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Article

Marie Rolf

(Hans)

(b Mannheim, March 4, 1928). American composer and conductor of German birth. Both of his parents were musical, his father being a cantor and composer of Jewish liturgical music. The family came to the USA in 1939 and Adler attended Boston University (BM 1948) and Harvard University (MA 1950). He studied composition with Aaron Copland, Paul Fromm, Paul Hindemith, Hugo Norden, Walter Piston and Randall Thompson; musicology with Karl Geiringer, A.T. Davison and Paul A. Pisk; and conducting with Sergey Koussevitzky at the Berkshire Music Center. In 1950 he joined the US Army and organized the Seventh Army SO, which he conducted in more than 75 concerts in Germany and Austria; he was awarded the Army Medal of Honor for his musical services. Subsequently he conducted concerts and operas, and lectured extensively throughout Europe and the USA. In 1957 he was appointed professor of composition at North Texas State University, and in ...

Article

Kathleen Dale

revised by Axel Helmer

(Emanuel)

(b Stockholm, Jan 19, 1860; d Stockholm, Jan 20, 1938). Swedish composer, organist and conductor. He attended the Swedish Royal Academy of Music (1882–6), studying counterpoint and composition with J. Dente, and was a pupil of Franck in Paris (1887–8). In Stockholm he was coach at the Royal Opera (1888–90), organist at the synagogue (1890–1928), music teacher at Norrmalm’s grammar school (1895–1923) and teacher at Richard Anderssons Musikskola (1897–1909). From 1886 he conducted several choirs, including the Bellman Choir (1895–1926), which he also founded, and the Philharmonic Society (1900–03). Åkerberg’s compositions often approach the style of Swedish folk music, especially the ballads Kung Svegder and Prinsessan och Svennen. They are technically sound but conventional.

MSS in S-Skma, Svenska Tonsättares Internationella Musikbyrå

Article

John Beckwith

(b Budapest, April 12, 1919; d Kingston, ON, February 24, 2012). Canadian composer, conductor and pianist of Hungarian birth. He studied with Kodály at the Budapest Academy (1937–41). As a young man he spent a period with other Jewish youths in a forced-labour contingent of the Hungarian Army; his later war experiences – escape, then concealment by friends during the winter of 1944–5 – are described in the memoirs of the novelist Theresa de Kerpely (Teresa Kay). After a season as assistant conductor at the Budapest Opera (1945–6), he went to Paris for further studies in piano (Soulima Stravinsky), conducting (Fourestier) and composition (Boulanger), remaining there for three years. He moved to Canada in 1949 (taking Canadian nationality in 1955), and for three years held a Lady Davis Fellowship and an appointment as assistant professor at McGill University. There he founded the electronic music studio and served for six years as chair of the department of theoretical music. He held grants for electronic music research from the Canada Council (...

Article

Eliyahu Schleifer

(b Jerusalem, Sept 15, 1941). Israeli composer and conductor. He studied at the Rubin Academy of Music (teacher's diploma 1967, BMus 1972) and at the Salzburg Mozarteum (1976). From 1968 to 1973 he served as the director of Renanot, the Institute of Jewish Music, Jerusalem. In 1971 he joined the music department at Bar-Ilan University, where he founded an electro-acoustic laboratory in 1995. He has conducted numerous concerts in Israel, as well as national television and radio broadcasts. In 1973 he helped establish the Natanya SO, with which he has performed concerts of contemporary Israeli music. An award-winning youth orchestra conductor, he became music director of the Jerusalem Youth Orchestra in 1987.

Avitsur's compositions express a deep commitment to Jewish and Israeli culture. Many of his works are large-scale vocal compositions based on scenes from recent Jewish history. Much of his music, such as the Symphony no.2 ‘Shirat Hadorot’ (‘Generations’ chanting’, ...

