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Article

Hans-Gunnar Peterson

(b Budapest, July 16, 1939; d August 12, 2005). Hungarian composer, active in Sweden. He studied composition and organ at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, and composition with Lidholm at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. He settled in Sweden, where after 1978 he was organist at the Catholic Cathedral in Stockholm, and where he become a leading figure in the field of electro-acoustic composition. Impulsioni I–III launched a career which was characterized by numerous large-scale works. For instance, Bilder inför drömmarna och döden, Rytmer och melodier, Triptykon and Tolv stationer are all long enough to last an entire concert programme.

Rózmann worked on the conviction that vocal and instrumental music have played out their role for composers, and that electro-acoustic music permits acoustic development and release from the strain of historical models. However, he often introduced vocal and instrumental sounds, particularly the organ or zither, Gregorian chant or the singing of Buddhist monks. The processes in which these materials are arranged are highly imaginative and virtuoso in construction. The works are rooted in the battle between light and dark, good and evil. The person is both victim and hero, torn between destructive and creative forces. Christian elements are represented by the Catholic Mass, but Eastern thinking is also reflected, not least by the Tibetan Book of the Dead....

Article

Carmen Helena Téllez

(b Caracas, Feb 8, 1948). Venezuelan composer. He studied composition with Primo Casale, Vicente Emilio Sojo and Evencio Castellanos at the José Angel Lamas Conservatory in Caracas (graduated 1974). He also studied contemporary composition techniques and electro-acoustic music with Ioannidis and Eduardo Kusnir.

A versatile composer, his output includes symphonic, choral and chamber works, electro-acoustic music and music for film and theatre. He has won several national and regional prizes in composition in Venezuela, including the José Angel Lamas National Prize for orchestral music. Parallel to his work as a composer, he was the director of the Cantaclaro vocal ensemble, through which he promoted Venezuelan and Latin American traditional and urban popular genres (1976–94). His style synthesizes the different influences in his training, namely the European historical and modernist traditions, the Venezuelan school of nationalism led by Sojo, and Latin American popular idioms.

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Article

(b Notre-Dame-de-la-Doré, Aug 9, 1938; d Montreal, Feb 2, 1985). Canadian composer. She studied music at the Ecole Vincent-d'Indy with Claude Champagne and obtained a premier prix in composition at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec à Montréal (1967). Among her teachers were Gilles Tremblay and Clermont Pépin. In 1967 she was the first woman to win the Prix d’Europe in composition with her work Modulaire. From 1968 to 1971 she undertook a course in electro-acoustic music with Schaeffer at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales in Paris. In 1969 she founded, with five composers from other countries, the Groupe International de Musique Electroacoustique de Paris (GIMEP) which gave concerts in Europe, South America and Canada until 1973. She returned in 1971 to Quebec where, along with the percussionists Guy Lachapelle and Robert Leroux, she founded the ensemble Polycousmie which mixed electro-acoustics with percussion and dance. Her work ...

Article

Arvid O. Vollsnes

(b Baerum, April 6, 1952). Norwegian composer and percussionist. He studied composition with Finn Mortensen at the Norges Musikkhøgskole, and extended his studies into electro-acoustic music and sonology with Werner Kaegi in Utrecht. He also studied percussion in Oslo, Århus and the USA. For many years he performed in leading Norwegian orchestras and percussion groups for contemporary music. He is now professor of percussion at the Norges Musikkhøgskole.

He has composed for a variety of ensembles and instruments, but most prominent are his works for percussion, often in combination with electronic sounds. Quite a few of these have been commissions from radio and TV, film, ballet ensembles and theatres. In his best work rhythmic vitality is mirrored by a refined and varied sound in the creation of music that is strongly expressive.

Article

Stephen Mosko

(b Johnstown, PA, June 26, 1945). American composer of electro-acoustic music. He studied English literature (BA 1967) and musicology (MA 1970) at the University of Pittsburgh where he also served as an organist at Heinz Chapel; while in Pittsburgh, he studied composition with Robert Griswold (1965–7) and Subotnick (1969–70). In 1970 he moved to Los Angeles to attend the California Institute of the Arts (MFA in composition, 1971), where he became a member of the composition faculty. He has also taught at California State University (1975–8) and at the University of California, Santa Barbara (1996). Schrader founded and directed Currents, a series of international electro-acoustic music programmes held in Los Angeles (1973–9), was director of the CalArts Electro-Acoustic Music Marathon (1983–7) and has participated in various festivals overseas. He has received awards from the Groupe de Musique Expérimentale de Bourges, ASCAP and other organizations, and in ...

