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Article

John M. Ward

( fl 1507–39). Italian organist. According to his contemporary, Marino Sanuto, he was a Crutched friar . He was a pupil of Paul Hofhaimer and became first organist of S Marco, Venice, from 1507 to 1516. With the doge's permission, he left Venice for London in September 1516, bringing with him ‘a most excellent instrument’, presumably an organ. The reports of the Venetian ambassador, Giustiniani, contain several references to Memo and his triumphs at the English court: that through the offices of Henry VIII he was released from his monastic vows, given a chaplaincy by the king and made ‘chief of his instrumental musicians’; how he was required to play frequently at court, often before foreign ambassadors, and once for four hours at Windsor, where the king had gone to escape the plague. Memo appears to have acted as an agent for the Venetians: in one of his reports to the signory, Giustiniani mentions asking Memo ‘to make his report’. Such political activities may have led to his sudden departure from England (‘for fear of his life’, according to Sanuto) sometime before ...

Article

William Osborne

(b Frome, Somersetshire, England, April 12, 1834; d New York, July 2, 1916). American organist of English birth. He immigrated to New York in 1863 and sang briefly as a volunteer tenor under Henry S. Cutler at Trinity Church. During the next three years he served as organist at several different churches in Philadelphia, but returned in 1866 to succeed Cutler as organist of Trinity Church, serving in that position until 1897. He and Cutler were pioneers who had a formative influence on church music in this country during a period of transition; their aim was to introduce the innovations of the Oxford Movement through choral services sung by well-trained, vested, all-male choirs. In 1870 Messiter began using an orchestra seated at the front of the nave, about 100 meters from the choir in a rear gallery, with separate organs supporting each component. He compiled three books of service music (a ...

Article

Sharon E. Girard

(b April 12, 1760; d March 1, 1797). Venezuelan composer, violinist, organist, pianist, educator and church musician. On 11 May 1789 he married Sebastiana Velásquez, sister of the composer José Francisco Velásquez. He composed mainly for Caracas Cathedral, in 1791 receiving 184 pesos for a collection of his sacred music; he was also employed by church confraternities. In October 1793, 1794 and 1796 he was in charge of the choral music for Caracas’s feast of Naval; in 1797 his son Juan Bautista held this post.

Article

Robert Stevenson

(bc 1515; d ?Toledo, 1579). Spanish organist of Jewish descent. He served as assistant to the blind Francisco Sacedo, who was principal organist of Toledo Cathedral from 22 January 1541 until his death shortly before 7 August 1547. Peñalosa, who had by then become a priest in the Toledo diocese, was elected his successor on 31 December 1549. From 30 June 1552 he had to divide his stipend with another organist Francisco López. Peñalosa applied 11 years later for the post of organist of Palencia Cathedral, which had become vacant on the death of Francisco de Soto in summer 1563. On 5 January 1564 the Palencia chapter dismissed him, since he seemed to be attempting to seek double employment with the Toledo and Palencia chapters. Apparently he remained at Toledo until 1579. No relationship to Francisco de Peñalosa has yet been discovered, nor do any of his compositions survive....

Article

William F. Prizer

(b Verona, c1470; d, May 1528). Italian priest, composer, singer and lutenist. With Tromboncino and Cara, he was one of the most important frottola composers. He was born in Verona in about 1470, the son of Alberto and Umilia Pesenti. Since he was a priest, he must have studied at the Scuola degli Accoliti in his native city, an institution founded by Pope Eugene IV that produced other cleric-composers, among them Marchetto Cara. Pesenti’s first known position was in Ferrara, where he served Cardinal Ippolito I d’Este, acting as a procurer of music and instruments as well as a lutenist, singer and composer. Already in 1504 he wrote to the cardinal from Venice promising to come to Ferrara as soon as an unnamed gentleman returned his lute. From 1506 his name appears in Ippolito’s payment registers, and it remains there, except for a probably illusory break in ...

