists came on tour, especially after the opening of the Winter Theatre (with seating for 700) in 1884 and the Summer Theatre (with seating for 1200) in 1892.

The Society for Music and Drama, which had been founded in 1885, began music classes in 1889 and taught singing and instruction on a number of instruments. In 1891 the society was reorganized into the Astrakhan division of the Imperial Russian Music Society; it remained active until 1920. The classes had been headed in 1897–9 by Fyodor Keneman, who introduced permanent symphony concerts. Four programmes per season were given and, with the participation of teachers, students and military musicians, the symphonies of Haydn and Beethoven, and later of Mozart and Tchaikovsky, were performed....

Article

Athens  

George Leotsakos

(Gk. Athinai)

Capital of Greece. From the beginning of its existence the state subsidized the importing of Italian opera companies for the entertainment of diplomats and financial potentates, a policy still pursued. The earliest opera performances, of Il barbiere di Siviglia, were given in 1837 at the Melis Theatre. Early in 1840 the Boukouras Theatre, named after an impresario who undertook to provide performances by an Italian company for eight months each year, was inaugurated with Lucia di Lammermoor; for 40 years it was the only theatre in Athens. It had three tiers of boxes and 113 stalls seats; it ceased to be used in 1897. From the beginning opera drew hostile press comment for alleged immorality and because governments spent heavily on it.

In 1871 operetta was introduced by a French company, gaining a foothold that was reinforced by state subsidy and increasing popularity. Meanwhile outdoor theatres had been opened, one in the resort of Phaleron, where in ...

Article

Athens  

Katy Romanou

(Gk. Athina)

Capital city of Greece.

Athens, in contrast to most Western European capitals, had reached its deepest decline at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1834, when the city was established as the capital of the recently founded Greek state, it consisted of some 100 houses below the Parthenon, the symbol of the acme of the Athenian democracy in the 5th century bce, that led King Otto to move the capital of his kingdom (from Nafplion) to Athens.

By then, the Parthenon had been transformed into the symbol of all successive sovereigns of the city: Alexander’s epigones from 307 bce; Romans from the 1st century BCE; Byzantines from the 6th century CE; Franks from 1204; Catalans from 1311; Florentines from 1388; Venetians from 1397; Florentines again from 1403; Ottomans from 1458; and Greeks after their 1821 Revolution.

During the centuries of Hellenistic and Roman sovereignty Athens, admired by her conquerors, was adorned with numerous public buildings. The 2nd century ...

Article

Atlanta  

N. Lee Orr

American city, capital of Georgia. Concert life in Atlanta probably began in February 1858 when Sigismond Thalberg, assisted by Henry Vieuxtemps, brought his Grand Concert to the recently completed Athaeneum Theater. Opera appeared for the first time in October 1866 when Max Strakosch and the Ghioni and Sussini Grand Italian Opera company opened the Bell-Johnson Hall (cap. 600) with Il trovatore, Norma, and Il barbiere di Siviglia. The next month the Grover Opera Troupe staged an operatic concert, and in 1868 Grau’s German Opera Company presented excerpts from various operas, followed by the McCulloch Opera Troupe with performances of Il barbiere di Siviglia and Don Pasquale. Demand for a better theatre prompted the Belgian Consul Laurent DeGive to build DeGive’s Opera House (cap. 1200); in 1873 he increased the seating to 2000. During the 1870s Italian opera performances dwindled, supplanted by a succession of British opera companies, who presented a few of the stock Italian favourites in English. English operetta appeared in ...

Article

Libby Nichol

City in New Zealand. Located in the north of the North Island, it is the country's largest city, with a population of approximately one million. European settlement dates from 1840; organized musical activities from 1845 featured the bands of the 58th and, later, 65th Regiments of the Imperial Forces. They supplied the music not only for military events but also for balls, soirées, outdoor concerts and church occasions. The Auckland Choral Society, founded in 1855, continues to the present day; other notable choirs have been the Auckland Liedertafel (later Royal Auckland Choir), the Albyn Singers and the choirs of Holy Trinity and St Patrick's cathedrals. The Dorian Choir, formed in 1935, established an international reputation under the direction of Peter Godfrey. The Primary School Choral Festival is well established after 50 years.

