(b Malchow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, July 28, 1826; d Milton, MA, Dec 29, 1909). American conductor and flautist of Germanorigin. Zerrahn studied with Friedrich Weber in Rostock from age 12, moving to Hanover and then Berlin, where he joined the Germania Musical Society as a flute player in 1848. During the six years the orchestra toured the United States, he was featured as a virtuoso soloist and occasional composer. After the Germania disbanded, Zerrahn remained in Boston and became conductor of the Handel and Haydn Society (1854–98), the Orchestral Union (1854–68) and the Philharmonic (1857–63). He conducted the newly-formed Harvard Musical Association Orchestra from its inception in 1865 until it disbanded in 1882. The ensemble gave the American premières of works by Mozart, Haydn, and Mendelssohn, and promoted new compositions such as John Knowles Paine’s Symphony No.2. Zerrahn was a renowned choral director throughout New England, directing the Handel and Haydn Society’s triennial festivals for more than two decades, the Worcester County Music Association Festivals (...
H. Earle Johnson
revised by Nancy Newman
(b Condrăteşti, Ungheni, May 24, 1939). Moldovan composer and choral conductor. He graduated from the Kishinev Institute of Arts where he studied choral conducting with L. Aksyonova. He has since conducted the leading choral ensembles of Moldova such as the Doina chorus (1967–76) and state radio and television choir (1976–87). In 1988 he founded the Renaissance choir which, under his direction, has won a number of awards and performed internationally. Zgureanu won the ‘best conductor’ prize at competitions in Varna, Bulgaria (1995), and Debrecen, Hungary (1996). He has headed the choral conducting department of the Chişinău Institute of Arts and in 1992 was appointed professor. He was awarded first prize by UNESCO for the Trei madrigale (‘Three Madrigals’) in 1995; he has also received many official awards. His output is associated with most choral genres. In stylistic terms, he combines techniques prevalent in post-World War II composition with ancient Moldovan folklore and Byzantine chant. Miniatures such as ...
George J. Grella Jr.
(b Dandong, China, 1973). Conductor of Chinese birth. Zhang studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing where she undertook conducting at the age of 16 (BA 1994, MA 1996). She made her conducting debut in 1992, leading the China National Opera Orchestra in Le Nozze di Figaro. She then went on to serve as conductor-in-residence of the China Opera House, Beijing, and as the conductor of the Jinfan Symphony Orchestra. Zhang taught one year of conducting at the Central Conservatory (1997) before relocating to the United States for doctoral studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. After completing her doctoral work, she joined the faculty at Cincinnati as an assistant professor of conducting (2000). In 2002, Zhang won the Maazel/Vilar International Conductor’s Competition, upon which Loren Maazel appointed her to be his assistant at the New York Philharmonic. In ...
(b Palermo, Nov 11, 1909; d Rome, Feb 1, 1995). Italian composer, conductor and teacher. He was director of the conservatories of Palermo, Naples and Rome, and a member of the Accademia di S Cecilia. He was also director of two important musical institutions from the time of their foundation: the Teatro Lirico Sperimentale in Spoleto and the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, with which he produced interesting series of concerts, of which the Giornate di Musica Contemporanea deserve special mention. In writing his Ricordi di un musicista (Palermo, 1994) at the end of his busy career, Ziino declared that compared with other aspects of his multiple artistic personality, he considered composition to be his main musical activity. A pupil of Antonio Savasta, an exceptional teacher who instilled in him a love of counterpoint, Ziino completed his studies under Pizzetti (composition) and Bernardino Molinari (conducting). He was an active, highly competent conductor, with a repertory which ranged from orchestral music of every period and style to opera; this repertory allowed him to assimilate contemporary idioms, which he did with discernment, never merely copying famous models. A prolific composer, his melodic style – while based on Sicilian folksong – avoids the explicit quotation of folk material; his pieces show a contrast between lively, rhythmic movements and spare-textured calm adagios. Among his most important works are the ...
(b Frankfurt, Aug 18, 1881; d Würzburg, Jan 1, 1948). German composer, pianist and conductor. Born into a family of musicians, he studied at the Hoch Conservatory in his home town and then embarked on a career as a pianist. In 1908 he joined the staff of the Munich Academy of Music, and from 1920 to 1944 he was principal of the Würzburg Conservatory, where he also conducted and played a large part in the Mozart festivals founded in 1922. As a composer he represented a current of south German traditionalism that was heavily dependent on Schumann and Brahms and sometimes inclined to a popular style. Zilcher employed Impressionist harmonies on occasion, and he also drew on Baroque music and on folksong. His large output (about 100 works were published) is not always strikingly individual, but his music gives an impression of vivid inventiveness, with convincing contrapuntal thematic development....
