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J. Bradford Robinson

(b Dairen, China, Dec 12, 1929). Japanese jazz composer, pianist and bandleader. She studied classical music and turned to jazz only in 1947 after moving to Japan. There she was discovered by Oscar Peterson, who urged her to take up a career in the USA. After studying at Berklee College of Music (1956–9) she became a highly regarded bop pianist, especially in groups with the alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano (who was at that time her husband). She worked in Japan (1961), joined Charles Mingus in the USA (1962–3), then returned to Japan until 1965. In 1973 she founded a large rehearsal band in Los Angeles with the tenor saxophonist and flautist Lew Tabackin, whom she had married in 1969. Its first album, Kogun (1974, RCA), was commercially successful in Japan, and the group attracted increasing popularity and critical acclaim until, by ...

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Barry Kernfeld

[Maddox, Paul]

(bDetroit, Jan 27, 1955). Americandrummer. Ak Laff, ak Laff, aKlaff, and akLaff are among numerous variant spellings of his name found in the jazz literature and on recordings; by his own account the preferred spelling is akLaff. He was captivated by percussion from an early age and practiced on various instruments before acquiring a set of drums at the age of 15. He studied speech and drama at Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti (1972–4), then studied and performed for several months with drummers on the Ivory Coast and joined a rhythm-and-blues band in Detroit. In 1975 he moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where he played free jazz with Dwight Andrews, Jay Hoggard, and Leo Smith’s group New Dalta Ahkri. This last affiliation led to long associations with Oliver Lake and Anthony Davis: in New York he performed and recorded as a member, with Michael Gregory Jackson, of Lake’s trio (...

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Oleg V. Timofeyev

(b 1784; d Loshaki, Ryazan′ region, 1853). Russian guitarist and composer. He was a nobleman, and combined a military and administrative career with music. He was one of the first, and most successful, pupils of Andrey Sychra, with whom he studied in Moscow. In 1808 he was transferred to Siberia, and from 1810 lived in St Petersburg. In the 1830s he moved to his estate in Ryazan′ region, where he remained until his death. In contrast to Sychra and Vïsotsky, Aksyonov published only a limited number of guitar pieces, but most of them are of excellent quality. Unlike the majority of Russian guitarists, Aksyonov did not limit himself to the guitar: his skilfully written romansï for voice and piano appeared in various musical periodicals. His guitar adaptations of piano pieces (Field's Kamarinskaya and Dussek's La chasse) illustrate his striking sensitivity to the technical potential of the seven-string guitar. He was apparently the first guitarist for whom variations on Russian folk themes became a significant genre. His guitar compositions use innovative techniques that require perfection of left-hand effects, lengthy legatos and portamento. He also invented the technique of performing artificial harmonics on the guitar, a discovery first published in the ...

Article

Masakata Kanazawa

(b Tokyo, July 12, 1925; d Tokyo, Jan 31, 1989). Japanese composer. The third son of the novelist Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, he studied at the Tokyo Music School with Hashimoto, Shimofusa and Ifukube for composition and with Kaneko for conducting. In 1949, the year of his graduation, he won first prize in the Japanese radio competition, and the next year his Music for Symphonic Orchestra attracted the attention of Thor Johnson, who conducted it more than 200 times in the USA alone. He formed with Dan and Mayuzumi the Sannin no Kai (Group of Three) in 1953, and visited Moscow for the first time in 1954, after which date he returned frequently to the USSR, sometimes appearing as a conductor; he was thus able to develop relationships with Shostakovich, Khachaturian, Kabalevsky and other Soviet composers. His work shows a strong kinship with Soviet music, particularly that of Prokofiev, whose scherzo style he skilfully emulated. He was also a master of modern orchestration, with a special fondness for strings. Other characteristic features of his music include an abundance of ostinatos and an individual kind of orientalism. His opera ...

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David Cummings

(Karlovich )

(b S. Ukraine, 15/May 27, 1846; d Moscow, Feb 17, 1919). Ukrainian conductor . He studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory with Anton Rubinstein and Nikolay Zaremba. He was chorus master at the Kiev Opera from 1868 and conducted Tchaikovsky’s Oprichnik there shortly after its St Petersburg première in ...

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Eckhard Neubauer

(b Baghdad, July 779; d Samarra’, July 839). Arab musician. He was a son of the Abbasid Caliph al-Mahdī and a Persian slave at court called Shikla. He became famous for his fine and powerful voice with its range of four octaves, and first took part in court concerts during the reigns of Hārūn al-Rashīd (786–809) and al-Amīn (809–13). Proclaimed caliph in 817 in opposition to al-Ma’mūn (813–33), he had to abdicate after barely two years and went into hiding. In 825 he was pardoned and became a court musician once more under al-Ma’mūn and his successor al-Mu‘taṣim (833–42). He was a follower of the school of Ibn Jāmi‘ and represented a ‘soft’ style, probably influenced by Persian music, which also allowed freedom in rendering older works. His rival Isḥāq al-Mawṣilī accused him of stylistic uncertainty; fragments of their polemic writings are quoted in the Kitāb al-aghānī al-kabīr...

