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John Brackett

(b New York City, NY, Sept 1, 1953). American composer, improviser, saxophonist, producer, and record label owner. Zorn is the best known composer and performer associated with the “Downtown” scene in New York City’s Lower East Side in Manhattan. He has composed works for a variety of ensembles including string quartets, orchestras, chamber ensembles, rock bands, and jazz groups, as well as works for solo instruments, voice, and other instrumental and vocal combinations. His compositions often incorporate elements and techniques from a number of musical genres and traditions such as rock and popular music from all over the world, jazz (particularly the post-bop and free jazz traditions), classical music (especially the music of a number of 20th-century avant-garde composers and movements), improvised music, and film music. Zorn’s interest in a variety of avant-garde movements, movies, Judaism and Jewish identity, and occult religious traditions has exerted a powerful influence on his aesthetic of art and composition....

Article

Juan María Veniard

(b Buenos Aires, Nov 11, 1935; d Buenos Aires, Aug 25, 1999). Argentine and Italian composer and conductor. He studied in Buenos Aires at the Municipal Conservatory (1947–51), composition with Gilardi at the National Conservatory (1952–7) and conducting with Mariano Drago at the National University of La Plata (1957–65). From 1965–7 he studied in Italy, at the Accademia di S Cecilia, Rome (composition with Petrassi) and at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena (conducting with Franco Ferrara).

His career as a conductor began in Buenos Aires in 1955. He conducted all the leading Argentine orchestras and toured the American continent and occasionally Europe. He was principal conductor of the National SO (1968–9; 1979–83; 1992) and of the Rosario SO (1977–90) and has appeared frequently at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, conducting both operas and concerts.

He composed music in many genres, including film music. His opera ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Munich, Jan 24, 1869; d Dresden, Dec 11, 1941). German bass . The son of the bass-baritone Ludwig Zottmayr, he studied in Munich and began his career as a concert singer. After stage appearances in Vienna (1906) and in Prague (1908, Neues Deutsches Theater), he was engaged at Dresden from ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Amberg, Bavaria, March 31, 1828; d Weimar, Oct 16, 1899). German bass-baritone . He made his début in 1855 at Nuremberg and was then engaged at Hamburg, Hanover and, in 1865, at the Munich Hofoper, where he remained until 1880. He sang King Mark in the first performance of ...

Article

Katy Romanou

(b Piraeus, 20 Nov or Dec 31, 1938; d Athens, Aug 18, 2006). Greek tuba player. Giannis Zouganelis grew up in a shack at the outskirts of Piraeus. At his father’s death from tuberculosis, his mother confined Giannis in 1948 in a borstal as a solution to her absolute poverty. Mr. Koskinas from Corfu, a music teacher in the borstal, realized Zouganelis’s talent and introduced him to some famous musicians in Athens. Zouganelis graduated from the Conservatory of Athens in 1967 (with the highest distinctions and prizes). In one of his public appearances that year, he gave the Greek première of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Concerto for tuba. Zouganelis’s velvet sound, the speed of his passages, his extraordinary facility in producing multiphonics, and his inventiveness with the techniques of the tuba made him an ideal performer for avant-garde composers. Starting with Theodore Antoniou’s humorous Six Likes for solo tuba (...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Berlin, March 29, 1800; d Berlin, July 7, 1876). German bass . He sang in the children’s chorus of the Berlin Hofoper, then in the regular chorus and in 1819 took on small parts there. After an engagement in Budapest, in 1826 he joined the Königstädtisches Theater, Berlin, making his début as Gaveston (...

Article

László Gombos

(b Esztergom, May 12, 1887; d Budapest, June 24, 1936). Hungarian violinist, composer and conductor. He studied the violin with Hubay and composition with Koessler at the Budapest Academy of Music (1901–6). In 1907 he qualified as a teacher, and soon after he changed his name to the more Hungarian-sounding Zsolt. As a composer, he made a highly successful début in 1908 with the première of his Piano Quintet, which was awarded the Erkel Prize. Also in 1908 he accepted the position of leader of the Queen's Hall Orchestra, London. He returned to Hungary two years later, eventually obtaining a teaching post alongside Hubay at the Budapest Academy, but then returned to the London orchestra in 1913. Interned in England at the beginning of World War I, he was repatriated in 1919, and subsequently served as professor of violin at the Budapest Academy. His students included Sándor Végh. Zsolt frequently played viola in the Hubay String Quartet, and in ...

Article

Robert Stevenson

[Bydwealth, Emily]

(b Salinas de Oro, nr Pamplona, Dec 6, 1888; d Hermosillo, Sonora, May 26, 1987). Mexican composer and pianist of Spanish birth. At the age of eight she entered the Pamplona Academia Municipal de Música, studying the piano with Joaquín Maya, and at 15 the Madrid Real Conservatorio, completing her course there in 1906. After her father's death in 1909, she returned to Pamplona; there she was appointed profesor auxiliar de piano at the institution from which she had graduated. Her brother, Nestor, canon archivist of Pamplona Cathedral, officiated at her marriage in 1919 to Dr Joaquin Fuentes Pascal (1887–1976), from whom she separated three years later. She then moved to Paris, studying at the Schola Cantorum with the Bach specialist Blanche Selva, for piano, and composition with Vincent d'Indy. She undertook many concert tours in the following years; in 1931 she played at Town Hall, New York, being billed as a Basque composer. She gave a further concert at the Roerich Museum, New York, later in the same year, which culminated with her eight Basque Folk Dances for two pianos, choreographed by dancers from the Centro Basco Americano of New York City. In New York she met the prominent Mexican acoustician, Augusto Novaro (...

Article

Walter Ojakäär

(Nikolayevich )

(b Moscow, Nov 15, 1936). Russian saxophonist and composer. Self-taught as a musician, he played clarinet in the brass band of the Moscow M. V. Lomonosov State University, where he studied physics (graduating in 1958), and tenor saxophone in the big band of the Tsentral’ny Dom Rabotnikov Iskusstva (Central house of artists; 1954–7). In 1956 he joined the octet Vosmoyrka, at that time the best jazz group in Moscow. Later he was a member of Oleg Lundstrem’s orchestra (1960–65) and the Kontsertny Estradny Orkestr Tsentral’novo TV i Vsesoyuznovo Radio (Concert variety orchestra of central TV and all-union radio). In 1967–8 he led two groups known by the name Crescendo – a quintet in which the vibraphonist Leonid Garin played in 1968 and a quartet. From 1974 to 1979 he worked with the ensemble Melodiya, and in the 1980s he was active as a freelance and wrote film music. In ...

Article

Judith Tick

[Zuckermann, Augusta; Zuckermann, Gussie]

(b New York, NY, Dec 25, 1885; d Miami, FL, March 8, 1981). American composer and pianist. She changed her name to Mana Zucca in her teens and became a protégée of the pianist and teacher Alexander Lambert; according to her unpublished memoirs she performed with major orchestras in New York before the age of ten (although this and other claims in her memoirs have not been verified). In 1902 she played an arrangement of Liszt’s 14th Hungarian Rhapsody with Frank Damrosch as part of his concert series for young people at Carnegie Hall. In about 1907 she went to Europe, where she met several prominent musicians and gave successful concert tours with the Spanish violinist Juan Manon. Her lively descriptions of Teresa Carreño, Ferruccio Busoni, Leopold Godowsky, and the composition teacher Max Vogrich were published in American music magazines. She also performed as a singer, notably in Franz Lehár’s ...