41-60 of 160 results  for:

Clear all

Article

Rodolfo Celletti

revised by Valeria Pregliasco Gualerzi

(b Istanbul, Oct 10, 1928; d Milan, May 9, 2008). Turkish soprano. A pupil of Giannina Arangi-Lombardi, she made her début at Ankara in 1950 as Santuzza, the role of her Italian début at the Arena Flegrea, Naples, in 1953. She sang at La Scala in 1957 as Madame Lidoine in the world première of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites. Subsequently she appeared throughout Europe and America, but until her retirement in 1983 was most often heard in Italy. Although her voice was limited in volume and not very even, she was able, thanks to her technique, strong temperament and theatrical intelligence, to tackle with success such dramatic roles as Gioconda or Aida. Lighter roles such as Gilda and Amina made the best use of her vocal flexibility and impressive soft singing; but her interpretative powers found most scope in the dramatic coloratura repertory, particularly in Donizetti and early Verdi: ...

Article

Masakata Kanazawa

[Gorobei, Chikugonojō; Shimizu Ridayū]

(b Osaka, ?1651; d Osaka, Sept 1714). Japanese singer. He was the originator of a dramatic or narrative vocal style known as gidayū or gidayū-bushi, performed to the accompaniment of a large shamisen (a futozao); the style was indispensable to puppet plays (bunraku) and some of the kabuki repertories. He studied with Shimizu Rihei and made his début in 1677, adopting the name Ridayū. In 1673–84 he sang at the Uji-za (Uji theatre) in Kyoto and in 1684 he founded his own theatre, the Takemoto-za, in Osaka, where he introduced his new singing style under the name of Gidayū. He and his singing soon gained popularity and fame, thanks partly to his collaboration with the playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon, who wrote for him such plays as Shusse Kagekiyo (‘Kagekiyo’s Success’, 1685) and Sonezaki shinjū (‘Double suicide at Sonezaki’, 1703). His artistic accomplishments earned him the prestigious name of Chikugonojō in ...

Article

Andrew Clark

(b Oslo, Oct 24, 1948). Norwegian mezzo-soprano. She studied in Oslo, Rome and Vienna, and made her début at Klagenfurt in 1972 as Baba the Turk. She was successively a member of the companies in Ulm (1973–7), Bremerhaven (1977–9) and Karlsruhe (1979–80). Her Bayreuth début in ...

Article

Eliyahu Schleifer

(b Kiev, June 1, 1898; d Tel-Aviv, Jan 27, 1964). Israeli cantor and composer of Ukrainian birth. Born into a family of cantors (both of his grandfathers were cantors, as was his father), he made his cantorial début in Kiev at the age of eight. At the age of 14 he became the choir director at his father's synagogue, where he helped to introduce the 19th-century polyphonic repertory. He studied the piano and theory at the Totovsky Conservatory and later counterpoint and composition with Glière. In 1920 he moved to Chişinău, now in Moldova, where he served as cantor and continued his studies with Abraham Berkowitsch (known as Kalechnik), an authority on cantorial recitatives. After emigrating to the USA in 1926 he served as cantor for congregations in New York and Los Angeles. His extensive recordings with Asch and RCA Victor made him famous in Ashkenazi Jewish communities. In ...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Bucharest, c 1952). Israeli soprano of Romanian birth . She studied in Tel-Aviv and in Zürich, where she made her début in 1977 as the Queen of Night; in 1978 she sang the same role at Glyndebourne. Engaged with the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, from 1980, she has also sung in Hamburg, Munich, Vienna and Cologne and at La Scala. In ...

Article

John Allison

(b Erevan, Jan 29, 1951). Armenian tenor. Studies at the Erevan Conservatory and La Scala’s Scuola di Perfizionamento Artistico laid the foundation for a career that has embraced the Russian and Italian repertory of the 19th century. Following his début in 1971 at the Erevan National Theatre as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and a short apprenticeship with the Lithuanian Opera in Vilnius, he appeared regularly at the Bol′shoy and in other Soviet theatres, singing such roles as the Pretender (Boris Godunov), Radames, Cavaradossi and Pollione (which he recorded with the Bol′shoy). He became a Kirov Opera principal in 1989, and with the company at home, on tour and on record has sung many roles, including Lensky, Hermann, Andrey (Mazepa), Vaudémont (Iolanta), Vladimir (Prince Igor), Princeling Vsevolod (Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh), Pierre Bezukhov (War and Peace...

