(b 1784; d Loshaki, Ryazan′ region, 1853). Russian guitarist and composer. He was a nobleman, and combined a military and administrative career with music. He was one of the first, and most successful, pupils of Andrey Sychra, with whom he studied in Moscow. In 1808 he was transferred to Siberia, and from 1810 lived in St Petersburg. In the 1830s he moved to his estate in Ryazan′ region, where he remained until his death. In contrast to Sychra and Vïsotsky, Aksyonov published only a limited number of guitar pieces, but most of them are of excellent quality. Unlike the majority of Russian guitarists, Aksyonov did not limit himself to the guitar: his skilfully written romansï for voice and piano appeared in various musical periodicals. His guitar adaptations of piano pieces (Field's Kamarinskaya and Dussek's La chasse) illustrate his striking sensitivity to the technical potential of the seven-string guitar. He was apparently the first guitarist for whom variations on Russian folk themes became a significant genre. His guitar compositions use innovative techniques that require perfection of left-hand effects, lengthy legatos and portamento. He also invented the technique of performing artificial harmonics on the guitar, a discovery first published in the ...
Oleg V. Timofeyev
(b S. Ukraine, 15/May 27, 1846; d Moscow, Feb 17, 1919). Ukrainian conductor . He studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory with Anton Rubinstein and Nikolay Zaremba. He was chorus master at the Kiev Opera from 1868 and conducted Tchaikovsky’s Oprichnik there shortly after its St Petersburg première in ...
revised by Cormac Newark
(b Bayonne, March 8, 1815; d Paris, Feb 22, 1888). French violinist and composer. At the age of ten, he performed Viotti’s Concerto no.12 so well that the citizens of Bayonne decided to send him to Paris. There he entered Habeneck’s class at the Conservatoire in 1827 and won first prize in 1830. He continued to study composition with Fétis (1831–3) while serving as a violinist in the Opéra orchestra. In 1831 he made his début as a soloist with the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, earning the praise of Paganini, present in the audience, who subsequently dedicated to Alard his 6 Sonatas op.2. Soon Alard became known as an excellent performer. At the memorial concert for Mendelssohn in 1848, he was chosen to perform the composer’s recent Violin Concerto. He also became known as a superb chamber music player, particularly with his own string quartet, which he had formed in ...
revised by Gilles Potvin
(Marie Louise Cécile)
(b Chambly, nr Montreal, Nov 1, 1847; d London, April 3, 1930). Canadian soprano. Her father was a professor of the harp, piano and organ. She was educated at the Couvent du Sacré-Coeur at Montreal. She gave concerts in some Quebec towns before her family moved to Albany, New York, in 1864; there she became a soloist at St Joseph’s church and the Albany bishop and others advised Lajeunesse that his daughter should adopt a musical career. She went to Paris in 1868 where she was taught by Duprez. Later she studied with Lamperti in Milan. In 1870 she made her début at Messina as Amina in Bellini’s La sonnambula, adopting, as suggested by her elocution teacher, the name of Albani, borrowed from an old Italian family. She then sang successfully at Malta and Florence.
On 2 April 1872 she made her London début at Covent Garden as Amina. The beautiful qualities of her voice and the charm of her appearance were at once appreciated. She sang nearly every season there until ...
(b Logroño, April 14, 1795; d Madrid, April 12, 1855). Spanish pianist, composer and teacher. He was the son of Mateo Pérez de Albéniz, a keyboard player and composer, from whom he received his first music lessons. Later he went to Paris for further training; he studied piano with Henri Herz and composition with Friedrich Kalkbrenner, and became a friend of Rossini. Upon his return to Spain he was organist at the church of S María in San Sebastián, and later at a church in Logroño. When Queen María Cristina founded the Madrid Conservatory he was appointed a professor, on 17 June 1830, and in 1834 he became organist of the royal chapel. He gave private instruction to Queen Isabel II, and was the first to introduce modern methods of keyboard technique and pedagogy into Spain. Although his compositions are of little interest, and are generally inferior to his father’s sonatas, he wrote a ...
(b Camprodón, Gerona, May 29, 1860; d Cambo-les-Bains, May 18, 1909). Spanish composer and pianist. When he was a year old he moved with his family to Barcelona. His musical propensities soon became apparent, and his sister Clementina gave him piano lessons when he was about three and a half. A child prodigy, he made his first public appearance at about five, at the Teatro Romea in Barcelona. Shortly afterwards he began lessons with Narciso Oliveras. In 1867 he was taken to Paris where, it is said, he studied privately with Antoine-François Marmontel, eventually taking the entrance exam for the Paris Conservatoire; though impressed with his talent, the jury is said to have refused him admission because he was too immature. In 1868 Albéniz’s father lost his government post, and, to earn money, took Isaac and Clementina on recital tours of the Spanish provinces. Soon the family moved to Madrid, where Albéniz was enrolled in the Escuela Nacional de Música y Declamación (now the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música). His studies were constantly interrupted; having experienced the life of a travelling virtuoso, he repeatedly gave recitals in the provinces or wherever fate took him. He returned intermittently to Madrid and studied for a time with Eduardo Compta and José Tragó. His travels took him to Puerto Rico and Cuba in ...
