(b London, Feb 22, 1777; d London, May 8, 1858). English editor, critic and impresario, youngest son of Edmund Ayrton. He was baptized at St Margaret's, Westminster, and probably studied music with his father. In 1794 he was a bass chorus singer at the Ancient Concerts, and by 1803, when he married Marianne Arnold (daughter of Samuel Arnold), a piano teacher. Through the Chapel Royal connections of his father and father-in-law, and the friendship of Frederick Nicolay (Queen Charlotte's music librarian), he had easy access to court circles. But it was his membership in the Society of Antiquaries (1807) that stimulated his serious interest in music history. In 1808 he began collecting materials for a historical music dictionary (never completed), eventually assembling one of the most remarkable music collections of the mid-19th century. Among his circle of acquaintances around this time, mostly journalists and barristers, Henry Crabb Robinson, Martin Burney (the music historian's grandson), Charles Lamb and William Hazlitt were prominent; T.M. Alsager, the ...
(b Danville, IL, Dec 13, 1947). American entertainment executive. One of the most powerful businessmen in entertainment, Irving Azoff has led a successful career for more than four decades. He began promoting concerts in his hometown while still in high school. In the early 1970s, he moved to Los Angeles with client Joe Walsh and joined the management team connected to David Geffen’s Asylum Records. There, Azoff began working with the country-rock band the Eagles, and was soon joined by Walsh. When Geffen sold Asylum, Azoff co-founded Front Line Management in 1974, taking on the Eagles as his clients. He earned a reputation as one of the most feared managers in the business for both his temper and his political savvy, negotiating lucrative deals for a high-powered pop roster that also included Steely Dan, Stevie Nicks, and Chicago. In 1983, Azoff became president of MCA Records, expanding his interests into video and merchandise distribution, as well as the film industry. In ...
(b Ravenna, 1863; d Atlantic City, NJ, July 1907). Italian conductor, composer and impresario. His career was largely spent in touring Latin America and the Caribbean, mostly as the conductor for other impresarios, sometimes as both conductor and impresario of his own company.
His four-act opera Ermengarda, to a libretto by P. Martini, had its première at the Teatro Andreani in Mantua on 27 November 1886. Azzali embarked for Colombia in 1891. A six-month season in Bogotá as conductor and musical director for the Zenardo-Lambardi company was followed by an extended tour of the country and another season in the capital in 1893. During that season his Lhidiak (2, V. Fontana), based on an Indian legend, the first opera to be written for Colombia, had its première at the Teatro Colón (12 August). In April 1895 he started another tour that included Guatemala City, Quezaltenango, Bogotá and Medellin. In ...
Peter Andreas Kjeldsberg
(b Kranz, Russia, July 7, 1896; d Trondheim, Norway, Nov 19, 1963). Norwegian collector of musical instruments and founder and director of the Ringve Museum in Trondheim. An amateur singer, she had no formal musical training, but three siblings became professional musicians. In 1920 Victoria (née Rostin) married Christian Anker Bachke (1873–1946), the last private owner of Ringve manor outside Trondheim. Together they made plans for two museums: one for the history of the manor and its inhabitants, another for musical instruments, which they had begun to collect. Upon Christian’s death, his will established a foundation encompassing the land and buildings, and Mrs Bachke began serious collecting to prepare the museum, which opened in 1952 in the manor’s main building, a well-kept example of historicist architecture and interior decoration from the second half of the 19th century. Her main gifts for this task were enthusiasm and useful contacts, notably in France and Italy. One of her advisors was the Danish musicologist and organologist Godtfred Skjerne. Before she died, Mrs Bachke had collected about 1000 instruments of European and non-Western classical and folk traditions. She desired that the instruments be playable. Today the Ringve Museum has a national responsibility for collections of musical instruments in Norway, with educational and scientific staff and a conservation workshop. It remains a foundation under the administration of Museene i Sør-Trøndelag AS....
Gary W. Kennedy
[Stephen Alan ]
(b New York, June 3, 1942). American record producer. After working in promotion for the rock music labels MGM (1969–70) and Elektra (1970–71) he joined ABC–Impulse (1971), where he served initially as national director of promotion; he then resurrected the Impulse! label to produce and issue new recordings by, among others, Dewey Redman, Gato Barbieri, Keith Jarrett, Sam Rivers, and Marion Brown. In 1974 he moved to the newly formed company Arista (jazz), for which he created and directed jazz labels, organized the outright purchase of Savoy (ii), and, with the assistance of the producer Bob Porter, supervised the reissue of material from Savoy’s catalogue. Backer left Arista in 1980 and spent a year away from music. Early in 1982 he began to work for both Antilles (as a creative consultant and in artists and repertory) and Windham Hill (as its East Coast general manager); for the latter he created a short-lived jazz label, Magenta. Having joined RCA (mid-...