Article

Scheherazade Qassim Hassan

(b Baghdad, 1901; d Baghdad, 1989). Iraqi singer. He was a specialist of the urban and classical repertory of the ‘Iraqi maqām’ and its associated forms. Born to a family of merchants, he had an informal education and learnt the maqām by attending gatherings of maqām masters and watching their performances in the coffee-houses of old Baghdad.

Al-Gubanshī was the first to reinstate the importance of the text and emphasize the importance of clear diction. In 1936 he ceased to use the accompaniment of the traditional shalghī al-baghdādī ensemble in favour of the new Middle Eastern takht ensemble. He created new Iraqi maqāms which are still in use at the beginning of the 21st century as part of the repertory. Al-Gubanshī chose to perform the pesta songs which follow the maqām singing rather than leave their performance to the instrumentalists.

Al-Gubanshī was always treated with reverence and respect. Being a wealthy merchant, he did not consider himself as a professional musician, and was not regarded as such. This gave him freedom to decide where and how he should perform. Between the 1920s and 40s he made more than 100 78 r.p.m. recordings. In ...

Article

John Allison

(b Odessa, Aug 9, 1959). Ukrainian soprano of Armenian-Ukrainian birth. As a student at the Odessa Conservatory she won first prize in the Glinka Competition and third prize in the Tchaikovsky Competition, and in 1985 began singing at the State Academic Opera, Minsk. Her major roles there included Yolanta and Elisabeth de Valois. Soon after her international début, as Amelia in Un ballo in maschera at La Scala in 1987, she left the Soviet Union and established herself in non-Russian parts: with the exception of Lisa in The Queen of Spades, which she has also recorded with the Kirov Opera, she has concentrated on the Italian repertory. Other early La Scala performances included Lucrezia in I due Foscari (1988) and Tosca (1989), the role in which she made débuts in Hamburg (1990), Berlin, Vienna, San Francisco and Chicago; her interpretation of Tosca is preserved on a recording with Muti, taken from performances at La Scala in ...

Article

Alina Pahlevanian

(b Yerevan, Jan 9, 1925). Armenian singer. She studied singing with Yelena Musinyan at the Yerevan R. Melikyan School of Music. In 1944 she became a soloist with the Ensemble of Folk Instruments of Radio Armenia; she performed with the ensemble in concerts and radio and television programmes for many years, and there is a large collection of her recordings in the phonographic archive of Armenian Radio. In 1956 she took part in the Festival of Armenian Art and Literature in Moscow, and in 1959 she was named People's Artist of Armenia. In 1963 she won first prize in a competition for her performance of the song Sayat-Nova. She was also awarded the Red Labour Medal and the Medal of Honour, the Badge of Honour (1956) and the Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1985).

Her repertory has included ashugh and gusan songs, songs by Armenian composers, and traditional Russian, Moldavian, Arabic and Persian songs. Her soprano voice has been noted for its flexibility and warmth. She has performed throughout Armenia and has frequently given concerts in Moscow, Tbilisi, Baku, Alma-Ata and Kishinev. She has also toured widely in Europe, the Middle East and the USA; in ...

Article

Bonnie C. Wade and Inderjit N. Kaur

(b Dharwar, 5 March 1913; d Hubli, 21 July 2009).

North Indian (Hindustani) classical music vocalist. She was born into a South Indian family and her mother was an accomplished Karnatak (South Indian classical) musician, but Gangubai studied North Indian music rather than South Indian. At the age of 13 she began formal training in Hubli at Krishna Acharya’s music school. She became a disciple of Sawai Gandharva of the Kirana gharānā, but she was only able to study with him for 15 days a year when he returned to his village. After he settled there in 1938, Gangubai received three years of intensive training, then sporadic training until his death in 1942. It is remarkable that Gangubai managed to become a musician and to achieve success. She performed throughout India and broadcast for All-India Radio stations until 1945; her performances included lighter genres such as bhajan, ṭhumrī, and Marathi songs, but she finally devoted her creative attention to khayāl...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Kanagawa, July 19, 1948). Japanese soprano . She studied in Tokyo and Milan, making her début in 1972 at La Scala as Butterfly. In 1973 she sang Ninetta (La gazza ladra) in Rome and the title role of Maria Stuarda in Chicago; the following year she took the title role of ...

