(b Debrno, nr Kralupy nad Vltavou, Sept 18, 1836; d Prague, Sept 1, 1904). Czech writer on music. He was educated in Prague at the Malá Strana grammar school and Prague University (1858–63), where he studied history and Slavonic philology. As a youth he sang alto at St Štěpán and the Týn church and later also sang at the Žofínská Akademie. He was a member of the St Cecilia Society, and while at the university ran first his own quartet and then an octet. From 1863 to 1879 he held posts successively as assistant teacher, tutor and clerk, but then decided to renounce a secure income and devote his energies to the cause of Czech music. He took a leading part in the organization of the Prague Hlahol choir (1864–5, 1876–91) and was on excellent terms with the leading Czech musicians; he was Smetana’s most intimate friend during the composer’s last five years. For his literary work Srb adopted the name Josef Debrnov. He provided German translations for ...
revised by Barry Kernfeld
(b Cambridge, MA, Oct 18, 1908; d Key West, FL, Dec 18, 1966). American writer. He learned to play drums before attending Harvard University as an undergraduate (BS 1931) and law student (1932–4), then studied medieval English literature at Yale University (PhD 1942); at graduate school he was a founder of the United Hot Clubs of America, a jazz appreciation society. While pursuing a career as a professor in English literature at several universities he served as a columnist on jazz for Variety and Saturday Review, contributed to Down Beat, Record Changer, Esquire, Harper’s, and Life, and edited articles on jazz for Musical America. In 1950 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to begin work on The Story of Jazz (1956), a historical survey that became widely used. He developed a course on jazz at New York University in 1950 and another at Hunter College, where he settled the following year. Stearns founded the ...
(b Essen, April 22, 1910; d Darmstadt, Dec 23, 1961). German music critic and administrator. He studied music at the Hochschulen in Essen and Cologne, and musicology at the universities of Cologne and Kiel, taking the doctorate at Kiel in 1934 with a dissertation on parody in music. From 1934 to 1961 he was a music critic for the Rheinisch-Westfälische Zeitung (Essen), Deutsche allgemeine Zeitung (Berlin) and Der Mittag (Düsseldorf). From 1945 he was for three years cultural adviser to the town of Darmstadt, where in 1946 he started the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik and the International Music Institute, in which he played a major part in stimulating the development of avant-garde music and which he continued to run until his death.Das Parodieverfahren in der Musik (diss., U. of Kiel, 1934; Wolfenbüttel, 1934/R as Die Parodie in der Musik)Sieben Jahre Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik...
Alfred Grant Goodman
(b Regensburg, May 31, 1898; d Baden-Baden, Aug 18, 1970). German music critic and administrator . He was a répétiteur for a year (1918) at the Regensburg Stadttheater before studying musicology under Sandberger and Kroyer and theory under H.K. Schmidt at Munich University, where he took the doctorate in 1922 with a dissertation on Johann Wilhelm Hässler’s life and works. He was music critic successively of the Thüringer Allgemeine Zeitung in Erfurt (from 1921), of the Berliner Börsenkurier (1927–33) and of the Berliner Tageblatt (1934–8). In 1933–4 he was editor of Melos and then its successor, the Neues Musikblatt (1934–9). He moved to France in 1939, and resumed the editorship of Melos when it was revived in 1946. In the same year he was appointed director of the music division of SWF, Baden-Baden, and in 1956 he became chairman of the ISCM. He worked constantly and energetically to promote contemporary music and young artists; he was an early supporter of Hindemith and helped many young musicians by initiating annual festivals such as Donaueschingen, concert series and regular broadcasts of contemporary music. In the 1950s he wrote a number of opera librettos for Rolf Liebermann. He received many honours, including the Schoenberg medal (...
(b New York, Jan 26, 1820; d New York, July 21, 1875). American lawyer, musical amateur and diarist , father of George Templeton Strong. He played the piano and the organ as a child and later attended Columbia College; he was admitted to the bar in 1841. In 1869 he founded the New York Church Music Association, which offered public concerts of religious music. He was also an original subscriber of the Philharmonic Symphony Society of New York (founded 1842), of which he was president from 1870 to 1874.