[Wright, Erica Abi ]
(b Dallas, TX, Feb 26, 1971). American singer, songwriter, and producer. She was singing for audiences by the age of four and cultivated her skills at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She briefly attended Grambling State University, but left to develop her music career and soon landed a contract with Universal Records. She became an immediate sensation; her first recording, Baduizm (Universal, 1997), reached number two on the Billboard charts, while its top single “On and On” received widespread attention and airplay. Her dark, breathy vocal style, reminiscent of jazz and soul singing, earned her two Grammy awards and four nominations. She went on to release a live album, Erykah Badu Live (Universal, 1997), and to work on a number of side projects with other artists, notably providing the hook for the Roots’ song “You got me.” After a brief respite she returned with ...
Barbara Dobbs Mackenzie
(fl 1729–62). Italian bass and impresario. He was one of the most popular comic opera singers of his day and a particularly important figure in the development and dissemination of the genre in the middle of the century. He performed in at least 100 productions beginning in the late 1720s, when he sang intermezzos in Foligno and Pesaro. He launched his comic opera career in Rome in 1738 with Gaetano Latilla’s La finta cameriera and Madama Ciana and Rinaldo di Capua’s La commedia in commedia. Productions throughout northern Italy of these operas along with another first performed in Rome, Rinaldo’s La libertà nociva (1740), dominated Baglioni’s career for the next decade. In 1749 he appeared in the dramma giocoso L’Arcadia in Brenta in Venice, the first collaboration between Galuppi and Goldoni, and for the remainder of his career he primarily sang texts written by Goldoni, in cities along the axis from Venice to Turin. His range encompassed ...
J. Kent Williams
revised by Barry Kernfeld
[Samuel David ]
(b Portsmouth, VA, Feb 22, 1926). American drummer and administrator. After serving as a pilot in World War II he studied drumming in New York and played with Johnny Hodges, Charles Mingus, Lou Donaldson (with whom he made several albums from 1957 to 1961), Curtis Fuller, and Horace Silver; he is best known for his work with Gerry Mulligan (1954–68) and with Clark Terry and Bob Brookmeyer (in the 1960s); he may be seen with Mulligan in the films Jazz on a Summer’s Day and The Subterraneans (both 1960). He also recorded with Al Sears (1954), Ben Webster (1957), Art Farmer (1958), Fuller (1959, 1961), Charlie Rouse (1960), Mark Murphy (1962), and Vi Redd and Lucky Thompson (both 1963), and in a quintet co-led by Zoot Sims and Brookmeyer (1965...
Patrick J. Smith
revised by Keith Cochran
(b Shawville, Québec, Canada, Jan 20, 1908; d Bloomington, IN, March 7, 1997). American music educator and administrator of Canadian birth. He was educated at Houghton College (BA 1929), Westminster Choir College (BMus 1931), and New York University (MA 1936, EdD 1938). He was head of the Music Department at Wesleyan Methodist College in Central, South Carolina (1929–30), head of voice and choral music at Houghton College (1931–8), dean of the School of Music at North Texas State University (1938–47), and dean of the School of Music at Indiana University (1947–73). After retiring he became artistic director of the Opera Theater at Indiana University. The eminence of the Indiana University School of Music, especially its excellent facilities for operatic production, is largely due to his efforts, and he was instrumental in enticing professional artists to join the faculty, including the mezzo-soprano Margaret Harshaw and cellist János Starker. He was also active in music education nationally, and was a chairman of the United States Information Agency Music Advisory Panel....
(b Zaragoza, north Spain; d Fez, Morocco, c1139). Philosopher, administrator and composer. He spent much of his life, first in Zaragoza and then in Játiva, south Spain, as vizier to various Almoravid governors, and later moved to Fez.
His Kitāb fī al-nafs (‘Book on the soul’) deals with acoustics. He is also reported to have written a substantial treatise on music that could stand comparison with that of al- Fārābī, but this, unfortunately, has not survived. However, his reputation as a composer stayed alive for some considerable time, and his songs are still mentioned by Ibn Khaldūn (1332–1406). He was also a dexterous ‘ūd player. The fullest, if still succinct, account of his achievements is provided by al-Tīfāshī (d 1253), according to whom he studied for several years with female professional musicians (qiyān) and subsequently introduced two important innovations. One resulted in improvements to two of the important song forms, while the other, more general, is intriguingly characterized as a fusion of ‘Christian’ and ‘Eastern’ song. The resulting synthesis was to establish itself as the dominant style in Muslim Spain, effacing that of the earlier school of Ziryāb....
