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Article

Gregory E. Smith

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Michael Christian Joseph, Jr.]

(bNew York, July 2, 1942). Americanpianist, arranger, and composer. His father was a guitarist and bandleader. Abene performed and recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival in Marshall Brown’s International Youth Band (1958) and studied composition at the Manhattan School of Music (1959–61), though he is primarily self-taught. After working with Clark Terry, Jimmy Nottingham, and others at the Cork ’n Bib on Long Island (1960) he played piano with Don Ellis (1960–61), Maynard Ferguson (1961–5), for whom he also wrote arrangements, Buddy Rich, Harry Edison, and Georgie Auld (in Las Vegas, 1963). From the mid-1960s he performed regularly in New York at the Half Note (with the quintets led by Al Cohn and Zoot Sims and by Bill Berry and Richie Kamuca, 1965–7), Bradley’s (1972–5), Sweet Basil (1978), and Freddy’s (with the singer Barbara Rankin, ...

Article

Barry Long

(b Port Chester, NY, Dec 16, 1944). American jazz guitarist, composer, and bandleader. He grew up in Greenwich, CT, and began playing guitar at the age of 14. He was primarily self taught until he studied at the Berklee College of Music (1962–6) and with Jack Petersen. Abercrombie joined Johnny Hammond’s touring band after the blues organist had spotted him performing with other Berklee students at Paul’s Mall in Boston. After studying briefly at the University of North Texas, in 1969 he moved to New York where he performed and recorded in Billy Cobham’s jazz-rock band Dreams (1970), joined Chico Hamilton’s group, and recorded with Gato Barbieri (1971), Barry Miles (1972), and Gil Evans (1974). Abercrombie attracted wider attention performing with Cobham’s fusion band Spectrum from 1974. He also toured with Jack DeJohnette and recorded his debut album, ...

Article

Anna Amalie Abert

(b Kochowitz, nr Leitmeritz, Bohemia, Sept 20, 1832; d Stuttgart, April 1, 1915). Bohemian composer. After studying at the Prague Conservatory, he was engaged in 1853 as a double-bass player at the Stuttgart Hofkapelle where he then served as Kapellmeister from 1867 to 1888. Between 1852 and 1894 he composed orchestral and chamber music in addition to sacred and secular vocal works. He was most important in the field of operatic composition, his six operas winning him acclaim as one of the masters between Meyerbeer and Wagner. His first opera, Anna von Landscron (1858), was firmly rooted in the German Romantic opera tradition. However König Enzio, produced four years later, clearly showed the influence of French grand opera, which the composer had studied first-hand during a long visit to Paris. He was especially successful in 1866 with his third opera, Astorga, whose less dramatic text allowed scope for his primarily lyrical style to develop. In ...

Article

Simon Towneley and Derek McCulloch

[Bertie, Willoughby]

(b Gainsborough, Jan 16, 1740; d Rycote, Sept 26, 1799). English music patron, composer, and political writer. He was educated at Westminster and Oxford (MA 1761) and spent several years in Europe. In Geneva (1765) he met Grétry, who wrote a flute concerto for him based on the improvisations he had played to Grétry to demonstrate his prowess. He spent time in Geneva with the exiled politician John Wilkes and met Voltaire in nearby Ferney. From the mid 1770s he was much involved in the musical and political life of Britain. He was brought into close contact with J.C. Bach and C.F. Abel through his brother-in-law Giovanni Gallini, who was concerned in the organization of the Bach-Abel subscription concerts, which the Earl is said to have subsidized. At his request, Abel composed Four Trios: Two for Two Flutes and a Bass op.16 and J.C. Bach is the author of one of two trios composed for the earl, ‘selected’ and published by Monzani in about ...

Article

Andreas Vejvar

(b Schwanenstadt, Upper Austria, March 15, 1959). Austrian composer. After studying jazz piano at the Graz Hochschule für Musik (1977–9), he studied composition privately with Gösta Neuwirth (1979). He continued his studies at the Vienna Music Academy (1979–82), where his teachers included Haubenstock-Ramati. From 1982 until 1990 he taught at the Kreuzberg Musikschule. His other activities have included founding the ensemble Zwischentöne (1988), and directing the zeit geben I–III, Klangwerkstatt (Berlin, 1990–92) and Insel Musik 24 (Berlin, 1997) festivals. He has served as guest conductor for various ensembles in Vienna and Berlin, and as guest composer at the Graz Institut für Elektronische Musik (1996).

Ablinger has remarked, ‘It is not what is different that counts but what is the same; that is where the One can occur’. This aesthetic posture has led him to compose several series of works in which many of the same elements carry over from one piece to the next. The first piece in his series ...

