(b St Petersburg, 25 Nov/Dec 7, 1868; d Leningrad, June 26, 1936). Russian music critic, pianist and translator. He studied law at St Petersburg University, graduating in 1894, and worked as a foreign correspondent for the Ministry of Finance. In 1895 he took Ye. Raphof's courses in music and drama, and continued his musical education at the St Petersburg Conservatory until 1900, studying with Herman Laroche. From 1903 he wrote music criticism for a number of newspapers, including Novaya Rus′, of which he was head of the music section from 1904 to 1910. He reflected the rich musical life of St Petersburg in his writings, and covered the repertory of the Mariinsky and Conservatory theatres, including Chaliapin's appearance in Gounod's Faust, the Ziloti Concerts, Koussevitzky's Tchaikovsky cycle, Nikisch's Beethoven cycle and the visits to the city of Busoni, Debussy and Landowska. His prolific career as a critic continued until ...
Larisa Georgievna Danko
(b Paris, April 19, 1928; d London, Jan 1, 1984). British guitarist, bandleader, journalist and broadcaster. In the late 1940s and 50s he played traditional jazz and skiffle, but his musical sympathies lay with the country blues of artists such as Leadbelly, Robert Johnson and Big Bill Broonzy. He befriended the jazz musician Chris Barber, who had similar musical interests and had brought several blues artists over to England; Korner met many of these artists and promoted them in articles for journals including Melody Maker and Jazz on Record, and from 1958 through broadcasts on the BBC. With Cyril Davies, he formed the first British blues club, the London Blues and Barrelhouse Club. He had played acoustic guitar in the armed forces in Germany (1947–9), but took up electric guitar only after hearing Muddy Waters in 1958. With Davies he formed the electric band Blues Incorporated (...
John H. Baron
(b ?Kiel, 1643; d Hamburg, May 20, 1721). German organist and writer, son of Jakob Kortkamp. He studied under Weckmann from 1655 until about 1661, and later in the 1660s he served for a short time as organist at the Jakobikirche, Hamburg, under Christoph Bernhard. His main posts – though they were not important ones – were as organist at two other Hamburg churches, the Maria-Magdalena Kloster (1669–1721) and St Gertrud (1676–1721). His only known composition is a jigg. He also arranged for organ a Magnificat secundi toni by Weckmann and wrote the alto and tenor parts of a cantata by Bernhard. His importance lies in his manuscript chronicle of north German music from 1291 to about 1718, written between 1702 and 1718 (it is now in D-Ha ). This gives invaluable accounts of north German organs and their sounds, as well as information about the lives and works of organists, clergy and Kantors, notably in the 16th and 17th centuries. The information he gave on the men whom he and his father knew personally, such as Hieronymus and Jacob Praetorius, Weckmann and Bernhard, is particularly important....
Judith E. Olson
(b Rastatt, April 25, 1850; d Baden-Baden, 1927). German composer, pianist and critic. She wrote her first pieces at 15 and made her piano début three years later with the Baden court orchestra. She performed her own compositions for Hans von Bülow, gaining his lifelong encouragement, and was briefly a pupil of Clara Schumann. She studied mainly, however, with Joseph Rheinberger, for which purpose the family moved to Munich in 1874. This was her most fruitful period as a composer and pianist and resulted in many of her best works, composition prizes, many favourable reviews of performances of her works, and meetings with Brahms, Liszt and Hanslick during extensive concert tours. Le Beau’s style, which changed little throughout her life, is characterized by strong, well-shaped themes and strict sonata structure, as well as some use of colourizing, non-functional chords and leitmotifs. Many development sections, however, consist of frequent repetitions of thematic material with little alteration. For this reason (as Hanslick noted) her choral works and smaller pieces with rigid strophic or dance structures are often more successful....
(b Rudersdorf, nr Berlin, Jan 30, 1844; d Jena, April 27, 1918). German critic, pianist and composer. Although he was best known as the owner and editor of the influential Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung (1882–1907), Lessmann had earlier studied the piano with Bülow and composition with Friedrich Kiel in Berlin. In 1866 he became a piano teacher at the Stern Conservatory and the following year joined the faculty of the Klavier-Schule Tausig, a position he held until Tausig's death in 1871. From 1872 he was head of the music department of the Kaiserin Augusta Stiftung, in Potsdam, and he also taught at the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory. The relationship with Bülow and Tausig was important in bringing him into personal contact with both Liszt and Wagner, and he became a staunch supporter of the New German School.