Article

Bruno Giner

revised by Élise Petit

(b Lille, May 20, 1939). French composer. After musical studies in Paris and Versailles, Schwarz divided his activities between jazz drumming, the study of non-European music, and composition. He joined the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (Ina-GRM) from 1969 until 1999, and shared in the adventure of musique concrète. In 1980 he founded the label Celia Records. As a professor of electro-acoustic music at the École Nationale de Musique de Gennevilliers (1977–97) and an engineer at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique in the ethnomusicological department of the Musée de l’Homme in Paris (1969–99), he has composed works for concert performance (some purely acousmatic, others employing live instruments), cinema (music for Serge Moati, Jean-Luc Godard, Michel Deville, Gérard Follin Michel Léviant, Gérard Blain, Charles Belmont, Mosco, Marlène Ionesco, and Alain Resnais), dance (for the choreographers Carolyn Carlson, Dominique and Françoise Dupuy, Larrio Ekson, and Serge Campardon), and equestrian theatre for the French horse trainer Bartabas. His passion for jazz led him, in collaboration with André Francis, to the encyclopedic project La grande histoire du Jazz (...

Article

Jeff E. Winner

(b Brooklyn, NY, Sept 10, 1908; d North Hills, CA, Feb 9, 1994). American composer, electronic music pioneer, electronic instrument inventor, and pianist. After attending Brooklyn Technical High School, he studied theory, composition, and piano at the Juilliard School of Music. Following his graduation in 1931, he became a pianist for the CBS Radio orchestra. In 1934, at age 25, he wrote his first hit, later recorded by Louis Armstrong.

In 1936 he assembled a six-piece “Quintette” from his CBS colleagues, including Bunny Berigan, and Johnny Williams, father of movie score composer John Williams. Following successful live radio performances, they began recording on 20 February 1937. Scott’s compositions for this band represent his attempts to rejuvenate Swing music with minimal improvisation and busy, tight arrangements. He dubbed the style “descriptive jazz,” and the Quintette was popular until he disbanded it in 1939. Though Scott didn’t score cartoons, these compositions are familiar to millions because they were adapted into classic Warner Bros. ...

Article

Ronit Seter

[Arik]

(b Kibbutz Affikim, nr Tiberias, Nov 29, 1943). Israeli composer. He studied with two of the most influential Israeli composers at that time, Oedoen Partos and Mordecai Seter, at the Rubin Academy at Tel-Aviv University (BM 1968), but did not follow either stylistically. He turned instead to an extreme, politically motivated avant-garde style, influenced by Webern, Stockhausen, minimalism and the electro-acoustic music of the 1960s and 70s, an artistic direction which has led to his marginalization in Israel. A composer mainly of electro-acoustic music, Shapira is also an established private composition teacher. He was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Composers (1986), and, more controversially, the Israel Prize (1994), only the fifth such award to an Israeli composer in 40 years. He started teaching part time at the Open University, Tel-Aviv, in 1986 and at the Rubin Academy, Tel-Aviv, from 1990 to 1995...

Article

Ingram D. Marshall

(b Los Angeles, Feb 14, 1953). American composer. He studied composition with Edward Applebaum at the University of California, Santa Barbara (BM 1975), and with Nørgård and Karl Rasmussen at the Royal Danish Conservatory. Although he has made appearances in the USA, he has developed his professional career principally in Denmark after settling there in 1974. In 1986 he was appointed director of the Danish Institute of Electro-Acoustic Music in Århus. Strongly influenced by the American pop and folk music of his youth, he has also been drawn to the music of Ligeti, Reich and Andriessen. Siegel’s compositions often combine electronic processing (e.g. various types of digital delays) and computer music with instrumental ensembles of unusual make-up and size. In a work such as Domino Figures, scored for up to 100 guitars, players create a complex canon by passing motifs around a circle in a chain reaction. ...

Article

Adrian Thomas

(b L′viv, Oct 20, 1943). Polish composer. A graduate in sound engineering from the Warsaw Academy, she completed her studies in electronic music with Schaeffer and Bayle in Paris (1968–72) and studied computer music with John Chowning at Stanford. Between 1972 and 1974, back in Warsaw, she was a composition pupil of Baird and Z. Rudziński. Together with Knittel and Michniewski, in 1973 she founded the composers' group KEW. In 1981 she moved to France, and in 1985 was appointed to teach electro-acoustic music at the conservatory in Angoulême. She has created pieces at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, at IRCAM and Radio France. Among her awards are first prize at the GEDOK (Mannheim) competition in 1982, for Guernica and second prize for the chamber opera Ariadne at the 1978 Weber Competition (Dresden).

