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Article

Bruce Mather

(Morris)

(b Kentville, NS, Aug 28, 1939). Canadian flautist, conductor and composer. He studied with Nicholas Fiore (in Toronto) and Marcel Moyse; later with Rampal and Gazzelloni. He was principal flautist of the Vancouver SO (1958–9) and of the Toronto SO (1965–70). In 1971 he was a prizewinner of the Concours International de Flûte de Paris. In 1964 he formed the Lyric Arts Trio with his wife, the pianist Marion Ross, and the soprano Mary Morrison. He is musical director of New Music Concerts (Toronto) and Music Today (Shaw Festival, Ontario), as well as a soloist whose engagements take him to Europe, North America, Japan and Iceland. In 1977 he was one of 12 instrumentalists invited by Boulez to give a solo recital at IRCAM in Paris. Some 50 works have been wrtten for him by composers including Carter, Crumb, R. Murray Schafer and Takemitsu. Technically adept, he has a pure, intense tone and a finished sense of phrasing. In ...

Article

(b Pisky, near Khar′kiv, 8/Sept 20, 1876; d Paris, Jan 8, 1945). Ukrainian composer and pianist. Aged ten he was sent, along with his brother Yakiv (later known as the composer Stepovy), to sing in the choir of the Imperial Chapel in St Petersburg. It was during his time there (1886–95) that he began to compose under the influence of his teachers Balakirev and Lyapunov. He finished studies with Rimsky-Korsakov and Lyadov at the St Petersburg Conservatory in 1901, the year in which the latter conducted the first performance of the Lyric Poem, op.20. Akimenko then became the director of a music school in Tbilisi (1901–03). He performed widely as a pianist, particularly in France and Switzerland, and lived for a while in Paris (1903–06) before returning to Khar′kiv. In 1914 he was invited to teach composition and theory at the St Petersburg Conservatory, a post he held until ...

Article

Faruk Yener

revised by Münir Nurettin Beken

(b Istanbul, May 6, 1908; d Ankara, Feb 16, 1999). Turkish composer. He was a member of the Turkish Five, a group of outstanding composers who, from the 1930s, promoted a Western musical style. Akses first played the violin and then took up the cello at the age of 14. He studied harmony with Cemal Reşit Rey at the Istanbul Municipal Conservatory. In 1926 he left for Vienna where he attended Joseph Marx’s harmony, counterpoint and composition classes for advanced students at the Academy. After receiving his diploma in 1931, he went to Prague and studied with Josef Suk and Alois Hába at the Prague Conservatory. He returned to Turkey in 1934 and was appointed a teacher of composition at the Music Teachers School, becoming its director in 1948. He then took a number of official positions: in 1949 he was director general of the Fine Arts Section of the Ministry of Education, then cultural attaché in Berne (...

Article

Erkki Salmenhaara

[Erik]

(b Ilmajoki, Feb 2, 1911; d Tampere, Sept 2, 1996). Finnish musicologist and folklorist. He studied at Helsinki Conservatory (1929–36) and under A.O. Väisänen at Helsinki University (MA 1942), where he took the doctorate in 1956 with a dissertation on the polska in Finland. His extended fieldwork on folk music and instruments in Finland and Sweden resulted in a collection of over 10,000 melodies (now in Tampere University library). After teaching music at Helsinki Conservatory (1951–7) and lecturing at Helsinki University (1957–62) he held a research grant from the State Humanities Committee (1962–75). He was professor of folk research at Tampere University (1975–7) and director of the university folk research institute (1977–81). He was active in many folk music research organizations. A list of his writings is included in the Festschrift Kentältä kentälle: juhlakirja Erkki Ala-Könnin 70 - vuotispäiväksi 2.2.1981...

