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Article

Anne-Marie Forbes and Rob Barnett

[Josef] (Charles)

(b Croydon, England, July 5, 1878; d London, England, Aug 5, 1958). English composer, critic, conductor, and pianist. A prominent figure in British musical life in the early decades of the 20th century, he was a great publicist and advocate for the cause of the British composer and for his own works. Throughout his life he railed against public and institutional apathy towards native composition, becoming progressively disillusioned.

After studying at the RAM, Holbrooke’s career was launched with the first performance of his dramatic musical representation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven at the Crystal Palace in 1900. Commissions of large-scale choral works for provincial festivals further established him as a young composer of great promise. Henry Wood, Thomas Beecham, and Dan Godfrey conducted premières of a number of his early orchestral and choral works, although later in life he became estranged from many of his earlier supporters. It was Lord Howard de Walden (T.E. Ellis) who was the most influential figure in Holbrooke’s career. Present at the ...

Article

Karen M. Bryan

[Douglas, Lena ]

(b Kansas City, KS, 1885; d Los Angeles, CA, Jan 24, 1974). American critic, composer, singer, and pianist. After receiving a BSc from Western Ontario University in Quindaro, Kansas, Holt studied at the Chicago Musical College and earned the first MusM in composition awarded to an African American (1918). During the 1920s she performed as a singer throughout Europe, studied composition briefly with Nadia Boulanger, and developed close friendships with Harlem Renaissance figures such as Carl Van Vechten and Langston Hughes.

While Holt’s career included periods in which she composed (only one of approximately 200 compositions survive) and performed (she sang extensively in private venues during her travels), she always returned to music journalism. She served as critic for The Chicago Defender from 1917–21, becoming the first woman music critic in the United States. During this same period she published Music and Poetry (1919–21), in which she included new compositions (including her own)....

Article

Israel J. Katz

(b Orense, Oct 1, 1918). Spanish pianist, composer, conductor, administrator, critic and writer on music. He studied piano and composition with José Cubiles and Conrado del Campo at the Madrid Conservatory, taking diplomas in piano (1935) and composition (1944); later he was a pupil of Marguerite Long, Lazare Lévy and Yves Nat in Paris and of Isidore Philipp in New York, and studied conducting with Luís de Freitas Branco and Louis Fourestier. He has made concert tours of Europe, North Africa and the USA. His professional activities have included the founding (1957) and directing of the Orense Conservatory of Music, giving piano masterclasses and teaching the interpretation of Spanish music at Música en Compostela (from 1958) and organizing the Manuel de Falla seminars and courses at Granada. He created (1962) the Semanas de Música Religiosa at Cuenca and as music adviser to the Instituto de Cultura Hispánica planned music festivals in Spain and the USA in collaboration with the Organization of American States; he has served as secretary-general of the Spanish section of ISCM (whose festivals he organized in ...

Article

John McLaughlin

revised by Michael Hovland

(b New York, April 3, 1783; d New York, Nov 28, 1859). American writer. His experiences in Europe, first as a traveller (1804–6) and subsequently as a resident (1812–29) and diplomat (England, 1829–32; Spain, 1842–6), gave him a wealth of colourful material for his published collections of stories, verse, sentimental tales, history and folklore. He is perhaps most closely associated with the characters Ichabod Crane from ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ and Rip Van Winkle, a deft appropriation of an ancient German folktale, both of which first appeared in Irving’s The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon.

Irving was a flute player of some ability and an enthusiastic opera, concert and theatre goer. He heard more than 130 operas in Europe and was present at a performance of Fidelio in the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna on 23 May 1814.

Bristow’s Rip Van Winkle, produced in New York in ...

Article

Jürg Stenzl

(b Zürich, Sept 30, 1879; d Zürich, Sept 26, 1944). Swiss organist and music critic. After studying at the Zürich Music School (1895–9) and with Rudorff at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik (1899–1901), he became organist at the Reformed church in Zürich-Enge and, from 1919 to 1942, at the Fraumünster in Zürich. At the same time he taught at the Zürich Conservatory, from 1919 as head of the organ department, and taught music history at the Volkshochschule. From 1910 to 1927 he was the editor of the Schweizerische Musikzeitung and from 1902 to 1944 music critic of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

In his many decades as music critic Isler established the paper’s particular approach to music reviewing: considering the composition as paramount, he based his assessment of its interpretation on detailed analysis of the score. This type of criticism had a wide influence on German-speaking parts of Switzerland and was continued by Isler’s successors, Willi Schuh and Andres Briner. Isler’s championship of Swiss composers like Schoeck and Burkhard, as well as Max Reger and his organ music, was equally important. As an organ teacher he had a far-reaching importance in Protestant Switzerland....