[Gyorgy Melitonovich ]
(b St. Petersburg, Russia, Jan 22, 1904; d New York, NY, April 30, 1983). Dancer, choreographer, teacher, and ballet company director of Russian birth, active in the United States. He was trained at the Imperial Ballet School in St. Petersburg, where he created his first choreography. He also studied piano and music theory at the Petrograd Conservatory of Music, gaining a firm musical foundation. After graduating in 1921, he danced in the ballet company of the State Theater of Opera and Ballet, and choreographed for his own ensemble, the Young Ballet. In 1924 he left Russia for western Europe, where he joined Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. After the company disbanded following Diaghilev’s death in 1929, he worked in Europe until 1933, when he came to the United States at the invitation of Lincoln Kirstein. The two founded the School of American Ballet in New York in 1934, and together formed four successive companies with the dancers trained there: the American Ballet (...
[Giambattista; ‘il Tasquino’]
( fl 1636–57). Italian choreographer, dancer, stage designer and impresario . He was involved with Venetian opera from its inception. Cited as ‘Veneziano Ballarino celebre’ in the libretto for Francesco Manelli’s L’Andromeda (1637), he continued to provide choreography for operas at Venice for the next seven years. Beginning in 1645, his affiliation with the travelling Febiarmonici introduced Venetian opera to other Italian cities. They produced Francesco Sacrati’s La finta pazza in Florence in 1645 and Cavalli’s La Deidamia (first performed Venice, 1644) there in 1650. In December 1652 Balbi and the Febiarmonici produced Veremonda l’Amazzone d’Aragona (?Cavalli) in Naples. Veremonda and La finta pazza, presented earlier that year, served to introduce Neapolitan audiences to the innovations of the Venetian stage machinery and dance. During Carnival 1653 Balbi created the set designs and choreography for the anonymous Le magie amorose and for Provenzale’s Il Ciro in Naples.
Balbi also played an important role in the introduction of Venetian opera to northern Europe. While in Florence in ...
(b 1770; bur. London, Oct 7, 1833). English piano maker, music seller, publisher, printer and organ builder. He worked in Duke Street, Grosvenor Square, London, from 1787 until his death. Domenico Motta joined him briefly to form Motta & Ball about 1794; in 1818 the Post Office London Directory lists the firm as J. Ball and Son. The son must be the Edward Ball who is listed as a piano maker at Duke Street in an 1824 jury roll preserved at Westminster City Archives. James Ball is listed in the 1827 Post Office London Directory as ‘Grand cabinet & square Piano Forte maker to his Majesty’. Ball’s early five-octave square pianos with the English single action had two hand stops, one for raising the dampers and the other a ‘lute’ stop. He is best known for his square pianos, but also made cabinet pianos and grands, some of them for the Prince Regent. In ...
(b Vercelli, 1770; d Milan, 1850). Italian impresario . He began as a croupier, and in later life deceived Berlioz and others by saying that he had been a tailleur (‘tailor’, but less obviously ‘card-cutter’). Gambling threw him together with Domenico Barbaia, whose assistant he became in his manifold enterprises as a gambling promoter and opera impresario, first in Venice from 1807, where he managed La Fenice, then in Naples, Palermo and Milan. When Barbaia withdrew from Milan in 1828, Balochino stayed on at La Scala, working again as assistant to leading impresarios, in particular Bartolomeo Merelli. From 1835 to 1848 he was Merelli’s partner and representative in charge of the Kärntnertortheater, Vienna, besides sharing in Merelli’s operatic agency business. Balochino therefore dealt, through the heyday of early 19th-century Italian opera, with some of the most notable artists of the time. He seems, however, to have been a canny, stubborn businessman without much artistic flair; late in his career he rejected a work by his own musical director, Otto Nicolai – ...
(b Pesaro, 1697; d Pesaro, 1770). Italian impresario . After serving as maestro di cappella at Cortona and Pesaro, he spent some time in Moravia, where his operas Partenope (1733) and La pravità castigata (1734) were performed. He became impresario of the Regio Ducal Teatro Nuovo in Milan in 1745 and director of Italian opera at the city theatre in Strasbourg five years later. On 24 May 1752 he agreed to provide seven singers and an orchestra for performances in Rouen later that year, but this contract was revoked by the Opéra and the singers were summoned to Paris. Their part in the Querelle des Bouffons (opera) has been overemphasized: generally considered an integrated and talented troupe that took Paris by storm, the Bouffons were in reality a group of minor actors on the periphery of the Italian operatic world. Few of them had performed together before meeting in Strasbourg and, except for Bambini’s wife, the soprano Anna Tonelli, none had enjoyed widespread success in Italy. The eventual popularity of early performances such as Pergolesi’s ...