Article

Corneel Mertens

revised by Diana von Volborth-Danys

(b Antwerp, April 16, 1901; d Liedekerke, May 23, 1987). Belgian composer. He studied with Marinus de Jong at the Antwerp Conservatory. He was musical adviser and conductor of Het Vlaams Volkstoneel (a travelling Flemish theatre company) from 1924 to 1933, and assistant director with the NIR (Belgian National Broadcasting Service – Flemish Section) in Brussels until 1961. Later his activities were limited to music reviews (Het toneel) and composition. He became known for his modern stage music for Vlaams Volkstoneel and Théâtre du Marais. At first his musical style ranked him with the Expressionist school, but during World War II he turned to a more traditional, simple and comprehensible style, which slowly evolved from Expressionism into neo-classicism. Later on he experimented with atonal and serial music.

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Article

Michael Talbot

revised by Enrico Careri

(b Bologna, Sept 20, 1685; d Bologna, Feb 18, 1751). Italian composer and violinist. He studied the violin with Carlo Manzolini, and counterpoint with P.M. Minelli and Floriano Arresti. He became a member of the Accademia Filarmonica, Bologna, in 1705, and from 1709 played the violin in the orchestra of S Petronio. His first set of concertos, published in 1713, were first performed under the composer's direction at the house of Count Orazio Bargellini. In 1721 Alberti was chosen president (principe) of the Accademia Filarmonica, a post to which he was re-elected in 1724, 1728, 1733, 1740 and 1746. A set of violin sonatas, op.2 (1721), was followed by a further set of concertos, collectively entitled ‘Sinfonie’, and issued by Le Cène in 1725 – presumably without the composer's authorization as they are incorrectly designated op.2. (This possibly inadvertent duplication of an opus number led to the renumbering of the violin sonatas as op.3 when published by Walsh shortly afterwards.) From ...

Article

Anthony Newcomb

(b Treviso, c1535; d Ferrara, June 15, 1615). Italian instrumentalist and composer. He came from a family of North Italian musicians that had lived in Treviso since the mid-15th century. His father was the town trumpeter; his uncle and brother were musicians in the courts of Ferrara and Munich respectively. He was one of the three young men brought to the newly founded Accademia degli Elevati in Padua in 1557 as music tutors under Francesco Portinaro. His first published madrigals appeared, together with madrigals by Rore, Portinaro and other members of the group around Rore, in Rore’s fourth book of madrigals for five voices (RISM 1557²³). In 1560 the Accademia degli Elevati was dissolved and Alberti went to work for the Este court at Ferrara. He remained on the salary rolls there, listed among the instrumentalists as ‘Innocentio del Cornetto’, until the dissolution of the court early in ...

Article

Max Loppert

[Bronson Reginald ]

(b Harpenden, June 4, 1952). English director . Born into a distinguished theatrical family (his father was the impresario Donald Albery) he first gained a reputation in the British regional and avant-garde theatre with distinctive modern reappraisals of the classics marked by a cool, highly refined sense of visual style. His first opera production was of The Turn of the Screw, at the 1983 Musica Nel Chiostro festival at Batignano, Italy; this led to work with Opera North – Tippett’s Midsummer Marriage (1985), La finta giardiniera (1989), and most notably the production of Les Troyens (begun in 1986) that was later shared between Opera North, Welsh National Opera and Scottish Opera. In each of these, but most particularly in his triumphant production of the Berlioz epic, Albery’s invention of a modern visual and dramatic language that combined stillness, taut economy, intense feeling for states of psychological and poetic complexity, and deep musical responsiveness created a powerful impression of musico-dramatic revelation. For the ENO he produced Berlioz’s ...

Article

Eric Blom

revised by Malcolm Turner

(b Magdeburg, March 31, 1902; d Kiel, Jan 20, 1961). German musicologist. He studied at the Essen Conservatory (1913–21), at the University of Münster and (1921–5) at Berlin with Wolf, Abert, Sachs and von Hornbostel. From 1925 to 1937 he held various teaching posts, organized music festivals in Bremen (1929), Essen (1931) and Aachen (1933), and was active in the Reichsverband Deutscher Tonkünstler und Musiklehrer. After a short period as choral adviser to the Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, he joined the Staatliche Institut für Deutsche Musikforschung, Berlin, in 1939, becoming professor there in 1940 and director in 1941. In 1942 he was elected a member of the Senate of the Preussische Akademie der Künste, representing on that body the interests of musicology.

