(b Montevideo, July 18, 1923; d Montevideo, Jan 17, 2002). Uruguayan composer, pianist, conductor and teacher. He studied in Montevideo with Wilhelm Kolischer (piano), Tomás Mujica (harmony) and Lamberto Baldi (composition and orchestration). In 1946 a Guggenheim Scholarship took him to the USA for further composition studies with Copland and Honegger. Among the early works performed there was the Piano Concertino, conducted by Leon Barzin with Tosar as soloist. He studied conducting with Koussevitzky and also attended Columbia and New York State universities. Then he went on a French government scholarship to the Paris Conservatoire, where he had composition lessons with Rivier and Milhaud, and he completed two years in Paris with studies at the Ecole Normale under Honegger (composition) and Bigot and Fournet (conducting). In the mid-1950s his orchestral and chamber works began to be performed in Montevideo, where in 1957 he won a prize at the First Inter-American Music Festival. Since that time his music has been frequently performed at festivals in the Americas, and he received commissions from the Koussevitzky and Fromm foundations. In ...
revised by Gregory Reish
(b Knoxville, TN, July 25, 1939). American composer, pianist, writer, and teacher, naturalized Italian since 1996. Brother of Gil(bert) Trythall. He studied with David Van Vactor at the University of Tennessee (BM 1961) and with Roger Sessions, Milton Babbitt, earl Kim, and Edward T. Cone at Princeton University (MFA 1963). He became a member of the faculty of St. Stephen’s School in Rome in 1966, and has served as Music Liaison at the American Academy in Rome since 1970. In 1969, he won the Kranichsteiner Competition for Interpreters of Contemporary Piano Music in Darmstadt, and has performed at Venice’s Biennale di Musica, the Brescia Bergamo Festival of Contemporary Piano Music, and Rome’s Nuova Consonanza Festival. Trythall was a Creative Associate of the Center for the Creative and Performing Arts at the University at Buffalo-SUNY in 1972 and 1973, and taught at the University of California, Davis in ...
(b Newcastle upon Tyne, July 14, 1902; d Pulborough, Dec 9, 1976). English composer, pianist and teacher. In Newcastle he was a chorister at the Cathedral of St Nicholas and studied the piano under Sigmund Oppenheim. He was also befriended by William Whittaker, conductor of the Newcastle upon Tyne Bach Choir Society. In 1923 he won a Foundation Scholarship to the RCM, where he studied with Holst, Vaughan Williams, and John Ireland, who remained a lifelong friend. He was at the RCM until 1927, during which time he gained a reputation as both a soloist and accompanist, appearing on 2LO and its successor the BBC. On leaving the RCM he was an editor for the Aeolian Piano Company (under Scholes), a reader for Oxford University Press (under Hubert Foss), a pianist at the Empire Theatre, Swansea, and a freelance copyist. During World War II he served in the Royal Artillery, after which he became principal piano teacher at the Surrey College of Music. Turnbull’s output is slender but highly polished. Though he occasionally turned his hand to more extended compositions, such as the Violin Sonata (...
Sam Di Bonaventura
(b Flushing, NY, May 20, 1923). American composer, pianist and teacher of Czech descent. She began writing music at the age of five and later studied at the Manhattan School of Music (BMus 1946, MMus 1947), where her composition teacher was Vittorio Giannini. She became a professor at the Manhattan School in 1947 and was chairperson of the composition department there from 1970 to 1989; she received the President’s Medal for Distinguished Faculty Service from the school in 1998. Additionally she taught at the Hoff-Barthelson Music School, Scarsdale, New York (1968–91), and acted as chairperson of the American Society of University Composers (1972–3) and programme chairperson for the National Association for American Composers and Conductors (1967–74). She has received awards and grants from ASCAP and Meet the Composer. Although Ulehla’s musical language is contemporary, the legacy of the classical canon as well as Slav influences have clearly contributed to its evolution. Her works are tonal, but are not organized by key; emphasis is given to the function of phrases rather than bar-lines, and the balance of contrast and unity helps to articulate formal structures. Her writings include ...