Article

Vernon Gotwals

(b Heron Lake, MN, Sept 18, 1897; d New York, Sept 22, 1960). American organist and educator. The son of a Methodist minister, he received the BM degree from the American Conservatory in Chicago in 1920 and the BA from Northwestern University in 1924. He also studied with Wilhelm Middelschulte, Lynnwood Farnam, T. Tertius Noble, and Nadia Boulanger, and at Union Theological Seminary (MSM 1930, DSM 1944). He taught at Northwestern, the Juilliard School, New York University, the Mannes College, and, from 1931, the School of Sacred Music of Union Theological Seminary. In 1945 he became director there, following Clarence Dickinson, and was Clarence and Helen Dickinson Professor from 1947 until his death. Porter toured as a recitalist, served in many churches (including the Collegiate Church of St Nicholas in New York), and was organist for several years at the Chautauqua Institution. He and his wife, Ethel K. Porter, were the music editors of the ...

Article

Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(b London, Feb 11, 1741; d Somers Town, London, Sept 28, 1815). English bass and organist, son of Henry Theodore Reinhold. He was a boy chorister at St Paul’s under William Savage, and as ‘Master Reinhold’ he sang on stage from 1752, creating Oberon in J.C. Smith’s The Fairies in February 1755. He was a bass in the chorus for the Foundling Hospital Messiah in 1758 and that summer scored a success at Marylebone Gardens in an English version of Pergolesi’s La serva padrona, also playing an organ concerto at his benefit. For two years he had small roles at Drury Lane and returned to Marylebone in the summer to sing in burletta operas. He went with the Gardens burletta company to Norwich in autumn 1760, and that November became organist of St Peter's Church, Colchester, advertising himself as a teacher of harpsichord, guitar, violin and singing. He performed in the summer season at the Haymarket Theatre, London, in ...

Article

Robert Strizich

revised by Craig H. Russell

(b Santa María Ribarredonda, nr Burgos, before probably 1650). Spanish guitarist, harpist, composer and priest. He studied for the priesthood at the collegiate church of Villafranca del Bierzo, where he later became a prebendary. In his Luz y norte musical he stated that he began his musical studies after his ordination while in the service of the Counts Lemos and Andrade and their patron Don Fadrique of Toledo, Marquis of Villafranca. Other statements in this book imply possible affiliations with the Spanish court. He also mentioned having visited ‘remote and overseas provinces’ – undoubtedly a reference to his trip to Peru in 1677 with his patron, the Count of Lemos. The count’s entourage at the time included not only Ruiz de Ribayaz but also the distinguished theatre composer Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco, the finest composer in South America during the 18th century.

Ruiz de Ribayaz is known only through his ...

Article

William Osborne

(b Culworth, Northamptonshire, England, Dec 15, 1869; d Berkeley, CA, Dec 8, 1937). American organist of English birth. He was awarded a degree by Queen’s College, Oxford, and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists in 1890. From 1882 to 1886 he was organist and music instructor at the Magdalen College School, Brackley. In Oxford he served as organist of St George’s (1887–9) and Sts Mary and John (1889–93), organist of Queen’s College (1886–93) and choirmaster of All Saints’, Warwick (1893–4). Sabin then immigrated and settled in San Francisco, where he held appointments at St Luke’s Episcopal Church (1894–1906), Temple Emanu-El (1896–1937) and First Church of Christ, Scientist (1906–37). He became a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists in 1899. He played at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St Louis (...

Article

Robert Strizich

revised by Richard Pinnell

(b Calanda, Aragon, mid-17th century; d early 18th century). Spanish guitarist, composer, and priest. Early in his life he received a Bachelor of Theology degree from the University of Salamanca and later travelled to Italy, where he studied music under Cristoforo Caresana and Lelio Colista, and possibly also under Orazio Benevoli and Pietro Andrea Ziani. On returning to Spain he published not only his Instrucción de música sobre la guitarra española but also two literary works: a Spanish translation of Daniello Bartoli’s L’uomo de lettere (Madrid, 1678) and a eulogy in praise of Pope Innocent XI entitled Ecos sagrados (Madrid, 1681).

Sanz’s Instrucción de música is the most comprehensive guitar treatise of its time. Comprising three books, it contains 90 pieces written for a five-course instrument tuned a/a–d′/d–g/g–b/b–e′. Most of its pieces are based on dance forms, such as the ...

