(b Prague, Dec 21, 1756; d Prague, c1830). Czech composer, pianist and inventor. He studied law and philosophy at Prague University and music with the Prague organist Joseph Prokop. Two of his Singspiels were performed in Prague: König Wenzel (1778) and Die Bezauberten (1779). The piano part of the cantata Pygmalion (1781) and some German songs (1807) were also published in Prague; the first edition of his German songs had appeared in Leipzig in 1799. Kunz was an exponent of the late 18th-century fad for designing combination instruments, constructing in 1791 a piano-organ which he called an Orchestrion (not to be confused with the mechanical instrument of the same name). Between 1796 and 1798, in collaboration with the Prague piano-makers Johann and Thomas Still, he made a second, improved model. Shaped like an over-size grand piano and housed in a mahogany case with sides of ornamentally carved frames backed with blue taffeta, the lower part comprised a two-manual positive organ of 65 keys (compass ...
revised by Arthur W.J.G. Ord-Hume
Kurt von Fischer
revised by Gianluca D’Agostino
[Landino, Franciscus; Magister Franciscus de Florentia; Magister Franciscus Coecus Horghanista de Florentia; Francesco degli orghani; Cechus de Florentia]
(b ? Fiesole or Florence, c1325; d Florence, Sept 2, 1397). Italian composer, poet, organist, singer and instrument maker of the second generation of Italian Trecento composers.
Only a few dates relating to Landini’s life can be established with any certainty. There is no record of his date of birth, which Fétis gave as c1325 and Pirrotta as c1335. Fiesole was stated as his place of birth, but by only one authority: the Florentine humanist Cristoforo Landino (1429–98), Landini’s great-nephew, in his Elogia de suis maioribus. Most of the available biographical information derives from Filippo Villani’s Liber de origine civitatis Florentiae et eiusdem famosis civibus: the chapter that concerns certain of the Trecento composers (Bartholus, Giovanni, Lorenzo and Jacopo) was written after 1381 but still within Landini’s lifetime (see Villani, Filippo). The name Landini (Landino), according to Pirrotta, descends from Francesco’s grandfather, Landino di Manno, who can be traced in Pratovecchio (Casentino) from ...
revised by Luc Rombouts
(b Zinnik [now Hennegau], bap. July 18, 1711; d Ghent, bur. May 25, 1765). Flemish carillonneur and composer. Known by 1729 as a carillonneur and clockmaker in his home town, Le Blan appeared from 1743 in Veurne exercising these two occupations. In 1746 he succeeded Pierre Schepers as town carillonneur at Ghent, becoming town clockmaker in ...
(b Ferrara, Nov 7, 1790; d Ravenna, Aug 5, 1877). Italian guitarist, instrument maker and composer. Although trained from his earliest years as an orchestral string player, Legnani devoted himself to singing and especially to the guitar. He made his début as a tenor in Ravenna in 1807, and appeared there again from 1820 to 1826 in operas by Rossini, Pacini and Donizetti. He launched his career as a concert guitarist in Milan in 1819. In 1822 he appeared in Vienna with such sensational success that he was considered the worthy successor to Mauro Giuliani (who had left Vienna in 1819 to return to Italy). This city received Legnani with much praise again in 1833 and 1839.
In the intervening years, besides touring Italy, Germany and Switzerland as a guitarist, Legnani struck up a friendship with Paganini, who considered him ‘the leading player of the guitar’. They planned to play together as a duo in a series of ...
(b Kirchheim, Germany, Feb 21, 1746; d Vienna, Austria, June 25, 1792). German musician, composer, and woodwind instrument maker active in Pressburg and Vienna. Lotz is first documented as a clarinettist: on 17 Dec 1772 he performed a clarinet concerto in a Tonkünstlersocietät concert in Vienna, and in 1775 performed his own clarinet concerto in Pressburg. About this time Lotz became of a member of Cardinal Batthyány’s orchestra in Pressburg, where he served as first clarinettist, played viola when necessary, and directed rehearsals. Lotz remained a member of this orchestra until it disbanded in 1783. It has been suggested, without evidence, that Lotz was a member of the orchestras of Cardinal de Rohan (until 1774) and Prince (Johann?) Esterházy.
Lotz is remembered primarily as an innovative instrument maker. He made for Anton Stadler the basset clarinet for which Mozart wrote his concerto k622. C.F. Cramer (Magazin der Musik...
