(b Rome, 1582; d Rome, Feb 7, 1652). Italian composer and singer, brother of Domenico Allegri. From 1591 to 1596 he was a boy chorister and from 1601 to 1604 a tenor at S Luigi dei Francesi, Rome, where the maestro di cappella was G.B. Nanino. According to Allegri’s obituary he studied with G.M. Nanino (see Lionnet). He was active as a singer and composer at the cathedrals of Fermo (1607–21) and Tivoli, and by August 1628 he was maestro di cappella of Santo Spirito in Sassia, Rome. He joined the papal choir as an alto on 6 December 1629, under Urban VIII, and was elected its maestro di cappella for the jubilee year of 1650. In 1640 his fellow singers elected him to revise Palestrina’s hymns (necessitated by Urban VIII’s revision of the texts), which were published in Antwerp in 1644. His contemporaries clearly saw him as a worthy successor to Palestrina and a guardian of the ...
revised by Noel O’Regan
[Stephen Valentine Patrick William]
(b New York, NY, Dec 16, 1921; d Encino, CA, Oct 30, 2000). American composer, radio and television personality, pianist, singer, and comedian. The son of Belle Montrose and Billy Allen, both of whom worked in vaudeville, he moved from place to place as a child, attending many schools for short periods of time. He played piano from an early age, although his musical training was mainly informal. He began a professional career in Los Angeles as a disc jockey on radio during the 1940s, then turned to television in the 1950s; he established himself as a comedian, and often played the piano during his shows, improvising jazz and singing his own songs. Among the musicians who appeared with him regularly was the vibraphonist Terry Gibbs. Allen’s most popular television program was “The Tonight Show,” which he began broadcasting locally in New York in 1953, subsequently leading it to nationwide success the following year. Allen performed the title role in the film ...
Horace Clarence Boyer
(b McCormick, SC, Sept 25, 1921; d Philadelphia, PA, July 30, 2008). American gospel singer, pianist, and composer. She moved to Philadelphia at an early age and sang and played at a local Church of God in Christ. In 1942 she joined a female quartet, the Spiritual Echoes, and served as their pianist for two years, leaving the group in 1944 to organize the Angelic Gospel Singers with her sister Josephine McDowell and two friends, Lucille Shird and Ella Mae Norris. Their first recording, “Touch Me, Lord Jesus” (1950), sold 500,000 copies in less than six months. Her most famous composition is “My Sweet Home” (1960). The incidental harmony of their rural singing style and Allison’s sliding technique appealed to a large number of supporters who otherwise found the gospel music of the period controlled and calculated. The group traveled and recorded with the Dixie Hummingbirds during the 1950s. Allison toured, recorded, and performed gospel music for over seven decades....
Harry B. Soria
(b Honolulu, HI, Nov 28, 1897; d Honolulu, HI, Oct 9, 1985). Hawaiian singer, musician, composer, and bandleader. Almeida lost his eyesight completely by age ten, and left school after the sixth grade. His father returned to Portugal, and his Hawaiian mother and adoptive Hawaiian father nurtured him, immersing him in the music and culture of the rural community. At age 15, Almeida formed his first musical group, the Waianae Star Glee Club, and soon achieved local fame as “John C. Almeida, Hawaii’s Blind Musician.” Eventually, he replaced his birth middle name of Celestino, with the name of his adoptive father, Kameaaloha, and is remembered today as John Kameaaloha Almeida.
Almeida could not read or write, but shared the poetry of over 200 Hawaiian language compositions, earning him the title of “the Dean of Hawaiian Music.” Almeida also popularized numerous other Hawaiian compositions from the 19th century. Among his most famous recordings are “Ku’u Ipo Pua Rose,” “’A ’Oia,” “Gorgeous Hula,” “Holoholo Ka’a,” “Noho Paipai,” “Kiss Me Love,” “Roselani Blossoms,” and his radio theme song, “’O Ko’u Aloha Ia ’Oe.” Over his 70-year career, Almeida mastered the mandolin, ukulele, guitar, steel guitar, violin, banjo, bass, saxophone, and piano. Almeida was a prolific recordings artist on numerous labels, and a successful radio host on several Hawaii stations. He served as mentor to numerous protégés, including Bill Ali’iloa Lincoln, Joe Keawe, Billy Hew Len, Genoa Keawe, and Almeida’s adopted son, Pua Almeida....
revised by Tess Knighton
(fl1482). Iberian composer. He was a singer in the Aragonese royal chapel of Ferdinand V over a period of almost 30 years, from 1482 until 1510. He was presented to various ecclesiastical benefices under royal patronage and held, presumably by proxy, the position of head chaplain of the Dominican monastery in Madrid until 1505.
