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Noël Goodwin

(b Bari, Oct 5, 1880; d Desio, Milan, Dec 14, 1959). Italian conductor. He studied at Pesaro with Mascagni and made his début at the Costanzi, Rome, as Mascagni’s choice to follow the composer in conducting first-run performances of Le maschere (1901). He was music director for Boston Grand Opera, ...

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Noël Goodwin

(Winfield)

(b Manchester, Dec 3, 1914; d Brussels, April 27, 1962). English conductor. He studied at the RCM and was conductor for the Carl Rosa Opera Company from 1935 to 1939. In 1940 he was one of three conductors for a Glyndebourne production of The Beggar’s Opera, given at Brighton and in London at the Haymarket, and made a recording of its musical numbers. He joined Sadler’s Wells Opera in 1946 and became a co-director there in 1948, regularly conducting 50 to 60 performances of a wide range of repertory each season until the early 1950s, when he was affected by ill-health. His work included the first British performance (1948) of Simon Boccanegra, from which he recorded several excerpts (sung in English), and Norman Tucker’s English version (1951) of Don Carlos. His performances were marked by clarity and bold contrasts, sometimes at the expense of polish....

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Lada Brashovanova

(b Varna, Sept 12, 1899). Bulgarian conductor . He studied in Vienna and Leipzig, and in 1925 made his début in Mignon at the Sofia National Opera. After attending courses with Walter and Krauss at Salzburg in 1930, he returned to the Sofia National Opera, where he was appointed chief conductor in ...

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(b Cork, May 25, 1917; d Aug 6, 1996). Irish conductor . He was educated in Dublin and was a pupil of Martinon. He joined the BBC in Northern Ireland in 1947, working as conductor, accompanist and broad-caster, as well as directing the Ulster Singers from 1954. During this time he formed and directed the Studio Opera Group with whom he conducted regular Belfast productions of opera in English. He conducted ...

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Bruce Carr

(Heinrich Anton Magnus)

(b Hamburg, June 13, 1843; d New York, Dec 4, 1897). American conductor, impresario and composer of German birth. He went to New York in 1854, and studied the violin and piano; at the age of 16 he became leader of the Stadt Theater orchestra in New York. After a season in Milwaukee (1864–5) he returned to New York as chorus master at the Stadt Theater, where Karl Anschütz was trying to establish a German opera. In 1867 he took over as director for four seasons, during the last of which he brought a troupe from Europe to perform several German works, including Lohengrin in its first American production (3 April 1871). In 1872, with Carl Rosa and the tenor Theodor Wachtel, he presented a season of Italian opera at the Academy of Music, and from 1872 to 1874 he was manager of the Germania Theatre. Wachtel returned to the Academy in ...

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Charles A. Jahant

(b Naples, Dec 11, 1886; d New York, Nov 29, 1941). American conductor. A child prodigy, he studied the piano, organ, violin and theory at the Naples Conservatory. He was engaged as a chorus master at San Severo (1906), Warsaw (1909–10), Turin and Covent Garden (1911), and conducted his first opera, La traviata, at Milan in 1910. He was Toscanini’s assistant, first on a tour of Argentina (1912), then at the Metropolitan (1913–15), and conducted Rigoletto on tour in Atlanta in 1915. Between 1916 and 1931 he appeared regularly at the Ravinia Park festivals in Chicago. After leaving the Metropolitan in 1932, he conducted in St Louis, San Francisco and Mexico, with the touring Scotti Opera, and with the reorganized Chicago Opera in 1934. The Metropolitan again engaged him in 1935. His conducting was sometimes criticized as lethargic; like Toscanini he always conducted from memory....

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(William Edward)

(b London, 1840; d London, April 1902). English conductor and composer. He worked first as a music hall pianist in London, then went to India (conducting a theatre company, c1875) and soon after settled in Melbourne. There he wrote criticism for The Age and composed three stage works. His first, Alfred the Great, written in collaboration with Fred Lyster (brother of W. S. Lyster), was an ‘extravaganza’ including arrangements of popular airs and set pieces, and the third, also incorporating airs, tended towards the genre of pantomime; between them came I due studenti (set in 16th-century Spain) which includes large concerted numbers but is chiefly dependant on monologues. In 1891 Plumpton returned to London and the next year was appointed conductor at the Prince of Wales’s Theatre; he composed numbers for the burlesque King Kodak (Terry’s, 30 April 1894) and later served as musical director at the Palace Theatre....

