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Article

Sophie Fuller

[Amanda Christina Elizabeth; Ring, Montague]

(b London, March 16, 1866; d London, March 5, 1956). English composer, singer and teacher. An important member of London’s black community, Amanda Ira Aldridge was the daughter of the famous tragic actor Ira Aldridge. In 1883 she won a scholarship to the RCM. A pupil of Jenny Lind, her successful career as a contralto was ended by damage to her throat caused by laryngitis. She then established a distinguished career as a teacher, with pupils that included Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson.

Aldridge started publishing her compositions in her thirties, using the pseudonym Montague Ring. Her surviving works are in a popular style with strong rhythmic appeal. She published over 25 songs, often with words by African-American poets, such as ‘Where the Paw-Paw Grows’ (words by H.E. Downing, 1907) and ‘Summah is de Lovin’ Time’ (P.L. Dunbar, 1925). Her best-known work, Three African Dances, for piano, uses themes with West African origins....

Article

Galina Grigor′yeva

(b Moscow, 13/May 25, 1888; d Moscow, April 16, 1982). Russian composer. He studied with Taneyev and Vasilenko (composition) and Igumnov (piano) at the Moscow Conservatory (1910–16), where from 1923 until 1964 he was a composition professor. He was awarded the title People’s Artist of the USSR. In general his music is characterized by emotional depth and colourfulness, and by its close links with 19th-century Russian traditions. He composed in most genres, but the works for piano are among his best compositions. At first his piano style was influenced by Skryabin, Medtner and Rachmaninoff; later he developed an individual manner marked by colour and rich inventiveness. There is a particular delicacy and refinement in his songs, many of which have entered the Russian repertory. His six operas, which span his creative career, are lyrical, melodic and expressively direct with flexible and varied vocal parts. These works incorporate folk melodies and employ leitmotif technique. Among his numerous incidental scores, that for Paustovsky’s film ...

Article

(b Bologoye, 22 July/Aug 4, 1905; d Moscow, June 17, 1994). Russian composer and conductor, son of Aleksandr Vasil′yevich Aleksandrov. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Glier, graduating in 1929, and worked as a music director in Moscow clubs (1923–9), music director of the Red Army Theatre (1930–37), lecturer at the Moscow Conservatory (1933–41) and leader of the Soviet Radio Song Ensemble (1942–7). From 1937 to 1946 he was deputy director of the Aleksandrov Red Army Song and Dance Ensemble, which was founded by his father and, after the latter's death, came under his direction. He received the State Prize (1950) and the title People's Artist of the USSR (1958). In Dva p′yesï (‘Two Pieces’) op.1 (1928) for piano he developed a compositional system synthesizing the principle of the 12-note series (with inversions and permutations) with a harmonic set technique and mirror symmetry. Later works, such as the well-known musical comedy ...

Article

Nicholas Tochka

(Gjoka)

(b Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula, May 22, 1910; d Tirana, Albania, Oct 6, 1985). Albanian pianist, arranger, pedagogue, and composer. Born in an Albanian-speaking enclave in Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula, she received early training in ballet and piano while growing up in a middle-class merchant family. After relocating to Korça, Albania in 1932, Gjoka became the primary accompanist for the local salon culture, which included the art-song singers Kristaq Antoniu, Mihal Ciko, Tefta Tashko-Koço, and Maria Kraja. She received a degree in piano performance from the Athens Conservatory in 1936. Following World War II, she taught at Tirana’s ‘Jordan Misja’ Arts Lyceum from its founding in 1946, and at the State Conservatory from 1962. In addition to training a generation of Albanian pianists, Gjoka was a tireless promoter of folk songs. During the socialist period, she was among the first women to collect folk songs, which she often arranged as elegant art songs for voice and piano. She also held an appointment at the Theater of Opera and Ballet in Tirana between ...

Article

Viorel Cosma

revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu

(b Bucharest, 2/Aug 14, 1893; d Bucharest, Feb 18, 1959). Romanian composer, pianist, conductor, teacher, music critic, and director of music programmes. A leading figure of the first half of the 20th century, he laid the foundation of the Romanian school in music, concert life, and musical journalism. He studied with A. Castaldi, D. Dinicu, D.G. Kiriac, and E. Saegiu at the Bucharest Conservatory (1903–11), completing his education with two periods of study in Paris (1913–14, 1923–4), where he studied with d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum and with Paul Vidal at the Conservatoire. A remarkable accompanist, he worked with Enescu, Thibaud, Mainardi, Moodie, and others during the period 1919–45. As a conductor he always achieved a soberly balanced performance; he conducted more than 1500 performances at the Romanian Opera in Bucharest (1921–59), where he specialized in the French repertory (Bizet, Massenet, and Gounod). In his capacities as conductor of the Romanian Philharmonic Society, and as conductor and artistic manager of the Romanian RSO, he did much to encourage Romanian composers. He was also active as a music critic for Romanian and French reviews. Much of his compositional work was done during his youth, including ...

