(b St Petersburg, 25 Nov/Dec 7, 1868; d Leningrad, June 26, 1936). Russian music critic, pianist and translator. He studied law at St Petersburg University, graduating in 1894, and worked as a foreign correspondent for the Ministry of Finance. In 1895 he took Ye. Raphof's courses in music and drama, and continued his musical education at the St Petersburg Conservatory until 1900, studying with Herman Laroche. From 1903 he wrote music criticism for a number of newspapers, including Novaya Rus′, of which he was head of the music section from 1904 to 1910. He reflected the rich musical life of St Petersburg in his writings, and covered the repertory of the Mariinsky and Conservatory theatres, including Chaliapin's appearance in Gounod's Faust, the Ziloti Concerts, Koussevitzky's Tchaikovsky cycle, Nikisch's Beethoven cycle and the visits to the city of Busoni, Debussy and Landowska. His prolific career as a critic continued until ...
Larisa Georgievna Danko
(b Paris, April 19, 1928; d London, Jan 1, 1984). British guitarist, bandleader, journalist and broadcaster. In the late 1940s and 50s he played traditional jazz and skiffle, but his musical sympathies lay with the country blues of artists such as Leadbelly, Robert Johnson and Big Bill Broonzy. He befriended the jazz musician Chris Barber, who had similar musical interests and had brought several blues artists over to England; Korner met many of these artists and promoted them in articles for journals including Melody Maker and Jazz on Record, and from 1958 through broadcasts on the BBC. With Cyril Davies, he formed the first British blues club, the London Blues and Barrelhouse Club. He had played acoustic guitar in the armed forces in Germany (1947–9), but took up electric guitar only after hearing Muddy Waters in 1958. With Davies he formed the electric band Blues Incorporated (...
John H. Baron
(b ?Kiel, 1643; d Hamburg, May 20, 1721). German organist and writer, son of Jakob Kortkamp. He studied under Weckmann from 1655 until about 1661, and later in the 1660s he served for a short time as organist at the Jakobikirche, Hamburg, under Christoph Bernhard. His main posts – though they were not important ones – were as organist at two other Hamburg churches, the Maria-Magdalena Kloster (1669–1721) and St Gertrud (1676–1721). His only known composition is a jigg. He also arranged for organ a Magnificat secundi toni by Weckmann and wrote the alto and tenor parts of a cantata by Bernhard. His importance lies in his manuscript chronicle of north German music from 1291 to about 1718, written between 1702 and 1718 (it is now in D-Ha ). This gives invaluable accounts of north German organs and their sounds, as well as information about the lives and works of organists, clergy and Kantors, notably in the 16th and 17th centuries. The information he gave on the men whom he and his father knew personally, such as Hieronymus and Jacob Praetorius, Weckmann and Bernhard, is particularly important....
Judith E. Olson
(b Rastatt, April 25, 1850; d Baden-Baden, 1927). German composer, pianist and critic. She wrote her first pieces at 15 and made her piano début three years later with the Baden court orchestra. She performed her own compositions for Hans von Bülow, gaining his lifelong encouragement, and was briefly a pupil of Clara Schumann. She studied mainly, however, with Joseph Rheinberger, for which purpose the family moved to Munich in 1874. This was her most fruitful period as a composer and pianist and resulted in many of her best works, composition prizes, many favourable reviews of performances of her works, and meetings with Brahms, Liszt and Hanslick during extensive concert tours. Le Beau’s style, which changed little throughout her life, is characterized by strong, well-shaped themes and strict sonata structure, as well as some use of colourizing, non-functional chords and leitmotifs. Many development sections, however, consist of frequent repetitions of thematic material with little alteration. For this reason (as Hanslick noted) her choral works and smaller pieces with rigid strophic or dance structures are often more successful....
(b Rudersdorf, nr Berlin, Jan 30, 1844; d Jena, April 27, 1918). German critic, pianist and composer. Although he was best known as the owner and editor of the influential Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung (1882–1907), Lessmann had earlier studied the piano with Bülow and composition with Friedrich Kiel in Berlin. In 1866 he became a piano teacher at the Stern Conservatory and the following year joined the faculty of the Klavier-Schule Tausig, a position he held until Tausig's death in 1871. From 1872 he was head of the music department of the Kaiserin Augusta Stiftung, in Potsdam, and he also taught at the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory. The relationship with Bülow and Tausig was important in bringing him into personal contact with both Liszt and Wagner, and he became a staunch supporter of the New German School.