Lessmann was widely respected as a critic. His prose was judicious and tempered, and it was informed by many years of practical music-making. Generally speaking he championed the new and unusual in music. This made him the polar opposite of his older contemporary Eduard Hanslick, who was seen as representing the more conservative musicians of the time. Lessmann was a regular visitor to Bayreuth and gave generous coverage to the festivals of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein, of which Liszt was the lifetime president. Liszt thought well of him as a composer and transcribed his three ‘Tannhäuser’ songs for solo piano. He also wrote a monograph on Liszt (...
Patrick J. Smith
(b Los Gatos, CA, June 7, 1934; d New York, Dec 17, 1994). American music critic and pianist. He studied piano with Lev Shorr, Alexander Libermann and Rosina Lhévinne, attended San Francisco State College (BA 1956) and did graduate work in political science at the University of California, Berkeley (MA 1958); he then taught political science at Berkeley (1957–8). He was appointed to the faculty of the Aspen Music School in 1971 and to that of the Waterloo Music Festival, New Jersey, in 1976; he was named artistic director of the festival in 1985. He became music critic of Commentary in 1976, publisher of the New Criterion in 1982 and in the same year was appointed to the National Council on the Arts. He won the Deems Taylor Award in 1977 and 1980 for criticism and again in 1980 for his collection of essays ...
(b New York, NY, Aug 26, 1894; d Cleveland, OH, Jan 4, 1969). American pianist and writer on music, half-brother of frank Loesser . He studied at City College of New York, Columbia University, and the Institute of Musical Art, New York. He made his debut as a pianist in Berlin in 1913 and in New York in 1916, and thereafter toured the United States, Australia, and the Far East. Loesser joined the piano faculty of the Cleveland Institute in 1926; he was head of the piano department there from 1953 until his death. He also wrote program notes for the Cleveland Orchestra (1927–42) and was music critic of the Cleveland Press (1939–56). During World War II Loesser was an intelligence officer with the US Army; after the war he was posted to Japan, where he performed with the Japan SO (1946) and lectured (in Japanese). He was the author of ...
George J. Buelow
( b Schwäbisch Hall, Oct 16, 1689; d Schwäbisch Hall, May 22, 1768). German organist and writer on music . He began organ lessons at the age of nine with Baur, organist of St Katharina; after completing the curriculum of the local Gymnasium, he was a municipal clerk in neighbouring towns, returning later to his native city first as district clerk and then as city clerk, also becoming in 1724 Kantor and organist of St Katharina. Majer wrote two musical instruction manuals, Hodegus musicus (Schwäbisch Hall, 1718; lost) and the important Museum musicum theoretico practicum (Schwäbisch Hall, 1732/R, 2/1741; Majer’s annotated copy is in D-Sl ). It is the latter which establishes him among the significant writers on music in the late Baroque. The Museum musicum aims to give students self-instruction in the elementary concepts of musical notation (musica signatoria) and in the techniques of playing most instruments, including the recorder, chalumeau, flute, oboe, bassoon, cornett, flageolet, clarinet, clarino, horn, trombone, various keyboard instruments, lute, harp, timpani, violin and the viols. His explicit fingering and position charts for each of these instruments provides an unusually clear picture of German Baroque instrumental practice. A succinct introduction to the thoroughbass practice is also informative. Very little of Majer’s short work seems to be original. He said the thoroughbass material was taken from an anonymous work of ...
(b Braşov, Romania, April 20, 1947). Russian pianist, keyboard player, and journalist of Romanian birth. In Lithuania he studied accordion at Vilnius Music College (1961–5) and composition at the Lithuanian State Conservatory (1965–8). He first led quartets at the festivals in Tallinn (Estonian SSR [now Estonia]) in 1966 and 1967, and from 1969 to 1970 he led groups in Vilnius. In 1979 he began working with Vladimir Chekasin in settings ranging from a duo to a large orchestra. He performed at Soviet festivals in Riga and Krasnoyarsk, and internationally in Karlshamn (Sweden), Münster, Göttingen, and Munich (Germany), Lyons (France), Skopje (Yugoslavia), Salzburg (Austria), Venice and Rome (Italy), and Budapest, and played with such leading Lithuanian musicians as Petras Vyšniauskas, Vytautas Labutis, and the alto saxophonist Danielius Praspaliauskis. After studying journalism he published articles on Lithuanian jazz, and in 1989 he joined the staff of the new Russian magazine ...