(b Spanish Basque region, c1755; d San Sebastián, June 23, 1831). Spanish composer and theorist. After serving as maestro de capilla in San Sebastián, he took up the same post in Logroño collegiate church during the French invasion (1795). Five years later he returned to San Sebastián as maestro de capilla at S María la Redonda, where he remained until 1829. He composed a large number of sacred works, which enjoyed great success throughout northern Spain during his lifetime, in particular masses, Vespers, the Office for the Dead, motets and villancicos, many of which survive in manuscript at the churches which he served. He also wrote some piano music (of which a sonata is edited in J. Nin’s Classiques espagnols du piano, i, 1925) and a 133-page theoretical work, Instrucción metódica, especulativa, y prática, para enseñar á cantar y tañer la música moderna y antigua...
(b Gauteriz de Arteaga, Vizcaya, Sept 25, 1869; d Barcelona, March 19, 1948). Spanish organ builder. He began his career as an apprentice in the workshops of Aquilino Amezúa in Barcelona in 1885 and was active for more than 50 years. In 1895, on the retirement of Amezúa, Alberdi became director of the firm, and in 1896 the owner. His sons, Antonio and Luis Alberdi Aguirrezábal, assisted him in the workshop, which was the most productive in Spain, building nearly 200 organs (in particular those at the monastery of Montserrat, the Jesuit church in Madrid, and the cathedrals of Gerona and Santiago). Alberdi’s construction methods were extremely advanced: he incorporated many of the best techniques of the time and invented others. He always used mixed mechanical systems and was especially noted for systems without sliding valves; later he abandoned troublesome pneumatic machinery and utilized the possibilities of electricity. He always used the best available methods and systems. Organs from his workshop were exported to South America and the Philippines....
(b Amsterdam, Feb 1, 1866; d Paris, Sept 12, 1925). Flemish baritone . He began as an actor in comedy, and in 1889 made his operatic début as Méphistophélès in Faust at Amsterdam. Massenet heard him in Antwerp and arranged for him to study in Paris with Jean-Baptiste Faure. He then travelled widely in France and the USA, making his début at the Metropolitan in ...
Alec Hyatt King
revised by Derek McCulloch
[Francis Charles Augustus Albert Emmanuel; Franz Karl August Albert Emanuel, Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha]
(b Rosenau, Coburg, Aug 26, 1819; d London, Dec 14, 1861). German musician, consort of Queen Victoria. Music formed a regular part of his early education and appears prominently in the rigorous programme of study which he drew up for himself at the age of 13. He became proficient in singing, played the piano and organ (Mendelssohn admired his organ playing) and began to compose before he was 18. In 1839 he sang the bass solo in a performance of Beethoven’s Der Preis der Tonkunst at Dresden. After he married Queen Victoria in 1840 he made his mark on the court’s musical life by expanding the private band into a fair-sized orchestra capable of taking part in the first English performances of Schubert’s Symphony no.9, Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Mendelssohn’s Athalie and Oedipus at Colonos, given either at Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace under the prince’s organization. His enthusiasm for contemporary music was counterbalanced by an interest in earlier music and instruments. During his year as director of the Concert of Ancient Music he organized a programme in ...
revised by David Charlton
(b Menstetten, nr Altona, Hamburg, Feb 25, 1809; d London, May 26, 1886). French dancing-master and composer, father of Eugen d'Albert. He was the son of a captain of cavalry in the French army, on whose death in 1816 d'Albert and his mother emigrated to England. D'Albert received piano tuition in London from Kalkbrenner and composition lessons from S.S. Wesley. After a period with the ballet in Paris (with Saint-Georges he wrote the libretto for Adam's ballet-pantomime ...
(b Glasgow, April 10, 1864; d Riga, March 3, 1932). German composer and pianist. D’Albert’s ancestry was as colourful as his life. Although it is natural to note the presence of the composers Giuseppe Matteo Alberti (1685–1751) and Domenico Alberti (c1710–40) among his ancestors, an equally interesting predecessor was his grandfather François (Franz) Bénédicte d’Albert, an adjutant of Napoleon I, who followed Marshall Davout to Hamburg and settled there out of sympathy for the German way of life. Although Franz’s son Charles Louis Napoléon d’Albert earned his greatest fame as a local Johann Strauss in Britain, his son Eugen acquired an early enthusiasm for German culture and music. Hearing Tristan und Isolde had a greater influence on him than the education he received from his father or from Arthur Sullivan, Ernst Pauer and Ebenezer Prout at the National Training School for Music in London. In ...