Lessmann was widely respected as a critic. His prose was judicious and tempered, and it was informed by many years of practical music-making. Generally speaking he championed the new and unusual in music. This made him the polar opposite of his older contemporary Eduard Hanslick, who was seen as representing the more conservative musicians of the time. Lessmann was a regular visitor to Bayreuth and gave generous coverage to the festivals of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein, of which Liszt was the lifetime president. Liszt thought well of him as a composer and transcribed his three ‘Tannhäuser’ songs for solo piano. He also wrote a monograph on Liszt (...
Patrick J. Smith
(b Los Gatos, CA, June 7, 1934; d New York, Dec 17, 1994). American music critic and pianist. He studied piano with Lev Shorr, Alexander Libermann and Rosina Lhévinne, attended San Francisco State College (BA 1956) and did graduate work in political science at the University of California, Berkeley (MA 1958); he then taught political science at Berkeley (1957–8). He was appointed to the faculty of the Aspen Music School in 1971 and to that of the Waterloo Music Festival, New Jersey, in 1976; he was named artistic director of the festival in 1985. He became music critic of Commentary in 1976, publisher of the New Criterion in 1982 and in the same year was appointed to the National Council on the Arts. He won the Deems Taylor Award in 1977 and 1980 for criticism and again in 1980 for his collection of essays ...
(b New York, NY, Aug 26, 1894; d Cleveland, OH, Jan 4, 1969). American pianist and writer on music, half-brother of frank Loesser . He studied at City College of New York, Columbia University, and the Institute of Musical Art, New York. He made his debut as a pianist in Berlin in 1913 and in New York in 1916, and thereafter toured the United States, Australia, and the Far East. Loesser joined the piano faculty of the Cleveland Institute in 1926; he was head of the piano department there from 1953 until his death. He also wrote program notes for the Cleveland Orchestra (1927–42) and was music critic of the Cleveland Press (1939–56). During World War II Loesser was an intelligence officer with the US Army; after the war he was posted to Japan, where he performed with the Japan SO (1946) and lectured (in Japanese). He was the author of ...
George J. Buelow
( b Schwäbisch Hall, Oct 16, 1689; d Schwäbisch Hall, May 22, 1768). German organist and writer on music . He began organ lessons at the age of nine with Baur, organist of St Katharina; after completing the curriculum of the local Gymnasium, he was a municipal clerk in neighbouring towns, returning later to his native city first as district clerk and then as city clerk, also becoming in 1724 Kantor and organist of St Katharina. Majer wrote two musical instruction manuals, Hodegus musicus (Schwäbisch Hall, 1718; lost) and the important Museum musicum theoretico practicum (Schwäbisch Hall, 1732/R, 2/1741; Majer’s annotated copy is in D-Sl ). It is the latter which establishes him among the significant writers on music in the late Baroque. The Museum musicum aims to give students self-instruction in the elementary concepts of musical notation (musica signatoria) and in the techniques of playing most instruments, including the recorder, chalumeau, flute, oboe, bassoon, cornett, flageolet, clarinet, clarino, horn, trombone, various keyboard instruments, lute, harp, timpani, violin and the viols. His explicit fingering and position charts for each of these instruments provides an unusually clear picture of German Baroque instrumental practice. A succinct introduction to the thoroughbass practice is also informative. Very little of Majer’s short work seems to be original. He said the thoroughbass material was taken from an anonymous work of ...
(b Braşov, Romania, April 20, 1947). Russian pianist, keyboard player, and journalist of Romanian birth. In Lithuania he studied accordion at Vilnius Music College (1961–5) and composition at the Lithuanian State Conservatory (1965–8). He first led quartets at the festivals in Tallinn (Estonian SSR [now Estonia]) in 1966 and 1967, and from 1969 to 1970 he led groups in Vilnius. In 1979 he began working with Vladimir Chekasin in settings ranging from a duo to a large orchestra. He performed at Soviet festivals in Riga and Krasnoyarsk, and internationally in Karlshamn (Sweden), Münster, Göttingen, and Munich (Germany), Lyons (France), Skopje (Yugoslavia), Salzburg (Austria), Venice and Rome (Italy), and Budapest, and played with such leading Lithuanian musicians as Petras Vyšniauskas, Vytautas Labutis, and the alto saxophonist Danielius Praspaliauskis. After studying journalism he published articles on Lithuanian jazz, and in 1989 he joined the staff of the new Russian magazine ...