(b Minneapolis, May 10, 1898; d Cleveland, April 17, 1974). American composer, critic and teacher. After graduating from the University of Minnesota he studied composition with Bloch in New York (1919–21) and with Boulanger in Paris (1921–4). He received a Prix de Rome (1923), and during his stay in Rome (1924–7) he composed his best-known work, the ballet The Happy Hypocrite. In 1928 he returned to the USA and was appointed head of composition and theory at the Cleveland Institute. He quickly acquired a reputation as a teacher, working also at the Oberlin College Conservatory and the Eastman School summer school before he retired in 1945 to give his attention to composition and music criticism. From 1930 to 1936 he wrote programme notes for the Cleveland Orchestra, and he was music critic of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (1932–64), where his reviews were noted for candour and wit. Among the awards he received were the Paderewski Prize (...
John G. Suess
revised by Bret Werb
(b Berdyansk, Crimea, 4/April 16, 1868; d Tel-Aviv, Feb 11, 1927). Russian composer, critic, lexicographer and folklorist. He studied law at Kharkov University but soon turned to music, studying theory and composition with Taneyev and Ippolitov-Ivanov at the Moscow Conservatory (1893–7). From 1897 to 1919 he worked as a music critic for the newspaper Russkiye vedomosti. In 1901 his translation of Riemann’s Lexikon into Russian with newly written sections on Russian music was published in Moscow. Although an early opera, Esther, was performed in 1894, his work as a critic overshadowed that as a composer. Under the influence of the Russian nationalist music critic Vladimir Stasov, however, he turned his attention to Jewish folklore, collecting, arranging, performing and publishing the songs of eastern European Jews. In 1909 his first album of ten Jewish folksongs appeared in Moscow; a second volume followed later in the same year. Engel continued to promote his new interest with public lectures and a series of articles in ...
(b Jackson, MS, Sept 14, 1910; d New York, NY, Aug 29, 1982). American conductor, composer, arranger, educator, and writer on music. After studying composition at the Cincinnati Conservatory, Engel moved to New York, where he had lessons in composition at the Juilliard School with rubin Goldmark and then privately with roger Sessions . During the late 1930s Engel provided incidental music for plays and dance groups and conducted his own Madrigal Singers under the auspices of the WPA. He conducted the premieres of Kurt Weill’s Johnny Johnson and Aaron Copland’s The Second Hurricane, and he also led the chorus in the audience at the improvised premiere of Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock.
Engel is best known for his work in commercial venues. He supplied vocal and choral arrangements and other forms of incidental music for theatrical and broadcast productions. As a conductor, his most successful shows on Broadway included Gian Carlo Menotti’s ...
revised by A.F. Leighton Thomas
(b Newcastle Emlyn, Dyfed, Sept 21, 1843; d London, April 19, 1913). Welsh music critic, teacher and composer. He earned his living as a draper and travelling salesman. Apart from taking lessons with John Roberts in 1858, he was self-taught in music, yet he became an influential figure in Welsh musical life. A prolific composer of vocal music, he was reputed to have won more than 60 prizes at eisteddfods but only his hymn tunes have lasted, notably ‘Glanceri’, ‘Eirinwg’, ‘Trewen’, ‘Gorffwysfa’ and ‘Bryndioddef’. In his 20s he began adjudicating in smaller eisteddfods and from 1879 appeared regularly at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, where his sound critical judgment and sincerity were valued by competitors. His concern to temper musical enthusiasm with a high standard of skill led him to produce an enormous number of articles aimed at educating his countrymen. Besides his weekly columns in the Cardiff Times...
revised by Manuel Couvreur
(b Ganges, Dec 8, 1767; d Paris, March 27, 1825). French writer and musician. The son of a Protestant merchant family, he devoted himself mainly to literature, studying music as a hobby. During the French Revolution he made his name by writing songs and hymns, as well as the libretto of Toulon sauvé, set to music by Jean-Baptiste Rochefort (1794). He wrote the libretto for a fairy opera (Le miroir de la vertu) and several tragédies lyriques (Cornélie et César, Alcée et Sapho, Hermione). He wrote both the text and the music of a philosophical drama Le sage d'Indostan (1796), which was intended for performance by the handicapped. His quartets for two flutes, viola and cello were published by Ignace Joseph Pleyel in 1800. In the same year he became a theosophist and turned to the study of classical ideas. Inspired by an article in Rousseau's ...
