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Adelyn Peck Leverett

revised by Christopher Fifield

(b Königsberg [now Kaliningrad], Nov 14, 1804; d Berlin, Jan 10, 1892). German conductor, composer and journalist. He studied the piano, singing and composition in Königsberg, made several long journeys throughout Germany, during which he met Weber in Dresden, and completed his studies with Ludwig Berger, Bernhard Klein and Zelter in Berlin, where his first opera, Rolands Knappen, was produced successfully in 1826. At the same time he became a co-editor of the Berliner allgemeine Muzikzeitung, for which he wrote a spirited defence of the beleaguered Gaspare Spontini. Over the next two decades he built a solid reputation as a conductor of opera, holding theatre posts at Königsberg (1828), Leipzig (1829–32), where he taught counterpoint to the young Schumann, Hamburg (1832), Riga (1834–43), and Cologne (1844–8). He organized the first music festival of the Russian Baltic provinces in Riga (...

Article

Leanne Langley

(b London, Oct 11, 1853; d London, Nov 28, 1909). English organist and writer on music. While a student at the RAM he was organist of the Surrey Chapel, migrating in 1876 with the pastor and congregation to the newly built Christ Church, Westminster Bridge Road. In 1881 he transferred to St John’s Wood Presbyterian Church, where he remained as organist until 1905; during this period he produced several editions of Nonconformist church music and wrote programme notes for oratorios. Edwards’s most lasting contribution, however, was as a music historian. Besides books on hymn tune origins, London musical places and Mendelssohn’s Elijah, he wrote important articles on cathedrals and on the English Bach revival for the Musical Times, some 21 entries on 19th-century musical figures for the Dictionary of National Biography, and further articles for the second edition of Grove’s Dictionary. In all his work, but especially as contributor to the ...

Article

H.C. Colles

(Alfred)

(b Vienna, Oct 5, 1822; d Berlin, Dec 30, 1899). Austrian pianist, teacher, writer and critic of Hungarian descent. He studied the piano under Henselt, Bocklet and Thalberg, and composition under Sechter. Unwilling to establish himself in one place or occupation, by the time he was 40 he had lived and worked in Bucharest, Hanover (1852–5 as court pianist to King George V), Wiesbaden, London and Frankfurt. In 1862 he settled in Berlin, working as a journalist and piano teacher. From 1864 to 1872 and again at the end of his life (1886–98) he taught the piano at the Stern Conservatory. He wrote political correspondence for the Vossische Zeitung and L’indépendence (1867–9) and later for the Allgemeine Zeitung (1872), and was music critic for the Neue Berliner Musikzeitung (1865–6), Die Gegenwart (1872–92), Die Tribüne (1878) and the ...

Article

Scott Warfield

(b Jackson, MS, Sept 14, 1910; d New York, NY, Aug 29, 1982). American conductor, composer, arranger, educator, and writer on music. After studying composition at the Cincinnati Conservatory, Engel moved to New York, where he had lessons in composition at the Juilliard School with rubin Goldmark and then privately with roger Sessions . During the late 1930s Engel provided incidental music for plays and dance groups and conducted his own Madrigal Singers under the auspices of the WPA. He conducted the premieres of Kurt Weill’s Johnny Johnson and Aaron Copland’s The Second Hurricane, and he also led the chorus in the audience at the improvised premiere of Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock.

Engel is best known for his work in commercial venues. He supplied vocal and choral arrangements and other forms of incidental music for theatrical and broadcast productions. As a conductor, his most successful shows on Broadway included Gian Carlo Menotti’s ...

Article

Michael Kassler

(b Woburn, Beds., Sept 24, 1766; d London, Jan 6, 1826). English geologist and writer on music. He was a tenor in the Surrey Chapel Society which met weekly in Southwark to practise sacred music. In 1791, when that society became part of the Choral Fund, Farey served as secretary and librarian and became acquainted ‘with numbers of the most eminent’ practitioners of music. The next year he returned to Woburn as the Duke of Bedford’s land steward and warden of Woburn parish church; from 1802 he lived in London.