(b Mount Vernon, NY, Nov 24, 1953). American composer, computer instruments inventor and educator. He studied composition and cello at the University of California, Santa Cruz (1971–3), Columbia University (1973–4), the Juilliard School (BM 1975, MM 1977), specialising in computer music technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University. His principal teachers were Luigi Dallapiccola (1973), Roger Sessions (1973–5) and Elliott Carter (1975–8). He was the principal cellist with the Canadian Opera Company (1975–6) and a guest composer at IRCAM, Paris (1978–9), where he subsequently served as director of musical research (1980–84). He returned to the United States and in 1985 joined the faculty of MIT as professor of music and media at its new media laboratory and became director of the Experimental Media Facility and head of the Hyperinstruments/Opera of the Future group where he continues to work. In ...
revised by Alfredo Bernardini
(b Italy, 1721/1724; d Bologna, Oct 16, 1804). Italian oboist and composer. He was employed as an oboist at S Petronio, Bologna, from 1760 until his death, although many sources (e.g. Fétis) claim he had lived in London, probably on the basis that most of his compositions were published there. He wrote a large amount of technically undemanding music almost exclusively in the form of flute duets for the ‘gentleman players’ whom he taught. He composed with facility in an elegant galant style, only rarely hazarding longer movements, as in his op.1 Eight Duets, finding for the great majority of his pieces the minuet to be the most appropriate vehicle for incorporating some simple melodic imitation with general tunefulness, predictable harmonic progressions and a certain rhythmic vitality.
all printed works published in London unless otherwise stated
(b Columbus, NE, 1926; d San Francisco, April 21, 2011). American engineer, inventor and composer. One of the pioneers of computer music, he was a member of the Bell Telephone Laboratories group that included John Pierce and Newman Guttman. He studied electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology (BS 1950) and MIT (MS 1952, ScD 1954) before working in acoustic research at Bell Labs (1955–87). In 1987 he was appointed to a professorship at Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). His many honours include the SEAMUS Award from the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music (1989) and the French Legion of Honour (1994).
Mathews’ best-known composition, his rendition of Bicycle Built for Two using instrumental and vocal sounds synthesized by the computer (1961), became a cultural icon when it was used as the basis of the final scene of Stanley Kubrick’s film ...
Dorothy de Val
(b Kecskemét, nr Szeged, Feb 19, 1863; d Mt Pélerin, nr Vevey, Oct 20, 1931). Hungarian composer, pianist and inventor. The son of a cantor, he studied in Prague, Budapest and Vienna before travelling to America in 1885 to pursue a career as a pianist and conductor. In 1888 he settled in England, but travelled frequently to the continent for performances of his works and was encouraged by Brahms, whom he met in 1889. In England his work was championed by George Henschel, who conducted his First Symphony, the Concert Overture and the Piano Concerto in D; the concerto shares with the Second Symphony (1895) a distinctive Hungarian style in its strong rhythms and harmonies. In 1901 Moór moved to Switzerland, where he turned increasingly to opera. Diverse in style and favourably received (most were staged), the operas were nonetheless dropped from the repertory before long, and Moór continued with instrumental composition, finding champions in such performers as Casals (the dedicatee of several works), Marteau, Eugene Ysaÿe and Flesch. Highly rhapsodic and coloured, Moór’s music was often inspired by the contrapuntal complexity of J.S. Bach, as well as by his own Hungarian and Jewish background; despite the musical innovations of the first decades of the twentieth century, Moór’s work remained rooted in the nineteenth century....
(b Milan, Italy, July 31, 1941; d 2002). Italian composer, pianist, photographer, and designer of instruments. He studied piano and composition at the Milan Conservatory and photography at the London College of Printing before moving in 1963 to New York, where he assisted Richard Avedon. He returned to Milan in 1967 and the following year opened a commercial photography studio, while also pursuing music and video art. In 1972–3 he was a member of NADMA (the Natural Arkestra de Maya Alta), which mixed Asian-inspired sounds with jazz and other Western genres. From the mid-1970s he composed theatrical concert works in which traditional instruments and their performance techniques are reassessed, and devised several large-scale sound environments. In Quartet (c1975) a harpist with harp is encased in a one-piece fitted, knitted, costume-like covering, a performer on free-reed instruments (mouth organ, accordion, and foot-operated table bandoneon) is gradually incapacitated by being mummified in sticky tape, and a violinist and pianist have their fields of operation restricted by specially constructed containers for parts of their instruments. In another work a harp is played with metal mesh gloves to which about 50 nails are attached. Mosconi’s sound environments include ...
