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Article

Beatrix Borchard

(b Kitsee, nr Pressburg [now Bratislava], June 28, 1831; d Berlin, Aug 15, 1907). Austro-Hungarian violinist, composer, conductor and teacher . He was born on the Esterházy estates into a Jewish family which moved in 1833 to Pest. His talent was recognized at an early age and systematically nurtured. His first teacher was the leader of the Pest Opera Orchestra, Serwaczyński, with whom Joachim made his public début at the Adelskasino in Pest, on 17 March 1839. He went to Vienna to play first for Hauser and then for Georg Hellmesberger the elder, and took lessons from Joseph Böhm, a former pupil of Rode, himself taught by Viotti, both of whom adhered to the classical French school.

By the age of 12 his technique was fully developed, and in early 1843 he began studying with Mendelssohn in Leipzig. The meeting with Mendelssohn was so decisive for the young Joachim that his life can be understood in terms of a mission to promote Mendelssohn's work. The composer arranged for Joachim to receive composition tuition from Hauptmann, and also a good general education. After a successful début playing Bériot's Adagio and Rondo at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in ...

Article

Paul Oliver

[Dodds, Robert; Spencer, Robert]

(b Hazlehurst, MS, May 8, 1911; d Greenwood, MS, Aug 16, 1938). American blues singer and guitarist. As a boy he travelled with his mother around plantations and labour camps playing the jew’s harp and the harmonica. About 1927 he acquired a guitar. He was married in 1929 but his wife died in childbirth the following year. He then led a brief and reportedly wild adult life as a musical hobo in the South. Shortly before his apparently violent death, he made a number of excellent and highly influential recordings in San Antonio and Dallas; they characterize Mississippi blues of the mid-1930s and form the link between this tradition and modern Chicago blues. His work was influenced by Son House and recordings by the guitarist Lonnie Johnson, and clearly shows an awareness of Skip James and Hambone Willie Newbern, whose themes he adapted in 32·20 Blues (1936...

Article

J.B. Steane

(b Vienna, March 23, 1895; d New York, 15 Dec. 1974). Austrian soprano . She studied in Vienna and made her début at Frankfurt in 1917, appearing in small roles and achieving a first notable success in Il barbiere. After a season at Darmstadt she sang at the Volksoper in Berlin where her parts included Konstanze in Die Entführung and Violetta in La traviata. In 1926 she became principal soprano in Munich at the Bavarian Staatsoper. She enjoyed a spectacular success at Monaco as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos and also became a favourite at Salzburg. Guest appearances at the Vienna Staatsoper in the 1930s seemed about to lead to a substantial career but as a Jew she found her way blocked, and after a heroic period with the Jewish Theatre in Berlin left Europe for America, where she married the writer Jack Siegel and gave up her public career. A delicately clear and beautiful voice combined with remarkable agility and an imaginative style help to place her few recordings among the most delightful of the period....

Article

Folke Bohlin

(b Stockholm, March 27, 1818; d Uppsala, March 29, 1880). Swedish composer and conductor. He belonged to a Jewish family which came to Sweden at the end of the 18th century and still plays an important role in Swedish cultural life. In 1841, when he was studying at the University of Uppsala, he was baptized (adding Axel to his name). In the same year he published his first solo songs, dedicated to Jenny Lind. He taught music at the Cathedral School (1841–3) and led a singing society, Lilla Sällskapet, which devoted itself mainly to ancient sacred music (Gunnar Wennerberg was a member). Josephson completed his university studies in 1842 with a small thesis on modern music, Några momenter till en karakteristik af den nyaste musiken, in which he attacked Rossini and praised Mendelssohn. With financial assistance from Jenny Lind he studied music abroad from 1844 to 1847...

Article

James Wierzbicki

(b Tel-Aviv, Jan 15, 1946). Israeli pianist. He moved to the USA in 1962 to study at the Juilliard School of Music with Edward Steuermann and Ilona Kabos. In 1967 he made his New York recital début and won the Young Concert Artists Award; the following year he performed Beethoven's Piano Concerto no.4 in a nationally televised concert with Bernstein and the New York PO. After winning first prize in the Leventritt Competition (1969), he made his European début with Previn and the LSO in 1970. Since then he has maintained an active career as a recitalist and soloist, appearing with the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago SO, Boston SO, Berlin PO, LSO and LPO and the Israel PO, and in Japan, Australia and Latin America. He has performed regularly with the violinist Jaime Laredo and the cellist Sharon Robinson since 1976, and in 1981 the three officially formed the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio; together with the Guarneri Quartet they presented Brahms's complete works for piano and strings in New York in ...

