(b Leninakon [now Gryumri, Armenia], April 7, 1924; d Leningrad, March 12, 1977). Soviet musicologist, aesthetician, sociologist and critic. He graduated in 1949 from the faculty of theory and composition at the Leningrad Conservatory, in 1953 from the Research Institute of Theatre and Music, and in 1954 from the philosophy department of Leningrad University. A year later he joined the staff of the Leningrad Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinematography, and in 1968 was also appointed to a professorship at the Leningrad Conservatory. He was awarded the Kanditat degree in 1954 for his dissertation on populist song during World War II and received the doctorate in 1965 for his dissertation on Borodin. In 1976 he initiated the formation of the Soviet Union’s first department of music criticism, at the Leningrad Conservatory. In the last ten years of his life he was a director of the criticism and music studies divisions of the Leningrad Union of Composers and of the Union of Composers of the USSR....
Larisa Georgievna Danko
(b Kakhovka, Crimea, Nov 1, 1871; d Yerevan, May 7, 1928). Armenian composer and conductor. Together with Komitas he was one of the founders of the 20th-century Armenian national school; like The Five, and in particular Rimsky-Korsakov, he drew on a wide range of east European and Near Eastern folk music. His early years were spent in the Crimea, first at Kakhovka, then at Simferopol′ (1882–90), where he studied at the Gymnasium. In 1895 he graduated from the law faculty of Moscow University; there he had played the violin in the student orchestra conducted by Klenovsky, who recommended him to move to St Petersburg to study with Rimsky-Korsakov (1896–1900). Spendiaryan returned to the Crimea and carried out important work in developing music education. From 1908 he directed the Society of Amateurs of Music and Dramatic Art, and he was involved in the management of the Yalta section of the Russian Music Society (RMO); he also conducted in Moscow, St Petersburg, various south Russian towns and abroad. In ...
William Y. Elias
(b Düsseldorf, Nov 27, 1918). Israeli composer and violist. He began to play the violin and to compose at an early age; during the years 1932–5 he wrote several works indebted to Reger, an influence which remained perceptible. In 1933 he studied under Eldering at the Cologne Academy, and in 1934 he settled in Palestine, where his studies were completed under Partos (1940–42). Steinberg joined the Palestine SO (later the Israel PO) as a violist in 1942; he has also appeared as a soloist and frequently as a chamber musician (he was a founder of the New Israel Quartet in 1957). From 1969 to 1972 he lectured on chamber music at the Tel-Aviv Academy. The Viola Sonata (1949) showed a first interest in Schoenbergian 12-note serialism, which came to dominate his work. (CohenWE)
(b Jelekong, Ciparay, Indonesia, Sept 3, 1955; d March 31, 2014). Sundanese dalang (master puppeteer) of wayang golék purwa (rod puppet theatre). The name Giri Harja (‘Mountain of prosperity’) is associated with a ‘dynasty’ of dalang established by Abeng Sunarya (1918–88). Of Sunarya’s four sons who are dalang (Ade Kosasih, Asep Sunandar, Ugan Sunagar and Iden Subasrana) Asep Sunandar has received the most recognition both at home and abroad. He began to take serious interest in wayang at the age of 15 and his first performance was presented by his father in 1972. He is renowned especially for visually captivating puppet manipulation, jokes, humour and experiments with music. He incorporates elements of American cartoons, Chinese martial-arts movies and Hindi films into his performances, which often feature slow-motion fight scenes, ‘special effects’ such as spurting blood and exploding heads, slapstick visual stunts and withering political satire. The result appeals to sophisticated urban residents as well as to the rural audiences that have long formed the core audience for ...
revised by Masakata Kanazawa
(b Nagoya, Oct 18, 1898; d Matsumoto, Jan 26, 1998). Japanese educationist and violin teacher, founder of the Suzuki method. His father Suzuki Masakichi (1859–1944) was first a maker of shamisen (Japanese string instruments), but he later began to manufacture violins, successfully mechanizing production in 1900 and founding the Suzuki Violin Seizō Co. in 1930. The company became the largest violin-making firm in Japan, while Masakichi himself went on making instruments by hand. Shin'ichi went to the Nagoya Commercial School (graduating in 1915), and concurrently studied the violin under Andō Kō (1878–1963), a pupil of Joachim; he went to Berlin (1921–8), where he became a pupil of Karl Klingler, another of Joachim’s pupils. On his return he established the Suzuki Quartet with three of his brothers. In 1930 he became president of the Teikoku Music School; a few years later he founded the Tokyo String Orchestra and as its conductor introduced Baroque music to Japanese audiences....
