(b Southampton, May 18, 1860; d Munich, Jan 21, 1938). British pianist, conductor and composer of German parentage. She studied the piano and composition at the Stuttgart conservatory and later became a piano pupil of Clara Schumann, Joachim Raff, Franklin Taylor, józef Wieniawski and others. Her composition teachers in London included Arthur Sullivan, C. V. Stanford and Frederick Bridge; she won the Mendelssohn Scholarship three times in succession, which enabled her to study composition at Leipzig, with Carl Reinecke, in 1886. She made her début as a pianist at Crystal Palace in 1882, and followed this with engagements in London, Leipzig, Meiningen and Berlin. Germany was her home for most of her life; she became a teacher in Hanover and Berlin, and eventually moved to Munich. In 1898 she established a women’s orchestra in Berlin which she conducted and took on tour until 1900. Her sisters, Adela, Alice and Matilde, changed the family name to Verne, and pursued careers as pianists in England....
revised by Elizabeth Perten
(b Calgary, AB, June 1, 1929). Composer, pianist, and conductor of Canadian birth, son of lazar Weiner . He studied music at the Juilliard School of Music, Yale University (BMus 1951, MMus 1953), where his teachers were richard frank Donovan and paul Hindemith , and Harvard University (MA 1952) with walter Piston , among others. After a period at the American Academy in Rome (1953–6), he was active as a performer and composer in New York. His teaching appointments have included positions at the Yale School of Music (1963–77), the Tanglewood Music Centre (1975–97), SUNY, Purchase (1978–89), where he also served as dean of music (1978–82), and Brandeis University (1989–2005), where he is professor emeritus of composition, as well as visiting professorships at Harvard (1991–7). Among his honors are two Guggenheim fellowships (1958–9, 1977–8...
(b Davis, WV, July 28, 1915; d New Port Richey, FL, Oct 14, 1998). American polka accordionist and bandleader. He is the polka musician who led the most prominent career in American popular music. His style of polka, called Slovenian-style, Cleveland-style, or Yankovic-style, has remained the most frequently played polka idiom. He used lead accordion, a second accordion playing riffs, a tenor banjo striking chords, and a string bass. Later bands included drums. Some Slovenian bands use saxophone, although Yankovic never did.
The son of immigrants from Slovenia, he was raised in the predominantly Slovenian Collingwood neighborhood of Cleveland, where his parents ran a boardinghouse for immigrant workers. He learned to play the button accordion from a boarder named Max Zelodec. In the early 1930s, he switched to the versatile piano accordion.
Yankovic formed a small dance band, and in 1938 and 1939 made self-produced records, which sold briskly. Before shipping out to Europe with the army in ...
[Leonidas Raymond ]
(b New Orleans, March 7, 1917; d Los Angeles, July 31, 2008). American drummer and leader, brother of Lester Young. With his older brother Lester and his sister Irma, he appeared with an orchestra led by his father, the pianist Willis Handy Young, performing for minstrel shows, at carnivals, and on the Theater Owners’ Booking Association circuit; even before he was old enough to play in the band he participated as its “conductor,” all the while studying soprano saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and piano. At some point (?1925) the family formed a short-lived band of seven saxophonists, comprising his father, his stepmother, his sister, himself and his brother, and two cousins. During this period of extensive touring, while Young was still a child, the family spent its winters in Memphis, in Warren, Arkansas (1923–4), and several times in Minneapolis, where he attended grammar school (mid-1920s). He became the drummer in his father’s band around ...
(b Chicago, Aug 8, 1900; d Palm Springs, CA, Nov 10, 1956). American composer, conductor and violinist. He began to play the violin at the age of six, and four years later went to live with his grandfather in Warsaw, where he studied at the conservatory. He made his début as a soloist with the Warsaw PO in 1917. In 1920 he returned to the USA, and the following year made his American début at Orchestra Hall in Chicago. Between 1922 and 1929 he was a leader in movie theatres, a musical supervisor of vaudeville productions, a violinist and arranger for Ted Fiorito’s orchestra, and the assistant musical director of the Balaban and Katz theatre chain.
He first worked for radio in 1929, and in 1931 became musical director for Brunswick Records, where in 1932 he arranged and conducted several selections from Show Boat with soloists, chorus and orchestra; released on four discs, it was the first American album ever made from the score of a Broadway musical. In ...