Opera has had a chequered life in Auckland since the 1860s, with a heavy dependence on touring groups such as the Lyster, Simonsen, Musgrave, Williamson and Pollard companies. The National Opera Company was short-lived (...

Article

Adolf Layer and Friedhelm Brusniak

City in Bavaria, Germany. It was founded on the Lech, Wertach and Singold rivers by Augustus in 14 bce and was the seat of a bishopric from the 8th century. Throughout its long history the city had several periods of economic expansion which generally led to a flowering of cultural activities, particularly music. A conspicuous rivalry developed from the 12th century between the prince-bishop, who ruled the city, and the increasingly independent imperial city, which led to denominational schisms at the time of the Reformation.

Adolf Layer

In the high and late Middle Ages the principal centres of sacred music in Augsburg were the cathedral and the Benedictine abbey of St Ulrich and St Afra. These two churches cultivated liturgical music, particularly Gregorian chant, and contained the city’s first organs. Hermannus Contractus (d 1054), the author of several treatises on music and a composer of hymns, studied at the cathedral school, and the poet and composer Abbot Udalscalcus of Maisach (...

Article

Austin  

Hugh Cullen Sparks

revised by Jerry Young

American city, capital of Texas. The first settlers (1835) were predominantly of German descent. The city was incorporated in 1839. The Austin Lyceum was established in 1841 to promote the study of the arts. It was disbanded the following year. Evening concerts were given in the grounds of the capitol from 1846. In the late 19th century the city, whose population numbered about 15,000, had three opera houses, giving performances by local artists and later visited by touring companies, and a number of vocal and instrumental ensembles that performed regularly. The Austin SO, founded in 1911 and conducted by Hans Harthan, was a loosely organized amateur group that performed sporadically until 1938 when it hired its first paid conductor, Hendrik Buytendorp. In 1948 the players joined the American Federation of Musicians and hired Ezra Rachlin, who conducted until 1969. Other conductors have included Akira Endo (1975–80), Sung Kwak (...

Article

Avignon  

Marcel Frémiot

revised by Charles Pitt

City in France, capital of the prefecture of the Vaucluse département. Roman chant was introduced to Avignon at the end of the 7th century by the monks of Lérins, who were summoned there by Bishop Agricol. Of the troubadours, only two songs have survived, one by Bertran Folco d'Avigno and one by Raimon d'Avigno. A university was founded in 1303. In 1309 Avignon became the seat of Pope Clement V and the centre of Western Christianity, and also a European trading centre. The 14th century was the richest period in Avignon's musical history. The papal court comprised up to 1000 people employed in up to 500 different capacities. The town became over-populated and phenomenally rich, while the court enjoyed extreme luxury. ‘From this impious Babylon from whence all shame has fled, I too have fled to save my life’, wrote Petrarch. There were many opulent religious services, and also festivities and secular entertainments to mark official receptions. The writing of music for the services became an excuse to try out the latest methods of composition. Pope John XXII (...

Article

Bad Ems  

Article

Harald Goertz

Spa town in Upper Austria. A theatre was established as early as 1827, when the first spa treatments were devised. Franz Josef I chose the town for his summer residence, where he spent every summer from 1849 to 1914, and his presence attracted royalty, artists and moneyed aristocracy. Johann Strauss (the younger) and Brahms were frequent guests there. Bad Ischl developed into such a centre for operetta that it became known as ‘the operetta stock exchange’ because of the immense number of contracts signed. Franz Lehár, who wrote many of his works in the town (‘I always have the best ideas in Bad Ischl’), became an honorary citizen. His villa, filled with art treasures, is now a museum. Emmerich Kálmán, Robert Stolz, Richard Tauber (Lehár’s favourite tenor) and many others stayed and took part in Bad Ischl’s activities.

