(b Moscow, 13/May 25, 1888; d Moscow, April 16, 1982). Russian composer. He studied with Taneyev and Vasilenko (composition) and Igumnov (piano) at the Moscow Conservatory (1910–16), where from 1923 until 1964 he was a composition professor. He was awarded the title People’s Artist of the USSR. In general his music is characterized by emotional depth and colourfulness, and by its close links with 19th-century Russian traditions. He composed in most genres, but the works for piano are among his best compositions. At first his piano style was influenced by Skryabin, Medtner and Rachmaninoff; later he developed an individual manner marked by colour and rich inventiveness. There is a particular delicacy and refinement in his songs, many of which have entered the Russian repertory. His six operas, which span his creative career, are lyrical, melodic and expressively direct with flexible and varied vocal parts. These works incorporate folk melodies and employ leitmotif technique. Among his numerous incidental scores, that for Paustovsky’s film ...
(b Bologoye, 22 July/Aug 4, 1905; d Moscow, June 17, 1994). Russian composer and conductor, son of Aleksandr Vasil′yevich Aleksandrov. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Glier, graduating in 1929, and worked as a music director in Moscow clubs (1923–9), music director of the Red Army Theatre (1930–37), lecturer at the Moscow Conservatory (1933–41) and leader of the Soviet Radio Song Ensemble (1942–7). From 1937 to 1946 he was deputy director of the Aleksandrov Red Army Song and Dance Ensemble, which was founded by his father and, after the latter's death, came under his direction. He received the State Prize (1950) and the title People's Artist of the USSR (1958). In Dva p′yesï (‘Two Pieces’) op.1 (1928) for piano he developed a compositional system synthesizing the principle of the 12-note series (with inversions and permutations) with a harmonic set technique and mirror symmetry. Later works, such as the well-known musical comedy ...
(b Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula, May 22, 1910; d Tirana, Albania, Oct 6, 1985). Albanian pianist, arranger, pedagogue, and composer. Born in an Albanian-speaking enclave in Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula, she received early training in ballet and piano while growing up in a middle-class merchant family. After relocating to Korça, Albania in 1932, Gjoka became the primary accompanist for the local salon culture, which included the art-song singers Kristaq Antoniu, Mihal Ciko, Tefta Tashko-Koço, and Maria Kraja. She received a degree in piano performance from the Athens Conservatory in 1936. Following World War II, she taught at Tirana’s ‘Jordan Misja’ Arts Lyceum from its founding in 1946, and at the State Conservatory from 1962. In addition to training a generation of Albanian pianists, Gjoka was a tireless promoter of folk songs. During the socialist period, she was among the first women to collect folk songs, which she often arranged as elegant art songs for voice and piano. She also held an appointment at the Theater of Opera and Ballet in Tirana between ...
revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu
(b Bucharest, 2/Aug 14, 1893; d Bucharest, Feb 18, 1959). Romanian composer, pianist, conductor, teacher, music critic, and director of music programmes. A leading figure of the first half of the 20th century, he laid the foundation of the Romanian school in music, concert life, and musical journalism. He studied with A. Castaldi, D. Dinicu, D.G. Kiriac, and E. Saegiu at the Bucharest Conservatory (1903–11), completing his education with two periods of study in Paris (1913–14, 1923–4), where he studied with d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum and with Paul Vidal at the Conservatoire. A remarkable accompanist, he worked with Enescu, Thibaud, Mainardi, Moodie, and others during the period 1919–45. As a conductor he always achieved a soberly balanced performance; he conducted more than 1500 performances at the Romanian Opera in Bucharest (1921–59), where he specialized in the French repertory (Bizet, Massenet, and Gounod). In his capacities as conductor of the Romanian Philharmonic Society, and as conductor and artistic manager of the Romanian RSO, he did much to encourage Romanian composers. He was also active as a music critic for Romanian and French reviews. Much of his compositional work was done during his youth, including ...
(b Atlanta, GA, April 22, 1904; d Atlanta, GA, Nov 17, 1986). American ballet dancer, choreographer, teacher, and company director. Having suffered osteomylitis in early childhood, she was given ballet lessons to restore her strength. They not only did that but set her on course for her life’s work. Dismayed by the lack of training and performing opportunities for ballet dancers in Atlanta, she vowed to create them if she could. After continued study with teachers in Atlanta and New York, she opened her own studio in Atlanta in 1921 and originated a dance enrichment program in Atlanta public schools in 1927. Two years later she founded the Dorothy Alexander Dance Concert Group and began to present public programs with her pupils. This group eventually became the Atlanta Ballet, the nation’s oldest regional company. From its inception until the mid-1950s, “Miss Dorothy” created some eighty ballets for the company, including lyrical works for adult audiences as well as story ballets for children. Although she usually worked to the music of popular European composers, she sometimes commissioned works from local composers. Notable are ...
