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Liz Thomson

(b Maynardville, TN, Sept 15, 1903; d Nashville, TN, Nov 23, 1992). American country singer-songwriter and publisher. He was first influenced by traditional music heard at home, much of it British, and by music at the church where his father was the pastor. His Southern Baptist heritage became evident in the mournful, wailing style of his vocals. A keen sportsman, he was denied a professional athletic career through ill-health, but learnt to play his father’s fiddle. His early career was in so-called medicine shows, and radio appearances with local musicians led to the formation of his first group, the Tennessee Crackerjacks. His first record followed in ...

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Catherine Collins and Barry Kernfeld

(bPativilca, Peru, Dec 12, 1944). Peruviandrummer and percussionist. He learned trumpet and piano with his father, but was self-taught as a drummer. At the age of 16 he became a studio musician in Lima and in 1964 he was engaged by the dance-band leader Perez Prado to work in Las Vegas. From ...

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Lars Westin

(b Spånga, Sweden, April 18, 1945). Swedish trumpeter, composer, and leader. He started playing in amateur bands around Stockholm while in his teens and worked towards a career as a lawyer before becoming a full-time musician in 1972, upon the formation of the group Egba; he eventually became the leader of the band and the main contributor of compositions to its repertory. Egba’s music combined jazz-rock with African and Latin rhythms and melodies, though its last album (it disbanded in ...

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T.M. Scruggs

(b Danlí, 1872; d Tegucigalpa, 1947). Honduran composer and concert bandleader. He studied at the Honduran National Conservatory and was active as an organist in Guatemala City and in Danlí. Trained also as a civil engineer, he invented an organ of bamboo pipes he named the ...

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Alicia Valdés Cantero

(b Camagüey" country="Cuba, Sept 24, 1873; d Madrid, October 20, 1957). Cuban composer resident in Spain. After moving to Spain with her family at the age of nine, she began her musical training under Joaquín Zuazagoitia in Santiago de Compostela, continuing at the Real Conservatorio, Madrid, where she studied piano (receiving first prize in ...

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James Wierzbicki

( b Sumatra, Nov 5, 1917; d New York, July 4, 1983). American cellist and composer . He spent the first six years of his life in Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), where his father, Tassilo Adam, worked as an ethnologist; after the family returned to Europe he studied at the Salzburg Mozarteum. In ...

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Charles Pitt

(b Hinsbourg, Jan 4, 1904; d Illkirch-Graffenstaden, Sept 7, 1984). French conductor, composer and opera administrator . He studied in Strasbourg with Erb and in Paris with Koechlin and Gédalge. He joined the Strasbourg Opera in 1933 as a répétiteur and stayed until he retired in ...

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Ferenc Bónis and Anna Dalos

(b Szigetszentmiklós, Dec 12, 1896; d Budapest, May 15, 1982). Hungarian composer, conductor and teacher. From 1911 until 1915 he received instruction in organ playing and theory at the Budapest teacher-training college. Then, as a prisoner of war (1916–20), he organized and conducted a men’s choir and an orchestra in Russia. He studied composition at the Budapest Academy of Music under Kodály (...

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Alan Blyth

(b Dresden, Aug 1, 1926). German bass-baritone. As a boy he was a member of the Dresden Kreuzchor, and he studied in the city and at Weimar before making his début at the Dresden Staatsoper in 1949. He joined the Berlin Staatsoper in ...

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Jernej Weiss

(b Dobrova, nr Ljubljana, Slovenia; Dec 25, 1877; d Ljubljana, Dec 6, 1936). Slovenian music educator, conductor, and writer on music. Uncle of composer Bojan Adamič. He received his first musical education at the Ljubljana Glasbena Matica society music school, from 1911 to 1912...

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Petr Kofroň and Geoffrey Chew

(b Křemačov, Czech Republic, June 29, 1947; d Valašské Klobouky, July 3, 2009). Czech composer. He studied composition and the piano at the Brno Conservatory (1965–9), and composition at the Janáček Academy in Brno with Ištvan (1969–74) and with Piňos and Ctirad Kohoutek (1976–9). With the exception of a brief period as a teacher at the conservatory in Kroměříž, he lived in seclusion as a village music teacher in Valašské Klobouky.