Article

Jonas Westover

(b Gangwon, South Korea, July 4, 1959). American soprano of South Korean birth. After attending Yea Won Music School as a child in Seoul, she moved to the United States in 1974 to study at the Juilliard School. She sang a number of roles at the school’s American Opera Center, where she participated in master classes held by luminaries such as Schwartzkopf, Legge, Souzay, and Tito Gobbi. Her debut came in 1981 when she performed at the Spoleto Festival at the invitation of Menotti. In the following year Hong won the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions and in 1984 made her Met debut as Servilia in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito. She performed smaller roles until 1987 when she appeared as Mimi in La Bohème, which has become her signature role. Since that time, Hong has performed on all the major stages throughout the world, including the Royal Opera House, La Scala, and L’Opéra de la Bastille, where she has sung a variety of roles, from Countess Almaviva to Liù to Zerlina. Comfortable in a wide variety of languages, she has an extensive repertoire, including many concert works. Giuseppe Sinopoli composed his ...

Article

Walter Ojakäär

[Oganesyan [Khovanesyan], Tatevik]

(b Yerevan, Armenian SSR [now Armenia], June 3, 1955). Armenian singer and educator. She grew up in a musical family and began singing jazz as a child; when she was 13 she made her first recording, a version of Harold Arlen’s It’s only a paper moon, for Armenian radio. Having studied choral conducting at the Melikyan Music School in Yerevan (graduating in 1974) she sang with the Armenian State Variety Orchestra under the bandleader Konstantin Orbelyan (1974–7); later she worked with groups led by Igor Bril, Vladimir Chekasin, Aleksey Kuznetsov, Lembit Saarsalu, and Tiit Paulus. Her international career began at festivals in Belgrade (1978) and Debrecen, Hungary (1985); later she performed throughout Europe, as well as in Africa, Asia, Australia, and the USA, where she settled in 1989. Before leaving the USSR she recorded Dnevnïe mechtï (1986, Mel. C60 23665000), and she was the soloist in a concerto for voice and orchestra by Konstantin Petrosyan, recorded that same year. In the USA she sang with Frank Wess, Larry Willis, Ben Riley, Paquito D’Rivera, and others, and recorded the albums ...

Article

Wendy F. Hsu

(b Taipei, Taiwan, Dec 15, 1973). Rock musician and songwriter of Taiwanese birth. Hsu moved to Houston, Texas, with his family in 1989. His brother, Kevin Hsu, was a pop star in Taiwan who signed to Golden Point/BMG. Self-taught in guitar, keyboards, voice, and drums, Hsu formed in 2001 the alternative rock band Johnny Hi-Fi, which has toured extensively in the United States and Asia. As a songwriter Hsu writes songs in both English and Mandarin Chinese. He has collaborated with Taiwanese recording artists and producers and has had success overseas. His song titled “Don’t Go,” performed by Richie Ren, reached the top 10 pop music chart in Taiwan. Hsu also has toured with Taiwanese rock musician Chang Chen-Yue on his US tour in 2004.

In 2004 Hsu began organizing the Asian Rock Fest in recognition of Asian American Heritage Month in May. An annual festival series, Asian Rock Fest has brought together Asian American artists and showcased rock music talent including Eyes Like Knives, Kite Operations, Carol Bui, Burning Tree Project, Festizio, Vudoo Soul, Jack Tung, and Johnny Hi-Fi. The first Asian Rock Fest took place at The Pianos in New York. The festival continued to feature Asian American musicians after Hsu’s relocation to the west coast in ...

Article

Megan E. Hill

(b Shanghai, China, Feb 21, 1941). Kunqu opera singer of Chinese birth. She was a member of the first class of Kunqu opera students at the Shanghai Opera School, which she entered in 1954. She graduated as the school’s top student in 1961, by which time she was already well known in China, Hong Kong, and Macao. She became a specialist in guimen dan, the refined female role-type. As a young actress she had earned the nickname “Little Mei Lan Fang” after the legendary male performer who had been the exemplar of the dan role. Today Hua has come to be regarded internationally as the premier model for Kunqu guimen dan.

She performed with the Shanghai Youth Beijing and Kunqu Troupe from 1961 until 1971. Due to the Chinese government’s censuring of traditional Chinese opera because of its links to China’s “feudalistic” history, during the Cultural Revolution (...