(b Calcutta, May 7, 1861; d Calcutta, Aug 7, 1941). Bengali poet, writer, teacher, painter and composer. Of his manifold artistic creations, Tagore correctly predicted that his songs would remain best loved by his countrymen. Known as Rabindrasa ṅgīt (‘Rabindra-music’), they number about 2500 and have become the national music of West Bengal and Bangladesh. Songs by Tagore have been adopted as the national anthems of India and Bangladesh.
Tagore encountered a variety of musical influences in the aristocratic household in which he grew up. Classical Indian musicians were frequent visitors or teachers there, but Tagore did not master any instrument or vocal style. This may have limited his technical range as a composer, but it fostered in him a spirit of experiment. Most of his songs have a four-part structure derived from dhrupad, but he also drew from other traditions including kheyāl, ṭappā, kīrtan, Bengali traditional songs and the songs of the wandering Baul singers of Bengal. He created several new ...
revised by Gulbat Toradze
(b Tbilisi, July 27, 1924; d Feb 21, 1989). Georgian composer, teacher, conductor and writer on music. He graduated from Barkhudarian’s composition class at the Tbilisi Conservatory in 1947 and then did postgraduate work at the same institution, where he taught choral literature (from 1947), counterpoint and instrumentation (from 1959) and served as rector (1962–5). In addition, he was appointed artistic director of the State Choral Kapella of Georgia in 1952, having previously worked as a choirmaster and conductor. He also served as a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (fourth to sixth convocations), a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the Georgian SSR and a member of the Presidium of the International Music Council of UNESCO. In 1965 he was appointed Minister of Culture of Georgia and held the post for nearly 30 years, in addition to serving as chairman of the Georgian Composers’ Union (...
Alla Vladimirovna Grigor′yeva
(b Kirovabad, Nov 4, 1933; d Moscow, Nov 16, 1986). Armenian composer and teacher. He graduated from the Hajibeyov Conservatory of Azerbaijan (1958) in the composition class of Kara Karayev, and in the class for children's compositions of Boris Zeydman. He then taught at a music school and then the Institute of Arts in Dushanbe, Tajikistan (1958–74) where he taught a whole pleiad of Tajik composers. From 1974 he lived in Moscow, where he worked as an editor in the publishing house Sovetskiy Kompozitor.
His style has its roots in sources as varied as the ancient traditions of Armenian monody to the neo-Romantic which appeared in the 1970s and 80s; ancient canticles – or sharakhans – are subtly refracted through a typically Romantic outlook. His scores are regulated down to the smallest details and vividly portray the contrasting spheres of his work – those of deep meditation, explosive drama and an almost childlike directness of expression. Thus, elements of symphonism, the concerto and vivid theatricality organically co-exist in his works, as do various features of contemporary symphonic architecture including discrete development, ‘still shot’ dramatization, a tendency towards inner unification and plasticity of form....
(b Aleksandropol [now Gyumri], 14/Dec 26, 1879; d Tbilisi, Feb 10, 1950.) Armenian composer, choirmaster and teacher. His early artistic character was strongly influenced by his home environment in an area steeped in the traditions of folk craft and of the ashugh, or gusan, the Armenian folk minstrels. In 1894 he moved to Tbilisi, where he studied music at the Gymnasium, playing the flute, and then at the music college (1898–1902) as a pupil of Klenovsky (theory); he took lessons in harmony and composition with Ekmalian. After returning to Armenia he worked as a school music teacher and choirmaster, played in public, staged his own dramatized arrangements of national songs, and wrote songs on Armenian poetic texts. His first opera, Anush, after a well known poem by Tumanian, was performed with success in amateur workshops in various Transcaucasian towns in 1912. The following year he settled in Tbilisi, where he was a manager of the Tbilisi Armenian Music Society. He became a member of the board of Hayartun, the Armenian arts organization (...
(b Wakayama, Dec 9, 1927). Japanese musicologist. He studied political economics at Tokyo University, graduating in 1953. In 1957 he won a scholarship from the Italian government to study European music history and went to Milan to study with Guglielmo Barblan and Federico Mompellio. Returning home, he was appointed professor at Seijo University in 1964. He has also lectured at Tokyo University, Tohoku University, Osaka University and the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. He was committee chairman of the Kanto Chapter of the Musicological Society of Japan, 1985–7. His musicological interests include Italian music, particularly of the Trecento, and Baroque opera. He has also translated many works from Japanese into Italian, and has translated Romain Rolland's Les origines du théâtre lyrique moderne (1965), Grout's A History of Western Music (Tokyo, 1969–71), its new edition with Palisca (Tokyo, 1998–9) and many opera libretti into Japanese....
