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J.G. Prod’homme

revised by Andrew Lamb

(b Buxières-les-Mines, April 5, 1862; d Paris, July 14, 1923). French composer and conductor. He was a pupil of Dubois and Franck at the Conservatoire, where he won a first prize in harmony and an organ prize. He made his début as a composer with a ballet-divertissement, Les sources du Nil, given in 1882 at the Folies Bergère (the first of several given there or at the Casino de Paris). His most important ballet is Phryné; he also composed several operettas, notably Les saltimbanques (Paris, 1899) and Hans, le joueur de flûte (Monte Carlo, 1906). Ganne conducted the orchestra for the balls at the Opéra, and was for many years musical director at the casino at Monte Carlo. He wrote more than 200 works, including songs, salon pieces and some excellent dance tunes such as the Valse des blondes and the mazurkas La czarine and La tzigane...

Article

(Romualdo)

(b Tudela, Feb 7, 1822; d Madrid, March 18, 1870). Spanish composer and conductor. Orphaned at an early age, he became a choirboy at Tudela Cathedral in 1830 and studied there with Rubla. In 1834 he was a pupil of Guelbenzu at Pamplona and in 1842 entered the Madrid Conservatory to study the piano with Pedro Albéniz y Basanta and composition with Ramón Carnicer. In 1845 the Italian company at the Teatro de la S Cruz in Madrid made him the director of its chorus. In 1846 he went to Paris as conductor of a ballet company, but in 1848 returned to Madrid as director of the Teatro Español, where his first zarzuela, La mensajera, had its première in December 1849. This began a series of successes for Gaztambide as a conductor of opera and zarzuela companies in Madrid. For several seasons he conducted operas at the Teatro Real, and he directed the first performance in Spanish of Meyerbeer’s ...

Article

Alfred Loewenberg

revised by Andrew Lamb

(b Danzig [Gdańsk], Feb 7, 1823; d Baden, nr Vienna, June 15, 1895). German conductor, librettist and composer. He was the son of Friedrich Genée (b Königsberg, 1796; d Berlin, 1859), conductor at a theatre in Danzig, and, although first intended for the medical profession, took up music, studying with A. Stahlknecht in Berlin. Between 1847 and 1867 he was successively Kapellmeister at theatres at Reval (now Tallinn), Riga, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Danzig, Mainz, Schwerin and Prague. In 1868 he became conductor at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, and in the following years was increasingly involved with not just the musical but also the literary side of the works produced there. At first concerned with adapting foreign works for production, he became much in demand as a clever writer of operetta librettos. This side of his activities developed particularly through his association with Johann Strauss (ii) who, being unfamiliar with writing for the theatre, used Genée not just as a lyricist but for the detailed working out of his melodic ideas. Thus Genée’s handwriting is to be found extensively in the autograph score of ...

Article

Alyn Shipton

[‘Gibby’]

(b Clinton, MA, Jan 4, 1903; d London, May 10, 1954). American pianist, bandleader and composer, active in Britain. He played the piano as a child, appearing in public aged ten, and going on to attend the New England Conservatory. In 1924 he came to Britain to study the piano at the RAM, but he soon took up an alternative career in dance music, playing with the Boston Orchestra at the Berkeley Hotel. He led the Sylvians at the Savoy in 1926, taking over leadership of the hotel’s popular Orpheans orchestra from Debroy Somers in 1927, but disbanding it the following year. He became a musical director for the Gramophone Company (1928–9), for whom he led the New Mayfair Orchestra, recording prolifically and providing accompaniments for almost all the popular singers and variety turns recorded by the company. In 1929 he worked for the British and Dominion Film Company as a musical director, spending most of ...

Article

Andrew Lamb

[Winterfeld, Max]

(b Hamburg, Feb 11, 1879; d Buenos Aires, Dec 20, 1942). German composer and conductor. As a child he took piano lessons and later studied music in Kiel, Sondershausen and Berlin. He began his professional career in 1897 as a theatre conductor in Bremerhaven, moved to Hamburg in 1898 and, after military service, to Berlin in 1902. He adopted his nom de plume for his first operetta, Das Jungfernstift (1901). He conducted with a touring circus and at provincial theatres, and achieved wide and lasting success with his operetta Die keusche Susanne (1910). He then returned to Berlin as conductor and composer to the Thalia-Theater and produced a rapid succession of operettas – he was to compose more than 50 in all – in the lively, commercial style of the Berlin school, among them Polnische Wirtschaft (1910), Autoliebchen (1912), Die elfte Muse...