He was also closely associated with Segovia Cathedral for the best part of his life, being appointed chapel master there from 1 October 1504. For some years he held both positions, but this must have proved incompatible for in the autumn of 1507 he was suspended from his post as chapel master for an unspecified breach of the rules and replaced by Francisco de San Juan. He remained a member of the chapter, however, and was much involved in cathedral business during long periods of absence from the royal chapel during the period ...
revised by Andreas Glöckner
(b Berna bei Seidenberg, Oberlausitz, bap. Jan 1, 1720; d Naumburg, bur. July 25, 1759). German organist and composer. He attended the Lauban Lyceum in 1733, and was a singer and assistant organist at St Maria Magdalena, Breslau, from about 1740 until the beginning of 1744. He then wished to return to Germany and devote himself to ‘higher studies’ at Leipzig, and as his parents were poor, he asked for a viaticum. He was granted four thalers on 23 January 1744, and on 19 March he matriculated at Leipzig University as a theological student. He soon began to assist Bach, chiefly as a bass, and did so regularly from Michaelmas 1745. In taking on a university student Bach exceeded his authority, but he was always short of basses, for the boys of the Thomasschule often left before their voices had settled. On 16 April 1746 W.F. Bach recommended Altnickol as his successor at Dresden, saying that he had studied the keyboard and composition with his father; but he was disregarded. On ...
[Ambrož, Josef Karel]
(b Krumau, Bohemia, [now Český Krumlov], May 6, 1759; d Berlin, Sept 8, 1822). Bohemian singer and composer. He studied in Prague with Johann Antonin Kozeluch, and sang in Bayreuth in 1784; he was perhaps also a member of a touring company. On 18 June 1787 Ambrosch made his début as Belmonte in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Hamburg, where he was active until 1790. For 20 years from 1791 he sang principally at the Königliche Theater in Berlin, again making his début as Belmonte. He was master of the entire range of abilities required of tenors at the period, and in 1803 changed from lyric to comic roles (see Ledebur, 9). Although he officially began receiving a pension in 1811, he appeared in Singspiele and concerts at least until 1818. From 1810 to 1817 he was a member of the Singakademie. Ambrosch was a freemason, and he both composed and edited masonic songs....
revised by Luis Merino
(b Santiago, Sept 2, 1911; d Santiago, Aug 2, 1954). Chilean composer and pianist. He studied with Allende for composition and Renard for the piano at the Santiago National Conservatory (1923–35), where he then held appointments as coach at the opera department (1935), assistant professor of the piano (1937), professor of analysis (1940), and director (1945). At the same time he taught at the Liceo Manuel de Salas in Santiago. He was secretary-general to the Instituto de Extensión Musical (from 1941), a founder-director of the Escuela Moderna de Música, Santiago (1940), and a member of various arts societies. In 1943 he went to the USA as a guest of the Institute of International Education and in 1953 he was in Europe for the performance of his Wind Sextet at the ISCM Festival. His early compositions show the influences of French music and Chilean folklore; from the late 1940s his work became more Expressionist and abstract....
(b Heilbronn, c1535; d after 1575). German composer, Kantor and organist. He studied at Heidelberg in 1553 and at Tübingen in 1554, gaining the BA in 1555. He was Kantor at Mergentheim in Franconia in 1555 and from about 1560 to 1564 was organist at Feuchtwangen. In 1565 he was probably a court musician at Ansbach. In 1557 he applied for the post of Kantor at Hipoltstein, and in 1563–4 he applied unsuccessfully for the positions of organist at Windsheim and court musician in Württemberg. From 1569 to 1575 he was Kapellmeister and organist to Landgrave Philipp the Younger of Hesse at Schloss Rheinfels and organist at St Goar, south of Koblenz. However, he lost these posts over a dispute with the citizens of St Goar and was imprisoned. In an autobiographical threnody, Bis in den Himmel clage ich über Tyrannei (in A-Wn ), he complained to the emperor of his unjust treatment by Margrave Georg Friedrich of Ansbach-Brandenburg and Landgrave Philipp of Hesse. He composed ...
