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Laura Otilia Vasiliu

(b Reşiţe, Feb 17, 1932). Romanian composer, musicologist, journalist, writer, and teacher. Closely connected to his activities as a musicologist and author of monographs, analytical studies, essays, and music criticism, his compositional practice is characterised by expressive and lyrical works, where traditional (especially Byzantine psaltic) elements are mixed with new music.

He began his music education in Reşiţa and continued at the Municipal Conservatory of Timişoara. After a period of private study with Liviu Rusu (harmony, counterpoint, and musical forms) and Hedviga Haliţchi (piano), Popovici studied at the Bucharest Academy (1950–55) with Mihail Jora, Mihail Andricu (composition), and Theodor Rogalski (orchestration). In 1968 he attended the summer courses in Darmstadt.

Between 1968 and 2002 he was a music editor with the Romanian Radio, while also teaching at the National University of Music Bucharest and at the private universities Luceafărul and Spiru Haret. The composer himself outlined three periods of his creative development. The first one (...


James Deaville

(b Lachen, nr Zürich, May 27, 1822; d Frankfurt, 24/June 5, 1882). German composer, critic and teacher. His father, a teacher and organist who had fled to Switzerland from the Black Forest to avoid military conscription during the Napoleonic wars, taught him to play the violin and organ and to sing. He attended the Gymnasium in Rottenburg (Württemberg), then followed the family to Schwyz, where in 1838 he enrolled in the Jesuit Gymnasium to study philology. He taught in a primary school in Rapperswil between 1840 and 1844, during which time he decided to become a musician. He became an accomplished pianist and organist, and began composing for the piano. In 1843 he sought the opinion of Mendelssohn, who praised the works and recommended their publication to Breitkopf & Härtel (they appeared as opp.2–6). Upon leaving school service, Raff received help from Franz Abt to establish himself in Zürich, where he taught the piano, gave concerts and copied music to make a living. Raff met Liszt in the summer of ...


William Osborne

(b Fair Haven, CT, Feb 7, 1857; d Pasadena, CA, Nov 28, 1940). American organist, composer, teacher, music publisher, and music critic. Rogers studied with organ virtuoso Clarence Eddy in Chicago, followed by further study in Berlin and Paris, 1875–82. He worked for a year in Burlington, Iowa, before establishing himself in Cleveland as an organist of various churches, as well as the Euclid Avenue Temple, which he served for 50 years. He was a prolific composer, a teacher at the Cleveland School of Music, a critic at the Cleveland Plain Dealer (1915–32), and a publisher of his own works and those of others. He wrote about 550 pieces, and his more than 130 songs (issued between 1878 and 1933), organ pieces, and church music were widely performed in their time. For the organ he left three sonatas, two sonatinas, three suites, and many one-movement genre pieces. He also wrote secular partsongs, cantatas for both Christmas and Easter, several settings of the Latin Mass, and both a ...


Ralph Scott Grover

(b Northampton, May 23, 1901; d Gerrards Cross, Feb 14, 1986). English composer, critic, pianist and teacher.

Born into a poor working-class family, Rubbra was fortunate in having music-loving parents. His mother’s pure soprano voice was prominent in her church choir, and she was in demand locally as a soloist. He began piano lessons at eight, transferring later to a teacher who added instruction in harmony and counterpoint. In his uncle’s music shop he discovered the music of Cyril Scott and Debussy. Leaving school at 14 to help his family financially, he worked as an office boy, then a railway clerk. At 17 he organized an all-Scott concert in Northampton, prompting the composer to accept him as a private pupil. In 1920 he won a composition scholarship to Reading University for study with Holst, and also piano with Evlyn Howard-Jones. In 1921 Rubbra won an open scholarship to the Royal College of Music where his teachers were, Holst, Howard-Jones (privately) and R.O. Morris in counterpoint; Vaughan Williams was used as a substitute during Holst’s absences. Of Rubbra’s earliest compositions, some of his songs were published during his RCM days. One, ...


Brett Boutwell

(b New York, NY, June 3, 1943). American music critic, journalist, consultant, composer, and educator. He graduated with a BA from Harvard University and a senior diploma in voice from the Longy School before studying composition at the Yale School, where he earned a master’s degree in 1974. He has contributed criticism on classical and popular music to a wide variety of publications, including the Village Voice (1980–86), the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner (1988–9), Entertainment Weekly (1990–92), and the Wall Street Journal (intermittently since 1983). His online columns for http://www.newmusicbox.org (2001–04) led to an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award in 2002, and since 2003 Sandow has written a blog for the website http://artsjournal.com (http://artsjournal.com/sandow). His concerns regarding the contemporary health and future prospects of classical music—a recurring theme of his criticism—led to consultancies on audience development and engagement with leading orchestras, arts organizations, and institutions of higher learning, including a faculty position at the Juilliard School (since ...


