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John Warrack

revised by Rosemary Williamson

(b Bushey, Herts., May 22, 1822; d London, March 13, 1890). English conductor, composer and writer on music . The son of Henry Wylde (b 1795), an organist and gentleman-in-waiting to George IV, he became organist of Whitchurch and then at 16 had piano lessons from Moscheles; from 1843 to 1846 he studied with Cipriani Potter at the RAM, where he was later a professor of piano. He was organist of St Anne and St Agnes, Gresham Street (1844–7). In 1851 he gained the degree of MusDoc at Cambridge. He was a juror in the musical instrument section in the international exhibitions of 1851 and 1862, and was made professor at Gresham College in 1863.

In 1852 the New Philharmonic Society was founded, with Wylde as a guarantor, to introduce new or rare works. The first six concerts were conducted by Berlioz and Wylde, with Wylde in the second concert directing his own Piano Concerto in F minor (with Alexandre Billet), in the fourth his scena ...

Article

Vivian Perlis

revised by Elizabeth Perten

(b Calgary, AB, June 1, 1929). Composer, pianist, and conductor of Canadian birth, son of lazar Weiner . He studied music at the Juilliard School of Music, Yale University (BMus 1951, MMus 1953), where his teachers were richard frank Donovan and paul Hindemith , and Harvard University (MA 1952) with walter Piston , among others. After a period at the American Academy in Rome (1953–6), he was active as a performer and composer in New York. His teaching appointments have included positions at the Yale School of Music (1963–77), the Tanglewood Music Centre (1975–97), SUNY, Purchase (1978–89), where he also served as dean of music (1978–82), and Brandeis University (1989–2005), where he is professor emeritus of composition, as well as visiting professorships at Harvard (1991–7). Among his honors are two Guggenheim fellowships (1958–9, 1977–8...

Article

Gail Holst-Warhaft

(b Athens, March 14, 1939). Greek composer and conductor. He is best known internationally for the scores he composed for the film Rebetiko, and for the British television series The Dark Side of the Sun. After completing his studies at the Athens Conservatory, Xarhakos went to Paris to study composition with Nadia Boulanger and to New York to study at the Juilliard School with David Diamond. Returning to Greece he became part of the Neo Kyma (New Wave) of 1960s Greek composers who set modern Greek poetry to music in a laïko (popular) style. He wrote a number of very successful popular songs, collaborating with the poet Lefteris Papadopoulos, and also composed music for cinema and theatre. His most enduring song from the 1960s is probably Savvatovrado stin Kaisariani (Saturday evening in Kaisariani), first recorded by Bithikotsis and subsequently performed by a number of singers including Dalaras. During the 1970s Xarhakos turned to classical music, although his compositions did not become known outside Greece. He later became director of the Greek National Orchestra. He also entered Greek politics and became a controversial spokesperson for the arts. Costas Ferris’s ...

Article

Masakata Kanazawa

(b Tokyo, Oct 19, 1912; d Kanagawa, Aug 13, 1991). Japanese conductor and composer. He studied the piano at the Tokyo School of Music (now the Tōkyō Geijutsu Daigaku), and in 1937 won first prize in an NHK competition with his Prelude on Japanese Popular Songs for orchestra; he later won several more prizes for his compositions. After studying conducting under Joseph Rosenstock he made his conducting début in 1940, becoming assistant conductor of the New SO (now the NHK SO) in 1941 and principal conductor in 1942. Yamada was subsequently music director of several Japanese orchestras, and toured in Europe, the USA and South Africa. His conducting was renowned for its flair and passionate energy, and his enterprising programmes included the first Japanese performances of such works as Mahler’s Symphony no.8, The Rite of Spring and Webern’s orchestral music. From 1965 to 1972 he taught at the Tōkyō Geijutsu Daigaku, where Hiroshi Wakasugi and Ken′ichiro Kobayashi were among his students....

Article

Richard March

[Frank ]

(b Davis, WV, July 28, 1915; d New Port Richey, FL, Oct 14, 1998). American polka accordionist and bandleader. He is the polka musician who led the most prominent career in American popular music. His style of polka, called Slovenian-style, Cleveland-style, or Yankovic-style, has remained the most frequently played polka idiom. He used lead accordion, a second accordion playing riffs, a tenor banjo striking chords, and a string bass. Later bands included drums. Some Slovenian bands use saxophone, although Yankovic never did.

The son of immigrants from Slovenia, he was raised in the predominantly Slovenian Collingwood neighborhood of Cleveland, where his parents ran a boardinghouse for immigrant workers. He learned to play the button accordion from a boarder named Max Zelodec. In the early 1930s, he switched to the versatile piano accordion.

Yankovic formed a small dance band, and in 1938 and 1939 made self-produced records, which sold briskly. Before shipping out to Europe with the army in ...

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.

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Article

Izaly Zemtsovsky

(Glebovich)

(b Seltso village, Bronnitsïy district, nr Moscow, 1875; d Moscow, Dec 18, 1945). Russian tenor folk singer and folk choir leader. He was originally a joiner and later became an agronomist and a journalist. He loved traditional song and knew several hundred Russian folksongs by heart. In 1919 he organized a choir which improvised Russian village songs in a traditional manner, singing in parts; his aim was to preserve folksongs as a living art by staging rather than arranging them. His skill in doing this was acknowledged by many distinguished Russian composers, writers and ethnomusicologists. During the Soviet period, small regional choirs such as Yarkov's became state folk choirs and provided models for other regional ‘folklore’ groups in the northern Russian, Voronezh, Ural′ and Don regions. With Mitrofan Pyatnitsky (1864–1927) and Ol′ga Kovaleva (1881–1962), Yarkov was one of the leading exponents of staged folksong in Russia....

Article

David Ades

(b London, Dec 4, 1902; d England, Feb 2, 1966). English arranger, composer and conductor. Like many of his contemporaries who later achieved recognition for their work in light music, Yorke began his pre-war career with Britain's leading dance bands, notably Percival Mackey, Jack Hylton and Louis Levy. In particular his distinctive scores of popular film songs in the pseudo-symphonic style required by Levy for recordings and broadcasts became a trademark that would distinguish Yorke for the remainder of his career. After the war light orchestras were a main element of BBC radio, and he became associated with a rich, full orchestral sound, often augmented with a strong saxophone section led by Freddy Gardner (1911–50). Yorke used Gardner in many of his commercial recordings for EMI's Columbia, notably pieces such as I'm in the Mood for Love and These Foolish Things, which have become minor classics of their genre. Yorke contributed many original compositions to the recorded music libraries of leading London publishers (Chappells, Francis Day & Hunter, Paxton etc.) and for ten years from ...

Article

Barry Kernfeld

[Leonidas Raymond ]

(b New Orleans, March 7, 1917; d Los Angeles, July 31, 2008). American drummer and leader, brother of Lester Young. With his older brother Lester and his sister Irma, he appeared with an orchestra led by his father, the pianist Willis Handy Young, performing for minstrel shows, at carnivals, and on the Theater Owners’ Booking Association circuit; even before he was old enough to play in the band he participated as its “conductor,” all the while studying soprano saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and piano. At some point (?1925) the family formed a short-lived band of seven saxophonists, comprising his father, his stepmother, his sister, himself and his brother, and two cousins. During this period of extensive touring, while Young was still a child, the family spent its winters in Memphis, in Warren, Arkansas (1923–4), and several times in Minneapolis, where he attended grammar school (mid-1920s). He became the drummer in his father’s band around ...

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 (...