(b London, Nov 14, 1933). English translator. With Michael Scott, he made a free adaptation of Donizetti’s Le convenienze e inconvenienze teatrali in its one-act form (as The Prima Donna’s Mother is a Drag) for a production at the Camden Festival in 1972. The following year he provided an English version of Offenbach’s ...
Gary W. Kennedy
(b New York, April 27, 1952). American writer. He began listening to jazz while working towards a masters degree in American literature and culture at Syracuse University (MA 1978). Later he contributed to Cadence (1979–93), Coda (1980–95), Musician (1982–5, 1990–91), Jazz Times (1983–6), Down Beat (1985–95), Ear (late 1980s), Pulse (1989–95), the Village Voice (1991–5), and CD Review (1993–4), and also maintained an association with Baltimore’s weekly City Paper (1981–92); in 1987 he became jazz critic for the NPR program “Fresh Air.” In the early 1990s he compiled an American discography for Joachim-Ernst Berendt’s Das Jazzbuch: Entwicklung und Bedeutung der Jazzmusik (Brooklyn, NY, rev. 6/1992; Eng. trans., by J. Berendt and G. Huesman, New York, 1992, as The Jazz Book), and for the Village Voice he wrote a notable essay in which he endeavored to provide a new descriptive framework for the various styles of jazz which have been lumped together under the rubric “avant garde.” From ...
(b Kroczyce in Miechów district, Nov 27, 1893; d Kraków, May 12, 1963). Polish composer, conductor and critic. He studied successively at the Conservatory of the Kraków Music Society, the Dalcroze Institute at Hellerau near Dresden, the St Petersburg Conservatory and the Paris Schola Cantorum. In 1931 he took examinations as an external candidate in composition at the Warsaw Conservatory. From 1921 he taught in Poznań, first at the Academy, then, from 1923, at the Conservatory. From 1921 to 1939 he was also active as a choral conductor, working in particular with the Koło Śpiewackie Polskie (singing society) and the Chopin and Moniuszko choirs. From 1945 he was a professor at the State Higher School of Music in Kraków.
During the inter-war period he was chief editor of Przegląd muzyczny and music reviewer for the Kurier poznański and Muzyka polska. From 1946 he edited the series Polska Literatura Chóralna published by the Polish Music Publishers (PWM). He was a founding member, and vice-chairman, of the Society of Young Polish Musicians in Paris (...
Joseph E. Morgan
(b Milwaukee, WI, 1948). American music critic and scholar. He earned a BFA in clarinet from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and continued his studies at the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music where he earned a MM and a PhD in 1979. While completing his doctoral work he began his career in music journalism.
During his tenure as music critic at the Cincinnati Post (1974–8) and the St Louis Globe-Democrat (1978–84) Wierzbicki was prolific, writing more than 4000 reviews. In the late 80s his work appeared frequently in the review pages of national publications such as Opera News, Opera Quarterly, and High Fidelity. After an early affiliation with the NPR station in St Louis, writing for the weekly program “Music of Our Time” (1982–7), Wierzbicki achieved a national audience on NPR’s syndicated program “Performance Today” (1986–91).
After retiring from music journalism in the 90s, Wierzbicki pursued an academic career, publishing numerous scholarly articles and books, including one with the American Composer series on Elliott Carter (Chicago, ...
(Fingal O'Flahertie Wills)
(b Dublin, Oct 16, 1854; d Paris, Nov 30, 1900). Irish writer. His plays, most notably Lady Windermere's Fan (1892) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), brought to the Victorian stage a wit that was both scintillating and subversive. Wilde cultivated the image of an aesthete and flouted convention at every turn. He was lampooned (in the decadent character of Bunthorne) by Gilbert and Sullivan in Patience (1881), and a musical ‘Travestie Suggested by Lady Windermere's Fan’ was produced at the Comedy Theatre in 1892. Following Wilde's imprisonment in 1895 for homosexual acts, the composer Dalhousie Young published a pamphlet entitled Apologia pro Oscar Wilde; after his release Wilde planned a libretto for Young's opera Daphnis and Chloë, but the scheme never materialized. Wilde died prematurely in exile, and it was German (largely operatic) interest in his work that was to revive his reputation, beginning with Max Reinhardt's Berlin production of ...