Liliana González Moreno

[Frederick] (Anthony)

(b New York, NY, March 16, 1929; d Matanzas, Cuba, July 21, 1977). composer, music critic, and pedagogue, active in Mexico and Cuba. He started his musical studies in Los Angeles. In 1949 he moved to Mexico City where he studied with Blas Galindo, Rodolfo Halffter, José Pablo Moncayo, and Carlos Jiménez Mabarak. In the 1950s he actively composed and promoted new music, organizing concerts and collaborating in theater productions by Alfonso Arau. In the early 1960s he lived in the southwestern Mexican state of Michoacán, where he conducted folk music research and directed folk music groups. In 1962 Smith moved to Havana, Cuba, to collaborate with Alfonso Arau in a project about the reorganization of the Teatro Musical de La Habana and opted to stay in the island. From 1963 to 1966 he taught harmony, analysis, music history, and composition at Havana’s Escuela Nacional de Música. His interest in the use of mathematical models in music composition and analysis was very influential in the development of chance, stochastic, and electroacoustic music in Cuba. He became active as a composer and arranger with the Instituto Cubano de Radio, Cine y Televisión, and later joined the faculty of the Grupo de Experimentación Sonora del ICAIC. In the early 1970s, he moved to Matanzas, Cuba, where he remained until his death, working as a music teacher and conductor....


Brian C. Thompson

(b London, England, Feb 14, 1826; d Ottawa, Ont., Feb 6, 1896). Canadian organist, composer, teacher, and critic of English birth. Smith was raised in Paris, where he studied piano with P. J. G. Zimmermann. His studies were interrupted by ill health and the Revolution of 1848, but he returned to the Conservatoire for further studies before travelling to Canada in 1856. On settling in Montréal, he became music director at St Patrick’s Church and taught at the Sacré-Coeur Convent at Sault-au-Recollet. He produced the first of several pedagogical works during this time, began writing newspaper criticism, and published a short-lived journal, Les beaux arts (1863–4). In 1866 he relocated to the United States, living briefly in New York and then New Orleans, where he became organist at the Bishop’s Chapel. With Theodore La Hache, Jacques Oliveira, and other members of New Orleans’s musical community, Smith organized numerous concerts, frequently accompanying the leading singers of the day, but failed to earn an adequate living. In ...


Nicola Scaldaferri

(b Shkodër, Albania, 14 June 1920; d Tirana, 12 March 2008). Albanian ethnomusicologist, musician, composer, and writer. He began his musical studies as a boy in Shkodër. In the years between 1940 and 1944 he studied the flute and composition at the Conservatory of Florence, Italy. Back in Albania in the early years of the Hoxha regime, Sokoli was imprisoned, as were other scholars who had studied abroad, and he spent five years in incarceration.

In 1952 he moved to Tirana, where he taught the flute and folklore in the high school. Although he was not qualified to teach at the higher academic level, he played a key role in musical research in Albania. He collaborated on ethnomusicological expeditions carried out in 1957 with East German scholars and in 1958 with Romanian scholars.

He was the author of numerous pioneering books and articles on Albanian musical folklore, employing both descriptive and analytical approaches, as well as surveying important figures of the musical, and wider cultural, Albanian tradition. His writings and ideas shaped the discipline and educated two generations of Albanians ethnomusicologists, including scholars in Kosovo. His many publications include the books ...


Edward Garden and Jennifer Spencer

(b Petrozavodsk, 27 April/May 9, 1846; d Petrograd (St Petersburg), 14/Dec 27, 1916). Russian composer, critic and teacher. His father wanted him to make a career in medicine, but he allowed him to enter the St Petersburg Conservatory (1868), where he studied with Zaremba. He completed an overture in 1869, and in 1872, the year of his graduation, he was commissioned to write a cantata to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Peter the Great. He taught music theory at the conservatory from 1874, and was later professor of composition (1885–1909). From 1905 he was also Director of Music at the Imperial Chapel. He was an enthusiastic member of the St Petersburg Russian Musical Society, of which he was the official representative at the Paris Exhibition of 1878. From 1870 he was a music critic, working for most of the St Petersburg periodicals, including ...


