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(b Erie, PA, Dec 2, 1866; d Stamford, CT, Sept 12, 1949). American singer, composer, arranger, and music editor. His early music study included piano, voice, guitar, and bass viol. In January 1892 he won a scholarship at the National Conservatory of Music in New York. Among Conservatory faculty who influenced his career were Victor Herbert and Antonín Dvořák, director of the conservatory from September 1892 to April 1895. Burleigh became Dvořák’s copyist and librarian of the Conservatory orchestra, in which he played timpani and bass viol. He sang plantation songs and spirituals for Dvořák that he had learned from his grandfather, a former slave. Dvořák’s Symphony no.9 in E minor, “From the New World,” was written and premiered while Burleigh was at the Conservatory.

In New York Burleigh took his place among prominent African American singers such as soprano Sissieretta Jones (known as the Black Patti). In the years ...

Article

Michael Fend

(Carlo Zanobi Salvadore Maria )

(b Florence, 8/Sept 14, 1760; d Paris, March 15, 1842). Italian, composer, conductor, teacher, administrator, theorist, and music publisher, active in France. He took French citizenship, probably in 1794, and was a dominant figure in Parisian musical life for half a century. He was a successful opera composer during the Revolutionary period, and had comparable success with religious music from the beginning of the Restoration. He was made director of the Paris Conservatoire and consolidated its pre-eminent position in music education in Europe.

In the biographical preface to his work catalogue, compiled in 1831, Cherubini gave 8 and 14 September as his dates of birth, but the records of the baptistery of S Giovanni state that he was born on 14 September (and baptized the following day). He was the tenth of 12 children. It has been claimed that his mother died when he was four years old (Pougin, ...

Article

Leon Plantinga

revised by Luca Lévi Sala

[Clementi, Mutius Philippus Vincentius Franciscus Xaverius]

(b Rome, Jan 23, 1752; d Evesham, Worcs., March 10, 1832). English composer, keyboard player and virtuoso, teacher, music publisher, entrepreneur, and piano manufacturer of Italian birth.

The oldest of seven children of Nicola Clementi (1720–89), a silversmith, and Magdalena (née Kaiser), Clementi began studies in music in Rome at a very early age; his teachers were Antonio Boroni (1738–92), an organist named Cordicelli, Giuseppi Santarelli (1710–90), and possibly Gaetano Carpani. In January 1766, at the age of 13, he secured the post of organist at his home church, S Lorenzo in Damaso. In that year, however, his playing attracted the attention of an English traveller, Peter Beckford (1740–1811), cousin of the novelist William Beckford (1760–1844) and nephew of William Beckford (1709–70), twice Lord Mayor of London. According to Peter Beckford’s own forthright explanation, he ‘bought Clementi of his father for seven years’, and in late ...

Article

Argia Bertini

revised by Giulia Anna Romana Veneziano

(b Florence, July 8, 1638; d Florence, Jan 16, 1703). Italian composer, teacher, music editor, theorist, organist and singer. He spent his entire life as a priest in Florence. On 1 August 1663 he was appointed chaplain at the cathedral, S Maria del Fiore, where he was also active as an organist and singer. He was particularly admired as a teacher, and it was this above all that determined the nature of his publications; the numerous reprints particularly of Il cantore addottrinato and Scolare addottrinato bear witness to the popularity of his methods. In these two manuals he sought to establish rules for the effective composition and performance of church music, contributing, according to his contemporaries, to the codification of the ‘true rule of ecclesiastical singing’. However, he is better remembered for his Corona di sacre canzoni and Colletta di laude spirituali, which have great importance for the final phase in the history of the ...

Article

Catherine Parsons Smith

(b New York, Sept 9, 1905; d Bridgeport, CT, May 21, 1992). American composer, teacher and editor. She studied with Homer Grunn in Los Angeles. In 1922 she toured the midwestern Chautauqua circuit as a pianist. She studied composition with Goetschius (1922–3), Rubin Goldmark (1924–7, with fellowships from the Juilliard Graduate School) and Boulanger (1927); piano with Boyle and Lhévinne. Dissatisfied with teaching and with the reception of her music, she worked on the editorial staff of Time magazine from 1945 until 1952. Later she travelled widely, living for several years on Tahiti and Vanuatu.

Her elegant music, which uses the pandiatonic harmonic vocabulary of its time, is marked by its neo-classical, symmetrical form and its rhythmic forcefulness. The Piano Quintet and the Violin Sonata no.1 both won awards from the Society for the Publication of American Music. Her orchestral works have been performed by the symphony orchestras of Cincinnati, Rochester, Scranton and Sydney....

Article

David Nicholls and Joel Sachs

(Dixon )

(b Menlo Park, CA, March 11, 1897; d Shady, NY, Dec 10, 1965). American composer, writer, pianist, publisher, and teacher. Described by Cage as “the open sesame for new music in America,” he was an early advocate for many of the main developments in 20th-century music, including the systematization of modernist techniques, the exploration of timbral resources, and transculturalism.