After the war he became director of the Landesinstitut für Musikforschung, Kiel, in 1947, where he remained until his death, becoming professor at the University of Kiel in ...

Article

Don C. Gillespie

(Hugh)

(b Gary, IN, Oct 20, 1944; d Ann Arbor, MI, Sept 17, 1998). American composer, organist and pianist. He attended the Juilliard Preparatory Department (1959–62), the University of Michigan (1963–70) and the Paris Conservatoire (1968–9), studying composition with Ross Lee Finney, George Rochberg and Olivier Messiaen, and the organ with Marilyn Mason. His many commissions and honours included two awards from the Koussevitzky Foundation, the Queen Marie-José Prize (for his Organbook I) and an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1979 he was selected to represent the USA in UNESCO's International Rostrum of Composers. He joined the composition department at the University of Michigan in 1970, where, as associate director of the electronic music studio, he pursued research into live and electronic modification of acoustic instruments. Through his own modern rag compositions and his performances and recordings of classical ragtime, stride piano and boogie-woogie, which include a recording of the complete works of Scott Joplin, Albright was a principal figure in the revival of interest in ragtime and stride masters. He gave many first performances of organ and piano works by American and European composers and commissioned a series of organ works that has substantially enriched the contemporary repertory for that instrument....

Article

Peter G. Davis

revised by Nicola Badolato

(b New York, NY, Sept 16, 1949). American director, twin brother of David Alden. The son of the playwright Jerome Alden and the Broadway dancer Barbara Gaye, he studied at the University of Pennsylvania and began his professional career as an actor, appearing in Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival Tony Award-winning rock musical Two Gentlemen of Verona (1971). After a brief period in the Broadway musical theater, he was an assistant to Jean-Pierre Ponnelle from 1978 to 1982 in Houston, Paris, and Salzburg. Since then he has staged operas in many American cities, and has been director of production at Long Beach Opera (California) and associate director of Opera at the Academy in New York. These two smaller companies encourage innovation, and Alden has pursued an enlivening approach that has proved controversial but seldom dull; his version of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas was presented as a cautionary tale of the flesh for British schoolgirls, while Offenbach’s La vie parisienne was updated to reflect the drug culture of present-day New York. The results may sometimes be controversial, but they invariably show a questing spirit, a lively theatrical imagination, and genuine love for the work at hand. Alden made his European debut in ...

Article

Patrick O’Connor

(b New York, NY, Sept 16, 1949). American opera producer, twin brother of Christopher Alden.

His early productions in America in the late 1970s were well received but gave no hint of the Brechtian, often violent bent that later characterized his stagings in Europe. His staging of Wozzeck first at the Metropolitan in 1980 and then at the Scottish Opera later that year was favorably noted by Opera magazine, reversing the disdain that had greeted his Rigoletto for the same company in 1979. A punk version of The Rake’s Progress (1982, Amsterdam) led to a notorious Mazepa (1984), his first work for the English National Opera, which with its chainsaws and strip lighting entered local operatic folklore as an extreme of director’s folly. This established his reputation, however, and his ENO Simon Boccanegra (1987) and Un ballo in maschera (1989), both designed by David Fielding, were seen to create a new house style that, though controversial and alienating, was both musical and dramatically stimulating. Alden has staged the American premières of Szymanowski’s ...