Article

William Y. Elias

(b Brichevo, Bessarabia [now Moldavia], May 1, 1927; d Tel Hashomer, Israel, March 17, 2005). Israeli conductor and composer of Russian birth. Taken to Palestine as a child, he began violin lessons at the age of six. He later studied at the Milan Conservatory (1946–7), in Israel, and at the Paris Conservatoire (1951–4) while taking further studies with Nadia Boulanger, Chailley, Honegger and Messiaen. In 1954 he returned to Israel and taught conducting at the Music Teachers’ College, Tel-Aviv, and later at the Rubin Academy of Tel-Aviv University, where he was appointed a professor in 1975. In 1955 he formed the Rinat Choir, which quickly acquired a wide reputation and became the Israel Chamber Choir. Bertini’s orchestral début was also in 1955 with the Israel PO, with which he first toured the USA and East Asia in 1960. His British début was in 1965...

Article

J.A. Fuller Maitland

revised by Robert Philip

(b Aachen, April 21, 1871; d Berlin, Aug 24, 1958). German conductor and composer. In Berlin he studied the piano under Ernst Rudorff, and composition under Woldemar Bargiel and later under Humperdinck. He was conductor at the Stadttheater, Aachen (1893–9) and then at the Neues Deutsches Theater in Prague (1899–1906), where his reputation as a conductor and composer of opera became well established. In 1906 he was appointed conductor of the Royal Opera House, Berlin, where he became Generalmusikdirektor in 1913. In 1923 he moved to the Deutsches Opernhaus, Berlin, as artistic director, and this was followed by a year at the Berlin Volksoper in 1924, and a year at the Vienna Volksoper in 1925. In 1926 he returned to Berlin as conductor of the Staatsoper on Unter den Linden, and remained there, achieving great success, until, being Jewish, he found himself unable to return from a guest engagement at Rīga in ...

Article

Fritz Hennenberg

(b Hamburg, Dec 19, 1894; d Königs Wusterhausen, June 28, 1979). German composer and conductor.

His grandfather, Moses B. Dessau, was cantor in the Hamburg synagogue. Dessau began violin lessons at the age of six and appeared as a soloist at the age of 11. In 1909 he moved to Berlin, where he studied the violin at the Klindworth-Schwarwenka Conservatory with Florian Zajic. When Zajic advised him to discontinue his violin studies, he decided to become a composer and conductor, studying privately with Eduard Behm and Max Loewengard. In 1912 he became a répétiteur at the Hamburg opera house. Thanks to his cousin Jean Gilbert, who had built up an operetta empire, he was appointed Kapellmeister at the Tivoli Theatre in Bremen in 1914. He began to establish his reputation as a composer in 1915 when his piano sonata was given its first performance by Bruno Eisner in Berlin. After serving in World War I, he gained more experience in the theatre at the Hamburg Kammerspiele, where he worked as both a composer and a conductor. He went on to hold posts as an opera conductor in Cologne (...

Article

Paul Griffiths

revised by Jeremy Drake

(b Vienna, Nov 17, 1892; d Paris, Nov 22, 1982). French composer, teacher and conductor of Austrian origin. He studied at the University of Vienna (1910–15) and with Schoenberg (1913–20), also serving in World War I. During the 1920s he worked as a theatre conductor in several European countries and composed large orchestral scores for Pabst’s Die freudlose Gasse and Der Schatz. In Berlin in 1923, following the example of Schoenberg's Verein für Musikalische Privataufführungen, he founded an orchestra for private performances. He moved to Paris in 1924, and there gave the French premières of works by Schoenberg, Webern and Berg (including the Kammerkonzert in 1927). He also founded Le Miroir Jiddish, a Jewish theatre ensemble, which gave concerts in England. In 1934 he took up a chair at the University of Madrid, where he was musical director for the Casa Cinematográfica Aranjuez, but the civil war forced his return to Paris the next year. He then worked as a pianist and revue composer before volunteering for service in the French Foreign Legion (...