Farey found the study of systems of musical temperament ‘a favourite source of amusement, while relaxing from … professional studies and practice’. His thoughts on music appeared mainly in numerous articles in the Philosophical Magazine and reappeared in contributions to David Brewster’s Edinburgh Encyclopaedia and to Abraham Rees’s Cyclopaedia: indeed Rees named only Charles Burney and Farey as ‘co-adjutors’ of the musical articles in the ...

Article

Viorel Cosma

(b Bucharest, Sept 6, 1819; d Bucharest, March 19, 1865). Romanian music critic and flautist. He studied at the School of Vocal and Instrumental Music in Bucharest (1836–8) with Ludwig Wiest (music theory and solfège) and Pietro Ferlendis (flute), and had further instruction in the flute from Michael Foltz (...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(b Minneapolis, Jan 22, 1952). American percussionist, clarinetist, pianist, and critic. His father was an orchestral percussionist. Having been exposed to jazz at an early age, he took up drums when he was nine and studied informally with his father. Later he learned piano (1966–7) until he tired of reading music, though he resumed playing the instrument from 1969, took up clarinet in 1972, and doubled on bass clarinet from 1989 to 1992 and alto clarinet from 1992. Around the age of 17 he played in a rock band, but because he wished to explore freer types of music he formed the experimental group Blue Freedom; it was later known as Blue Freedom New Art Transformation and from 1973 as the Milo Fine Free Jazz Ensemble (MFFJE), which from 1975 functioned primarily as a duo with the guitarist Steve Gnitka; the two men toured Europe in ...

Article

Robert Gannon

(Richard Jeremy )

(b Weymouth, England, April 7, 1921; d Weymouth, May 9, 1991). English writer. From 1965 he was the host in Britain of a weekly radio program, “Jazz Scene” (better known by its later title, “Jazz Today”); he also hosted “Jazz in Britain.” The two shows eventually merged, and continued on BBC Radio 3 until 1988. Fox became the jazz critic of the New Statesman and also contributed occasionally to The Guardian, the Sunday Times, and The Gramophone. In the USA he is best known for The Essential Jazz Records, i: Ragtime to Swing (1984), a guide to 250 jazz recordings written with Max Harrison and Eric Thacker. He also wrote a brief, insightful book on Fats Waller (1960).

(selective list)

Fats Waller (New York, 1960); repr. in Kings of Jazz, ed. S. Green (South Brunswick, NJ, and New York, 1978) with P. Gammond and ...

Article

Tomás Marco

(b Madrid, March 2, 1920). Spanish critic, pianist and composer. At the Madrid Conservatory he studied the piano with Luis Galve and composition with Rogelio del Villar and Conrado del Campo. In 1952 he took over the music section of the Madrid daily Arriba and was appointed head of music programmes of the Spanish National Radio, where he has been particularly successful. He founded the National RO (1953–5), the precursor of the present Spanish Radio and Television SO, which he was instrumental in founding in 1965; he also established the National Radio Choir (later the Spanish Radio and Television Choir), the Cuarteto Clásico of Spanish Broadcasting (1952) and the Barcelona City Orchestra (1967). In 1976 he became director of the music section of the Madrid daily El pais.

Although he began his career as a composer, writing many songs and some film music, Franco has achieved most recognition as a highly sensitive piano accompanist, and is considered the leading critic of his generation in Spain. He is noted for his support of new Spanish composers: in ...

Article

Caroline Polk O’Meara

[Jones, Alexander Roger Wallace ]

(b New York, NY, 1967). American musician and writer. Frere-Jones has performed with his band Ui since the early 1990s, when he also began writing about music for publications including the Village Voice, New York Times, and Spin. Since 2004 he has been the pop music critic at The New Yorker. His columns often cover popular musicians, but he has also been an early champion of many lesser-known groups from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to the Sleigh Bells. His experience as a professional musician shines in his authorial voice; he writes accessibly and in depth about musical content. Frere-Jones’s controversial 2007 New Yorker article, “A Paler Shade of White,” produced a large amount of support and criticism in the press. The wide-ranging article began with him mourning the absence of African American music traditions in indie rock (centering on the group Arcade Fire) before addressing the question of musical miscegenation, which he claims is sadly absent in most current rock music. Frere-Jones’s clever quips are frequently quoted in the work of other writers, making him something of a critic’s critic....