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Manica Špendal

(b Trieste, June 3, 1890; d Ljubljana, Slovenia, Oct 2, 1951). Slovenian conductor and composer. He studied composition at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Trieste, remaining there to conduct at the Slovene Theatre, where he initiated operatic performances. He was then conductor of the Osijek Opera (1914–23), secretary and conductor of the Zagreb Opera (1923–4) and of the Belgrade Opera (1924–5), conductor and director of the Ljubljana Opera (1925–39) and of the Belgrade Opera (1939–41) and director of the Ljubljana Opera (1945–7). The Ljubljana Opera was much indebted to Polič for his efforts in raising standards and modernizing the repertory; he introduced recent operatic works based on indigenous and world literature. As a composer, he was particularly interested in opera and wrote two, which were both produced in Ljubljana. Mati Jugovićev (‘The Mother of the Jugović Brothers’), in three parts to a libretto by the composer, is based on L. Vojnonić’s ...

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Noël Goodwin

(b Prague, May 3, 1879; d Prague, June 14, 1933). German-Czech conductor. He turned from mathematics to music in 1900 and joined the German Theatre, Prague, as chorus master. He became principal conductor at Bremen in 1905, with similar appointments at Leipzig, 1910–12, and Frankfurt, 1912–17, during which years he was heard at Covent Garden conducting Wagner, including ...

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David Cummings

(b Como, March 23, 1911; d Milan, April 14, 2004). Italian conductor . He studied composition, piano and choral singing at the Milan Conservatory, graduating in 1933. He was successful in Italy for more than 20 years, giving a wide range of operas at all the major houses. He conducted ...

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(b Birmingham, June 28, 1886; d Bideford, March 27, 1972). English conductor. He took the the BMus degree at Birmingham University in 1912, and that year he joined the staff of the Midland Institute of Music. He assisted Rutland Boughton as pianist, coach and conductor at the early Glastonbury Festivals, and after World War I he performed the same service for the Beecham Opera Company and then for the British National Opera Company. His opera ...

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Kenneth Loveland

(b Liverpool, June 17, 1912; d Ruabon, North Wales, May 18, 1991). English conductor. After studying at Trinity College, Cambridge, Leipzig Conservatory and the RCM, he joined the music staff of Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 1937 and became chorus master of the Carl Rosa Opera in 1938. On release from wartime service in the RAF, he became musical director of the Sadler’s Wells Opera (1946–54), conducting the British premières of I quatro rusteghi and Sutermeister’s Romeo und Julia. Here, and as music director of the Carl Rosa Opera, he played a significant part in the spread of operatic interest in Britain. He was opera adviser to the Théâtre Royale de la Monnaie in Brussels in 1960, and there followed periods in New Zealand, where he was artistic director of the National Opera (1962–3) and conductor (1978–81). He was director of the London Opera Centre (concerned with the training of young singers), ...

Article

Arthur Jacobs

(b Leeds, July 5, 1904; d Brighton, Oct 25, 1984). English conductor. He studied at the RCM, where he conducted his first opera performances, and in 1924 joined the BBC as chorus master, remaining a staff conductor until 1966. From 1936 he was responsible for studio opera and for many distinguished broadcasts, including Massenet’s Manon (1938) with Teyte, Nash and Noble. He was conductor of the BBC Opera Orchestra from 1949 until it became the BBC Concert Orchestra in 1952. After that, Robinson continued to conduct much radio and television opera without being attached to a specific orchestra.

He made his Covent Garden début with Die Fledermaus in 1937; he also briefly directed the English Opera Group, and conducted the first London production of Alessandro Scarlatti’s Il trionfo dell’onore (Fortune Theatre, 1951). From 1946, when he conducted opera and concerts in Budapest, he appeared occasionally abroad; he also made many records, especially with leading singers. His compositions include light orchestral pieces and songs, but his main achievement was in substantially helping to shape the BBC’s choral and operatic policy and reputation. He was married to the soprano Lorely Dyer....

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(b Rome, May 29, 1791; d Florence, Jan 11, 1877). Italian conductor and composer . He was a pupil of Fenaroli and was for many years singing teacher at the Reale Istituto Musicale and conductor at the Teatro della Pergola at Florence. He wrote two operas, Il qui pro quo...

