(b Cerro de Pasco, July 7, 1951). Peruvian composer, musicologist and choral conductor. He studied the piano, musical pedagogy, composition and choral conducting at the Lima National Conservatory. On finishing his studies he taught theory at the same institution, and later conducted the choir there. He founded numerous choral ensembles in universities and institutions, a particular success being the choir of the Capilla Virreinal de Nueva España, with which he has extensively promoted the colonial Latin American repertory abroad. He conducted the Latin American première of the first colonial opera, La púrpura de la rosa by Torregón y Aparacio. In 1974 Tello’s participation in the Taller de Investigación Musical at the National Music School was to prove decisive for his career as a musicologist. He subsequently moved to Mexico, in 1982, where he has carried out important research for the National Documentation and Information Centre attached to the Institute of Fine Arts. Among his major works are the three-volume ...
(b Córdoba, July 1, 1934). Argentine composer, musicologist and conductor of Armenian descent. She studied composition with Ginastera at the National Conservatory, Buenos Aires, where she graduated in 1958 and won the Gold Medal in 1959. She also studied Armenian sacred music in Italy with Father Leoncio Dayan at the S Lazzaro monastery near Venice, and pursued private studies in conducting with Mariano Drago. She has won many honours in Argentina and France and the St Sahak and St Mesrob Medal from Catholicos Vazken I of Armenia (1993), and has received commissions not only in Argentina but also from London, New York, Zagreb, Grenoble, Salzburg, Radio France and the National SO of Buenos Aires. In 1978 she founded Encountros Internacionales de Música Contemporánea to introduce international audiences to Latin American, and specifically Argentine, avant-garde music; under her direction, the group has participated in about 200 festivals. She is General Secretary of UNESCO's Music Council of the Three Americas. She has been professor of composition at the National Conservatory and has lectured widely on contemporary music....
Israel J. Katz
(b Oviedo, April 8, 1888; d London, Feb 17, 1955). Spanish folklorist, writer on music and literature, teacher, choral conductor and composer . He began his musical education in Oviedo, studied the piano and composition at the Madrid Conservatory (1907–10), and, after two years in Oviedo conducting research on traditional Asturian music, went to the Schola Cantorum in Paris (1912–14), where he studied composition with d’Indy; he also went to lectures by Tiersot (who had influenced him earlier) at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Sociales. He was invited by Ramón Menéndez Pidal to work at the Madrid Centro de Estudios Históricos in 1916, and was one of the remarkable group of artists living at the Residencia de Estudiantes which included Bal y Gay, Falla, Turina, Adolfo Salazar, Sainz de la Maza, Lorca, J. Ramón Jiménez, Buñuel and Dali. Later he dedicated to the institution his ...
(b Ixelles, nr Brussels, April 24, 1825; d Tienen, April 28, 1888). Belgian conductor, composer and musicologist. He studied the piano, the violin, harmony and composition but obtained a degree in administrative and political sciences. At the age of 19 he published some light piano music. In 1860 he helped found a Cecilia Society in Leuven and represented Belgium at the Congress of Religious Music in Paris. He became the kapelmeester at St Pieterskerk in Leuven (1868), where he performed his own music as well as that of other little-known composers. In 1883 he was publicly honoured at Leuven and elected to the Royal Belgian Academy. Three years later he invented a machine which, when attached to any keyboard instrument, instantly produced a printed version of whatever was played on the keyboard. Elewyck's compositions include numerous motets, songs and piano works. His collection of Flemish keyboard music stimulated interest in Belgian music of the 17th and 18th centuries. He contributed historical and critical articles to Belgian, Italian, French and English periodicals....
revised by Robert Atayan and Aram Kerovpyan
[Gomidas Vartabed; Soghomonian, Soghomon]
(b Kütahya, Turkey, Oct 8, 1869; d Paris, Oct 22, 1935). Armenian composer, ethnomusicologist, choral conductor, singer and teacher. One of the first Armenians to have a classical Western musical education, as well as instruction in the music of his own people, he laid the foundations for a distinctive national style in his many songs and choruses, all of which are deeply influenced by the folk and church traditions of Armenia. His work on Armenian folksong is also of musicological importance.
