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John Warrack

revised by Rosemary Williamson

(b Bushey, Herts., May 22, 1822; d London, March 13, 1890). English conductor, composer and writer on music . The son of Henry Wylde (b 1795), an organist and gentleman-in-waiting to George IV, he became organist of Whitchurch and then at 16 had piano lessons from Moscheles; from 1843 to 1846 he studied with Cipriani Potter at the RAM, where he was later a professor of piano. He was organist of St Anne and St Agnes, Gresham Street (1844–7). In 1851 he gained the degree of MusDoc at Cambridge. He was a juror in the musical instrument section in the international exhibitions of 1851 and 1862, and was made professor at Gresham College in 1863.

In 1852 the New Philharmonic Society was founded, with Wylde as a guarantor, to introduce new or rare works. The first six concerts were conducted by Berlioz and Wylde, with Wylde in the second concert directing his own Piano Concerto in F minor (with Alexandre Billet), in the fourth his scena ...

Article

Vivian Perlis

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...

Article

Gail Holst-Warhaft

(b Athens, March 14, 1939). Greek composer and conductor. He is best known internationally for the scores he composed for the film Rebetiko, and for the British television series The Dark Side of the Sun. After completing his studies at the Athens Conservatory, Xarhakos went to Paris to study composition with Nadia Boulanger and to New York to study at the Juilliard School with David Diamond. Returning to Greece he became part of the Neo Kyma (New Wave) of 1960s Greek composers who set modern Greek poetry to music in a laïko (popular) style. He wrote a number of very successful popular songs, collaborating with the poet Lefteris Papadopoulos, and also composed music for cinema and theatre. His most enduring song from the 1960s is probably Savvatovrado stin Kaisariani (Saturday evening in Kaisariani), first recorded by Bithikotsis and subsequently performed by a number of singers including Dalaras. During the 1970s Xarhakos turned to classical music, although his compositions did not become known outside Greece. He later became director of the Greek National Orchestra. He also entered Greek politics and became a controversial spokesperson for the arts. Costas Ferris’s ...

Article

Masakata Kanazawa

(b Tokyo, Oct 19, 1912; d Kanagawa, Aug 13, 1991). Japanese conductor and composer. He studied the piano at the Tokyo School of Music (now the Tōkyō Geijutsu Daigaku), and in 1937 won first prize in an NHK competition with his Prelude on Japanese Popular Songs for orchestra; he later won several more prizes for his compositions. After studying conducting under Joseph Rosenstock he made his conducting début in 1940, becoming assistant conductor of the New SO (now the NHK SO) in 1941 and principal conductor in 1942. Yamada was subsequently music director of several Japanese orchestras, and toured in Europe, the USA and South Africa. His conducting was renowned for its flair and passionate energy, and his enterprising programmes included the first Japanese performances of such works as Mahler’s Symphony no.8, The Rite of Spring and Webern’s orchestral music. From 1965 to 1972 he taught at the Tōkyō Geijutsu Daigaku, where Hiroshi Wakasugi and Ken′ichiro Kobayashi were among his students....

Article

Richard March

[Frank ]

(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 ...

Article

(b Moscow, 19/Dec 31, 1875; d Kharkiv, Jan 19, 1933). Ukrainian composer, conductor and critic. A graduate of Kiev University (1903) he studied music privately with E. Ryb and worked as a conductor and critic in Kiev until 1910. He then continued these activities in St Petersburg and then Moscow where he conducted at the Zimin Private Opera (1916–17). In 1918 he settled in Kharkiv where he added teaching (at the Musical Dramatic Institute) to his activities. His opera Vybukh (‘Explosion’) was the first Ukrainian opera on a revolutionary theme, while his last opera, Duma chornomors′ka (‘Duma of the Black Sea’), is a grand opera based on Ukrainian folk music and is dedicated to Verdi. Polish and Turkish materials are also used to characterize the various national elements of the plot.

(selective list)

Article

Izaly Zemtsovsky

(Glebovich)

(b Seltso village, Bronnitsïy district, nr Moscow, 1875; d Moscow, Dec 18, 1945). Russian tenor folk singer and folk choir leader. He was originally a joiner and later became an agronomist and a journalist. He loved traditional song and knew several hundred Russian folksongs by heart. In 1919 he organized a choir which improvised Russian village songs in a traditional manner, singing in parts; his aim was to preserve folksongs as a living art by staging rather than arranging them. His skill in doing this was acknowledged by many distinguished Russian composers, writers and ethnomusicologists. During the Soviet period, small regional choirs such as Yarkov's became state folk choirs and provided models for other regional ‘folklore’ groups in the northern Russian, Voronezh, Ural′ and Don regions. With Mitrofan Pyatnitsky (1864–1927) and Ol′ga Kovaleva (1881–1962), Yarkov was one of the leading exponents of staged folksong in Russia....

Article

David Ades

(b London, Dec 4, 1902; d England, Feb 2, 1966). English arranger, composer and conductor. Like many of his contemporaries who later achieved recognition for their work in light music, Yorke began his pre-war career with Britain's leading dance bands, notably Percival Mackey, Jack Hylton and Louis Levy. In particular his distinctive scores of popular film songs in the pseudo-symphonic style required by Levy for recordings and broadcasts became a trademark that would distinguish Yorke for the remainder of his career. After the war light orchestras were a main element of BBC radio, and he became associated with a rich, full orchestral sound, often augmented with a strong saxophone section led by Freddy Gardner (1911–50). Yorke used Gardner in many of his commercial recordings for EMI's Columbia, notably pieces such as I'm in the Mood for Love and These Foolish Things, which have become minor classics of their genre. Yorke contributed many original compositions to the recorded music libraries of leading London publishers (Chappells, Francis Day & Hunter, Paxton etc.) and for ten years from ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

[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 ...

