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Article

Albert Mell

revised by Matthias Wiegandt

(b Berlin, Dec 28, 1812; d Dresden, Sept 12, 1877). German cellist, composer, conductor and editor, brother of Eduard Rietz. He studied the cello from the age of eight with Franz Schmidt, Bernhard Romberg and Moritz Ganz. In 1829 he joined the orchestra of the Königstadt theatre. Refusing Spontini's offer of a post in the Berlin court orchestra, he went to Düsseldorf in 1834 to assist Mendelssohn at the Opera; though nominally only assistant conductor he did most of the conducting. When Mendelssohn left Düsseldorf, Rietz became the city's musical director. During the next 12 years he established a reputation as a conductor and a composer; more than two dozen works of his were published, including the music for Goethe's Singspiel Jery und Bately, two symphonies, a cello concerto and several sets of lieder. He continued to play the cello in public, with Ferdinand Hiller and Ferdinand David among others. He assisted Mendelssohn at the Lower Rhine Festival of ...

Article

Anne Dhu McLucas

(b Edinburgh, June 1, 1776; d Philadelphia, Dec 11, 1831). American cellist, teacher, composer and music publisher of Scottish birth. He was the son of the Edinburgh cellist and composer J.G.C. Schetky and a nephew of Alexander Reinagle. Schetky emigrated to the USA in 1787 and became active as a performer and music teacher in Philadelphia, where he lived with the musicians Benjamin Carr and Joseph C. Taws. With Carr he was co-editor of The Musical Journal for the Piano Forte (vols.iii–v) and published music from about 1802 to 1811. Between 1812 and 1818 he apparently visited Britain, for he published piano compositions by his father and himself in London and Edinburgh. He was a co-founder in 1820 of the Musical Fund Society in Philadelphia, which owns a portrait of him.

Article

Nils Schiørring

(b Sabro, 30 June ?1743; d Copenhagen, Feb 6, 1798). Danish harpsichordist, composer and music editor. He studied in Copenhagen with J.A. Scheibe and in Hamburg with C.P.E. Bach, whom he befriended. In 1773 he became a harpsichordist at the royal chapel and a teacher at the Hofteater's singing school. He replaced Giuseppe Sarti as chamber musician to the royal court in 1775. For Guldberg's new official psalter (1778) he edited a series of chorale books (1781–3) based on painstaking studies of early sources, to which, with C.P.E. Bach and the Danish musician Raehs as collaborators, he added outstanding harmonizations; these collections introduced monorhythmic chorale melodies (in minims) into Danish church song. Schiørring also edited collections of secular music (particularly popular songs from operas, plays and other works) and contributed to Gerber's Lexicon. (DBL, N. Schiørring)

all published in Copenhagen

Article

Peter Holman

(bap.Milton-next-Sittingbourne [now Milton Regis], Kent, April 1, 1582; d ?Copenhagen, before June 20, 1628). English composer, string player and music editor. Nothing is known for certain of his activities before 1608, when he is listed as a musician at the court of the Elector Palatine at Heidelberg, though an apparently autograph bass part of 19 ‘songes’ dedicated to Sir Norton Knatchbull of Mersham, Kent, probably dates from before he left England. Also, his wife came from Lorraine, so he may have spent some time at the court in Nancy. He was still at Heidelberg in 1610, when he published his first collection, though by 1615 he had moved to the court of Count Ernst III of Holstein-Schaumburg at Bückeburg, near Hanover. He was still there when he published his third collection in 1621, and probably left the following year, when Count Ernst died. He was employed as a ‘fiolist’ at the Danish court from ...

Article

Don Cusic

[Ragsdale, Harold Ray ]

(b Clarkdale, GA, Jan 24, 1939). American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger, music publisher, television star, and entrepreneur. Harold Ragsdale began his musical career with a high school band that played R&B songs by the Coasters, Drifters, and other R&B groups. In 1955 the family moved to Atlanta, where publisher Bill Lowery signed him as a songwriter and secured his first recording contract with Capitol Records; Capitol’s Head of A&R, Ken Nelson changed Ragsdale’s name to Ray Stevens. After attending Georgia State University, where he studied music, Stevens had his first success with his recording of “Jeremiah Peabody’s Poly Unsaturated Quick Dissolving Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green and Purple Pills” (Mercury, 1961). In 1962 he moved to Nashville, supplementing his own recording career with work as a session musician, arranger, and background vocalist. He garnered a number-one pop hit and his first Grammy with his recording of “Everything is beautiful” (Barnaby, ...

