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David Brackett

(b Galveston, TX, Sept 12, 1944; d Los Angeles, July 4, 2003). American soul singer, songwriter and producer. Moving to Los Angeles at a young age, White immersed himself in the local rhythm and blues scene, making recordings under the name Barry Lee and playing, writing, arranging and producing recordings for others. His breakthrough came in 1969 when he began producing for the female vocal trio Love Unlimited. Their hit Walking in the Rain (1972) featured what were to become White's trademarks: sound effects, lush orchestrations, sensitive and unabashedly romantic lyrics and White's speaking voice. Commercial success came in 1973, as a solo singer (I'm gonna love you just a little more baby and Never never gonna give ya up), and as a writer, producer and arranger for the Love Unlimited Orchestra (Love's Theme), a 40-piece group which also performed on White's solo work....

Article

Robert B. Winans

[Charles T. ]

(b Newark, NJ, June 4, 1821; d New York, NY, Jan 4, 1891). American minstrel performer and manager. He made his first stage appearance in 1843 as an accordion player, singer, and comedian. He organized the Kitchen Minstrels in 1844, and in 1845–6 performed with several other groups. He also wrote many minstrel sketches and songs. He formed his own company, White’s Serenaders, late in ...

Article

Vernon Gotwals

(b London, Ont., June 20, 1900; d Fairfield, CT, Sept 21, 1980). American organist of Canadian birth. A graduate of the University of Toronto (1924), he studied organ there with Healey Willan. In 1925 he went to New York to study with Lynnwood Farnam (White had been a boy soprano at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Ontario, where Farnam was organist). He played at Flatbush Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, then at St George’s, Flushing. From 1927 to 1935 he was organist at St James’s in Philadelphia. He taught at various times at Bard College, Pius X School of Liturgical Music, Swarthmore College, Peabody Conservatory, Union Theological Seminary, and Butler University. His most influential post, however, was as organist, and later director of music, at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, New York (1937–58). In 1962 he became director of music at the Church of the Saviour, Syracuse, New York; his last position was at St George’s in Bridgeport, Connecticut....

Article

Graham George

revised by Kelly Rice

(Ernest)

(b Peterborough, July 10, 1887; d Amherst, NS, April 1, 1974). Canadian organist, choir director, composer and teacher of English birth. Taught by C.C. Francis and Haydn Keeton, both of Peterborough Cathedral, and later by A.E. Hull, he moved in 1912 to Canada, where his chief posts were at St Peter’s, Sherbrooke (1915–22), Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal (1922–47) and Trinity-St Stephen’s United Church, Amherst (1953–71). From 1947 until his retirement in 1953 he was head of music at Mount Allison University, New Brunswick. He took the degrees of BMus (Toronto) and DMus (McGill), and the diplomas of FRCO (with which he was awarded the Lafontaine Prize) and FCGO (1913, the first Fellow by examination in the new guild, which had been formed in 1909 and some ten years later became a college), and was awarded several honorary degrees. He was president of the (Royal) Canadian College of Organists (...

Article

Clement A. Miller

[Jobst ]

(b Resel, Värmland, c1486; d Frankfurt an der Oder, Nov 12, 1552). German humanist, physician, writer and musician . The generally accepted birthdate for him is about 1486, but according to Pietzsch it is 1501. In 1516 he entered the University of Frankfurt an der Oder, where he probably studied music under Johann Volckmar. After graduating he taught music from 1522 to 1539. In 1524 Willich became professor of Greek and in 1540 professor of medicine. Although he retained his connection with the university until his death, he was frequently called to other countries (such as Poland and Hungary) because of his renown as a physician. He corresponded with Erasmus and was personally acquainted with Luther, Melanchthon and Glarean. More than 60 writings on philology, antiquity, philosophy, theology, law, medicine, mathematics and music, some of which remained current into the 18th century, gave Willich a position as one of the outstanding German humanists of his time. An ardent lutenist, he founded about ...