Robert Atayan, revised by Aram Kerovpyan
Both of his parents (his father Gevorg Soghomonian was a cobbler) had gifts for music and poetry; in 1881, however, the boy was orphaned and sent to Armenia to study at the Gevork’ian Theological Seminary in Vagharshapat (now Edjmiadzine), and was ordained as a celibate priest in 1894, being given the name Komitas (a 7th-century Catholicos who was also a hymn composer). There his beautiful voice and his musical talents attracted notice, and under Sahak Amatuni’s guidance he mastered the theory and practice of Armenian liturgical singing. He also made decisive contact with folksong, to the collection and study of which he gave himself wholeheartedly. When he had only just learnt Armenian modern notation he set about recording the songs of the Ararat valley peasants and immigrant Armenians of other regions. Although he had no knowledge of European music theory, he harmonized these songs for performance with a student choir at the academy. His earliest surviving collection of folk melodies dates from ...
revised by Laura Otilia Vasiliu
(b Mânerău, Arad district, Dec 17, 1863; d Lugoj, Feb 7, 1931). Romanian composer, choral conductor, and folklorist. He began his musical studies at the Conservatorium der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Arad (Austro-Hungarian Empire) (1880–81), and continued them in Caransebeş (1885) and at the Conservatory of Music and Declamation, Iaşi (1890–91). In Iaşi he studied harmony, composition, and choral conducting with Gavriil Musicescu, a well-trained musician who had studied in Saint Petersburg. He was a music teacher and choir conductor (with the Reuniunea română de muzică şi cântări (‘Romanian Convention for Music and Song’) in Lugoj), and he managed the most important local institution dedicated to the promotion of national culture – the Asociaţia corurilor şi fanfarelor române din Banat (‘The Choral and Brass Band Society of Banat’, 1888–1927). He was a passionate folklore collector active in Western Transylvania and the Banat (he had connections with Bartók, Musicescu, and Kiriac-Georgescu). His exclusively choral compositions are representative of both lay works (folklore adaptations, patriotic songs, etc.) and religious ones, inspired by the Orthodox chanting music from the Banat. His first collection of choruses, ...
George W. Loomis
(b Wipperfürth, Dec 17, 1861; d Wiesbaden, Nov 30, 1940). German conductor, composer and scholar. He began his musical training at the Cologne Conservatory and in 1885 he entered the Königliches Akademisches Institut für Kirchenmusik in Berlin where his teachers included Grell, Loeschhorn and Commer. He joined the staff there in 1887 and also began his career as a choral conductor. From 1891 he conducted in Mainz as director of the Liedertafel and Damengesangverein. In 1907 he became music director of the University of Tübingen and in 1918 settled in Münster as professor at the university and conductor of the municipal orchestra. After his retirement to Wiesbaden in 1930 he continued to compose and write on musical subjects. As a conductor and scholar Volbach was particularly devoted to the works of Handel. While at Mainz he founded the first German Handel festival, an occasion that marked the first use of the Chrysander edition of the composer’s works. Volbach’s own compositions, written in a conventional late Romantic idiom, include a symphony in the tradition of Bruckner....
revised by Roksanda Pejović
(b Pirot, Oct 18, 1910; d Belgrade, Dec 25, 1942). Serbian composer, musicologist and conductor. He studied composition with Karel and conducting with Malko at the Prague Conservatory (1929–32), continuing his studies in Suk's composition masterclasses (1933); in 1934 he took the doctorate in musicology at Prague University and then returned to Belgrade. There he taught at the Stanković School of Music, wrote music criticism, gave popular lectures and broadcasts, and conducted the Belgrade PO and university choral societies. An active communist, he went into hiding during the occupation, but was found and killed. Despite the brevity of his career, he left a considerable body of music and theoretical work. The early pieces are atonal and expressionist, and sometimes make use of quartertones; the Two Songs for soprano and woodwind trio were given at the 1938 ISCM Festival in London. Later Vučković attempted to put into effect his views on the place of music in society. In his writings he took a Marxist approach to aesthetic questions; his collected essays were published in ...
