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Alice Lawson Aber-Count

(b Riga, March 4, 1834; d Wiesbaden, Feb 20, 1911). German composer, pianist and conductor . After attending the Leipzig Conservatory (1851–6), where he studied harmony and counterpoint under Ernst Richter, theory under Moritz Hauptmann, the piano with Plaidy, the organ with Carl Becker and the violin with Felix Dreyschock, he returned to Riga and was appointed second conductor at the municipal theatre. On the advice of Wilhelm von Lenz, and recommended by Adolf Henselt, he went to St Petersburg the following year and became professor of theory and piano at the Imperial Nikolayevsky Institute. In 1875 he retired to Dresden, and in 1878 settled in Wiesbaden, where he devoted himself to composition and also to lyric poetry. Wilm was a prolific composer who was already well-known before he left the Leipzig Conservatory. He wrote over 250 works, many of them published in Germany, including the lyric poem ...

Article

Elaine Keillor

(Mills)

(b Toronto, May 8, 1931). Canadian composer and choral conductor. He studied composition with Godfrey Ridout at the University of Toronto where he earned both the BMus (1952) and the doctorate (1956). Additional study at Tanglewood included lessons with Foss, Copland and Chavez. In 1954 he became actively involved with choral music. He served as the organist and choirmaster at Chalmer United Church, Guelph, Ontario (1954–64), founded and conducted the Guelph Light Opera and Oratorio Company (1955–1974), conducted the Bach-Elgar Choir of Hamilton (1962–74) and was the chorus master of the Canadian Opera Company (1973–81). In 1979 he was appointed to the faculty of music at the University of Guelph where he later became composer-in-residence and the director of the electronic music studio. He retired in 1994. Although his early compositions were primarily instrumental, he produced much vocal music later in his career, including an oratorio, ...

Article

Bruce Johnson

[Milko ]

(b Sydney, June 22, 1944). Australian bandleader, trombonist, and arranger. He joined the Waratah Jazzmen in 1959 and during the late 1960s worked in nightclubs, as well as with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the dance band of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. With Warren Daly, he formed the Daly–Wilson Big Band, which was active from ...

Article

Frederick A. Beck

revised by Barry Kernfeld

(Stanley )

(b Shelby, MS, Sept 4, 1918; d Los Angeles, September 8, 2014). American composer, arranger, bandleader, and trumpeter. When he was 14 his family moved to Detroit, and he studied music at high school. From August 1939 to April 1942 he worked with Jimmie Lunceford’s band as a soloist, composer, and arranger. He then moved to Los Angeles, where he performed with Les Hite (1942–3) and Benny Carter (1943). After playing with Clark Terry and Ernie Royal in Willie Smith’s navy band he organized his first big band, which he led from 1944 to 1947; it included such musicians as Snooky Young and Melba Liston and undertook a tour during which it played in New York. Wilson then worked with Count Basie, writing arrangements and performing with the band intermittently (1948–9), and Dizzy Gillespie (for six months, c1949) and wrote arrangements for Duke Ellington: “I’m happy to say that Duke Ellington liked my music so much he put his name on it,” he recalled (Hildebrand, ...

Article

George N. Heller

revised by Debra L. Spurgeon

(b Salina, KS, May 18, 1901; d Carmel, NY, Sept 24, 1968). American music educator, conductor, and composer. He attended Kansas State Agricultural College (BM 1926) and taught music in the Eureka (Kansas) public schools (1926–9) before enrolling at Columbia University Teachers College (MA 1932, EdD 1938). He taught choral music in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York (1932–4), and directed choral organizations at Teachers College (1936–66), where he also served as chairman of the music and music education departments (1958–66). His book entitled Music in the High School (1941) was widely used in teacher education programs during the 1940s and 1950s. He was an active member of Music Educators National Conference and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). He was a member of the founding ACDA steering committee in 1959, and is attributed with authorship of the final version of the organization’s statement of philosophy called “The Ten Purposes.” Wilson was inducted into the Music Educators Hall of Fame in ...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(b Knoxville, IL, Sept 27, 1964). American drummer and leader. He began playing drums professionally around the age of 13 and worked regularly during his high school years. He later studied percussion at Wichita State University (BM 1986) and with Ed Soph (1984). In 1987 he moved to Boston, where he performed and recorded with Charlie Kohlhase from 1989 and with the Either/Orchestra between 1989 and 1994. During the same time he recorded with the Mandala Octet and Garrison Fewell. In 1992 Wilson moved to New York, where he has worked regularly with Cecil McBee and Dewey Redman (both from 1994) and Lee Konitz (from 1995); from 1996 he has toured and recorded with his own quartet (with Andrew D’Angelo, the tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm, and Yosuke Inoue). Wilson’s interactive style is a blend of Max Roach’s melodic approach and Ed Blackwell’s sense of rhythmic freedom, and draws from genres other than jazz. His drumming always has a swing feeling and he is equally adept at both straight ahead and free playing. In addition to a conventional drum set and standard percussion he employs a number of unusual instruments, including a string of shells, a tube that whistles when swirled, duck calls, and a slide whistle; he incorporates these into his playing in a manner which is humorous and theatrical, yet consistently musical....