Article

Michael Kennedy

(b Clifton, July 22, 1889; d Petersfield, Dec 18, 1966). English tenor and administrator . He had music lessons from C.B. Rootham at Cambridge University, 1908–11, and in 1911 he sang Vaughan Williams’s On Wenlock Edge for the Oxford University Music Club, so pleasing the composer that he wrote his Four Hymns for him. War injuries during his army service affected one lung and permanently damaged his health, but he resumed his singing career in 1918, playing a leading part in the formation of the English Singers. He took further lessons in 1921 from Jean de Reszke, and rapidly went to the forefront of British singers, with special success in The Dream of Gerontius and as the Evangelist in the St Matthew Passion. He made concert tours in the USA, Canada and Australia, appeared with the British National Opera Company, in Mozart operas at the Old Vic Theatre, and in the Glastonbury Festival operas by his friend Rutland Boughton. In ...

Article

Harold Rosenthal

revised by Alan Blyth

(b Annemasse, Switzerland, June 26, 1914; d Stuttgart, 5 or Sept 8, 1974). German tenor and director . He studied in Stuttgart with his father, the tenor Fritz Windgassen, and Alfons Fischer. In 1941 he made his début at Pforzheim as Don Alvaro (La forza del destino). He was a member of the Stuttgart Staatsoper (1945–72), singing first in the Italian repertory and in such parts as Tamino, Max, Hoffmann and Florestan; he then began to prepare Wagnerian roles and in 1950 sang his first Siegmund. In 1951 he sang Parsifal at Bayreuth to acclaim; he appeared there each year until 1970, as Froh, Siegmund, Siegfried, Lohengrin, Tannhäuser, Walther, Erik, Loge and Tristan, establishing himself as the leading postwar Heldentenor. In 1972 he was appointed director of the Stuttgart Staatsoper, where his productions included Boris Godunov (1972). He appeared regularly in the Wagnerian repertory at Covent Garden (...

Article

Jonas Westover

(b Michigan, 1949). American composer, pianist, producer, and guitarist. He is best known for his evocative and introspective solo piano works. He often draws on nature for his picturesque titles, perhaps responding to his time in the Midwest and areas such as eastern Montana. He did not receive any formal training, but instead learned to play the organ by ear in 1967 by listening to records. In 1971, he turned to the piano, influenced by 1920s jazz and the stride piano style of Thomas “Fats” Waller and Teddy Wilson, among others. He studied music at Stetson University in Deland, Florida. The style he developed has been described by Winston as “rural folk piano,” and he was asked to record by John Fahey for Takoma Records in 1972. His first album, Ballads and Blues, did not receive much popular or critical acclaim, but it brought Winston to the attention of New Age guru William Ackerman in ...

Article

Philip L. Miller

(b Buffalo, NY, July 21, 1873; d New York, May 10, 1935). American bass, teacher and music administrator . At Yale University he studied both art and music; his teachers included Horatio Parker in composition and Gustav Stoeckel in singing. He continued his studies with MacDowell, among others, and later studied in Paris, London and Berlin. In 1898 he made his début with Savage’s Castle Square Opera Company in New York as Ramfis in Aida, and was one of the first American singers engaged by the Metropolitan Opera’s new general manager, Gatti-Casazza. Having made his début as Titurel in Parsifal (1908), he sang, among other roles, Gurnemanz, King Mark, the Landgrave (Tannhäuser), Pogner and Sarastro, and took part in the first two American operas given by the Metropolitan, F.S. Converse’s The Pipe of Desire (1910) and Parker’s Mona (1912). Witherspoon retired from the Metropolitan in ...

Article

Friedrich Baser

revised by Rudolf Walter

(b Schwarzenbach am Wald, Upper Franconia, Dec 17, 1854; d Samaden, Grisons, May 8, 1919). German conductor, concert organizer, teacher and composer. He became an elementary teacher at the Altdorf teachers' seminary. In 1875 he was appointed second music teacher at the Bamberg teacher's seminary. He then studied in Munich at the Königliche Musikschule with Rheinberger and Franz Wüllner. Humperdinck was a fellow pupil, and they became lifelong friends. Wolfrum returned to the Bamberg seminary from 1879 to 1884, when he was appointed to teach music at the University of Heidelberg. He became music director at the university in 1885, and in the same year founded and directed the Akademischer Gesangverein and the Bachverein, which made Heidelberg an important musical centre. Wolfrum was made professor of music history in 1898. His pupils included Fritz Stein, Karl Hasse and Hermann Poppen.

Wolfrum was a champion of the works of Liszt, Bruckner, Strauss and Reger. He conducted all of Reger's works composed between ...