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Article

John Koegel

(b Puerto Príncipe, Cuba, ?Nov 28, 1844; d Havana, ?Dec 31, 1918). Pianist, music teacher, arranger, conductor, composer, and lawyer of Cuban birth, naturalized American. Born into a prominent family in Puerto Príncipe, Cuba (present-day Camagüey), Agramonte strongly supported the movement for independence from Spain. He studied music and the law in Cuba, Spain, and France. After vocal studies with Enrico Delle Sedie (1822–1907) and François Delsarte (1811–71) at the Paris Conservatory, he immigrated to the United States, settling in New York in 1869, where he remained until after Cuban independence in 1898. He became a US citizen in 1886.

In the 1870s and 1880s, Agramonte taught music at the Academy of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx. In the 1890s he taught with Dudley Buck and William Mason at the Metropolitan College of Music and ran his own School of Opera and Oratorio at his home, teaching singers such as ...

Article

Ingmar Bengtsson

revised by Bertil H. van Boer

(b Löth, Östergötland, Feb 1, 1701; d Nuremberg, Jan 19, 1765). Swedish composer, violinist and harpsichordist. His father was a priest. He went to school in Linköping and studied at Uppsala University from 1721 to 1722 or 1723, where he played in the university orchestra, then led by the director musices Eric Burman. Early biographers said that Prince Maximilian of Hesse heard Agrell's violin playing in 1723 and called him to Kassel. Firm evidence of Agrell's activity there is, however, found only from 1734, when F. Chelleri was Kapellmeister. He was still working in Kassel between 1737 and 1742 during the reign of Count Wilhelm VIII and the court long owed him payment for service, as well as ‘ale and food money’, for the years 1743 to 1746. During his time at Kassel Agrell is reported to have made several journeys, visiting England, France, Italy and elsewhere.

Uncertain economic circumstances seem to have driven Agrell to seek the post of Kapellmeister in Nuremberg, a post which he obtained in ...

Article

Dieter Härtwig

(b Ballenstedt, July 13, 1790; d Berlin, Oct 8, 1873). German pianist, music teacher and composer, son of Carl Christian Agthe. He received his musical education from Ebeling in Magdeburg and Seebach in Klosterbergen before studying composition and counterpoint with M.G. Fischer in Erfurt. In 1810 he settled in Leipzig as a music teacher and second violinist in the Gewandhaus Orchestra, and there published his first compositions. He founded a music academy in Dresden with C. Kräger in 1823 which was publicly endorsed by Carl Maria von Weber; J.B. Logier’s methods of keyboard instruction were used there. In the next decade he set up similar institutes in Posen (1826), where Theodore and Adolf Kullak were his pupils, in Breslau (1831) and finally in Berlin (1832). He was forced to retire in 1845 because of weak eyesight. His compositions include at least nine opus numbers for piano (some with other instruments) and two manuscript songs in the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin....

Article

Thomas F. Heck

(b Madrid, April 8, 1784; d Madrid, Dec 29, 1849). Spanish guitarist and composer. ‘Padre Basilio’ of Madrid, possibly Miguel Garcia, gave him his first instruction in the guitar, an instrument for which tablature notation was still commonly used in Spain. In about 1800 Aguado, like Fernando Sor, was influenced by the Italian Federico Moretti and adopted the conventional staff notation for the guitar; thereafter both Spaniards published their music in the improved manner championed by Moretti, distinguishing the musical parts by the direction of note stems, use of rests, etc. Aguado's artistic career unfolded slowly, owing to the Napoleonic invasion of Spain and its aftermath. He retreated to the village of Fuenlabrada in 1803, teaching and perfecting his technique there until 1824, the year his mother died; his Colección de estudios para guitarra appeared in Madrid in 1820. He moved to Paris in 1825 (while Sor was in Russia) and immediately gained an enviable reputation as a virtuoso and teacher; a revised version of his ...

Article

(b Mexico City, Dec 7, 1945). Mexican pianist and composer. She studied the piano at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and composition in the workshop of the Conservatorio Nacional de Música under Héctor Quintanar and Mario Lavista. Her extensive output reveals a diversity of techniques and styles without formal adherence to compositional schools or avant-garde trends, but with an emphasis on the search for expressive freedom. Avant-garde techniques, however, are sometimes used to enhance the colour and integrity of her music, as in Navegantes del crepúsculo (‘Voyagers of the Twilight’, 1993), a trio in four movements for clarinet, bassoon and piano, which she describes as ‘a fantasy of abstract lyricism’. In Arabesco for solo recorder, the music explores the technical potential of the instrument and the performer, including the simultaneous use of two recorders, the contrapuntal exposition of the theme through multiphonics and nimble alternation between voice and instrument....