(b Baden, nr Vienna, Sept 19, 1824; d Vienna, Feb 25, 1902). Austrian zither player, composer and teacher. After completing a tradesman's training to comply with his father's wish he studied the violin with Jansa and music theory with Sechter and made music his career. Inspired by popular enthusiasm for the zither he became absorbed in designing as well as playing the instrument and, together with the zither manufacturer Anton Kiendl, developed the ‘Viennese zither’, distinguished from other, usually Bavarian, instruments by its tuning and number of strings. He also drew attention to the bowed zither and to the Elegiezither, a larger instrument particularly suited to concert performance because of its fuller tone. In Vienna he directed the first public zither school, and from 1844 made concert tours throughout Europe; he was appointed Hofmusikus by the Austrian imperial court. His 18 volumes entitled Salon-Album für Zitherspieler, containing original compositions and transcriptions, were popular in his day. Although his ‘Viennese tuning’ has been replaced by so-called ‘normal tuning’, his zither method, ...
(b Frankfurt, Feb 17, 1850; d Frankfurt, Jan 7, 1907). German composer, pianist and teacher. He studied composition with Ignaz Lachner and Joachim Raff, and in 1871 went to Weimar to complete his piano studies with Liszt, where his contact with the Weimar circle had a decisive effect on his subsequent development. He then devoted himself to composition, and became in 1878 teacher and, from 1883, professor of counterpoint and composition at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt. Urspruch's compositions were only moderately influenced by the developments taking place at the end of the 19th century and little, if at all, by Wagner. He wrote three operas, Der Sturm (libretto by Pirazzi, after Shakespeare), and Das Unmöglichste von allem and Heilige Cäcilie, both to his own librettos (the orchestration of the last is complete only for Act 1, and sketched for Acts 2 and 3; a complete piano score survives); his other works comprise a large number of songs, both for chorus and for solo voice, a symphony, a piano concerto, a piano quintet and other chamber music, and piano works. His compositions (all in ...
(b Leicester, bap. June 7, 1730; d Leicester, Sept 10, 1791). English composer, violinist and music teacher, a great-nephew of Robert Valentine. He was the most important musician in Leicestershire during the second half of the 18th century, teaching and performing throughout the county and beyond. He taught a wide range of string and wind instruments, including the violin, the cello, the harpsichord, the guitar, the flute, the oboe, the trumpet and the French horn. He performed on the violin (and later on the cello) in subscription and benefit concerts in Leicester and many of the surrounding county market-towns. He also owned a music shop in Leicester, where he both taught and sold a wide variety of instruments and music.
He composed music mostly for the use of his students, to assist them in gaining experience in ensemble playing. His orchestral works have been described as ‘of popular and easy character’, reflecting ‘the kind of music played at meetings of provincial musical societies, several of which subscribed to their publications’ (...
[Jan Ignatius] [Vaňhal, Jan Křtitel]
(b Nechanicz [now Nechanice], nr Hradec Králové, Bohemia, May 12, 1739; d Vienna, Aug 20, 1813). Bohemian composer, violinist and teacher, active in Austria. His present reputation is derived mostly from his symphonies, his many published keyboard pieces and the comments of writers. He himself spelt his name Johann Baptist Waṅhal; his Viennese contemporaries and most scholars until World War II used the spelling Wanhal, but later in the 20th century a modern Czech form, Jan Křtitel Vaňhal, was erroneously introduced. Only one writer, Bohumír Dlabač, had extensive contact with him, acquired in 1795 in Vienna. An anonymous Viennese necrology, based mostly on local gossip, is complementary, but differs somewhat from Dlabač’s account. Additional observations based on fleeting contact in Vienna were mostly derived from one or other of these writers or from Charles Burney, who visited Vanhal on 12 September 1772.
