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Jürgen Maehder

revised by Antonio Rostagno

(b Turin, Sept 18, 1860; d Viareggio, Aug 4, 1942). Italian composer. He studied first with his mother, who may have been a pupil of Chopin, and then with Fortunato Magi in Venice. His first works date from this period, and were published under the pseudonym ‘Tito’. He completed his studies in Munich with Rheinberger (1881–4), and in Dresden with Draeseke and Kretschmer (1884–5). His family’s enormous wealth (his father was an important Jewish banker and his mother a Rothschild) meant that he could devote himself entirely to music, and could ensure his works were performed in the best possible circumstances. On several occasions his father, Raimondo, personally financed the premières of his son’s compositions. His first international success was with his E minor symphony, first performed in Dresden in 1884. Together with works by Sgambati and Martucci, this symphony is one of the first pieces of the so-called Italian ‘symphonic renaissance’. The only official position Franchetti held in musical life was that of director of the Florence Conservatory (...


Buxton Orr

(b London, Jan 31, 1906; d London, Feb 12, 1973). English composer. The son of a synagogue beadle, he learnt the piano and the violin in his youth and taught himself the musical literature by avid reading of everything held by the Hammersmith Public Library. He was for a short time apprenticed to the watchmaking trade, and managed during 1922 to spend six months in Germany as a piano student of Victor Benham, contemporary and friend of Moriz Rosenthal. Returning to London he was a jazz violinist in night clubs while studying piano and composition under Orlando Morgan at the Guildhall School of Music where he was awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians' Scholarship. From 1931 he was much in demand as an orchestrator and conductor of West End musical comedies and revues. These included Noël Coward's Operette, Beverley Nichols's Floodlight and many C.B. Cochran shows. In 1934...


William Y. Elias

(b New York, April 1, 1930; d Seattle, Jan 30, 2003). Israeli composer of American birth. She studied at the Eastman School, Rochester (BMus 1952), and at the Manhattan School, New York (MMus 1961), where her teachers included Wayne Barlow, Vittorio Giannini, Ralph Shapey, Stefan Wolpe and, for short courses, Vladimir Ussachevsky and Roman Haubenstock-Ramati. From 1962 to 1971 she directed the concert series ‘New Dimensions in Music’ in Seattle, and she also lectured there, at the new School of Music, on contemporary music. In 1971 she moved to Israel, where she continued her concert-giving activities at the Israel Broadcasting Authority and through her series ‘New Dimensions in Music’ and ‘Israeli Composers Plus One’. In these she programmed specially written music sometimes involving audience participation, a technique that influenced her own compositional style. Several of her works incorporate staging, acting and improvisation, such as her ‘mini comic monodrama’ ...


Ruth C. Friedberg

(b Brest-Litovsk [now Brest], March 26, 1900; d New York, Nov 10, 1960). American composer of Belarusian birth. Taken to Philadelphia at the age of three, he graduated in music from the University of Pennsylvania (1918); among his early teachers were Bloch and Josef Hoffman. He taught at the Curtis Institute (1924–5), then went to Europe to continue his composition studies with d'Indy and Vierne. Returning to the USA in 1933, he became active in promoting new music (both secular and for the Jewish liturgy) and founded the first American Composers' Laboratory (Philadelphia, 1934). He taught at Temple University (1937–46) and was chairman of composition at the Hartt School of Music (1944–60). In 1943 he received the Society for the Publication of American Music award. Freed's music is pandiatonic and neo-classical; his most important contribution was as a composer of Jewish sacred music. He was the author of ...


Nelli Grigor′yevna Shakhnazarova

(b Petrograd, 9/Sept 22, 1915; d September 22, 2012). Russian composer. He came from an intellectual Jewish background: his father was a music journalist and the founder and editor of the journal Teatr and his mother, a pianist who graduated from the St Petersburg Conservatory, was Frid’s first teacher. In 1932 Frid enrolled at the music college attached to the Moscow Conservatory and studied there with Litinsky, the composer, polyphonist and theoretician. In 1935 he became a student of the conservatory proper, from 1937 studying with Vissarion Shebalin (1937–9, 1945–8). He soon showed a talent for organization: on his initiative a circle was set up where student pianists such as Svyatoslav Richter and Anatoly Vedyornikov performed works, largely unknown to Soviet musicians, by Mahler, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Krenek, Richard Strauss and other contemporary composers. During these years he travelled with his fellow student and musicologist Isaak Shteynman to the Arctic where he recorded songs of the Nentsy people of the Yamal region....