(b Kolozsvár [now Cluj-Napoca], Dec 30, 1874; d Budapest, June 6, 1950). Hungarian opera director, designer and writer. After studying law at the universities of Kolozsvár and Budapest he entered the service of the state. From 1912 to 1917 he was director of the Hungarian State Theatres (the Royal Opera House and the National Theatre), and in 1917–18 was general director of the Budapest opera house, where he undertook the renewal of the outmoded repertory and 19th-century traditions of staging. Although World War I thwarted some of his plans, he succeeded in bringing new life to the repertory by introducing works such as Salome (1912), Boris Godunov, Die Entführung and L’enfant prodigue (all 1913), Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus (1914), Franz Schmidt’s Notre Dame (1916), Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle (1918) and many ballets. Bánffy smoothed Bartók’s path to the stage, and not just as director: his set, reminiscent of naive folk art, for the ballet ...
(b ?Salisbury, July 14, 1727; d Salisbury, Feb 18, 1795). English violin maker and instrument dealer. He lived and worked in Salisbury and, with Forster, did much to raise the standard of English violin making in the second half of the 18th century. Banks possibly learnt his craft from a relative or in London, perhaps with Wamsley. His woodwork, using native sycamore for backs and sides and pine for tops, looks like that of Duke and Joseph Hill, but he had even more in common with William Forster (i), since both used a thick, dark red oil-varnish, previously unknown in England. Banks might have worked in London on his own for a time, but most of his instruments are labelled from Salisbury. Banks is, like Forster, particularly famous for the many cellos he made. His violas were of the small size fashionable at the time and are less appreciated now, but his violins, though rare, are very good instruments tonally and sometimes pass for Italian. Of the cellos, most are built on a reduced Amati pattern and are very similar to the work of the Forsters, both in appearance and tone. Occasionally, however, Banks made a cello with features of Stradivari, and these are excellent in every way. Bows were sometimes branded by him, though they were doubtless made for him, and he was careful to brand his instruments, sometimes in many places. Some of the later instruments were made for and branded by the London firm of Longman & Broderip, who also employed lesser makers....
[Jones, (Everett) LeRoi]
(b Newark, NJ, Oct 7, 1934). American writer. He studied piano, drums, and trumpet privately and attended Howard University (BA 1954). In the early 1960s he achieved wide recognition for his poetry and plays and for his writings about jazz, which included articles for Down Beat, Jazz, and Jazz Review; a selection of his writings, many from Down Beat, was published in 1967 as Black Music. His book Blues People (1963), the first full-length study of jazz by a black writer, is both a sociological inquiry, using blues and jazz as a means of understanding how African Americans became assimilated into American culture, and a superb discussion of the cultural context of the music in the United States. Besides his activities as a writer, Baraka has been involved in many black cultural and community projects. He was a founder of the Black Arts Repertory Theater-School, which was in existence from ...
(b Milan, ?1778; d Posillipo, Oct 19, 1841). Italian impresario. He first earned his living as a scullion in local cafés and bars. In 1806 he obtained the lease of the gambling tables in the foyer of La Scala, Milan, and on 7 October 1809 was appointed manager of the royal opera houses in Naples (originally the S Carlo and Nuovo theatres, to which were later added the Fondo and Fiorentini). After the S Carlo burnt down in 1816, he obtained the contract for rebuilding it. Through the Austrian ambassador, Count Gallenberg, he also secured the management of the Viennese Kärntnertortheater and the Theater an der Wien from 1821 to 1828. For several years from 1826 he ran La Scala and the Cannobiana in Milan.
The most famous impresario of his day, Barbaia played an important role in early 19th-century opera. His Neapolitan seasons were of an unparalleled brilliance, with stars such as the tenors Giovanni Davide, Nozzari, García and, later, Rubini; the contralto Benedetta Rosmunda Pisaroni and the soprano Isabella Colbran. His operatic tastes ranged widely. He introduced Spontini’s ...
Jeannie Gayle Pool
(b Guelph, ON, 23 June 1968). Canadian film and television composer, orchestrator, conductor, pianist, and producer. Barber began composing at the age of ten and was an award winner in Canada’s SOCAN National Competition for Young Composers. She studied music at the University of Western Ontario (BM 1985) and composition at the University of Toronto (MA 1988), where she worked with the composers Gustav Ciamaga and Lothar Klein. She has composed music for various CBC radio dramas, made her film début with her score for Patricia Rozema’s award-winning film When Night is Falling (1995), and has written scores for Miramax, New Line, Focus Features, Nickelodeon, Warner Brothers, and Home Box Office.
Barber has also composed music for the more than 20 theatre productions of Canadian plays, including Unidentified Human Remains and The True Nature of Love (Brad Fraser), Love and Anger (George F. Walker), ...