Sikora has written mostly for the stage, radio and electronic media. In the operas the often multilingual texts are as much spoken as sung, and her generally rhapsodic approach to drama incorporates a range of musical idioms and references. Among her most representative electro-acoustic works are ...

Article

Noël Goodwin

revised by Richard Wigmore

(b Venice, Nov 2, 1946; d Berlin, April 20, 2001). Italian conductor and composer. He combined medical studies at Padua with composition at the Venice Conservatory, where he became professor of contemporary and electronic music in 1972. Further studies with Bruno Maderna and Franco Donatoni were combined with conducting under Hans Swarowsky in Vienna. In 1975 he formed the Bruno Maderna Ensemble to perform contemporary music, and that year made his conducting début at the Royan Festival. His opera début was with Aida at Venice in 1978. For a time he made his name primarily as a composer, receiving commissions from various festivals in France, Germany and the Netherlands, and writing vocal and orchestral works and some chamber and electro-acoustic music. The influence of Donatoni was prominent, as well as a structural rigour characteristic of the Darmstadt school of the 1950s, but used in such a way as to allow the emergence of quasi-expressionist elements through a seductive tonal hedonism. His two-act opera ...

Article

John Young

(Arthur)

(b Nelson, May 16, 1946). New Zealand composer. He studied in New Zealand at the University of Canterbury and Victoria University and in Europe at the Paris Conservatoire with Messiaen, with the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) and at the University of York. Since 1971 he has lived in England. He taught at the University of East Anglia (1976–94) and in 1994 became professor of music at City University, London. His compositions, many of which have received international prizes, all make use of electro-acoustic resources, uniting a concern for the intrinsic timbral details of initial ‘sound-objects’ with the transformational potentials of studio technology. He maintains a strong belief in the ‘acousmatic’ (source unseen) nature of electro-acoustic music and its potential to extend sound imaginatively beyond the limitations of physical sources. Out of his concern for a perceptually based theoretical understanding of that medium, he has developed the notion of ‘spectromorphology’ to describe and classify the way sound spectra are shaped in time. Of his works, ...

Article

J. Carlos Estenssoro

(Roberto )

(b San Pedro de Lloc, May 29, 1956). Peruvian composer. He studied composition with Valcárcel and Hurriaga at the National Music Conservatory in Lima (1976–82). In 1981 he was awarded the prize for choral composition by the municipality of Lima for his Terceto autóctono. From 1984 to 1986 he lived in France where he studied at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris with Taira, Louvier, M. Zbar, and in the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, with P. Moin and Lejeune. He began to teach composition and analysis at the National Conservatory in Lima in 1989, and since then he has also begun to show an increasing interest in electro-acoustic music.

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Article

Gerard Béhague

(b São Paulo, Aug 8, 1952). Brazilian composer. He studied composition with Olivier Toni at the University of São Paulo (1968–70) and with Santoro (1978–9), and electro-acoustic music with Conrado Silva (1976–7). He earned his master's degree in 1994 from the University of São Paulo and in 1996 started working towards a doctoral degree in composition (electro-acoustic and computer music) at the University of Texas at Austin (1996–8).

Coelho de Souza received several prizes and grants, for example, the National Sarney Prize (1988) for his Galáxias, the Vitae Foundation grant (1990) for the composition Tristes trópicos, and a United States information service grant (1988) to visit 12 computer music centres in American universities. In 1989 he was music curator for the 20th São Paulo Arts Biennial and, from 1984 to 1993, co-director of the Santos and São Paulo New Music Festival. In ...

Article

Ingram D. Marshall

(Joseph)

(b Los Angeles, CA, Feb 10, 1953). American composer and radio producer. He studied composition with Tenney and Subotnick at the California Institue of the Arts (BFA 1975), where he became involved with experimental and electro-acoustic music. From 1974 he resided in Los Angeles, working for the Independent Composers Association and as director of KPFA radio, for which he produced numerous concerts of experimental and contemporary music. He has also served as president of the AMC.

In the 1980s he developed a reputation as an innovative and avant-garde performer of live electronic and computer music. Most of his compositions are performed in real time and involve processing devices. He has travelled and performed widely, especially in Japan where his work is particularly esteemed; a grant from the Asian Cultural Council took him to Japan for six months in 1989 for research purposes, and while there he also performed and lectured in several cities. Many of his works describe a gradually unfolding process, but often in reverse of the expected. The opening passage of ...