Article

Eldonna L. May

(b Brownsville, TX, Nov 2, 1962). American percussionist, improviser, and composer. He received his bachelor’s degree from Corpus Christi State University; his master’s degrees in percussion performance from the California Institute of the Arts, where he studied with John Bergamo; and a DMA in contemporary music performance from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied with Steven Schick and Anthony Davis. An experimental performer and composer, he also studied with AACM member Wadada Leo Smith, who shaped his interest in the improvisatory and free jazz elements of Chicago’s creative music scene. Aguilar’s interdisciplinary approach to composition combines improvised and fully notated musical elements with the use of new technologies and informed by an interest in cultural and critical studies. His compositions, such as Different Paths, Same Destination (2003), incorporate elements of free jazz, structured improvisation, industrial sound, white noise, guitar as a hand-percussion instrument, and spatial sound relationships—while using instrumentation that relies primarily on various percussion instruments. Aguilar’s compositional processes include what he calls “imaginative reaction compositions” whereby he shares with musicians a number of elements—such as poetry, a variety of musical excerpts, and random thoughts and ideas—prior to recording their collective improvisation. The musicians listen to pre-recorded melodic and rhythmic structures Aguilar has composed and create collective, free improvisations, incorporating their interpretation of the shared elements. Dedicated to Julio Estrada, Aguilar’s ...

Article

Susana Salgado

(b Buenos Aires, Jan 28, 1868; d Buenos Aires, Aug 13, 1924). Argentine composer and pianist. He attended the Madrid Conservatory (1882–6), studying composition with Arrieta, harmony with Aranguren and fugue with Cató, and taking first prizes for piano, harmony and counterpoint. While in Spain he impressed Albéniz with his playing, and when he returned to Argentina in 1886 he made a reputation as a pianist. He gave concerts in the interior of the country, staying for a year in Rosario, and then settled in Buenos Aires, where he played a significant part in the musical life of the city. As a composer he followed the national style initiated by Williams, using native folk melodies of the gauchos, particularly tristes, in numerous songs. These established him as one of the most highly esteemed Argentine composers of his generation. He was secretary and harmony professor at the conservatories founded by Gutiérrez and Williams; and he helped to create the music section of the Buenos Aires Athenaeum (...

Article

John A. Parkinson

revised by Simon McVeigh

[Joseph]

(b c1725; d ?April 1803). Italian composer and violinist. By 1748 he was in London, where his orchestral career lasted over half a century. He was particularly in demand as a composer of ballet music for the Italian opera, and by 1758 works by him were included in the anthology known as Hasse’s Comic Tunes. A selection from the eighth volume is entirely by him, and between 1768 and 1788 he published no fewer than seven further books of opera dances. In addition to publishing collections of his own vocal and instrumental music, Agus edited Six Favourite Overtures in 8 Parts (London, 1762) containing works by Cocchi, Galuppi, Jommelli and Graun. His sonatas and trios are fluent essays in the Tartini idiom, with judicious use of double stopping. However, public taste was best suited by his flair for brief but tuneful dance movements in a variety of styles, the tambourin being especially favoured....

Article

John A. Parkinson

revised by Simon McVeigh

(Francis)

(b 1749, d Paris, 1798). Italian violinist and composer. He was probably the son of Giuseppe Agus. Having studied the violin under Nardini in Italy, ‘Agus jr’ first appeared in London on 26 February 1773 at the Haymarket. In 1778 Blundell published his duets for two violins.

On 19 March 1778 he was found guilty at Kingston assizes of attempted rape upon his 11-year-old godchild, Elizabeth Weichsell, and as a result of this scandal he emigrated to France. He was appointed maître de solfège at the Paris Conservatoire in 1795, where he received a grant of 3000 livres from the National Council. He contributed to the collection of solfeggi issued under the Conservatoire’s auspices. Two collections of instrumental arrangements of catches and glees were published in England, and a set of trios in Paris, where Barbieri impudently republished his violin duets as Boccherini’s op.37.

Many errors in earlier editions of ...