Article

(d Hamburg, c1629). German organist. Early in 1595 he was appointed organist in Wöhrden, in the Dithmarschen region of Schleswig-Holstein, where his two sons, Heinrich and the painter Philipp, may have been born. It is uncertain whether he had another post before he moved to the Catharinenkirche in Hamburg in 1604. In that year the Melodeyen Gesangbuch, which contains Scheidemann's only extant compositions, was published. Shortly after his appointment, he initiated an extensive rebuilding of the organ in the Catharinenkirche, undertaken in 1605–6 by Hans Scherer the elder. Scheidemann's organ compositions, like those of many of his colleagues, do not survive. The 14 cantional settings in the Melodeyen Gesangbuch (Hamburg, 1604; ed. K. Ladda and K. Beckmann (Singen, 1995)), despite the limited stylistic range imposed by the publisher, show some lively and rhythmically interesting part-writing, particularly in the lower voices.

R. Hansen: ‘Zur Topographie und Geschichte Dithmarschens’, ...

Article

Ramona H. Matthews

(b Mörlunda, Jan 28, 1866; d Lewiston, ID, Oct 16, 1949). American psychologist and musician of Swedish birth. His family emigrated to the USA in 1869. Having studied the organ as a child, he served as a church organist from the age of 14; he attended Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota (BA 1891), and Yale University (PhD 1895), where he studied psychology and worked as an assistant in the psychological laboratory (1895–7). He was subsequently appointed (1902) to the University of Iowa, where he stayed for the rest of his career, as professor and (from 1905) head of the department of psychology and of the psychological laboratory, and for two periods (1908–37 and 1942–6) as dean of the graduate college. He was a pioneer in experimental psychology, and with his students developed many instruments for the measurement of visual, aural and kinesthetic perception, and for the graphic representation of such aspects of musical performance as rhythm, pitch, timbre and vibrato. This latter information was used in performance analysis, with special emphasis on the vibrato, and eventually influenced Seashore's theories of musical aesthetics....

Article

Walter Blankenburg

(b Hersbruck, nr Nuremberg, 5/Dec 6, 1528; d Leipzig, May 12, 1592). German theologian. He attended the Gymnasium in Nuremberg, and as early as 1540 became organist in the castle chapel. As a student in Wittenberg from 1549 he lived in the house of Philipp Melanchthon. In 1558 he second preacher in the Dresden court, but through his involvement in religious quarrels between Lutherans and Philippists (the supporters of Melanchthon), was dismissed in 1564. He obtained an appointment as a professor at Jena in 1565, but was again dismissed after only two years. A move to Leipzig followed, where he taught at the university, became a minister at the Thomaskirche, and was later city superintendent. Except for a period of two years between 1572 and 1574 when he was granted leave of absence to supervise the reform of the church in Brunswick and Oldenburg, he remained active in Leipzig until ...

Article

Watkins Shaw

revised by Nicholas Temperley

(b Canterbury, bap. Jan 13, 1760; d London, Jan 18, 1806). English organist. He is celebrated as the composer of the hymn tune ‘Miles Lane’. He was a chorister of Canterbury Cathedral and became organist of Bangor Cathedral in 1782; but his tendency to associate with religious dissenters there led to his receiving notice of dismissal in December 1783. He went to London and became organist of Spafields Chapel, Clerkenwell (Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion), in 1784 and at St Bartholomew-the-Less in 1800. His famous tune, one of only four attributed to him, was first published anonymously in the Gospel Magazine for November 1779 (facsimile in MT, xliii, 1902, p.244). His name was first attached to it in the eleventh edition of Stephen Addington’s Collection of Psalm-Tunes (London, 1792).

R. Vaughan Williams: ‘Shrubsole’, Some Thoughts on Beethoven’s Choral Symphony with Writings on Other Musical Subjects (London, 1953/R...

