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Alan Walker

(b Rudersdorf, nr Berlin, Jan 30, 1844; d Jena, April 27, 1918). German critic, pianist and composer. Although he was best known as the owner and editor of the influential Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung (1882–1907), Lessmann had earlier studied the piano with Bülow and composition with Friedrich Kiel in Berlin. In 1866 he became a piano teacher at the Stern Conservatory and the following year joined the faculty of the Klavier-Schule Tausig, a position he held until Tausig's death in 1871. From 1872 he was head of the music department of the Kaiserin Augusta Stiftung, in Potsdam, and he also taught at the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory. The relationship with Bülow and Tausig was important in bringing him into personal contact with both Liszt and Wagner, and he became a staunch supporter of the New German School.

Lessmann was widely respected as a critic. His prose was judicious and tempered, and it was informed by many years of practical music-making. Generally speaking he championed the new and unusual in music. This made him the polar opposite of his older contemporary Eduard Hanslick, who was seen as representing the more conservative musicians of the time. Lessmann was a regular visitor to Bayreuth and gave generous coverage to the festivals of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein, of which Liszt was the lifetime president. Liszt thought well of him as a composer and transcribed his three ‘Tannhäuser’ songs for solo piano. He also wrote a monograph on Liszt (...

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Patrick J. Smith

(b Los Gatos, CA, June 7, 1934; d New York, Dec 17, 1994). American music critic and pianist. He studied piano with Lev Shorr, Alexander Libermann and Rosina Lhévinne, attended San Francisco State College (BA 1956) and did graduate work in political science at the University of California, Berkeley (MA 1958); he then taught political science at Berkeley (1957–8). He was appointed to the faculty of the Aspen Music School in 1971 and to that of the Waterloo Music Festival, New Jersey, in 1976; he was named artistic director of the festival in 1985. He became music critic of Commentary in 1976, publisher of the New Criterion in 1982 and in the same year was appointed to the National Council on the Arts. He won the Deems Taylor Award in 1977 and 1980 for criticism and again in 1980 for his collection of essays ...

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Paula Morgan

(b New York, NY, Aug 26, 1894; d Cleveland, OH, Jan 4, 1969). American pianist and writer on music, half-brother of frank Loesser . He studied at City College of New York, Columbia University, and the Institute of Musical Art, New York. He made his debut as a pianist in Berlin in 1913 and in New York in 1916, and thereafter toured the United States, Australia, and the Far East. Loesser joined the piano faculty of the Cleveland Institute in 1926; he was head of the piano department there from 1953 until his death. He also wrote program notes for the Cleveland Orchestra (1927–42) and was music critic of the Cleveland Press (1939–56). During World War II Loesser was an intelligence officer with the US Army; after the war he was posted to Japan, where he performed with the Japan SO (1946) and lectured (in Japanese). He was the author of ...

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Allan Thomas

( b 1796; d 1866). Scottish dancing-master . He was the most prominent member of a family of dance teachers in Scotland in the early 19th century, whose descendants numbered more than 20 teachers over five generations and who were active in Scotland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand for some 200 years. With his brothers John, Robert and James, Lowe was influential in establishing Scottish dance in a modern ballroom form. The brothers taught in different parts of Scotland and together wrote Lowes’ Ball-Conductor and Assembly Guide (Edinburgh, c1830), one of the most extensive 19th-century dance manuals. Joseph Lowe also published many arrangements of Scottish dance-tunes for the piano. From 1851 to 1860 he was dance tutor to the family of Queen Victoria, and his journal of these years gives an insight into his teaching at Windsor and Balmoral. His workbook, which contains step descriptions of dances and some entries by his son Joseph Eager Lowe, who taught in New Zealand and Australia, is in the National Library of New Zealand....

Article

( b Schwäbisch Hall, Oct 16, 1689; d Schwäbisch Hall, May 22, 1768). German organist and writer on music . He began organ lessons at the age of nine with Baur, organist of St Katharina; after completing the curriculum of the local Gymnasium, he was a municipal clerk in neighbouring towns, returning later to his native city first as district clerk and then as city clerk, also becoming in 1724 Kantor and organist of St Katharina. Majer wrote two musical instruction manuals, Hodegus musicus (Schwäbisch Hall, 1718; lost) and the important Museum musicum theoretico practicum (Schwäbisch Hall, 1732/R, 2/1741; Majer’s annotated copy is in D-Sl ). It is the latter which establishes him among the significant writers on music in the late Baroque. The Museum musicum aims to give students self-instruction in the elementary concepts of musical notation (musica signatoria) and in the techniques of playing most instruments, including the recorder, chalumeau, flute, oboe, bassoon, cornett, flageolet, clarinet, clarino, horn, trombone, various keyboard instruments, lute, harp, timpani, violin and the viols. His explicit fingering and position charts for each of these instruments provides an unusually clear picture of German Baroque instrumental practice. A succinct introduction to the thoroughbass practice is also informative. Very little of Majer’s short work seems to be original. He said the thoroughbass material was taken from an anonymous work of ...