In the early 1970s Adamík was influenced by the collage and montage techniques of his teacher Ištvan, and combined contemporary idioms with historical elements, notably in Nebeské pastviny (‘Celestial Pastures’, 1972). From the mid-1970s he experimented with unusual instrumental resources: in the Wind Quintet (1979) he used children’s toy instruments in place of their conventional counterparts. Each instrumental part, moreover, is also playable singly. Adamík’s interest in historical models intensified during the 1980s and is evident in compositions such as the Second Symphony (...

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Dimitri Conomos and George Leotsakos

(b Piraeus, May 19, 1929). Greek composer and musicologist. He graduated in theology from Athens University (1954), in neo-Byzantine music (1955) and harmony (1956) from the Piraeus League Conservatory, and in counterpoint, fugue and composition (1959...

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Kendra Preston Leonard

(b Philadelphia, PA, Aug 1, 1962). American composer and librettist. He attended New York University, where he won the Paulette Goddard Remarque award for undergraduate playwriting, and the Catholic University of America, from which he received a Bachelor of Music degree in composition in 1990 and was the winner of the Theodore Presser award for outstanding undergraduate composition. He has taught composition at New York University, City University of New York, and American Lyric Theater. Adamo first came to widespread public attention with the première of his opera ...

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Josephine Wright

(b Cleveland, Dec 20, 1932). American composer. He attended Oberlin College (BMEd 1955), California State University, Long Beach (MA 1967) and Ohio State University (PhD 1973), and studied privately with Herbert Elwell, Robert Starer, Vittorio Giannini, Leon Dallin, Edward Mattila and Marcel Dick. He has taught at Stillman College (...

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Margot Lieth-Philipp

(b St Thomas, VI, Nov 4, 1889; d St Thomas, VI, Nov 24, 1987). American bandmaster, composer and educator. He taught himself to play the flute and piccolo, took correspondence courses from several universities, and received the BMus degree from the University Extension Conservatory of Music, Chicago. In ...

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Michael Ethen

(b Kingston, ON, Nov 5, 1959). Canadian rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist, and photographer. The son of a diplomat, he spent his youth in England, Israel, Portugal, and Austria. After returning with his family to North America, he began performing and recording at the age of 15 with rock bands in British Columbia and Ontario. In ...

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Elizabeth Forbes

(b Bristol, Dec 20, 1928; d Norwich, April 8, 1996). English bass . He was a chorister at Worcester Cathedral and later became an actor. After singing in the D’Oyly Carte Opera chorus, from 1953 to 1969 he was principal bass of the company. In ...

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Brian Priestley and Barry Kernfeld

(bCovington, GA, April 29, 1940; dNew York, Nov 14, 1992). Americantenor saxophonist and flutist. As a teenager he attended Clark College, Atlanta, where he was taught by Wayman Carver; while studying in Cleveland in the early 1960s he worked in organ trios, including that of Bill Doggett, playing a hybrid of rhythm-and-blues and jazz. He settled in New York in ...

Article

Sarah Cahill

(b Worcester, MA, Feb 15, 1947). American composer and conductor. Known particularly for his operatic works on contemporary subjects, he is considered one of the most frequently performed living composers of concert music.

He studied the clarinet with his father and with Felix Viscuglia, clarinettist with the Boston SO. At the age of ten he began theory and composition lessons, and at 14 he had his first piece performed by the community orchestra with whom he practised conducting. He also performed with the orchestra alongside his father, often appearing before an audience of mentally-handicapped patients at the New Hampshire State Hospital. As a student at Harvard University (...

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Sabine Feisst

(b Meridian, MS, Jan 23, 1953). American composer. Growing up in the American South and on the Northeastern seaboard, Adams began his musical career with piano and trumpet lessons, rock drumming, and songwriting in his teens. However, it was the music of Frank Zappa that shifted his focus to contemporary classical music, above all the works of Cage, Feldman, and Varèse. Adams studied composition with ...