[Wilhelmus Hirsaugiensis ]
(b Bavaria; d Hirsau, July 4, 1091). Benedictine writer on music and astronomy . Wilhelm was educated in the monastery of St Emmeram, Regensburg, where his works are commonly believed to have been written. He was made abbot of the monastery of Hirsau in the Black Forest in 1069, actually assuming office two years later. Although not known as a composer, he was said by one early biographer to have corrected many errors in songs, presumably plainchant; he was thus a participant in the widespread attempts of that epoch to bring traditional chant into line with new modal theories. His major work on music is presented as a dialogue with his learned teacher, Otloh of St Emmeram, although the special advantages of that method of exposition are not exploited. Possibly the work was originally conceived in another form, then mechanically transformed into a dialogue. Two of the four manuscripts of the complete text present it as one book; the other two have it as two, but divided at different points. The texts, however, appear to be substantially the same....
(bRichmond, VA, Aug 9, 1924; dAlexandria, VA, 11 or April 12, 1992). American music critic and writer on jazz. He studied English literature at the University of Virginia (BA 1948), the University of Pennsylvania (MA 1950) and Columbia University. He was director of the jazz and American culture programmes in the division of performing arts of the Smithsonian Institution from 1970 until early 1983, when he became editor of special projects in books and recordings at the Smithsonian Press. He selected and annotated recordings for the Smithsonian collections of Classic Jazz and (with Gunther Schuller) Big Band Jazz. In addition to jazz criticism for the Saturday Review, Evergreen Review, Jazz Journal, the New York Times, Down Beat and various other journals, Williams wrote several books.ed.: The Art of Jazz: Essays on the Nature and Development of Jazz (New York, 1959/R) King Oliver...
(b Boston, MA, May 19, 1948; d California, March 27, 2013). American Music journalist and critic. Paul Williams is regarded as one of the pioneers of rock journalism, which took shape from the mid-1960s as popular music assumed a more serious edge. But it took new writers like Williams, who founded the magazine Crawdaddy! in 1966, at the age of 17, while on the campus of Swarthmore College, to contextualize the blend of sound—electric guitars—and the social moment—the raging political ferment in the United States over race and Vietnam—and provide a mature, critical view of the emerging power of popular music to reflect the wider cultural landscape. He sustained this level of engagement for close to 40 years, emerging as one of the earliest and most astute analysts of Bob Dylan and his output. His later, three-part portrait of the singer, entitled Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, became a standard work, although he did not focus on one artist alone: Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and Neil Young, two other giants of popular music, also attracted his close attention. 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 New York, NY, Dec 14, 1941; d New York, NY, Nov 9, 2006). American popular music critic. Willis was an important contributor to music criticism, taking a New York perspective. One aspect of her writing that stood out was her feminist viewpoint, a distinct voice in a field during the 1960s and 70s that was largely dominated by men. She initiated popular music criticism for the New Yorker (from 1968 to 1975) and later contributed to a variety of publications, including Village Voice, The Nation, Rolling Stone, and Dissent. Willis was co-founder of the radical feminist group the Redstockings. Her interest in music included the relationship of music with politics, economics, and especially sociocultural issues. She is especially noted for her left-wing activism and sharp-tongued criticism, often leveled at consumerism. An advocate for pleasure and desire in music and in other areas (including pornography), Willis contended that music’s relevance to social events made it an essential part of culture. In the 1990s, Willis left music criticism to focus on other societal issues, and hence her musical contributions are sometimes forgotten. She collected some of her writings into a book, ...