[Callihou, James ]
(b Cap Saint-Ignace, PQ, July 13, 1892; d Lac Marois, PQ, May 29, 1941). Canadian music critic, composer and pianist. After studying with Gustave and Henri Gagnon in Quebec and with Guillaume Couture and Arthur Letondal in Montreal, Morin won the Prix d’Europe in 1912, enabling him to complete his musical education in Paris with Isidore Philipp, Raoul Pugno, Ricardo Vinès and Jules Mouquet. On his return to Montreal in 1914, he gave numerous concerts and began his career as a critic, co-founding the avant-garde publication, Le Nigog in 1918. He moved to Paris in 1919 and there soon gained a respected position as both pianist and critic, serving as a contributor to Le monde musical (1920). Settling in Montreal from 1925, he was secretary of the Montreal branch of the Pro Musica Society of New York (1926) and a music critic and chronicler for ...
(b Prague, 23 June 1914; d Prague, 8 Feb 1945). Czech musicologist, violinist, and music critic. After studying law and arts at Prague University, and the violin at the Prague Conservatoire (1933–7), he became a member of the Czech Philharmonic and of the Pro Arte Antiqua ensemble, and was very active as journalist and critic, editing and writing for Hudební věstník and Smetana, besides contributing articles on musical subjects during the German occupation to České slovo, the party organ of the patriotic, moderate-socialist Česká strana národně sociální. As a musicologist he was wide-ranging, writing on 18th-century music, preparing a catalogue of Dvořák’s works and editing 20th-century Czech operas, besides the items listed below. A provocative review in České slovo of a Smetana concert in 1945 led to his being arrested, tortured, and executed by the German occupying authorities.
(selective list)ed. and trans.: Vlastní životopis V. I. Tomáška...
revised by Laura Otilia Vasiliu
(b Bucharest, Romania, Oct 1, 1890; d Bucharest, Jan 19, 1951). Romanian composer, conductor, music critic, teacher, and violinist. Along with Alfred Alessandrescu and Ion Nonna Otescu, Nottara was among the first disciples of the renowned composition professor Alfonso Castaldi from the Bucharest Conservatory. First under the influence of French impressionism, then of Italian verismo, Nottara’s work then gradually integrated with the tendency of forming a Romanian national style in the first half of the 20th century.
He studied at the Bucharest Conservatory (1900–07) with D.G. Kiriac (music theory and solfège), Alfonso Castaldi (composition), and Robert Klenck (violin); he continued his studies under George Enescu and Berthelier (violin) in Paris (1907–9), and under Klinger (violin) and Schatzenholz (composition) at the Königliche Akademie der Künste, Berlin, (1909–13). His career as a violinist included orchestral playing in the Bucharest PO (1905–7, 1918–20), leading a string quartet (...
(b Breslau, Oct 3, 1807; d Florence, Nov 18, 1887). German singing teacher, violinist, composer and critic. He studied singing with the Kantors Strauch and Förster, and learnt the violin with Joseph Mayseder. His initial career was as a violinist. About 1834 he settled in Paris, as a performer, critic and composer, and editor of and contributor to the new Gazette et revue musicale; he was also a correspondent for the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. He was a prolific composer for the violin and of solo songs. After 1840 Panofka’s interest turned towards the art and techniques of the great singers he heard in Paris. He studied the methods of Marco Bordogni, and went to London in 1847 and directed the chorus of the Royal Italian Opera under Lumley. He met Jenny Lind there and studied her vocal techniques, as well as those of Lablache, Fraschini and Staudigl. In London he was esteemed more as a singing teacher than as a violinist. His first didactic work, the ...
(b Županja, March 6, 1905; d Sarajevo, March 28, 1979). Bosnian-Herzegovinian composer, conductor, pianist, and critic. He studied composition in the class of Blagoje Bersa, conducting in the class of Fran Lhotka, and the piano in the class of Svetislav Stančić at the Academy of Music in Zagreb, graduating in 1927. From 1927 to 1928 he studied composition with Vincent d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum de Paris, and from 1928 to 1929 with Joseph Marx in Vienna.
