(b Copenhagen, March 2, 1801; d Copenhagen, Nov 8, 1880). Danish folklorist, teacher and composer. He began composing and playing the flute while still in school. After his matriculation he studied law for a time, but influenced by the composer C.E.F. Weyse he soon dedicated himself to music and attracted attention in 1823 with a cantata for the 200th anniversary of Regensen, the students' college in Copenhagen. Over the next few years he composed several more cantatas as well as incidental music for the Royal Theatre. From 1838 he was organist at the Trinitatis Kirke, and from 1843 singing master at the metropolitan school. He held both posts until his death; they led him to an intensive occupation with church and school singing. He composed a notable set of hymn melodies, many of which are still used in the Danish Church, and edited many collections of partsongs for schools, containing several of his own compositions. He also made an important collection of Danish and foreign folksongs and melodies. In ...
(b c1610; d c1671). Italian composer, teacher and organist. With Ignazio Donati and others Beria was one of the Milanese school of early Baroque composers. He was organist at S Pietro, Lodi Vecchio near Milan in 1638; from 1647 to 1650 he was maestro di cappella and organist at S Lorenzo, Mortara, and from 1651 to 1671 first organist of Novara Cathedral. Nothing further is known of his life, but several testimonial poems in his publication of 1647 indicate that he had a significant reputation in northern Italy in the first half of the 17th century.
Beria's known music is entirely sacred and is typical of Italian church music of the period; many of his motets are for two voices deployed in dialogue fashion. He set both liturgical and paraliturgical texts, and, in the latter especially, used various standard expressive devices with good effect. (C. Sartori: ...
William Barclay Squire
revised by Robert Pascall
(b Furtwangen, Baden, July 14, 1844; d London, Feb 21, 1922). English pianist, composer and teacher of German birth. His father was a political refugee who fled with his family to London in 1849. Having studied the piano with an elder sister, he performed during 1859–60 at the Crystal Palace and in 1861 made his first appearance at the Saturday Concerts. He studied from 1864 to 1866 under Moscheles, Richter, Reinecke, David and Plaidy at Leipzig, and then under Tausig, Ehlert and Weitzmann at Berlin. In 1869 he was appointed professor at Tausig’s Schule des höheren Clavierspiels at Berlin, but in 1871 he returned to a concert life in England. After visiting Leipzig again in 1872 he founded in London in 1873 the Academy for the Higher Development of Pianoforte Playing, which was very successful until its closing in January 1897. In 1882 he gave the first English performance of Brahms’s second concerto. He became a professor at the RAM in ...
(b Paris, Feb 12, 1833; d Sceaux-en-Gatinais, Oct 22, 1914). French pianist and composer, son of Charles-Auguste de Bériot and Maria Malibran. He was an excellent pianist and pedagogue. In 1887 he was appointed to the piano faculty of the Paris Conservatoire where he taught for many years. Among Bériot’s works are four piano concertos, chamber music and various orchestral and vocal compositions. With his father he wrote ...
revised by John Warrack and Rudolf Walter
(b Breslau, May 16, 1780; d Breslau, May 9, 1827). German organist, teacher, composer and musical organizer. He studied music with his father, Johann Georg Berner (1738–1810), organist at St Elisabeth, Breslau, becoming his assistant at 13 and succeeding him in 1810. He also learnt many other instruments, and at the age of 16 became clarinettist in the city theatre orchestra; he also studied composition with Franz Gehirne. Around 1798 he heard the organist David Traugott Nicolai, whose father had been a pupil of Bach, and was so impressed that he abandoned ‘the galant style of organ playing’ for that of Bach. When Weber was appointed Kapellmeister in 1804 Berner befriended him, and when Weber accidentally drank some engraving acid, it was Berner's prompt action which prevented disastrous consequences. In 1812 Berner went to Berlin with Joseph Schnabel, leader of the theatre orchestra, to study Zelter's teaching methods at the Sing-Akademie, the Prussian government's intention being to form similar institutions. While in Berlin he played Mozart's Concerto for two pianos with Weber, and also performed as an organist. Three years later the Akademische Institut für Kirchenmusik was founded in Breslau, with Berner and Schnabel as directors. After the dissolution of the Silesian monasteries in ...
(b Mantes-la-Jolie, 5/June 6, 1665; d Paris, July 6, 1734). French composer, harpsichordist, theorist and teacher. He probably learnt music in the maîtrise of the collegiate church of Notre Dame, Mantes, and in that of Evreux Cathedral. According to the Etat actuel de la Musique du Roi (1773) he then studied with Caldara in Rome. In 1692 Bernier was living in the rue Tiquetonne in Paris and was teaching the harpsichord. On 20 November 1693 he failed to win the post of maître de musique at Rouen Cathedral in competition with Jean-François Lalouette. He was appointed head of the maîtrise of Chartres Cathedral on 17 September 1694 and remained there until 18 March 1698, when he obtained a similar position at St Germain-l'Auxerrois, Paris. A Te Deum performed before the king at Fontainebleau on 24 October 1700 was very successful, and was sung again in several Parisian churches in ...