(b Amatrice, Rieti, Italy, 17??; d Amatrice, Italy, 16–17 March 1804). Italian amateur flutist, composer, and developer of the flute. Orazi served as an army lieutenant in Naples and Spain and on retirement returned to Amatrice, on the northern border of the Kingdom of Naples. In 1797 he published a short treatise illustrating his invention and fabrication of a new type of transverse flute; printed separately at the same time were two ‘enharmonic’ trios he wrote especially for this instrument, incorporating themes by other composers. His aim was to make the flute more competitive with the violin by extending its range down to g; increasing the upper range and facilitating emission of high notes; and enabling it to perform quarter-tones so that portamento effects could enhance its expressive potential.
The instrument was essentially a normal concert flute in D (‘flauto corista’) equipped with four closed-standing keys (E♭, F, G#, B♭). To it was added an extension partly bent back on itself for more convenient positioning of the keys, allowing one to play chromatically from ...
revised by Horace Fitzpatrick and Thomas Hiebert
[Stich, Johann Wenzel (Jan Václav)]
(b Zehušice, nr Čáslav, Sept 28, 1746; d Prague, Feb 16, 1803). Bohemian horn player, violinist and composer. His master Count Thun sent him to study the horn, first under Josef Matiegka at Prague, then with Jan Schindelarž at Dobříš; he completed his studies (c1763/4) in Dresden under A.J. Hampel, whose hand-stopping technique he later improved and extended. After his return home (1764) he served the count for four years and then ran away with four colleagues, crossing the border into the Holy Roman Empire, where he assumed his Italian pseudonym. He began travelling through Europe in 1768, breaking new ground as a touring horn virtuoso. He visited England in early 1772, performing at least ten times in London, most often as a concerto soloist (LS). Punto's use of hand-stopping was criticized by some in London (New Instructions; LS), probably because it was still novel, but others were more favourable, such as Burney, who wrote from Koblenz in July or ...
Edward R. Reilly
revised by Andreas Giger
(b Oberscheden, Hanover, Jan 30, 1697; d Potsdam, July 12, 1773). German flautist, composer, writer on music and flute maker.
Quantz’s autobiography, published in F.W. Marpurg’s Historisch-kritische Beyträge, i (1754–5), is the principal source of information on the composer's life, centring on his activities in Dresden (1716–41) and at the court of Frederick the Great in Berlin and Potsdam (from 1741).
The son of a blacksmith, he began his musical training in 1708 with his uncle, Justus Quantz, a town musician in Merseburg. After Justus’s death three months later, Quantz continued his apprenticeship with his uncle’s successor and son-in-law, J.A. Fleischhack, whom he served as a journeyman after the completion of the apprenticeship in 1713. During his apprenticeship, Quantz achieved proficiency on most of the principal string instruments, the oboe and the trumpet. Taking advantage of a period of mourning for the reigning duke’s brother in ...
revised by Lars Klingberg
(b Rostock, Sept 12, 1941). German composer, instrument maker and performer. He studied composition with Wagner-Régeny, the piano with Walter Olbertz and choral conducting with Fritz Höft at the East Berlin Hochschule für Musik (1962–8), and then was lecturer in theory at the musicological institute of the East Berlin Humboldt University (until 1974). His studies were completed in Paul Dessau’s masterclass at the German Academy of Arts (1972–4). In 1974 he founded the East Berlin ‘Klangwerkstatt’. In 1980, concerned about East German cultural and educational policy, he moved to West Germany. Since then he has given performances in Western Europe and in the USA on instruments he has made himself. He has received scholarships to work in the electronic studios at Freiburg (1981) and at the IRCAM (1982). He taught music to students of music therapy in Heidelberg between ...
[Carl Leopold; Johann Ludwig]
(b Hamburg; d Vienna, March 4, 1804). German glass harmonica player and composer. His birthdate is often given as about 1754 (a calculation from the age of 50 given in the Viennese register of deaths) but it is presumably too late, since Röllig was musical director of Ackermann’s theatrical company in Hamburg from 1764 to 1769 and in 1771–2. His lost opera Clarisse was performed in Hamburg in 1771 and two years later in Hanover. About 1780 he took up the glass harmonica and went on a concert tour; in Dresden he was the guest of J.G. Naumann, and appearances are recorded in Hamburg (1781 and 1788) and Berlin (1787). From 1791 to his death he lived in Vienna, where he had a post at the court library and frequently performed on the glass harmonica.