Efrim Fruchtman

revised by Valerie Walden

(b Neuberg, Feb 15, 1768; d Berlin, c1857). German cellist, baryton player and composer. A member of a musical family, he received his general musical education from Hofmusikus Simon. His first position was as a court musician in Mannheim, where he studied the cello with Peter Ritter. Friedl was equally respected as a baryton player, and following a performance at Schwetzingen was given by Prince Carl Theodore of Mannheim an inlaid and bejewelled instrument made by Joachim Tielke. In 1793, on returning from a concert tour in the Netherlands, he performed at Frankfurt for an audience which included Friedrich Wilhelm II, who then engaged him for the Royal Chapel in Berlin. He subsequently studied the cello with Jean-Louis Duport, to whom he dedicated his three cello sonatas op.1 (Offenbach, 1798). Friedl was pensioned in 1826; his name appeared in the Berlin Address Calendar until 1857.

Very little is known of Friedl's compositions. Eitner's ...


Birgitta Maria Schmid

(b Hamburg, Dec 30, 1888; d Detmold, Jan 22, 1986). German pianist and composer. She studied in Berlin, first at the Hochschule für Musik (1902–5), then at the Sternsches Konservatorium (1905–8) with James Kwast (piano) and Pfitzner (composition); from 1911 she studied at the Rheinische Musikschule in Cologne with Carl Friedberg (piano) and Fritz Steinbach (composition). As a pianist she promoted contemporary music from an early age and at 18 played Reger’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Bach, one of the first to do so. As a soloist with orchestra she performed with Nikisch, Abendroth, Furtwängler and Schoenberg. From 1933, during the Third Reich, she had to curtail her concert-giving because her husband was Jewish according to Nazi laws. From 1946 to 1959 she taught the piano at the Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg, and was professor there from 1957. In 1961...


[Gluchowicz, Rachel S.]

(b Stockholm, Feb 7, 1949). Israeli composer of Swedish birth. After graduating from Uppsala University (BA 1974) she moved to Israel and studied composition with Leon Schidlowsky at the Rubin Academy at Tel-Aviv University (BM 1984, MM 1988). She represented Israel at the UNESCO Rostrum in Paris in 1990 with Islossning (1984), and was awarded the Prime Minister's Prize for Composers in 1993. Her Cycles (1986) displays the influence of Lutosławski and Ligeti, while that of Mahler and Paul Ben-Haim is evident in Symphony no.1 (1996). Both works were performed by the Israel PO in 1996. One of the foremost Israeli women composers, Galinne devotes her time solely to composition. In Uneginotai Nenagen (1993), based on a motif from Mordecai Seter's Midnight Vigil, she depicts the spiritual elevation expressed in the text by means of a process evolving gradually from an atonal, densely contrapuntal texture to pure tonality. She invokes a eclectic range of stylistic tendencies through smooth synthesis rather than confrontational juxtaposition....


Claudio Casini

(b Milan, May 3, 1910). Italian conductor and composer. He studied first with his father Arnaldo Galliera (1871–1934), a composer and teacher of organ composition at the Parma Conservatory, and then at the Milan Conservatory, where he graduated in the piano, the organ and composition; in 1932 he obtained a lectureship there in the organ and organ composition. He made his conducting début at Rome in 1941 with the orchestra of the Accademia di S Cecilia. After a period in Switzerland during World War II he resumed his career in 1945 with a concert at the Lucerne Festival. He subsequently pursued his career mainly in other countries, with tours in Europe, Israel, North and South America, South Africa and Australia. From 1957 to 1960 he was resident conductor at the Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa, and from 1964 to 1972 was artistic director and resident conductor of the Strasbourg municipal orchestra. He made several recordings with the Philharmonia Orchestra including ...


Winton Dean

(b London, Sept 7, 1731; d London, Feb 9, 1765). Soprano and composer of Italian descent. She was a daughter of Charles Gambarini, counsellor to the Landgrave of Hessen-Kassel. She took the second soprano part at the first performance of Handel’s Occasional Oratorio in 1746, and in the Covent Garden revival a year later assumed most of Duparc’s role as well. She created the Israelite Woman in Judas Maccabaeus in 1747, and probably sang Asenath in Joseph and his Brethren the same year. Her name appears in the performing scores of Samson and Messiah, but it is not certain when she sang in these works. Her voice seems to have been a mezzo with a regular compass of d′ to g″, extended occasionally down to b and up to a″. About 1748–50 she published some harpsichord pieces and songs in Italian and English, including a setting of ‘Honour, riches, marriage-blessing’ from ...


