(b Los Angeles, CA, March 31, 1935). American trumpeter, composer, bandleader, and record company executive. He studied trumpet as a child and left college to play in the army for a two-year period. After three years of producing records on his own, he launched A&M Records with Jerry Moss in 1962. A&M’s first issue was also Alpert’s first recording as a trumpeter and bandleader, The Lonely Bull (A&M, 1962). The title track included sounds from the bullring in Tijuana, Mexico, so Alpert dubbed his band the Tijuana Brass. His music exploited a distinctive combination of Mexican mariachi-style brass with jazz rhythms, which was dubbed Ameriachi. A string of hits including “Mexican Shuffle” (A&M, 1964) and “Tijuana Taxi” (A&M, 1965) followed. In 1966 Alpert had five recordings simultaneously listed on the Billboard Top 20. His cover of “This guy’s in love with you” reached no.1 in ...
Terence J. O’Grady
revised by Bryan Proksch
Anne Beetem Acker
Electronic music controller produced by nu desine Ltd in Bristol, UK. Conceived by Adam Place (b Chatham, Kent, 1986) while studying sound design at Nagoya Zokei University in Japan, the prototype was developed in 2007 while Place was a student of music and visual art at Bristol University, where he was inspired by the electronic and bass-heavy sounds of Bristol’s underground music scene. Place founded nu desine in September 2010 to commercialize his design. Introduced at the Frankfurt Musikmesse in March 2012, the AlphaSphere entered commercial production later that year with the ‘Elite’ series. The firm, with six employees in 2012, also develops other new interfaces for human and computer interaction.
The AlphaSphere can communicate with other electronic devices such as computers, digital audio workstations, and synthesizers, by sending MIDI and OSC (Open Sound Control) messages over a USB connector. The OSC messages include specific network address information that allows the AlphaSphere to control multiple devices on a network. The AlphaSphere features six rows of eight circular, pressure-sensitive silicone pads arranged in rings encircling a pedestal-mounted sphere; sphere and pedestal together measure 26 × 26 × 32 cm and weigh about 2.5 kg. The pads incorporate a patent-pending touch technology; each pad offers independent aftertouch control affecting the audio output continuously during the duration of contact. The lowest pads are the largest and the uppermost pads the smallest. Pitches can be placed in different arrangements; for example, a major scale can be arranged around a row, with perfect 5ths playable by pressing the pads on opposite sides of the sphere. Coloured LEDs within the sphere light up between the pads and the LEDs can be controlled in different ways....
Dutch firm of music publishers. Carl Georg Alsbach (b Koblenz, Jan 20, 1830; d Rotterdam, Jan 3, 1906) founded the firm in Rotterdam on 15 March 1866 and it became one of the most important music publishing firms in the Netherlands in the first half of the 20th century. In 1898 the business moved to Amsterdam where the founder's son Johann Adam Alsbach (b Rotterdam, 12 April 1873; d Amsterdam, 20 May 1961) directed it from 1903 until his death, when the firm was taken over by Editions Basart. By purchasing the stock of several publishing houses, including Brix von Wahlberg (1898), Stumpf & Koning (1898), J.W.L. Seyffardt and A.A. Noske, Alsbach became the publishers for the majority of Dutch composers (e.g. Julius Röntgen, Diepenbrock, Sigtenhorst Meyer and Badings). From 1910 to 1960 the firm produced the publications of the Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis. It also issued a large number of works concerned with music teaching and practical music-making, both vocal and instrumental. Until ...
British string quartet. It was founded in London in 1947 by Norbert Brainin (b Vienna, 12 March 1923; d Harrow, Middx, 10 April 2005), Siegmund Nissel (b Vienna, 3 Jan 1922; d London, 21 May 2008), (Hans) Peter Schidlof (b Mödling, 9 July 1922; d Bassenthwaite, Cumbria, 15 Aug 1987) and Martin Lovett (b London, 3 March 1927). The violinists and viola player came to Britain from Austria just before the war and were pupils of Max Rostal. Lovett, who had studied with his father and at the RCM with Ivor James, was also of immigrant stock and was in Rostal's orbit as a member of his chamber orchestra. Brainin, who had previously studied with Riccardo Odnoposoff and Rosa Hochmann (and briefly with Carl Flesch), and Schidlof were both brilliant violinists; but the latter agreed to take the viola part and became a leading exponent of that instrument. As the Brainin Quartet, the four gave their first concert at the Dartington Summer School on ...
Thomas W. Bridges
(fl Venice, 1572–1621). Italian printer. In February 1572 he witnessed a codicil to the will of Girolamo Scotto, in which he is described as a printer, not a bookseller, suggesting that he may have worked in Scotto’s shop in Venice at the time. After a brief attempt in printing music on his own in 1579, he resumed as a partner of Giacomo Vincenti, with whom he printed, between 1583 and 1586, about 80 books. A few were reprints of popular volumes by Arcadelt, Lassus, Marenzio, Palestrina, and Bernardino Lupacchino and Gioan Maria Tasso, but most were first editions of works by some 33 composers, of whom the best known are Asola, Bassano, Caimo, Gioseffo Guami, Marenzio, Stivori and Virchi, as well as anthologies. For their printer’s mark Vincenti & Amadino used a woodcut of a pine-cone, with the motto ‘Aeque bonum atque tutum’. When they began to print separately (from ...
