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Article

Irving Lowens

revised by S. Frederick Starr

(b New Orleans, May 8, 1829; d Tijuca, Brazil, Dec 18, 1869). American composer and pianist. His considerable reputation as a composer of virtuoso piano pieces did not long survive his death, but a renewed interest in his life and works began in the 1930s and he is now generally acknowledged as one of the most significant 19th-century American musicians, and his music as a direct precursor of ragtime.

Moreau (as he was called in the family) was the first of eight children born to Edward and Marie-Aimée (Bruslé) Gottschalk. His London-born, German-Jewish father went to New Orleans in the early 1820s and established himself there as a merchant; his mother was the daughter of a prosperous Catholic baker of French ancestry who had fled from St Domingue in Haiti to Louisiana following the slave rebellion in the 1790s. The child showed an aptitude for music before his fourth birthday, and when he was five his parents engaged François Letellier, organist and choirmaster of St Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, to give him private lessons. By ...

Article

Thomas L. Gayda

[Will; Williams, Hugh; Milos, André]

(b Vienna, Aug 11, 1894; d New York, Dec 10, 1939). Austrian composer, pianist and conductor. Born into a Jewish family of jewellers, he studied with the operetta composer Richard Heuberger, Robert Fuchs, the musicologist Guido Adler and Franz Schreker. After he left the Vienna Music Academy in 1919, his Zwei phantastische Stücke was given its first performance by the Vienna PO. The following year he received a doctorate in music from Vienna University. While he remained initially faithful to the late-Romantic, Impressionist line, he became the first Austrian composer to introduce jazz idioms into his music. His grotesque ballet-pantomime Baby in der Bar (1928) marked him as one of the prime exponents of the Zeitgeist of the Weimar era.

In 1927 Grosz moved to Berlin and became the artistic director of the new Ultraphon record company, quickly building up its catalogue as a conductor, arranger and pianist. He formed a well-known piano duo with Wilhelm Kauffman and toured Europe as a highly-sought accompanist and conductor. When the National Socialists seized power in ...

Article

Irena Poniatowska

(b Szkłów, [now Belorussia], Sept 2, 1806; d Aachen, Oct 21, 1837). Polish xylophonist. Born into a poor family of Jewish musicians, Guzikow was, in his early years, a street player of the dulcimer and flute. After an illness had weakened his lungs, he took up the xylophone. He improved the instrument, extending its range to two and a half chromatic octaves and placing the keys on straw rolls in order to amplify the sound. Within three years he had become a master of the instrument, and his concert performances in Kiev, Moscow and Odessa in 1834 aroused great admiration. Encouraged by Lipiński, Lamartine and Michaud, he set off on a concert tour of Europe. In May 1835 he played in Kraków, Warsaw and Lemberg, and subsequently in Bohemia and in Vienna, Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris and Brussels, always to enthusiastic audiences: Mendelssohn and George Sand were among those who were impressed by his playing. Guzikow’s concerts often featured a guest soloist, for example Kalkbrenner at a Paris concert in the Tuileries. Guzikow’s repertory consisted of his own works, particularly fantasias on Polish themes. He also played transcriptions of piano and violin concertos by Weber, Hummel, Hoffmeister and Paganini, whose ...

Article

Eliyahu Schleifer

(b Budapest, March 5, 1932). Israeli composer, pianist and ethnomusicologist. As a young boy, he survived the Nazi invasion and miraculously escaped deportation. In 1949 he entered the composition department of the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where he studied the piano with György Kósa and Erno Szégedi, composition with Endre Szervánszky and Ferenc Szabó, and ethnomusicology with Zoltán Kodály. As a Kodály disciple, he spent two years among the Hungarian gypsies, collecting songs and stories. This resulted in his Gypsy Cantata on poems of Miklos Randoti, which won first prize at the Warsaw International Youth Festival (1955).

Following the failure of the Hungarian uprising, Hajdu escaped to France, where he studied with Milhaud and Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire. At the same time he wrote music for films and conducted youth choirs. From 1959 to 1961 he taught the piano and composition at the Tunis Conservatory and was active in ethnomusicological research there. This period is represented in his ...

Article

Rita Kaizinger

(b Budapest, Sept 8, 1915; d Budapest, Oct 23, 1987). Hungarian composer and pianist. She was born into a well-established Jewish family in Budapest; they owned the city’s ‘English Park’, a famous entertainment park, and her father was a well-known journalist. Hajdú graduated as a piano teacher from the Budapest Academy of Music, where she studied with Zoltán Kodály (folk music) and György Ránki (composition and instrumentation). For more than 40 years she was one of the most successful composers of light music in Budapest. Her song melodies perpetuated in an original manner the typical, operetta-like nostalgic atmosphere of the city. As a pianist she worked with leading Hungarian actors and singers, who generally congregated in the capital. Among her most famous partners were Lili Neményi, Mária Mezei, Hanna Honthy, the Latabár brothers and the opera singers Sándor (Alexander) Svéd and Mihály Székely. Hajdú’s chansons and cabaret songs achieved remarkable popularity. She was one of the founders of Hungarian Television (...