Article

Jehoash Hirshberg

(Heinz)

(b Berlin, Aug 9, 1915). Israeli composer of German birth. His studies at the Stern Conservatory were halted in 1936 as a result of the Nazi persecution, and in the same year he emigrated to Palestine. There he studied composition with Wolpe and the piano with Irma Wolpe-Schoenberg and Ilona Vince-Kraus. As a student he made his living as a café jazz pianist in Jersualem and established himself as an excellent improviser. From 1945 until his retirement he was a professor at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem. A highly versatile musician, he taught the piano, the harpsichord, theory, composition and improvisation. He also lectured in the musicology departments of Tel-Aviv University, the Hebrew University, the Institut Jaques-Dalcroze, Geneva, and New York University.

One of the diverse group of composers who emigrated from Europe to Palestine during the 1930s, Alexander experienced the tension between the ideological pressure to create a new national style with a nebulous Middle Eastern and folklike orientation, and the urge to keep abreast of current Western music. This tension is reflected in the contrast between the post-Romantic chromaticism of ...

Article

John C.G. Waterhouse, Virgilio Bernardoni and Johannes Streicher

(b Posillipo, Naples, March 8, 1875; d San Remo, Oct 27, 1954). Italian composer. After studying the piano privately with Alessandro Longo, and harmony and composition with Camillo de Nardis and Serrao at the Conservatorio di S Pietro a Majella, Naples, he moved in 1895 to Leipzig, where he completed his composition studies with Jadassohn. In 1896 he went to Berlin and launched himself as a pianist, though he did not continue this activity systematically for long: in later life he appeared in public only as a song accompanist and chamber music player, mainly in his own works. From 1899 until about 1905 he was based in Paris, but travelled as far afield as Russia. He then settled in Milan, moving in 1914 to San Remo, which remained at least his summer home for the rest of his life. From 1916 he taught composition at the Liceo Musicale, Bologna, which he directed from ...

Article

Rreze Kryeziu

(b Peja, Kosovo, Nov 19, 1982). Kosovar Albanian composer. In 2001 he finished at the Prenke Jakova music high school in Prishtina and then continued studies in the Academy of Music, branch of General Musical Pedagogy, in the University of Pristina, Kosovo. He completed his pedagogical studies in 2005 and his compositional studies in 2009. He finished his postgraduate studies in music theory and pedagogy in 2010, and in composition in 2011.

Since 2010 he has worked as a regular assistant in the Faculty of Musical Art, Prishtina, in harmony and orchestration. His works have been performed by renowned local and international instrumentalists. Of special significance are his orchestral works which have been awarded many prizes.

He is a regular member of the composers’ society in Kosovo. His works have been performed abroad by groups such as the Fegus String Quartet from Slovenia. He participated in the Fellonica festival and Concerti d’Altamaraca festival in Italy in ...

Article

Marta Cureses

(b Palma de Mallorca, Aug 24, 1931; d Madrid, October 29, 2006). Spanish composer. He began his musical studies at the Barcelona Conservatory with Gabriel Gálvez, Luis Millet, Juan Pich Santasusana, Joan Gibert Camins, Joaquín Zamocois and Eduardo Toldrá, and later removed to Geneva to broaden his training. His tireless professional work extended beyond composition to directing various musical and ballet groups, orchestration, performing as a pianist, music criticism on radio and television, and teaching. He taught composition and fugue at the Seville Conservatory until 1971, then composition at the Madrid Conservatory until his retirement in 1997.

Alís’s works number about 200 and comprise a wide variety of genres. Many of them were commissioned by various official organizations. Among them are the orchestral Sinfonietta, Música para un festival en Sevilla, Homenatge a Antoni Gaudí, Seis remembranzas a Eduardo Toldrá and Rêverie, all of which bear witness to his mastery of orchestration, tone-colour and intensity. Equally well known are his pieces for piano, his choral pieces and his string quartets. In addition to his serious music, he composed, orchestrated and conducted commercial and incidental music for publishing houses, CDs, theatre, radio, television and the cinema. A member of various juries of international competitions, he was made Commander of the Imperial Hispanic Order of Carlos V and received numerous honours and prizes....