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Steve Smith

(Marc )

(b Chicago, Dec 26, 1950). American writer. He learned piano and flute as a child and pursued his formal education at Syracuse University (1970–72), Mills College (1972), and Roosevelt College (1973–5); he also studied boogie-woogie, swing, and blues piano with leading players in Chicago. In 1975 he embarked on his writing career, working for Down Beat (as associate editor, 1978–81), The Wire, Musical America, Tower Pulse!, the Village Voice, the Washington Post, Billboard, the New York Times Book Review, and Jazziz. He contributed scripts for jazz shows on NPR and held editorial positions at Guitar World (1982–3), Ear (1987–92), the JVC Jazz Festival program guide published by Tower Pulse! (from 1994), and Rhythm Music (1996–7). Mandel was a founder of the Jazz Journalists’ Association: in 1992 he became its president and in 1997 editor of its website, ...

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Robert Stevenson

(b ?Lisbon, c 1735; d Lisbon, ? Dec 14, 1797). Portuguese writer on music . He belonged to a family of violinists that João V brought to Lisbon from Parma before 1719. While a chamber musician at the court of José I he won the favour of Frei Manuel do Cenáculo Vilas Boas, elected Bishop of Beja in 1770 and Archbishop of Évora in 1802. 17 poems by him, dedicated to the bishop, and a graceful Canzoneta e minuete, composed for the bishop’s birthday (1 March 1791) are in the Biblioteca Pública in Évora. By 1791 Mazza had evidently left Lisbon to accept a post, which his patron had created for him, teaching Italian at Beja. A note in his manuscript translation of Iriarte’s La música (in P-EVp ) says that Mazza died at Faro in 1798 or 1799 but the records of the Lisbon Brotherhood of St Cecilia, to which he belonged, give the date as ...

Article

M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet

(b Berlin, June 13, 1887; d New York, April 22, 1967). American musicologist, conductor and critic, of German birth . He studied musicology with Friedlaender at the University of Berlin and law at the University of Heidelberg, where he received the doctorate in 1911. From 1913 to 1921 he worked as an operetta conductor in Osnabrück, Essen, Strasbourg, Bremen and elsewhere; later (1921–3) he was music director of the Berlin Kammeroper. In the 1920s and 30s he was a critic for the Lokalanzeiger and other newspapers (including a few Jewish ones) and a writer of programme notes for the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. He taught music theory and history at the Stern Conservatory and conducted several madrigal choirs. The Nazis identified him as an important Jewish music critic, but on account of his non-Jewish wife Anni he was spared the concentration camps. He did, however, have to endure forced labour as a porter in the Jüdische Bibliothek des Sicherheitshauptamtes. After the war he was able to resume teaching and was even invited to form an orchestra by the mayor of Schöneberg, but he was abruptly arrested by a Soviet patrol for obscure reasons. After his release he emigrated to the USA in ...

Article

Sergey Belichenko

(Pavlovich )

(b Braşov, Romania, April 20, 1947). Russian pianist, keyboard player, and journalist of Romanian birth. In Lithuania he studied accordion at Vilnius Music College (1961–5) and composition at the Lithuanian State Conservatory (1965–8). He first led quartets at the festivals in Tallinn (Estonian SSR [now Estonia]) in 1966 and 1967, and from 1969 to 1970 he led groups in Vilnius. In 1979 he began working with Vladimir Chekasin in settings ranging from a duo to a large orchestra. He performed at Soviet festivals in Riga and Krasnoyarsk, and internationally in Karlshamn (Sweden), Münster, Göttingen, and Munich (Germany), Lyons (France), Skopje (Yugoslavia), Salzburg (Austria), Venice and Rome (Italy), and Budapest, and played with such leading Lithuanian musicians as Petras Vyšniauskas, Vytautas Labutis, and the alto saxophonist Danielius Praspaliauskis. After studying journalism he published articles on Lithuanian jazz, and in 1989 he joined the staff of the new Russian magazine ...

