(b Madrid, March 3, 1891; d Madrid, Sept 12, 1982). Spanish composer, conductor and critic. He first studied music with his father, José Moreno Ballesteros, an organist and teacher at the Royal Conservatory in Madrid, and with whom he collaborated on his first zarzuela, Las decididas (1912). He later studied composition with Conrado del Campo at the Royal Conservatory, where his tone poem La ajorca de oro was first performed in 1918. In 1926 he married Pilar Larregla, the daughter of a Navarrese composer; the folk music of Navarra along with that of Castile was to serve as a major source of inspiration in his music. Although not a guitarist himself, in the 1920s his growing friendship with Segovia inspired him to begin writing for the guitar, and the resulting compositions such as Sonatina (1924) and Piezas características (1931) are among his finest works. He also established himself as a composer for the stage, and his zarzuela ...
Walter Aaron Clark and William Craig Krause
revised by Laura Otilia Vasiliu
(b Bucharest, Romania, Oct 1, 1890; d Bucharest, Jan 19, 1951). Romanian composer, conductor, music critic, teacher, and violinist. Along with Alfred Alessandrescu and Ion Nonna Otescu, Nottara was among the first disciples of the renowned composition professor Alfonso Castaldi from the Bucharest Conservatory. First under the influence of French impressionism, then of Italian verismo, Nottara’s work then gradually integrated with the tendency of forming a Romanian national style in the first half of the 20th century.
He studied at the Bucharest Conservatory (1900–07) with D.G. Kiriac (music theory and solfège), Alfonso Castaldi (composition), and Robert Klenck (violin); he continued his studies under George Enescu and Berthelier (violin) in Paris (1907–9), and under Klinger (violin) and Schatzenholz (composition) at the Königliche Akademie der Künste, Berlin, (1909–13). His career as a violinist included orchestral playing in the Bucharest PO (1905–7, 1918–20), leading a string quartet (...
(b Besançon, June 13, 1875; d Paris, May 15, 1959). French composer, conductor and critic. Born into an aristocratic family with a lengthy, distinguished military lineage, d'Ollone struggled to reconcile these inherited responsibilities with his Utopian, socialist perspective of music. Thoroughly committed to the deeper appreciation of music through public education, he strove to impress its pivotal role in the evolution of the human character. He developed this philosophy through the study of theology and symbolist literature, and projected it through opera, his preferred medium of expression.
A pupil of Gédalge, Lavignac, Lenepveu and Massenet at the Paris Conservatoire, d'Ollone reaped numerous honours there and throughout his lengthy career, notably the Prix de Rome (1897) for his cantata, Frédégonde. Twice honoured by the Légion d'Honneur (Chevalier in 1926, Officier in 1938), he was appointed director of the Concerts populaires d'Angers (1907–15), at the Ministry of Fine Arts (...
Guido M. Gatti and John C.G. Waterhouse
[Parma, Ildebrando da]
(b Parma, Sept 20, 1880; d Rome, Feb 13, 1968). Italian composer, conductor and critic. He was the most respected and influential of the more conservative Italian musicians of his generation.
The son of a piano teacher, Pizzetti spent most of his childhood (from 1884) in Reggio Emilia. While at school there he showed less inclination towards music than towards the theatre, writing plays for casual performance among his schoolmates. In 1895, however, he entered the Parma Conservatory, where he studied under Telesforo Righi, a modest but outstanding teacher of harmony and counterpoint, and gained his composition diploma in 1901. Meanwhile he became conversant with 15th- and 16th-century Italian instrumental and choral music performed and expounded by Giovanni Tebaldini, one of the pioneers of Italian musicology, who directed the conservatory from 1897 and took a personal interest his development. Pizzetti’s leanings towards the theatre by no means diminished, and he grew more and more anxious to compose an opera. Various early attempts, mostly unfinished, already showed his preference for heroic subjects, exalted romantic characters and large-scale construction....
(b Županja, March 6, 1905; d Sarajevo, March 28, 1979). Bosnian-Herzegovinian composer, conductor, pianist, and critic. He studied composition in the class of Blagoje Bersa, conducting in the class of Fran Lhotka, and the piano in the class of Svetislav Stančić at the Academy of Music in Zagreb, graduating in 1927. From 1927 to 1928 he studied composition with Vincent d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum de Paris, and from 1928 to 1929 with Joseph Marx in Vienna.
