(b c1735; d Paris, late 1787 or early 1788). French composer and violinist. His first names are undoubtedly Charles-Guillaume (given by La Borde, 1780) rather than Claude-Guillaume (from the report of his wife’s death in Annonces, 14 August 1792). He is first mentioned in Les spectacles de Paris as a violinist in the orchestra of the Opéra-Comique from 1753 to 1755. By 1756 he had composed music for at least two spectacles à machines at the Théâtre des Tuileries (La Borde claims a third). The Annonces, affiches et avis divers of 15 September 1760 referred to him as first violin and maître de musique at the music school of Sieur Dubugraire; in the announcement of his Six trio op.4 (1762) he is described as the first violin of the Duc d’Aiguillon, a prominent patron in the French capital. Soon afterwards he began to take advantage of the expanding bourgeois musical life in Paris and for almost three decades he made his living as a composer, arranger and violin teacher. Although he is known to have been a violinist, his name does not appear as a soloist nor as a member of any Parisian orchestra after ...
Barry S. Brook, Richard Viano and Elisabeth Cook
(b Athens, Feb 17, 1960). Greek composer, musicologist, and keyboard player. Born into an artistic family, he took up jazz and free improvised music. During the period 1977–84 he took his first lessons in composition with Yannis Ioannidis while he also studied law at the University of Athens. Thereafter he continued his studies in composition at the Robert Schumann Musikhochschule (now Robert Schumann University, Düsseldorf) with Guenther Becker until 1986. Having a background both in jazz and electronic music, he showed an interest in the echo effect. Thus, in his early works (dating from the mid-1980s) he developed a heterophonic technique, which he called the ‘technique of linear heterophonic modulations’. In his music he makes extensive use of ancient Greek tetrachords, melodic ramifications, and modal structures deriving from the Greek and other non-Western traditions. Until 1994 his writing was abstract and rhythmically complex, while his later works are more conventionally structured and use consonant sonorities. His output includes operas, vocal music, works for orchestra, works for solo instruments, chamber music, incidental music, electronic music, ballet music, and music for films. Among his major works are the opera ...
(b Stockholm, May 1, 1872; d Falun, May 8, 1960). Swedish composer, conductor and violinist. He attended the Stockholm Conservatory (1887–91) and then took private lessons with Lindegren (composition) and Zetterquist (violin); from 1887 he also studied painting. A violinist in the Hovkapellet (the opera orchestra, 1890–92), he decided in 1892 to make his career in music. From 1904 to 1957 he conducted the Siljan Choir – a group of five church choirs and regional choirs in Dalarna – and he was the director of other choruses, including the Orphei Drängar (1910–47), with whom he made 22 tours throughout most of Europe. In addition he was Director Musices of Uppsala University (1910–39). A Hugo Alfvén Foundation has been established in Stockholm.
Alfvén's music is distinguished by orchestral subtlety and by a painterly exploitation of harmony and timbre. His output was almost entirely of programme music, often suggested by the Swedish archipelago; he commented that ‘my best ideas have come during my sea-voyages at night, and, in particular, the wild autumns have been my most wonderful times for composition’. A few pieces, often performed, have maintained his reputation: ...
(Ali Aga Kïzï)
(b Baku, May 28, 1947). Azerbaijani composer and pianist. She studied at the Music School attached to the Azerbaijan State Conservatory (1954–65) and then at the conservatory itself (composition with Kara Karayev and the piano with Khalilov), graduating in 1970 as a pianist and 1972 as a composer. She then attended a postgraduate course under Karayev (1974–6) and at the same time served as his assistant (1970–76) before being appointed assistant professor (1976–89) and then professor (1996 onwards). During the 1960s and 70s she encouraged the dissemination of new music by giving the first performances in Azerbaijan of works by Berg, Cage, Crumb, Messiaen and Schoenberg as well as playing works by Soviet composers such as Denisov, Gubaydulina and Schnittke. She also frequently took part in festivals around the former Soviet Union, while in 1988 she was elected to join the Friends of the Arnold Schoenberg Institute of Los Angeles and in ...
