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Charles Fox

revised by Digby Fairweather

[Michael John David ]

(b High Wycombe, March 21, 1936). English jazz composer, pianist and bandleader . After working in an accountant’s office and studying painting he took up music professionally; he was largely self-taught and has an empirical approach to composition. Around 1960 he organized a jazz workshop in Plymouth, where he wrote for a small ensemble that included John Surman, then in 1962 he moved to London. From that time he has written pieces for a number of his own ensembles: the Mike Westbrook Band (1962–72), the Mike Westbrook Concert Band (1967–71), the multi-media group Cosmic Circus (1970–72), the jazz-rock band Solid Gold Cadillac (1971–4), the Mike Westbrook Brass Band (established in 1973 to perform in the theatre and on television), the Mike Westbrook Orchestra (formed in 1974), A Little Westbrook Music (formed in 1982) and the Dance Band (formed in ...

Article

Henrik Karlsson

(Evald Börje )

(b Malmö, Nov 26, 1918; d July 1, 1999). Swedish conductor and pianist . He studied at the Swedish Royal Academy of Music, 1937–42, and when the war ended took further lessons in Switzerland, with Kletzki in Paris, and in the USA. He was a répétiteur at the Stockholm Royal Theatre, 1943–6, and after a short period at the Oscarsteater in Stockholm, became conductor of the Gävleborg SO until 1953, when he returned to Stockholm as conductor at the Royal Theatre. In 1957 he was appointed principal conductor of the Swedish RSO, which he raised to an international standard; he toured as a guest conductor in Europe and in the USSR. He was an excellent accompanist (making many records in this capacity), and in 1969 began to teach conducting at the Swedish Royal Academy, where he was appointed a professor in 1971. Few conductors did so much for Swedish music: he gave the premières of over 80 Swedish works and recorded much of the Swedish repertory. A precise and elegant technique made him skilled in contemporary works, but he had an extensive repertory covering other periods and was admired for his interpretations of Mahler and other late Romantic composers....

Article

Ryan D.W. Bruce

[Randolph Edward ]

(b Brooklyn, NY, April 6, 1926). American jazz pianist, bandleader, composer, and club owner. Weston did not identify with his classical music lessons as a youth, choosing instead to explore a percussive piano style under the influence of Duke Ellington. Other early influences include Count Basie, Nat “King” Cole, Art Tatum, and Coleman Hawkins. Weston’s playing was transformed after attending a concert by Hawkins and Thelonious Monk in 1945: Monk became Weston’s mentor from 1947–9, and inspired his heavy attack and improvisatory rhythmic displacements. He was hired by Marshall Stearns in 1949 to provide demonstrations of different jazz styles for university lectures given throughout the United States; their work lasted eight summers and fostered Weston’s interest in African music.

Beginning with his debut in 1954, his early recordings acquired critical recognition and included band members such as Art Blakey, Cecil Payne, Ahmed Abdul-Malik, and Coleman Hawkins. Some of his compositions of the time, especially “Little Niles” and “Hi-Fly,” gained popularity and have been recorded by many others. Weston also worked with arranger ...

Article

N. Lee Orr

(b Woodstock, VT, June 4, 1842; d Brattleboro, VT, d Aug 3, 1914). American organist. After studying organ with local teachers he became a student of John Knowles Paine in Boston and later taught organ at the New England Conservatory. In 1871 he became organist/choirmaster at the Church of the Advent in Boston, working for 26 years as one of the early advocates of the choral excellence and liturgical propriety exemplified by the growing Oxford Movement in England. He also led one of the first boy choirs in the United States and established one of the first English Cathedral Services in this country. With J. C. D. Parker and others he founded and directed the Massachusetts Choir Festival Association and led many choral festivals throughout New England. Along with Dudley Buck and Paine he was among the first organists to introduce the organ works of Bach to American audiences. He was also a founder of the American Guild of Organists....

Article

[Zach ]

(b Richmond, KY, 1898; d Kentucky, March 10, 1967). American bandleader and banjoist. He studied at Wilberforce College, Ohio, where he joined Horace Henderson’s student band as an arranger and banjoist. He formed his own group around 1923, and in the late 1920s he began to lead the Chocolate Beau Brummels. Although the band was very successful it made only a small number of recordings, among them ...