(b Berlin, Aug 9, 1915). Israeli composer of German birth. His studies at the Stern Conservatory were halted in 1936 as a result of the Nazi persecution, and in the same year he emigrated to Palestine. There he studied composition with Wolpe and the piano with Irma Wolpe-Schoenberg and Ilona Vince-Kraus. As a student he made his living as a café jazz pianist in Jersualem and established himself as an excellent improviser. From 1945 until his retirement he was a professor at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem. A highly versatile musician, he taught the piano, the harpsichord, theory, composition and improvisation. He also lectured in the musicology departments of Tel-Aviv University, the Hebrew University, the Institut Jaques-Dalcroze, Geneva, and New York University.
One of the diverse group of composers who emigrated from Europe to Palestine during the 1930s, Alexander experienced the tension between the ideological pressure to create a new national style with a nebulous Middle Eastern and folklike orientation, and the urge to keep abreast of current Western music. This tension is reflected in the contrast between the post-Romantic chromaticism of ...
Dorothy C. Pratt
(b Constantinople, 1881; d Chamonix, July 27, 1954). Armenian cellist. He studied with Grützmacher and while a student played chamber music with Brahms and Joachim. At the age of 17 he appeared as the soloist in Strauss's Don Quixote with the composer conducting and scored a triumph; he was then invited to play concertos with Nikisch and Mahler. In 1901 he settled in Paris, where Casals saw some of his fingerings and recognized that Alexanian shared his own, then revolutionary, ideas on technique and interpretation. Many years' collaboration followed, leading to the publication in 1922 of their joint treatise Traité théorique et pratique du violoncelle and in 1929 of Alexanian's analytical edition of the solo cello suites of Bach. Alexanian was professor of the Casals class at the Ecole Normale de Musique from 1921 to 1937, when he left for the USA. His classes in Paris, Baltimore and New York attracted artists and students from all over the world, and his influence extended far beyond his own pupils (among them Maurice Eisenberg and Antonio Janigro) to such cellists as Feuermann, Cassadó, Piatigorsky and Fournier. He was also a conductor of distinction....
John C.G. Waterhouse, Virgilio Bernardoni and Johannes Streicher
(b Posillipo, Naples, March 8, 1875; d San Remo, Oct 27, 1954). Italian composer. After studying the piano privately with Alessandro Longo, and harmony and composition with Camillo de Nardis and Serrao at the Conservatorio di S Pietro a Majella, Naples, he moved in 1895 to Leipzig, where he completed his composition studies with Jadassohn. In 1896 he went to Berlin and launched himself as a pianist, though he did not continue this activity systematically for long: in later life he appeared in public only as a song accompanist and chamber music player, mainly in his own works. From 1899 until about 1905 he was based in Paris, but travelled as far afield as Russia. He then settled in Milan, moving in 1914 to San Remo, which remained at least his summer home for the rest of his life. From 1916 he taught composition at the Liceo Musicale, Bologna, which he directed from ...
(b Peja, Kosovo, Nov 19, 1982). Kosovar Albanian composer. In 2001 he finished at the Prenke Jakova music high school in Prishtina and then continued studies in the Academy of Music, branch of General Musical Pedagogy, in the University of Pristina, Kosovo. He completed his pedagogical studies in 2005 and his compositional studies in 2009. He finished his postgraduate studies in music theory and pedagogy in 2010, and in composition in 2011.
Since 2010 he has worked as a regular assistant in the Faculty of Musical Art, Prishtina, in harmony and orchestration. His works have been performed by renowned local and international instrumentalists. Of special significance are his orchestral works which have been awarded many prizes.
He is a regular member of the composers’ society in Kosovo. His works have been performed abroad by groups such as the Fegus String Quartet from Slovenia. He participated in the Fellonica festival and Concerti d’Altamaraca festival in Italy in ...
