revised by Anthony Kemp
(Pol. Wilno; Russ. Vilna)
Capital city of Lithuania. It has at various times been under Polish and Russian dominion. From the 14th century there was a ducal court there and a singing school at Vilnius Cathedral. The granting of a city charter in 1387 led to the formation of musicians' guilds; around 1400 Grand Duke Vytautas had players of the flute, clavichord and organ in his retinue. The church of St John had a choir and music school by 1515, and the cathedral had an organ by 1551; Vilnius became a centre of organ building, the first mention of workshops dating from 1585. After Lithuania's union with Poland in the mid-16th century, Vilnius became an important musical centre. The Academia et Universitas Vilnensis was founded by the Jesuits in 1579. Polyphonic and choral singing were taught there and at the seminary. The court musical ensemble of Wladislaw IV Wasa (1632–48), with Italian soloists, gained wide renown; in ...
Moris Shlyomovich Bonfel′d
City in north-west Russia, first mentioned in 1147. Right up to the 20th century music in Vologda and the adjoining territory continued in its old patterns of church music, folklore and music associated with town life or the lives of the landed gentry, of which the most thoroughly researched is folklore. The collection and study of folk material was begun in the 17th century by the priest Richard James, a member of the English embassy headed by Duddlie Diggs, and ethnomusicological studies were vigorously pursued in the 19th and 20th centuries. As to church music, by the end of the 19th century Vologda had 47 churches, two monasteries, a seminary, an ecclesiastical school and a diocesan women’s school, but there are no special studies of Russian Orthodoxy in the Vologda lands, and music on the country estates and in the town has received scant attention.
Modern musical life is centred on the Philharmonia, founded in ...
Barbara Przybyszewska-Jarminska and Zofia Chechlińska
Capital city of Poland. Before 1526 it was the residence of the dukes of Mazovia and from 1596 the kings of Poland. It was taken by the Swedes in 1655–6 and 1702 and the Russians in 1794, passed to Prussia in 1795, and became part of Napoleon's Duchy of Warsaw from 1807 and of the Congress Kingdom from 1815; after the collapse of the November Uprising (1831) the Congress Kingdom lost its independence and was part of the Russian Empire until 1917. In 1919 Warsaw was again capital of reconstituted Poland. In World War II the city was almost completely destroyed and its population much reduced; rebuilding continued into the 1970s.
The first references to musical life in Warsaw date from the 14th century. Professional music had its origins in liturgical singing. At the centre of the town was the parish church of St John the Baptist (from ...
Karen Ahlquist and Kip Lornell
Capital of the United States (pop. 601,723; metropolitan area: 5,582,170; 2010 U.S. Census).
Known worldwide for its role in government, politics, power, and international influence, Washington, DC is also the hub of a vibrant metropolitan area with an extensive, rich, and varied cultural life. Like other major cities, it has created and attracted musical performances of international renown. The federal government has provided the city and surrounding area with significant artistic and institutional support for its musical life. Diplomatic residents and immigrant communities have brought the city musical experiences unavailable elsewhere. The ubiquitous label “national” (symphony, opera, philharmonic, chamber orchestra, theater, cathedral, gallery, airport, baseball team, etc.) sometimes identifies a federally-operated organization, but may instead speak to Washington’s awareness of—or claims to—its unique status.
Washington is the national center for arts policy and advocacy. Well-known artists, musicians among them, lobby Congress for votes on arts issues, as do ordinary Americans. The ...
revised by Dieter Härtwig
Town in Thuringia, Germany. From the stature of medieval ‘Vimare’, with its emphasis on agriculture and craftwork, it is evident that the town church, built about 1400 and later known as the Herderkirche, did not have the status of a cathedral; however, its monastic institutions, founded earlier, probably cultivated liturgical music. The missals and song manuscripts from that period (in D-WRl ) show that the medieval town, with its Kalendbrüder (male-voice and boys’ choirs), organists and Kantors (from 1429) was musically active. A musical establishment at the court came into being only after the building of the residence in 1445. Colonies of rural minstrels, common to all Thuringian towns, indicate a lively tradition of folk music, and the court probably enjoyed peasant plays, sword dances and folksong at tournaments and other such events.