Article

Erik Kjellberg

revised by Lars Westin

[Hans-Olof ]

(b Borlänge, Sweden, Sept 10, 1924; d Grycksbo, Sweden, Feb 14, 2006). Swedish clarinetist and bandleader. He became a professional musician in 1944, when he joined the violinist Hasse Kahn for a summer tour; he then worked in Stockholm in the quintet led by the double bass player Arthur Österwall at Nalen (1944–5) and in the band led by Miff Görling and Gösta Törner at La Visite (1945–6). After playing very briefly with Simon Brehm he rejoined Kahn's band in 1947, while it was at Nalen. In autumn 1948 Kahn was obliged to leave for military service, and Wickman took over the leadership of what was then a sextet; Kahn’s longstanding sideman Reinhold Svensson remained in the group, serving as pianist and arranger for Wickman through its years at Nalen (to 1960).

Wickman was in the Swedish all-star band that appeared at the Paris Jazz Fair in ...

Article

Bertil Wikman

(b Långserud, Värmland, June 5, 1879; d Stockholm, April 3, 1950). Swedish composer, pianist and conductor. He studied at the Stockholm Conservatory with Lindegren (composition) and Andersson (piano). A state scholarship enabled him to study in Paris (1903–4), where he was organist of the Swedish church, and a Jenny Lind Stipend took him to Germany for further education (1905–7). There he had lessons with Kwast in Berlin, conducted at Karlsruhe (1907) and served as coach at the Berlin Opera (1908). He made his début as a conductor at the Royal Theatre, Stockholm, in 1911, and was then conductor of the Royal Orchestra (1911–24) and the Concert Society Orchestra (1925–38); he also conducted in several European cities. As a pianist he played his own concertante pieces and appeared as an accompanist. In 1915 he was elected to the Swedish Academy of Music. He composed in a national Romantic style, at first influenced by Brahms and Stenhammar but later dominated by Impressionist features with a great feeling for melody and harmony. Among the best works of his small output are the two piano concertos (which are among the most important Swedish compositions in the genre), the symphonic poem ...

Article

Eva Öhrström

(b Göteborg, Dec 11, 1939). Swedish pianist, composer and conductor. She studied the piano with Gottfried Boon in Stockholm and with Ilona Kabos in London. In 1959 she made successful débuts in Stockholm, London and Berlin, and in New York in 1964; her subsequent career as a pianist included world-wide tours. In 1977 she founded the Nordic Music Conservatory and in 1980 the Nordic Chamber Opera. During the late 1970s she also began to compose and to conduct. Most of her compositions are vocal works; her music is lyrical, but with elements of expressionism and Swedish neo-romanticism, especially in the Rilke songs and the opera Den Fredlöse.

Article

Susana Salgado

(b Buenos Aires, Nov 23, 1862; d Buenos Aires, June 17, 1952). Argentine composer, conductor, pianist and teacher. Born into a family of musicians, he began to compose very early. His first piano lessons were with Pedro Beck; he also attended the Colegio S Martin and, from its foundation, the Escuela de Música de la Provincia, where he studied with Luis Bernasconi (piano) and Nicolás Bassi (harmony). While still a pupil at the school he played works by Paer and Liszt at the Teatro Colón; one of his first public performances was in 1879 at a Sociedad del Cuarteto concert organized by Bernasconi. Two years later he published his first work, the mazurka Ensueño de juventud. A scholarship took him in 1882 to the Paris Conservatoire, and there he was a pupil of Georges Mathías (piano), Emile Durand (harmony) and Benjamin Godard (instrumental ensemble), also studying composition with Franck. In Paris the piano works ...

Article

J. Bradford Robinson

[Charles Melvin ]

(b Mobile, AL, July 10, 1911; d New York, Sept 15, 1985). American jazz trumpeter and bandleader . He taught himself to play the trumpet and toured with the Young Family band (which included Lester Young) when he was only 14. In 1928 he went to New York, where he made his first recordings (with James P. Johnson) and played briefly in the bands of Chick Webb and Fletcher Henderson. By February 1929 he had joined the Duke Ellington orchestra as a replacement for Bubber Miley, beginning a long association which was to make him famous. In his first 11 years with Ellington his playing became an indispensable part of the band’s sonority, and Ellington integrated solos for him into hundreds of compositions. Williams also took part in many excellent small-group recordings with Teddy Wilson, Billie Holiday, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Christian and other leading jazz musicians of the swing period....