Although there is indirect evidence that his father’s ancestors may have originated in the Netherlands, both of Vanhal’s parents’ families (Vaňhal and Volešovský) had lived in Bohemia for several generations. He was bonded to Count Schaffgotsch, in whose estates his family lived. During his early years in Nechanicz he was trained to sing and to play string and wind instruments; he also went to the nearby town of Marscherdorf to learn German and other subjects. His favourite teacher, Anton Erban, taught him to play the organ, and at the age of 13 he became organist in Opocžna (Opocžno). He later became choir director in Niemcžowes (Nemyčeves) in the province of Jicin, where Mathias Nowák trained him to be a virtuoso violinist and to write concertos....
(b S Tomé, April 22, 1868; d Lisbon, June 1, 1948). Portuguese pianist, teacher and composer . After early studies at the Lisbon Conservatory he went to Berlin where he had lessons from Xaver Scharwenka (piano) and Philipp Scharwenka (composition). He subsequently worked with Liszt at Weimar (1885) and Bülow at Frankfurt (1887), and made extensive tours of Europe (1887–8), the USA (1892–3, 1899) and South America (1902), sometimes playing as many as four concerted works in one programme. In Berlin he collaborated with Busoni on several editorial projects, including works by Bach and Liszt, and also performed with him in two-piano recitals; Busoni dedicated a set of transcriptions of Bach’s Chorale Preludes to Vianna da Motta. From 1915 to 1917 Vianna da Motta held the post formerly occupied by Stavenhagen at the Geneva Conservatoire, and from 1919 to 1938...
Árni Heimir Ingólfsson
(b Reykjavík, 7 Dec 1918; d Reykjavík, 27 Feb 2017). Icelandic composer and pianist. She began music lessons with her mother and with Páll Ísólfsson, and studied the piano with Árni Kristjánsson at the Reykjavík College of Music (1932–6). She then attended the Berlin Hochschule für Musik (1937–9) and the Juilliard School (1943–5; theory and orchestration, Vittorio Giannini; piano, Hélène Morzyn). She completed her education with further piano lessons in Vienna (1959–60). On returning to Iceland she became an active performer, showing a special affinity for the music of Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, and Debussy. In later years she taught on the faculty of the Reykjavík School of Singing.
Her music combines national and international elements in a distinctively colourful and melodious style. Much of her instrumental music – Ólafur Liljurós, Slátta (‘Touches’), Meditations on Five Icelandic Themes – draws on the metrical schemes and ornamental figures of Icelandic folksong, as does her ambitious choral work ...
(b Sorata, March 30, 1898; d La Paz, Sept 2, 1971). Bolivian pianist, composer and teacher . He studied piano privately in La Paz, with Giovanini in Rome (1926) and with Camille Decreusse in Paris (1927–8). Returning to Bolivia in 1929, he gave private piano lessons and performed piano works by French and Russian composers. From 1937 he taught at the La Paz Conservatory, and he was a founder member of the Man Cesped Association in Cochabamba (1940). He was director of the La Paz Conservatory from 1949–69, during which period he appeared in recitals and concerts with the Bolivian National SO. Also he published several poems, essays, articles and press reviews. He won several prizes, including diplomas from the Tomás Frías University and the Caja Nacional de Seguro Social, and the National Culture Award (1970). His published compositions, almost entirely for piano, include ...
Jason S. Bergman
(b Missoula, MT, Sept 13, 1952). American trumpeter, educator, and composer. Vizzutti studied at the Eastman School of Music where he received the only Artist’s Diploma ever awarded to a wind player in the institution’s history. He is widely known for his exceptional versatility and virtuosic technique that have set him apart from other performers of his era. His career has included performances with Chick Corea, Doc Severinsen, the NBC Tonight Show Band, Chuck Mangione, Woody Herman, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. His numerous recordings, featuring many motion picture and video game soundtracks, include Back To The Future and Star Trek. As an educator he has taught at the University of Washington and been an Artist in Residence at the Eastman School of Music, the University of South Carolina, the Banff Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas State University, the Ohio State University, and the Trompeten Akademie in Bremen, Germany. As a composer, his works have received premieres from the Los Angeles Philharmonic....