Many facets of Cowell’s remarkable personality resulted from the unusual circumstances of his upbringing. His father, Harry, had immigrated to British Columbia with his brother after their own father, the Dean of Kildare’s Anglican Cathedral, bought them some land. Finding no satisfaction in farming life, Harry moved to San Francisco in search of a literary career. Henry’s mother Clara (usually called Clarissa) Dixon, a gifted writer, was the daughter of a fundamentalist Midwestern farming family. She had left the church and their community, married, and produced a son called Clarence. After he ran away from home as a teenager, Clarissa fled her stifling small-town life for San Francisco. In the Bay area, she met Harry, with whom she founded a philosophical-anarchist newsletter. As dedicated anarchists, they rejected the heavy hand of government, including what they saw as the homogenizing power of conventional public schooling. They built a little cottage on the still-rural edge of Menlo Park, where Stanford University was being constructed. Henry Cowell was born there, and Menlo Park remained his principal base until ...

Article

Bethany Goldberg

(b 1821; d Brooklyn, Aug 28, 1895). American composer, music educator, and tunebook compiler. He primarily composed choral and solo vocal music. His best known works are the cantatas Elutheria (pubd 1851) and The Forest Melody (with a text by William Cullen Bryant; premièred 1858), and the anthem Endymion (on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem; pubd 1857). The short-lived American Musical Association, which supported local composers, performed his works in 1857. For over thirty years, he taught music in the New York public schools (at as many as six schools at a time). Curtis was also an instructor at the New York Conservatory of Music (founded 1849) with William Bradbury and Francis Nash and at the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute. Following the example set by Lowell Mason, Curtis compiled several instructional collections of music including The Grammar School Vocalist (1860), The Musical Monitor: a New Vocal Method for Schools...

Article

Jerome Roche

[Johannes]

(b Veringenstadt, nr Sigmaringen, 1585; d Rottenburg am Neckar, 1654). German music editor, singer, teacher and composer. He studied at the University of Dillingen, one of the main cultural centres of south-west Germany, and in 1610 took a post as singer at St Martin, Rottenburg. This carried with it duties as a schoolteacher: in this capacity he became Rektor of the school in 1622 and in his musical capacity Kapellmeister of the church in 1627.

Donfrid is chiefly interesting as an editor who saw it as his task to propagate in Catholic southern Germany the best and most popular church music by Italian composers of his day. To this end he published five large anthologies at Strasbourg in the 1620s: the tripartite Promptuarii musici, consisting of motets arranged in a liturgical cycle, as had been done by other editors, such as Schadaeus, before him; the Viridarium, devoted to Marian pieces; and the ...

Article

Robert M. Copeland

revised by Dale Cockrell

(b Parsonfield, ME, Aug 3, 1820; d Hyde Park, MA, Sept 29, 1915). American composer, editor, music educator, and conductor. He attended Parsonfield Academy and Effingham Union Academy (NH) as a boy, then matriculated at Dracut Academy (MA), intending to become a physician. His father, a prosperous farmer, had taught him to play the cello, and that sparked an abiding interest in music. He moved to the Boston area in 1841, where he attended singing schools under Benjamin F. Baker and George F. Root. In 1844 he began more formal musical training with Isaac B. Woodbury in Boston, studying voice, piano, organ, and music theory. Emerson moved to Salem, Massachusetts, afterwards, where he taught music privately, was involved in local school matters, and directed a choir. He was later the organist and music director at Bullfinch Street Church, Boston, for four years, then at Second Congregational Church, Greenfield, MA for eight years, while teaching concurrently at Powers’ Institute in Bernardstown. By the 1870s he was devoting himself full time to editing, composing, compiling, and conducting (some 350 festivals and musical conventions); he also sang and was known widely as a lecturer....

Article

Ruth M. Wilson

revised by Stephen L. Pinel

(b Philadelphia, PA, Aug 16, 1771; d Brooklyn, NY, Apr 30, 1861). American organist, church musician, teacher, instrument-maker, tunebook compiler, and composer. In addition to serving as the organist of Trinity Church, Peter Erben was a prominent church musician, organ builder, and music teacher in antebellum New York.

Peter was the son of Johann Adam Erben (d c1781), a Philadelphia distiller. By 1791 he was in New York working as a tanner, but turned his attention to music after a bankruptcy in 1796. He was successively the organist of Christ Church (1800), the Middle Dutch Reformed Church (1806), St. George’s Chapel (1808), St. John’s Chapel (1813), and ultimately Trinity Church (1820–39). From about 1800 he was also the founder and director of the Society for Cultivating Church Music and frequently presented public concerts with the charity children. Between ...