Lavern J. Wagner
revised by Mitchell Brauner
(b Oirschot, Brabant, c1534; d Rome, Nov 20, 1605). Flemish singer and composer. After studying with his uncle, who was a singer at Antwerp Cathedral, he went to Rome, and by 1 March 1564 was a tenor in the papal chapel. He was released from this appointment on 31 August 1565, with 13 other musicians. On 10 March 1569 he was appointed a singer in the Cappella Paulina, made a canon, and given the prebend recently vacated by the death of Simon Sauvage. Returning to the papal chapel, he became abbot on 2 January 1572 and punctator (responsible for choir attendances) in 1573. In 1593 and 1594 he was named head of the singers’ society, and in 1596 he retired from his singing duties and was pensioned. The last significant Flemish musician in the papal chapel, Ameyden was highly regarded by his fellow chapel members. He is buried in S Maria dell’Anima, Rome. ...
(b Freiberg, Saxony, Oct 17, 1790; d Freiberg, Aug 21, 1854). German Kantor and composer. He studied at the Freiberg Gymnasium, then at Leipzig University, where he took the master’s degree. He continued his education with J.G. Schicht, W.F. Riem, G.C. Härtel and Friedrich Schneider and lived in Leipzig as a singer, pianist and music teacher. In 1821 he was given a post in Freiberg as the city’s music director, becoming the cathedral Kantor and a teacher at the Gymnasium and the teachers’ training college; he also founded the Singakademie in 1823 and reorganized the Bergmusikkorps. He visited Beethoven in Vienna and became a champion of his music; he was also a friend of Mendelssohn, Reissiger and Wagner. His most important pupils were K.F. Brendel, Reinhold Finsterbusch and Robert Volkmann.
Anacker anticipated the modern German Kantor who was principally concerned with musical education and artistic competence. His compositions, mainly sacred and secular choral, are distinguished for their modernity and emotional intensity; the oratorio ...
Roxanne R. Reed
(b Anguilla, MS, March 21, 1919; d Hazel Crest, IL, 15 June, 1995). American gospel director, singer, composer, and publisher. Anderson established a career forming and training gospel groups in Chicago. His formative years were spent as one of the original Roberta Martin Singers, one of the premiere gospel groups of the 1930s and 1940s. He left briefly, between 1939 and 1941, to form the first of his many ensembles, the Knowles and Anderson Singers with R.L. Knowles. He rejoined Martin, but ultimately resigned because of the travel demands. In 1947 he formed Robert Anderson and his Gospel Caravan, but after several members left in 1952, he formed a new set of singers that recorded and performed under the name the Robert Anderson Singers through the mid-1950s. Throughout his career, Anderson recorded on a multitude of labels including Miracle and United with Robert Anderson and the Caravans; and later with the Robert Anderson Singers, on Apollo. Anderson wrote, and often sang lead on, many of the songs his groups performed, including “Why Should I Worry” (...
Tim Carter and Anne MacNeil
[‘La Florinda’ ]
(b Milan, Jan 1, 1583; d Bologna, 1629–30). Italian actor, singer and poet, first wife of G.B. Andreini. When they married in 1601, Virginia and her husband formed the Compagnia del Fedeli, in which she assumed the role of prima donna innamorata. Her stage name derived from her performance in Giovanni Battista’s tragedy La Florinda (1603, Florence). In spring 1608 she replaced Caterina Martinelli as the protagonist of Monteverdi’s Arianna and took part in his Ballo delle ingrate during the wedding celebrations for Prince Francesco Gonzaga and Margherita of Savoy; according to Antonio Costantini (1608), she learnt the part for Arianna in six days. She also sang the title role in G.C. Monteverdi’s opera Il rapimento di Proserpina during the festivities for the birth of the Infanta Margherita Gonzaga in 1611. Contemporary accounts suggest that her performance in Arianna was exceptionally powerful, and her talents as a singer were recalled with praise by Bonini in his ...
William F. Prizer
[Senese, Ser Ansano di Goro, Sano di Goro]
(b c1470; d 1524). Sienese composer, singer and priest. Ansanus can now be identified as Sano di Goro, the son of a Sienese wool shearer, who is first recorded as a clerk in the cathedral of Siena in March 1484. He joined the chapel as a chorister in 1485, and was ordained in 1500, by which time he was an adult singer. He was dismissed from the choir in 1507 after having written a bitter letter complaining about his treatment by the Opera of the cathedral. He returned to the cathedral's services, at least temporarily, from April 1511 to March 1512. In April 1515 he is again listed as a singer there, and thereafter was more or less permanently employed in the choir until February 1524, serving as maestro di cappella in 1517 and again from 1520 to 1524. He died at the end of 1524.
The sole source of his music is the ...