(b Würzburg, June 15, 1749; d Darmstadt, May 6, 1814). German theorist, teacher, keyboard player, organ designer and composer. His theory of harmony influenced 19th-century approaches to music analysis, and he anticipated the Romantic period in his chromatic harmony, colouristic orchestration and melodic borrowings from folk tradition and exotic cultures. His radical concept of organ design aroused widespread interest and controversy; his writings on the reform of sacred music foreshadowed the Cecilian movement.
The son of a Würzburg instrument maker, Vogler attended a Jesuit Gymnasium before enrolling in humanistic studies at Würzburg University in 1763. Subsequently he studied common and canon law, first at Würzburg, then at Bamberg. During his student years he composed ballet and theatre music for university performances. In 1770 he obtained a post as almoner at the Mannheim court of Carl Theodor, the Elector Palatine. Politically resourceful, he soon attained prominence in the court’s musical life, secured the elector’s favour, and was granted the financial means to pursue musical study in Italy (from ...
(b Strasbourg, March 18, 1781; d Paris, May 20, 1870). French oboist, teacher and composer. In 1798 he entered the class of François Sallantin at the Paris Conservatoire, and was awarded a premier prix the following year. He may also have studied composition with A. Reicha. Concurrent with his studies he served as second oboist at the Théâtre Montansier, and later he joined the orchestras of the Théâtre Italien (1800–02) and Opéra-Comique (1802–12). In 1809, after travelling to Italy and Austria as a member of Napoléon's musique particulière, he was appointed first oboe at the Opéra-Comique, and adjunct professor at the Conservatoire. He subsequently succeeded Sallantin as both principal oboist at the Opéra (1812–34), and as professeur titulaire at the Conservatoire (1816–53, thence to 1868 on the Comité des Études). Among his students were the leading oboists, oboe makers and future Conservatoire professors of the next generation: H. Brod, A. Vény, A.-M.-R. Barret, C.-L. Triébert, S.-X. Verroust, A.-J. Lavigne, A. Bruyant (who inherited Vogt's compositional output) and C. Colin. Vogt was a member of the Chapelle Royale of Louis XVIII from its establishment in ...
Francisco J. Albo
(b Leipzig, Feb 23, 1848; d New York, Jan 15, 1918). American pianist, teacher, and composer of German origin. From 1862 he trained at the Conservatory of Leipzig, where he studied with Moscheles, Reinecke, and Hauptmann (Helbig Prize in composition in 1864). Upon graduating in 1866, he toured Germany for two years before moving to the USA and settling permanently in New York. In December 1868 he made a successful début at one of Theodore Thomas’ Classical Soirées. Lacking the ambition to become a virtuoso, or simply because of disinterest in certain repertoires, he failed to secure a prominent position among other pianists who had also settled in New York at that time. He nonetheless retained prestige as a scholarly pianist. For the next four decades he appeared often as accompanist and in chamber music concerts, often collaborating with Thomas and with Leopold Damrosch. Those concerts gave momentum to a form that was still rather unappreciated by general audiences. A sought after teacher, he instructed Frank and Walter Damrosch. In ...
revised by Bertil H. van Boer
(b Vienna, Jan 29, 1715; d Vienna, March 1, 1777). Austrian composer, keyboard player and teacher. He can be considered one of the pivotal figures in the development of the Classical style in Vienna with a compositional career that spanned a period from Fux, his teacher, to Haydn and W.A. Mozart, for whom he served as a precursor.
Wagenseil’s father and maternal grandfather were functionaries at the Viennese imperial court. In his teens he began to compose keyboard pieces and to receive keyboard instruction with the organist of the Michaelerkirche in Vienna, Adam Weger. His accomplishments brought him to the attention of the court Kapellmeister, Johann Joseph Fux, who recommended him for a court scholarship in 1735; for the next three years he received intensive instruction in keyboard playing, counterpoint and composition from his sponsor and from Matteo Palotta. As a result of an enthusiastic endorsement from Fux, Wagenseil was appointed composer to the court on ...