(b Bologna, April 8, 1666; d Bologna, March 30, 1747). Italian composer and pedagogue. Having received his initial musical training in Bologna, he was employed as a singer in Rome between 1687 and 1690, attached to the choirs of S Luigi dei Francesi and S Agostino. Returning to Bologna, he was appointed singing master at the Scuole Pie in 1693; later he also instructed the seminarists. In 1698 his Regole facilissime per apprendere con facilità e prestezza li canti fermo e figurato were published anonymously. On 22 March 1703 he was admitted to the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna. He joined the choir of S Petronio as a bass in January 1705, holding this post until his death.
Bertalotti's authorship of the Regole facilissime was confirmed in 1706 by a revised edition under the title Regole utilissime per apprendere con fondamento e facilità il canto fermo (Bologna, 1706, 3/...
(b San Juan, Sept 24, 1866; d Buenos Aires, June 17, 1914). Argentine composer and teacher. A brother of Arturo Berutti, he began music studies in Mendoza, where in 1884 he conducted for a musical comedy company. By that time he had toured the Andean region of Chile and Peru as a pianist (1881), and in 1887 he was appointed professor of piano at the National College, San Juan. Later he settled in Buenos Aires, and then a grant enabled him to travel to the Leipzig Conservatory for a course in counterpoint and composition under Jadassohn, at the end of which he won the Mozart Prize. While he was in Germany the Gran sinfonia (1891) and the Misa solemne, for four solo voices and chorus, were performed. He was invited to join the staff of the Leipzig Conservatory, but instead returned to Buenos Aires, where he founded a conservatory and worked as a teacher, and where he was made inspector of military bands. His works include two operas – ...
(b Bielschowitz, Upper Silesia, July 19, 1907; d Glonn, Aug 7, 1995). German composer and teacher. In his childhood he absorbed musical influence through personal connections, since his father was business manager at the local German theatre. He studied the piano and music theory with Fritz Lubrich in Katowice (1922–5), musicology and German language and literature at the University of Breslau (1926–8) and music education and composition at the Berlin Akademie für Kirchen- und Schulmusik (1928–31). His first and principal composition teacher was Max Trapp whose masterclasses he attended at the Preussischer Akademie der Kunst (1936–8), although he had already been profoundly influenced by Fritz Jöde’s work in the youth music movement. In 1939 he became lecturer in music theory at the Institute of Music Education in the University of Breslau, but was called up for military service in 1941...
(b Lower Hutt, Aug 31, 1945). New Zealand composer, pianist, writer and teacher. She grew up in a musical family and began piano lessons at the age of seven. She graduated from the University of Otago, first in English and then in piano and composition (BMus 1968) and musicology (MA 1969). A New Zealand University Grants Committee scholarship took her to Victoria University in Wellington where she studied electronic music under Douglas Lilburn, gaining a diploma (1970). She subsequently studied in Berlin and Cologne (1971–5) with Aloys Kontarsky, Wilhelm Hecker, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Mauricio Kagel, being warded the Kranichstein Prize in new music (1974) and a Boswil Artistic Residency in Switzerland (1975). She married the singer Roger Wilson, returned to New Zealand as Mozart Fellow (1976–7), and after diverse experience in teaching, editing Canzona (journal of the Composers’ Association of New Zealand, whose President she was from ...
(b Boston, Oct 7, 1746; d Boston, Sept 26, 1800). American composer and teacher of choral singing. The son of a Boston shopkeeper also named William Billings, he was apprenticed to a tanner following elementary schooling and worked in the leather trade on and off for much of his life. His primary musical education probably came in singing schools (class instruction in music reading and choral singing). In composition he is thought to have been largely self-taught, learning his craft by studying the tune books and choral works of English psalmodists, such as William Tans'ur, Aaron Williams, John Arnold and Uriah Davenport. Later in his career he may also have had some help in the techniques of modulation from Hans Gram, a Danish immigrant musician in Boston.
Billings began teaching singing schools in the Boston area as early as 1769 and quickly gained a high reputation that led him, by ...
(b Exeter, 1754; d ?Tours, ?1832). English composer and music teacher. He described himself as a ‘Harpsichord and Singing Master’. His brother James, a double-bass player, was the husband of Elizabeth Billington: another brother, Horace, was an artist of some repute. He was a chorister at Exeter Cathedral and was admitted to the Society of Musicians on 6 April 1777. On 6 May 1783 he sang catches and glees at Covent Garden alongside Reinhold and Champness. He sang in the Handel Commemoration in 1784 and from 1790 to 1792 took part in the annual charity concerts for the clergy at St Paul’s Cathedral. He lived and taught for most of his career at 24 Charlotte Street, Rathbone Place, and moved to Sunbury, Middlesex, in 1824. Although the Gentleman’s Magazine for April 1832 mentions the death in Tunis of ‘Thomas Billington, late of Sunbury’, his place of death was probably Tours. His will, which was signed ...