Article

Nicholas Temperley

(b Exeter, Oct 28, 1823; d Leeds, June 16, 1897). English organist and writer. His father William Spark (1797–1865) was a lay vicar of Exeter Cathedral; two brothers were also musicians. He was a chorister at Exeter Cathedral and was articled to S.S. Wesley for five years in 1840. When Wesley moved to Leeds parish church in 1842, Spark went with him, and was soon appointed organist successively at Chapeltown and St Paul’s, Leeds. Appointments at Tiverton, Daventry, and St George’s, Leeds (1850), followed. From his return to Leeds he was extremely active in local music, founding the Leeds Madrigal and Motet Society, the People’s Concerts, and other organizations. With Henry Smart he designed the large organ for the new town hall, opened in 1858, and was elected borough organist, a post which he held until his death. His views on organ building, tending to promote the French school, were influential. He played an organ sonata at the first Leeds Festival (...

Article

Karl-Ernst Bergunder

[Nikolaus]

(b Erfurt, Aug 31, 1609; d Erfurt, April 5, 1680). German writer on music and organist. He spent his whole life at Erfurt. He attended the St Michael Lateinschule until 1621, when he transferred to the Protestant Ratsgymnasium, which was at that time noted for its fostering of music. One of his teachers there was Liborius Capsius, director of the collegium musicum and an important Erfurt University professor. He matriculated at the university in 1626, took his bachelor’s degree in 1628 and became a Master of Philosophy in 1629. He then became organist at the Protestant Thomaskirche and at the Catholic church of the Neuwerk monastery. From 1632 to 1635 he was Kantor and teacher at the Protestant school of preaching and also studied theology. In 1635 he was ordained and became deacon (in 1638 pastor) of the Kaufmannskirche in succession to Joseph Bötticher, who had won a good reputation as a musician. In ...

Article

William Osborne

(b Maikammer, Bavaria, Nov 9, 1819; d Norwalk, CT, May 14, 1907). American educator and organist of German birth. Trained in Speyer and Kaiserslauten, he then worked as a school principal in Landstuhl and as organist of the Speyer Cathedral. He left Germany during the upheavals of the 1840s and settled in New Haven, where at first he taught privately. In 1855 Stoeckel was appointed “Instructor of Vocal Art, Organist, and Chapelmaster” at Yale University, where remained until retirement in 1896; Yale conferred an honorary doctorate on Stoeckel in 1864. He organized a college choir, a Beethoven Glee Club (for which he provided many arrangements), and a New Haven Philharmonic Society (chiefly for the performance of Beethoven symphonies). He also co-founded a Mendelssohn Society (for the presentation of that composer’s oratorios) and in 1879 mounted a Beethoven Festival, which included performances of both the Ninth Symphony and Fidelio...

Article

Richard Jackson

revised by James H. Cook

(b London, 1779; d New York, July 15, 1875). American organist of English birth. He is said to have studied with William Russell and John Whitaker. He was an organist in London before immigrating to New York about 1806, where he became organist of various Episcopal churches, including Christ Church, St. Paul’s, and Grace Church. He moved to Boston in December 1818; there he was a private teacher and organist of the Handel and Haydn Society and at West Church. Returning to New York about 1823, he again taught privately and was organist a various Episcopal churches in Manhattan and Brooklyn. On his death at the age of 96, an obituary in the New York Times called him the oldest organist in the world. He died deaf and blind. Taylor published several sentimental songs in the popular idiom, one collection, The Uranian Harmony (1823, comp. with John Hart), and one organ method, ...

Article

Edward Higginbottom and G.B. Sharp

(b c1640; d Paris, 1693). French organist . He was a member of a family of musicians active over several centuries, most of them as organists. He was organist of the Paris churches of St André-des-Arts in 1656, St Germain-des-Prés in 1667 and of St Jacques-de-la-Boucherie in 1669. In 1678 he was nominated organiste du roi, the highest appointment in the land. Thomelin was clearly one of the most talented organists of his generation; Titon du Tillet (Le Parnasse françois, Paris, 1732/R) reported that crowds flocked to hear him on feast days. From the same source we learn that Thomelin taught François Couperin (ii), becoming ‘a second father’ to him following the early death of François’s natural father; on his death Thomelin was succeeded at court by his pupil. There is no trace of Thomelin’s organ music, if indeed he ever committed any of it to paper, but an unexceptional allemande for harpsichord survives (ed. in L’organiste liturgique, xviii, Paris, ...

Article

John Morehen