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Article

Elizabeth Roche

(b 1694; d 1763). German composer. His one surviving publication, Alauda coelestis (Augsburg, 1750), contains six masses which are typical of much church music being published in the mid-18th century, when such music was becoming rather more elaborate than had been usual in the 1720s and 30s. There are also some manuscsript instrumental pieces, some of them scored with the participation of unusual instruments like hurdy-gurdy or jew’s harp as the middle part of the score. An account of his career is given in W. Senn: ‘Der Innsbrucker Hofmusiker Johann Heinrich Hörmann’, ...

Article

Svetlana Sarkisyan

(b Leninakan, [now Kumayrï, March 25, 1938). Armenian composer. He began his studies at the Leninakon (now Gyumri) Music College, where he learnt to play the kyamancha, an Armenian folk instrument. In 1964, he moved to Yerevan where he studied composition with Eghiazarian (1964–9) at the Yerevan Conservatory. He then taught harmony at the Babadjanian Music College (1969–81) before returning to teach orchestration and composition at the conservatory, of which he has been a professor since 1997. He joined the Armenian Composers' Union in 1969, the year in which he received a prize in the All-Union Young Composers' Competition for the orchestral work Music.

His early works – such as Contrasts (1967), Ensemble (1968) and the Septet (1973) – combine the contemplative and expressive qualities of post-Webernian pointillism and often display stereophonic spatial structures. The expressive sonority employed in these works intensified during the mid-1970s and resulted in the unique timbral qualities of the two books of ...

Article

Eliyahu Schleifer

[Heinrich]

(b Königsberg [now Kaliningrad, Russia], March 2, 1909; d Tel-Aviv, Dec 13, 1990). Israeli composer, conductor and string player . He studied the viola and composition with Hindemith at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik (1927–30). From 1930 to 1933 he played in the Grosses Orchester des Südwestdeutschen Rundfunks. With the rise of the Nazis, he left Germany and, after a year's sojourn in Istanbul, emigrated to Palestine. In 1934 he settled in Jerusalem where he joined the Palestine Music Conservatory (1934–47) and the Jerusalem String Quartet (1934–9), both of which were founded two years earlier by the violinist Emil Hauser of the Budapest String Quartet. He was appointed to the Jerusalem New Conservatory and Academy of Music in 1947 (assistant director, 1949–54; director, 1954–8). He later moved to Tel-Aviv, where he played the viola in the Israel PO until 1974. During 1974–5...

Article

Janna Saslaw

(b Breslau [now Wrocław], Aug 13, 1831; d Leipzig, Feb 1, 1902). German composer, theorist, teacher and conductor. He studied first in Breslau and later at the Leipzig Conservatory. He left Leipzig to study the piano with Liszt in Weimar (1849–52); there he heard Wagner's Lohengrin, which greatly impressed him. After returning to Leipzig, he studied with E.F. Richter and privately with Moritz Hauptmann. Jadassohn taught the piano in Leipzig, then conducted the synagogue choir (1865), the Psalterion choral society (1866) and the Musikverein Euterpe concerts (1867–9). In 1871 he was appointed teacher of harmony, counterpoint, composition and piano at the conservatory, and in 1893 named royal professor. His students included Busoni, George Chadwick, Delius, Grieg, Karg-Elert and Felix Weingartner.

Although successful as a performer, theorist and teacher, Jadassohn considered himself primarily a composer. He wrote works for piano, chamber ensemble, orchestra, chorus and solo voices, comprising over 140 opus numbers, but was perhaps best known for his canonic compositions: the Serenade for Orchestra op.35, two serenades for piano opp.8 and 125, the ballet music op.58 and the vocal duets opp.9, 36, 38 and 43. He also edited and arranged works by Bach, Brahms, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann, Wagner and others....

Article

Peter Le Huray

[Juet, Randall]

(b ?Chester, c1603; d Winchester, July 3, 1675). English organist and composer . According to ‘A Fragment of the Visitation of the City of Chester in the year 1591, by Thomas Chaloner of Chester, Deputy to the Office of Arms’, the Jewetts were a long-established Chester family of some eminence. William Jewett had been mayor in 1578, and was ‘one of the Queenes Ma[jes]tes Chappell; reputed for an excellent synging man in his youthe, a martchant of great adventures, and a lover of gentlemanlye disports and exercises’. His eldest son, Randle, was a ‘Merchant’, and ‘a singer in the King's Chappell’, and he was a member of the Chester Cathedral choir from at least 1612–15. His youngest son was Randolph, who from about 1630 until 1638 was organist of both St Patrick's and Christ Church cathedrals, Dublin. Benjamin Rogers succeeded him at Christ Church in 1639, but he remained at St Patrick's until ...