The first outstanding musical achievement at Weimar was the development of the Hofkapelle at the principal residence of Torgau in the late 15th century. The Hofkantorei was resident in Weimar for months at a time and played a leading part in the music of the area. Its directors included such distinguished composers as Adam von Fulda (from ...
Town in Saxon-Anhalt, Germany. It had particular musical importance in the Baroque period, but church music activities can be traced back to the 13th century. Heinrich Schütz’s father Christoph was mayor and owned the inn Zum Schützen, where Heinrich spent his youth. In 1651 he bought a house close to his father’s former inn and lived there for many of his last years, when not serving the Dresden court. Weissenfels became the site of the court of the dukes of Sachsen-Weissenfels, a royal line created by Prince Johann Georg I of Saxony in 1657 and first headed by Duke August. A vigorous cultivation of the musical arts began under his son Johann Adolf I (1680–97); a Hofkapelle was established in 1680 in the Neu-Augustusburg palace and an opera theatre was opened there in 1685. Music continued to flourish under successive dukes, first under Johann Adolf’s son Johann Georg (...
Capital city of New Zealand. It was chosen as the seat of government in 1865 on account of its central location. During the early years of settlement, which began in 1840, musical activity was dominated by military bands, which provided music for balls, public events and outdoor promenade concerts. Home music-making was a favourite pastime, and newspaper advertisements for music teachers and music shops appeared regularly from around 1850. Amateur organizations were quickly established, but all, apart from the Wellington Choral Society (founded 1860), proved shortlived. The first professional opera performance, of La sonnambula, was given by a touring troupe in 1863, and from the 1870s onwards travelling professional soloists and ensembles began visiting regularly.
Resident musical activity remained largely amateur until well into the 20th century. As the imperial regiments were withdrawn, military bands gradually gave way to amateur brass ensembles, such as the still flourishing Onslow Brass Band, originally formed as the Wellington Municipal Tramways Band in ...
Town and port in south-east Ireland. It attained international musical fame in October 1951, when a festival was founded by T.J. Walsh, a local doctor with a passion for opera. Walsh remained artistic director until 1966; after the first year when Balfe's Rose of Castille was given at the Theatre Royal, the repertory (with the annual number of operas growing from one to three) consisted almost entirely of 19th-century Italian works: Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini and early Verdi. French operas were sometimes included, but usually sung in Italian. An exception was Massenet's Don Quichotte, conducted by Albert Rosen, who took part in over 20 festivals between 1965 and 1994. Walsh had a special aptitude for discovering young singers: among those who appeared at Wexford early in their careers were Mirella Freni, Graziella Sciutti, Janet Baker, Fiorenza Cossotto, Alain Vanzo and Giacomo Aragall.
Brian Dickie, artistic director from 1967 to 1973, extended the repertory back to Haydn and Mozart, and forward to Janáček and Britten. He also billed French operas by Delibes, Gounod and Bizet, mostly conducted by David Lloyd Jones, and two Russian works: Glinka's ...
David L. Austin
revised by Patrick Joseph O’Connor
City in Kansas (pop. 360,500; metropolitan area 596,450; 2010 US Census). Within a decade of its incorporation, in 1870, musical activities were reported in local newspapers. A number of singing-schools and brass bands were formed and several benefit concerts were given to help the needy. Before the turn of the 20th century, performances of Guiseppe Verdi’s Il trovatore and Joseph Haydn’s The Creation were given by local residents. A musicians’ union (AFM Local 297) was organized in 1903; the professional members of an orchestra that formed in 1907 received five dollars for each concert. In 1915, when the New York PO visited the city, 1000 local singers appeared on the program. For many years local industry supported the city’s musicians; the Coleman String Quartet and the Mentholatum Company’s Concert Orchestra performed regularly until the Depression, during which time Thurlow Lieurance’s Minisa Orchestra kept musicians working in the city and surrounding communities....