Gregory S. Dubinsky
(b Würzburg, April 1, 1905; d Hamburg, Dec 18, 1963). German composer and conductor. He studied with Schoenberg from 1925 to 1928, first privately in Vienna, then as a student at the Preussische Akademie der Künste in Berlin. He was an assistant of Kleiber’s at the Berlin Staatsoper (1927–8). He worked as a solo coach and conductor at the Staatstheater in Oldenburg (1928–32). There he helped mount one of the first performances of Berg’s Wozzeck outside a major opera house. Zillig held the post of conductor in Düsseldorf from 1932 to 1937 and in Essen from 1937 to 1940. He was then the principal musical director of the Reichsgautheater in occupied Poznań (1940–43). From 1947 to 1951 Zillig conducted at the Hessische Radio in Frankfurt, and from 1959 until his death he led the music division of NDR. As conductor and lecturer, he energetically promoted the music of Mahler, Schreker, Reger and Schoenberg, and was responsible for the first European performances of many works. Some of his radio programmes served as the basis for his survey of 20th-century music ...
(b nr Kharkiv, 27 Sept/Oct 9, 1863; d New York, Dec 8, 1945). Ukrainian pianist and conductor . He studied the piano at the Moscow Conservatory with Zverev from 1871 and with Nikolay Rubinstein, Taneyev, Tchaikovsky and Hubert from 1875, graduating with a gold medal in 1881. He worked with Liszt in Weimar (1883–6), co-founded the Liszt-Verein in Leipzig, and made his professional début there in 1883. Returning in 1887, he taught at the Moscow Conservatory, where his students included Goldenweiser, Maksimov and his cousin Rachmaninoff. In this period he began work as editor for Tchaikovsky, particularly on the first and second piano concertos. He left the conservatory in May 1891 and from 1892 to 1900 lived and toured in western Europe. He also toured New York, Boston, Cincinnati and Chicago in 1898. From 1901 to 1903 Ziloti directed the Moscow PO; from 1903 to 1917...
(b New York, July 10, 1936). American conductor. After early violin studies at the Oberlin Conservatory he studied theory and composition at the University of Minnesota and took up conducting at Tanglewood. He then worked in Maine with Monteux (1958–62), serving as his assistant from 1961 to 1964. Zinman was principal conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra from 1965 to 1977, music director of the Rochester PO from 1974 to 1985 and chief conductor of the Rotterdam PO from 1979 to 1982. After two years as principal guest conductor, Zinman was appointed music director of the Baltimore SO in 1985, a position he held until 1998. With that orchestra he made important recordings (including a series of Schumann symphonies and much American music) and transformed a regional ensemble into a leading American institution, his musical strengths complemented by an engaging manner, a deep commitment to music education and community relations, deft use of the media and self-deprecating humour (‘I am the Mel Brooks of the violin’, he once declared). He has also appeared with leading orchestras and festivals in the USA, Canada and Europe. Zinman has given numerous premières at Baltimore and elsewhere, including works by Adams, Bolcom, Danielpour, Daugherty, Kernis, Kirchner, Rouse and Torke. His recording of Gorecki’s Symphony no.3 with the London Sinfonietta was an international bestseller. Zinman became music director of the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra in ...
(b Belgrade, May 25, 1901; d Belgrade, June 29, 1964). Serbian composer, musicologist, teacher and conductor. He studied at the Stanković Music School in Belgrade, where he also graduated in law in 1924; his composition studies were continued with Grabner at the Leipzig Conservatory (1925–9) and with d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum (1929–31). He directed the Stanković Music School (1937–47) and taught at the Belgrade Academy of Music (1937–64), where he was professor of composition, rector (1951–7) and dean (1957–60). At the latter institution he was responsible for the training of many who later became leading composers. In 1958 he was elected to corresponding membership of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. His compositions treat folk elements in a modern harmonic style, and his treatise on harmony is an original contribution.
(b Sovinjak, nr Buzet, June 1, 1910; d Pula, Oct 27, 1993). Croatian conductor, composer, and musical pedagogue. He received the degree in composition in 1934 at the Music Academy in Zagreb. Until 1941 he worked as city kapelmaster and director of the Music School in Sušak. From 1941 until the war he worked at the Croatian State Conservatory in Zagreb and led the Croatian Choral Society ‘Lisinski’. During the war years he conducted the choir of the Central Theatre Troupe of the State Anti-fascist Council for the National Liberation of Croatia (ZAVNOH). From 1946 he worked as conductor of the choir of the Radio-television, music editor of Radio Zagreb, and professor of conducting at the Music Academy. From 1965 until his death he lived in Pula. He worked as director of the School of Music ‘Ivan Matetić Ronjgov’, research associate and ethnomusicologist of the North Adriatic Institute of Jugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts (JAZU), taught at the Academy of Pedagogy, and collected folk-music material....