Yohanan Boehm

revised by Nathan Mishori

(b Warsaw, July 11, 1913; d Tel-Aviv, Dec 23, 1985). Israeli composer and conductor of Polish origin. He graduated with honours in the violin (1935) and conducting (1936) at the Warsaw State Conservatory. Conducting studies continued at the Accademia S Cecilia (with Molinari) and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena (with Casella); later in Switzerland he studied conducting with Scherchen and composition with Burkhard. Gelbrun played the violin and the viola with the Warsaw PO (1935–7), for Radio Lausanne (1941–4) and with the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra (1944–8). After emigrating to Israel in 1949 he devoted his time to conducting and composition. He was permanent guest conductor with the Israel RSO (1949–53), chief conductor of the Israel Youth Orchestra (1950–56) and chief conductor of the Inter-Kibbutz SO (1950–55); he was then made professor of composition and conducting at the Academy of Music of the University of Tel-Aviv....


Gerald Bordman

revised by Thomas S. Hischak

[Gershvin, Israel]

(b New York, Dec 6, 1896; d Beverly Hills, CA, Aug 17, 1983). American lyricist. He submitted light verse to newspapers and periodicals as a student and while working at various jobs before joining his brother George Gershwin to write songs. Their first song to receive a public hearing was The Real American Folk Song, a salute to ragtime, which was introduced by Nora Bayes in Ladies First (1918). Although Gershwin collaborated with other composers (at first under the pseudonym Arthur Francis to avoid being judged by George’s reputation), his close partnership with his brother extended from 1924, when they wrote their first musical comedy, Lady be Good!, until George’s death in 1937. In addition to more than a dozen Broadway shows, including the first musical comedy to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for drama, Of Thee I Sing (1931), they also contributed songs to a number of films. After George’s death Ira worked with a succession of composers, including Weill (...


(fl 1539–47). South Netherlandish composer. The only biographical information about him comes from the account books of the Confraternity of Our Lady in 's-Hertogenbosch. He emigrated from Bruges in 1539, having been engaged by the brotherhood in September, and began his official duties as choirmaster on 31 December. He held the post until ...


Michael Dubiaga Jr


(b Verona, Dec 30, 1741; d Verona, Jan 4, 1809). Italian composer and singer. He entered the choir school at Verona Cathedral in March 1755 where, in addition to the academic curriculum, he studied plainsong and counterpoint under the maestro di cappella Daniel dal Barba. After his ordination he joined the chapter choir as cappellano and from 1775 was a bass in the cathedral choir. In addition to clerical duties at a local church, he probably served as apprentice to Dal Barba. In December 1779 Giacometti assumed full teaching responsibilities at the choir school and was accorded rights of succession to the cathedral position on Dal Barba’s death. From 1789 he was the leading composer at the cathedral, where he continued in service until the end of his life.

Of special interest among Giacometti’s compositions are an expressive Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel and the virtuoso lectiones for Holy Week in which simple recitative sections alternate with florid solo passages. A small instrumental complement of two violas and violone is often used in his choral music; full orchestral ensembles were used only in pontifical celebrations. A facile declamatory style with little melodic inventiveness prevails in many works, especially his responsories, but occasionally contrasts of key and metre create striking effects. Giacometti’s compositions retained popularity into the 19th century; in Spagnolo’s opinion he ‘was justly considered the most skilful composer of his time’....


Linda Ardito

(b Greeley, CO, Oct 23, 1906; d New York, June 18, 1996). American composer. Early in life, she studied the piano with Hans Barth, Felix Fox and her uncle Henry Gideon, an organist and choral director. She later received degrees from Boston University (BA 1926), Columbia University (MA 1946) and the Jewish Theological Seminary (DSM 1970) and studied composition privately with Saminsky (1931–4) and Sessions (1935–43). She taught at Brooklyn College (1944–54) and City College, CUNY (1947–55, 1971–6), the Jewish Theological Seminary (1955–91) and the Manhattan School of Music (1967–91). Her honours included awards and commissions from the Ernest Bloch Society, the Ford and Rockefeller foundations and the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation, among others. In 1975 she was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Gideon did not rely on a preconceived compositional system but let each work suggest its own style and form; her musical language can be described as freely atonal. Its prevailing lyricism at times is contrasted by a pointed and dramatic intensity: textures are ‘characterized by lightness, the sudden exposure of individual notes, constantly shifting octave relationships [and] a technique that imposes economy and the exclusion of irrelevancies’ (Perle). Fascinated by the idea of setting a poem in more than one language, she often used both the original language and a translation within a single composition. In ...


