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Gary W. Kennedy

(Lee )

(b Milwaukee, April 25, 1961). American drummer and leader, brother of Eddie Allen. His mother was a gospel singer and an elder brother also played drums. He took up drums around the age of ten, was a member of a drum and bugle corps when he was 13, and organized his first jazz group a year later. The director of his high school band, who was himself a drummer, introduced him to recordings by Sid Catlett, Baby Dodds, Roy Haynes, and Philly Joe Jones. Allen performed locally with Sonny Stitt and Red Holloway at the age of 16 and then worked with James Moody. In 1979 he declined an offer from Mel Lewis to join Count Basie’s orchestra because he thought he was not good enough, and instead he studied classical percussion at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay; in 1981 he transferred to William Paterson College, Wayne, New Jersey, where he earned a degree in jazz studies and performance (...

Article

Virginia Allen

(b Morgan, TX, June 13, 1927). American conductor, composer, arranger, and trumpeter. Allen began trumpet lessons at age seven with his father, a 50-year Texas school band director, and later studied with Jimmy Burke of the Goldman Band and Lloyd Geisler of the National SO. During 45 years of military service, he conducted US Army bands, including the 101st Airborne Division Band. His career culminated with his appointment as Leader and Commander of The United States Army Band (Pershing’s Own) in Washington, DC, 1976–90. He led and supervised the band, chorus, orchestra, Army Blues, and Herald Trumpets in more than 5,000 performances annually at the White House, Pentagon, US Capitol, and Arlington National Cemetery, throughout the US, and in Canada, the US Virgin Islands, Japan, and Australia. He composed Salute to Veterans, the official march of the Veterans Administration, and The Major of St. Lo, the official march of the 29th Infantry Division. He is a past president of the American Bandmasters Association....

Article

H.C. Colles

revised by Malcolm Turner

(Percy)

(b Reading, Dec 23, 1869; d Oxford, Feb 20, 1946). English organist, conductor and musical administrator. As a student at Cambridge he laid the foundation of his reputation as a conductor of Bach by his performances of the cantatas in his college chapel. Subsequently he held appointments as organist of St Asaph’s Cathedral (1897) and Ely Cathedral (1898), while his appointment in 1901 as organist of New College, Oxford, heralded 17 year’s untiring effort for the development of music in the university. He maintained the chapel choir at a high level, organized an amateur orchestra and conducted both the town and university choral societies. In 1908 he was made a Fellow of New College, a post carrying an implied commitment to musical research; but this was not to his liking, and he soon resigned the fellowship. The position of choragus to the university, however, to which he was appointed in ...

Article

Barry Long

(b Louisville, KY, May 25, 1924). American alto saxophonist and bandleader. He began clarinet lessons when he was ten and later took up alto saxophone. After joining the US Army at 18 years of age, Allen performed in military bands and, while stationed in Paris, formed a trio with Art Simmons and Don Byas. Allen remained in Europe following his discharge, touring with James Moody and studying clarinet at the Paris Conservatory with Ulysse Delécluse. He returned to the United States in 1951 and led dance bands and worked as a composer in Chicago. After hearing a demo recording of Sun Ra’s Arkestra in a record store, Allen sought out the bandleader during a rehearsal and began an apprenticeship. He subsequently rehearsed with the Arkestra for more than a year before joining officially in 1958. His association with the ensemble has lasted more than 50 years.

Allen worked closely with Sun Ra for much of his professional career, composing for the bandleader and performing both in concert and on more than 200 albums; he even shared a house with him. Alongside John Gilmore Allen anchored the reed section, adding flute, clarinet, oboe, and in later years wind synthesizer. He invented the morrow, a woodwind instrument combining a saxophone mouthpiece with an open-holed wooden body, and learned to play and build the kora, a West African multi-string instrument. Allen rarely worked outside the Arkestra, although he made a notable recording with Paul Bley (...

Article

(b Neuilly-sur-Seine, Jan 20, 1928; d Pittsburgh, Feb 18, 1997). French conductor. He studied with Ginastera in Argentina and with Hindemith, Koussevitzky and Szell in the USA, joining the opera department at the University of Southern California and setting up and directing the opera school of Occidental College, Los Angeles. He subsequently held conducting posts with the Portuguese RSO in Lisbon (1957–60), the Stuttgart PO (1962–4), the Paris Opéra (1965–7) and the Houston SO (1969–71). After serving as music director for the Friends of French Opera, New York, in 1976 he was appointed music director of the Nice PO, a post he held until 1980. In 1992 he became music director of the Moscow SO. Almeida’s many recordings include Haydn’s L’infedeltà delusa (in collaboration with H.C. Robbins Landon, 1969), the first recording of Bizet’s Le Docteur Miracle (1974...

Article

(b Lisbon, May 21, 1940). Portuguese composer and conductor. He began his music studies with Marina Dwander, Artur Santos and Joly Braga Santos. In 1959 he completed his higher degree in piano studies with Campos Coelho at the National Conservatory, Lisbon. In 1960 he was awarded a grant from the Instituto de Alta Cultura to study piano with Schiske at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik. While there he also studied with Wladyslaw Kedra and Dieter Weber. He also studied composition with Cerha on a grant from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. He was the cultural attaché in Vienna (1974–81) and founded the Almeida-Pluhar-Marinoff Trio in 1983. He lectured both at the University of Oporto and at the House Museum of A’lvaro de Campos.

