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Andrew Lamb

(b Vienna, March 6, 1870; d Bad Ischl, Jan 11, 1954). Austrian composer and conductor. On the recommendation of Brahms he studied with Hermann Grädener and in 1891 went to Berlin as a pupil of Bruch. Advised by the younger Johann Strauss to gain practical theatrical experience in the provinces, he conducted between 1893 and 1899 in Bratislava, Brno, Teplitz, Mainz and Hamburg. During the same period he was active as a composer of stage works and a good deal of salon music. He was conducting in Berlin when, in 1900, he was engaged as pianist and composer in the newly founded Überbrettl cabaret, and he enjoyed his first popular successes with songs such as Die Musik kommt and Der lustige Ehemann. Having returned to Vienna he began a series of operettas of which Ein Walzertraum (1907) rivalled Die lustige Witwe in popularity and first brought Straus international success. Its successor, ...

Article

[jr]

(b St Louis, July 16, 1925; d Manila, Philippines, May 5, 1982). American vibraphone player, percussionist, bandleader, composer and arranger of Swedish descent. Based in San Francisco’s Bay Area throughout his career, he began as a jazz player, playing the drums with the Dave Brubeck Trio (1949–51). In 1953 he joined George Shearing’s jazz quintet as a vibraphone player and percussionist, and the following year left to form his own jazz ensemble with such players as pianist Vince Guaraldi. His virtuosity and infallible sense of phrasing marked him as the greatest jazz vibraphone player since Lionel Hampton. He turned to Latin jazz in the late 1950s, working with percussionists such as Mongo Santamaría, Armando Peraza and Willie Bobo. Tjader became the most famous non-Latino Latin jazz musician and bandleader of the 1950s and 60s, with such hits as Soul Sauce and Mamblues in addition to memorable versions of Dizzy Gillespie’s ...

Article

(b London, 1908; d Eastbourne, July 16, 1990). English arranger, composer, conductor and theatre organist. His early career involved playing for silent films and he soon graduated to the organ, becoming one of Britain's leading theatre organists during the 1930s. He became involved with light orchestral music during his wartime service in the RAF as conductor of the RAF Concert Orchestra. After the war he contributed numerous original works to publishers' mood music libraries, and worked extensively in radio on programmes such as ‘Much Binding in the Marsh’. In 1953 he devised the successful formula for BBC Radio's ‘Friday Night is Music Night’, in which he conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra regularly until his retirement in 1972. Torch presented numerous celebrity concerts particularly, for many years, the BBC's prestigious Light Music Festivals. His London Transport Suite was specially commissioned for the 1957 festival. During the 1940s and 50s he recorded many important works in the light music repertory for EMI's Parlophone and Columbia labels, including many of his own cameos, the most famous being his ...

Article

Simon Collier

[Pichuco; El Gordo]

(b Buenos Aires, July 11, 1914; d Buenos Aires, May 18, 1975). Argentine tango bandoneon player, bandleader and composer. Largely self-taught, he played full-time in tango bands from the age of 13, working in those of Juan Maglio, the Vardaro-Pugliese Sextet, Julio De Caro and Alfredo Gobbi among others. His own band made its début at the Marabú cabaret in Buenos Aires in July 1937. With Troilo’s bandoneon and the piano skills of Orlando Goñi, it was soon recognized as the leading band of its time; the first of its nearly 500 recordings date from 1938. Supremely popular in Buenos Aires, Troilo made relatively few trips abroad, which were always short. His best tango songs were written with the lyricist Homero Manzi, and include Barrio de tango and Sur, the prime tango classics of the 1940s. In 1953 he wrote music for a long-running musical comedy, El patio de la morocha...

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Jon Alan Conrad

(b New York, April 19, 1938). American orchestrator, conductor and composer. His education included degrees from Bard College (1958) and the Juilliard School of Music (1960), and compositional study with Nordoff, Giannini and Bernstein. Work in New York as an instrumentalist, conductor and arranger led to the first commercially successful musical with which Tunick was associated, Promises, Promises (1968). Company, two years later, cemented his position at the forefront of theatre orchestrators and led to a long-lasting association with the work of Stephen Sondheim. His pre-eminence in this area has caused notable theatre composers to seek his services, inluding David Shire, Charles Strouse and Maury Yeston, and has fittingly led to his receiving the first Tony award given for orchestration, for Titanic (1997). His film work includes scores for Fort Apache, the Bronx (1981), Endless Love (1981...

