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Hervé  

Andrew Lamb

[Ronger, Florimond]

(b Houdain, June 30, 1825; d Paris, Nov 3, 1892). French composer, singer and conductor. On his father's death in 1835, his mother took him to Paris. He found employment at the church of St Roch, where he learnt the rudiments of singing, organ and harmony; he then briefly studied harmony with Elwart at the Conservatoire and later composition with Auber. From 1839 to 1845 he was organist at the Bicêtre asylum and began a music class for the patients, writing songs, choruses and other entertainments for them. For eight years from 1845 he was organist at St Eustache.

For his theatrical career he took the name Hervé, gradually gaining recognition through his Don Quichotte et Sancho Pança (1848) and engagements at the Théâtre de l’Odéon and Théâtre du Palais-Royal, where he appeared as author, composer, conductor, actor, tenor buffo singer and producer, as required. His five-act ...

Article

Digby Fairweather

revised by Alyn Shipton

(b Great Lever, nr Bolton, July 2, 1892; d London, Jan 29, 1965). English bandleader, pianist and impresario. He worked as the director of a touring pantomime company (1909), as a cinema organist in London (1913) and as a freelance musician in various clubs. After military service he was appointed relief pianist for the dance band of the Queen’s Hall Roof; later he became this group’s arranger and director. Hylton made a number of recordings for HMV (from 1921), of which the early example Wang-Wang Blues (1921) is representative. He performed at various venues, including the Grafton Galleries, Piccadilly Hotel (1922–3), before enlarging his band to full orchestra size for a highly successful residency at the Alhambra Theatre (1924). In 1925 he set up a booking agency. During the late 1920s his orchestra became the English equivalent of Paul Whiteman’s show band and achieved huge commercial success. Between ...

Article

Romeo Ghircoiaşiu

(b ?1845; d Bucharest, Sept 28, 1902). Romanian composer and conductor. He studied in Galaţi with Alois Riedl and in Iaşi with Emil Lehr, and became director of the military bands of Galaţi and Bucharest. He composed fanfares, marches, waltzes and potpourris of folk melodies, and in 1889 was awarded a composition prize at the International Exhibition in Paris. His piano and vocal pieces became popular at the soirées of the day, and his fanfare Valurile Dunării (‘The Danube waves’), also arranged for piano, has become widely known.

Article

(b Webster Groves, MO, May 12, 1910; d Malibu, CA, April 24, 1984). American arranger, composer and conductor. He played the cinema organ and piano before joining a radio station in St Louis. In 1936 he began arranging for the Isham Jones dance orchestra and then composed and arranged for Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Lennie Hayton and André Kostelanetz. After a brief spell conducting on Broadway he moved to California (1936) to work for Paramount, and later became a musical director and performer for NBC’s Hollywood network (1938–44). He returned to New York in 1949. He is best known for his light orchestral music such as the mood suites Seven Dreams and Manhattan Tower, and conducted his own light orchestra from the mid-1940s to early 50s. He arranged for many popular singers, most notably for Frank Sinatra with the song It was a very good year...

Article

Philip L. Scowcroft

(b London, May 25, 1873; d Sutton, Surrey, March 22, 1963). English composer and conductor. The son of a bandsman in the Grenadier Guards, he became involved with dance bands after experience in the theatre. By 1900 he had formed his own band, touring the country and performing in great houses and hotels for receptions and garden parties. For these Joyce composed ‘medley’ waltzes on contemporary popular tunes, and subsequently original compositions. He aimed at a smoother, dreamier type of dance than the Viennese waltz, which was still in vogue: many of the titles of his waltzes include the word ‘dream’. Dreaming, which sold a milion copies in ten years, has been recorded some 40 times and became his most celebrated piece.

Other works have sentimental titles reflecting the gentle Edwardian style which he continued to exemplify until after World War II. His Caravan suite draws upon the colour of the East, whilst his ‘waltz-militaire’ ...