James L. Jackman
(b ?Milan, c1710; d Frankfurt, c1792). Italian cellist and composer. Although early sources (Eitner, Rudhart) claimed a Milanese origin for Aliprandi, the family has not been definitely traced. One of the numerous Italians who found careers north of the Alps, Aliprandi first appears in the records of the Bavarian court at Munich on 1 October 1731 as a chamber and court musician, with a yearly stipend of 1000 florins. On 22 August 1737 he succeeded G.B. Ferrandini as composer of chamber music; on 11 March 1744 he was promoted to Konzertmeister, with his salary increased to 1200 florins. By 1777 this amount had been reduced to 1105 florins, and in 1778 he retired with a pension of 500 florins. In 1791 he was living in Frankfurt; a petition by his son Bernardo Maria dated May 1793 indicates that he had died by then.
Aliprandi’s works for the Bavarian court opera include ...
James L. Jackman
revised by Valerie Walden
(b Munich, Feb 5, 1747; d Munich, Feb 19, 1801). Italian cellist and composer, son of Bernardo Aliprandi. The young Bernardo probably studied with his father and, like many cellists of the era, would have been familiar with the viol. He began playing the cello for the Munich court between ...
(b Tehran, 1951). Iranian tār and setār player, teacher and composer. He studied at the National Music Conservatory in Tehran from the age of 13 and then at the University of Tehran from 1970 to 1974; his teachers included Habibollah Salehi, Ali Akbar Shahnazi, Nur Ali Borumand, Abdollah Davami, Mahmud Karimi, Yusef Forutan, Said Hormozi, Dariush Safvate and Hooshang Zarif. From 1971 Alizadeh studied and taught at the influential Centre for the Preservation and Propagation of Iranian Music in Tehran; he later taught music theory and tār at the University of Tehran. In 1976 he began his association with Iranian National Radio and Television, working as a soloist, a composer and a conductor. He co-founded the Chavosh Cultural Artistic Centre in 1977 and the Aref Ensemble in 1983; he also worked with the Sheyda Ensemble. In the early 1980s he studied musicology and composition at the University of Berlin. In ...
(b Paris, Nov 30, 1813; d Paris, March 29, 1888). French pianist and composer. His real name was Morhange. He was one of the leading piano virtuosos of the 19th century and one of its most unusual composers, remarkable in both technique and imagination, yet largely ignored by his own and succeeding generations.
Of Jewish parentage, Alkan was the eldest of five brothers, all of whom, with an elder sister as well, became musicians under the assumed name Alkan; Napoléon Alkan, the third brother (1826–1910), taught solfège at the Paris Conservatoire for over 50 years. Valentin Alkan’s career at the Conservatoire started brilliantly with a premier prix for solfège at the age of seven. When Alkan was nine Cherubini observed that he was ‘astonishing for his age’ and described his ability on the piano as ‘extraordinary’. He won a premier prix for piano in 1824, for harmony in ...
(b Florence, Nov 16, 1567; d Florence, July 15, 1648). Italian composer and lutenist. Cesare Tinghi, the Medici court diarist, called him (in Solerti) ‘Lorenzo [or Lorenzino] todesco del liuto’, which has encouraged the notion that he may have been German, but his baptismal record confirms that he was from Florence. He entered the ranks of salaried musicians at the Medici court on 15 April 1604 as a lutenist; during the period 1636–7 he was referred to as maestro di liuto. In January 1622 he was appointed guardaroba della musica, and in due course he was also placed in charge of the pages who played, sang and danced in court entertainments. He continued to serve the court until his death. He seems chiefly to have written instrumental music. Only two vocal pieces by him are known: Tu piangi, a madrigal for solo voice and continuo published in Antonio Brunelli's ...
(b Morgan, TX, June 13, 1927). American conductor, composer, arranger, and trumpeter. Allen began trumpet lessons at age seven with his father, a 50-year Texas school band director, and later studied with Jimmy Burke of the Goldman Band and Lloyd Geisler of the National SO. During 45 years of military service, he conducted US Army bands, including the 101st Airborne Division Band. His career culminated with his appointment as Leader and Commander of The United States Army Band (Pershing’s Own) in Washington, DC, 1976–90. He led and supervised the band, chorus, orchestra, Army Blues, and Herald Trumpets in more than 5,000 performances annually at the White House, Pentagon, US Capitol, and Arlington National Cemetery, throughout the US, and in Canada, the US Virgin Islands, Japan, and Australia. He composed Salute to Veterans, the official march of the Veterans Administration, and The Major of St. Lo, the official march of the 29th Infantry Division. He is a past president of the American Bandmasters Association....