Laura Moore Pruett
(b Boston, MA, Feb 10, 1819; d Detroit, MI, May 7, 1900). American composer and music critic. After graduating from Yale University in 1841, Willis studied composition and theory with Xaver Schnyder von Wartensee in Frankfurt and Moritz Hauptmann in Leipzig. While there, he became close friends with Felix Mendelssohn. Upon his return to New York in 1847, Willis established himself as a music critic, writing for such journals as the New York Trib and The Albion and later editing the Musical Times and Musical World (1852–60), which were eventually consolidated. His text Our Church Music: a Book for Pastors and People (New York, 1856) argued in part against popular sentimental styles used in sacred music. In 1861 Willis moved to Detroit, Michigan, where he resided for the rest of his life. He published a number of collections of vocal music, including Church Chorals and Choir Studies...
(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 Vacha, 1501; d Mainz, Feb 16, 1573). German theologian . He studied theology in Erfurt from 1516 to 1517, and in 1520 he continued his studies in Wittenberg with Luther. He was ordained in Merseburg and received a curacy in his home community of Vacha. When in 1524 he became a Lutheran and married, he forfeited his ecclesiastical office and worked as town clerk in Vacha. For some years he was a Lutheran pastor in Wenigen-Lupitz and in Niemegk. However, intensive study of the writings of the Church Fathers caused him to turn away from Lutheranism, and by 1533 he was a Catholic preacher in Eisleben. Many apologetic writings followed in which he supported the Old Church and its service. He was summoned to the court in Dresden by the Catholic Duke Georg the Bearded of Saxony, but lost this appointment with the death of the duke and the ensuing Reformation in Dresden in ...
(b Berlin, Aug 1, 1877; d Berlin, Oct 26, 1930). German music collector and critic . After taking a degree at Leipzig University in jurisprudence (1899) and practising as a lawyer for some years, he studied musicology with Fleischer, Klatte, Kretzschmar and Wolf at Berlin (1906–9). Though he published some articles on music history and music bibliography, he was active mainly as a music critic, and became a chairman of the Verband Deutscher Musikkritiker and secretary of the Gesellschaft für Ästhetik. His most conspicuous achievement was the methodical amassing of a music library of manuscripts and printed source material from the Middle Ages to the 20th century and a comprehensive collection of writings about music. After trying unsuccessfully to find a buyer for the whole collection at 650,000 marks, Wolffheim had the library auctioned by the firms of Martin Breslauer and Leo Liepmannssohn of Berlin on ...
Thomas S. Grey
(b Potsdam, Nov 13, 1848; d Bayreuth, June 2, 1938). German writer on music . His mother was the daughter of the Berlin architect and artist Karl Friedrich Schinkel; his father, Alfred von Wolzogen (1823–83), was for a time director of the Schwerin court theatre. Following his mother's death in 1850, Hans was brought up by Schinkel relatives at the Berlin Bauakademie, founded and built by his grandfather. He had no formal musical training, though both parents had studied singing with F.W. Jähns (the biographer of Weber). After being parted from his father in infancy, he rejoined him at the age of 14 in Breslau, where he began to develop a passion for theatre and opera. A performance of Tannhäuser there in 1864 made little impression, but two years later he heard it again in Berlin, along with Lohengrin; these experiences marked the beginning of what was to become a lifelong dedication to Wagner's works and ideology. As a student in Berlin (...