Article

Andrew Lamb

(Karl)

(b Oberdorf, nr Treffen, April 9, 1895; d Klagenfurt, Sept 2, 1955). Austrian composer, conductor and pianist. The son of a doctor, he was educated in Villach and then studied law at Graz University. After serving as an artillery officer during World War I he studied at the Vienna Music Academy under Joseph Marx, Ferdinand Löwe, Eusebius Mandyczewski and Clemens Krauss. In 1923 he became the conductor of the opera school there, and from 1928 to 1934 was the musical director at the Innsbruck music school. His early compositions were mostly orchestral and chamber works; from 1934 he lived in Germany and Switzerland, and after his marriage to the operetta singer Trude Kollin began composing operettas, through which he gained his widest fame. In 1939 he returned to Austria, devoting himself to composition and performing his music as conductor and pianist. His operettas are traditional in style, reflecting in their effective vocal writing and classical orchestral writing Kattnigg's thorough musical training. His other compositions include two symphonies, a piano concerto, chamber and vocal works....

Article

Andrew Lamb

(Albrecht Pál) [Keler, Adalbert Paul von]

(b Bártfa, Hungary [now Bardejov, Slovakia], Feb 13, 1820; d Wiesbaden, Nov 20, 1882). Hungarian conductor and composer. As a patriotic Hungarian he used the Hungarian form of his name with surname first. He was at first a law student and then for four years a farmer before he took up music seriously, teaching himself theory from the writings of Albrechtsberger. After a spell as theatre violinist in Eperjes (Prešov), he moved to Vienna in 1845, taking a place as first violin in the orchestra of the Theater an der Wien and studying further with Simon Sechter. In 1854 he took over Gungl's orchestra in Berlin for a time and in 1855 that of August Lanner in Vienna on the latter's death; in 1856 he became bandmaster of the 10th Austrian Infantry Regiment. In 1860 he started an orchestra in Budapest, but this failed and from 1863 to 1870...

Article

Philip L. Scowcroft

(b Birmingham, Aug 9, 1875; d Cowes, Nov 26, 1959). English composer and conductor. He showed musical promise from an early age and went to Trinity College, London, when he was 13. He became a professional pianist, at 16 was organist of St John, Wimbledon, and was also apparently proficient on the cello, clarinet, oboe and french horn. In his early twenties he toured as a musical director of a light opera company, and at 22 became the musical director at the Vaudeville Theatre; composition and, later, recording for Columbia remained his main professional interests. His student compositions at Trinity College and for some time afterwards (a piano and wind quintet, a string quartet and the Concertstück for piano and orchestra) were probably in a classical vein. His first major light music success was The Phantom Melody, for cello and piano, which won a prize in 1912 offered by the cellist August van Biene for a piece to complement his own popular ...

Article

Paul Christiansen

(b Netěchovice, nr České Budějovice, Nov 4, 1823; d Netěchovice, March 19, 1893). Czech conductor, bandmaster and composer , father of Karel Komzák. He spent his youth in Koloděje, Weittertschlag and Český Krumlov, then studied at the Prague Organ School (1839–40) before completing a teacher’s course at the College of St Jindřich in Prague (1841–2), during which time he was supported by Tomášek. He became a teacher and organist in Koloděje (1842–7), and later a clerk and organist at an institute for the mentally insane in Prague and organist at the church of St Kateřina (1847–66). At the same time he directed a rifle corps band (1847–65). Komzák achieved his greatest fame through the orchestra which he founded and conducted in Prague (1854–65), and in which Dvořák played viola. After playing for the Prague Provisional Theatre from ...

Article

Andrew Lamb

(b Schönfeld [now Krásno], July 3, 1802; d Karlsbad [now Karlovy Vary], Aug 19, 1881). Bohemian violinist, conductor and composer. He was the son of a weaver, who in 1800 moved from Kampern in Prussian Silesia to Schönfeld and in 1802 to Petschau (now Bečov nad Teplou). He studied with Karl Veit and at the age of 14 joined a travelling orchestra in Petschau. In 1820 he obtained a position as violinist in the spa orchestra at Marienbad (now Mariánské Lázně), taking other jobs during the winter months. He played in Munich (1823–4), where he took further violin lessons, and undertook a concert tour of southern Germany, visiting Regensburg, Augsburg, Ulm, Stuttgart, Würzburg and Nuremberg. In 1825 he founded his own orchestra, visiting Vienna in the winter of 1825–6 and Warsaw in 1829–30. In 1835 he became conductor of the spa orchestra at Karlsbad, where he rapidly built up a reputation for himself and his orchestra. His dance compositions began to have widespread popularity, particularly the ...