Article

Rogier Starreveld

revised by Katja Brooijmans

(b Haarlem, May 28, 1896; d Heerlen, May 22, 1977). Dutch composer, organist, critic and teacher. He studied organ with Jos Verheyen in Amsterdam and Louis Robert in Haarlem. He continued his studies with Jean Baptiste de Pauw (piano and organ) and Sem Dresden (composition) at the Amsterdam Conservatory. He received a state grant for study in Paris at the Schola Contorum with Vincent d’Indy and Louis Aubert. He then taught composition and analysis at the Rotterdam Conservatory and the Amsterdam Conservatory (1927–32). Prolifically active as a critic, he was appointed music editor (in 1933) for the De Tijd-Maasbode group and was since 1946 a regular contributor to the new music journal Mens en melodie.

Characteristic of Monnikendam’s working method is his constancy towards a basic idea. This could be a melodic principle such as the Gregorian chant melody in the Sinfonia sacra (1947...

Article

Rolf Haglund

(Juan Magnus)

(b Almeria, Oct 15, 1874; d Tällberg, April 29, 1957). Swedish composer, conductor and critic, of Spanish birth. He moved to Sweden at the age of seven and, after schooling in Göteborg, he studied the piano and composition at the Stockholm Conservatory (1891–9) and in Berlin (1899–1901). He was music critic of the Göteborgs handels- och sjöfartstidning (1901–5), the Dagens nyheter (1909–11) and the Svenska dagbladet (1911–18), and conductor of the Göteborg SO (1905–9). From 1917 to 1939 he taught conducting and other subjects at the Stockholm Conservatory, where in 1921 he was made professor. He was secretary to the Academy of Music (1918–40) and undertook numerous public commissions. As a conductor he appeared in Scandinavia, Germany and Switzerland. His colourful music combines a Spanish Impressionism with Nordic Romanticism.

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Article

Walter Aaron Clark and William Craig Krause

(b Madrid, March 3, 1891; d Madrid, Sept 12, 1982). Spanish composer, conductor and critic. He first studied music with his father, José Moreno Ballesteros, an organist and teacher at the Royal Conservatory in Madrid, and with whom he collaborated on his first zarzuela, Las decididas (1912). He later studied composition with Conrado del Campo at the Royal Conservatory, where his tone poem La ajorca de oro was first performed in 1918. In 1926 he married Pilar Larregla, the daughter of a Navarrese composer; the folk music of Navarra along with that of Castile was to serve as a major source of inspiration in his music. Although not a guitarist himself, in the 1920s his growing friendship with Segovia inspired him to begin writing for the guitar, and the resulting compositions such as Sonatina (1924) and Piezas características (1931) are among his finest works. He also established himself as a composer for the stage, and his zarzuela ...

Article

Hélène Paul

[Callihou, James ]

(b Cap Saint-Ignace, PQ, July 13, 1892; d Lac Marois, PQ, May 29, 1941). Canadian music critic, composer and pianist. After studying with Gustave and Henri Gagnon in Quebec and with Guillaume Couture and Arthur Letondal in Montreal, Morin won the Prix d’Europe in 1912, enabling him to complete his musical education in Paris with Isidore Philipp, Raoul Pugno, Ricardo Vinès and Jules Mouquet. On his return to Montreal in 1914, he gave numerous concerts and began his career as a critic, co-founding the avant-garde publication, Le Nigog in 1918. He moved to Paris in 1919 and there soon gained a respected position as both pianist and critic, serving as a contributor to Le monde musical (1920). Settling in Montreal from 1925, he was secretary of the Montreal branch of the Pro Musica Society of New York (1926) and a music critic and chronicler for ...

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Geoffrey Chew

(b Prague, 23 June 1914; d Prague, 8 Feb 1945). Czech musicologist, violinist, and music critic. After studying law and arts at Prague University, and the violin at the Prague Conservatoire (1933–7), he became a member of the Czech Philharmonic and of the Pro Arte Antiqua ensemble, and was very active as journalist and critic, editing and writing for Hudební věstník and Smetana, besides contributing articles on musical subjects during the German occupation to České slovo, the party organ of the patriotic, moderate-socialist Česká strana národně sociální. As a musicologist he was wide-ranging, writing on 18th-century music, preparing a catalogue of Dvořák’s works and editing 20th-century Czech operas, besides the items listed below. A provocative review in České slovo of a Smetana concert in 1945 led to his being arrested, tortured, and executed by the German occupying authorities.

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ed. and trans.: Vlastní životopis V. I. Tomáška...

