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George Leotsakos

(b Korça, Jan 24, 1929; d Tirana, Nov 9, 1991). Albanian composer and violinist. He studied theory and the violin at the Jordan Misja Art Lyceum, Tirana (1946–c1950) and became leader of the Albanian Philharmonia before studying composition with Shaporin at the Moscow Conservatory (1957–61). After his return he worked at Albanian Radio (1961–75) while also teaching at the Tirana Conservatory. In 1975 he acquired the status of a ‘free professional composer’, salaried by the state, but continued to teach harmony, analysis and composition at the Conservatory until his death.

One of the most important musical figures of socialist Albania, Zoraqi was capable of highly personal utterances, though his susceptibility to different influences, unproblematic in the Violin Concerto no.2 (1968) with its echoes of Bruch and Wieniawski, lapsed into derivativeness in works such as the First Symphony (...

Article

John Brackett

(b New York City, NY, Sept 1, 1953). American composer, improviser, saxophonist, producer, and record label owner. Zorn is the best known composer and performer associated with the “Downtown” scene in New York City’s Lower East Side in Manhattan. He has composed works for a variety of ensembles including string quartets, orchestras, chamber ensembles, rock bands, and jazz groups, as well as works for solo instruments, voice, and other instrumental and vocal combinations. His compositions often incorporate elements and techniques from a number of musical genres and traditions such as rock and popular music from all over the world, jazz (particularly the post-bop and free jazz traditions), classical music (especially the music of a number of 20th-century avant-garde composers and movements), improvised music, and film music. Zorn’s interest in a variety of avant-garde movements, movies, Judaism and Jewish identity, and occult religious traditions has exerted a powerful influence on his aesthetic of art and composition....

Article

Katy Romanou

(b Piraeus, 20 Nov or Dec 31, 1938; d Athens, Aug 18, 2006). Greek tuba player. Giannis Zouganelis grew up in a shack at the outskirts of Piraeus. At his father’s death from tuberculosis, his mother confined Giannis in 1948 in a borstal as a solution to her absolute poverty. Mr. Koskinas from Corfu, a music teacher in the borstal, realized Zouganelis’s talent and introduced him to some famous musicians in Athens. Zouganelis graduated from the Conservatory of Athens in 1967 (with the highest distinctions and prizes). In one of his public appearances that year, he gave the Greek première of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Concerto for tuba. Zouganelis’s velvet sound, the speed of his passages, his extraordinary facility in producing multiphonics, and his inventiveness with the techniques of the tuba made him an ideal performer for avant-garde composers. Starting with Theodore Antoniou’s humorous Six Likes for solo tuba (...

Article

László Gombos

(b Esztergom, May 12, 1887; d Budapest, June 24, 1936). Hungarian violinist, composer and conductor. He studied the violin with Hubay and composition with Koessler at the Budapest Academy of Music (1901–6). In 1907 he qualified as a teacher, and soon after he changed his name to the more Hungarian-sounding Zsolt. As a composer, he made a highly successful début in 1908 with the première of his Piano Quintet, which was awarded the Erkel Prize. Also in 1908 he accepted the position of leader of the Queen's Hall Orchestra, London. He returned to Hungary two years later, eventually obtaining a teaching post alongside Hubay at the Budapest Academy, but then returned to the London orchestra in 1913. Interned in England at the beginning of World War I, he was repatriated in 1919, and subsequently served as professor of violin at the Budapest Academy. His students included Sándor Végh. Zsolt frequently played viola in the Hubay String Quartet, and in ...

Article

Robert Stevenson

[Bydwealth, Emily]

(b Salinas de Oro, nr Pamplona, Dec 6, 1888; d Hermosillo, Sonora, May 26, 1987). Mexican composer and pianist of Spanish birth. At the age of eight she entered the Pamplona Academia Municipal de Música, studying the piano with Joaquín Maya, and at 15 the Madrid Real Conservatorio, completing her course there in 1906. After her father's death in 1909, she returned to Pamplona; there she was appointed profesor auxiliar de piano at the institution from which she had graduated. Her brother, Nestor, canon archivist of Pamplona Cathedral, officiated at her marriage in 1919 to Dr Joaquin Fuentes Pascal (1887–1976), from whom she separated three years later. She then moved to Paris, studying at the Schola Cantorum with the Bach specialist Blanche Selva, for piano, and composition with Vincent d'Indy. She undertook many concert tours in the following years; in 1931 she played at Town Hall, New York, being billed as a Basque composer. She gave a further concert at the Roerich Museum, New York, later in the same year, which culminated with her eight Basque Folk Dances for two pianos, choreographed by dancers from the Centro Basco Americano of New York City. In New York she met the prominent Mexican acoustician, Augusto Novaro (...