(b Brussels, April 26, 1816; d Brussels, May 11, 1890). Belgian woodwind instrument maker. He is known chiefly for his clarinets. His three sons Jean-Baptiste (-Gustav) (1845–99), Jacques (-Emile) (1849–1918) and Joseph-Eugène (known as E.J. Albert; 1860–1931) were also woodwind instrument makers specializing in clarinets. Eugène Albert is recorded as a maker from 1839. He was so successful that the model of clarinet that he made is widely known (especially in the USA) as the ‘Albert System’ although it was basically Iwan Müller's 13-key clarinet augmented by the two rings (brille) added to the lower joint by Adolphe Sax. Albert's instruments were exceptionally well made and finely tuned. They were particularly popular in England, where his agents were Louis Jullien and then Samuel Arthur Chappell; the leading English clarinettist Henry Lazarus owned eight of his instruments. When Boosey and Co. began to make clarinets in about ...
(b London, 1 May ?1814; d London, Sept 25, 1847). English contralto . She made her début in 1830 in London at the King’s Theatre as Pippo in La gazza ladra. In 1831 she went to Italy and married a lawyer; she continued to sing, appearing at the Teatro della Cannobiana (...
Philip Lieson Miller
(b Mt Clemens, MI, Dec 6, 1889; d Chicago, IL, Oct 16, 1981). American pianist and accompanist. He was one of 11 children, all musical. His early years were spent in Chicago where he studied cello and piano. He graduated from the Chicago Musical College at 18 and taught there from 1910 to 1914. He conducted the college orchestra, directed its opera workshop, and began his career as an accompanist. At the age of 24 he moved to Kansas City to head the piano, theory, and music history departments at the Conservatory of Music (1914–19); he was also conductor of the Kansas City Opera Association. In 1920 he went to New York, where he lived for the rest of his professional life. His summers were spent conducting opera workshops in various universities and conservatories. He toured extensively with such artists as Melchior, Schumann-Heink, Ruffo, Kullman, Bonelli, Teyte, Meisle, and De Luca. First working as a coach, he became well known as a singing teacher. He was organist and choir director at the Park Avenue Christian Church, ...
[Maria Anna Marzia]
(b Città di Castello, March 6, 1826; d Ville d’Avray, June 23, 1894). Italian contralto. She studied at the Liceo Musicale, Bologna, with Alessandro Mombelli. Rossini coached her in the principal contralto roles in his operas. She made her début at Bologna in 1842 as Clymene in Pacini's Saffo, and then sang Maffio Orsini in Lucrezia Borgia. In the same year she first appeared at La Scala, as Néocle in Le siège de Corinthe; during that season and the next she also sang Rizzardo in Marliani's Ildegonda, Léonore in La favorite, Adalgisa, and Pierotto in Linda di Chamounix. She created Mirza in Salvi's Lara (1843) and Berenice in Pacini's L'ebrea (1844). She made a very successful Vienna début in 1843 as Pierotto, and spent the winter of 1844–5 in St Petersburg, where she sang Pierotto, Maffio Orsini, Gondi in Donizetti's Maria di Rohan and Arsace in ...
Geoffrey Norris and Nigel Yandell
German family of musicians, active in Russia.
(b Posen [now Poznań], Aug 27, 1807; d Gatchina, nr St Petersburg, 24 Feb/March 8, 1863). Conductor and composer. He began his musical career in Breslau, where from 1823 he studied harmony and counterpoint with Joseph Schnabel. From 1825 he played first violin in the Breslau theatre orchestra, and ten years later took up an appointment as répétiteur in Düsseldorf. At about this time he produced several compositions, including a ballet, Der Berggeist (in Russian, Gornïy dukh, ‘The Spirit of the Mountains’, 1825), a mass, three string quartets and a number of vocal pieces. After directing a travelling opera company, he decided to leave Germany and move to Russia, where he was engaged as conductor of the St Petersburg theatre orchestra in 1838. Subsequently he directed the German opera in St Petersburg before becoming director of the Russian opera; there he conducted the first performance of Glinka’s ...
Cynthia Adams Hoover
(b Germany, 1759/60; d Montgomery, PA, June 28, 1848). American piano maker of German birth. He was active in Philadelphia as a piano maker by the 1790s, probably arriving there on the ship Hamburgh in October 1785. (His marriage to Maria Fuchs is listed in the records of St Michael′s and Zion′s Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, for 17 June 1787; they had no children.) His name appears in tax records, census entries and city directories from 1788 until his death in 1848. First described as a “joiner,” he is listed in newspapers and real estate documents as “Musical Instrument Maker” at the address of 95 Vine Street from 1791 to at least 1824, when he retired from piano making but continued to purchase property in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. Albrecht made some of the earliest surviving American square pianos, over 20 of which are still extant (four are at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; the date of ...
Cynthia Adams Hoover
(b Hanover, Jan 6, 1788; d Philadelphia, PA, March 1843). American piano maker of German birth. He immigrated to the United States, arriving in Philadelphia on 17 October 1822, and from 1823 to 1824 ran a business there at 106 St John Street; from 1830 to 1843 his address was 144 South 3rd Street. On his death his small business was bequeathed to his wife Maria. His pianos exhibit excellent craftsmanship; pianos by him (one upright and one square) at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, are in empire style and have six octaves. No relationship between Christian Albrecht, Charles Albrecht, and Albrecht & Co. has yet been established....