From 1930 he made his mark conducting several choral ensembles in Zagreb, including Oratorijski zbor sv. Marka, Sloga, Lisinski, and Zagrebački madrigalisti. From 1947 he worked in Sarajevo as a conductor at the Sarajevo Opera House and the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1955 he taught conducting at the Academy of Music in Sarajevo. He was very active as an accompanist, historian, and critic. He wrote the first historical studies of music in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as many articles for newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV programmes. His rather modest composing legacy is permeated with folk elements, within formal designs of (neo)-classical orientation. He also made arrangements of the works of other Bosnian-Herzegovinian composers (notably Franjo Maćojevksi and Bogomir Kačerovski) to meet the particular needs of local performance contexts....
(b Klatovy, Aug 14, 1837; d Prague, July 19, 1888). Czech composer, pianist and critic. His early musical training was with his father, an organist, and the composer Měchura. After studying law at Prague University (1854–63) he became a court official, but most of his life was devoted to music. He attended Smetana's piano school (1854–5), later becoming a lifelong friend and powerful advocate of Smetana's music. He was a co-founder of the Prague Hlahol choral society (1861), the publishing house Hudební Matice (1871) and the Jednota pro Komorní Hudbu (Society for Chamber Music, 1877). He was music critic of Národní listy (1865–78), editor of Hudební listy (1870-72) and Dalibor (1873–5), and of several collected editions of Czech songs and choruses, including Vesna, Záboj and Hlahol. During the 1870s his free musical soirées provided a valuable platform for performances of works by developing Czech composers, including Dvořák and Fibich. He composed many popular and idiomatic Czech songs and choruses....
(b Zamora, Michoacán, Sept 29, 1900; d Mexico City, Dec 3, 1991). Mexican music critic, scholar, pianist and composer . After studying the piano with Antonio Gomezanda in Mexico City, she was a pupil of André Schaeffner, Lazare Lévy and Alfred Cortot in Paris. She gave début piano recitals in New York City in 1938 and in Paris in 1948. Upon resettling in 1949 in Mexico City, she assisted Adolfo Salazar as writer for the newspaper Novedades and contributed extensively to Mexican and foreign journals. In 1963 she established Heterofonía, Mexico’s longest running musicological journal, and was its editor until her decease.La mujer mexicana en la música (Mexico City, 1958); repr. in Heterofonía, nos.104–5 (1991), 5–99 Ludwig van Beethoven (Mexico City, 1970) ‘Mexico’, VintonD ‘Mexican Women in Music’, LAMR, 4 (1983), 120–31 I. Farfán Cano: ‘En los ámbitos de la música’, Inter-American Music Review, 12/1 (1991), 1–2...
(b Liège, July 30, 1877; d Liège, April 30, 1952). Belgian composer, pianist and critic. He studied at the Liège Conservatory with his father Jean-Théodore Radoux, and in 1907 he won the Belgian Prix de Rome with his cantata Geneviève de Brabant. Appointed professor of harmony at the Liège Conservatoire in 1905, he was inspector of music education from 1930 to 1942. He founded a piano quartet, and was for a long time active as a music critic. His interest in Walloon folk music resulted in the publication of several collections of songs with his own accompaniments. He employed leitmotifs, and his vocal style is clearly influenced by Wagner, as is the composer’s use of the orchestra to comment on the actions and emotions of the characters. His musical style is thus hardly original, but he was at his best in his operas and choral works, where his lyrical facility was most pleasing....
Ralph Scott Grover
(b Northampton, May 23, 1901; d Gerrards Cross, Feb 14, 1986). English composer, critic, pianist and teacher.
Born into a poor working-class family, Rubbra was fortunate in having music-loving parents. His mother’s pure soprano voice was prominent in her church choir, and she was in demand locally as a soloist. He began piano lessons at eight, transferring later to a teacher who added instruction in harmony and counterpoint. In his uncle’s music shop he discovered the music of Cyril Scott and Debussy. Leaving school at 14 to help his family financially, he worked as an office boy, then a railway clerk. At 17 he organized an all-Scott concert in Northampton, prompting the composer to accept him as a private pupil. In 1920 he won a composition scholarship to Reading University for study with Holst, and also piano with Evlyn Howard-Jones. In 1921 Rubbra won an open scholarship to the Royal College of Music where his teachers were, Holst, Howard-Jones (privately) and R.O. Morris in counterpoint; Vaughan Williams was used as a substitute during Holst’s absences. Of Rubbra’s earliest compositions, some of his songs were published during his RCM days. One, ...