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Alex Harris Stein

(b Dayton, OH, Oct 14, 1957). American writer, guitarist, and bandleader. He was a staff writer for the Village Voice from 1987 to 2003 (a contributor since 1981) and one of a group of young African Americans writing for the Voice on black culture, politics, and identity. His work focuses on black music and culture from a postmodern, black nationalist perspective and is noteworthy for an unconventional style that Tate describes as blending academic and street culture. One of the first journalists to cover hip hop, he has written about Miles Davis, George Clinton, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Bob Dylan, and others. He has contributed to the New York Times, Rolling Stone, VIBE, the Washington Post, Spin, The Nation, Down Beat, and other publications. His books include Flyboy in the Buttermilk (New York, 1992), Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience (Chicago, 2003), and ...

Article

Leanne Langley

(b Norwich, Jan 22, 1784; d Brentwood, March 12, 1863). English bass and writer on music. Born into a prominent Unitarian family with literary leanings, he worked as an ironmonger and was active in liberal politics as well as amateur musical life in Norwich. He sang at the Octagon Chapel and the Glee and Catch Club, was principal bass at the Hall Concerts, and played a key role in the founding and organization of the Norwich Triennial Festival in 1824; he was also skilled as a wind player and choir trainer. Among his teachers were the Rev. Charles Smyth, William Fish and J.C. Beckwith.

In 1825 Taylor started an engineering firm in London, but on its failure a year later took up music professionally, as a concert singer and teacher. Still associated with opposition politics, by 1829 he had become music critic for the weekly Spectator. Its didactic, reform-minded tone suited him well, and he wrote there regularly for 14 years, notably on provincial festivals, the relative merits of Spohr (his friend) and Mendelssohn (whom he thought overrated), and on the importance of earlier music and of amateur music-making. In ...

Article

Erik Levi

(b Tauberbischofsheim, Baden, Feb 10, 1879; d Herrsching am Ammersee, 2/June 3, 1968). German composer, conductor and critic. He was a pupil of Iwan Knorr at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt (1894–5) and Joseph Rheinberger at the Munich Academy (1896–9). After his studies Trunk settled in Munich where he pursued a career as an accompanist, private teacher, conductor of various choral societies and critic of the Münchner Post (1907–12). In 1912 he went to New York to serve as conductor of the Arion choral and orchestral society, returning to Munich just after the outbreak of World War I. From 1916 to 1922 he wrote music criticism for the Bayerische Staatszeitung. In 1925 he was appointed director of the Rheinische Musikschule Cologne and professor at the Staatliche Hochschule, and remained extremely active as the conductor of the Männergesangverein. Trunk returned to Bavaria in ...

Article

Kathleen Dale

revised by Robert Layton

[Fritiof]

(b Göteborg, May 30, 1853; d Stockholm, April 1, 1918). Swedish composer, critic and conductor. At Uppsala University he studied music with J.A. Josephson (1873–9), and after attending the conservatory and university in Leipzig (1879–84), he took the doctorate at the university with a thesis on Swedish folksongs. He then settled at Göteborg, became music critic of the Göteborgs handelstidning and re-established the Harmonic Society in 1886, which he conducted until 1897, performing many large works for chorus and orchestra. He gave lectures in music history and conducted concerts of the workmen's institute. In 1897 he went to Stockholm, where he was critic of Svenska dagbladet until 1902 and teacher of music history at the conservatory (professor from 1912). He was elected a member of the music academy in 1897 (appointed secretary in 1901) and gave many public lectures on music.

Valentin first attracted attention as a composer at Leipzig in ...

Article

Jean Mongrédien

revised by Katharine Ellis

(b Bellême, Sept 6, 1759; d Tours, April 27, 1839). French writer on music . He attended the maîtrise of Le Mans Cathedral, where he met Le Sueur, and studied oriental languages at the Sorbonne. He was ordained a priest and, as a tenor, joined the maîtrise of Notre Dame on the eve of the Revolution. During the Revolution, however, the maîtrise was suppressed, and he joined the Opéra chorus, soon gaining the post of chorus leader.

In 1798 he went to Egypt as a member of a large scientific group accompanying Napoleon on his Egyptian expedition; this journey determined much of Villoteau’s future career. During two years in Egypt he amassed numerous documents, mainly on music, which he later studied with the aid of the principal Paris libraries. He then published several works, the first of which was Recherches sur l’analogie de la musique avec les arts qui ont pour objet l’imitation du langage...

Article

Adam Mrygoń

(b Kroczyce in Miechów district, Nov 27, 1893; d Kraków, May 12, 1963). Polish composer, conductor and critic. He studied successively at the Conservatory of the Kraków Music Society, the Dalcroze Institute at Hellerau near Dresden, the St Petersburg Conservatory and the Paris Schola Cantorum. In 1931 he took examinations as an external candidate in composition at the Warsaw Conservatory. From 1921 he taught in Poznań, first at the Academy, then, from 1923, at the Conservatory. From 1921 to 1939 he was also active as a choral conductor, working in particular with the Koło Śpiewackie Polskie (singing society) and the Chopin and Moniuszko choirs. From 1945 he was a professor at the State Higher School of Music in Kraków.

During the inter-war period he was chief editor of Przegląd muzyczny and music reviewer for the Kurier poznański and Muzyka polska. From 1946 he edited the series Polska Literatura Chóralna published by the Polish Music Publishers (PWM). He was a founding member, and vice-chairman, of the Society of Young Polish Musicians in Paris (...

Article

(b Moscow, 19/Dec 31, 1875; d Kharkiv, Jan 19, 1933). Ukrainian composer, conductor and critic. A graduate of Kiev University (1903) he studied music privately with E. Ryb and worked as a conductor and critic in Kiev until 1910. He then continued these activities in St Petersburg and then Moscow where he conducted at the Zimin Private Opera (1916–17). In 1918 he settled in Kharkiv where he added teaching (at the Musical Dramatic Institute) to his activities. His opera Vybukh (‘Explosion’) was the first Ukrainian opera on a revolutionary theme, while his last opera, Duma chornomors′ka (‘Duma of the Black Sea’), is a grand opera based on Ukrainian folk music and is dedicated to Verdi. Polish and Turkish materials are also used to characterize the various national elements of the plot.

(selective list)

Article

David Scott

(b Northwich, Cheshire, May 17, 1912; d York, May 9, 2004). English writer on music and music educationist . He was educated at Christ’s Hospital (1924–30) and read English, music and history as an organ scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge (1930–34; MusB 1933). He was director of music at Stranmillis Teachers Training College, Belfast, from 1934 until 1937, when he took the MusD at Trinity College, Dublin. From 1937 to 1944 he was music adviser to the city of Stoke on Trent. In 1944 he became director of music at Wolverhampton College of Technology; there he also formed a choir which gave many performances, particularly of lesser-known works by Handel. Since 1970 he has been a visiting scholar and lecturer at numerous colleges in the USA.

Young was an exceptionally fluent and prolific writer. His books include short popular biographies and several volumes for younger readers. Many of his more substantial writings are based on a lively, fresh and industrious, if not always highly discriminating, examination of source material; these include original research on Elgar and useful surveys of the British choral tradition and British music generally. As a composer Young was equally prolific: his works include a Fugal Concerto for two pianos and strings (...