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Gerard Béhague

(b Cayambe, Dec 10, 1903; d Quito, Dec 11, 1977). Ecuadorian composer, pianist and music critic. He first studied with his father Francisco Salgado, himself a composer, then entered the Quito Conservatory in 1910. His first attempts at composition dated from 1913. As a teenager he played the piano in silent-film theatres. He graduated in piano in 1928 and in 1934 was appointed professor of solfège and harmony at the Quito Conservatory (director for two periods, beginning in 1952). Besides directing the group Camara Voz Andes, he founded and directed the symphonic ensemble of the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana and conducted the orchestra and chorus of the conservatory. For many years he was the music critic of the daily El comercio, and he contributed to the Spanish journal Ritmo.

Salgado is generally considered the leading composer of his generation. He was a prolific composer, mostly of a musical nationalist persuasion, as his numerous symphonies, tone poems, concertos and operas bear witness. He also cultivated typical Ecuadorian popular genres, such as the sanjuanito and pasillo. His ...

Article

Othmar Wessely

(b Pihl, nr Česká Lípa, Bohemia, Jan 30, 1787; d Salzburg, July 3, 1857). Austrian writer on music. He was the son of Count Kinsky’s brewer, Andreas Schmid, and his wife, Theresia Bergmann. After his initial instruction in singing and the piano, he received further musical education after 1798 as a singer in the monastery of the Calced Augustinians in Česká Lípa. From 1804 he lived as a theatre musician and music teacher in Prague, where he also began his literary activity. In 1812 he settled as a private teacher in Vienna. He became a drafting probationer for the Viennese court library in 1818, and was made a Skriptor in 1819 and a Kustos in 1844. At the request of Moritz, Count Dietrichstein, he organized the collection which became the basis for the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, and was its first keeper; his handwritten catalogue is still in existence. From this task arose not only his fundamental studies on the history of printing music from movable type, but also his more than 500 supplements and reports appended to C.F. Becker’s ...

Article

Jann Pasler and Jerry Rife

(b Blâmont, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Sept 28, 1870; d Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris, Aug 17, 1958). French composer, pianist and critic. Throughout his life, Schmitt was valued for his independent spirit and refusal to be identified with any school or group. In a time when many composers embraced Impressionism, his music, albeit influenced by Debussy, was admired for its energy, dynamism, grandeur, and virility, for its union of French clarity and German strength. While some works, especially youthful ones, reveal a desire to please and are sometimes facile, many others refuse lyrical abandon and sentimentality and are formed of a wilful and premeditated complexity as well as a passion for strong bold colours, violent emotions and extreme contrasts. Schmitt was considered a pioneer during his lifetime, rejected by some and embraced by others for a style that influenced and helped prepare for later innovations by Stravinsky, Ravel, Honegger and Roussel.

Schmitt was born in Lorraine near the German border. His parents loved music and assiduously controlled what he listened to, steering him toward the Classical and German Romantic repertories. His father hoped he would become an organist. At 17 he entered the Nancy Conservatoire where he studied the piano with Henri Hess and harmony with its director, Gustave Sandré. According to his biographer Pierre-Octave Ferroud, Schmitt's most significant musical experience during this period was Franck's Violin Sonata. In ...

Article

John Daverio and Eric Sams

(b Zwickau, Saxony, June 8, 1810; d Endenich, nr Bonn, July 29, 1856). German composer and music critic. While best remembered for his piano music and songs, and some of his symphonic and chamber works, Schumann made significant contributions to all the musical genres of his day and cultivated a number of new ones as well. His dual interest in music and literature led him to develop a historically informed music criticism and a compositional style deeply indebted to literary models. A leading exponent of musical Romanticism, he had a powerful impact on succeeding generations of European composers....

Article

Ramona H. Matthews

(b Appleton, WI, July 21, 1893; d Neenah, WI, Nov 3, 1975). American pianist, teacher, and writer on music. He was educated at Charleston (South Carolina) College and the University of Wisconsin, and then went to Europe (1920) to study at the University of Madrid and elsewhere, his teachers including the pianist moriz Rosenthal. He settled in Paris to perform, teach, and write, serving as music and drama critic for the Paris Tribune (1921–34) and Paris correspondent for the Musical Digest of New York (1922–9), the Musical Courier of New York (1932–41), the Nuova Italia musicale of Rome, and the Musical Times of London. He was an enthusiastic promoter of concerts of American music in France, and organized the first European festival of American music (Bad Homburg, Germany, 1931). On his return to America (1942) he settled in Appleton to teach and write. He received several honors from the French government for his services to music, and was made a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur in ...