(b Liège, July 16, 1858; d Brussels, May 12, 1931). Belgian violinist, conductor and composer. His first music teacher was his father, a violinist (a pupil of François Prume) and conductor of amateur music societies. Ysaÿe began studying with Désiré Heynberg at the Liège Conservatory in 1865, but he was an unsettled child and his attendance irregular, so that the lessons with Heynberg were discontinued in 1869. However, he returned to the Conservatory in 1872 and joined Rodolphe Massart's class. He was unanimously adjudged co-winner with Guillaume Remy of the Conservatory's silver medal in 1874, and also won a bursary which enabled him to take lessons with Henryk Wieniawski in Brussels and then study with Henry Vieuxtemps in Paris. Four years spent attending lectures and concerts in the French capital helped him to make useful artistic contacts. In 1879 he became leader of the Bilse orchestra in Berlin and he stayed there until ...
(b Verviers, March 2, 1865; d Nice, March 24, 1918). Belgian composer, pianist and conductor, younger brother of Eugène(-Auguste) Ysaÿe. He studied at the Liège Conservatoire from 1876 to 1880, and in 1881 joined his brother in Berlin, where he studied wilh Kullak at the Neue Akademie der Tonkunst, and where he became acquainted with Laforgue. In 1885 the Ysaÿe brothers settled in Paris, and there Théophile studied composition with Franck. His brother’s accompanist, he began a career as a virtuoso in 1886 and was professor of the piano at the Geneva Académie de Musique (1889–1900). Back in Belgium he took an active part in his brother’s Concerts Ysaÿe, principally as the rehearsal conductor. His own music is close to Debussy in detail and to Franck in conception. His symphonic poem Les abeilles was inspired by Maeterlinck’s La vie des abeilles. Its style is Impressionist in the flowing melodic lines, the play of sonorities and the poetic atmosphere that predominates in all three movements....
revised by Lennart Hedwall
(b 1753; d Stockholm, Feb 21, 1796). Swedish conductor, violinist, viola player and composer. His father, the bassoonist and oboist Johan David Zander (1714–74), moved from Germany to Stockholm as a member of the orchestra of Prince Adolphus Frederik, who acceded to the Swedish throne in 1743. The younger Johan joined the orchestra as a violinist in 1772, rose to third Konzertmeister in 1787 and deputy Konzertmeister the next year, a post he held until his death. As a solo violinist, viola player and conductor he frequently appeared in concerts in Stockholm. He taught the violin at the Swedish Royal Academy of Music from 1785 and at the Opera school from 1786; he became a member of the Academy in 1786.
After his first published works, the two violin solos (1781), Zander composed theatre music in which he emulated the style of French opéra comique...
John C.G. Waterhouse
(b Monticelli d’Ongina, Piacenza, Sept 26, 1873; d Pesaro, Jan 9, 1949). Italian composer, conductor and pianist. He studied with Bottesini and others at the Parma Conservatory. In 1890 he first conducted the orchestra of the Teatro Regio di Parma. From 1893 to 1900 he was in South America, at first as substitute conductor in Marino Mancinelli’s opera company, then independently as a pianist. He directed the Parma Conservatory (1903–5) and the Liceo Musicale, Pesaro (1905–40).
Some of Zanella’s earlier pieces were considered adventurous in their day, especially in their rhythmic freedom: the intriguing Due studi op.44 dispense entirely with bar-lines, as do the opening and closing sections of the evocative, Leopardi-inspired Il passero solitario. Moreover his unpublished compositions of the period include some (mostly piano pieces gathered under the general title L’arte del fare il nuovo and described as ‘composizioni burlesche, avveniristiche’) which were deliberately freakish, with nonsense titles paralleling those of Satie. Later he became, on the whole, more staid and conformist – overproductive and often lapsing into a rather prolix academicism, out of touch with contemporary trends. Even the would-be-modish ...
[Josef Erich ]
(b Vienna, July 7, 1932; d Vienna, September 11, 2007). American keyboard player, composer, and bandleader. He played accordion as a child and then began classical piano lessons; later he studied music at the Vienna Conservatory. In the early 1950s he performed with leading Austrian dance and radio orchestras and worked as house pianist for Polydor; he also played with Hans Koller (1952), Friedrich Gulda (including a period in 1955 when he played bass trumpet), and Karl Drewo and Fatty George (both from 1956). In 1959 he emigrated to the USA. After touring with Maynard Ferguson (1959) and serving as accompanist to Dinah Washington (October 1959 – March 1961) he spent a month with Harry Edison’s quintet accompanying Joe Williams. In April 1961 he joined Cannonball Adderley, with whom he performed and recorded until 1970. He also played with Miles Davis in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In ...