Article

Walter Ojakäär

(Nikolayevich )

(b Moscow, Nov 15, 1936). Russian saxophonist and composer. Self-taught as a musician, he played clarinet in the brass band of the Moscow M. V. Lomonosov State University, where he studied physics (graduating in 1958), and tenor saxophone in the big band of the Tsentral’ny Dom Rabotnikov Iskusstva (Central house of artists; 1954–7). In 1956 he joined the octet Vosmoyrka, at that time the best jazz group in Moscow. Later he was a member of Oleg Lundstrem’s orchestra (1960–65) and the Kontsertny Estradny Orkestr Tsentral’novo TV i Vsesoyuznovo Radio (Concert variety orchestra of central TV and all-union radio). In 1967–8 he led two groups known by the name Crescendo – a quintet in which the vibraphonist Leonid Garin played in 1968 and a quartet. From 1974 to 1979 he worked with the ensemble Melodiya, and in the 1980s he was active as a freelance and wrote film music. In ...

Article

Judith Tick

[Zuckermann, Augusta; Zuckermann, Gussie]

(b New York, NY, Dec 25, 1885; d Miami, FL, March 8, 1981). American composer and pianist. She changed her name to Mana Zucca in her teens and became a protégée of the pianist and teacher Alexander Lambert; according to her unpublished memoirs she performed with major orchestras in New York before the age of ten (although this and other claims in her memoirs have not been verified). In 1902 she played an arrangement of Liszt’s 14th Hungarian Rhapsody with Frank Damrosch as part of his concert series for young people at Carnegie Hall. In about 1907 she went to Europe, where she met several prominent musicians and gave successful concert tours with the Spanish violinist Juan Manon. Her lively descriptions of Teresa Carreño, Ferruccio Busoni, Leopold Godowsky, and the composition teacher Max Vogrich were published in American music magazines. She also performed as a singer, notably in Franz Lehár’s ...

Article

Michael Talbot

(b Casalmaggiore, nr Cremona, Nov 10, 1704; d Casalmaggiore, May 3, 1792). Italian violinist and composer. He studied the violin first in his home town, later in Parma, Guastalla and Bologna, and finally in Cremona with Gasparo Visconti. Giuseppe Gonelli taught him counterpoint. In 1723 Zuccari arrived at Vienna in the suite of Count Pertusati. Having won favour at the imperial court, he travelled on to Olomouc, where he stayed for four years, and visited various German towns. In 1733 he married and in 1736 settled in Milan, where he founded a school. In 1741 he participated in the famous academy held at the Collegio dei Nobili under the direction of G.B. Sammartini, who was to call on his services as a violinist on several future occasions. During this period he acquired the nickname Zuccherino quoted in some contemporary sources. Around 1760 he was living in London, where he became a member of the Italian opera orchestra and had some violin compositions published, including his celebrated set of 12 adagios in dual plain and ornamented versions (...

Article

Adriano Mazzoletti

(b Spilimbergo, Italy, 1911; d Asti, Italy, c1977). Italian guitarist and leader. He played guitar from the age of six. In 1934 he recorded as an unaccompanied soloist and in 1938 formed a group that later became the Quintetto Ritmico di Milano; this was modeled after the Quintette du Hot Club de France and included three guitars (of which Zuccheri played the lead), a violin (from ...

Article

James Chute

revised by Jonas Westover

(b Cambridge, MA, Sept 25, 1944). American Flutist. She studied English at Barnard College (1962–4) before attending the Juilliard School, where she studied flute with Julius Baker (1964–6). In 1968 she married the violinist Pinchas Zukerman (they divorced in 1985). Under the sponsorship of the Young Concert Artists Auditions, which she won in 1970, she made her Town Hall debut in 1971. Her most regular musical partner has been Zukerman, whom she has joined in concerts with the English Chamber Orchestra (among others), occasional recitals, and a number of recordings. In 1976 she collaborated with the flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal in a concert at Carnegie Hall. She has also performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Spoleto Festival (Italy), the Mostly Mozart Festival (New York), the Edinburgh Festival, and a wide range of orchestras. She has served as the artistic director of the Vail Valley Music Festival since ...