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Almonte Howell

revised by Rui Vieira Nery

(b Vila Viçosa, March 19, 1604; d Lisbon, Nov 6, 1656). Portuguese ruler, collector of music, writer on music and composer. As heir to the dukedom of Bragança, whose ruling family was notable for its love of music, he received a thorough musical education; his first teacher was Robert Tornar (or Torgh), an English (or possibly Irish) composer who had been a disciple of Gery de Ghersem and Mathieu Rosmarin at the Royal Flemish Chapel in Madrid. After Portugal’s successful rebellion in 1640 against Spanish rule, he was chosen king. His reign was marked by intermittent war with Spain and by Portugal’s efforts to secure foreign alliances, but he was little interested in politics. He was, however, ardently devoted to music, generous in support of composers and musical establishments in his realm and constantly in touch with distinguished musicians.

João IV assembled the largest music library of his time, based on the ducal library of his father and grandfather. Its treasures unfortunately perished in the Lisbon earthquake and fire of ...


Ernest H. Sanders

(d 1238–9). English monk. Since the mid-19th century the name of this monk at Reading Abbey has been associated with the so-called Reading rota Sumer is icumen in; he has been regarded as the possible scribe of the manuscript containing it (GB-Lbl Harl.978), as a direct influence on its present shape, and as the person who inspired the Latin and English words and the music. There is no evidence to support such theories, and even though his spurious fame continued to maintain itself in musical writings throughout the first half of the 20th century, John of Fornsete must be recognized as a nonentity as regards music....


Jēkabs Vītoliņš

(b Ērgļi, Vidzeme, Sept 30, 1856; d Riga, Sept 28, 1922). Latvian composer and folklorist. He was one of the founders of Latvian classical music, graduating at the St Petersburg Conservatory from Lui Homilius’s organ class (1880), Rimsky-Korsakov’s composition class (1881) and F. Homilius’s horn class (1882). He then taught theory at the Russian Imperial Music Society’s music school at Kharkiv (1882–1916) and from 1920 lived in Riga. Even when not resident there, he always maintained a close association with the musical life of his native land, giving many concerts as a horn player (sometimes in the Jurjāns brothers' horn quartet) and organist; he was one of the leading conductors in the third, fourth and fifth big Latvian song festivals (1888, 1895 and 1910). He also worked assiduously in studying Latvian folksong melodies, of which he and his colleagues collected about ...


William Drabkin

(b Neustadt an der Mettau [now Nové Město na Metové], May 17, 1819; d Vienna, Oct 23, 1886). Bohemian pianist, composer and collector of music manuscripts. He won considerable popularity as a composer of light piano pieces, among them nocturnes, idylls, impromptus and rhapsodies, of which about 200 were published. He is remembered chiefly as the owner of a number of Beethoven manuscripts, including the autographs of the piano sonatas opp.28 and 53 and various sketch miscellanies and leaves. The most important manuscript from his collection (the ‘Kafka’ Sketchbook), which contains sketches and autographs of many of Beethoven's earliest works, was acquired by the British Museum in 1875 (part of Add.29801). Another miscellany of sketches in the British Library (Add.29997) contains material for works written between 1799 and 1826; it was purchased from Kafka in 1876.

FétisBRiemannL12J.S. Shedlock: ‘Beethoven’s Sketch Books’, MT, 33 (1892), 331–4, 394–7, 461–5, 523–5, 589–92, 649–52, 717; xxxiv (1893), 14–16, 530–33; xxxv (1894), 13–16, 449–52, 596–600; l (1909), 712–4...


David Brown

(b Moscow, 1769; d Moscow, Dec 1841). Russian folksong collector and composer. Son of one of General Bibikov’s serfs, he was a pupil of Sarti in Bessarabia (1788), and in 1790 performed two of his own pieces (including a piano concerto) at a public concert given in Moscow by Bibikov’s serf orchestra, of which Kashin was director in the 1790s. It is possible that he also visited Italy during this period. Freed from serfdom in 1798, he established himself as an important figure in Moscow’s musical life from 1799, and, in addition to his activities as a composer, pianist, singer, opera conductor, teacher and folksong collector, he organized and conducted mammoth concerts sometimes involving a choir of 300 and an orchestra of 200. In 1800 (or perhaps 1805) he appeared as an opera composer with Natal′ya, boyarskaya doch′ (‘Natal′ya, the Boyar’s Daughter’), which enjoyed great success, holding the stage until ...