Article

(b Seville, Oct 10, 1854; d Madrid, Feb 19, 1923). Spanish composer and conductor. He studied music first with his father and then the violin with Salvador Viniegra. At the age of 12 he joined the orchestra of the Teatro Principal in Seville as a first violinist and at 17 became director of the Opera. Receiving a scholarship from the Diputación of Cádiz, he went to the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied with Alard, Savart and Thomas, winning first prizes in harmony and counterpoint in 1877. After travelling in Italy, he became director of the Teatro Apolo in Madrid in 1885, then of the Teatro de la Zarzuela, where he gave the first performance in Spain of Bizet’s Carmen. He was also director of the Unión Artístico-Musical and the Madrid Concert Society, where he introduced works from the Classical German repertory and modern French and Russian compositions. He wrote orchestral and instrumental music, but his chief interest was the zarzuela, especially the ...

Article

David Ades

(b Plymouth, Feb 17, 1925; d London, Jan 8, 2003). English arranger, composer and conductor. Originally a trumpeter, then a music copyist, his main musical career took off in the 1950s with radio shows and recordings accompanying singers, culminating in a series of distinctive LPs with his own concert orchestra. Goodwin's musical accompaniments for the Parlophone LPs by Peter Sellers greatly contributed to their success. He also showed a talent for composing; early successes included Jet Journey, Skiffling Strings (renamed Swinging Sweethearts for the USA), and Lingering Lovers. In later years he wrote several major works, notably his suites Drake 400 (1980) and New Zealand (1983), the latter reflecting his love of the country to which he regularly returned for concert tours. A prolific film composer, he is widely known for his score for 633 Squadron, closely followed by Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines...

Article

David Ades

(b London, 1911; d Dublin, Oct 6, 1982). English arranger, composer and conductor. At the age of 19 Green was the youngest musical director in London's West End, and his first recordings were for EMI in 1933. Before World War II he was closely involved in commercial radio, and after the war many of his works became familiar radio and television themes, for example that of ‘Meet the Huggetts’. He was one of the most prolific musicians in his field, responsible for hundreds of recordings and over 150 film scores. Many of Green's own works were written specifically for those publishers who served the requirements of radio, television and films, such as Chappell, Francis, Day & Hunter, Paxton and Photoplay. He began writing film scores when Romance was chosen by Menuhin for the theme of The Magic Bow (1946). Often writing under pseudonyms, his biggest international success was as ‘Jose Belmonte’ with ...

Article

Thomas L. Gayda

[Will; Williams, Hugh; Milos, André]

(b Vienna, Aug 11, 1894; d New York, Dec 10, 1939). Austrian composer, pianist and conductor. Born into a Jewish family of jewellers, he studied with the operetta composer Richard Heuberger, Robert Fuchs, the musicologist Guido Adler and Franz Schreker. After he left the Vienna Music Academy in 1919, his Zwei phantastische Stücke was given its first performance by the Vienna PO. The following year he received a doctorate in music from Vienna University. While he remained initially faithful to the late-Romantic, Impressionist line, he became the first Austrian composer to introduce jazz idioms into his music. His grotesque ballet-pantomime Baby in der Bar (1928) marked him as one of the prime exponents of the Zeitgeist of the Weimar era.

In 1927 Grosz moved to Berlin and became the artistic director of the new Ultraphon record company, quickly building up its catalogue as a conductor, arranger and pianist. He formed a well-known piano duo with Wilhelm Kauffman and toured Europe as a highly-sought accompanist and conductor. When the National Socialists seized power in ...

Article

Kate Daubney

(George )

(b New York, Feb 13, 1908; d Los Angeles, April 24, 1971). American musical director, conductor and arranger. He began his career as a pianist, playing and arranging for jazz artists, in particular for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra in the late 1920s. His arrangements of classic songs for Whiteman, such as Nobody's Sweetheart, are considered among the finest of their era, blending jazz instruments with those of the traditional orchestra. His later arrangement of Star Dust provided a hit in the early 1940s for clarinettist Artie Shaw. In 1940 he became musical director for Metro Goldwyn Mayer studios before moving to Twentieth Century-Fox in 1953. He was involved in arranging scores for a number of films and musicals including The Harvey Girls (1945) and The Pirate (1948); the arrangements reflect the complexity achieved in his work for Whiteman, although film music had only recently incorporated jazz into its idioms. He was nominated for Academy Awards for his work on several notable musicals, including ...