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Oct 16, 1962). Russian baritone. He studied in Krasnoyarsk, making his début there in 1986. After appearing at the Kirov the following year he made a concert tour of the USA with a group of Russian singers, then, in 1989, won the Singer of the World Competition at Cardiff and made his west European début at Nice as Yeletsky (The Queen of Spades). Subsequently he sang Yevgeny Onegin in Venice, Yeletsky in Amsterdam and Silvio (Pagliacci) in Barcelona, then in 1992 made his Covent Garden début as Riccardo (I puritani), returning as Onegin and Yeletsky (2001). He made his stage début in the USA as Germont in Chicago (1993) and his Metropolitan début as Yeletsky (1995). His other roles include Rossini’s Figaro, Alphonse XI (La favorite), Don Giovanni and Count Almaviva, both of which he has sung at Salzburg, and the Marquis of Posa, the role in which he made his La Scala début (...

Article

Alexander M. Cannon

(b Savannakhet, Laos, 1947). Laotian composer and singer. He began his musical training by studying Lao folk songs with Buddhist monks. Before age 20, he already had garnered a reputation as a creative maulam, or narrative singer of lam (or lum)—a genre of traditional vocal music from southern Laos of solo or male–female repartee singing accompanied by khene and oftentimes a small ensemble. He later studied composition and performance and was employed in 1965 by the Department of Lao National Fine Arts. In 1968, he entered the army and worked as a singer for the National Radio Broadcast. After the Pathet Lao came to power in 1975, he worked at the military radio station singing propaganda songs. In 1979, he escaped to Thailand, and in 1980, immigrated to the United States, first living with his cousin, Bountong Insixiengmay, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He soon relocated to Minneapolis—a city with a large population of Lao émigrés—and in ...

Article

Kazunori Sugiyama and Barry Kernfeld

[Ebisawa, Kimiko ]

(b Kagawa, Japan, July 11, 1946). Japanese singer. She took a degree in the visual arts at Musashino Fine Arts University in Tokyo and then became a film animator. In 1970 she studied jazz singing, and when the film company for which she worked dissolved she moved into music, making her professional début in 1974. She performed with the trio led by the pianist Yuzuru Sera, with Eiji Kitamura, and with George Otsuka’s trio, and, although she made a number of pop albums, first recorded in a jazz setting as a leader in 1982. In 1985 Itoh spent six months in New York, during which period she performed at the Blue Note and at Sutton’s, a lesser-known Harlem club. After returning to Japan she toured with Terumasa Hino. One of the most popular jazz singers in Japan, she was accompanied by Richard Tee, Steve Gadd, and others for performances there in ...

Article

Alma Kunanbayeva

(b Semirechye, Zhetysay, Feb 28, 1846; d Alma-Ata, June 22, 1945). Kazakh poet-singer. He was an apprentice of the poet-singer (aqyn) Suyumbai. Between 1870 and 1912 he was undefeated in contests (aitys), and in 1919 he was the winner at the first meeting of Zhetysu poets. He was an expert on and performer of the epic songs (dastan) 1001 noch’ (‘1001 Nights’), Shakhname, Leyila i Medjnun, Kyz-Zhibek and Edige, and the author of the epics Utegen-batyr (‘The Epic Hero Utegen’) and Suranshi-batyr (‘The Epic Hero Suranshi’). In 1934 he took the grand prize at the first Republican meeting of Kazakh art masters. He took part in festivals of Kazakh arts in Moscow four times following the first ten-day festival of Kazakh literature and art in Moscow in May 1936. His many awards included the Order of the Red Banner of Labour (...

Article

Amelia Dutta

(b Allahabad, 1870; d Mysore, 1930). North Indian vocalist of Armenian Jewish descent. Her mother Malka Jan took her in 1881 to Benares (now Varanasi), where they embraced Islam. Influenced by Malka Jan's benefactor, mother and daughter began to train in music and dance under the Lucknow kathak dancer Ali Bux. Gauhar Jan later received training from Ustad Nazir Khan of Rampur, Pyare Saheb of Calcutta and Maharaj Bindadin of Lucknow.

Her first public appearance was in 1887 for the Maharaja of Darbhanga, Bihar, who appointed her as court musician-dancer. She soon became one of the most sought-after vocalists in India, performing in concerts at conferences in Lucknow, Allahabad and Calcutta. At the peak of her career, she lived in an ostentatious residence in Calcutta and commanded fees of Rs 1000 per peformance. Some of the earliest Indian records were Gauhar Jan's. She was one of the most celebrated and flamboyant courtesan singers of the early 20th century, having sung in 20 languages and made some 600 78 r.p.m. recordings. She and Janaki Bai, another courtesan singer, were paid Rs 3000 per recording session. She was popular in both North and South India and is said to have been equally competent in both Hindustani and Karnatak styles. She is also said to have sung ...