Article

David Scott

(b Northwich, Cheshire, May 17, 1912; d York, May 9, 2004). English writer on music and music educationist . He was educated at Christ’s Hospital (1924–30) and read English, music and history as an organ scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge (1930–34; MusB 1933). He was director of music at Stranmillis Teachers Training College, Belfast, from 1934 until 1937, when he took the MusD at Trinity College, Dublin. From 1937 to 1944 he was music adviser to the city of Stoke on Trent. In 1944 he became director of music at Wolverhampton College of Technology; there he also formed a choir which gave many performances, particularly of lesser-known works by Handel. Since 1970 he has been a visiting scholar and lecturer at numerous colleges in the USA.

Young was an exceptionally fluent and prolific writer. His books include short popular biographies and several volumes for younger readers. Many of his more substantial writings are based on a lively, fresh and industrious, if not always highly discriminating, examination of source material; these include original research on Elgar and useful surveys of the British choral tradition and British music generally. As a composer Young was equally prolific: his works include a Fugal Concerto for two pianos and strings (...

Article

Carol Neuls-Bates

revised by Richard Wigmore

(b Sydney, March 21, 1961). Australian conductor. She studied composition and piano at the NSW Conservatorium and made her conducting début at the Sydney Opera House in 1985. In 1987 she was engaged as an assistant conductor at the Cologne Opera, and in 1993 was appointed Kapellmeister at the Berlin Staatsoper. Young has been the first woman to conduct at the Vienna Volksoper (1992) and Staatsoper (1993), the Opéra-Bastille (1993) and the Staatsoper in Munich (1995). Other important débuts have included Covent Garden (with a highly praised Rigoletto, 1994), the Metropolitan Opera (with La bohème, 1995), and the Munich PO (1996). Her repertory extends from Mozart to contemporary music, with special emphasis on Wagner and Strauss, and her performances have been acclaimed for their exciting theatricality. In 1997 Young embarked on a Ring cycle at the Vienna Staatsoper, and in ...

Article

Clifford McCarty

(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 ...

Article

Clifford McCarty

(b Chicago, IL, 8 Aug 1900; d Palm Springs, CA, 10 Nov 1956). 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 debut as a soloist with the Warsaw PO in 1917. In 1920 he returned to the United States and the following year made his American debut at Orchestra Hall in Chicago. Between 1922 and 1929 he was a leader in movie theaters, 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 theater chain.

He first worked for radio in 1929 and in 1931 became music 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 made from the score of a Broadway musical. In ...

Article

Michel Stockhem

(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 ...

Article

Henri Vanhulst

(Antoine)

(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....

Article

James M. Burk

(Wilhelm)

(b Lemberg [now L'viv, Ukraine], Aug 31, 1864; d St. Louis, MO, Feb 3, 1921). American conductor and violist, trained in Austria. He studied at the Vienna Conservatory from 1880 to 1886 and also played violin in the Austrian Army. He then came to the USA, becoming the first violist in the Boston SO (1886–1907) and the viola player in the Adamowski Quartet (1889–1906). He conducted (with others) the Boston “pops” concerts from 1895 to 1902 and from 1905 to 1907. With Emil Mollenhauer, he conducted the Boston Band at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis (1904). He was invited to become the conductor of the orchestra of the St. Louis Choral-Symphony Society in 1907 when it became a professional orchestra. During Zach’s first season the ensemble, renamed the St. Louis SO, increased in size from 52 to 64 players and was developed into a disciplined ensemble. Zach also increased the number of its subscription concerts. He was a masterly program builder and included many modern works in the orchestra’s concerts, among them 45 symphonic compositions by 26 American composers, and some American and world premières; he also presented the complete cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies in ...

Article

Noël Goodwin

(b Waging, Nov 13, 1942). German conductor . He was a member of the Regensburg Boys’ Choir, and studied conducting in Munich and Essen and with Swarowsky in Vienna, as well as with Kertész, Karajan and Maderna. He won international prizes in Rome and Milan and worked at opera houses in Salzburg, Kiel and Darmstadt, 1967–73. After working as chief conductor of the Austrian RSO, 1982–5, he was music director at the Paris Opéra, 1986–8, where he conducted the première of Höller’s Der Meister und Margarita (1989), in which his expert direction of a complex score was much admired. He is also noted for Berg’s Wozzeck and Lulu, and his close connection with contemporary works (including Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten) extends to the Ensemble InterContemporain in Paris and the London Sinfonietta. His British opera début was with the Glyndebourne Touring Opera’s Le nozze di Figaro (1984...

Article

Mojmír Sobotka

(b Frýdek-Místek, Feb 5, 1939). Czech composer and conductor. He studied the violin and composition at the Brno Conservatory (1956–61), then composition with Kapr at the Janáček Academy; his graduation piece was the one-act opera Fraška o kádi (A Farce about the Tub). Thereafter he was a pupil of Bialas at the Hochschule in Munich (1968–70) and of Dvořáček at the Prague Academy of Musical Arts (1974–9). For many years Zámečník was a violinist with the Janáček Opera and the Brno State PO. In 1982 he became founder-director of the Brno Brass Band, an ensemble for which he and other Czech composers have written numerous pieces and arrangements. From 1989 to 1994 he was dramaturge of the opera at the National Theatre in Brno (until 1991 State Theatre of Brno, 1991–93 Regional Theatre of Brno). He was president of the board of the Copyright Union Fund (...

Article

Anders Lönn

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...

Article

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 ...