Article

Ronald Earl Booth

revised by Matthias Thiemel

[István]

(b Pest, May 15, 1813; d Paris, Jan 14, 1888). French pianist and composer of Hungarian birth. His parents were of Jewish descent and came from the vicinity of Eger (Cheb, Bohemia). He was first taught music by a regimental bandsman stationed near the Hungarian capital, and then by Ferenc Bräuer, a well-known piano teacher in Pest. He took composition lessons from an organist called Cibulka and then went to Vienna to study with Carl Czerny, but his father soon found that he could not afford the celebrated teacher’s high fees. Stephen became a pupil of Anton Halm, the teacher of Adolf Henselt and other 19th-century virtuosos. Through Halm, Heller met Schubert and Beethoven. In 1828 he made his début, and his success encouraged his father to arrange a concert tour through Hungary, Transylvania, Poland and Germany. It lasted almost two years and ended in Augsburg, where he collapsed from nervous exhaustion; intending to stay only a few weeks to recover, he remained for eight years. During this time he lived in the home of Frau Caroline Hoeslin von Eichthal, a highly intelligent and artistic woman whose son became one of his first pupils. He also came under the patronage and guidance of the cultivated Count Friedrich Fugger-Kircheim-Hoheneck, a gifted musician who encouraged him to study composition under Hippolyte Chelard, the Kapellmeister in Augsburg....

Article

R. Allen Lott

(b Washington DC, Aug 15, 1884; d New York, July 17, 1965). American pianist and teacher. He studied with S.M. Fabian in Washington, DC, Rafael Joseffy in New York and Theodor Leschetizky in Vienna (1907–10), eventually serving as Leschetizky’s assistant (1909–10). After teaching at the Ganapol School of Musical Art in Detroit (1910–12), he made his European début in Vienna in 1912 and spent the next four years teaching in Munich and performing throughout Germany. He then settled in New York where he taught at the Volpe Institute of Music (1916–17) and the Institute of Musical Art (1918–23) and was editor-in-chief of piano music for G. Schirmer (1920–25). He made his New York recital début on 14 March 1917 and thereafter performed extensively in Europe and the USA; he also gave two-piano recitals with his wife, Jewel Bethany Hughes. His memorabilia are held at the University of South Carolina....

Article

Thomas F. Heck

(b Minneapolis, MN, Aug 7, 1956). American guitarist. She studied the guitar with Jeffrey Van in Minneapolis, and while at Yale University she was coached by Rosalyn Tureck. She also studied with Oscar Ghiglia, Alirio Diaz and Segovia. She won first prizes at the Toronto International Guitar Competition (1975), the Munich International Competition (1976), and the Queen Sofia competition in Madrid (1979). Her New York début was at Alice Tully Hall in 1979, following débuts in London (1977) and Tokyo (1978). She taught at the Manhattan School of Music, 1979–89, and in 1989 founded the guitar department at the Juilliard School; she also teaches at the Aspen Music Festival. Isbin has established an international reputation as a recitalist and concerto soloist, and has toured South America, Japan and Israel as well as the USA and Europe. She has made many recordings, including a significant disc of American guitar concertos by Corigliano, Lukas Foss and Joseph Schwantner, all of which were written for her. She has contributed many articles on the guitar, and together with Rosalyn Tureck has published an edition for guitar of the Bach lute suites....

Article

Eliyahu Schleifer

[Heinrich]

(b Königsberg [now Kaliningrad, Russia], March 2, 1909; d Tel-Aviv, Dec 13, 1990). Israeli composer, conductor and string player . He studied the viola and composition with Hindemith at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik (1927–30). From 1930 to 1933 he played in the Grosses Orchester des Südwestdeutschen Rundfunks. With the rise of the Nazis, he left Germany and, after a year's sojourn in Istanbul, emigrated to Palestine. In 1934 he settled in Jerusalem where he joined the Palestine Music Conservatory (1934–47) and the Jerusalem String Quartet (1934–9), both of which were founded two years earlier by the violinist Emil Hauser of the Budapest String Quartet. He was appointed to the Jerusalem New Conservatory and Academy of Music in 1947 (assistant director, 1949–54; director, 1954–8). He later moved to Tel-Aviv, where he played the viola in the Israel PO until 1974. During 1974–5...

Article

Jean Mary Allan

revised by Rosemary Williamson

(b Edinburgh, July 26, 1823; d London, May 28, 1891). Scottish pianist and composer. He had his first lessons from his father, Samuel, and made his first concert appearance in the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms at the age of six. In 1834 he entered the RAM in London to study the piano under Cipriani Potter, and harmony and composition under John Goss; he became King’s Scholar in 1837. In 1838 he played at the RAM a piano concerto of his own. He was soon appointed teacher of piano in the RAM, and later a director. During the 1850s he was also professor of music at St Mary’s Hall, Brighton. In his earlier life Jewson was considered one of London’s finest pianists, and was famous as a teacher (Mackenzie was one of his pupils). Although his compositions are little heard today, they are of fine calibre and craftmanship; the Etudes de concert...