Article

[Julio]

(fl 1546–87). Italian lutenist and composer. ‘Pestrin’ is Venetian dialect for ‘mill’ or ‘dairy’, and it has been thought that this may indicate his family’s occupation and Venetian origins; more recent evidence suggests that the name refers to his residence in Calle del Pestrin in the parish of San Stefano. He published at least seven volumes of solo lute music, of which only three are extant. A book of lute music by ‘Pestrin’, now lost, is listed in Vincenti’s catalogue of 1591; that this is by Abondante is confirmed by Giunta’s catalogue of 1604. Because of the different forms of Abondante’s name and the 41 years that elapsed between the publication of the first and fifth books, Eitner mistakenly concluded that ‘Julio Abondante’, composer of the first two books, and ‘Giulio Abundante, detto dal Pestrino’ or ‘Giulio dal Pestrino’, composer of the fifth book, were different musicians. In the dedications of his ...

Article

Hanns-Bertold Dietz and Joseph Vella Bondin

(Matteo)

(b Valetta, Nov 16, 1715; d Naples, Oct 1760). Maltese composer and teacher. His grandfather, who was French, settled in Malta in 1661. Abos's cousin Carol Farrugia paid for him to go to Naples as a child and receive his musical training at the Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesù. An entry in the 1729 account book of the institution lists a payment to a ‘Maltese maggiore’ for copying a ‘new work by Sig Francesco Durante, Dixit’. Abos's principal teachers at the conservatory would have been first Gaetano Greco, then Durante and Gerolimo Ferrara (not Leonardo Leo). His first opera for Naples was Le due zingare simili, an opera buffa staged at the Teatro Nuovo in 1742. In the same year he took teaching posts at two Neapolitan conservatories: the Poveri di Gesù Cristi, where he succeeded Alfonso Caggi as secondo maestro and assisted Francesco Feo until the institution was dissolved in ...

Article

David Lloyd-Jones

revised by David Brown

(Ernest Heal)

(b Newport, Isle of Wight, March 9, 1904; d Midhurst, March 18, 1988). English musicologist. Apart from having piano lessons as a boy, musically he was entirely self-taught. His formal education was completed in Portsmouth in preparation for a career in the navy, but he was obliged to abandon this plan owing to ill-health. During a period of recuperation he was able to put some of his self-acquired musical knowledge into practice by making orchestrations, arrangements and some attempts at original composition for the garrison band on the Isle of Wight. A year spent in Cologne resulted in his first major contribution to musical literature, a study of Borodin, which was begun in 1924 and published in 1927; this book (which he later disowned) immediately established him as an expert in the field of Russian music. He spent the next eight years as a freelance writer, contributing to a wide variety of publications, notably ...

Article

Andrew Lamb

[Ábrahám, Pál]

(b Apatin, Hungary, Nov 2, 1892; d Hamburg, May 6, 1960).Hungarian composer. He studied at the Budapest Academy of Music (1910–16) and began as a composer of serious orchestral and chamber music, a cello concerto being performed by the Budapest PO and a string quartet at the 1922 Salzburg Festival. In 1927, however, he was appointed conductor at the Budapest Operetta Theatre, where he was called upon to write numbers for various operettas. Viktória (1930), a work making use of the dance styles of the time, enjoyed huge popularity and led to a move to Germany, where his success continued with his score for the film Die Privatsekretärin (1931) and the operettas Die Blume von Hawaii (1931) and Ball im Savoy (1932). However, the rise of Hitler forced him to leave Germany, at first for Vienna where the operettas ...

Article

Anders Beyer

(b Copenhagen, Dec 23, 1952). Danish composer. He first studied the horn and was later trained in music theory at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. He also undertook private studies in composition from Nørgård and Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, among others. Abrahamsen was active for a period in the Gruppen for Alternativ Musik, a forum for musicians who wished to perform new music in alternative forms; the group also aimed to develop socially and politically committed music, and Abrahamsen was thus able to cultivate his interest in political issues expressed through music. (His first symphony was originally entitled Anti-EEC-Sats (‘Anti-EEC Movement’); it became Symphony in C after the composer came to the realization that ‘music cannot be against’.) In 1982 Abrahamsen became a teacher of instrumentation at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. He has also been artistic director of the Esbjerg Ensemble since 1988.

The composer’s first works adhered to the style of the Danish ‘new simplicity’ movement of the mid-1960s. For Abrahamsen and other composers such as Gudmundsen-Holmgren, Christiansen and Ole Buck, this stylistic attitude, which marked a break with serial music, was a Danish response to the complexity emanating from central Europe, particularly the circle around the Darmstadt School. In Abrahamsen this aesthetic anchorage came to mean an almost naive simplicity in musical expression, as exemplified in his orchestral piece ...