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Cori Ellison

(b Kraków, Jan 27, 1895; d New York, Oct 17, 1985). American conductor of Polish birth. His musical studies were in Kraków and in Vienna with Schreker. He began his career in the opera houses of Darmstadt (1922–5) and Wiesbaden (1925–7). He spent one season at the Metropolitan Opera, where he made his début directing Lohengrin in 1929. Returning to Europe, he was music director of Mannheim Opera (1930–33) and of the Jewish Kulturbund in Berlin (1933–6) until he was compelled to flee Hitler’s Germany; he then conducted in Tokyo from 1937 to 1941. In 1948 he began a long association with New York City Opera, culminating in his appointment as general manager (1952–6). After conducting in Cologne, 1958–9, he returned to the Metropolitan (1961–8), directing 175 performances of 16 operas, chiefly works of Mozart, Strauss and Wagner....

Article

William Y. Elias

[Karl ]

(b Heidelberg, Nov 13, 1897; d Beit Zayit, nr Jerusalem, Jan 15, 1974). Israeli composer and conductor of German birth . A pupil of Richard Strauss at the Berlin Academy of Arts, he became a répétiteur at the Berlin Staatsoper, sang at the Hamburg Opera and conducted in Baden-Baden. After settling in Jerusalem in 1933, he became the first music director of the Jerusalem Broadcasting Service in 1936. In 1938 he founded the Israel Radio SO (now Jerusalem SO), and from 1957 to 1962 he was director of the Israel Broadcasting Authority’s Transcription Service. In Germany he was active in reviving Handel’s Rodelinda and in 1944 he organized the first Bach and Handel festival in Jerusalem.

On his arrival in Israel, Salmon became influenced by the folk music of the region, which resulted in such works as the Symphonic Suite on Greek Themes (1943) and the Sephardic Suite...

Article

Juan María Veniard

(b Spinazzola, June 21, 1885; d Buenos Aires, July 23, 1963). Argentine composer and conductor . Born in Italy, he was taken as a child to Argentina, where he received his musical training and developed his professional career. Many other members of his family were active in music in Buenos Aires. He wrote a number of italianate operas which were first performed in the city: Biancafiore (1915), Amy Robsart (1920) and La sirocchia (1922, produced later in Spanish as Litigio de amor). In 1925 his most successful opera, Tabaré, based on the poem of the same name by José Zorrilla de San Martín, received its première at the Colón. Set during the period of the Spanish conquest, it contains reminiscences of Argentine folk music. In 1939 his other work in Spanish, Las vírgines del sol, was performed at the Colón. (Its libretto was also set to music at the same time by another Argentine, E. M. Casella). ...

Article

Roksanda Pejović

(b Sombor, 1794; d Belgrade, 1870). Serbian composer and conductor of Jewish origin. He taught music in Šabac and held a conducting post in Novi Sad. Invited in 1831 to the court of Prince Miloš Obrenović, he founded and directed the prince’s Serbian Orchestra, which played in his Serbian Theatre in Kragujevac and Belgrade. In 1840 he moved with the court to Belgrade, where he was active until 1864. He was the outstanding figure of early Serbian stage life and composed and arranged music for several plays, containing overtures and vocal and instrumental numbers: many of the songs were influenced by Serbian or oriental folktunes and achieved wide popularity. Owing to its musical richness Ženidba cara Dušana (‘The Marriage of Tsar Dušan’; 1840, Kragujevac) is regarded as an opera, although Šlezinger conceived the music to accompany Atanasije Nikolić’s play.

S. Ðurić-Klajn: ‘Razvoj muzičke umetnosti u Srbiji’ [The Development of the Art of Music in Serbia], in ...

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Bryan Gilliam and Charles Youmans

(Georg)

(b Munich, June 11, 1864; d Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Sept 8, 1949). German composer and conductor. He emerged soon after the deaths of Wagner and Brahms as the most important living German composer. During an artistic career which spanned nearly eight decades, he composed in virtually all musical genres, but became best known for his tone poems (composed during the closing years of the 19th century) and his operas (from the early decades of the 20th). Coming of age as a composer at a time when the duality of bourgeois and artist had become increasingly problematic, Strauss negotiated the worlds of art and society with a remarkable combination of candour and irony. Averse to the metaphysics of Wagner and indifferent to Mahler's philosophical intentions in music, Strauss exploited instead the paradoxes, inconsistencies and potential profundities to be found in modern, everyday life. The new possibilities he envisioned for music were exemplified in the eclecticism of the opera ...

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I.M. Yampol′sky

(b Baku, 14/May 27, 1907; d Erevan, Oct 17, 1957). Armenian conductor . At the Leningrad Conservatory he studied the viola and conducting, and led the viola section of the opera studio. After a period in the orchestra of the Malïy Opera Theatre, Leningrad, he turned to conducting in ...