(b Tbilisi, April 14, 1922; d Nov 7, 1983). Georgian composer and teacher. A laureate of the USSR State Prize (1951), he is the father of the pianist Alexander Toradze. He studied composition at the Tbilisi Conservatory with Barkhudarian (1937–9), and then continued his studies at the Moscow Conservatory with Glière. In 1948 he graduated from the Tbilisi Conservatory, teaching orchestration and composition there from 1953 (from 1973 as professor); for a time (1962–8) he was first deputy chairman of the Georgian Composers' Union.
Toradze acquired popularity with his compositions for the variety stage, and his songs for film scores. He underwent a notable transformation in the course of his artistic development: initially writing in a style traditional for Georgian music of the 1940s and 50s, a style based on the distinctive features of Georgian folk music and urban songs of old Tbilisi, in his later compositions he began to be drawn towards generalities in his turns of phrase, towards terse harmonic combinations and colourful orchestration. In keeping with this, the character of his music changed from that of emotional saturation to one of contemplation and decorative imagery. The most popular work of the early period is the ballet ...
(b Cuddalore, India, July 14, 1922; d Bishops Waltham, Sept 14, 1993). English composer and teacher. Educated at King's College, Cambridge (BA 1946, MusB 1949, MA 1950), he returned to teach at the university in 1950, serving as Fellow and director of music at Gonville and Caius College from 1960 until his retirement in 1989. For the students there, he made a large number of arrangements and editions, mostly of choral music; in addition he wrote a great deal of church music, including settings of 17 psalms with inserted commentaries from other books of the Bible. Tranchell composed a large quantity of dramatic works, among them six ‘concert entertainments’ written for performance in Cambridge during the May Week celebrations. Among his operatic ventures, The Mayor of Casterbridge was praised by Eric Blom as ‘an English stage work of exceptional quality’ when performed in Cambridge in 1951, while ...
(b Gori, Aug 23, 1925; d Tbilisi, Nov 15, 1991). Georgian composer and teacher. He began his career as a cellist and was already a member of the Georgian State SO when he entered K. Minyar's cello class at the Tbilisi Conservatory; in 1943 he became a member of the State String Quartet of Georgia. In 1948 he entered the Moscow Conservatory, studying cello with S.M. Kozolupov and composition with S.S. Bogatïryov, graduating from these courses in 1950 and 1953 respectively. In 1963 he began to teach orchestration at Tbilisi Conservatory, where he became an assistant professor in 1966 and a professor in 1973. Concurrently with these appointments, Tsintsadze was rector of Tbilisi Conservatory (1965–84) and chairman of the Union of Composers of Georgia (1984–91). He has served as a jury member of various international competitions, was awarded the State Prize of the USSR in ...
(b Gifu, Dec 20, 1895; d Tokyo, April 21, 1987). Japanese musicologist. He graduated in psychology at Tokyo University in 1920; he also studied composition and conducting with Ryūtarō Hirota, violin with Shin Kusakawa and gagaku (Japanese court music) with Yoshiisa Oku. In 1922 he began teaching at St Paul’s University, Tokyo, retiring as professor emeritus in 1965; he also lectured at Tokyo University, the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and Kyūshū University. From 1968 to 1977 he was professor at Kunitachi Music College. The first important Japanese scholar to specialize in European music, Tsuji introduced musicology to Japan. He specialized in Bach and the history of Protestant church music, but is also known for his biographies of Mozart and Schubert. He was one of the founders of the Musicological Society of Japan, serving as president from 1964 to 1970.Shūberuto [Schubert] (Tokyo, 1950)Mōtsaruto...
revised by Robert Atayan and Aram Kerovpyan
[Gomidas Vartabed; Soghomonian, Soghomon]
(b Kütahya, Turkey, Oct 8, 1869; d Paris, Oct 22, 1935). Armenian composer, ethnomusicologist, choral conductor, singer and teacher. One of the first Armenians to have a classical Western musical education, as well as instruction in the music of his own people, he laid the foundations for a distinctive national style in his many songs and choruses, all of which are deeply influenced by the folk and church traditions of Armenia. His work on Armenian folksong is also of musicological importance.
Robert Atayan, revised by Aram Kerovpyan
Both of his parents (his father Gevorg Soghomonian was a cobbler) had gifts for music and poetry; in 1881, however, the boy was orphaned and sent to Armenia to study at the Gevork’ian Theological Seminary in Vagharshapat (now Edjmiadzine), and was ordained as a celibate priest in 1894, being given the name Komitas (a 7th-century Catholicos who was also a hymn composer). There his beautiful voice and his musical talents attracted notice, and under Sahak Amatuni’s guidance he mastered the theory and practice of Armenian liturgical singing. He also made decisive contact with folksong, to the collection and study of which he gave himself wholeheartedly. When he had only just learnt Armenian modern notation he set about recording the songs of the Ararat valley peasants and immigrant Armenians of other regions. Although he had no knowledge of European music theory, he harmonized these songs for performance with a student choir at the academy. His earliest surviving collection of folk melodies dates from ...