Article

Andrew D. McCredie

[Wolf, Markus]

(b Lemberg [now L′viv], Dec 27, 1874; d Basle, July 19, 1951). German composer and conductor. He studied the piano with Herzogenberg in Berlin, and harmony and composition with Rheinberger and Thuille in Munich. After brief engagements as Kapellmeister in Saarbrücken (1906–7) and Lübeck (1910–11), productions of his ballet Rialon (Munich, 1911) and his opera Judith (Nuremberg, 1921) gained him recognition as a composer. He resumed his conducting career in Leipzig in 1920 and later conducted in Berlin (1929–33). In these years Ettinger showed a particular fondness for the Literaturoper, writing operas based on texts by Boccaccio, Friedrich Hebbel, Georg Kaiser, Goethe, Frank Wedekind and Emile Zola.

In 1933 the political situation in Germany forced Ettinger, a descendant of Eastern European Jews, to emigrate to Switzerland. There he began to compose Bekenntnis music in opposition to the Third Reich. Among these works are oratorios and cantatas on Jewish themes and texts, such as ...

Article

Claudio Casini

(b Milan, May 3, 1910). Italian conductor and composer. He studied first with his father Arnaldo Galliera (1871–1934), a composer and teacher of organ composition at the Parma Conservatory, and then at the Milan Conservatory, where he graduated in the piano, the organ and composition; in 1932 he obtained a lectureship there in the organ and organ composition. He made his conducting début at Rome in 1941 with the orchestra of the Accademia di S Cecilia. After a period in Switzerland during World War II he resumed his career in 1945 with a concert at the Lucerne Festival. He subsequently pursued his career mainly in other countries, with tours in Europe, Israel, North and South America, South Africa and Australia. From 1957 to 1960 he was resident conductor at the Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa, and from 1964 to 1972 was artistic director and resident conductor of the Strasbourg municipal orchestra. He made several recordings with the Philharmonia Orchestra including ...

Article

Yohanan Boehm

revised by Nathan Mishori

(b Warsaw, July 11, 1913; d Tel-Aviv, Dec 23, 1985). Israeli composer and conductor of Polish origin. He graduated with honours in the violin (1935) and conducting (1936) at the Warsaw State Conservatory. Conducting studies continued at the Accademia S Cecilia (with Molinari) and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena (with Casella); later in Switzerland he studied conducting with Scherchen and composition with Burkhard. Gelbrun played the violin and the viola with the Warsaw PO (1935–7), for Radio Lausanne (1941–4) and with the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra (1944–8). After emigrating to Israel in 1949 he devoted his time to conducting and composition. He was permanent guest conductor with the Israel RSO (1949–53), chief conductor of the Israel Youth Orchestra (1950–56) and chief conductor of the Inter-Kibbutz SO (1950–55); he was then made professor of composition and conducting at the Academy of Music of the University of Tel-Aviv....

Article

Richard Wang

[Benjamin] (David)

(b Chicago, May 30, 1909; d New York, June 13, 1986). American clarinettist, composer and bandleader.

Goodman received rudimentary musical training from 1919 at Chicago’s Kehelah Jacob Synagogue and, more importantly, two years of instruction from the classically trained clarinettist Franz Schoepp. He made his professional début in 1921. During his formative years he absorbed the music of the New Orleans musicians; he was particularly influenced by Leon Roppolo, the clarinettist with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings. In summer 1923 he met Bix Beiderbecke whose influence may be heard in Goodman’s on-the-beat attacks, careful choice of notes and across-the-bar phrasing on A Jazz Holiday (1928, Voc.) and Blue (1928, Bruns.) – especially on the latter, where Goodman played solos on both alto and baritone saxophone. In August 1925 Goodman left for Los Angeles to join Ben Pollack. Pollack’s band returned to Chicago in January 1926 and early in ...