G. Mancho Gonzalez
(b Ardmore, OK, Oct 25, 1937). American conductor, educator, scholar, and composer. He studied at the University of Michigan (BM), received his doctorate in musicology from the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, and pursued post-doctoral work in conducting at the Akademie für Musik, Vienna, with Hans Swarowsky and Eugene Ormandy. He was a conductor at the California State University, Northridge (Los Angeles) from 1969–2005, where he developed the CSUN Wind Ensemble into an ensemble of international reputation, including tours to Europe and Asia as well as recordings broadcast on radio and television stations throughout the world. In addition to having been a guest professor of conducting at more than 100 different universities he has conducted resident ensembles throughout the world, among them the Philadelphia Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Radio Orchestras of Brno and Bratislava, and the National Youth Orchestra of Israel. Among his numerous conducting honors are medals from eight countries. He has been a leader in American music education for more than 40 years with publications including 121 articles and 38 books on wind literature, and more than 350 editions of early wind band music. His original compositions include five symphonies....
(b Orlando, FL, June 12, 1949). American composer, theorist and conductor. He studied composition with Iain Hamilton and Paul Earls at Duke University (BA 1971), with Wuorinen, Davidovsky and Sollberger at Columbia University (MA 1973) and with Babbitt and J.K. Randall at Princeton University (MFA 1977, PhD 1982). He also studied conducting with Allan Bone and Monod. He has taught at Princeton (1977–8), the University of California, Davis (1978–9), and the College of William and Mary (from 1979), where he conducts the college symphony orchestra. He has also guest conducted a number of contemporary music ensembles. He has received many commissions from choral groups and instrumental ensembles and has won awards from the East/West Artists and the Ensemble Intercontemporaine for Amoretti (1980).
As a composer Williams uses both ordered and unordered pitch collections to determine thematic and harmonic materials; he strives to make audible the associations between pitch and interval by means of timbral, registral, rhythmic and dynamic relationships. He has a remarkable command of instrumental resources, imaginatively deploying sonorities within individual lines (as in ...
Francisco J. Albo
(b Alzey, Rheinhessen, Germany, Dec 14, 1834; d Deal Beach, NJ, July 30, 1907). American pianist, teacher, conductor, and composer of German origin. He studied with Aloys Schmitt in Frankfurt, making his début there in 1848. Later he studied with Vincenz Lachner and toured Bavaria. After a two-year stay in London, he moved to the United States in 1854, settling in Philadelphia. A scholarly performer, for the next twenty years he gave annual series of chamber music concerts and piano recitals, introducing many classical works to American audiences. He gave recitals devoted entirely to the piano music of Chopin and Schumann, a rare feat at the time. In 1866–7 he performed the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven in a series of matinées in New York. In 1873 he moved to Chicago, where he gave momentum to the musical life of the city and founded the Beethoven Society choir. His goal being education through the works of the masters, he gave several “historical” recitals with programs designed chronologically, from Couperin to Brahms. Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler was one of his pupils....
(b Bologna, July 23, 1904; d Bologna, Dec 20, 1995). Italian composer, conductor and musicologist. He studied the violin and, later, composition with Alfano and Nordio at the Bologna Conservatory. He then undertook much work as a conductor and organizer, founding and directing the choir Euridice, the Bologna Chamber Orchestra and, in 1950, the female G.B. Martini madrigal group. A teacher of choral music and choral conducting (1942–60), fugue and composition (1960–65) at the Bologna Conservatory, he was director from 1965 to 1974. He was secretary of the Italian Contemporary Music Society (1956–9), president of the Association of Italian Choirs and of the National Association of Music Teachers, a member of the Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna e di Roma and of the RAM, London. He also contributed to newspapers and periodicals, was editor of the journal Educazione musicale, and was responsible for the publication of several collections of popular Italian songs....
(b Belgrade, May 25, 1901; d Belgrade, June 29, 1964). Serbian composer, musicologist, teacher and conductor. He studied at the Stanković Music School in Belgrade, where he also graduated in law in 1924; his composition studies were continued with Grabner at the Leipzig Conservatory (1925–9) and with d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum (1929–31). He directed the Stanković Music School (1937–47) and taught at the Belgrade Academy of Music (1937–64), where he was professor of composition, rector (1951–7) and dean (1957–60). At the latter institution he was responsible for the training of many who later became leading composers. In 1958 he was elected to corresponding membership of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. His compositions treat folk elements in a modern harmonic style, and his treatise on harmony is an original contribution.