Article

Kristine Forney

[Tielman]

(b c1510–1515, Soest, nr Dortmund; d ?Sweden, 1570 or later). Music publisher, composer and instrumentalist, active in the southern Netherlands. His birthdate is based on a document of 1565 which states he was about 50 years old (‘out omtrent L jaren’). His place of birth, also suggested to be Soestdijk, near Utrecht, is clearly in the environs of Cologne (probably Soest in Westphalia): he refers to himself as ‘Tilemannus Susato Agrippinus’ (the Roman name for Cologne) in two publications, he is described in 1561 as ‘Thielman Suzato, geboeren van Coelen’ and in 1563 as one born outside the lands of the Emperor. Further, he was granted a subsidy in 1542 by the city of Antwerp for bringing a new trade from outside. Documentation confirms that he was the son of another Tylman (Thielmanssone); his father may have been the blind musician ‘Tielman dem blynden’ mentioned in a 1508...

Article

Mark Berresford

(Coleman )

(b Brunswick, MO, Feb 7, 1882; d New York, NY, March 9, 1961). American clarinetist, bandleader, composer, and music publisher. His first professional engagement (c1897–8) was with a “pickaninny” band led by Nathaniel Clark Smith. In 1902 he was assistant leader of P.G. Lowery’s band with Forepaugh and Sells Circus and later that year joined Mahara’s Minstrels band under the leadership of W.C. Handy. In 1903 he formed his own band in Minneapolis, where he made the first recordings by an African American band. Sweatman moved to Chicago in 1908, where he led trios at the Grand and Monogram theaters. In 1911 he made his first vaudeville appearance, and in late 1916 made the first records recognizable as jazz performances. In 1918 Sweatman’s band was signed to an exclusive recording contract with Columbia, their records rivalling those by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. He continued to work through the 1920s and early 1930s in vaudeville, and in ...

Article

Barry S. Brook

(b Wehrsdorf, nr Bautzen, Feb 2, 1748; d Leipzig, Sept 12, 1806). German impresario, composer, horn player, writer on music and publisher. He attended the Gymnasium in Bautzen for seven years; in 1770 he began studying law at Leipzig University but within a year turned to music, becoming first horn player for the Grosse Concert-Gesellschaft in 1771. In 1776 he founded a music copying business and manuscript storehouse, producing a large thematic catalogue (rivalling Breitkopf’s) that he sold in manuscript. He described this catalogue (of manuscript works available for copying) and his idealistic plans for the storehouse in a series of pamphlets published between 1778 and 1781. From 1782 he sponsored a series of independent concerts in Leipzig, later producing the Gewandhaus concerts, Dilettanten concerts and Stadtmusik, and undertaking concert tours as far as Dresden, Hamburg and Prague. In addition to works by Haydn, Mozart and others, he performed a number of his own compositions. In ...

Article

Brian Boydell

[Burke of Thomond ]

( fl 1739–50). Irish music editor, composer and instrumentalist . The earliest known references to him occur in Dublin newspapers in 1739 and 1740, when he appeared as a soloist playing concertos on the trumpet and the flute. He also performed in England as a flautist, appearing for instance at Ruckholt House, Leyton, on 14 May 1744.

About 1745–50 he issued two books which provide one of the earliest printed sources of Irish traditional airs. The first consisted of 12 Scots and 12 Irish airs, the second of 12 English and 12 Irish airs. Both books, which contain ‘Variations, set for the German Flute, Violin or Harpsichord’, were published for John Simpson of London, reprinted c1765, and re-engraved and published in one volume about 1785 by S., A. & P. Thompson of London under the title Forty-eight English, Irish and Scotch airs. Thumoth's only other known publication is Six Solos for a German Flute, Violin or Harpsichord, the First Three composed by Mr Burk Thumoth, the Three Last by Sigr. Canaby...

Article

Deane L. Root

[James; Babcock, Edward Chester]

(b Syracuse, NY, Jan 26, 1913; d Rancho Mirage, CA, Feb 7, 1990). American composer, publisher and pianist. At the age of 16 he became a pianist, singer and announcer for a radio station and adopted his professional name. He then studied singing with Howard Lyman and wrote college shows at Syracuse University. In 1933 he replaced Harold Arlen as composer at the Cotton Club in Harlem, and worked as a pianist and song plugger for Tin Pan Alley publishers, including Remick and Santley Brothers. He had his first songwriting success in 1938 with It’s the dreamer in me (in collaboration with Jimmy Dorsey) and wrote for the bandleader Eddie DeLange before teaming up with the lyricist Johnny Burke in 1939. Together Burke and Van Heusen wrote the songs for 16 of Bing Crosby’s best-known films, including Road to Morocco (1942) and others of the ‘Road to …’ series, and ...