Gabriela Cruz

(b Liège, April 8, 1906; d Oporto, Aug 1, 1997). Portuguese composer, teacher and critic. She studied at the Oporto Conservatory. Between 1927 and 1929 she worked in Paris with Wilhelm Backhaus, Theodor Szántó and Georges Migot. She was also a pupil of the pianist José Vianna da Motta in Lisbon and the conductor Clemens Krauss in Berlin. Later, she attended courses given by Alfred Cortot (piano) and Edgar Willems (music education). She received the 1941 Moreira de Sá prize in composition. In 1939 she became a critic for the Oporto newspaper Primeiro de Janeiro, and from 1946 she taught at the Oporto Conservatory. After an initial tonal period, Sousa’s music reflects a closer affinity with the impressionist movement, but also employs polytonal techniques. Some of her works are based on Correia de Oliveira’s system of ‘sound symmetry’ (expounded, in Portuguese and English, in his Simetria sonora, Oporto, ...


Tamara Levitz

(b Königsberg, April 10, 1887; d Berlin, Nov 29, 1971). German composer, teacher and critic. After a period of study with Erwin Kroll in Königsberg, Tiessen studied composition (P. Rüfer) and theory (Wilhelm Klatte) at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin. He worked as a music critic for the Allgemeine Musikzeitung from 1911 until 1917, when Richard Strauss helped him obtain a position as co-répétiteur at the Königliche (later Staatliche) Oper in Berlin. After World War I Tiessen played a central role in Berlin’s musical life as Kapellmeister and composer at the Volksbühne, co-director of the Melos-Gesellschaft with Jarnach (after 1923), co-founder of the German division of the ISCM (in which he was active from 1922 to 1933), and conductor of the Junger Chor (1924–33), among other activities. In 1930 he became professor of theory and composition at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. After the National Socialists came to power in ...


Allen Hughes


(b Bangor, WI, Aug 29, 1923; d New York, Dec 31, 1986). American composer and music critic. Encouraged by Schoenberg, who had seen some of his scores, Trimble entered the Carnegie Institute of Technology (BFA in violin and composition, 1948; MFA in composition), where he studied with Lopatnikoff and Dorian. At the Berkshire Music Center he studied with Milhaud and Copland and, in 1950 in Paris, with Boulanger, Milhaud and Honegger. He returned from Paris in 1952 and settled in New York, where he was managing editor of Musical America (1960–61) and executive director of the American Music Center (1961–3). From 1963 to 1968 he was professor of composition at the University of Maryland and then was appointed composer-in-residence with the New York PO by Bernstein (1967–8). In 1971 he joined the faculty of the Juilliard School and in 1973 he became the first composer-in-residence at Wolf Trap Farm Park....


Jorge Luis Acevedo Vargas

(b San José, April 15, 1928). Costa Rican composer, critic and painter. He studied piano at the National Conservatory of Music with Guillermo Aguilar Machado, and took private lessons with Carlos Enrique Vargas. In 1953 he went to Madrid, where he studied painting and aesthetics, and attended the Madrid Royal Conservatory where he obtained the Higher Diploma in Piano Studies.

On his return to Costa Rica he taught piano, harmony and analysis for many years at the Castella Conservatory, taught the piano at the Autonomous University of Central America, and lectured at the University of Costa Rica. At the same time he worked as an art critic for the most important newspapers and reviews in Costa Rica, among them La nación and La república. As a painter his work has achieved international recognition. He has won numerous awards for his paintings, poetry and compositions, and is the author of ...


Yannis Belonis

(b Brussels, Dec 10, 1885; d Athens, July 30, 1967). Greek composer, music educator, and critic. One of the leaders of the Greek National Music School, he was born in Brussels during a business trip of his father (a professor in the Army Cadet’s School), though he claimed Athens as his birthplace. Varvoglēs’ artistic nature emerged from a very early age, specifically in the field of painting. He attended the School of Fine Arts where he apprenticed with Nikēphoros Lytras and Giōrgos Roilos (1900–02) while at the same time he took music lessons. In 1902 he went to Paris to study law, but despite disapproval from his family, he decided to pursue a musical career.

In Paris he enrolled in the Paris Conservatoire where he apprenticed, under the instruction of Xavier Leroux and Georges Caussade. He stayed in Paris until 1920, with a short break between the years ...


Marina Moiseyevna Mazur

(b Orenburg, 13/Dec 25, 1878/Jan 6, 1879 or Dec 25, 1879/Jan 6, 1880; d Leningrad, March 1, 1942). Russian composer and critic. On her graduation from the St Petersburg Gymnasium (1895), Veysberg became a student at the historico-philological faculty of the Women's University, and simultaneously (from 1899) gave private lessons in music theory under the auspices of I.I. Krïzhanovsky, a pupil of Rimsky-Korsakov. From around 1902 to 1905 she studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory, where she was taught composition by Rimsky-Korsakov, orchestration by Glazunov and singing by Tsvantsiger [Zwanziger]. She was expelled from the Conservatory in 1905 for her participation in the revolutionary events of that year, but was later allowed to return; she eventually graduated in 1912, after returning from Berlin, where she had studied with Humperdinck and Reger. Back in Russia she married Andrey Rimsky-Korsakov in ...


