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Arnolds Klotiņš

(b Riga, April 14, 1951). Latvian composer and critic. He graduated from Skulte’s composition class (1974) at the Latvian State Conservatory. Since 1972 Zemzaris has been teaching composition and music theory at the Emils Dārziņš Music School in Riga, and writes as a music critic in weekly publications. Zemzaris’s characteristic genres are instrumental chamber music and symphonic miniatures. He refers to the worlds of literature, theatre and painting by appending to his works poetic epigraphs or polysemantic titles. He also creates poetic signs and symbols by citing well-known musical styles, collages and models. With the freedom of a postmodernist, Zemzaris uses both historical styles and jazz and rock music idioms to achieve complicated subtexts with simple musical text. He favours extended repetitions of his material in the spirit of minimalist music. His music in in general lyrically fragile, sophisticated and intellectualized.

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Article

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 ...

Article

Richard Langham Smith

(b Paris, April 2, 1840; d Paris, Sept 29, 1902). French writer. Brought up in Aix-en-Provence, he became a leading man of letters in the latter years of the 19th century, having a profound effect on the arts reaching far beyond the boundaries of his own work. He is celebrated as the leading figure in French naturalisme. His many expositions of his aesthetic emphasize that his accurate observation of real-life events was not an end in itself but rather a scientific basis underlying the creative nature of his art. ‘J’observe pour créer, non pour copier’, he stressed, in the belief that he could penetrate the depths of human nature only by seeing man acting in the society in which he lived. His concept of a series of linked novels – the Rougon-Macquart novels – was his major literary contribution in this respect.

His credo affected not only much other writing, visual art and theatre but also opera, providing a French alternative to Italian ...

Article

Christopher Fifield

(b Glogau [now Głogów], Silesia, June 1, 1826; d Leipzig, July 12, 1883). German critic and composer . At his father’s wish he studied agriculture in Breslau and Berlin, and only after the successful performance of an overture in 1850 did he decide to make music his career. He studied with A.B. Marx and Theodor Kullak at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin, where he later joined the staff to teach music theory. In Berlin he also founded an opera academy and an orchestra, but he moved to Leipzig in 1864, when Franz Brendel chose him to be an editor of the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik; four years later he succeeded Brendel as editor-in-chief and continued his advocacy of the New German School. He was also active as a writer, choral director, and teacher of singing and music theory. His compositions include two published but unperformed operas, Mohammed and Maccabäus...

Article

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 ...

Article

(b Waldbröl, April 12, 1803; d Nachrodt, March 23, 1869). German music scholar, critic and poet of Italian and Dutch extraction. He was educated in Mülheim am Rhein and at the Carmelite Gymnasium in Cologne. After three years’ military service he entered the University of Heidelberg in 1826 to study civics and law. There he joined a circle around Thibaut which concerned itself with early church music and the preservation of folksong repertories, and with friends he founded a literary student club. He also interested himself at this time with the German language and its dialects, mythology, archaeology, history, astronomy and natural science. In 1829 he published with E. Baumstark his first folksong collection, Bardale, and in the same year ceased studying for financial reasons. After living in Cologne, Mülheim and Bouzonville, he became tutor to the only son of Prince Gorchakov of Warsaw in 1833. In Warsaw he met Ernemann, Elsner, Vieuxtemps and Henselt and wrote for periodicals, among them Schumann’s ...

Article

Richard Evidon

revised by Tamara Levitz

(b Vienna, Nov 28, 1881; d Petrópolis, Brazil, Feb 22, 1942). Austrian writer . In his day a leading European literary figure, he was exceptionally cultivated and had deep humanistic sympathies. His active pacifism dates from his exile in Zürich (1917–18), during which time he met several noteworthy musical figures. After the war he became one of the more highly regarded, widely read and translated Austrian writers of his generation. In 1934 he emigrated to England, and in 1941 settled in Brazil. Distraught at the persecution of the Jews, Zweig committed suicide, together with his wife, in 1942.

His writings include several on musicians – Busoni, Toscanini and Bruno Walter, who were his close friends (Berg was another), as well as Handel, Mahler and Richard Strauss. His significance for music history lies largely in his collaboration with Strauss, which began in 1932. Only one work was produced, the comic opera ...