(b Århus, Sept 3, 1840; d Copenhagen, June 8, 1919). Danish administrator, music critic and composer. A banker by profession, Fabricius remains best known for his many practical initiatives in Danish musical life. In 1871 he founded the Samfund til Udgivelse af Dansk Musik (Society for the Publication of Danish Music), whose president he was from 1887 until his death. This society is today the principal organization for the publication of contemporary Danish music. He was the founder of the choral society Vega (1872) and a founder-member of the Copenhagen Concert Society (Koncertforening; 1874), a progressive musical society which existed until 1893. It was chiefly due to him that the first regular concert hall, the Koncertpalae, was built in Copenhagen during 1884–8. As a music critic his writings stand out from the generally poor music criticism of his time.
As a composer, Fabricius has never been highly rated in Denmark, perhaps chiefly because his practical enterprise overshadowed his musical activities. His early ...
(b Kaluga, Nov 5, 1841; d Ligovo, nr St Petersburg, July 6, 1896). Russian music historian, critic and composer. He had well-to-do parents and studied natural sciences at St Petersburg University and music privately with M.L. Santis; from 1862 to 1864 he studied privately and at the Leipzig Conservatory with Moritz Hauptmann, E.F. Richter and Carl Riedel, and also (1864–5) studied instrumentation with Max Seifriz at Löwenberg. Returning to St Petersburg he was appointed professor of music history and aesthetics at the conservatory (1865–72); between 1869 and 1871 he edited the periodical Muzïkal′nïy sezon and later contributed to Bessel’s Muzïkal′nïy listok and other journals. From 1870 to 1880 he was secretary to the directorate of the Imperial Russian Musical Society. His four-act opera Sardanapal was produced in 1875 and the vocal score was published by Bessel, but it had so little success that his second opera, the four-act ...
revised by Neely Bruce
(b St Paul, April 23, 1872; d New York, Jan 20, 1952). American composer, critic, editor and proponent of community music. As a boy he took violin lessons but had no thought of devoting himself to music. He prepared for a career in electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which he graduated in 1893. Meanwhile the experience of hearing the Boston SO and the influence of Rudolph Gott, an eccentric musician, convinced him that music should be his career. He studied with Norris and Chadwick in Boston, and was encouraged by MacDowell. He then went to Germany for further study with Humperdinck and Pfitzner (1897–9); he also studied briefly with Guilmant in Paris. Returning to the USA he accepted a lectureship at Cornell University (1899–1901), but his ambition was to be free of academic obligations. His failure to find a publisher for his ...
Sue Carole DeVale
(b Franklin, CT, Feb 4, 1843; d Taftville, CT, Aug 14, 1898). American writer on music. He studied the organ at Oberlin College, then (1866–7) at Leipzig; he held appointments at Oberlin (1867–8), Ripon College, Wisconsin (1868–78), Milwaukee College for Women (1878–84), Milwaukee School of Music (1884–95) and Pomona College, California (1895). Fillmore was one of the first American writers to take a serious interest in the study of traditional (primarily Amerindian) musics. He believed that, according to the natural laws of physics and acoustics, the music of all cultures, like Western art music, has a harmonic basis in major and minor triads. Since few trained musicians shared his interest, his elaborate but misguided evolutionary scheme outlining the origin and development of all music received little criticism until after his death. Fillmore claimed to have transcribed many recordings collected by Alice Cunningham Fletcher, Franz Boas and others for their publications, but recent research does not corroborate this. His greatest contributions were his textbooks on Western music, which were widely read....
revised by Cecelia H. Porter
(b Sulza, Thuringia, March 7, 1783; d Leipzig, Aug 27, 1846). German critic, editor, theologian and composer. The son of a Reformed pastor, Gottfried was a chorister at Naumburg. In Leipzig he studied music and theology (1804–9) and served as a Reformed pastor (1810–16), establishing and directing a theological seminary (1814–27). He also composed many songs and in 1808 began writing for the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, of which he succeeded Gottfried Christoph Härtel as editor (1827–41). He taught at the Leipzig Conservatory (1838–43) and was briefly its director in 1842.
Fink was initially neutral in the controversy between Classicism and Romanticism, and was friendly with Weber, who gave his Sechs Lieder (1812) a warm review in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung and printed one song, Die Liebenden, in full. However, Fink later took up a stubborn stand against the younger Romantics. He published only half of Schumann's enthusiastic review (...