American artists’ colony. The AAR was founded by Charles F. McKim in 1894 for architects and classicists. In 1920, the AAR added composers, urged by Edward MacDowell before his death and administered from 1920–40 by Felix Lamond. The AAR is modeled on the French Academy that awards the Prix de Rome (to Hector Berlioz and Claude Debussy, for example). The Rome Prize is awarded through a national juried competition. Winning Fellows, 30 American artists and scholars, are given a year in Rome supported by a stipend, room, board, travel expenses, and a studio at the 11-building complex atop the Janiculum hill. The Academy’s mission is “to foster the pursuit of advanced research and independent study in the fine arts and humanities.” Resident and Visiting Artists and Scholars also contribute to the interactive artists’ colony atmosphere, which includes communal living, eating, and traveling, and twice weekly trips with AAR members lecturing on the history, archeology, or architectural or art history of various Roman, Vatican, and nearby sites....
Organization of American writers, artists, architects, and composers. The National Institute of Arts and Letters, founded in 1898 by the American Social Sciences Association, formed the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1904 to confer further distinction on 50 of its 250 members. In 1976 the two organizations merged under a single board of directors, although they continued to function as separate bodies. In 1993, the two organizations combined to form one organization of 250 members, called the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Its headquarters is in New York.
The Academy has encouraged the advancement of music in the United States by presenting concerts of American works and by giving financial assistance to composers through the administration of awards and prizes. Among the musicians elected to the academy have been John Adams, Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Cage, Elliott Carter, Copland, Henry Cowell, Ellington, Gideon, Charles Ives, Piston, Rochberg, Schuman, Sessions, Stravinsky, Thomson, Tower, and Zwilich. At an annual ceremony, new members are inducted, honorary membership is bestowed on foreign artists (such as Benjamin Britten and Pierre Boulez), and various awards are presented (...
Raoul F. Camus
Professional organization founded in 1929 in New York by Edwin Franko Goldman (who also became its first president) and a group of eminent bandmasters from the USA and Canada. John Philip Sousa served as its first honorary life president. The objectives of the ABA are to honor (by invitation to membership) outstanding achievement in the area of the concert band and its music; to encourage prominent composers of all countries to write for the concert band; and by example and leadership to enhance the cultural standing of bands. Associate Membership may be attained by firms in the music industry or related fields who wish to identify themselves with the objectives and activities of the association. The association sponsors the Ostwald Band Composition Award, and has published the biannual Journal of Band Research since 1964. The American Bandmasters Association Foundation, affiliated with the ABA but not under its control, provides funds for the Ostwald Band Composition Award, commissions symphonic band music, and partially funds the ABA Research Center at the University of Maryland....
American television program. Bandstand premiered in Philadelphia in September 1952, hosted by Bob Horn. Dick Clark became host and producer in July 1956. The show achieved a nationwide audience when it was picked up by the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and retitled American Bandstand in 1957. ABC moved it to Los Angeles in 1964 and carried the show until 1987. Syndicated broadcasts continued until September 1989.
American Bandstand, which featured teenagers dancing to the top rock and roll and rhythm and blues tunes of the day, brought popular music and dance into millions of households each weekday afternoon. In a popular feature called “Rate-a-Record,” Clark often asked the participants to evaluate the songs, giving rise to the phrase “I’ll give it a 95 because it has a great beat and it’s easy to dance to.” American Bandstand also included dance contests, and each program featured appearances by at least one popular musical act. The artists, who appeared, lip-synching to their latest hits, represented the most popular performers of the era. Although exclusively white in its early years, many of the artists popularized African American music and dance forms. For 37 years, teenagers watching the show absorbed a myriad of the latest dance crazes, including the twist, the locomotion, the stroll, the hustle, the mashed potato, the fish, the madison, disco, and the hand jive. Although virtually every urban area had an imitation show, including ...
Disc jockey Dick Clark, at podium at upper left, is surrounded by teen-age fans on his nationally televised dance show "American Bandstand" in Philadelphia, Pa. on June 30, 1958. Clark, the show's 28-year-old host, plays rock and roll records during the show that features dancing.
Instrumental ensemble. Founded in 1986 in San Francisco by Stephen Schultz (principal flutist with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Musica Angelica), its members include Gonzalo X. Ruiz (oboe), Elizabeth Blumenstock (violin), Roy Whelden (viola da gamba), and Katherine Shao (harpsichord). The ensemble has performed in Europe and America, and been featured on National Public Radio. The group’s repertory includes 18th-century music and new works by American composers. American Baroque has recorded 14 CDs, beginning with quartets by Telemann—the “Paris” and Fourth Book sets (Amon Ra, 1989/Koch, 1990). In 1991, the group issued French Cantatas of the 18th Century, with soprano Julianne Baird, also on Koch. Galax (New Albion, 1993) followed, with music by Whelden (Quartet After Abel/Gamba Quartet), and Carl Friedrich Abel. Another collaboration with Whelden yielded Like a Passing River (1995), featuring poet/reader Rudy Rucker, on the same label. After albums of sonatas by Boismortier and Telemann (Naxos ...