Article

Warren M. Sherk

(b Chariton, IA, Aug 6, 1876; d New York, NY, Jan 27, 1932). American Composer, conductor, and teacher. At the Chicago Conservatory he studied with composer Frederick G(rant) Gleason, the organist Wilhelm Middelschulte, and the violinist S.E. Jacobson. He spent three years, beginning in 1899, at the Culver Military Academy in Indiana. At the University School of Music in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1901 he became the leader of the cadet band and violin department. By the time he left in 1908 he was head of the composition department. He spent the next three years teaching privately in Vienna and Leipzig, where he studied with composers Max Reger and Hans Sitt. Back in the United States, he lived in Georgia from 1912 to 1916, directing the Atlanta Philharmonic, conducting light opera, and teaching at Brenau College in Gainesville. After moving to New York, he taught at the Malkin School of Music and contributed music to a National Academy of Music university course. He spent ...

Article

Sigrid Wiesmann

(b Salzburg, Aug 30, 1923). Austrian composer and conductor. His studies at the Salzburg Mozarteum (1940–47), where his teachers included Cesar Bresgen and Johann Nepomuk David (composition), and Clemens Krauss and Bernhard Paumgartner (conducting), were interrupted by a period of military service under the Third Reich (1941–5). He went on to hold the posts of répétiteur at the Vienna Volksoper (1947–8) and musical director at the Salzburg Landestheater (1948–51). In 1969 he was appointed to a professorship in composition at the Mozarteum. He has served as a member of the board of directors of the Salzburg Festival (1971–9) and as a corresponding member of the Bayerische Akademie der Künste (from 1977). He has also conducted internationally.

Wimberger does not differentiate between light and serious music. His vocal works set humorous texts, as well as great literature. He has aimed to write in a comprehensible style and to compose music that fulfils a social function. His credo:...

Article

[Door, Anita ]

(b Port Royal, TN). Singer and bandleader. She grew up in Indiana. Having first sung with the studio band of Radio WOW, Fort Wayne, and worked at various clubs, including the Chateau Lido in Indianapolis (where she appeared under the pseudonym Anita Door), she embarked on a career fronting territory bands, starting with Lloyd Hunter’s Serenaders (1936–7). In 1938 she took over the Oklahoma-based Kansas City Blue Devils, and she toured with them into 1939 as Anna Mae Winburn and her Cotton Club Boys. From 1940 to 1941 she fronted Red Perkins’s band, operating out of Omaha, Nebraska, then from early 1942 she fronted the International Sweethearts of Rhythm; she participated in a USO tour of Europe in 1945 and remained with the group until June 1948, when she left to marry Eustace “Duke” Pilgrim. In 1950 she re-formed the Sweethearts of Rhythm with Pilgrim as manager. The orchestra toured extensively, though by ...

Article

Klaus Schulz

(b Beuthen, Germany [now Bytom, Poland], Sept 24, 1914). Austrian clarinetist, singer, and bandleader. He began to play jazz in Berlin in the 1930s. During World War II he made recordings for the German record label Tempo with Willi Berking, Meg Tevelian, and others. He moved to Vienna in ...

Article

Bill Milkowski

(Theodore, Jr. )

(b Altoona, PA, Aug 31, 1939). American soprano and alto saxophonist and bandleader. While at Northwestern University he formed the Paul Winter Sextet, with which he played alto saxophone. In 1961 this group won the Intercollegiate Jazz Festival, at which Dizzy Gillespie and John Hammond were among the judges; the latter engaged the group to record for Columbia. In the 1960s Winter’s performances and recordings brought him to national and international prominence, and in 1962, sponsored by the US State Department, he undertook an extensive tour of Latin America. At this time he considered establishing a group that departed from the conventional instrumentation of jazz; he performed works inspired by his visit in “Paul Winter Sextet” (1964), an episode of the television series “Jazz Casual.” In 1967 he formed the Paul Winter Consort, which combined Latin American, African, and Western instruments; in the early 1970s the group included the guitarist Ralph Towner, the double bass player Glen Moore, the sitarist and percussionist Collin Walcott, the reed player Paul McCandless, and the cellist David Darling; after Towner, Moore, Walcott, and McCandless formed the cooperative group Oregon in ...

Article

Katherine K. Preston

(b Wilkes-Barre, PA, Aug 15, 1910; d Greenwich, CT, Sept 17, 1973). American arranger, conductor and composer. He started playing the violin at the age of six, later studied reed instruments, and was playing professionally by the time he was in high school. He taught music and led the school orchestra while a student at St Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and graduated from the New England Conservatory. After teaching music in high school he began to play the saxophone in club bands in New York; during the 1930s and 40s he played with various dance orchestras, including those of Larry Clinton, Raymond Scott, the Dorsey brothers, Count Basie, Vaughn Monroe and Benny Goodman. Winterhalter turned to arranging in 1944, and eventually arranged music for many of these bands, and also for such singers as Billy Eckstine, Kate Smith, Dinah Shore, Eddie Fisher, Kay Starr, Perry Como, Doris Day, Frank Sinatra, the Ames Brothers and Mario Lanza. In ...