Article

Deane L. Root

[Hubert Prior]

(b Island Pond, VT, July 28, 1901; d North Hollywood, CA, July 3, 1986). American bandleader, singer, saxophonist, actor and publisher. From 1918 he learnt the saxophone and played in a theatre orchestra in Portland, Maine, then attended the University of Maine (1921) and Yale University (to 1927). In 1928 he formed his own band, the Connecticut Yankees; he made his début as a singer in George White’s Scandals (1931), and appeared in Broadway musicals, television and over 20 films, mostly as a musician or comic actor. During the 1930s and 1940s, with his salutation ‘Heigh-ho, everybody!’, he was one of the most successful American bandleaders and singers, among the first crooners to inspire mass hysteria in his audience. With his thin, nasal voice and using a megaphone – later a microphone – he popularized the Maine Stein Song, the Yale Whiffenpoof Song, his own ...

Article

Andrew Lamb

[padre]

(b Badajoz, Feb 27, 1846; d Madrid, March 17, 1910). Spanish composer and conductor. He began his musical studies in his native city, and as a boy he played the piccolo in a military band. He later studied at the Madrid Conservatory, where he won first prize for flute in 1867 and composition in 1870. In 1871 his Sinfonía Batilo was awarded a prize by the Sociedad Fomento de las Artes. He composed flute studies and in 1882, during an unsuccessful attempt to become a flute teacher at the Madrid Conservatory, wrote a pamphlet La flauta: su historia, su estudio (Madrid, 1886), which was later adopted by the conservatory as a text. In all he composed over 200 instrumental works, but his prime preoccupation was with the theatre. He was a theatre conductor throughout the 1870s and 80s and composed many zarzuelas, often in collaboration. Of these the best-known are those with Chueca, including ...

Article

Andrew Lamb

(b New Orleans, May 30, 1844; d Paris, Aug 20, 1908). French composer and conductor. He was one of two sons of the theatre conductor and composer Pierre Varney (1811–79), from whom he received his musical training. His early career was spent as conductor at the Théâtre de l'Athénée in Paris, for which he composed the one-act operetta Il signor Pulcinella (1876) and music for revues. After his father's death he became known as a prolific composer of opérettes, beginning with Les mousquetaires au couvent (1880). For two decades he produced about two opérettes a year, some of which were also produced abroad, and composed ballets for the major Paris music halls. In the last years of his life, however, he composed little due to a disease which obliged him to move to Bagnères-de-Bigorre in the Pyrenees; he was taken back to Paris the day before he died. Varney's music displays a lightness and gaiety which owe much to Offenbach, but only ...

Article

Andrew Lamb

(Félix Augustin Joseph)

(b Bapaume, May 28, 1844; d Pas-de-Calais, May 25, 1917). French composer, organist and conductor. After studying music with his father, an organist at Bapaume, he moved to Paris at the age of 12 to study at the Ecole Niedermeyer. In 1867 he published his Méthode d'orgue expressif ou harmonium (Paris), and in 1870 he became organist at St Symphonien, Versailles. While continuing with religious compositions, he turned to operetta, and in 1872 his La timbale d'argent ran for over 200 nights at the Bouffes-Parisiens, saving the theatre from bankruptcy and setting Vasseur on a career of composing light music. However, none of his later operettas, many of them comic treatments of historical subjects, had equal success. In 1879 he reopened the former Théâtre Taitbout as the Nouveau Théâtre-Lyrique, but his attempt at theatre management soon proved a disaster. In 1890 he became conductor at the Folies-Bergère, but in ...

Article

Walter Aaron Clark

(b Barcelona, Aug 10, 1836; d Barcelona, Oct 21, 1905). Spanish pianist, conductor and composer of Catalan descent. He studied with the organist and composer Vilanova at Barcelona, then continued his education in Paris with Herz (piano), and Bazin and Halévy (composition). After returning to Barcelona he gave concerts and wrote a history of music, Apuntes de historia musical, o Resumen de historia de la música (Barcelona, 1863). He was a pioneer in composing Catalan zarzuelas, and his first such work to be staged, L'ultim rey de Magnolia, to a libretto by Frederic Soler (pseud. Serafí Pitarra), was performed in Barcelona in December 1868. It was followed in June 1869 by another Catalan zarzuela to a libretto by Soler, Els pescadors de San Pol. Both were well received. He continued to compose for the stage and served as assistant conductor at a secondary theatre in Barcelona. He later became chorus master and finally conductor at the Teatro Principal. Eventually he confined himself to teaching and composition. Despite their settings, dialogue and costumes, his Catalan zarzuelas evince the influence of Italian opera so pervasive in Spain during that epoch. He was a gifted orchestrator and made effective use of colour to project dramatic situations....