(b Moscow, 16/Nov 28, 1856; d Moscow, Dec 17, 1926). Russian composer and folklorist. The son of a priest, he acquired his musical education at the Moscow Conservatory (1876–78), where he studied music theory, composition and the piano. In 1887 he joined the Moscow Synodal School of Church Singing as a piano teacher on the recommendation of his teacher, Tchaikovsky. In later years he taught musical and theoretical disciplines and folklore at the schools of the Synod and the Philharmonia, as well as at the People's Conservatory. He was also active as a conductor (from 1891 he was assistant to the precentor, and from 1903 precentor of the Synodal Choir), and in studying folksongs and Russian music of the Middle Ages. From 1910 to 1918 Kastal′sky was the director of the Synodal School of Church Singing and did much work in transforming it into a higher educational establishment for choral training....


Lada Brashovanova

(b Ruse, Sept 23, 1925). Bulgarian folklorist and composer. He graduated in 1952 in both theory and performance at the State Academy of Music in Sofia and worked at the Music Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, as junior research fellow (1953–66) and senior research fellow (1966–89). He received the doctorate at the institute in 1973 with a dissertation on Bulgarian polyphonic folksong; in 1979 he was appointed professor of ethnomusicology at the State Academy of Music and in 1989, senior research fellow at the Institute for Folklore of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. His areas of research include various aspects of Bulgarian and Jewish folk music and he has been a member of the Union of Bulgarian Composers' executive committee since 1965. Much of his work in the 1960s on the folksong from particular regions in Bulgaria was published in Izvestiya na Instituta z muzika...


Ludwik Bielawski

( b Przysucha, Opoczno district, Feb 22, 1814; d Kraków, June 3, 1890). Polish folklorist and composer . He was educated at the Warsaw Lyceum (1823–30) and studied the piano with Franciszek Vetter. He then worked in a bank, continuing his musical studies with Józef Elsner and I.F. Dobrzyński and later in Berlin (1835–6) with Girschner and Karol Rungenhagen. After returning from Berlin he taught the piano in Warsaw, Mitau (now Jelgava, Latvia) and Homel (Belarus). He was also active as a composer, chiefly of songs and dances whose inspiration he drew from folk music; most of these were published. His cycles of kujawiak proved the most popular of his works. Kolberg also composed the music for three one-act stage entertainments on rural themes, J.K. Gregorowicz's Janek spod Ojcowa (‘Johnny from Ojców’; Warsaw, 1853), Teofil Lenartowicz's Król pasterzy (‘The Shepherd King’; Warsaw, 1859) and Seweryna Pruszakowa’s ...


Israel J. Katz

(b Ciudad Rodrigo, Feb 3, 1868; d Salamanca, June 13, 1928). Spanish folklorist, organist and composer. His talent as a musician was nurtured during his early childhood. After serving as an organist at a local church, Ledesma became organist at the cathedral in Ciudad Rodrigo (1889–98) and at Salamanca Cathedral (1898), a post he held until his death. He was ordained a priest in Salamanca. He was a famous improviser and a prolific composer of organ and liturgical music, but he is best remembered for his Folk-lore ó Cancionero salmantino (Madrid, 1907/R), which contains 404 melodies collected from the rich oral tradition of his native province. This was awarded a prize in an open competition by the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S Fernando (Madrid), and was later published by the Diputación Provincial de Salamanca; the collection remains one of the most outstanding in Spanish folklore. An unpublished second volume containing 903 items was left to his disciple Bernardo García-Bernalt Huertos in ...


Luise Eitel Peake

(Ger.: ‘song circle’)

A circle or club of people dedicated to the cultivation of popular song. Examples are the ‘Mittwochskränzchen’ (‘Cour d’amour’) that met during the early 1800s in Goethe’s Weimar home, the Stägemann circle in Berlin, 1815–18, that included the young poet Wilhelm Müller, the Dresden Liederkreis (‘Dichtertee’), c 1804–24, in which Weber met the poet Kind, and the ‘Schubertianer’ or friends of Schubert in Vienna, who held regular meetings during the 1820s. Liederkreis activities were varied, recreational as well as creative. They included singing simple group songs, playing charades and other games with songs, and listening to song performances staged with costumes, ‘attitudes’ or elaborate ‘living pictures’. To supply the demand parody texts were often set to song melodies from, for example, Das Mildheimische Liederbuch (ed. R.Z. Becker, 1799, 4/1810); either the melodies were rearranged or the verse newly set. Collections that reflected the work of a Liederkreis were titled accordingly, like J.H.C. Bornhardt’s ...