(b Palma de Mallorca, Aug 24, 1931; d Madrid, October 29, 2006). Spanish composer. He began his musical studies at the Barcelona Conservatory with Gabriel Gálvez, Luis Millet, Juan Pich Santasusana, Joan Gibert Camins, Joaquín Zamocois and Eduardo Toldrá, and later removed to Geneva to broaden his training. His tireless professional work extended beyond composition to directing various musical and ballet groups, orchestration, performing as a pianist, music criticism on radio and television, and teaching. He taught composition and fugue at the Seville Conservatory until 1971, then composition at the Madrid Conservatory until his retirement in 1997.
Alís’s works number about 200 and comprise a wide variety of genres. Many of them were commissioned by various official organizations. Among them are the orchestral Sinfonietta, Música para un festival en Sevilla, Homenatge a Antoni Gaudí, Seis remembranzas a Eduardo Toldrá and Rêverie, all of which bear witness to his mastery of orchestration, tone-colour and intensity. Equally well known are his pieces for piano, his choral pieces and his string quartets. In addition to his serious music, he composed, orchestrated and conducted commercial and incidental music for publishing houses, CDs, theatre, radio, television and the cinema. A member of various juries of international competitions, he was made Commander of the Imperial Hispanic Order of Carlos V and received numerous honours and prizes....
(b Tehran, 1951). Iranian tār and setār player, teacher and composer. He studied at the National Music Conservatory in Tehran from the age of 13 and then at the University of Tehran from 1970 to 1974; his teachers included Habibollah Salehi, Ali Akbar Shahnazi, Nur Ali Borumand, Abdollah Davami, Mahmud Karimi, Yusef Forutan, Said Hormozi, Dariush Safvate and Hooshang Zarif. From 1971 Alizadeh studied and taught at the influential Centre for the Preservation and Propagation of Iranian Music in Tehran; he later taught music theory and tār at the University of Tehran. In 1976 he began his association with Iranian National Radio and Television, working as a soloist, a composer and a conductor. He co-founded the Chavosh Cultural Artistic Centre in 1977 and the Aref Ensemble in 1983; he also worked with the Sheyda Ensemble. In the early 1980s he studied musicology and composition at the University of Berlin. In ...
(b Sin-le-Noble, Nord, May 25, 1923). French bassoonist and teacher. A precocious talent, he won a premier prix at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 17. He won a first prize at the Geneva International Competition in 1949 and was appointed to the Paris Opéra the same year. In ...
revised by George Biddlecombe
(b Cork, 1809; d London, Nov 27, 1876). Irish tenor and composer. He was educated at the RAM in London and first attracted public attention by his performance, on 5 February 1842, as Damon in the stage production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea under Macready at Drury Lane. On 3 February 1846 he created the role of Basilius in Macfarren’s Don Quixote at Drury Lane. Chorley considered him ‘as a singer and actor … altogether the most complete artist on our operatic stage’. But his small voice was better suited to the Princess’s Theatre, where he sang from 1843 to 1850. In general he was overshadowed by William Harrison and Sims Reeves, both of whom specialized in singing ballads. Allen retired as a performer about 1856 and turned to teaching and the composition of ballads, of which The Maid of Athens and When we two parted achieved some popularity....
Suzanne L. Moulton-Gertig
(b Mineola, NY, July 11, 1954). American harpist and pedagogue. She studied early with Marion Bannerman, Pearl Chertok, and Mario di Steffano, and in Paris with Lily Laskine in summer 1972. She received degrees from the Juilliard School (BM, MM), working with Marcel Grandjany, Jane Weidensaul, and Susann McDonald. She won first prize at the Fifth International Harp Competition in Israel (1973). Allen made her New York Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 1975 and became head of the harp department at the Juilliard School in 1985. In 1999, she became principal harpist of the New York Philharmonic. She is also on the faculty of the Aspen Music School. She has performed solo concerts for more than 30 years throughout the world and has been the recipient of the National Endowment Solo Recitalist Grant and sponsorship by the Pro Musicis foundation. Allen appears regularly with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and has appeared as soloist with numerous ensembles including the English Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Mostly Mozart Festival. She received a Grammy nomination in ...
revised by Karen M. Bryan
(b Kirksville, MO, March 10, 1921; d Bloomington, IN, Dec 31, 2003). American opera director and teacher. He pursued graduate study at Indiana University, where he staged the choral episodes of Britten’s Billy Budd for the first American production (1952). While a member of the Indiana University faculty (1953–88), he directed more than 130 works, including the first presentation outside New York of Bernstein’s Candide (1958), American premieres of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Christmas Eve (1977) and Martinů’s The Greek Passion (1981 at the Metropolitan Opera House), and world premieres of John Eaton’s Myshkin (1973) and (for children) The Lion and Androcles (1974). He was a guest director for the Houston Opera, Kansas City Lyric Opera, Cincinnati Summer Opera, Detroit Opera, and New York Pro Musica. He was also involved in modern recreations of liturgical drama and Renaissance entertainments. In ...