From 1930 he made his mark conducting several choral ensembles in Zagreb, including Oratorijski zbor sv. Marka, Sloga, Lisinski, and Zagrebački madrigalisti. From 1947 he worked in Sarajevo as a conductor at the Sarajevo Opera House and the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1955 he taught conducting at the Academy of Music in Sarajevo. He was very active as an accompanist, historian, and critic. He wrote the first historical studies of music in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as many articles for newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV programmes. His rather modest composing legacy is permeated with folk elements, within formal designs of (neo)-classical orientation. He also made arrangements of the works of other Bosnian-Herzegovinian composers (notably Franjo Maćojevksi and Bogomir Kačerovski) to meet the particular needs of local performance contexts....
(b Stockholm, Nov 30, 1884; d Stockholm, May 11, 1947). Swedish composer, conductor and critic. He studied composition with Lindegren (1903–4) and with Pfitzner in Berlin (1905–6), where he had singing lessons with Hey (1905–6), continuing these latter studies in Munich (1906–7). As a music critic he worked for the Svenska dagbladet (1907–9), the Stockholms dagblad (1910–14, 1927–30), the Dagens nyheter (1920–21), and the Nya dagligt allehanda (1938–42). In the decade after 1910 he was active as a singing teacher, and he was press adviser at the Swedish Royal Opera from 1930 to 1936. He made his conducting début in 1915 and was chief conductor of the Göteborg Orchestral Society (1922–5); later he made guest appearances with various orchestras. He was a founder of the Society of Swedish Composers (...
(b Russia, 1899; d Tel Aviv, 1968). Israeli critic, choral conductor and composer of Russian birth. In 1925, soon after his emigration to Palestine, he was appointed music critic of the newly founded socialist daily Davar, a position he retained throughout his life. He changed his surname from Rabinowitz to the more Hebrew Ravina in 1930. His frequent and detailed reviews, which insisted on a high standard of performance and programming, and sought a genuine Jewish musical style, were highly influential. In an attempt to bring music to the people, he collaborated with David Shor on an ambitious education project that included public lectures, the publication of popular music appreciation booklets and song anthologies, and the establishment of a nation-wide network of amateur choirs. He was also a strong supporter of contemporary music in Palestine. His many songs (around 60), mostly written for young children, were intended as part of a newly composed folksong repertory....
(b Graz, Oct 6, 1896; d Vienna, Nov 9, 1978). Austrian composer, conductor and critic. He studied composition at the Schule des Steiermärkischen Musikvereins, Graz (1901–15, 1918–20) with Mojsisovics, Kroemer, Künzel and later Kornauth. During the years 1921–3 he worked as a violin teacher in Leoben, a violinist in the Vienna SO and a conductor, vocal coach and critic in Graz. He edited the Viennese Musikbote (1924–5) and in 1926 he moved to Germany, settling first in Munich and then working as a music director in Paderborn and Herford, as a choral conductor in Essen and Bielefeld and as a theory teacher in Hagen. In 1933 he was appointed to teach theory and composition at the Cologne Musikhochschule where he was made professor in 1935. He also took over the direction of the university chorus and the Gürzenich choir in succession to Abendroth (...
Marta Ottlová, Milan Pospíšil, John Tyrrell, and Kelly St Pierre
(b Leitomischl, Bohemia [now Litomyšl, Czech Republic], 2 March 1824; d Prague, 12 May 1884). Czech composer, conductor, teacher, and music critic often described as the ‘father’ or ‘inventor’ of Czech national music. While his first language was German and his first nationalist compositions were based on Swedish narratives, Smetana asserted himself as composer of specifically Czech music from the 1860s, and his music posthumously became synonymous with a Czech national musical style. Today, Smetana’s eight operas, including Prodaná nevěsta (‘The Bartered Bride’), as well as his cycle of symphonic poems Má vlast (‘My Fatherland’) form the foundation of the Czech classical musical canon. His opera Libuše is also frequently cited as an ‘apotheosis’ of Czech music, especially in conjunction with the first movement of Má vlast, entitled ‘Vyšehrad’.
After his death, Smetana was transformed in the minds of his audiences and advocates from a composer of nationalistic music to a national symbol himself; he and his works became enduring points of reference for Czechs’ ever-shifting borders, politics, administrations, ethnicities, and imagined futures through the 20th century. For this reason, the actual Smetana in many ways has become inseparable from the myth of ‘Smetana’, as later critics and historians molded his life and work to match their needs. The composer’s supposed greatness, genius, Czechness, tragic deafness, and heroism all give voice to the shifting needs, anxieties, and interests of his audiences as much as to the composer himself....