Article

Jean Mary Allan

revised by Rosemary Williamson

(b Edinburgh, July 26, 1823; d London, May 28, 1891). Scottish pianist and composer. He had his first lessons from his father, Samuel, and made his first concert appearance in the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms at the age of six. In 1834 he entered the RAM in London to study the piano under Cipriani Potter, and harmony and composition under John Goss; he became King’s Scholar in 1837. In 1838 he played at the RAM a piano concerto of his own. He was soon appointed teacher of piano in the RAM, and later a director. During the 1850s he was also professor of music at St Mary’s Hall, Brighton. In his earlier life Jewson was considered one of London’s finest pianists, and was famous as a teacher (Mackenzie was one of his pupils). Although his compositions are little heard today, they are of fine calibre and craftmanship; the Etudes de concert...

Article

Beatrix Borchard

revised by Katharina Uhde

(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 March 17, 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

Nathan Mishori

[Shlomi]

(b Warsaw, May 19, 1909; d Beit-Alpha, Dec 29, 1995). Israeli composer and teacher of Polish origin . In his youth he studied the piano, theory and solfège in Kuybïshev, Russia (1918–21), and in 1924 in Warsaw joined the Zionist movement Hashomer Hatzair, playing the mandoline, tuba, baritone and clarinet in its folk orchestras. He graduated from the Teachers’ Seminarium in Poznań in 1928, and in 1930, following agricultural studies in Brno, Czechoslovakia, moved to Palestine, helping to establish a kibbutz in 1932. Only after 1940 did he begin to be involved with music again, at first teaching and arranging music at the kibbutz Beit-Alpha. After a period of concentrated study (1947–53), with Tal and Partos at the New Jerusalem Academy of Music, and privately with Boskovich, he devoted himself to composition and teaching at the district conservatory for kibbutzim at Beth-She‘an Valley, where he was director until ...

Article

Andrew Lamb

(b Paris, March 5, 1827; d Saint Germain-en-Laye, May 22, 1905). French composer. He entered the Paris Conservatoire in October 1841, gaining second prize for harmony in 1846, first prize in 1847 and the second Grand Prix in 1849. From 1847 to 1866 he was professor of solfège at the Conservatoire, and from 1859 professor of harmony for military bands. He became director of music at the Portuguese synagogue, and published a collection of Hebrew tunes in 1854. He was an early contributor to Offenbach's Bouffes-Parisiens with the one-act operetta Le duel de Benjamin (1855), followed by Le roi boit (1857) and several more. Les deux arlequins (1865) and Le canard à trois becs (1869) gave him success abroad, and their production at the Gaiety Theatre, London, led to a commission for the three-act Cinderella the Younger (1871), later produced in Paris as ...

Article

Hugo Cole

revised by Malcolm Miller

(b Newcastle upon Tyne, July 24, 1927; d London, Nov 17, 1997). English composer. At the age of 16 he had his first lessons in harmony and counterpoint, from Arthur Milner. He took a degree in dental surgery at Newcastle upon Tyne in 1951, and practised dentistry during two years' army service. In 1954 he won a scholarship to the GSM, where he worked for two years under Alfred Nieman; this was followed by a year in Paris, studying with Max Deutsch (1958–9). He had already won several prizes in international competitions when, in 1963, his Requiem was awarded first prize in the first International Competition of La Scala and the City of Milan, after which he was able to abandon dentistry for full-time composition.

The Requiem, written in memory of the Jewish dead of World War II, is bold and unconventional in conception and form. It is a setting of the Hebrew Kaddish – the prayer for the dead – consisting of ten movements, nine of them slow. The first, fifth (‘Lacrimosa’) and ninth are for string quintet alone – reworkings of an earlier quintet. The music ranges in mood from the contemplative, as in the tranquil, harp-coloured orchestral seventh movement (‘De profundis’), to the defiant, as in the Waltonesque explosive orchestration of the third movement and pungent dissonances of the sixth. The vocal writing is imbued with a lyrical intensity. It was Josephs' masterful full-scale opera ...