Spa town in Germany, near Frankfurt and Mainz. Records of operatic performances in the Komödienhaus go back to the second half of the 18th century. In 1810 the theatre on the Schützenhof was opened as the Herzoglich-Nassauisches Hoftheater, and in 1827 the theatre in the Wilhelmstrasse, also subsidized by the court, housed the town’s first permanent theatrical company. From 1866 Wiesbaden belonged to Prussia, and the theatre was directly subject to the royal, later imperial, court of Prussia. Kaiser Wilhelm II had the neo-Baroque theatre that still serves as the Wiesbaden Opernhaus built and opened in 1894. In 1896 he founded the May Festival, the oldest music festival in central Europe after Bayreuth.
The building was damaged by fire in 1923 and partly destroyed in early 1945, but even in December 1945 the occupying Allied forces were able to use the Grosses Haus, calling it the ‘Wiesbaden Opera House’; in ...
Katherine K. Preston
Town in Virginia (pop. 14,068; 2010 US Census). It served as Virginia’s capital from 1699 to 1780. During the 18th century, the town (granted Royal Charter in 1722) enjoyed musical and theatrical activities typical of a much larger city. Sacred music was performed regularly from the time of earliest settlement at Jamestown (1607); the most prominent church in Williamsburg during the 18th century was Bruton Parish (est. 1715). The church’s organist peter Pelham (1721–1805) served for over 40 years (1756–1802) and also was instrumental in organizing secular music performances, including concertos by Handel and Vivaldi. Sacred music was also important to the city’s African Americans (roughly half of the population during the 18th century); the oldest continuous black congregation in America was the First Baptist Church of Williamsburg (1776).
The first recorded theatrical performance in English-speaking America (1702) and the first theater built (...
American city, in Delaware. It is the home of Opera Delaware, a semi-professional company founded in 1945. It presents three productions a season in the Grand Opera House, a restored Victorian theatre (cap. 1100). With only one full-time staff member (managing director Leland Kimball), the company has given six world premières, including Alvar Henderson’s The Last of the Mohicans (1976), Menotti’s The Boy who Grew Too Fast (1982), Charles Strouse’s Charlotte’s Web (1989) and Libby Larsen’s A Wrinkle in Time (March 1992), based on Madeleine L’Engle’s children’s book; works in preparation include Conrad Cummings’s as yet untitled opera on Vietnam (libretto by Robert Jones and Thomas Byrd) which incorporates myths and musical traditions of Vietnam, planned for 1993. Opera Delaware uses a legion of volunteers, even in such key positions as general director. With their help the company is able to maintain programmes such as the Family Opera Theatre, lecture demonstrations for the disabled, signed opera for the hearing impaired, and other, multi-cultural events....
City in England. A Saxon church, built before the Norman cathedral, had before 951 one of the most remarkable organs of its period. It was described in a dedicatory epistle to Bishop Alphege of Winchester of c990 by the monk Wulfstan (see Organ, §IV, 4). The Winchester Troper ( GB-Ccc 473), dating from some 30 years later, contains the earliest known collection of two-part organa. The Chapter Acts of the cathedral are incomplete, but among the earliest recorded organists Christopher Gibbons is the best known. Adrian Batten, while a chorister, was a pupil there of John Holmes, a lay vicar who contributed to Morley's The Triumphes of Oriana.
Winchester College is closely connected with the cathedral. There, 16 ‘Quiristers’ were included in William of Wykeham's foundation of 1394, and subsequent organists have often been associated with both establishments. Weelkes was at the college from 1598 until 1601...