Strong’s diary, with over four million words, confirms him as one of the most comprehensive and important 19th-century commentators on New York life. Along with accounts of personal, local and world affairs, it contains observations on hundreds of musical performances, including orchestral and choral concerts, opera, solo recitals, services at Trinity Church and chamber music. It also describes Strong’s role as an organizer. A conservative idealist, he fought unsuccessfully to excise the music of such composers as Berlioz, Liszt, Robert Schumann and Wagner from Philharmonic programmes in the name of (as he said) ‘fine and great music’. The diary offers a colourful mode of expression, an insider’s view of the politics and economics of musical institutions, and a detailed account of a city’s musical culture....
(b Tripolis, Arcadia, Greece, ?1880 (?1878/?1881); d Athens, Oct 13, 1959). Greek music historian, journalist, and director of Ethniki Lyriki Skini (‘National Opera’) (1946–53). He was a successful playwright and a man much more involved in the theatrical rather than the musical life of Athens. Nonetheless, his Istoria tis neoellinikis mousikis (‘History of Neohellenic Music’, Athens, 1919) marks a turning point in Greek music historiography, being the first to confine its narration to the Greek state’s time and space, attesting the repercussions of the modernisation of music education in the country. The history is divided into three periods, defined by the dates 1824, 1871, 1891, and 1919 (the two middle being the dates the Conservatory of Athens was founded and then reformed). He gives a lively description of the gradual introduction and assimilation of Western music into the Greek state. He starts with the first foreigners performing in Greece, continues with biographies of the first Greeks to be successful abroad (the composers Spyros Samaras and Napoleon Lambelet, the flutist Eurysthenes Gizas, and the pianist Timotheos Xanthopoulos), the first amateur Greek opera group, and its performances for the Greeks of the diaspora, and the first operas written by Greeks and on a Greek libretto (by Pavlos Carrer and Spyridon Xyndas)....
(b Hull, August 14, 1922; d March 7, 2002). English physicist, writer and lecturer on the physics of music. He studied physics at Queen Mary College, London (BSc 1942), and at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (PhD 1951, DSc 1959), where he was a lecturer then a reader in physics (1948–85). As professor and head of department of physics at University College, Cardiff (1965–83), he established the first electronic music studio in a British university (1970); he was visiting professor of experimental physics at the Royal Institution of Great Britain (1976–88), and became emeritus professor of physics at the University of Wales in 1983. He was elected an honorary fellow of the Institute of Acoustics (1985).
Though his major research activity was in the study of X-ray and optical diffraction, the important musical acoustics research group which he founded at Cardiff carried out pioneering holographic studies of the vibrational modes of stringed instrument bodies. In ...
Michael Ann Williams
[Bell, Jeanette ]
(b Ashland, KY, Nov 14, 1881; d Greenup, KY, Dec 7, 1982). American Folk music promoter and writer. Born Jeanette Bell in far eastern Kentucky, the self-ascribed “Traipsin’ Woman” was married, briefly, to Albert Thomas. Although she spent her lengthy career promoting her vision of Appalachian culture, Thomas seemed intent on escaping the confines of a traditional life. Trained as a court stenographer, she is reputed to have worked as a press agent and script girl in New York and Hollywood. In 1926 she met blind fiddler James William Day, who she rechristened “Jilson Setters.” Using her show business acumen, she lined up recording contracts, radio appearances, and even a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Thomas’s American Folk Song Festival emerged from a backyard party she held in Ashland in 1930 and became a fully established event in 1932, joining North Carolina’s Mountain Dance and Folk Festival (...
Alfred Grant Goodman
(b Vienna, Feb 10, 1928). Austrian music critic and administrator. He studied musicology with Erich Schenk at the University of Vienna and the piano with Joseph Langer at the Vienna Municipal Conservatory; he took the doctorate at Vienna in 1953 with a dissertation on Das Strukturphänomen des verkappten Satzes a tre in der Musik des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts (extracts in SMw, xxvii, 1966, 18–71). From 1953 to 1957 he was contemporary music adviser for Universal Edition, Vienna, and until 1971 head of contemporary music and deputy head of the music division of WDR, Cologne (for which he made numerous broadcasts); he was programme coordinator of the concert series ‘Musik der Zeit’ which gave many world premières, including works by Stockhausen, Boulez, Nono and Penderecki. From 1971 to 1977 he was director of music programmes at SWF, Baden-Baden, then head of the music department at SDR, Stuttgart. He has also been programme coordinator of the Donaueschingen Festival, co-editor of the ...