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Owen Wright

[ibn Ghaybī al-Marāghi]

(b Maragh; d Herat, 1435). Timurid composer, performer and theorist. He first rose to prominence in the service of the Jalā’irid rulers of Iraq and Azerbaijan, al-Ḥusayn (1374–82) and Aḥmad (1382–1410). After the conquest of Baghdad by Tīmūr (1393), most of his career was spent in Samarkand and, especially, Herat, at the courts of Tīmūr and of his successors al-Khalīl (1404–9) and Shāh Rukh (1409–47).

‘Abd al-Qādir was one of the most important and influential theorists of the Systematist school. His most substantial surviving works are the Jāmi‘ al-al ḥān (‘Compendium of melodies’), largely completed in 1405 and revised in 1413, and the slighter Maqāṣid al-al ḥān (‘Purports of melodies’), which covers essentially the same ground and probably dates from 1418. Written in Persian, which was by then the language of culture, these works proved particularly influential among later 15th-century theorists; but although both thoughtful and highly competent, on the theoretical side they may be regarded as, essentially, restatements and amplifications of the theory elaborated by ...

Article

Christian Poché

(b al-A‘zamiyya, June 1921). Iraqi ethnomusicologist and sanṭūr player. The focus of his studies has been on the maqām. He became interested in this in the 1930s after hearing the singing of the masters Muḥammad al-Qundarjī (d 1945) and ‘Abbās aL-Shaykhalī (1881–1967) and in 1937 began learning the maqām himself. In about 1949 he started lessons on the san ṭūr with Sha‘ūbī Ibrāhīm Khalīl (b 1925) and founded a chamber ensemble, al-shalghīal-baghdādī, in 1950. He has widely researched the maqām, making it publicly known with his writings and by touring widely with his chamber ensemble. He is also an expert on manuscripts and has published annotations of treatises by classical authors.

Mukhtārāt al-Abūdhiyya al-‘Iraqiyya [Selections of Iraqi Abūdhiyya] (Baghdad, 1949) al-Maqām al-‘Irāqī [Al-Maqām Al-Iraqi: studies in the classical music of Iraq] (Baghdad, 1961, 2/1983) al-Abūdhiyya [The Abūdhiyya] (Baghdad, 1962) Ḥall Rum ūz Kit...

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Owen Wright

(fl first half of the 11th century). Arab musician and writer. The son of an eminent musician, he became a prominent singer at the Cairo court of the Fatimid caliph al-Ẓāhir (1021–36), and was still active as a teacher in 1057. His music treatise, completed after 1036 and entitled Ḥāwī al-funūn wa-salwat al-maḥzūn (‘Compendium of the arts to comfort sad hearts’), is of particular interest in that it deals with various topics of little concern to other authorities. Written from the perspective of a cultured musician rather than that of a philosopher-theorist, it calls upon a literary tradition of writing about music, and its historical content is frankly derivative, even if of interest for the implication of continuity with the court music of 9th-century Baghdad. But it is wide-ranging in its treatment of contemporary practice, dealing not only with such basics as mode and rhythm, but also with such matters as the normal sequence of events in performance, deportment and etiquette, the materials and construction of the ‘...

Article

Alan Blyth

(b Clichy-sous-Bois, June 7, 1963). French tenor. Born of Sicilian parents, Alagna began his career as a cabaret singer in Paris, accompanying himself on the guitar while studying with Raphael Ruiz, a Cuban émigré in Paris. After winning the Pavarotti International Voice Competition in Philadelphia in 1988 and receiving encouragement from Pavarotti himself, he began his career singing Alfredo Germont with Glyndebourne Touring Opera the same year. He repeated this role, and sang Rodolfo in La bohème, at the Monte Carlo Opera the following season, when he also appeared as Nemorino at Toulouse. Alagna made his début at La Scala as Alfredo, with Muti conducting, in 1990, a performance issued on video and CD; he has subsequently sung the Duke of Mantua and Macduff at La Scala. In 1992 he sang the title role in Roberto Devereux at Monte Carlo, Rodolfo and Alfredo in Barcelona, and made his much lauded Covent Garden début as Rodolfo, following it with an equally admired Romeo in Gounod's opera (...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Villabate, Feb 3, 1950). Italian bass-baritone. He studied in Palermo and Milan making his début in 1977 at Pavia as Don Pasquale, then taking part in Soliva's La testa di bronzo at the Piccola Scala (1980). A Rossini specialist, he sings a wide range of comic and serious roles, among them Selim, Dandini, Alidoro, Polidoro (Zelmira), Mustafà (on his US and British débuts at Chicago in 1987 and Covent Garden in 1988) and Mahomet. Alaimo's other roles include Count Robinson (Il matrimonio segreto), Dulcamara, Belcore, Henry VIII (Anna Bolena), Nottingham (Roberto Devereux) and Rodolfo (Sonnambula). He returned to the Covent Garden company as Don Basilio, Pharoah (Mosè in Egitto) and Don Magnifico. His many recordings include Apolloni's L'ebreo. The exceptional range of his keenly focussed, flexible voice enables him to sing Verdi baritone roles in addition to the ...