Article

Laudan Nooshin

(b Tehran, 1951). Iranian tār and setār player, teacher and composer. He studied at the National Music Conservatory in Tehran from the age of 13 and then at the University of Tehran from 1970 to 1974; his teachers included Habibollah Salehi, Ali Akbar Shahnazi, Nur Ali Borumand, Abdollah Davami, Mahmud Karimi, Yusef Forutan, Said Hormozi, Dariush Safvate and Hooshang Zarif. From 1971 Alizadeh studied and taught at the influential Centre for the Preservation and Propagation of Iranian Music in Tehran; he later taught music theory and tār at the University of Tehran. In 1976 he began his association with Iranian National Radio and Television, working as a soloist, a composer and a conductor. He co-founded the Chavosh Cultural Artistic Centre in 1977 and the Aref Ensemble in 1983; he also worked with the Sheyda Ensemble. In the early 1980s he studied musicology and composition at the University of Berlin. In ...

Article

Alexis Chitty

revised by George Biddlecombe

(b Cork, 1809; d London, Nov 27, 1876). Irish tenor and composer. He was educated at the RAM in London and first attracted public attention by his performance, on 5 February 1842, as Damon in the stage production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea under Macready at Drury Lane. On 3 February 1846 he created the role of Basilius in Macfarren’s Don Quixote at Drury Lane. Chorley considered him ‘as a singer and actor … altogether the most complete artist on our operatic stage’. But his small voice was better suited to the Princess’s Theatre, where he sang from 1843 to 1850. In general he was overshadowed by William Harrison and Sims Reeves, both of whom specialized in singing ballads. Allen retired as a performer about 1856 and turned to teaching and the composition of ballads, of which The Maid of Athens and When we two parted achieved some popularity....

Article

Juan Orrego-Salas

(b Santiago, June 29, 1885; d Santiago, Aug 17, 1959). Chilean composer and ethnomusicologist. He studied the violin, music theory and composition at the Santiago Conservatorio National de Música (1899–1908). The Chilean government then sent him to France and Spain for further study (1910–11). On returning to Chile he was elected to the Folklore Society and worked for the Ministry of Education in improving the teaching of music in the state schools (1924–8). He travelled again to Europe in 1922 and was one of the founders of the International Academy of Fine Arts in Paris (1923). In 1928 he was appointed professor of composition at the Conservatorio National, which had recently become part of the arts faculty of the University of Chile. There, until his retirement in 1946, he taught many Chilean composers who later came to international prominence. On another visit to Europe, also in ...

Article

Guy Bourligueux

(b Astigarraga, Guipúzcoa, 1893; d Seville, Dec 7, 1970). Spanish composer and organist. He studied with Donostia and others in San Sebastián, with Otaño at the Comillas Seminary, and in Paris with Eugène Cools. In 1919 he was appointed maestro de capilla at Orense Cathedral and then organist at Seville Cathedral, where he became ...

Article

(b Lisbon, May 21, 1940). Portuguese composer and conductor. He began his music studies with Marina Dwander, Artur Santos and Joly Braga Santos. In 1959 he completed his higher degree in piano studies with Campos Coelho at the National Conservatory, Lisbon. In 1960 he was awarded a grant from the Instituto de Alta Cultura to study piano with Schiske at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik. While there he also studied with Wladyslaw Kedra and Dieter Weber. He also studied composition with Cerha on a grant from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. He was the cultural attaché in Vienna (1974–81) and founded the Almeida-Pluhar-Marinoff Trio in 1983. He lectured both at the University of Oporto and at the House Museum of A’lvaro de Campos.

Almeida is a versatile artist whose activities range from improvisation to television scores, film-making, fiction and essay-writing. He has a wide public following within Portugal and distances himself from the institutional circles of Portuguese composition. His extensive output is somewhat uneven. Although the dominant idiom in his compositions is a wide tonality, with visible influence from Stravinsky, Hindemith, Eisler and Prokofiev, he often uses more modern means such as electro-acoustics....

Article

Lennart Hedwall

(b Stockholm, Nov 28, 1793; d Bremen, Sept 26, 1866). Swedish author, pedagogue, journalist, and composer. After an education administered mainly by private tutors, Almqvist attended university in Uppsala and graduated in 1816. He then took a position as a government clerk in Stockholm, where he engaged in youthful and idealistic movements that worshiped Gothic ideals, the early German romanticism, and Swedenborg’s teachings. He was soon the leading spirit in these circles, and with his visionary religiosity he gained almost prophet-like status among them. In an attempt to realize his ideals, from 1823 to 1824 he lived as a farmer in the remote Wermland but soon returned to Stockholm where in 1827 he became a teacher at the Military Academy of Karlberg; he took an additional teaching post in 1829 at the recently founded experimental college Nya Elementarskolan. There he served as headmaster from 1829 to 1841 and wrote a dozen textbooks on different subjects from linguistics to mathematics....