William Osborne

(b Livingstone Town[ship], Columbia County, NY, June 2, 1839; d San Francisco, CA, April 14, 1921). American composer, teacher, and critic of German-Jewish parentage. Weil was first educated at a private school in Albany and later studied in Leipzig and Paris. His New York début on 21 May 1863 was conducted by Theodore Thomas. In 1868 Weil settled in San Francisco, where some of his compositions were published as early as 1874. He co-founded the San Francisco Institute of Music and organized the city’s first series of chamber music concerts. He also became general director of the Bush Street Theater, but left in 1881; he settled for a period in Boston, where for four years he served as music director of the Bostonians. He returned to San Francisco in 1898 to teach and write music criticism for the Argonaut.

Many of his works remain unpublished, including some of significant proportions. He wrote solo songs on both English and German lyrics, partsongs, a set of seven vocal waltzes issued by Breitkopf und Härtel in ...


Leah G. Weinberg

(b Exeter, NH, Nov 8, 1961). American Musician, songwriter, record company founder, and author. Zanes was raised near Concord, New Hampshire, and after attending Oberlin College for one year, moved to Boston. There, Zanes, his brother Warren, the bass player Tom Lloyd, and the drummer Steve Morrell formed the Del Fuegos. The roots-rock band produced five albums between 1984 and 1989, with singles “Don’t Run Wild,” “I still want you,” “Name Names,” and “Move with me Sister.” After the Del Fuegos disbanded and Zanes’s solo album Cool Down Time failed to sell, he began to listen to banjo songs, cowboy tunes, and traditional songs that he remembered from childhood. After his daughter Anna was born, Zanes’s dissatisfaction with the American children’s music market led him to form a family-oriented band that merged folk and rock styles and instrumentation. Initially known as the Wonderland String Band, the New York based-group underwent changes in title and personnel, first to the Rocket Ship Revue, and then to Dan Zanes & Friends. The seven-member band has produced nine albums on Zanes’s label, Festival Five Records, which include original songs as well as folk, traditional, and gospel songs from the United States, Jamaica, Africa, and Mexico. ...


Mikhail Mishchenko

(b Kursk, 6/Oct 18, 1881; d Jan 20, 1938). Russian critic, composer and teacher. A member of the London Geographic Society. Zhilyayev first studied with Taneyev (1896–1900) and was one of his favourite pupils; he later studied with Ippolitov-Ivanov at the Moscow Conservatory, graduating in 1905. His activity as a composer was limited to the period 1905–9, and several of his works were published by Jurgenson. After a round-the-world trip during which he visited Grieg at his house in Troldhaugen (1907), he appeared as a pianist with the singer M. Deysha-Sionitskaya at the Muzïkal′nïye vïstavki (‘Musical Exhibitions’) in Moscow. He was active as a music critic and wrote for the journals Zolotoye runo (‘The Golden Fleece’), Moskovskiy yezhenedel′nik (‘Moscow Weekly’), Muzïka (‘Music’) and for the newspaper Rul′ (‘The Rudder’) (in which he used the pseudonym Peer Gynt). One of Skryabin’s close friends, Zhilyayev made editorial corrections to a number of his works during the composer’s final years, including the piano sonatas nos.8, 9 and 10. Not long before World War I Zhilyayev began teaching; among his first pupils were Stanchinsky, Feinberg and Anatoly Aleksandrov; as a member of the editorial board of the Music Sector of Gosizdat during the 1920s and 30s, he edited Skryabin’s complete works (in ...


Ian Mikyska

(b Brno, 13 March 1966). Czech composer, pedagogue, and writer on music, son of zdeněk zouhar. He studied composition at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (JAMU) in Brno (with Miloš Ištván and alois piňos) and musicology at the Masaryk University, followed by post-graduate studies at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz (with Herman Markus Preßl and younghi pagh-paan) and JAMU. He remains an external pedagogue at both these institutions, as well as being active as a researcher at the Palacký University Olomouc (vice-dean starting in 2010), Ostrava University, and Masaryk University.

His brand of postmodernism is surprisingly respectful, using disparate materials in a serious manner, and generally staying with a few pieces of material for the duration of a piece or movement. Often composed in an additive, evolutionary structure, his works are sonically reminiscent of New York post-minimalism, but are very European in their approach to expressivity and emotional intensity. This approach includes both the intense rhythms of ...