(fl 1560–92). Scottish clergyman . He compiled an important set of partbooks, sometimes known as the St Andrews Psalter or ‘Thomas Wode’s Partbooks’, containing Scottish (and other) music of the 16th century. A canon of Lindores Abbey before the Reformation (1560), Wood joined the reformers, settled in St Andrews in 1562, became vicar there in 1575, and is frequently mentioned in Kirk Session Registers until 1592. His duplicate sets of partbooks (EIRE-Dtc, GB-Eu , Lbl , US-Wgu ) contain the 106 four-voice psalm settings by David Peebles (1562–6), canticles by Angus, Kemp and Blackhall (1566–9), and motets, anthems, psalms, songs and instrumental pieces – Scottish, English and continental (copied from 1569 to 1592) – together with illuminating and entertaining comments by Wood on many of the items. Between 1606 and about 1625 further additions to the partbooks were made by other hands.H. Scott, ed: ...
revised by E. Douglas Bomberger
(b London, UK, Feb 16, 1836; d Boston, MA, Feb 7, 1901). American critic, librettist, and composer of English birth. He arrived in Philadelphia about 1840 with his father, Edward Woolf (or Wolf) (d New York, 14 March 1882), a writer, artist, and musician who led orchestras at Mitchell’s and Burton’s theaters in New York after 1843 and was one of the founding members of the New York Philharmonic Society. Benjamin Woolf learned music from his father and played in his theater orchestras. From 1859 to 1864 he led the orchestra at the Boston Museum; thereafter he led orchestras in Philadelphia and New Orleans. He married Josephine Orton, an actress, on 15 April 1867, and they returned to Boston, where Woolf became editor of the Saturday Evening Gazette in 1871; he was also music critic for the Boston Globe briefly in the early 1870s, and in ...
(b Phalanx, NJ, Jan 19, 1887; d New York, NY, Jan 23, 1943). American drama critic, playwright, and actor. Woollcott is especially known for being a part of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of writers and artists that met for ten years at the Algonquin Hotel in New York. Woollcott attended Hamilton College in 1909, but moved to New York City because of his interest in the theater. From 1914 to 1922 he was writing for The New York Times, eventually moving to the New York World. Writing for The New Yorker, he penned a column entitled “Shouts and Murmurs” (1929–34), which is still a feature of the magazine. Concurrent with his writing, Woollcott also found a home on the radio, where one of his shows, The Town Crier, first appeared in 1929. Known for his sharp tongue mixed with unabashed sentimentality, the critic was compared to his friends James Thurber and George S. Kafuman, the latter of which penned two plays with Woollcott. Woollcott was widely read and highly respected, enough so that a positive review from him could solidify the success of a new production. One important notice was written for ...
Iosif Genrikhovich Rayskin
(b Groznïy, May 4, 1936). Russian musicologist and music critic. In 1960 he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory having studied theory with Mazel′ and became a theory teacher at the music college in Makhachkala, Daghestan. He was chief editor of the theory department at the journal Sovetskaya muzïka (1963–6). He was a senior academic officer at the Daghestan Institute for the History of Language and Literature (1973–98), a branch of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, and in 1976 was appointed curator of Shostakovich's family archives. He gained the Kandidat degree in 1986, and was awarded the title Honoured Representative of the Arts of Daghestan. He became chief editor of the publishing house DSCH in 1993.
Yakubov has published more than 1000 writings, many of which have been translated. His main interests are Russian contemporary music, musical ethnography, the problems of musical performance and the works of Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Schnittke, Boris Chaykovsky and composers from Daghestan. As a result of his research in the Shostakovich archives, he has restored a number of the composer's ballet scores and prepared a scholarly edition of the cantata ...
(b Moscow, 19/Dec 31, 1875; d Kharkiv, Jan 19, 1933). Ukrainian composer, conductor and critic. A graduate of Kiev University (1903) he studied music privately with E. Ryb and worked as a conductor and critic in Kiev until 1910. He then continued these activities in St Petersburg and then Moscow where he conducted at the Zimin Private Opera (1916–17). In 1918 he settled in Kharkiv where he added teaching (at the Musical Dramatic Institute) to his activities. His opera Vybukh (‘Explosion’) was the first Ukrainian opera on a revolutionary theme, while his last opera, Duma chornomors′ka (‘Duma of the Black Sea’), is a grand opera based on Ukrainian folk music and is dedicated to Verdi. Polish and Turkish materials are also used to characterize the various national elements of the plot.