(b Nuremberg, Germany, Sept 8, 1967). German pianist, drummer, arranger, and bandleader. He studied accordion for eight years, then took up piano, double bass, and saxophone before studying drums with Charly Antolini. He began working professionally at the age of 15, and wrote his first arrangement the following year. After winning a prize at the Forum junger Deutscher Komponisten für Orchestermusik in 1984, he founded his own big band, which accompanied such guest soloists as Max Greger, the singer Etta Cameron, and Toots Thielemanns. He also led a trio. In 1990 he began working in a television series, “Swing It!.” Influenced by Count Basie, Wolf has written many compositions for films and television and arrangements for other bands. His recordings include Thilo Wolf Big Band Live: Swing It! (1993, MDL 1915) and Mr. Grooverix (1995, MDL 1925). (G. Conrad: “Thilo Wolf,” Der Jazzfreund, no. 159 (...
Deane L. Root
revised by Robert Paul Kolt
(b New York, NY, May 8, 1926). American conductor, oboist, and violinist; son of jacques Wolfe . He began music studies as a child and made his debut as a violinist at Barbizon Hall in New York (1938). From 1942–5 Wolfe attended Queens College in New York and studied violin with Mischa Mischakoff, Oscar Shumsky, roman Totenberg , and emanuel Vardi , oboe with Anton Maly, and conducting with leon Barzin and Fritz Mahler. He then served as concertmaster and assistant conductor of the US Air Force Orchestra in Washington, DC (1946–9). Both as a student and afterwards, Wolfe conducted several ensembles in New York, including the New Chamber Music Society (1942–55) and the Bronx Symphony Orchestra (1955–61). He was initially principal oboist, then assistant conductor and string coach, with the National Orchestral Association (1950–61) while also performing as violinist with several other orchestras. In ...
Francisco J. Albo
(b Alzey, Rheinhessen, Germany, Dec 14, 1834; d Deal Beach, NJ, July 30, 1907). American pianist, teacher, conductor, and composer of German origin. He studied with Aloys Schmitt in Frankfurt, making his début there in 1848. Later he studied with Vincenz Lachner and toured Bavaria. After a two-year stay in London, he moved to the United States in 1854, settling in Philadelphia. A scholarly performer, for the next twenty years he gave annual series of chamber music concerts and piano recitals, introducing many classical works to American audiences. He gave recitals devoted entirely to the piano music of Chopin and Schumann, a rare feat at the time. In 1866–7 he performed the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven in a series of matinées in New York. In 1873 he moved to Chicago, where he gave momentum to the musical life of the city and founded the Beethoven Society choir. His goal being education through the works of the masters, he gave several “historical” recitals with programs designed chronologically, from Couperin to Brahms. Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler was one of his pupils....
Philip L. Scowcroft
(b Heckmondwike, Jan 24, 1875; d London, Jan 18, 1953). English composer, conductor and flautist. He gained early experience playing the flute in orchestras in Harrogate, then at Bournemouth under Dan Godfrey. He subsequently conducted at various London theatres (among them the Adelphi, Terry's, Daly's and Drury Lane), for over 30 years. He toured the USA with Messager's Véronique and recorded excerpts from the Savoy operas. He also composed musicals of his own, but these have survived less well than the splendidly scored orchestral works produced for Boosey & Hawkes, both original pieces and arrangements, for whom he was a staff composer.
His compositions include suites and separate movements, many betraying his northern origins and evoking the outdoors, also a concertino for his one-time instrument, the flute. His most durable piece is ‘Barwick Green’ from the suite My Native Heath, inspired by his home county of Yorkshire and used as the signature tune to the long-running BBC radio programme ‘The Archers’. This apart, only ...
(b Barton-on-Sea, May 27, 1953). English composer, choral conductor and percussionist. He studied composition with Boulanger in Paris before becoming organ scholar at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. The New London Chamber Choir was founded by him in 1981 to perform medieval and Renaissance music alongside contemporary repertory. He was professor of percussion at the Darmstadt summer courses between 1982 and 1994, becoming increasingly involved in building percussion instruments, and established the London Centre for Microtonal Music, and its associated ensemble, Critical Band, in 1991. His awards number the Gemini Fellowship (1993), the Arts Foundation Fellowship for electro-acoustic composition (1994–6) and the Holst Foundation Award (1995).
Wood's major compositions reflect diverse interests. His song cycles for soprano and percussion are among several works stemming from oriental ideas, while Phaedrus, for voice and ensemble, belongs to a group of works inspired by ancient Greek subjects. In addition he has explored African traditions, and all his output has been influenced by rituals and ceremonies of various kinds. In the later 1980s, Wood moved away from a predominantly vocal output for two of his most ambitious scores: ...