(b Pontiac, MI, June 12, 1957). American jazz pianist and composer. She began classical piano study at age seven with Patricia Wilhelm, who also encouraged her interest in jazz. After graduating from Detroit’s Cass Technical High School in 1975 (where trumpeter Marcus Belgrave was one of her teachers), she studied with John Malachi at Howard University (BA 1979, jazz studies) and with Nathan Davis at the University of Pittsburgh (MA 1982, ethnomusicology). She also took private piano lessons with Kenny Barron in 1979. She moved to New York in the early 1980s, where she became a member of the M-BASE collective. Allen recorded her first album as a leader, The Printmakers, in 1984 (Minor Music). Since then she has performed on more than 100 recordings in a variety of capacities. She worked in trios with Ron Carter and Tony Williams (on albums such as Twenty One, 1994, Blue Note) and with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian (...
[Stephen Valentine Patrick William]
(b New York, NY, Dec 16, 1921; d Encino, CA, Oct 30, 2000). American composer, radio and television personality, pianist, singer, and comedian. The son of Belle Montrose and Billy Allen, both of whom worked in vaudeville, he moved from place to place as a child, attending many schools for short periods of time. He played piano from an early age, although his musical training was mainly informal. He began a professional career in Los Angeles as a disc jockey on radio during the 1940s, then turned to television in the 1950s; he established himself as a comedian, and often played the piano during his shows, improvising jazz and singing his own songs. Among the musicians who appeared with him regularly was the vibraphonist Terry Gibbs. Allen’s most popular television program was “The Tonight Show,” which he began broadcasting locally in New York in 1953, subsequently leading it to nationwide success the following year. Allen performed the title role in the film ...
Horace Clarence Boyer
(b McCormick, SC, Sept 25, 1921; d Philadelphia, PA, July 30, 2008). American gospel singer, pianist, and composer. She moved to Philadelphia at an early age and sang and played at a local Church of God in Christ. In 1942 she joined a female quartet, the Spiritual Echoes, and served as their pianist for two years, leaving the group in 1944 to organize the Angelic Gospel Singers with her sister Josephine McDowell and two friends, Lucille Shird and Ella Mae Norris. Their first recording, “Touch Me, Lord Jesus” (1950), sold 500,000 copies in less than six months. Her most famous composition is “My Sweet Home” (1960). The incidental harmony of their rural singing style and Allison’s sliding technique appealed to a large number of supporters who otherwise found the gospel music of the period controlled and calculated. The group traveled and recorded with the Dixie Hummingbirds during the 1950s. Allison toured, recorded, and performed gospel music for over seven decades....
Ronald C. Purcell
(b Santos, Sept 2, 1917; d Sherman Oaks, CA, July 26, 1995). Brazilian guitarist, composer and arranger. He was taught the piano by his mother but secretly taught himself the guitar (borrowing his sister’s instrument) from the age of nine. He first worked for radio stations in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and in 1936 made a tour of Europe. For the 1940 Carnival he and Ubirajara Nesdan wrote Aldeia da roupa branca (later called Johnny Peddlar), which became internationally popular. From 1936 to 1947 Almeida worked with Brazilian artists such as Garoto, Villa-Lobos, Radames Gnatalli, Carmen Miranda and her sister Aurora, and Pixinguinha. After emigrating to the USA in 1947, he appeared in a Danny Kaye film, A Song is Born. Soon afterwards he joined Stan Kenton’s orchestra, staying with him as a soloist, arranger and composer until 1952. While with Kenton he introduced the classical guitar tradition to jazz, and his recordings from this time set the standard for jazz guitarists. In the early 1950s he cultivated ‘samba jazz’, a combination of cool jazz with samba elements. He also toured throughout the world and recorded with the Modern Jazz Quartet and his own group, the LA 4....
Lyndesay G. Langwill
revised by James B. Kopp
(b Ronsdorf [now Wuppertal], Germany, Oct 3, 1786; d Biebrich, Germany, Sept 14, 1843). German bassoonist, inventor, and composer. Largely self-taught, he was a professional bassoonist in Cologne from 1808. After a period with the Frankfurt Nationaltheater (1812–14) he returned to Cologne as bandmaster of the 3rd Prussian Militia, then accepted a similar position in Mainz (1816), where he met the acoustician and theorist Gottfried Weber. His association with Weber influenced his subsequent career and led him to make fundamental improvements to the bassoon. In 1817 he experimented in the instrument factory of B. Schotts Söhne. He first published his findings in Traité sur le perfectionnement du basson avec deux tableaux (Mainz, c1823), describing his improved 15-key bassoon. In 1820, after Weber’s departure from Mainz, Almenräder returned to Cologne where he taught and performed and also made flutes and clarinets in his own workshop. He gave this up in ...