(b London, Oct 31, 1930). English writer. In 1950 he ran a jazz club near London in which a number of well-known British bop musicians performed, and from 1957 to 1960 he was the secretary of an informal group known as the Contemporary Jazz Society. To broaden the society’s activities he began to interview musicians, including Americans who were visiting England; some of these interviews were later published in Melody Maker (1959–60). In 1961–2 Tomkins was a freelance contributor to Jazz News, and in 1962 he began an association with Crescendo which continued into the 1980s; he was its editor and art editor from 1966 to 1967 and served as a freelance editor, contributor, and art director from 1970. Throughout this association he published each month three or four interviews with jazz musicians, which now represent a major archive of source material for the study of jazz. Later he was a reviewer for and contributor to the ...
Gary W. Kennedy
(b New York, April 10, 1918; d New York, April 30, 2000). American writer. His father was concert master for the conductor Arturo Toscanini. He was interested in jazz from a young age and attended Columbia University (AB 1939) to be closer to the jazz movement in Harlem; while a student he published articles on jazz in The Spectator. Following graduation he edited Swing: the Guide to Modern Music (c1939–40), Listen (1940–42), and the Review of Recorded Music (1945–6). As the editor of Metronome: Modern Music and its Makers (1943–55) he changed the focus of the journal from classical music and white swing groups to other aspects of jazz, notably bop and its African-American components; in 1950 he designed the Metronome Yearbook. In addition Ulanov organized all-star bop groups which broadcast on WOR (1947) and published biographies of Duke Ellington (...
revised by Marie-Thérèse Lefebvre
(b Montreal, Dec 24, 1915; d Montreal, June 24, 1994). Canadian composer, critic and administrator. He had violin lessons with Lucien Sicotte (1922–35), studied composition with Claude Champagne (1939–42) and took a literature degree at the University of Montreal (1939). Throughout his life he dedicated himself to the education of the young and the general public. He served as secretary of the Quebec Province Conservatory (1942–63), lecturer at the University of Montreal (1951–66), director of music broadcasting for the CBC (1963–6) and cultural adviser with the Quebec delegation in Paris (1966–70). Vallerand was then successively director-general for training (1970), the conservatories (1971) and the performing arts (from 1972) for the Quebec Ministry of Cultural Affairs. His career as a music critic began as editor of the Quartier latin (...
(b nr Heidelberg, 1577; d Amsterdam, March 19, 1649). Dutch polymath and writer on music of German birth . He received a master’s degree and a doctorate from the University of Leiden. He became rector of the grammar school at Dordrecht in 1600 and director of the theological college at Leiden in 1615 but in 1619 he was suspended as an Arminian. He held professorships at the University of Leiden and at the newly established Athenaeum Illustre, Amsterdam. When he was in England in 1629 Charles I granted him a private audience in recognition of his learning.
Vossius wrote many theological, philological and historical works, a complete edition of which was published in six volumes over 40 years after his death (Amsterdam, 1695–1701). Five of his works (all published at Amsterdam) contain observations on music: De theologia gentili (1642); De artis poeticae natura et constitutione (...
(b Wexford, Nov 20, 1911; d Wexford, Nov 8, 1988). Irish writer on opera and co-founder of the Wexford Festival. He was educated in Wexford and at University College, Dublin, where he graduated in medicine in 1944. In Dublin he also studied singing. In autumn 1950 two young collectors of opera records came to him with the idea of forming an opera study group. With the active support of the novelist Compton Mackenzie, they mounted a production of Balfe’s Rose of Castille in October 1951, which initiated the annual Wexford Festival. While still working as an anaesthetist at the Wexford County Hospital, Walsh undertook the artistic direction of the festival, personally recruiting the principal singers and organizing the training of the local amateur chorus until his retirement after the 1966 season. His devoted enthusiasm helped ensure the international fame of the festival, an achievement recognized by the award of an honorary MA from the University of Dublin in ...
(b New York, NY, Jan 10, 1917; d Sarasota, FL, Aug 15, 2008). American music journalist, producer, and record executive. After graduating with a degree in journalism from Kansas State University in 1946, Wexler got a job at the music industry trade magazine, Billboard. In a 1949 article for Billboard Wexler coined the phrase “rhythm and blues” to replace “race music” as the umbrella term for the new forms of black popular music that came to prominence immediately after World War II.
In 1953, Wexler became a partner in Atlantic Records, alongside Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun, building the label into an industry powerhouse over the next 20 years. With Nesuhi handling most of the company’s jazz releases, Ahmet and Jerry supervised/produced sessions with the cream of 1950s R&B artists including Ray Charles, Professor Longhair, Big Joe Turner, LaVern Baker, and the Drifters.