Article

Mieczysława Hanuszewska

(b Rzeszów, July 7, 1921; d Warsaw, May 31, 1998). Polish conductor and composer. He studied in Lwów and Timişoara, and in Romania made his débuts as pianist and conductor (1940). In 1947 he founded the Poznań State Philharmonia, which he conducted for 11 years, and from 1977 was chief conductor of the Polish Radio National SO in Katowice. He also conducted the Warsaw PO and appeared as a guest conductor throughout Europe and the Americas. His compositions are unpretentious and melodious, often taking thematic material from Polish folksong.

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Principal publishers: PWM

Article

Richard Wigmore

(b Kraków, Feb 7, 1944). Polish conductor . He studied composition with Krzysztof Penderecki and conducting with Henryk Czyż at the State Academy of Music in his native Kraków, making his professional conducting début, with the Kraków State PO, in 1964. From 1967 to 1969 he was assistant to Witold Rowicki at the National PO in Warsaw, and in 1967–8 took lessons with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. In 1971 Wit won second prize in the Herbert von Karajan Competition. After further study at Tanglewood with Bernard Sarrette and Seiji Ozawa , he was conductor of the Pomeranian PO from 1974 to 1977, and of the Kraków Radio SO from 1977 to 1983. In 1983 he became artistic director and principal conductor of the Polish National Radio SO in Katowice, a post he held until 2000. During this period he was also artistic director (1987–8) and visiting conductor (...

Article

Noël Goodwin

(b Copenhagen, July 5, 1897; d Copenhagen, Oct 20, 1988). Danish conductor and organist . He studied at Copenhagen University and with Nielsen. In addition to other church appointments he became organist of Christiansborg Palace chapel in 1931, and of Copenhagen Cathedral in 1959. He founded the Copenhagen Boys' Choir in 1924 and the municipal singing school there, creating the basis of a Danish choral tradition, and in 1937 was appointed conductor of the Danish RSO. From 1943 to 1945 he was conductor for Swedish radio, and subsequently toured widely as a guest conductor. His reputation for clear, energetic performances, particularly in music of the 17th and 18th centuries, was enhanced by numerous recordings, including a series, ‘Masterpieces of Music before 1750’, the complete cantatas of Buxtehude, Handel's Saul and symphonies and masses by Haydn; he also recorded several works by Nielsen, of whose music he became a fervent advocate. Wöldike edited (with Jens Peter Larsen, his son-in-law) the hymnbook of the Danish Church, and published two collections of chorales and other organ works (Copenhagen, ...

Article

Gerhard Conrad

(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 (...

Article

Deane L. Root

revised by Robert Paul Kolt

(Cecil )

(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 ...

Article

Christiane Spieth-Weissenbacher

(Louis)

(b Paris, Jan 19, 1884; d Paris, Feb 20, 1970). French conductor and composer. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire under Leroux, Gédalge and Vidal. At the same time he played the piano in cabarets and was organist at St Thomas-d'Aquin, Paris. In 1906 he joined the staff of the Opéra-Comique, the theatre which became the centre of his career. He was appointed conductor in 1911 and made his début with the première of Laparra's La jota. In 1921 he succeeded Messager as musical director for three years, and in 1945 he was appointed director-general. Although he soon resigned from this position, he continued to conduct occasionally at the theatre. He was also second conductor (from 1925), then president (1934–40), of the Concerts Pasdeloup, president of the Concerts Lamoureux (1928–34) and conductor at the Opéra (from 1949). In 1911 he conducted the French season in Buenos Aires, and he returned there during a South American tour (...

Article

(b Onstwedde, June 19, 1932). Dutch organist and conductor . He studied the organ at the conservatory in Utrecht with Stoffel van Viegen and George Stam, at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Anthon van der Horst, and with Jeanne Demessieux in Paris. He also studied conducting in Hilversum (1956–9...

Article

Charles Barber

(MacPherson)

(b Paris, Oct 21, 1953). American conductor. After graduating from Harvard University, he gained a master's degree at the Peabody Conservatory and spent a year at the Paris Conservatoire. He studied the piano with Leon Fleisher, composition with Messiaen, Crumb and Leon Kirchner, and conducting with Charles Bruck. From 1979 to 1982 he served as Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductor of the National SO, Washington, DC, under Rostropovich, and in 1980 made his Carnegie Hall début with that orchestra. Subsequent appointments included music director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania PO (1981–6), associate conductor or the National SO (1982–5) and music director of the New Jersey SO (1985–93). In 1988 Wolff was appointed principal conductor of the St Paul Chamber Orchestra, in 1992 its musical director, and in 1997 chief conductor of the Frankfurt RSO. His guest engagements have included the principal orchestras of Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco, and the LPO, LSO and Czech PO. He has recorded music ranging from Haydn's Paris symphonies to works by Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Copland, and has conducted the premières of works by Stephen Albert, Michael Colgrass, Corigliano, Aaron Kernis, Tod Machover, Panufnik and Takemitsu. Wolff's conducting is characterized by clean lines, concise and often elegant phrasing and rhythmic strength....