Röllig was much concerned with the improvement of Franklin’s glass harmonica. He visited most of the glassworks of Bohemia and Hungary in his search for the best glasses, and about ...
revised by David Patterson
(b Fairfield, IA, Sept 9, 1947). American composer, performer and designer and maker of electronic instruments. He studied music at the University of Illinois (1965–7, composition with Binkerd and Martirano, electronic and computer techniques with Hiller) and also privately, learning various instruments, conducting and Indian music. In 1967–8 he went to the Center for Creative and Performing Arts at SUNY, Buffalo, and from there to New York University as a guest lecturer (1968–70). He was director of computer and electronic media research at York University, Toronto (1970–77), developing a computer language for the composition and performance of synthesized music, and computerized electronic instruments for live performance. He also carried out research on biofeedback and the relationship between the information-processing mechanisms of the brain and aesthetic experience. He served as artistic director of the Electric Circus in New York (1967–8) and helped found the Neurona Company, which carries out research and development in arts and technology. He joined the faculty at Mills College in ...
Klaus Wolfgang Niemöller
(b Bamberg, Nov 8, 1718; d Karlsruhe, Oct 24, 1809). German composer, conductor and glass harmonica maker. He received his musical education from the organ builder J.P. Seuffert in Würzburg and was a musician at the Rastatt court from about 1745 until its dissolution in 1771. There he was Konzertmeister in 1762 (leading the orchestra from the harpsichord) and Kapellmeister from 1765. In 1772 he became Konzertmeister at the Karlsruhe court, but in 1775 he went to Cologne as Kapellmeister at the cathedral and director of public concerts. Although his stay was brief, he had a lasting influence on Cologne’s musical life through his sacred compositions (in particular his mass for Epiphany, 1776, published in 1781) and through his introduction of modern orchestral methods in the style of Mannheim. In 1777 he accepted an invitation to return to Karlsruhe as Kapellmeister, and was also active there as a teacher and maker of glass harmonicas, whose range he extended from two octaves to four (...
Wolfgang Maria Hoffmann
(Alcantara) [Josef Anton]
(b Häselgehr, July 18, 1810; d Salzburg, Jan 25, 1882). Austrian composer, music theorist, organist, choirmaster and instrument maker. He was musically mainly self-taught; at the age or 9 he learnt to play the piano and organ, as well as the violin, harp, flute, clarinet and horn. When he was 11 he took lessons in harmony and basso continuo from P. Mauritius Gasteiger in Reutte. He attended the Gymnasium in Hall (1824–30), and took some organ and piano lessons from the organist Ignaz Heinz. He entered the Franciscan monastery of Salzburg in 1830 under the name of Peter von Alcantara, and was ordained in 1834. From 1837 to 1840 he was organist and choirmaster in Bolzano and Innsbruck, and he spent the rest of his life in the Franciscan monastery in Salzburg.
Singer became famous for the building of his ‘Pansymphonikon’ in 1845; this was a keyboard instrument with sets of reeds, two manuals and 42 registers which imitated an entire orchestra. He wrote contemplative works, a treatise on choral singing entitled ...
Pamela L. Poulin
(b Bruck an der Leitha, June 28, 1753; d Vienna, June 15, 1812). Austrian clarinettist, composer and inventor. He was a son of a Viennese musician and shoemaker, Joseph Stadler, and his wife Sophie (née Altmann). At some time after the birth of his brother Johann (Nepomuk Franz) (b Vienna, ?1755; d Vienna, May–June 1804), the family returned to Vienna. Both boys became clarinettists; the earliest evidence of a joint performance appears in a programme of the Tonkünstler-Societät (1773). In 1779 they were engaged in the imperial eight-part Harmonie (Anton initially played second clarinet because of his interest in the low register), and they played in the court orchestra on a freelance basis. In 1780, the year of Anton’s marriage to Francisca Pichler (?Bichler), the brothers were also in the service of Count Carl von Palm, while Anton was also employed by the Russian ambassador Count Dmitry Golitsïn and the order of Maria Treu. By ...
(b Istein, now part of Efringen-Kirchen, Germany, Nov 26, 1951). German instrument inventor, kinetic sculptor, sound artist, and composer, known as Trimpin. His father was a brass and woodwind player, and Trimpin played with old instruments as a child but developed an allergy to metals that precluded performing on brass instruments. Instead he experimented with making new devices using old radios and parts of discarded instruments. He studied music and art at the University of Berlin from 1975 to 1979. From 1976 to 1979 he was a musician for the Theater Zentrifuge in Berlin, and designed sets for the San Quentin Drama Workshop under the direction of Rick Cluchey and Samuel Beckett. In 1979 he left Berlin for Seattle and began independent research in sound sculpture design, combining music composition and kinetics with computer technology. From 1985 to 1987 he taught at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, and in ...