revised by Duncan J. Barker
(b Bombay, July 15, 1870; d Oxford, Feb 21, 1949). English teacher, writer on music, composer and pianist. His boyhood was marked by omnivorous self-instruction which was intensified when in 1887 he entered Balliol College, Oxford, and was befriended by its master, Benjamin Jowett. Taught by R.L. Nettleship, who profoundly influenced Walker's philosophical interests, and W.R. Hardie, he took the BA in classics (1891), after which followed the BMus (1893) and DMus (1898). In 1891 Balliol appointed him assistant organist to John Farmer, who had established there the series of Sunday concerts to whose fame and scope Walker signally contributed, particularly from 1901 when he succeeded Farmer as director of music. Walker’s concerts brought to Oxford such artists as Plunket Greene, Steuart Wilson, Fanny Davies and Adolf Busch, and helped to create the climate for the acceptance of music as a serious discipline, a process which culminated in ...
revised by Michael Meckna
(b Cleveland, TN, July 16, 1930; d New York, July 1, 1982). American composer and synthesizer player. He studied at the universities of Tennessee (BA 1949), Colorado (MM 1953), Illinois (1955–6), Cornell (1958–60) and at UCLA (1961–2); his principal teachers were John Krueger, David Van Vactor, Cecil Effinger, Burrill Phillips, Robert Palmer and Roy Harris. From 1967 he was a member of the faculty at the New School for Social Research in New York, where he founded (1969) and directed the electronic music programme. He was also the founder and director of the Composers Theatre (1964–82), an organization that presented the works of some 250 American composers in various concert series, including over 150 premières and more than 50 commissioned works.
Watts composed more than 100 works for concert, theatre, dance, film and television. After 1964...
(b Prague, Aug 24, 1825; d New York, May 12, 1906). Bohemian pianist, organist, composer, and teacher, active in the USA. At age 19 Wels began piano, harmony, and composition studies with Wenzel Johann Tomaschek at his private conservatory in Prague (among the other students were Eduard Hanslick, Alexander Dreyschock, and Julius Schulhoff). In 1847 he moved to Leipzig, where he met Ignaz Moscheles, the dedicatee of Wels’s op. 1. He then moved to Poland as a court pianist and music instructor for several years; then to Dresden, where he worked as a music instructor to an aristocratic family and made the acquaintance of Liszt and Wagner; then back to Prague. He immigrated to the USA in 1849, living in New York and working primarily as a piano teacher. His students included L.B. Whitney and Louis Bonn. He performed occasionally in concert as organist and pianist, both in the city and beyond; his piano duet concerts with Gottschalk seem to have been particularly successful. Among his many compositions are three masses, several hymns and anthems, an overture for orchestra, and a funeral march played by Dodsworth’s Band at funeral proceedings for Zachary Taylor. He also composed extensively for the piano, including a concerto and a large collection of technical studies and etudes; among these piano pieces is a four-hand arrangement of arias from ...
(b Schwäbisch Hall, bap. Sept 15, 1572; d Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Oct 31, 1634). German composer, organist, instrumentalist, teacher and poet.
Widmann came of a well-educated family. The Lateinschule at Schwäbisch Hall provided a good musical training in the 1580s under Johannes Crusius, and young Widmann ‘sang a good discant’ there and learnt to play the organ, harpsichord, lute, zither, viol, flute and trombone. On 28 April 1589 he entered the University of Tübingen and passed his bachelor’s examinations in 1590; at the university, students could study plainsong, notation and polyphony. Widmann is next heard of as an organist at Eisenerz, Styria, in 1595, and from 1596 until 1598 he held a similar position at Graz. He was a Lutheran, but since the Peace of Augsburg (1555) Protestantism had spread in Austria, and during the 1570s it was even tolerated. In 1598, however, on the orders of Duke Ferdinand, Lutheran ministers were given two weeks to leave. Moreover, in the same year Widmann almost lost his position because of trouble with women: two young women accused him of breach of promise, while he professed to wish to marry a third (he married Margarethe Ehetreiber on 12 June). Because of the action against Lutherans he returned in late ...