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(b Dresden, 1738; d Schleswig, Nov 22, 1789). German actress and writer. At the end of an unhappy childhood she took to the stage. In 1754 she married the actor Hensel, but they separated three years later. She worked with various troupes and appeared several times in Vienna. After the collapse of the Hamburg Nationaltheater, she took up with the impresario Abel Seyler in 1769, and married him three years later, by which time she was recognized as Germany’s foremost tragedienne. Lessing praised her passionate and majestic acting at Hamburg, and Benda and F. W. Gotter wrote their chilling melodrama Medea to set off her skills in 1775. At the end of her career she wrote a five-act libretto Hüon und Amande, based on Wieland’s epic poem Oberon and set by the Schleswig music director Karl Hanke in 1789. The text was adapted for Paul Wranitzky shortly thereafter by Gieseke as ...

Article

Lenore Coral

(b Durham, Nov 10, 1735; d London, July 6, 1813). English philanthropist and amateur musician . Best known for his fight to abolish slavery, he was also a keen amateur musician who played the flute, clarinet, oboe, flageolet and kettledrums. He had a good bass voice and his Short Introduction to Vocal Musick was published in 1767. Together with his brothers, William (1729–1810), surgeon to George III, and James (d 1783), an engineer, from 1775 until 1783 he held concerts on two barges on the Thames, attended by ‘not only men of the most eminent talents and skill, but also those of the highest and most distinguished rank’ (Hoare). This activity was recorded in a famous painting by Johan Zoffany which shows 15 music-makers, many of them members of the family, on their barge. The brothers also hosted fortnightly concerts of sacred music on Sunday nights in London....

Article

Joseph Clark

(b Graz, Oct 6, 1896; d Vienna, Nov 9, 1978). Austrian composer, conductor and critic. He studied composition at the Schule des Steiermärkischen Musikvereins, Graz (1901–15, 1918–20) with Mojsisovics, Kroemer, Künzel and later Kornauth. During the years 1921–3 he worked as a violin teacher in Leoben, a violinist in the Vienna SO and a conductor, vocal coach and critic in Graz. He edited the Viennese Musikbote (1924–5) and in 1926 he moved to Germany, settling first in Munich and then working as a music director in Paderborn and Herford, as a choral conductor in Essen and Bielefeld and as a theory teacher in Hagen. In 1933 he was appointed to teach theory and composition at the Cologne Musikhochschule where he was made professor in 1935. He also took over the direction of the university chorus and the Gürzenich choir in succession to Abendroth (...

Article

Christopher Mark

(b Swinton, nr Manchester, July 26, 1943). Australian composer, pianist, and critic, born in England. He lived in England until 1976 when he migrated to Australia, taking Australian citizenship in 1990. Entering the RCM in 1961, Smalley studied composition with Fricker and John White, whose wide-ranging interests he found especially stimulating, and piano with Antony Hopkins. He also studied composition with Goehr at Morley College, London (1962); with Stockhausen in Cologne (1965–6); and with Boulez during a Darmstadt summer course (1965). In 1968 he was appointed the first artist-in-residence at King’s College, Cambridge, where he subsequently held a three-year research fellowship. During this time he co-founded the live-electronics ensemble Intermodulation with Souster, Peter Britton and Robin Thompson. In 1974 Smalley was artist-in-residence at the University of Western Australia (UWA), returning two years later to become a research fellow and subsequently associate professor (...

Article

Marta Ottlová, Milan Pospíšil, John Tyrrell and Kelly St Pierre

[Friedrich]

(b Leitomischl, Bohemia [now Litomyšl, Czech Republic], 2 March 1824; d Prague, 12 May 1884). Czech composer, conductor, teacher, and music critic often described as the ‘father’ or ‘inventor’ of Czech national music. While his first language was German and his first nationalist compositions were based on Swedish narratives, Smetana asserted himself as composer of specifically Czech music from the 1860s, and his music posthumously became synonymous with a Czech national musical style. Today, Smetana’s eight operas, including Prodaná nevěsta (‘The Bartered Bride’), as well as his cycle of symphonic poems Má vlast (‘My Fatherland’) form the foundation of the Czech classical musical canon. His opera Libuše is also frequently cited as an ‘apotheosis’ of Czech music, especially in conjunction with the first movement of Má vlast, entitled ‘Vyšehrad’.

After his death, Smetana was transformed in the minds of his audiences and advocates from a composer of nationalistic music to a national symbol himself; he and his works became enduring points of reference for Czechs’ ever-shifting borders, politics, administrations, ethnicities, and imagined futures through the 20th century. For this reason, the actual Smetana in many ways has become inseparable from the myth of ‘Smetana’, as later critics and historians molded his life and work to match their needs. The composer’s supposed greatness, genius, Czechness, tragic deafness, and heroism all give voice to the shifting needs, anxieties, and interests of his audiences as much as to the composer himself....