Article

(b Bologoye, 22 July/Aug 4, 1905; d Moscow, June 17, 1994). Russian composer and conductor, son of Aleksandr Vasil′yevich Aleksandrov. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Glier, graduating in 1929, and worked as a music director in Moscow clubs (1923–9), music director of the Red Army Theatre (1930–37), lecturer at the Moscow Conservatory (1933–41) and leader of the Soviet Radio Song Ensemble (1942–7). From 1937 to 1946 he was deputy director of the Aleksandrov Red Army Song and Dance Ensemble, which was founded by his father and, after the latter's death, came under his direction. He received the State Prize (1950) and the title People's Artist of the USSR (1958). In Dva p′yesï (‘Two Pieces’) op.1 (1928) for piano he developed a compositional system synthesizing the principle of the 12-note series (with inversions and permutations) with a harmonic set technique and mirror symmetry. Later works, such as the well-known musical comedy ...

Article

Viorel Cosma

revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu

(b Bucharest, 2/Aug 14, 1893; d Bucharest, Feb 18, 1959). Romanian composer, pianist, conductor, teacher, music critic, and director of music programmes. A leading figure of the first half of the 20th century, he laid the foundation of the Romanian school in music, concert life, and musical journalism. He studied with A. Castaldi, D. Dinicu, D.G. Kiriac, and E. Saegiu at the Bucharest Conservatory (1903–11), completing his education with two periods of study in Paris (1913–14, 1923–4), where he studied with d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum and with Paul Vidal at the Conservatoire. A remarkable accompanist, he worked with Enescu, Thibaud, Mainardi, Moodie, and others during the period 1919–45. As a conductor he always achieved a soberly balanced performance; he conducted more than 1500 performances at the Romanian Opera in Bucharest (1921–59), where he specialized in the French repertory (Bizet, Massenet, and Gounod). In his capacities as conductor of the Romanian Philharmonic Society, and as conductor and artistic manager of the Romanian RSO, he did much to encourage Romanian composers. He was also active as a music critic for Romanian and French reviews. Much of his compositional work was done during his youth, including ...

Article

Christopher Larkin

German family firm of wind instrument makers. The business, located in Mainz, was established in 1782 by Franz Ambros Alexander (b Miltenberg, July 22, 1753; d Mainz, Dec 1, 1802), who was described in a Mainz Cathedral report of the same year as a wood-turner and wind instrument maker. Portraits depict Franz Ambros and his son Philipp (1787–1864) with clarinets. After his death, Alexander's business was continued by his widow and two of his sons, Claudius (1783–1816) and Philipp, later joined by a third, Kaspar Anton (1803–72). Under the direction of Philipp and Kaspar Anton the firm became known as Gebrüder Alexander, the name it still bears. Kaspar Anton's two sons Franz Anton (1838–1926) and Georg Philip (i) (1849–97) became the third generation to direct the company. Woodwind instruments, mainly for military use, were the firm's main products until the mid-19th century. By that time, however, band instrumentation had become more brass orientated; after Philipp's death in ...

Article

Claude Conyers

[Dorothea Moses]

(b Atlanta, GA, April 22, 1904; d Atlanta, GA, Nov 17, 1986). American ballet dancer, choreographer, teacher, and company director. Having suffered osteomylitis in early childhood, she was given ballet lessons to restore her strength. They not only did that but set her on course for her life’s work. Dismayed by the lack of training and performing opportunities for ballet dancers in Atlanta, she vowed to create them if she could. After continued study with teachers in Atlanta and New York, she opened her own studio in Atlanta in 1921 and originated a dance enrichment program in Atlanta public schools in 1927. Two years later she founded the Dorothy Alexander Dance Concert Group and began to present public programs with her pupils. This group eventually became the Atlanta Ballet, the nation’s oldest regional company. From its inception until the mid-1950s, “Miss Dorothy” created some eighty ballets for the company, including lyrical works for adult audiences as well as story ballets for children. Although she usually worked to the music of popular European composers, she sometimes commissioned works from local composers. Notable are ...