H. Wiley Hitchcock
revised by Michael Meckna
(b Bloomfield, NJ, Apr 16, 1882; d New York, NY, June 21, 1972). American organist and composer. He studied under horatio Parker at Yale (BA 1904; B Mus 1908) and in Paris with Vincent D’Indy, Charles-Marie Widor, Alexandre Guilmant, and Harry Benjamin Jepson (1906–7). After teaching at Yale from 1908 until 1919, he was a member of the music faculty of Columbia University until his retirement in 1954; he also held classes in advanced composition at the Union Theological Seminary and was for 35 years organist and music director at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. Bingham was a prolific composer, whose rhythmic vitality, quasi-modal lines, and mildly chromatic contrapuntal textures can best be heard in his liturgical choral and organ works. Bingham also wrote numerous concertos, suites, and sonatas in a conservative, lyrical vein; perhaps his best-known secular work is the Concerto for brass, snare drum, and organ....
Christopher D.S. Field
(b early 17th century; d London, bur. May 14, 1681). English theorist, composer and teacher. He seems to have been a younger son of Sir Ralph Birchensha, who in 1598 was sent to Ireland as Comptroller of the Musters and Cheques. According to Anthony Wood ( GB-Ob Wood D 19 , f.19) he resided in Ireland with the Earl of Kildare until the rebellion of 1641 forced him to quit Dublin for London. In A Musicall Banquet (1651) he is listed among teachers of the viol active in London; but it was as a teacher of the rudiments of composition that he made his name. He boasted that by means of his rules ‘not only those, who skillfully can sing or play on some Instrument, may learn to compose but also those, who can neither sing nor play’ (letter to the Royal Society, 26 April 1664...
(b Kenosha, WI, Oct 19, 1948). American composer. He studied electronic music with Bert Levy and composition with Les Thimmig, receiving the MM in composition from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1974. He spent the summers of 1974 and 1975 studying with Davidovsky at the Composers' Conference (Johnson, Vermont). He later studied with Morris, Penderecki, Takemitsu and Wyner at Yale (MMA 1976, DMA 1980). In 1977 he joined the faculty at Sarah Lawrence College (Bronxville, New York). His many awards include a Prix de Rome (1976–7), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1979–80), a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (1990) and numerous grants.
Timbral and spatial concerns play an important role in Biscardi's music, especially in his early works. Often a single word or poetic phrase generates the central idea of a composition, though his works are never overtly programmatic. The Italian ...
A. Dean Palmer
revised by Hervé Audéon
(b Turin, Nov 18, 1781; d Paris, Dec 18, 1841). French composer, singing teacher and tenor of Italian birth. As a boy he sang in the Turin Cathedral choir and was a pupil of Bernardo Ottani. Arriving in Paris in 1799, he became fashionable as a singer, composer of salon music and singing teacher. He also opened a concert room at his home in the rue Basse-du-rempart de la Madeleine, which was run by his mother; he took part in concerts there (as did his sister Félicité, a pupil of Crescentini), notably when he was in Paris in 1810 and 1811, performing his famous romances and nocturnes. In 1810, as recorded in the Journal de l’Empire of 13 March, ‘several music-lovers who were members of the Société de la rue de Cléry’ took over the renovated concert room, which according to the Tablettes de Polymnie of January 1811...
(b Brno, March 19, 1891; d Brno, July 18, 1980). Czech composer, teacher and organist. He was taught by Janáček at the Organ School (1909–12). Remaining in Brno, he taught the organ at the conservatory, established himself as a leading organist and acted as choirmaster at St Jakub. Later he was appointed professor of organ improvisation at the academy; he was himself an excellent improviser. His music, in the late Romantic tradition, is unusual in showing no trace of folksong influence. Structurally simple, it has a delicately graded expressive quality. Most of his music is for church use or for organ, and in these genres he combined his experience of art music and domestic traditions. His instructional works for piano gained wide popularity.
(b Palo Alto, CA, March 22, 1953). American composer. She studied the piano and composition with Karl Kohn at Pomona College (BA 1975), and composition with Henri Pousseur at the Liège Conservatory in Belgium, with Seymour Shifrin at Brandeis University and with Jacob Raphael Druckman and Betsy Jolas at Yale (MM 1979, MMA 1980, DMA in composition 1986), where she subsequently lectured. She was a Junior Fellow at Harvard and an Assistant Professor of Music at Columbia University (1985–90). She has been commissioned by the Schoenberg Institute, the Koussevitsky Foundation and the Fromm Foundation, and she received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1988. She has also received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the NEA, and the League of Composers – ISCM. Her music is freely atonal with a lyric element.