Article

Harold Rosenthal

(b Jarosław, March 28, 1890; d London, Sept 1, 1957). Polish mezzo-soprano. She studied in Vienna and made her début at the Volksoper in 1911. From 1915 to 1935 she was engaged at Hamburg, and was especially successful in Verdi and Wagner, and as Delilah, Gluck's Orpheus, Fidès (Le prophète) and Marina (Boris Godunov). Being Jewish, she had to leave Germany in 1935; she settled in London, where she sang with much success at Covent Garden, 1935–9, as Ortrud (the role of her début there), Fricka, Waltraute, Brangäne, Herodias (Salome) and Háta (The Bartered Bride). From 1939 she sang in concert and recital and taught in London. She had a warm, beautiful voice and strong dramatic ability. She made few recordings, among them Brangäne in a complete 1936 Tristan with Melchior and Flagstad.

S. Wulf: ‘Sabine Kalter: eine jüdische Altistin, bis 1935 auf einer deutschen Staatsoperbühne’, ...

Article

Uri Toeplitz

(b Odessa, Nov 17, 1903; d Tel-Aviv, Oct 14, 1972). Israeli composer and violinist. The son of the Jewish actress Esther Rachel Kaminska, he grew up in Warsaw. After working as a violinist he studied composition in Berlin with Friedrich Koch (1922) and in Vienna with Gál. On his return to Warsaw he was made leader of the Polish RO and he founded the Warsaw String Quartet, which won the Marshal Pilsudski Competition in 1934. In 1937 Kaminski was invited by Bronislav Huberman to become one of the leaders of the Palestine Orchestra (later the Israel PO), then in its second year. He settled in Tel-Aviv and stayed with the orchestra until his retirement in 1969. His creative work was influenced by a range of sources from Gregorian chant to the music of Richard Strauss, and including the oriental elements of Israeli folk music.

The best of Kaminski’s work is found in the progressive Triptych for piano and two concertante pieces: the witty Trumpet Concertino and the Violin Concerto, a more powerful and dramatic work although its last movement is lighter, with a Jewish theme and Sephardi dance rhythms. Kaminski played the solo part at the work’s première in ...

Article

Noël Goodwin

(Tapani)

(b Helsinki, March 7, 1946). Finnish conductor and violinist. The son of a double bass player in the Helsinki PO, he was given violin lessons and entered the Sibelius Academy at the age of six as a pupil of Onni Suhonen. He became a violinist in the Helsinki Youth Orchestra, and at 18 the leader of the Suhonen Quartet. A year later he joined the Helsinki PO as associate principal second violin, and became leader of the Finnish National Opera Orchestra (1966–8), where he also gained experience as third conductor with the opera company. Self-taught as a conductor, he won the first Herbert von Karajan International Competition at Berlin (1969), which led to engagements with major orchestras in Europe, the USA, Israel and Japan, and to recordings; these brought him a reputation for youthful spontaneity tempered by sensitivity and disciplined feeling. His British début was with the NPO at the Festival Hall in ...

Article

John-Carlos Perea

(b Tama, IA, May 13, 1933; d Ames, IA, Aug 16, 2006). Native American (Meskwaki) singer, drummer, and flute player. Kapayou was born on the Meskwaki Indian Settlement in Tama, Iowa, where his mother Lucille, a flute player, taught him sacred and secular repertoires of Meskwaki music. While serving in the Army and working in construction, Kapayou retained his commitment to these traditions. He received a National Heritage Fellowship from the NEA in ...

Article

Douglas Townsend

(b Brooklyn, NY, March 24, 1936). American composer and conductor . He studied the trumpet with Vacchiano, composition with Giannini, and jazz performance and arranging with John Lewis at the Manhattan School (BMus 1959, MMus 1960), and composition with Persichetti at the Juilliard School. He performed as a trumpeter in the New York City Ballet Orchestra, the Goldman Band (now the Guggenheim Memorial Band), the Woody Herman Band and the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, as well as in various Broadway shows. From 1969 to 1971 Kaufman was assistant professor and composer-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin. In 1971 he moved to Israel, where he served as director of music for the city of Haifa (1971–2) and taught at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem. His music was performed by the Israel PO, the Jerusalem SO and other resident organizations. He returned to the USA in 1976 and took up academic posts at Eastern Montana College (...