Article

Horace Clarence Boyer

revised by Tammy L. Kernodle

(b Hamilton, MS, Jan 21, 1916; d Los Angeles, CA, July 8, 1996). American gospel singer, manager, and promoter. He moved to Los Angeles in the early 1940s to become a member of the Southern Gospel Singers, an all-male quartet. In 1946 he joined the Pilgrim Travelers, another male quartet, of which he soon became the guiding force. During its period of greatest popularity in the 1950s and 1960s the group became known for its close and smooth harmonies. Its members have included Kylo Turner and Keith Barber (leads), Jesse Whitaker (baritone), and Raphael Taylor (bass); jazz singer Lou Rawls also sang with the group in the late 1950s. Among their popular recordings were “Mother Bowed” (1950) and “I was there when the spirit came” (1952). The group performed in concert throughout the United States and won acclaim for their appearances at the Apollo Theater in New York. When the Travelers disbanded following a car accident that left Rawls hospitalized, Alexander shifted his focus to production and management. Alexander was instrumental in securing a recording contract for Dorothy Love Coates and the Original Gospel Harmonettes, recommended the singer Jessy Dixon to Brother Joe May and is credited as one of Little Richard’s early mentors and managers. He started working with Sam Cooke, who left gospel music in the late 1950s to pursue a career in pop music, and together they formed SAR records in ...

Article

Viorel Cosma

(b Ilimbav, Sibiu, May 14, 1914; d Bucharest, April 20, 1997). Romanian ethnomusicologist. He studied at the Bucharest Royal Academy of Music (1931–6) and became Brăiloiu's closest collaborator, working with him at the folklore archive of the Society of Romanian Composers (1935–49); he continued his research appointment there when the archive was incorporated in the Institute of Ethnography and Folklore (1949), undertaking several field studies and collecting numerous examples of Romanian folksong, some of which have been recorded. He was Brăiloiu's successor in the folklore department of the Royal Academy of Music (1943–8), where he held various posts before becoming professor (1954–9). In 1956 he did research in China and from 1965 to 1967 he was the folklore expert of the Ministry of Culture of the United Arab Republic in Cairo, where he made recordings of Egyptian and Nubian folksong. In ...

Article

John Rosselli

(bc 1625–6; d Rome, 1713).French-Italian theatre builder and impresario. A French nobleman from Orléans, he became secretary in 1662 to Queen Christina of Sweden (resident in Rome after her abdication), in whose service he remained till her death in 1689; he managed her musical and theatrical entertainments, opera included. Under her patronage he built in 1669 the Teatro di Tordinona, the first notable opera house in Rome; he also built tennis courts and once ran a lottery combined with an exhibition of mirrors. When a new pope in 1676 forbade the reopening of the Tordinona, and Christina’s income from Sweden was held up by war, d’Alibert went to Turin; there he built and, in 1678, managed another opera house, the Teatro Ducale (later Regio). After the opening season he judged it to be doubtfully profitable and returned to Rome, where he kept gambling tables in his own house and entertained his customers with plays, music and puppet shows. After the demolition of the Tordinona in ...

Article

Miriam Miller

(d 1634). English music printer. He printed a few musical works between 1610 and 1615, only his initials ‘E.A.’ appearing on certain imprints. He printed Thomas Ravenscroft’s A Briefe Discourse (1614) and John Amner’s Sacred Hymnes of 3, 4, 5 and 6 parts for Voyces and Vyols (1615). His address was ‘neere Christ-Church’ in London. His name appears among a list of printers granted printing monopolies by James I and his successors as ‘Edw. Alday, to print sett songs et al’, but he apparently made little use of any such privilege.

Humphries-SmithMP E. Arber, ed.: A Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers of London, 1554–1640, 1–4 (London, 1875–7/R); v (Birmingham, 1894/R) R.B. McKerrow: ‘Edward Allde as a Typical Trade Printer’, The Library, 4th ser., 10 (1929–30), 121–62 J. Morehen: ‘A Neglected East Anglian Madrigalian Collection of the Elizabethan Period’, ...