Renee Lapp Norris
(b Northborough, MA, Sept 5, 1830; d Madison, WI, Dec 9, 1889). American classical scholar, teacher, editor, and writer. Allen is best known musically as an editor of Slave Songs of the United States (New York, 1867), also edited by Charles Pickard Ware and Lucy McKim Garrison, who were white collectors of black music.
Allen graduated from Harvard in 1851, subsequently studied in Europe, and returned to the United States in 1856. In 1863 he began an eight-month stint as a teacher on St Helena Island in South Carolina, home to former slaves who remained after plantation owners left in 1861. Here, Allen gained first-hand experience of slave singing that contributed to the detailed explanations of his 36-page prologue to Slave Songs. In 1867 Allen was appointed chair of ancient languages at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he remained until his death.
Allen’s interest in philology is evident in the many pages of the prologue to ...
(b Santiago, June 29, 1885; d Santiago, Aug 17, 1959). Chilean composer and ethnomusicologist. He studied the violin, music theory and composition at the Santiago Conservatorio National de Música (1899–1908). The Chilean government then sent him to France and Spain for further study (1910–11). On returning to Chile he was elected to the Folklore Society and worked for the Ministry of Education in improving the teaching of music in the state schools (1924–8). He travelled again to Europe in 1922 and was one of the founders of the International Academy of Fine Arts in Paris (1923). In 1928 he was appointed professor of composition at the Conservatorio National, which had recently become part of the arts faculty of the University of Chile. There, until his retirement in 1946, he taught many Chilean composers who later came to international prominence. On another visit to Europe, also in ...
Carolyn Gianturco and Teresa M. Gialdroni
(b Mosso Santa Maria, nr Biella, Jan 31, 1921). Italian musicologist. He took diplomas in piano at the Parma Conservatory (1942) and in choral music at the Turin Conservatory (1948), and studied music history with Della Corte at Turin University, where he took an arts degree (1946). He subsequently taught music history in the conservatories of Bolzano (1950–51), Parma (1951–5) and Milan (1954–88); he has edited the journals Almanacco musicale italiano (1954–5), Ricordiana (1955–7) and Musica d’oggi (1958–63) and has been vice-director of Enciclopedia della musica Ricordi (1960–64). He has been a consulting editor for Ricordi since 1964. Music education is one of his major interests: he became director of the series Manuali di Didattica Musicale and Canti nel Mondo (Ricordi) in 1965, and editor of Educazione musicale...
(b Astigarraga, Guipúzcoa, 1893; d Seville, Dec 7, 1970). Spanish composer and organist. He studied with Donostia and others in San Sebastián, with Otaño at the Comillas Seminary, and in Paris with Eugène Cools. In 1919 he was appointed maestro de capilla at Orense Cathedral and then organist at Seville Cathedral, where he became ...
(b Lisbon, May 21, 1940). Portuguese composer and conductor. He began his music studies with Marina Dwander, Artur Santos and Joly Braga Santos. In 1959 he completed his higher degree in piano studies with Campos Coelho at the National Conservatory, Lisbon. In 1960 he was awarded a grant from the Instituto de Alta Cultura to study piano with Schiske at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik. While there he also studied with Wladyslaw Kedra and Dieter Weber. He also studied composition with Cerha on a grant from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. He was the cultural attaché in Vienna (1974–81) and founded the Almeida-Pluhar-Marinoff Trio in 1983. He lectured both at the University of Oporto and at the House Museum of A’lvaro de Campos.
Almeida is a versatile artist whose activities range from improvisation to television scores, film-making, fiction and essay-writing. He has a wide public following within Portugal and distances himself from the institutional circles of Portuguese composition. His extensive output is somewhat uneven. Although the dominant idiom in his compositions is a wide tonality, with visible influence from Stravinsky, Hindemith, Eisler and Prokofiev, he often uses more modern means such as electro-acoustics....