(b Hartford, CT, Jan 7, 1923; d Charlottesville, VA, March 16, 1994). American composer, keyboard player, conductor, and teacher. He studied piano with Charles King, organ with Ernest White at the Pius X School of Liturgical Music in Manhattanville, New York, composition with Franz Wasner, and chant at Solesmes Abbey in France. In 1944 he enrolled at Catholic University of America as a seminarian; he was ordained a priest in 1947 and received a master’s degree in Romance languages in 1948. He continued composition studies with nicolas Nabokov at the Peabody Conservatory and Nadia Boulanger. Woollen was the youngest charter faculty member of Catholic University’s music department in 1950. Originally in charge of choruses and chant studies, he later taught composition, paleography, history, organ, art song literature, and diction. He attended Harvard University (MA 1954), where he studied composition with walter Piston and musicology with Tillman Merritt. In ...
revised by Roger Hickman
(b Nová Říše, Moravia, Dec 30, 1756; d Vienna, Sept 26, 1808). Czech composer, conductor and violinist active in Vienna, brother of Anton Wranitzky. He studied singing and the organ, violin and viola at the Premonstratensian monastery grammar school in Nová Říše, and later at Jihlava (1770–71). At Olomouc he studied theology and became an excellent violinist. At 20 he went to Vienna, where he entered the theological seminary and served as its choirmaster. He continued his musical studies with J.M. Kraus (the Kapellmeister to the Swedish court, who visited Vienna in about 1783). Suggestions that he was also a pupil of Haydn remain unsubstantiated.
He served as music director for Count Johann Baptist Esterházy in the spring of 1784 and was appointed director of the newly created Kärntnertortheater orchestra in October 1785, a position he held until 1787, when he joined the Burgtheater orchestra. He was named its director in either ...
(b Kraków, 1850 or 1851; d Krynica, Dec 17, 1915). Polish violinist, conductor and composer . He was educated at the music school of the Kraków Technical Institute, studying the violin with Ignacy Wójcikiewicz, theory and wind instruments with Piotr Studziński, and the piano with Józef Blaschke. Later, he studied at the Vienna Conservatory. While serving in the Austrian army Wroński played the violin in the orchestra of the 70th Infantry Regiment under the direction of Michał Zimmermann, from whom he learned much about the craft of instrumentation. He soon became assistant conductor, and in 1867 he went with the orchestra to the Paris Exposition Universelle, where they won first prize. For several years he was musical director of the band of the 40th Infantry Regiment, from which, with great effort, he was able to create a full symphony orchestra. The latter had a great impact on the musical culture of Kraków, promoting important works and becoming part of the Old Theatre (Teatr Stary), where it accompanied performances and played during the entr'actes (under the direction of S. Koźmian). The orchestra also collaborated with the Kraków operetta (under the direction of K. Hofman), and stimulated the amateur musical scene. In ...
(b Mayen, Germany, June 19, 1961). German trombonist, arranger, and bandleader. He began his music studies in 1980 with Jiggs Whigham in Cologne. From 1983 to 1984 he was a member of the band led by the clarinetist and saxophonist Pierre Paquette, then joined Rod Mason. While with Mason (until 1991) he wrote his first arrangements and also worked as a studio musician and as a teacher at the Musikhochschule Cologne and at the university in Bonn. From 1992 he led his own band, Joe Wulf and his Gentlemen of Swing, and changed his style from traditional jazz to swing of the 1930s and 1940s. From October to December 1998 he toured with Buddy DeFranco and Terry Gibbs.
Gaynor G. Jones
revised by Bernd Wiechert
(b Münster, Jan 28, 1832; d Braunfels, Sept 7, 1902). German conductor, pianist and composer , father of Ludwig Wüllner. From an early age he studied the violin and the piano and composed music. His father was a distinguished philologist who was director of the Düsseldorf Gymnasium; when he died in 1842 the family moved to Münster, where Franz studied the piano and composition with Carl Arnold; from 1846 to 1850 he studied with Anton Schindler in Münster and Frankfurt. From 1850 to 1854 he went on concert tours, playing Beethoven's late sonatas, and completed his studies, visiting Berlin, Brussels, Cologne and Leipzig and meeting many of the important musicians of his day. A lifelong friendship linked him with Brahms from 1853. From 1856 he taught the piano at the music school in Munich before being made music director of Aachen in 1858. He returned to Munich in 1865...