Article

Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(b c1758; d Torquay, March 8, 1821). English soprano and composer. She made her début in October 1775 as the little gypsy in May Day, a piece designed for her by Garrick with music by her teacher Thomas Arne. However, she had limited success as a stage personality and in 1780 she left Drury Lane to become a principal singer at fashionable London concerts and provincial festivals. She appeared in the Handel Commemoration concerts in 1784, when Burney praised the sweetness and taste of her singing, in the next three Handel festivals, the Concerts of Ancient Music, and concert series organized by Rauzzini, Ashley and Salomon. Her sister Theodosia (d Torquay, 4 Nov 1849), whose voice Mount-Edgcumbe described as the most beautiful contralto he ever heard, often sang with her. In 1783, the Public Advertiser, while admiring Harriett's solo singing, commented that the ‘Forte...

Article

[Abrams, Richard Louis ]

(b Chicago, IL, Sept 19, 1930). American pianist, composer, and administrator. After receiving private piano lessons, he studied at the Chicago Musical College and taught himself the system of composition devised by Joseph Schillinger. He began to work professionally in 1948 and performed regularly at the Cotton Club in Chicago during the 1950s, accompanying visiting musicians such as Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt, and Max Roach. After composing and arranging for the Walter “King” Fleming band in the mid-1950s, Abrams joined the hard bop ensemble MJT+3 and made his recording debut on the group’s album DADDY-O PRESENTS MJT+3 (1957, VJ 1013). Beginning in 1961 Abrams led the Experimental Band, a composer-centered rehearsal ensemble whose members included the double bass player Donald Rafael Garrett, Jack DeJohnette, Roscoe Mitchell, and the reed player Joseph Jarman. He subsequently co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in 1965...

Article

Tibor Tallián

revised by Anna Dalos

(b Budapest, Sept 22, 1882; d Budapest, Feb 11, 1970). Hungarian composer and conductor, grandson of Kornél Ábrányi. He studied composition, the organ and piano at the Budapest Academy of Music, and spent a year with Nikisch in Leipzig. From 1904 he was a theatre conductor in Cologne, and from 1907 in Hanover. In 1911 he returned to Budapest to become conductor at the Royal Hungarian Opera House; he was director there (1919–20) and then at the Budapest Theatre (1921–6). He taught conducting at the Liszt Academy of Music.

Ábrányi was the most prolific Hungarian opera composer of his generation; between 1903 and 1923 five of his operas and a Singspiel were produced at the Budapest Opera House and the City Theatre. Rather than subscribing to the established Hungarian romantic opera style or folklore, Ábrányi composed in a cosmopolitan style. The operas Monna Vanna...

Article

Dezső Legány

(b Szent-György-Ábrány, Oct 15, 1822; d Budapest, Dec 20, 1903). Hungarian writer on music, composer and pianist. He came from the wealthy Eördögh family: the name means ‘devil’ and his father changed it to Ábrányi, the name of their estate. He studied the piano under János Kirch (1810–63) and Vilmos Dolegni. His first composition, Magyar ábránd (‘Hungarian Fantasy’), was published in 1841. In the early 1840s he gave concerts in Hungarian towns, and in 1846 left for Vienna to take piano lessons with Joseph Fischhof. There is no reliable evidence that he was ever a student of Chopin in Paris. From 1847 he lived in Pest, in the 1850s as a piano teacher, and studied composition with Mosonyi, together with whom he became a devoted follower of Liszt and Wagner. He was one of the founders of the first Hungarian music periodical, the Zenészeti lapok, in ...

Article

Angelina Petrova

(b March 28, 1936; d Nov 6, 2006). Bulgarian composer and musicologist. He studied composition under Pantcho Vladigerov at the State Conservatoire (now renamed the Pantcho Vladigerov National Music Academy) in Sofia, Bulgaria. He worked as a conductor with the Filip Kutev National Folklore Ensemble, and as a lecturer (from 1966) and professor (from 1990) of symphonic orchestration at the NMA. He served as vice-president of the NMA (1999–2001) and as Minister of Culture (2001–2005).

A composer of symphonic and chamber music, his individual style epitomizes the post-tonal tendencies of the early 20th century; he distanced himself from the Social Realism movement that was imposed upon composers in the countries of Eastern Europe. After 1990 he also wrote cantatas and oratorios, which exhibit an even more radical post-tonal style. He is the author of a number of theoretical studies on symphonic orchestration....