Article

(b Rosenberg, Hungary [now Ružomberok, Slovakia], Nov 27, 1882; d Tel-Aviv, Jan 14, 1962). Israeli educationist and pianist of Hungarian birth, active mainly in Germany. After studying the piano with Kullak and Busoni and composition with Felix Draeseke in Berlin, he made frequent appearances as a concert pianist and began teaching at the Stern and Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatories in Berlin. From his student days his political and cultural activities had developed his ideas about the role of music in education and had also equipped him with the organizational experience to put them into practice. In 1918 he became musical adviser to the Prussian Ministry of Science, Culture and Education, becoming in 1922 director of the newly established music department of the Central Institute for Education and Teaching. The institute organized in May 1921 a school music week, the first of eight annual events held in different German towns, where Kestenberg’s music reforms were explained and discussed. In the same year Kestenberg’s ...

Article

Howard Schott

revised by Dennis K. McIntire

(b Berlin, Sept 27, 1930; d Redding, CT, Jan 23, 2002). American harpsichordist, fortepianist and critic, son of Alexander Kipnis. After studying at the Westport School of Music, Connecticut, and at Harvard, he worked as art and editorial director of Westminster Records (1955–9), as director of recorded music for a chain of radio stations based in New York (1959–61) and as a music critic (from 1955). In the meantime he took up the harpsichord professionally. Although essentially self-taught, he was guided and encouraged by a number of musicians, notably Thurston Dart. He made his début in a radio broadcast in New York in 1959 and gave his first recital there in 1962. He performed widely as a soloist with leading orchestras and as a recitalist, touring Europe, Israel, South America, Australia, the Soviet Union and East Asia. His teaching career began in 1964...

Article

Beate Schröder-Nauenburg

(b Přerov, Moravia, Dec 6, 1919; d Fürstengrube, nr Katowice, Poland, end of Jan 1945). Moravian composer and pianist. His musical talent was promoted from an early age by the director of the Přerov municipal music school. When he was 12 he moved to Prague to study the piano with Ruzena Kurzova and in 1938 he became the star pupil of Vilém Kurz at the Prague, Conservatory. He enrolled at Karl University, Prague, to study musicology in 1939, also taking lessons in composition for a short time with Alois Hába at the Prague Conservatory. In 1940, however, because of his Jewish origins, he was expelled and denied permission to travel to London, where he had been granted a scholarship to the RAM. Until his deportation to Theresienstadt on 4 December 1941, he worked under the pseudonym Karel Vránek in small, avant-garde theatres in Prague.

During his first few months in Theresienstadt, Klein became an energetic agitator for artistic activities. After the foundation of the Freizeitgestaltung, a ‘recreation organization’ established for propaganda purposes, he arranged many concerts for which he composed, conducted and performed. He repeatedly encouraged his fellow prisoners, who included Pavel Haas, Hans Krása, Sigmund Schul and Viktor Ullmann, to continue composing. On ...

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Article

Alma Kunanbayeva

(b Erbol [now in Kokchetav province], 1831; d 1894). Kazakh traditional composer and singer. He was born to the family of Turlybai and began composing songs at the age of ten. He belonged to a special category of artists in Kazakh society known as sal and seri, masters of the art of song who usually functioned as part of a group which included those skilled in wrestling and horse-racing, dömbra players, storytellers, jewellers and masters of wit. Birjan was a talented aqyn (poet-singer) and took part in numerous aitys (contests), the most famous of which was with Sara Tastanbekova. He travelled throughout Kazakhstan and became well known. Many of his songs became widely popular, notably Birjan-sal (an autobiographical song), Leyailam-shrak (a girl's name meaning ‘my dear flame’) and Zhonïp aldï (literally ‘polished’, ‘shaved’). He also composed two songs based on verses by Abai Kunanbaev, in whose household he was on occasion a guest. Birjan's songs were characterized by a number of features including melodic originality, indissoluble unity of text and music, and the inclusion of his own name in the texts of his songs, many of which were autobiographical. Several legends concerning the creation of his songs also became well known. In ...

