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Michael Steinberg

(b Brooklyn, NY, 22 Oct 1943; d Hong Kong, 6 June 2017). American violinist and conductor. He started music lessons when he was three and studying the violin at the age of four. Two years later he first played in public, and at seven became a student of Galamian. He made his first orchestral appearance in 1953 with the New Haven SO, and a formal début recital at Carnegie Hall in 1956. He specialized in 20th-century music and had complete command of new and traditional virtuoso techniques. He gave the premières of concertos by Sessions (for violin, cello, and orchestra), Wuorinen (for amplified violin and orchestra), and the Scottish composer Iain Hamilton, and of works by Babbitt, Carter, Crumb, Wuorinen, and others. From 1963 to 1976 he performed frequently with the pianist Gilbert Kalish, with whom he was associated in a repertory of over 300 works. One of the original Creative Associates at the Center for Creative and Performing Arts, SUNY, Buffalo, in ...

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Hans-Hubert Schönzeler

(b Oppach, April 9, 1850; d Munich, Sept 4, 1903). German conductor and composer. Trained at the teachers’ seminary at Bautzen (where he also received a thorough musical education), Zumpe taught in the local school at Weigsdorf in 1870–71, then went as a teacher to Leipzig, where he furthered his musical studies with Tottmann. He turned to music completely when Wagner called him to Bayreuth in 1872 (an association which became the main influence in his development) to assist in the completion of the Ring score. As a conductor he travelled widely throughout Germany and held important positions in Stuttgart (1891), Schwerin (1897) and Munich (1895 and 1900). He also visited London (conducting Wagner at Covent Garden in 1898), Odessa, Madrid and St Petersburg. An energetic and intelligent conductor, he was regarded in his day, especially in Wagner’s music, as comparable to Richter, Mottl and Levi. As a composer he was strongly influenced by Wagner; his operas and operettas enjoyed a certain measure of success during his lifetime. At his death he left an unfinished opera, ...

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(b Sachsenflur, nr Mergentheim, Jan 10, 1760; d Stuttgart, Jan 27, 1802). German composer and conductor. His father was in military service before becoming a personal servant of Duke Carl Eugen of Württemberg. After the early death of his mother, Zumsteeg received a good general education at the Carlsschule in Stuttgart, the military academy founded by the duke, where he became friendly with Schiller and the sculptor Johann Heinrich Dannecker (who made a bust of him). Zumsteeg was originally intended for a career as a sculptor, but his musical talent showed itself early. He studied the cello with the chamber virtuoso Eberhard Malterre and from 1775 with the cello soloist and court Kapellmeister, Agostino Poli, who also taught him composition. Zumsteeg’s first works, among them most of the ten surviving cello concertos, were composed during his student days. The most significant works of this period are the melodramatic setting of Klopstock’s ode ...

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Irena Poniatowska

(b Żary or Laskowiec, Feb 13, 1796 or 1793; d Warsaw, June 19, 1867). Polish tenor and conductor . He studied the violin and then made his début as a singer in Paisiello’s La frascatana at Minsk (1814). He sang at Vilnius (1815–23, 1838 and 1851...