Article

Thomas L. Gayda

[Will; Williams, Hugh; Milos, André]

(b Vienna, Aug 11, 1894; d New York, Dec 10, 1939). Austrian composer, pianist and conductor. Born into a Jewish family of jewellers, he studied with the operetta composer Richard Heuberger, Robert Fuchs, the musicologist Guido Adler and Franz Schreker. After he left the Vienna Music Academy in 1919, his Zwei phantastische Stücke was given its first performance by the Vienna PO. The following year he received a doctorate in music from Vienna University. While he remained initially faithful to the late-Romantic, Impressionist line, he became the first Austrian composer to introduce jazz idioms into his music. His grotesque ballet-pantomime Baby in der Bar (1928) marked him as one of the prime exponents of the Zeitgeist of the Weimar era.

In 1927 Grosz moved to Berlin and became the artistic director of the new Ultraphon record company, quickly building up its catalogue as a conductor, arranger and pianist. He formed a well-known piano duo with Wilhelm Kauffman and toured Europe as a highly-sought accompanist and conductor. When the National Socialists seized power in ...

Article

Peter Petersen

(b Berlin, Sept 6, 1890; d Tokyo, April 29, 1973). German composer and conductor, cousin of Wilibald Gurlitt. His maternal grandfather was the Swiss sculptor Max Heinrich Imhof and his paternal grandfather the landscape painter Louis Gurlitt. He had his first music lessons at the age of six. From 1907 he studied composition with Humperdinck and conducting with Muck in Berlin. He held the post of Kapellmeister at the Bremen Stadttheater (1914–27) and was promoted to Generalmusikdirektor in 1924. The successful première of his opera Wozzeck took place at the Stadttheater in 1926. In 1927 Gurlitt moved back to Berlin. As a freelance conductor he appeared at the Kroll Oper and Max Reinhardt’s theatre, and was involved in radio broadcasts. He joined the National Socialist Party in 1933, but was expelled in 1937 due to his possible Jewish heritage. He emigrated to Japan in 1939 where he gained recognition as a conductor in Tokyo. He founded the Gurlitt Opera Company in ...

Article

Reinhold Sietz

revised by Matthias Wiegandt

(von)

(b Frankfurt, Oct 24, 1811; d Cologne, May 11, 1885). German conductor, composer and teacher. He was the son of a wealthy Jewish merchant and revealed an outstanding talent for music at a very early age. His principal piano teacher was Alois Schmitt, in his day one of Frankfurt's most discriminating pianists. When he was ten Hiller played a concerto by Mozart at a public concert. Several important artists showed an interest in him, among them Spohr, Speyer, Moscheles and Mendelssohn who became Hiller's closest friend and on whose recommendation he went to Weimar to become one of Hummel's pupils (1825–7). During his stay there he met Goethe, played in concerts at court and at Goethe's home and composed various pieces of incidental music for the Weimar theatres and society. He also accompanied Hummel to Vienna to visit Beethoven on his deathbed. After returning to Frankfurt he continued to study and compose and made occasional concert tours. In ...

Article

Eliyahu Schleifer

[Heinrich]

(b Königsberg [now Kaliningrad, Russia], March 2, 1909; d Tel-Aviv, Dec 13, 1990). Israeli composer, conductor and string player . He studied the viola and composition with Hindemith at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik (1927–30). From 1930 to 1933 he played in the Grosses Orchester des Südwestdeutschen Rundfunks. With the rise of the Nazis, he left Germany and, after a year's sojourn in Istanbul, emigrated to Palestine. In 1934 he settled in Jerusalem where he joined the Palestine Music Conservatory (1934–47) and the Jerusalem String Quartet (1934–9), both of which were founded two years earlier by the violinist Emil Hauser of the Budapest String Quartet. He was appointed to the Jerusalem New Conservatory and Academy of Music in 1947 (assistant director, 1949–54; director, 1954–8). He later moved to Tel-Aviv, where he played the viola in the Israel PO until 1974. During 1974–5...