Terence J. O’Grady
revised by Bryan Proksch
(b Los Angeles, CA, March 31, 1935). American trumpeter, composer, bandleader, and record company executive. He studied trumpet as a child and left college to play in the army for a two-year period. After three years of producing records on his own, he launched A&M Records with Jerry Moss in 1962. A&M’s first issue was also Alpert’s first recording as a trumpeter and bandleader, The Lonely Bull (A&M, 1962). The title track included sounds from the bullring in Tijuana, Mexico, so Alpert dubbed his band the Tijuana Brass. His music exploited a distinctive combination of Mexican mariachi-style brass with jazz rhythms, which was dubbed Ameriachi. A string of hits including “Mexican Shuffle” (A&M, 1964) and “Tijuana Taxi” (A&M, 1965) followed. In 1966 Alpert had five recordings simultaneously listed on the Billboard Top 20. His cover of “This guy’s in love with you” reached no.1 in ...
(b Buenos Aires, Feb 19, 1941). Argentine pianist and composer. He worked with Berio and Maderna in 1965; after two years at SUNY, Buffalo (1966–8) he moved to Berlin, then to Paris in 1973. In 1969, with the collaboration of Vinko Globokar and Michel Portal, he founded New Phonic Art, an ensemble dedicated to new forms of improvisation. He was awarded the Guggenheim Prize in New York in 1971 for his Überwindung for four soloists and orchestra (1970) and Schichten for chamber orchestra (1971). His work often involves elements of music theatre (La muraille, on a text by Michel Rafaelli and Taankred Dorst, 1981; Del tango, 1982) and forms of spectacle that include dance (Fusion, 1974, for two pianos and two percussionists with additional instruments played by the dancers). Alsina is fond of transforming or reinterpreting existing forms in his works; for example, the second part of his First Symphony attempts to recreate the emotional and musical world of the tango....
Eldonna L. May
(b Detroit, MI, April 13, 1953). American composer and pianist. As a teenager, she studied piano with Pearl Roberts McCullom. She received bachelor and master’s degrees in music composition at Wayne State University, studying with James Hartway. In 1983, she became the first female African American composer to receive the DMA in composition from the University of Michigan, where she studied with william Bolcom , Eugene Kurtz and Leslie Bassett. She also worked in electronic music with George Wilson for several years.
Alston taught briefly at Wayne State University (1983), Oakland University (1987), and Eastern Michigan University (1988). In 1991, she rejoined the faculty at Oakland University, where she is an associate professor in music composition. Her music has been performed in the United States and abroad. Alston’s Four Moods for Piano and Three Rhapsodies for Piano were selected for New York premieres by the North/South Consonance Ensemble. ...
(b New Bloomfield, PA, Feb 8, 1904; d Newport, PA, June 3, 1976). American composer, pianist and teacher. She studied at Vassar College (AB 1925), Columbia University (AM in musicology, 1931) and the Eastman School of Music (MM in composition, 1932). Her teachers included Ernest Hutcheson (piano, 1925–6), Rubin Goldmark (composition, 1926–7) and, at Eastman, Howard Hanson and Bernard Rogers. She taught at Vassar from 1929 to 1931 and between 1938 and 1942. In 1942 she joined the faculty of Connecticut College for Women, teaching composition, theory, history and the piano. She became a full professor in 1956 and department chair in 1963.
Alter began to compose while at college and continued until she retired from teaching in 1969. While at Eastman she composed large works with orchestra which Hanson conducted; these included a staged ballet Anthony Comstock at the Festival of American Music in ...
Mark E. Perry
(b Yabucoa, PR, March 31, 1939). Puerto Rican composer and guitarist. He studied guitar under Moisés Rodríguez and later received the B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico and the B.M. from the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. In 1970, he earned a master’s degree in composition from Indiana University. He studied composition with Héctor Tosar, Roque Cordero, Juan Orrego Salas, Bernard Hayden, Iannis Xenakis, and John Eaton. He teaches guitar and composition at the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras. His teaching also includes the production of radio and television programs. In addition, he investigates and publishes on Puerto Rican traditional music.
The music of Álvarez employs avante-garde techniques. In addition to an orchestra and narrator, his La creación (1974) exploits the use of electronic tape. In Sueños de colores (1975), he utilizes aleatoric (chance) procedures with soprano and traditional Puerto Rican instruments. He uses serial techniques for the construction of the melodies and two-part fugues in ...