(b c1480–88; d after 1558). South Netherlandish composer and singer. The earliest known archival documents mention him in 1518 as a singer and in 1519 as the choirmaster at St Jacob in Bruges. After 1519, contemporary publications by Attaingnant and Moderne are the only source of evidence of his activity until February 1536, when he became a singer in Mary of Hungary's chapel choir in Brussels. Soon afterwards, in October 1537, he succeeded Jehan Gossins (who had died earlier that year) as master of the choirboys. In this function, which was indistinguishable from that of maître de la chapelle, Appenzeller served more than 15 years, composing many works for the Brussels chapel. The composer is last mentioned in Mary of Hungary's service in December 1551 in a list of chapel members who accompanied Mary to Augsburg and Munich. It would seem, however, that he continued to serve her until she relinquished her position in ...
(b Rome, c1807; d Rome, Sept 30, 1884). Italian composer, singer and conductor. After her father’s death, her mother married the violinist Andrea Aspri and Appignani adopted her stepfather’s surname and used Orsola as her first name. She studied with Valentino Fioravanti. In 1833 she sang Smeton in a performance of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, given by the Roman Accademia Filarmonica at Palazzo Lancellotti; already a member of that academy, she was offered honorary membership of the Accademia di S Cecilia, Rome, in 1842. As a conductor she was active in Rome and Florence (1839). She was also a singing teacher and had among her pupils the tenor Settimio Malvezzi. She married Count Girolamo Cenci-Bolognetti. Her melodrammi include Le avventure di una giornata (1827), I pirati (1843) and Clara di Clevers (1876); she also wrote a Sinfonia, a cantata La redenzione di Roma...
Dale E. Monson
[Scirolo, Sciroletto, Scirolino]
(b Martina Franca, Taranto, Oct 28, 1732; d Martina Franca, Jan 11, 1813). Italian soprano castrato and composer. His early musical training from his father, Fortunato (a notary and church singer), was followed when he was 19 by study with Gregorio Sciroli in Naples (thus his nickname). He made his début in Sciroli's Il barone deluso (1752, Rome). Until 1757 he sang in Naples (in the royal chapel, 1752–6, though librettos continue to list him in the service of the court until 1758), Turin and Rome (where in 1754–5 he became primo uomo); during the next few years he travelled, visiting Venice, Madrid and Stuttgart. After returning briefly to Italy, he was appointed primo uomo in Stuttgart for the period 1762–9 (with one Italian interlude), appearing in Jommelli's Didone abbandonata (1763), Demofoonte (1764) and Fetonte (1768), among other works, and enjoying a salary comparable to Jommelli's own. His brother Raffaele, a violinist, was also engaged at court. The depletion of the duke's ...
revised by Tim Carter
[‘Antonio di S Fiore’]
(b Albano, late 1541 or 1542; d Florence, bur. Nov 14, 1612). Italian singer, lutenist and ?composer, husband of Vittoria Archilei . He was in the service in Rome of Cardinal Alessandro Sforza dei Conti di S Fiora, who died on 16 May 1581, after which he entered the service of Cardinal Ferdinando de’ Medici. The latter became Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1587, and Archilei, with his wife, followed him to Florence, where he became a musician at court, with a salary of 18 scudi a month from 1 September 1588; his salary was reduced to 11 scudi on 30 November 1589 (though he continued to receive a monthly pension of 12 scudi granted for life by Cardinal Ferdinando in 1582). He participated in the spectacular intermedi marking Ferdinando’s wedding in 1589: he is known to have played one of two chitarroni accompanying his wife’s singing of the florid solo song ‘Dalle più alte sfere’ (ed. D.P. Walker, ...
revised by Thomas J. Mathiesen
(b Methymna [now Molyvos], Lesbos; fl 625–600
(b ?Arizu or Arizcun, Navarra, c1593; d Madrid, May 15, 1648). Spanish composer and singer. Between 1601 and 1604 he entered the choir school of the Spanish royal chapel and studied with its vicemaestro, the composer Gabriel Díaz Bessón. On 1 January 1614, after his voice had broken, he was appointed alto in the same capilla. On 1 March 1629 his salary was doubled, and on 28 February 1642 he was granted an annual allowance of 350 ducats, followed by another of 250 ducats on 20 March 1645 (though his salary was no longer doubled). In addition to his duties in the capilla Arizo was responsible for the musical instruction of the Bourbon Queen Elisabeth's ladies-in-waiting for at least ten years (1618–28), during which period he must have been in touch with the queen's chamber musician, Álvaro de los Ríos.
Arizo's two extant secular compositions are a four-part canción, ...