Article

Catherine Wojtanowski

(b Samakand, Tajikstan [Uzbekistan], Dec 28, 1920). Bukharan Jewish singer. From an early age, she immersed herself in Bukharan Jewish traditions, first under the influence of her father, a cantor, who died when she was six. Her original surname was changed to Kuinova in an attempt to avoid anti-Semitic persecution by the Soviet government. She began vocal lessons at the age of 14, performing first in her school choir and on Soviet radio. Renowned for her expertise in traditional music, she toured the Soviet Union widely, performed for foreign dignitaries and at state functions, and earned the award of Honored Artist of the Soviet Union. Kuinova also became an expert in shashmaqam, a traditional music of Central Asia which features texts that date from 15th century. In 1980, she immigrated to the United States, settling in Queens, New York, becoming an active member of the Bukharan Jewish musical community, and participating in the Soviet Jewish Community Cultural Initiative. She has performed in a variety of settings, often supported by two or three instrumentalists. In ...

Article

Stanley Sadie

revised by Susan Wollenberg

(b ? c1740; d Oxford, Nov 21, 1777). English composer and violinist. He was a son of David Francisco Lates, a Hebrew scholar who taught modern languages at Oxford University. According to Sainsbury, he studied in Italy and is described by Lewis as ‘the first Oxford Jewish composer’. The local newspaper reported his marriage on 29 October 1768 to Miss Joanna Day, ‘a Lady of exceeding good Accomplishments, with a very handsome Fortune’. He played in the Holywell Music Room orchestra, probably as principal second violin, and in other concerts in the vicinity of Oxford (including Henley and Banbury) from the late 1750s until his death, and was connected with the Duke of Marlborough’s musical establishment at Blenheim. An early appearance in 1757 at a benefit concert and ball for Miss Lates (probably a sister) in Abingdon featured ‘Master Lates’ playing first violin and a solo; by 1761...

Article

Miri Gerstel

(b Riga, Dec 22, 1903; d Haifa, March 24, 1967). Israeli composer and conductor of Latvian birth. He studied in Riga, at the Leipzig Conservatory, and privately with Scherchen and Glazunov. After working as an opera conductor in Saarbrücken (1926–8), he became the musical director and conductor of Rudolf von Laban's dance theatre in Berlin. He went on to conduct the Berliner SO (1929–32) and the Riga Opera (1932–4). In 1935, with the ascent of Nazism, he emigrated to Palestine. Between 1941 and 1947 he conducted the Palestine Folk Opera and Palestine Orchestra, and from 1950 to 1958 he was director of Kol Zion LaGola, an Israeli Radio Broadcast for the Diaspora. He settled in Haifa as an honorary citizen in 1962. As well as writing oratorios, chamber works and orchestral music, he composed many popular songs and incidental scores for theatre productions....

Article

Nicholas Tochka

(Alb. Familja Lela)

Family of Romani musicians from the south-eastern Albanian city of Përmet. The group performs the traditional polyphonic repertory of the saze ensemble. The family’s patriarch, Mania Lela (1902–82), was a noted folk singer who moved the family from Përmet to Tirana in 1940 in order to pursue his musical career. Saze ensembles typically perform an Albanian-language repertory at weddings and other important life events throughout southern Albanian towns and large villages. Ensembles include clarinet, violin, accordion, def (frame drum), and vocalists. Mani Lela’s sons performed on these instruments and sang in their family group, gaining fame for their large repertory and musicality. His oldest son, Remzi Lela (1937–95), nicknamed ‘Çobani’ (‘Shepherd’) led the younger generation. He was especially noted as a virtuosic clarinettist. Since the end of socialism, the group has achieved substantial international success in the world music market recording traditional songs from central and southern Albania and touring throughout Europe....

Article

Mikaela Minga

( b Leskovik, Kolonjë, Albania, ? 1885; d Istanbul, Turkey, ? 1965). Albanian singer of Romani origins . Both her father and brother were saze musicians, a typical ensemble in south Albania, consisting usually of a clarinet, violin, laouto, baglama, and frame drum. Her activity is primarily related to her birthplace, Leskovik, considered a core place for saze performance in the first half of the 20th century. She sang and played the violin with the group. The performances with her brother Selim Leskoviku (singer and clarinettist), recorded for the Odeon label’s 78 rpm recordings, are well known. Their two-part singing is based on the multipart singing practices characteristic of the rural areas of south-eastern Albania. Their saze group was family based. They had their own tavern but were also hired to play in different places nearby. Leskoviku has been described as having a very large vocal range, of up to three octaves. It has been said that she used to dress like a man and cut her hair short, attitudes that attributed her a special status among the ...