After a period of stagnation in the interwar years, in 1961 the International Operetta Society was founded. Since then, there has been a regular summer operetta season, the Operettenwochen, consisting of two operettas (one always a Lehár work) in 24 performances altogether. The spa hotel in the Herrengasse, where the performances now take place, has a capacity of 800. In ...

Article

Harald Goertz

Spa town in Austria, 28 km south of Vienna. It is Austria’s most famous sulphur spa, with a climate and landscape that have always drawn the citizens of the capital. In the early 19th century it was the summer residence of Franz II. Beethoven loved the surrounding woodlands and Constanze Mozart often stayed there to enjoy the healing waters. The Sommerarena (657 seats) was built in 1906 by the architect Krausz, and the attractive Stadttheater (702 seats), designed by the architects Hellmer and Fellner, was opened in 1909 (as the Jubiläums-Stadttheater). Performances usually take place twice daily, except Mondays, from March until June, with additional local touring. In July and August (during the festival) they are given in the summer amphitheatre, equipped with a movable glass roof for bad weather. Three or four operettas are performed in the season, each for a run of three weeks. Besides the operettas and plays mounted in the main season (June–March), there is one comic opera on the programme each year. The company of about 75 members is largely supported by the Federal and Lower Austrian government....

Article

Friedrich Baser and Thorsten Lorenz

Town in south-west Germany. Before its 19th-century blossoming as a spa town, the town’s musical life was unremarkable. The margraves patronized music from the 15th century onwards, most notably Philip II (d 1588), and the Jesuit college gave comedies with music until 1771.

Baden-Baden became one of the most famous international spas in Europe in the 19th century, not least because of its casino. It was the artistic ‘summer capital’ of Europe, and a meeting-place of fashionable society. Such virtuosos as Liszt, Thalbert and Paganini gave concerts there. The newly renovated Konversationshaus opened in 1855 with the première of Les amoureux de Perrette, an opéra comique by the French composer Louis Clapisson, successor to Halévy at the Académie des Beaux-Arts. Only a year later Clapisson’s opéra comique Le sylphe also had its première in Baden-Baden. Berlioz conducted the Baden-Baden orchestra in the summer of 1853 and the summers of ...

Article

Baku  

Gregory Salmon

Capital of Azerbaijan. After the annexation of Azerbaijan by Russia in 1806 a theatrical tradition developed only gradually, under the influence of Russian residents. The first local theatre, the Teatr G. Z. A. Tagiyeva (built in 1880), featured some music in its productions, including musical-dramatic performances by singers and instrumentalists during intervals. Concert life developed only at the end of the 19th century, although touring Russian and Italian opera troupes appeared earlier. Efforts by the Nijat society, which directed the Tagiyev Theatre, led to the production of the first Azerbaijani opera, Leyli i Mejnun by Uzeir Hajibeyov, on 12/25 January 1908 and later to other operas by Hajibeyov, including Sheykh Sanan in 1909 and Rustam i Zokhrab in 1910. A 1281-seat opera theatre, built in 1910–11 and reconstructed in 1938, opened in 1911 with a performance of Boris Godunov and has since devoted itself to the performance of Russian and Azerbaijani classics. In ...

Article

Elliott W. Galkin

revised by N. Quist

American city, the largest city in Maryland. Its musical history can be traced to the American Revolutionary period. First settled in 1662, Baltimore became a town in 1730. By 1800 its population of more than 26,000 was larger than that of the state’s capital, Annapolis. As early as 1784 concerts in the city were advertised in the press. These early programmes were of great diversity, including works by Bach, Dittersdorf, Haydn, Kocžwara, Pleyel, Viotti and Vanhal, as well as by immigrant musicians Alexander Reinagle and Raynor Taylor who were resident in Baltimore.

In 1794, a year after establishing a music shop in Philadelphia, Joseph Carr and his sons Thomas and Benjamin inaugurated a similar enterprise in Baltimore. The first publication of the Star Spangled Banner in sheet music form was by Thomas Carr in November 1814. Following the demise of Thomas Carr’s business in 1821, other publications, notably by the firms of Arthur Clifton (...