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

Octavian Cosma

(b Timişoara, May 28, 1931). Romanian composer and musicologist. After attending the Arts Lyceum in Cluj, in 1948 he began to study conducting and the piano at the Hungarian Arts Institute then at the Academy in Cluj. Junger became a teacher (1954), lecturer (1957) and reader (1970–79) at the Cluj Academy, also working as a researcher at the Institute of Art History in Cluj (1955–7). In 1969 he attended classes in Darmstadt; he studied for the doctorate in musicology with Toduţa. In 1976 he settled in Israel and became a teacher at the Rubin Academy in Tel-Aviv. He has published many articles and in 1960 co-designed a harmony course for students. Well-versed in tradition, Junger writes music that is rich in chromaticism, thematically diverse and robustly expressive.

(selective list)

Article

Paul Attinello

(Raúl)

(b Buenos Aires, Dec 24, 1931; d Cologne, Sept 18, 2008). German composer, film maker and playwright of Argentine birth. Increasingly regarded as among the most important of late 20th-century European composers, his elaborate imagination, bizarre humour and ability to play with almost any idea or system has brought powerful and unexpected drama to the stage and concert hall.

Born into an Argentine-Jewish family with strongly leftist political views, he took theory, singing, conducting, piano, cello and organ lessons with private teachers such as Juan Carlos Paz and Alfredo Schiuma, but was self-taught as a composer. He studied philosophy and literature at the University of Buenos Aires, where Borges was among his lecturers. Although he failed the entrance examinations for the local music conservatory, he became artistic advisor to the Agrupación Nueva Música (Buenos Aires) in 1949. In 1950 he began to compose, seeking ideas that opposed the neo-classical style dictated by Juan Perón’s government. After co-founding the Cinémathètique Argentine and making an unsuccessful attempt to establish an electronic studio, he became a student conductor at the Chamber Opera, chorus director and rehearsal accompanist at the Teatro Colón, music advisor at the University of Buenos Aires, and cinema and photography editor for the journal ...

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

Bogusław Schäffer

(Zygfryd)

(b Lemberg, March 19, 1904; d New York, May 2, 1957). Polish composer. He studied harmony, counterpoint and composition with Sołtys and the piano with Jerzy Lalewicz at the Lwów Conservatory, and then continued his studies at the Poznań Conservatory with Brzostowski and Opieński (1922–6); he also took courses in law. In 1931 he went to Paris, where he was closely associated with the circle around Boulanger, though he was never her pupil. On his return to Poland, he worked as a lawyer and music critic in Poznań until the outbreak of war. In 1945 Kassern, who was of Jewish descent, went to New York as cultural attaché to the Polish consulate, and in 1948 became Polish cultural delegate to the United Nations. Thereafter he taught at the Third Street Music School and the Jaques-Dalcroze Institute.

Kassern’s early compositions were influenced by Szymanowski. He first made his mark as a composer with the Concerto for Soprano, which took second prize in the ...

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

Lada Brashovanova

(b Ruse, Sept 23, 1925). Bulgarian folklorist and composer. He graduated in 1952 in both theory and performance at the State Academy of Music in Sofia and worked at the Music Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, as junior research fellow (1953–66) and senior research fellow (1966–89). He received the doctorate at the institute in 1973 with a dissertation on Bulgarian polyphonic folksong; in 1979 he was appointed professor of ethnomusicology at the State Academy of Music and in 1989, senior research fellow at the Institute for Folklore of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. His areas of research include various aspects of Bulgarian and Jewish folk music and he has been a member of the Union of Bulgarian Composers' executive committee since 1965. Much of his work in the 1960s on the folksong from particular regions in Bulgaria was published in Izvestiya na Instituta z muzika...

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 ...

Article

Ivan Poledňák

(b Prague, April 18, 1934). Czech composer. From a Czech-Jewish family, he studied at the Prague Academy of Musical Arts (1953–8) where his principal composition teachers were Jaroslav Řídký and Pavel Bořkovec. For the whole of his creative life Klusák has dedicated himself exclusively to composition. His first works are influenced by both foreign and Czech musical modernists of the inter-war years (Stravinsky, Honegger, Martinů, Bořkovec and others). However, by the end of the 1950s Klusák’s longing for a rational system led him to accept the principles of the Second Viennese School, which he has developed in his own way (and which he likes to apply in diverse combinations of variation principles, in polyphonic voice-leading, dodecaphony, serialism and aleatory music). Klusák first came to the attention of the musical public at the end of the 1950s in the context of the ensemble Komorní harmonie, which was founded and directed by Libor Pešek. The ensemble gave concerts in the avant-garde Theatre Na Zábradlí (Theatre on the Balustrade). Klusák became its resident composer and wrote several works for the ensemble including ...

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 ...