Article

Viorel Cosma

revised by Laura Otilia Vasiliu

(b Bucharest, Romania, Oct 1, 1890; d Bucharest, Jan 19, 1951). Romanian composer, conductor, music critic, teacher, and violinist. Along with Alfred Alessandrescu and Ion Nonna Otescu, Nottara was among the first disciples of the renowned composition professor Alfonso Castaldi from the Bucharest Conservatory. First under the influence of French impressionism, then of Italian verismo, Nottara’s work then gradually integrated with the tendency of forming a Romanian national style in the first half of the 20th century.

He studied at the Bucharest Conservatory (1900–07) with D.G. Kiriac (music theory and solfège), Alfonso Castaldi (composition), and Robert Klenck (violin); he continued his studies under George Enescu and Berthelier (violin) in Paris (1907–9), and under Klinger (violin) and Schatzenholz (composition) at the Königliche Akademie der Künste, Berlin, (1909–13). His career as a violinist included orchestral playing in the Bucharest PO (1905–7, 1918–20), leading a string quartet (...

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Nucleus  

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Paul-André Bempéchat

(b Besançon, June 13, 1875; d Paris, May 15, 1959). French composer, conductor and critic. Born into an aristocratic family with a lengthy, distinguished military lineage, d'Ollone struggled to reconcile these inherited responsibilities with his Utopian, socialist perspective of music. Thoroughly committed to the deeper appreciation of music through public education, he strove to impress its pivotal role in the evolution of the human character. He developed this philosophy through the study of theology and symbolist literature, and projected it through opera, his preferred medium of expression.

A pupil of Gédalge, Lavignac, Lenepveu and Massenet at the Paris Conservatoire, d'Ollone reaped numerous honours there and throughout his lengthy career, notably the Prix de Rome (1897) for his cantata, Frédégonde. Twice honoured by the Légion d'Honneur (Chevalier in 1926, Officier in 1938), he was appointed director of the Concerts populaires d'Angers (1907–15), at the Ministry of Fine Arts (...

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George J. Grella

[Robert ]

(b Albuquerque, NM, April 19, 1957). American composer, performer, instrument builder, and journalist. In high school he learned to play guitar, flute, violin, and percussion. In 1976 he enrolled at the Oberlin Conservatory, where he built a Serge modular synthesizer. He also formed the Fall Mountain ensemble with the reed player Ned Rothenberg and the violinist Jim Katzin. After leaving Oberlin in 1979 without a degree, he toured with Anthony Braxton’s Creative Music Orchestra then settled in New York. There he began playing with John Zorn, Eugene Chadbourne, Wayne Horvitz, and Fred Frith and embarked on an idiosyncratic and individualistic career.

Ostertag’s work is holistic; he has developed his compositions inseparably from the instruments he has designed, the musicians with whom he has collaborated and improvised, and the explicit and passionate political opinions he has sought to express. In 1980 he released his first solo album, Getting a Head...

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(b Little Rock, AR, June 19, 1945; d Valhalla, NY, Nov 20, 1997). American writer. As a youth he played reed instruments with rock, country, and soul bands, and later performed as a member of an eclectic group called the Insect Trust, with which he recorded two albums. He was a co-founder of the Memphis Blues Festival in 1966, and the following year graduated from the University of Arkansas. In New York thereafter he became a widely published freelance writer on jazz, rock, and the avant garde. From 1975 he was a regular reviewer for the New York Times and in 1981 he was appointed to its staff of jazz and pop critics. Palmer wrote four books, the most important of which was a study of the Delta blues (Deep Blues, New York and London, 1981). He held teaching positions at Bowdoin College, Memphis State University, Brooklyn College, CUNY, Yale University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Mississippi, where he worked after leaving the ...

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Albert Mell

(b Breslau, Oct 3, 1807; d Florence, Nov 18, 1887). German singing teacher, violinist, composer and critic. He studied singing with the Kantors Strauch and Förster, and learnt the violin with Joseph Mayseder. His initial career was as a violinist. About 1834 he settled in Paris, as a performer, critic and composer, and editor of and contributor to the new Gazette et revue musicale; he was also a correspondent for the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. He was a prolific composer for the violin and of solo songs. After 1840 Panofka’s interest turned towards the art and techniques of the great singers he heard in Paris. He studied the methods of Marco Bordogni, and went to London in 1847 and directed the chorus of the Royal Italian Opera under Lumley. He met Jenny Lind there and studied her vocal techniques, as well as those of Lablache, Fraschini and Staudigl. In London he was esteemed more as a singing teacher than as a violinist. His first didactic work, the ...