(b 1887; d 1979). Iranian teacher, composer, conductor and writer . He began music lessons at the age of 15, learning the tār and the violin with prominent masters in Tehran including Darvish Khan (1872–1926) and Aqa Hossein Qoli (c1851–1915). In 1918 Vaziri travelled to Europe to continue his musical studies. He spent three years in Paris and two years in Berlin studying harmony, theory, composition, counterpoint, piano and singing. On his return from Europe in 1923 he became principal of the Madresseh-ye Āli-e Musiqi, the first music school in Iran, and subsequently devoted much of his time to developing and expanding the provision of music education in Iran. Several of his pupils became prominent musicians.
In order to make performances of classical music more widely available, Vaziri organized and conducted public concerts featuring orchestras of Iranian instruments. In his arrangements of traditional melodies and his own compositions he used western classical-style harmonies which had not previously been heard in Iranian music; he believed that Iranian music needed to adopt some elements of European music in order to survive in the 20th century. Staff notation had been introduced to Iran by Europeans in the 19th century, but Vaziri was the first Iranian to advocate its wider use within the classical tradition. His ...
Matthew Harp Allen
(b Madras [now Chennai], India, Aug 13, 1927; d Hartford, CT, Sept 10, 2002). flutist, vocalist, and ethnomusicologist of Indian birth. Born into a family of musicians and dancers, he received his musical training from his mother T. Jayammal and from flutist T.N. Swaminatha Pillai, an MA in economics from Annamalai University (1951), and a PhD in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University (1975).
He first came to the United States as a Fulbright scholar at UCLA (1958–60), was reader and head of the department of Indian music at the University of Madras (1961–6), and returned to the United States, where he studied ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University (1967–1970), taught at the California Institute of the Arts (1970–5), and then worked in the faculty of Wesleyan University (1975–2002).
He was honored in India with the Kalaimamani Award by the government of Tamil Nadu (...
Joanna C. Lee
revised by Edward Green
(b Yantai, China, July 28, 1923). Composer, scholar, and teacher of Chinese birth; naturalized American. As a young man, he was devoted to the study of the violin; however, in response to the Japanese invasion of his homeland, out of patriotism and a desire to help the war effort, he completed, during those tumultuous years, a full course of study as a civil engineer. Arriving in the United States (1946) to study architecture at Yale University, after just one week Chou changed his plans and enrolled at New England Conservatory, where he studied with Carl McKinley, nicolas Slonimsky , and others. In 1949 he moved to New York and took private lessons from bohuslav Martinů (1949) and edgard Varèse (1949–54), while completing his MA in composition (1954) at Columbia University—where he also studied with otto Luening . Between 1955 and 1957 he directed a research program at Columbia, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, on classical Chinese music and drama. Working for many years as the assistant to Varèse, Chou was entrusted by the composer shortly before his death with his musical legacy. In that capacity, he completed ...
(b Tel-Aviv, Jan 9, 1927). Israeli cellist and teacher. He studied at the academies in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, at the Juilliard School in New York and with Pablo Casals. In 1953 he won the Piatigorsky Prize, and he also won prizes in the International Cello Competition in Moscow and the Pablo Casals International Competition in Israel. Wiesel was the first to perform the full cycle of Bach's cello suites in Israel, as well as concertos by Berio, Ligeti and Lutosławski. As dedicatee he has given the first performances and made recordings of concertos and pieces for unaccompanied cello by many Israeli composers. Wiesel was also a founder member of the Tel-Aviv String Quartet (1959–93). He was appointed professor at the music department of Tel-Aviv University in 1965, and has taught many of Israel's leading cellists. He has given masterclasses in cello and chamber music internationally, and has been a jury member in international cello competitions. He specializes in Baroque repertory, and has contributed many articles to ...
(b Haikou, Hainan, July 29, 1949). Hong Kong Chinese composer and teacher. Brought up in Macau and Hong Kong, Law studied composition with Hsu Tsang-houei at the Taiwan Normal University, graduating in 1972. He absorbed a wide variety of Western influences while studying with John Crawford at the University of California, Riverside (MA 1979). Returning to Hong Kong, he worked initially in the film industry before teaching composition at Lingnan College (1980–84); he subsequently became head of the composition department of the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts. In 1995 he studied electronic and computer music at Stanford. Law’s music has won numerous prizes and has been widely performed in major Asian cities.
Alone among Hong Kong composers of his generation, he stayed away from colonial musical life during his formative years and this resulted in the formation of a highly original, unpredictable style that strongly challenges the performer and shows a special sensitivity to instrumental colours. Pieces for chamber ensemble such as ...