City in Canada, capital of Manitoba. Its geographical isolation has been a disadvantage in that more expensive and complicated types of music-making, such as opera, have not become established. However, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet grew from its foundation in the 1930s to a position as one of the leading international travelling companies. The first 40 years of the city’s musical life (1874–1914) consisted mostly of sporadic concerts by amateur or visiting artists and private musical enterprise. A long series of British organists and choirmasters, along with the rapidly expanding activities of the Men’s Musical Club (founded 1915), established a tradition of respect for English music that was not challenged by other music until the mid-20th century. The Winnipeg Male Voice Choir (1916) made several American tours in the 1920s, and the mixed Philharmonic Society (1922), taken over by the Men’s Musical Club in ...
revised by Jürg Stenzl and Harry Joelson-Strohbach
Town in Switzerland. Its active musical life is promoted chiefly by the Musikkollegium Winterthur (founded in 1629 and maintained by private and public patronage), whose traditions have not prevented it from giving the town a reputation as a bastion of modern music, thanks particularly to the patronage of the merchant Werner Reinhart (1884–1951), whose manuscript collection is preserved in CH-W . The Musikkollegium administers the Orchester Musikkollegium Winterthur (formerly the Winterthur Stadtorchester, founded 1875) and the school of music (founded 1873), since 1999 called Musikschule und Konservatorium. In 1999 the former conservatory merged with its Zürich counterpart to become the Musikhochschule Winterthur Zürich. The Musikkollegium arranges many of the concerts which are the basis of local musical life including conventional symphony concerts and also free popular concerts and chamber concerts. Conductors have included Georg Rauchenecker, Hermann Scherchen, Joseph Keilberth, Victor Desarzens, Franz Welser-Möst, Heinz Holliger and Heinrich Schiff....
revised by Harry Vogt
Town in Germany, on the southern edge of the Ruhr industrial conurbation. A village of Witten, the seat of an aristocratic family, is first mentioned in 1214; part of the principality of Mark, it came under Brandenburg rule in 1614 and was later part of Prussia. No evidence remains of musical activity before the 19th century. A male-voice choir was founded in 1844, and was followed by similar institutions as well as by mixed choirs. Orchestral societies were established and before World War I the town had its own municipal orchestra.
The most prominent musician of the town was Robert Ruthenfranz (1905–70). After studying in Dortmund and Berlin, where he was influenced by Hindemith, he founded and directed a private conservatory and composed orchestral, chamber and stage music. In 1936 he inaugurated the Wittener Musiktage, which continued with only occasional interruptions during and after World War II, and which he largely financed himself until it was taken over by the town of Witten in ...
revised by John C. Phillips
City in England. In the Middle Ages Worcester was the site of a Benedictine cathedral-priory which by the 9th century was already noted for its classical tradition of Roman chant derived from the monastery of Corbie, northern France. A considerable repertory of 13th- and early 14th-century sacred music of Worcester Cathedral-Priory provenance has been recovered, shedding light on the early history of the motet (see Worcester polyphony). After the dissolution of the monasteries (1536–9), the cathedral-priory was refounded as a cathedral church under a dean and canons. Organists of the cathedral since that time include Nathaniel Giles (1581–5), Nathaniel Patrick (1590–95), Thomas Tomkins (1596–1656), William Hayes (1731–4), Jeremiah Clarke (ii) (1806–7), Hugh Blair (1895–7), Ivor Atkins (1897–1950), David Willcocks (1950–57), Douglas Guest (1957–63), Christopher Robinson (1963–74), Donald Hunt (...
City in Germany. Located in the Rhineland-Palatinate. Worms grew from the Celtic settlement of Borbetomagus, which came under Roman rule in the last century
Ecclesiastical buildings, notably the episcopal church of Worms, built about 600 on the cathedral mound, provide information about the early practice of sacred music. Carolingian school reforms, with their recommendations on the practice of music, probably reached Worms by way of Metz. In 764 the imperial monastery of Lorsch was founded on the right bank of the Rhine, not far from Worms. Abbot Samuel, who was also Bishop of Worms in 838–56, founded the religious house of St Cyriacus in Neuhausen near Worms in 847, and in 852 a copy was made there of the ...