Article

Alaire  

Frank Dobbins

[Allaire, Alere]

(fl 1534–49). French composer. According to Fétis, there was a singer called Allaire at Notre Dame in Paris in April 1547, but the name is not mentioned in Chartier’s study of the maîtrise or in Wright. All the surviving music ascribed to Alaire, one mass and eight chansons, was published in Paris by Attaingnant; none of it was reprinted in any form, although two of the chansons were copied into a manuscript owned by a Bruges merchant. It is unlikely that Alaire can be identified with either of the contemporary Flemish musicians Simon Alard or Jacques Alardy, or with the ‘Alardino’ whose six-voice madrigal Passa la nava mia was printed in Venice (RISM 1561¹6). Despite the limited dissemination of Alaire’s works, evidence of his influence can be seen in later settings of Marot’s poem Quant je vous ayme ardentement by Arcadelt (1547) and Certon (...

Article

John C.G. Waterhouse

[Ottavio Felice Gaspare Maria]

(b Montegiorgio, Ascoli Piceno, Nov 16, 1881; d Montegiorgio, Dec 28, 1928). Italian musicologist, conductor and composer. He studied the piano, organ and composition at the Liceo Musicale di S Cecilia, Rome, where he gained his diploma in 1906 and was from 1912 professor of aesthetics and music history. He also graduated in 1907 from Rome University with a thesis on the Italian oratorio, subsequently expanded into an important book. His scholarly writings – notably those on Italian laudi spirituali and on Carissimi – in general helped to lay the foundations of modern Italian musicology. As a conductor he specialized in choral music, and in 1926 he founded the Madrigalisti Romani. He also fought hard for the improvement of Italian music education. His most ambitious composition, the opera Mirra, is eclectic and uneven, but shows technical enterprise – not least in the brief use of a specially constructed ‘pentaphonic harmonium’, in which the octave was divided into five equal parts (cf Indonesian ...

Article

Maria V. Coldwell

(fl late 12th century). Troubadour. She exchanged a tenso with Giraut de Bornelh, S’ieus quier conseil, bel’ amig’ Alamanda (PC 242.69). The music survives in one manuscript ( F-Pn f.f. 22543, f.8r; ed. in H. van der Werf and G. Bond: The Extant Troubadour Melodies, Rochester, NY, ...

Article

Robert Stevenson

(b El Espinar, nr Segovia, c1530; d Mexico City, between 17 March and May 19, 1570). Spanish composer, active in Mexico. He served as a choirboy at Segovia Cathedral from 1542 to 1549, where he was taught by Gerónimo de Espinar (who later taught Victoria at Avila) and from 1544 by the maestro de capilla there, Bartolomé de Olaso (d 1567). He was employed at Salamanca University by Matheo Arévalo Sedeño, a rich nobleman, who later acted as his sponsor at Mexico City; he became a cathedral singer there on 16 October 1554 and, after being ordained, was appointed maestro de capilla on 2 January 1556. For the commemoration services for Charles V held in Mexico City on 29 November 1559 he composed an alternatim psalm setting in four parts. His several ‘motetes, villancicos y chanzonetas’ composed for Corpus Christi and Christmas (many to texts by Juan Bautista Corvera) earned the approval of the Archbishop Alonso de Montúfar, who had him promoted from prebendary to canon on ...

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Darius L. Thieme

In 

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Whitstable, Feb 22, 1910; d Croydon, Jan 12, 1982). English bass . After studying with Roy Henderson, he was engaged at Sadler’s Wells Opera (1947–52), singing Colline, Don Basilio, Zuniga, Simone (Gianni Schicchi), Alfio, the Grand Inquisitor, the Commendatore, and Cancian (I quatro rusteghi...

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Boris Schwarz

revised by Cormac Newark

(b Bayonne, March 8, 1815; d Paris, Feb 22, 1888). French violinist and composer. At the age of ten, he performed Viotti’s Concerto no.12 so well that the citizens of Bayonne decided to send him to Paris. There he entered Habeneck’s class at the Conservatoire in 1827 and won first prize in 1830. He continued to study composition with Fétis (1831–3) while serving as a violinist in the Opéra orchestra. In 1831 he made his début as a soloist with the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, earning the praise of Paganini, present in the audience, who subsequently dedicated to Alard his 6 Sonatas op.2. Soon Alard became known as an excellent performer. At the memorial concert for Mendelssohn in 1848, he was chosen to perform the composer’s recent Violin Concerto. He also became known as a superb chamber music player, particularly with his own string quartet, which he had formed in ...

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