In 1960, Wexler made a deal with the Memphis-based Stax Records to distribute their recordings. Over the next eight years, this meant that Atlantic distributed records by Otis Redding, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, Albert King, William Bell, and Eddie Floyd, among others. In a unique arrangement, in ...
Clement A. Miller
(b Resel, Värmland, c1486; d Frankfurt an der Oder, Nov 12, 1552). German humanist, physician, writer and musician . The generally accepted birthdate for him is about 1486, but according to Pietzsch it is 1501. In 1516 he entered the University of Frankfurt an der Oder, where he probably studied music under Johann Volckmar. After graduating he taught music from 1522 to 1539. In 1524 Willich became professor of Greek and in 1540 professor of medicine. Although he retained his connection with the university until his death, he was frequently called to other countries (such as Poland and Hungary) because of his renown as a physician. He corresponded with Erasmus and was personally acquainted with Luther, Melanchthon and Glarean. More than 60 writings on philology, antiquity, philosophy, theology, law, medicine, mathematics and music, some of which remained current into the 18th century, gave Willich a position as one of the outstanding German humanists of his time. An ardent lutenist, he founded about ...
(b Waldenburg, Feb 9, 1775; d Dresden, Sept 24, 1856). German poet, impresario and journalist. The son of Gottfried Winkler (archdeacon at Waldenburg and from 1779 deacon at the Dresden Kreuzkirche), he displayed a versatility and diligence in Dresden as lawyer, author and critic, translator and editor, and musical and theatrical organizer. He was the mentor of Friedrich Kind's Liederkreis, assistant director of the court theatre and founder-editor of the Dresdner Abendzeitung. He was a friend of Weber and a trustee of his orphaned children. Although his translation of the libretto of Oberon is not of high quality, he wrote an excellent text for Die drei Pintos and was responsible for the first collection of Weber's writings (Hinterlassene Schriften von C.M. von Weber, Dresden, 1828). Winkler was also among the first Germans to recognize and appreciate the operas of Meyerbeer. He wrote under the pen name Theodor Hell....
(b Northwich, Cheshire, May 17, 1912; d York, May 9, 2004). English writer on music and music educationist . He was educated at Christ’s Hospital (1924–30) and read English, music and history as an organ scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge (1930–34; MusB 1933). He was director of music at Stranmillis Teachers Training College, Belfast, from 1934 until 1937, when he took the MusD at Trinity College, Dublin. From 1937 to 1944 he was music adviser to the city of Stoke on Trent. In 1944 he became director of music at Wolverhampton College of Technology; there he also formed a choir which gave many performances, particularly of lesser-known works by Handel. Since 1970 he has been a visiting scholar and lecturer at numerous colleges in the USA.
Young was an exceptionally fluent and prolific writer. His books include short popular biographies and several volumes for younger readers. Many of his more substantial writings are based on a lively, fresh and industrious, if not always highly discriminating, examination of source material; these include original research on Elgar and useful surveys of the British choral tradition and British music generally. As a composer Young was equally prolific: his works include a Fugal Concerto for two pianos and strings (...
Leah G. Weinberg
(b Exeter, NH, Nov 8, 1961). American Musician, songwriter, record company founder, and author. Zanes was raised near Concord, New Hampshire, and after attending Oberlin College for one year, moved to Boston. There, Zanes, his brother Warren, the bass player Tom Lloyd, and the drummer Steve Morrell formed the Del Fuegos. The roots-rock band produced five albums between 1984 and 1989, with singles “Don’t Run Wild,” “I still want you,” “Name Names,” and “Move with me Sister.” After the Del Fuegos disbanded and Zanes’s solo album Cool Down Time failed to sell, he began to listen to banjo songs, cowboy tunes, and traditional songs that he remembered from childhood. After his daughter Anna was born, Zanes’s dissatisfaction with the American children’s music market led him to form a family-oriented band that merged folk and rock styles and instrumentation. Initially known as the Wonderland String Band, the New York based-group underwent changes in title and personnel, first to the Rocket Ship Revue, and then to Dan Zanes & Friends. The seven-member band has produced nine albums on Zanes’s label, Festival Five Records, which include original songs as well as folk, traditional, and gospel songs from the United States, Jamaica, Africa, and Mexico. ...