Brass quintet, formed by trombonists Arnold Fromme and Gilbert Cohen in 1960; its present members are Chris Gekker and Raymond Mase, trumpets; David Wakefield, horn; Michael Powell, tenor trombone; and John D. Rojak, bass trombone. The group gave its first public performance at the 92nd Street ‘Y’ and made its official New York début at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1962. At that time the brass quintet was little heard in the concert hall, and the ensemble played a major part in introducing audiences to brass instruments in the chamber context. Its commitment to the expansion of the brass chamber literature and its renowned virtuosity, precision, and stylistic accuracy have resulted in the composition of more than 100 new works by such composers as Carter, Thomson, Druckman, Schuman, Starer, Sampson, Bolcom and Schuller. The group's concerts usually include premières and the performance of ‘rediscovered’ older pieces. The quintet has also explored performance practice on older instruments, and its many recordings include two of 19th-century American brass music played on period instruments. The group became ensemble-in-residence at the Aspen Music Festival in ...
Debra L. Spurgeon
Professional organization founded in 1959. A group of 35 attendees at the biennial conference of the Music Teachers National Association in Kansas City, Missouri, formed this organization. A steering committee consisting of J. Clark Rhodes, Elwood Keister, Curt Hansen, Harry Robert Wilson, R. Wayne Hugoboom, Warner Imig, and Archie N. Jones created a working philosophy called the original ten purposes. The first purpose states: “To foster and promote choral singing which will provide artistic, cultural, and spiritual experiences for the participants.” The first national convention, held the following year in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in conjunction with a convention of the Music Educators National Conference (MENC), featured five concerts, reading and interest sessions, and panel discussions, a model that continues to the present day. During its first decade the ACDA formed division and state chapters following the MENC model. R. Wayne Hugoboom was appointed the first executive secretary (1964...
E. Douglas Bomberger
Concerts consisting exclusively of works by American composers. The practice of promoting American composers by segregating their music has recurred often since the middle of the 19th century and was especially in vogue in the late 1880s, during World War II, and in the years around the Bicentennial of American independence in 1976.
The American Music Association was founded in 1855 by C.J. Hopkins to counter the assertion that American composers had not written enough compositions to present an entire concert. It presented ten concerts of works by native composers and resident foreigners in three seasons before succumbing to the financial panic of 1857. In May 1877, Russian pianist Annette Essipoff performed American Composers’ Concerts in Boston and New York on stages decked with red, white and blue.
The fad for American Composers’ Concerts in the 1880s was a reaction to inequities in the copyright laws of the era. Because the United States did not have an international copyright agreement, publishers could reprint foreign works without paying royalties. Even the best American composers—who were entitled to royalties—found it difficult to compete against cheaply produced foreign compositions flooding the American market. In addition to lobbying for copyright protection, composers and performers were determined to introduce their works to the public through performances....
George J., Jr. Grella
Ensemble founded in 2004 by the cellist Clarice Jensen, the conductor Donato Cabrera, and the manager Christina Jensen. Cabrera left in 2005 for a post with the San Francisco Opera. The group made its debut on 7 November 2004, at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York. In 2008 ACME performed a month-long residency at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and in March 2009 it appeared at Carnegie Hall for the first time, performing the premiere of Timothy Andres’ Senior with the New York Youth SO. The following year the ensemble toured with the pianist Simone Dinnerstein playing chamber arrangements of J. S. Bach’s keyboard concertos BWV 1052 and 1056, and participated in Louis Andriessen’s Carnegie Hall residency. It has also programmed and presented Composer Portraits at the Miller Theater, Columbia University. Through 2010, ACME had given 75 public concerts, performing music by John Adams, John Cage, Elliott Carter, George Crumb, Charles Ives, Phil Kline, Steve Reich, Neil Rolnick, Frederic Rzewski, Arnold Schoenberg, Toru Takemitsu, Kevin Volans, and Iannis Xenakis. The group’s repertoire, which also includes music by Henryk Gorecki and John Luther Adams, suits their musical artistry, precision, and flexibility; this last enables them to break down into a separate, highly capable string quartet. Members through ...
Rita H. Mead
Trade union founded in 1896 for professional musicians. Membership was extended to Canadian musicians in 1900, when ‘of the US and Canada’ was added to its title. Affiliated with the AFL-CIO in the USA and with the Central Labor Council in Canada, in 1996 it had 130,000 members in 300 local affiliates, which have jurisdiction over local areas of employment, while the international union has exclusive jurisdiction over recordings, film and network broadcasting. The federation publishes the ...