Article

Dieter Härtwig

revised by Hildegard Surner

(b Regensburg, Feb 28, 1755; d Prague, Dec 20, 1810). German composer, writer and pianist. The daughter of Prince Alexander Ferdinand of Thurn and Taxis and his third wife Maria Henrietta Josepha, princess of Fürstenberg - Stühhugen, and a goddaughter of Empress Maria Theresa, she spent her early years at her father's court in Regensburg. In 1780 she married the Danish diplomat Count Ferdinand von Ahlefeldt-Langeland-Rixingen. In the following decade they lived at the court of the last Margrave of Ansbach, Karl Alexander, where she belonged to the circle of Lady Elizabeth Craven (later margravine) and was active in musical and literary spheres. In 1791, after the dissolution of the Ansbach court, Countess Ahlefeldt moved to Denmark with her husband, who was superintendent of the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen from 1792 to 1794. The couple later moved to Dresden (1798) and Prague (1800). Ahlefeldt came to public notice as a composer in both Ansbach and Copenhagen, having particular success with the four-act opera-ballet ...

Article

Bruce Mather

(Morris)

(b Kentville, NS, Aug 28, 1939). Canadian flautist, conductor and composer. He studied with Nicholas Fiore (in Toronto) and Marcel Moyse; later with Rampal and Gazzelloni. He was principal flautist of the Vancouver SO (1958–9) and of the Toronto SO (1965–70). In 1971 he was a prizewinner of the Concours International de Flûte de Paris. In 1964 he formed the Lyric Arts Trio with his wife, the pianist Marion Ross, and the soprano Mary Morrison. He is musical director of New Music Concerts (Toronto) and Music Today (Shaw Festival, Ontario), as well as a soloist whose engagements take him to Europe, North America, Japan and Iceland. In 1977 he was one of 12 instrumentalists invited by Boulez to give a solo recital at IRCAM in Paris. Some 50 works have been wrtten for him by composers including Carter, Crumb, R. Murray Schafer and Takemitsu. Technically adept, he has a pure, intense tone and a finished sense of phrasing. In ...

Article

André Clergeat

(b Paris, Dec 7, 1968). French guitarist, leader, and composer. He studied guitar under the guidance of Philippe Petit and Marc Ducret and was influenced by the avant-garde musicians Derek Bailey and John Zorn. After having played alongside John Abercrombie, Tal Farlow, and Dave Liebman he abandoned bop, oriented himself “beyond” jazz, and adopted a violent “jungle style,” which had nothing to do with Duke Ellington’s aesthetic of the same name but borrowed instead mainly from electronics. In the early 1990s he founded the groups Unit (including Julien Lourau) and Trash Corporation (involving Bojan Zulfikarpasic), played in the cooperative Astrolab, and appeared frequently in Henri Texier’s group. Later he joined the groups Machination (alongside Hélène Labarrière), Tribulation, and the Recyclers, and led the ensemble M.A.O. Akchoté has taught at the Centre d’Information Musicale and at EDIM (Enseignement Diffusion Information Musique).

Article

(fl 1684–1706). English violinist and composer. Someone of this name was living in the parish of St Giles-in-the-Fields, London, in 1686. He is listed among the king's musicians between 1687 and 1691, in which year he was in the party that accompanied King William to Holland. Thereafter he does not appear in the Lord Chamberlain’s records, but he was admitted a wait of the City of London in 1695. The following year John Blow wrote to Sir Joseph Williamson recommending him as one of his entourage for the Treaty of Ryswick (1697): he was described as ‘a fit person on several accounts, for his understanding French and Italian, and a good scholar’. Blow mentions that he had been one of the Stewards of the Festival of the Sons of the Clergy the year after Williamson, though in fact it was the year before, in 1687. Apparently in ...

Article

(b Pisky, near Khar′kiv, 8/Sept 20, 1876; d Paris, Jan 8, 1945). Ukrainian composer and pianist. Aged ten he was sent, along with his brother Yakiv (later known as the composer Stepovy), to sing in the choir of the Imperial Chapel in St Petersburg. It was during his time there (1886–95) that he began to compose under the influence of his teachers Balakirev and Lyapunov. He finished studies with Rimsky-Korsakov and Lyadov at the St Petersburg Conservatory in 1901, the year in which the latter conducted the first performance of the Lyric Poem, op.20. Akimenko then became the director of a music school in Tbilisi (1901–03). He performed widely as a pianist, particularly in France and Switzerland, and lived for a while in Paris (1903–06) before returning to Khar′kiv. In 1914 he was invited to teach composition and theory at the St Petersburg Conservatory, a post he held until ...

Article

J. Bradford Robinson

(b Dairen, China, Dec 12, 1929). Japanese jazz composer, pianist and bandleader. She studied classical music and turned to jazz only in 1947 after moving to Japan. There she was discovered by Oscar Peterson, who urged her to take up a career in the USA. After studying at Berklee College of Music (1956–9) she became a highly regarded bop pianist, especially in groups with the alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano (who was at that time her husband). She worked in Japan (1961), joined Charles Mingus in the USA (1962–3), then returned to Japan until 1965. In 1973 she founded a large rehearsal band in Los Angeles with the tenor saxophonist and flautist Lew Tabackin, whom she had married in 1969. Its first album, Kogun (1974, RCA), was commercially successful in Japan, and the group attracted increasing popularity and critical acclaim until, by ...