Article

Janna Saslaw

(b Breslau [now Wrocław], Aug 13, 1831; d Leipzig, Feb 1, 1902). German composer, theorist, teacher and conductor. He studied first in Breslau and later at the Leipzig Conservatory. He left Leipzig to study the piano with Liszt in Weimar (1849–52); there he heard Wagner's Lohengrin, which greatly impressed him. After returning to Leipzig, he studied with E.F. Richter and privately with Moritz Hauptmann. Jadassohn taught the piano in Leipzig, then conducted the synagogue choir (1865), the Psalterion choral society (1866) and the Musikverein Euterpe concerts (1867–9). In 1871 he was appointed teacher of harmony, counterpoint, composition and piano at the conservatory, and in 1893 named royal professor. His students included Busoni, George Chadwick, Delius, Grieg, Karg-Elert and Felix Weingartner.

Although successful as a performer, theorist and teacher, Jadassohn considered himself primarily a composer. He wrote works for piano, chamber ensemble, orchestra, chorus and solo voices, comprising over 140 opus numbers, but was perhaps best known for his canonic compositions: the Serenade for Orchestra op.35, two serenades for piano opp.8 and 125, the ballet music op.58 and the vocal duets opp.9, 36, 38 and 43. He also edited and arranged works by Bach, Brahms, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann, Wagner and others....

Article

Beatrix Borchard

(b Kitsee, nr Pressburg [now Bratislava], June 28, 1831; d Berlin, Aug 15, 1907). Austro-Hungarian violinist, composer, conductor and teacher . He was born on the Esterházy estates into a Jewish family which moved in 1833 to Pest. His talent was recognized at an early age and systematically nurtured. His first teacher was the leader of the Pest Opera Orchestra, Serwaczyński, with whom Joachim made his public début at the Adelskasino in Pest, on 17 March 1839. He went to Vienna to play first for Hauser and then for Georg Hellmesberger the elder, and took lessons from Joseph Böhm, a former pupil of Rode, himself taught by Viotti, both of whom adhered to the classical French school.

By the age of 12 his technique was fully developed, and in early 1843 he began studying with Mendelssohn in Leipzig. The meeting with Mendelssohn was so decisive for the young Joachim that his life can be understood in terms of a mission to promote Mendelssohn's work. The composer arranged for Joachim to receive composition tuition from Hauptmann, and also a good general education. After a successful début playing Bériot's Adagio and Rondo at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in ...

Article

Folke Bohlin

(b Stockholm, March 27, 1818; d Uppsala, March 29, 1880). Swedish composer and conductor. He belonged to a Jewish family which came to Sweden at the end of the 18th century and still plays an important role in Swedish cultural life. In 1841, when he was studying at the University of Uppsala, he was baptized (adding Axel to his name). In the same year he published his first solo songs, dedicated to Jenny Lind. He taught music at the Cathedral School (1841–3) and led a singing society, Lilla Sällskapet, which devoted itself mainly to ancient sacred music (Gunnar Wennerberg was a member). Josephson completed his university studies in 1842 with a small thesis on modern music, Några momenter till en karakteristik af den nyaste musiken, in which he attacked Rossini and praised Mendelssohn. With financial assistance from Jenny Lind he studied music abroad from 1844 to 1847...

Article

Douglas Townsend

(b Brooklyn, NY, March 24, 1936). American composer and conductor . He studied the trumpet with Vacchiano, composition with Giannini, and jazz performance and arranging with John Lewis at the Manhattan School (BMus 1959, MMus 1960), and composition with Persichetti at the Juilliard School. He performed as a trumpeter in the New York City Ballet Orchestra, the Goldman Band (now the Guggenheim Memorial Band), the Woody Herman Band and the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, as well as in various Broadway shows. From 1969 to 1971 Kaufman was assistant professor and composer-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin. In 1971 he moved to Israel, where he served as director of music for the city of Haifa (1971–2) and taught at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem. His music was performed by the Israel PO, the Jerusalem SO and other resident organizations. He returned to the USA in 1976 and took up academic posts at Eastern Montana College (...