Article

Faruk Yener

(b Istanbul, March 11, 1906; d Ankara, July 27, 1978). Turkish composer and conductor. He had his first music lessons from his mother. He showed a precocious talent for playing the qānūn and at 16 he composed a musical play in traditional Turkish monophonic style. In 1927 he went to Vienna and studied composition with Joseph Marx at the Academy of Music and conducting with Oswald Kabasta. He returned to Turkey in 1932, was appointed conductor to the Istanbul City Theatre Orchestra and taught history of music at the Istanbul Conservatory. In 1936 he became assistant conductor of the Ankara Presidential SO, taught piano at the State Conservatory and was an assistant to Carl Abert at the Ankara State Opera. In 1946 he was appointed conductor of the Presidential PO and held the post until 1952, when he left because of a nervous breakdown, though he continued to teach at the conservatory and to appear as guest conductor in Ankara and with the Vienna SO and the Stuttgart RSO. One of the Turkish Five, Alnar showed strong attraction in his works to the rhythmic and melodic patterns of Turkish monophonic music. (...

Article

August Corbet

revised by Corneel Mertens and Diana von Volborth-Danys

(b Antwerp, Sept 12, 1876; d Antwerp, Oct 5, 1954). Belgian composer and conductor. He studied in Antwerp at the Flemish Music School (later called the Royal Flemish Conservatory) under Peter Benoit and Jan Blockx, and conducting under Eduard Keurvels. In 1903 he became professor at the Conservatory, and was director of that institution from 1934 to 1941, when he retired. He was also active as an orchestral and operatic conductor, and was a member of the Académie Royale de Belgique.

Alpaerts was one of the outstanding personalities in Flemish musical life, both as conductor and composer; he was also a great teacher and an admirable organizer. As a composer he was, like Paul Gilson and August de Boeck, a typical Flemish representative of the Impressionist school. However, his Impressionism came closer to Richard Strauss and Respighi than to Debussy. An example of this tendency is the symphonic poem ...

Article

Eldonna L. May

(b Detroit, MI, April 13, 1953). American composer and pianist. As a teenager, she studied piano with Pearl Roberts McCullom. She received bachelor and master’s degrees in music composition at Wayne State University, studying with James Hartway. In 1983, she became the first female African American composer to receive the DMA in composition from the University of Michigan, where she studied with william Bolcom , Eugene Kurtz and Leslie Bassett. She also worked in electronic music with George Wilson for several years.

Alston taught briefly at Wayne State University (1983), Oakland University (1987), and Eastern Michigan University (1988). In 1991, she rejoined the faculty at Oakland University, where she is an associate professor in music composition. Her music has been performed in the United States and abroad. Alston’s Four Moods for Piano and Three Rhapsodies for Piano were selected for New York premieres by the North/South Consonance Ensemble. ...

Article

Karl-Ernst Bergunder

(b Alach, nr Erfurt, May 27, 1584; d Erfurt, Feb 12, 1640). German composer. He was sent to school at Erfurt in 1590 and went on to study theology at the university there in 1598, gaining the bachelor’s degree in 1599 and the master’s degree in 1603. He taught at Erfurt from 1600, beginning at the Reglerschule; from 1601 he was Kantor at St Andreas and from 1607 was also rector of the school connected with it. He abandoned teaching in 1609 and became a pastor: he worked in the parishes of Ilversgehofen and Marbach, near Erfurt, until 1610 and then moved to Tröchtelborn, near Gotha, where he stayed until 1621 and was probably also Kantor. He published most of his music during these years. He was likened to Orlande de Lassus as an ‘Orlandus Thuringiae’ and he himself was conscious of living at a time of great musical activity: as he wrote in the preface to his ...

Article

Karen Ahlquist

(b New Bloomfield, PA, Feb 8, 1904; d Newport, PA, June 3, 1976). American composer, pianist and teacher. She studied at Vassar College (AB 1925), Columbia University (AM in musicology, 1931) and the Eastman School of Music (MM in composition, 1932). Her teachers included Ernest Hutcheson (piano, 1925–6), Rubin Goldmark (composition, 1926–7) and, at Eastman, Howard Hanson and Bernard Rogers. She taught at Vassar from 1929 to 1931 and between 1938 and 1942. In 1942 she joined the faculty of Connecticut College for Women, teaching composition, theory, history and the piano. She became a full professor in 1956 and department chair in 1963.

Alter began to compose while at college and continued until she retired from teaching in 1969. While at Eastman she composed large works with orchestra which Hanson conducted; these included a staged ballet Anthony Comstock at the Festival of American Music in ...