Article

Oleg V. Timofeyev

(b 1784; d Loshaki, Ryazan′ region, 1853). Russian guitarist and composer. He was a nobleman, and combined a military and administrative career with music. He was one of the first, and most successful, pupils of Andrey Sychra, with whom he studied in Moscow. In 1808 he was transferred to Siberia, and from 1810 lived in St Petersburg. In the 1830s he moved to his estate in Ryazan′ region, where he remained until his death. In contrast to Sychra and Vïsotsky, Aksyonov published only a limited number of guitar pieces, but most of them are of excellent quality. Unlike the majority of Russian guitarists, Aksyonov did not limit himself to the guitar: his skilfully written romansï for voice and piano appeared in various musical periodicals. His guitar adaptations of piano pieces (Field's Kamarinskaya and Dussek's La chasse) illustrate his striking sensitivity to the technical potential of the seven-string guitar. He was apparently the first guitarist for whom variations on Russian folk themes became a significant genre. His guitar compositions use innovative techniques that require perfection of left-hand effects, lengthy legatos and portamento. He also invented the technique of performing artificial harmonics on the guitar, a discovery first published in the ...

Article

Owen Wright

[ibn Ghaybī al-Marāghi]

(b Maragh; d Herat, 1435). Timurid composer, performer and theorist. He first rose to prominence in the service of the Jalā’irid rulers of Iraq and Azerbaijan, al-Ḥusayn (1374–82) and Aḥmad (1382–1410). After the conquest of Baghdad by Tīmūr (1393), most of his career was spent in Samarkand and, especially, Herat, at the courts of Tīmūr and of his successors al-Khalīl (1404–9) and Shāh Rukh (1409–47).

‘Abd al-Qādir was one of the most important and influential theorists of the Systematist school. His most substantial surviving works are the Jāmi‘ al-al ḥān (‘Compendium of melodies’), largely completed in 1405 and revised in 1413, and the slighter Maqāṣid al-al ḥān (‘Purports of melodies’), which covers essentially the same ground and probably dates from 1418. Written in Persian, which was by then the language of culture, these works proved particularly influential among later 15th-century theorists; but although both thoughtful and highly competent, on the theoretical side they may be regarded as, essentially, restatements and amplifications of the theory elaborated by ...

Article

Maria V. Coldwell

(fl late 12th century). Troubadour. She exchanged a tenso with Giraut de Bornelh, S’ieus quier conseil, bel’ amig’ Alamanda (PC 242.69). The music survives in one manuscript ( F-Pn f.f. 22543, f.8r; ed. in H. van der Werf and G. Bond: The Extant Troubadour Melodies, Rochester, NY, ...

Article

Boris Schwarz

revised by Cormac Newark

(b Bayonne, March 8, 1815; d Paris, Feb 22, 1888). French violinist and composer. At the age of ten, he performed Viotti’s Concerto no.12 so well that the citizens of Bayonne decided to send him to Paris. There he entered Habeneck’s class at the Conservatoire in 1827 and won first prize in 1830. He continued to study composition with Fétis (1831–3) while serving as a violinist in the Opéra orchestra. In 1831 he made his début as a soloist with the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, earning the praise of Paganini, present in the audience, who subsequently dedicated to Alard his 6 Sonatas op.2. Soon Alard became known as an excellent performer. At the memorial concert for Mendelssohn in 1848, he was chosen to perform the composer’s recent Violin Concerto. He also became known as a superb chamber music player, particularly with his own string quartet, which he had formed in ...

Article

Keith A. Larson

(fl Naples, 1601–16). Italian composer and musician. He was mentioned by Cerreto (Della prattica musica vocale et strumentale, Naples, 1601/R) as one of a number of singers and instrumentalists in Naples. He published two volumes of music at Naples in 1616. The first, Il primo libro di canzoni, e madrigaletti, for three and four voices (RISM 1616¹¹), includes settings of texts by Tasso, Marino and Francesco degl’Atti. The canzoni – in fact canzonettas – usually have four-line stanzas and use triple metre occasionally. The tenor parts can be omitted. The five madrigalettos (one of which is by Scipione Dentice) are longer and avoid triple metre but are similar in style to the canzonettas. Albano recommended that lute, harp or harpsichord accompaniment be used, that the tempo be a little rushed and that, whereas intermediate cadences must be sung in strict time, final cadences could be drawn out a little. His second published volume, ...