Ury Eppstein

(b Košice, May 2, 1920; d Tel Aviv, May 9, 2007). Israeli composer of Czech birth. At first educated in Vienna, he emigrated to Israel in 1938 studying architecture at the Haifa Technological Institute and music at the Jerusalem Music Academy and Teachers Seminary, from which he graduated in 1947. His composition teachers were Tal and Ben-Haim. Before 1957 Gilboa’s music was tonal, showing the Middle Eastern influence typical of the Israeli ‘Mediterranean’ style. After attending the Cologne new music courses given by Stockhausen and Pousseur in 1963, his work changed radically to include clusters, quarter-tones, electronics and unconventional instrumental combinations, generally deployed in miniature forms. Among many awards he won the Israel Composers and Authors Association Prize on four occasions and the Prime Minister’s Award in 1983; he also represented Israel at the ISCM festival four times (1969, 1973, 1978, 1989). In 1973 he contributed an untitled article, and one on the ...


Eliyahu Schleifer

(b Kiev, June 1, 1898; d Tel-Aviv, Jan 27, 1964). Israeli cantor and composer of Ukrainian birth. Born into a family of cantors (both of his grandfathers were cantors, as was his father), he made his cantorial début in Kiev at the age of eight. At the age of 14 he became the choir director at his father's synagogue, where he helped to introduce the 19th-century polyphonic repertory. He studied the piano and theory at the Totovsky Conservatory and later counterpoint and composition with Glière. In 1920 he moved to Chişinău, now in Moldova, where he served as cantor and continued his studies with Abraham Berkowitsch (known as Kalechnik), an authority on cantorial recitatives. After emigrating to the USA in 1926 he served as cantor for congregations in New York and Los Angeles. His extensive recordings with Asch and RCA Victor made him famous in Ashkenazi Jewish communities. In ...


Otfried Richter

(b Cologne, April 14, 1913; d Västerås, Sweden, March 29, 2006). Swedish composer of German descent. His mother Julie, née Wolff, was a concert pianist and a pupil of Clara Schumann. Glaser attended the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne from the age of 12, studying the piano with Dahm, conducting with Ehrenberg, and composition with Jarnach (1929–30). He later studied composition with Hindemith in Berlin. From 1931 to 1932 he was Kapellmeister of the opera in Chemnitz, but, dismissed from this post because of his Jewish ancestry, he became a choirmaster in Cologne. In 1933 he fled from the Nazis to Paris, but soon moved to Denmark, where in 1939, with Irène Skovgaard, he founded a school of music in Lyngby. In 1943 he was forced to flee again, and went to Sweden where he became music critic for the newspaper Västmanlands Lans Tidning in 1944...


Robin Elliott

(b Toronto, Sept 8, 1934; d Toronto, April 17, 2002). Canadian composer. He studied music at the University of Toronto and in Paris. The cantorial music performed by his father David, who emigrated to Canada from Russia in 1924, was also a strong influence. From 1962 to 1986 Glick worked in Toronto as a music producer for the CBC. In 1969 he became the choir director (and in 1978 also the composer-in-residence) at Beth Tikvah Synagogue (Toronto). He wrote nearly 200 pieces of liturgical music and received three awards for his contributions to Jewish music. In his earliest concert works, such as Suite Hébraïque no.1 (1961) and … i never saw another butterfly … (1968) (a song cycle to poems by children from the Terezín concentration camp), Glick achieves great expressive power and emotional depth through economical means: the use of a major scale with a raised fifth degree, for instance, or the spare but well-calculated use of dissonant tone clusters. In his later work Glick wrote in an openly tonal Romantic idiom, earning much recognition for his large-scale choral works and chamber music. (...


Rachel Beckles Willson

(b Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, April 17, 1952). German composer. He spent his childhood in Landau in der Pfalz and in 1972 moved to Frankfurt, where he completed a degree in sociology in 1975. In 1976 he co-founded the Sogenannten Linksradikalen Blasorchesters, which existed until 1981, and the experimental Duo Heiner Goebbels/Alfred Harth, in which he performed until 1988. From 1978 to 1980 he was the musical director of the Frankfurt Schauspiel, and in 1982 he founded the experimental rock group Cassiber.

Goebbels's compositions reflect his interests in theatre, noise, jazz, rock and critical views of the concert hall. His works have been much influenced by film, montage being a favourite technique; in Surrogate Cities, for example, a recording of Jewish chant is superimposed on the symphony orchestra. The ballet Red Run, which includes sections of improvised material and choreography for the musicians, was the first of several compositions on which Goebbels collaborated with the Ensemble Modern. He has also directed his own theatre and radio plays, frequently setting texts by Heiner Müller. He won the Prix Italia for the third time in ...