Article

Mario Rey

(b Havana, Cuba, Feb 26, 1942). Cuban-American guitarist, composer, arranger, and educator; immigrated to the United States and naturalized in 1975. He studied piano and composition at the Conservatorio Orbón in Havana, and guitar under Héctor García and Julian Bream. Abril participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion (1961) and was consequently incarcerated for twenty-two months in Cuba. Returning to the United States, he established a performing and recording career as a classical guitarist, whose arrangements for the instrument have been published worldwide. He holds the PhD degree in music theory from Florida State University.

A series of medical issues with his hands during the 1980s subsequently redirected his focus to composition. Rejecting atonality and traditional developmental procedures in his early works, Abril cultivated a compositional style characterized by tonal and often polytonal harmony and linear writing. Although not a folklorist, he shows an affinity for Cuban musical culture, particularly in the rhythmic component. His compositions include ...

Article

Henri Vanhulst

(Nicolas Joseph)

(b Bonsecours, Hainaut, Oct 23, 1893; d Uccle, Brussels, Feb 2, 1974). Belgian composer. He studied the organ, the piano and harmony with Alphonse Oeyen, organist of Bonsecours. He continued his studies at the Ecole St Grégoire, Tournai, where he gave his first organ recital in 1912. In 1913 he entered the Brussels Conservatory to study with Desmet (organ), Edouard Samuel (practical harmony) and (from 1915) Lunssens (written harmony). He took a first prize for organ and harmony in 1916 and, after a year’s further work with Paulin Marchand (counterpoint) and Léon Du Bois (fugue), another for counterpoint and fugue. Abandoning the idea of a career as an organist, he went to Gilson for composition lessons (1920–22). In 1921 his First Symphony won the Agniez Prize; in 1921 he took the second Belgian Prix de Rome with the cantata La guerre and was appointed director of the Etterbeek Music School. From ...

Article

Edward F. Kravitt

(b Eilenburg, Dec 22, 1819; d Wiesbaden, March 31, 1885). German composer. His father, a clergyman and an enthusiastic pianist, gave him his first instruction in music; he then went to Leipzig to study theology and music at the university and the Thomasschule. There he made friends with Lortzing, Mendelssohn and Schumann. On the death of his father (1837), he decided to concentrate entirely on music. Though engaged in Bernburg (1841) as Kapellmeister, he soon left for Zürich, distinguishing himself there as an outstanding and immensely popular choirmaster. He was appointed director of nearly all of its numerous choral societies in succession, often winning prizes for them. In 1852 he became conductor at the opera house in Brunswick, which had been designated a national theatre in 1818. He was appointed director of the Hofkapelle in 1855. Faithful to his first love, choral conducting, he developed an international reputation and was invited to conduct in many capital cities of Europe. A spectacular reception awaited him on his tour of the USA (...

Article

Roger Bowers

(b c1420; d 1497). English church musician. He was noted as a fine singer and skilful organist. After service in the household of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (until 1447), and as a lay clerk of Eton College (1447–51), where he was one of the four clerks specially responsible for singing polyphony in the college chapel, he became a clerk of the Chapel Royal in 1451, and Master of the Choristers there from 1455 to 1478. His duties included teaching the boys to play the organ and to sing plainsong and improvised polyphony; also it seems probable that he was instrumental in the introduction about this time of the use of boys’ voices in composed polyphony. The award to him in 1464 of a Cambridge MusB reflects his eminence in the musical profession – he is the earliest known recipient of this degree – while the patronage of Bishop Bekynton brought him valuable sinecures in the diocese of Bath and Wells. His last years were spent as a resident of Sanctuary Yard, Westminster Abbey....

Article

(b Rome, Aug 28, 1739; d Rome, Aug 13, 1818). Italian composer. Breitkopf’s 1785–7 catalogue records his name as Agosti, and this led both Gerber and Eitner to list him also under that name. A. Fuchs recorded his dates of birth and death, and his studies with Rinaldo di Capua, on the title-page of a Recordare virgo by Accorimboni; in his memoirs the abbot Lucantonio Benedetti noted that Accorimboni’s opera Il marchese di Castelverde drew a large crowd of noblemen ‘because the composer also belonged to the patrician class’. Between 1768 and 1786 he wrote several operas, all but one of them comic, and he is also known to have composed several religious pieces. His Il regno delle Amazzoni enjoyed particular success, with restagings in Bologna, Florence, Genoa and Prague. Martinotti mentioned a cantata composed for the return of Pope Pius VII which led to an appointment (apparently refused) to the Württemberg court....