Article

Kristine H. Burns

(b Los Angeles, April 14, 1933). American composer and teacher. He attended the University of Denver (BA 1958) and Mills College (MA 1960), where he studied composition with Milhaud and Kirchner. He was in the US Army from 1955 to 1957. In 1959 and 1960 he was a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies, Princeton University. He founded and directed the San Francisco Tape Music Center (1961–6), and performed extensively as a clarinettist and conductor. His teaching career includes positions at Mills College (1959–66), New York University (1966–9) and the California Institute of the Arts since 1969, where he directs the Center for Experiments in Art, Information and Technology (CEAIT). He has won numerous awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship, Rockefeller Grants, Meet the Composer grants, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Kunsterprogramm (DAAD) grant and the 1998 SEAMUS award for work in electro-acoustic music....

Article

Bruno Giner

revised by Élise Petit

(b La Plata, Argentina, March 11, 1952). French composer. While taking a degree in physics at the National University of La Plata, he also studied music at the La Plata Conservatory (1973–7). He moved to France in 1977 and entered the electro-acoustic music class at the Paris Conservatoire, gaining his diploma in 1980. In 1983 he joined the Ina-GRM (Groupe de Recherches Musicales de l’Institut National de l’Audiovisuel) and took over artistic responsibilities. He became director of the Ina-GRM in 1997 and director of research at Ina in 2001, and has served there as a coordinator for two European initiatives: ‘PrestoSpace’ (2004–8), developing tools and strategies for preservation and digitization of audiovisual contents, and ‘PrestoPRIME’ (2009–12), finding ways to safeguard and keep digital content alive in the very long term. As a specialist in computer-generated music, he was particularly concerned with the research and development of new tools for electro-acoustic composition, with SYTER (...

Article

Arvid O. Vollsnes

(b Oslo, Oct 18, 1949). Norwegian composer. He received his diploma in composition in 1972 from the Oslo Conservatory, where his teacher was Finn Mortensen. He also studied sonology at Utrecht University, and philosophy and musicology at the University of Oslo. Between 1978 and 1981 the Norwegian Council for Research gave him a grant for his research into sonology. He was appointed professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music in 1988.

He was first influenced by modernist trends and by his studies in electro-acoustic music, but gradually his music has become neo-Romantic, possibly encouraged by his research into auditive analysis. His piano trio Bird of the Heart (1982) was extremely well received. In 1985 his Symphonic Concerto for violin and piano was given its première, and the following year his first microtonal work, Les trois régénerations, had its première in Paris. Like his later microtonal works, this was inspired both by intervals present in Norwegian folk music and by spectral music, which he had come to know through Murail’s work in Paris. A number of Thoresen’s works have texts or are inspired by texts relating to his Bahá’i faith. His choral pieces are as scented as their texts, and some of their expression and poetry is brought into his successful orchestral pieces ...

Article

Suzanne Beal

(b Istein, now part of Efringen-Kirchen, Germany, Nov 26, 1951). German instrument inventor, kinetic sculptor, sound artist, and composer, known as Trimpin. His father was a brass and woodwind player, and Trimpin played with old instruments as a child but developed an allergy to metals that precluded performing on brass instruments. Instead he experimented with making new devices using old radios and parts of discarded instruments. He studied music and art at the University of Berlin from 1975 to 1979. From 1976 to 1979 he was a musician for the Theater Zentrifuge in Berlin, and designed sets for the San Quentin Drama Workshop under the direction of Rick Cluchey and Samuel Beckett. In 1979 he left Berlin for Seattle and began independent research in sound sculpture design, combining music composition and kinetics with computer technology. From 1985 to 1987 he taught at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, and in ...

Article

Robert Jordan

(Douglas)

(b Chatham, ON, May 10, 1947). Canadian composer and electronic music researcher. After completing the BS in mathematics and physics at Queen’s University and the MMus at the University of British Columbia, he studied at Utrecht University with Gottfried Michael Koenig (electronic music and computer composition) and Otto Laske (sonology and procedural theory). In 1973 he joined R. Murray Schafer’s World Soundscape Project at Simon Fraser University, where in 1976 he was appointed professor in the School of Communication and School for the Contemporary Arts. His innovations include the interactive PODX compositional system, which he has employed in compositions for electronic tape, often in conjunction with instruments, computer graphics and voices.

Truax’s use of frequency modulation culminated with the composition of Solar Ellipse (1984–5). With Riverrun (1986) he became one of the first composers to use real-time granular sound synthesis as a compositional tool. He later refined this procedure to prolong sound sequences without altering their pitch, a technique he used in ...