Almeida is a versatile artist whose activities range from improvisation to television scores, film-making, fiction and essay-writing. He has a wide public following within Portugal and distances himself from the institutional circles of Portuguese composition. His extensive output is somewhat uneven. Although the dominant idiom in his compositions is a wide tonality, with visible influence from Stravinsky, Hindemith, Eisler and Prokofiev, he often uses more modern means such as electro-acoustics....

Article

Harry B. Soria

(b Honolulu, HI, Nov 28, 1897; d Honolulu, HI, Oct 9, 1985). Hawaiian singer, musician, composer, and bandleader. Almeida lost his eyesight completely by age ten, and left school after the sixth grade. His father returned to Portugal, and his Hawaiian mother and adoptive Hawaiian father nurtured him, immersing him in the music and culture of the rural community. At age 15, Almeida formed his first musical group, the Waianae Star Glee Club, and soon achieved local fame as “John C. Almeida, Hawaii’s Blind Musician.” Eventually, he replaced his birth middle name of Celestino, with the name of his adoptive father, Kameaaloha, and is remembered today as John Kameaaloha Almeida.

Almeida could not read or write, but shared the poetry of over 200 Hawaiian language compositions, earning him the title of “the Dean of Hawaiian Music.” Almeida also popularized numerous other Hawaiian compositions from the 19th century. Among his most famous recordings are “Ku’u Ipo Pua Rose,” “’A ’Oia,” “Gorgeous Hula,” “Holoholo Ka’a,” “Noho Paipai,” “Kiss Me Love,” “Roselani Blossoms,” and his radio theme song, “’O Ko’u Aloha Ia ’Oe.” Over his 70-year career, Almeida mastered the mandolin, ukulele, guitar, steel guitar, violin, banjo, bass, saxophone, and piano. Almeida was a prolific recordings artist on numerous labels, and a successful radio host on several Hawaii stations. He served as mentor to numerous protégés, including Bill Ali’iloa Lincoln, Joe Keawe, Billy Hew Len, Genoa Keawe, and Almeida’s adopted son, Pua Almeida....

Article

Mikko Heiniö

(b Helsinki, June 13, 1953). Finnish conductor and composer. He studied conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki with Jorma Panula (diploma 1979) and shared first prize in the Nordic Conductors’ Competition at Norrköping. He was conductor of the Polytechnic Orchestra (1975–9), the Cantemus chamber choir (1977–82), the Tampere PO (1987–9), the Akateeminen Laulu choir (from 1989), the Joensuu City Orchestra (from 1993) and the Finnish National Theatre (1982–7 and from 1989). In 1993 he became artistic director of the Jyväskylä Arts Festival. His principal works include concertos for double bass and flute (1978 and 1985) and two operas, Thirty Pieces of Silver (1987, Heikki Ylikangas) on a Revivalist theme, and, on the subject of emigration, America (1991, Antti Tuuri), which was first performed at the Ilmajoki Festival.

M. Heiniö: Aikamme musiikki [Contemporary music], Suomen musiikin historia [A history of Finnish music], 4 (Helsinki, 1995)...

Article

Peter Andreas Kjeldsberg

revised by Martin Anderson

(b Fredrikstad, April 29, 1872; d Oslo, Dec 24, 1932). Norwegian composer, conductor and organist. He studied with Peter Lindeman (organ) and Iver Holter (harmony, counterpoint and composition) at the Christiania Music and Organ School (1888–92), and was then a pupil of Reinecke (composition) and Ruthard (piano) at the Leipzig Conservatory (1892–4). Appointments as organist followed in Drammen (1895–1907) and Oslo (1907–32), where he served at the cathedral from 1916; his First Symphony was completed during a course of study in Berlin in 1897. He was one of those responsible for the foundation of the Norsk Komponistforening, of which he was president from 1921 to 1923. As a member of the Koralbokkomiteen (1922–6) he harmonized most of the melodies in the chorale book of the Norwegian Church, and he edited preludes to all of the chorales. He was active as a choir-conductor, leading the Håndverksangforening (...

Article

Faruk Yener

(b Istanbul, March 11, 1906; d Ankara, July 27, 1978). Turkish composer and conductor. He had his first music lessons from his mother. He showed a precocious talent for playing the qānūn and at 16 he composed a musical play in traditional Turkish monophonic style. In 1927 he went to Vienna and studied composition with Joseph Marx at the Academy of Music and conducting with Oswald Kabasta. He returned to Turkey in 1932, was appointed conductor to the Istanbul City Theatre Orchestra and taught history of music at the Istanbul Conservatory. In 1936 he became assistant conductor of the Ankara Presidential SO, taught piano at the State Conservatory and was an assistant to Carl Abert at the Ankara State Opera. In 1946 he was appointed conductor of the Presidential PO and held the post until 1952, when he left because of a nervous breakdown, though he continued to teach at the conservatory and to appear as guest conductor in Ankara and with the Vienna SO and the Stuttgart RSO. One of the Turkish Five, Alnar showed strong attraction in his works to the rhythmic and melodic patterns of Turkish monophonic music. (...