Article

Vera Lampert

[Alexander]

(b Budapest, Aug 9, 1890; d Balaton Földvár, Aug 8, 1963). Hungarian composer, critic and conductor . He studied composition with Koessler at the Budapest Academy of Music (1906–8) and then went to the Leipzig Conservatory, where he was a pupil of Reger (composition), Nikisch (conducting), Straube (organ) and Sitt (violin). Between 1911 and 1913 he was active in several smaller opera companies: as répétiteur at Bremen and as conductor at Czernowitz (now Černovice), Jihlava and Scheveningen. He lived in Berlin from 1913 and there took further composition lessons from Schoenberg and began to write studies on music, publishing several articles in Die Musik in 1914–15. In 1916 he returned to Hungary. He wrote for various newspapers and periodicals before becoming regular music critic of the daily paper Népszava (1924–50), in which post he established himself as one of the most respected Hungarian critics of the period. He was a propagandist for modern music but also helped to make the Classics more widely known; at the same time he reported on Hungarian musical life for the foreign press. From ...

Article

(well )

(b London, Feb 28, 1917; d Chichester, England, Aug 1, 1993). English writer. He taught himself to play saxophone and clarinet and worked in dance bands from 1930. After abandoning his career as a performer in 1935, in the late 1930s he formed the High Wycombe Rhythm Club and the Challenge Jazz Club. He was the jazz editor of Challenge in 1941–2 and worked as a commentator for the BBC’s program “Radio Rhythm Club” from 1942 to 1943; he continued to work occasionally in radio during the following decades. In 1942 he was a founder, with Albert McCarthy, of the journal Jazz Music (which he edited in 1944 and again from 1946 to the early 1950s) and from 1944 to 1946 he was the editor of a series of pamphlets entitled Jazz Music Books. Jones had a long association with Melody Maker, first as an editor with Rex Harris of “Collector’s Corner” (from ...

Article

Mark Anthony Neal

(b Chicago, IL, Jan 8, 1967). American R&B singer, writer, producer, and arranger. Kelly was born on the South side of Chicago. Raised, with his three siblings, by a single mother, he was encouraged to pursue a musical career by his high school music teacher and mentor, Lena McLin, who was the chair of the music department at the Kenwood Academy and the niece of the legendary gospel music composer Thomas Dorsey. In high school Kelly formed the group MGM (Musically Gifted Men), which won a $100,000 grand prize on the television talent show Big Break, hosted by Natalie Cole. The group eventually signed with Jive Records, though after creative and financial tensions, three of the members were replaced and the group renamed R. Kelly and Public Announcement. After a moderately successful debut that produced the hit singles “She’s Got That Vibe” and “Honey Love,” Kelly left the group in early ...

Article

Howard Schott

revised by Dennis K. McIntire

(b Berlin, Sept 27, 1930; d Redding, CT, Jan 23, 2002). American harpsichordist, fortepianist and critic, son of Alexander Kipnis. After studying at the Westport School of Music, Connecticut, and at Harvard, he worked as art and editorial director of Westminster Records (1955–9), as director of recorded music for a chain of radio stations based in New York (1959–61) and as a music critic (from 1955). In the meantime he took up the harpsichord professionally. Although essentially self-taught, he was guided and encouraged by a number of musicians, notably Thurston Dart. He made his début in a radio broadcast in New York in 1959 and gave his first recital there in 1962. He performed widely as a soloist with leading orchestras and as a recitalist, touring Europe, Israel, South America, Australia, the Soviet Union and East Asia. His teaching career began in 1964...

Article

Ellwood Derr

(b Arnstadt, Aug 24, 1740; d Kahla, nr Jena, June 25, 1823). German writer on music and organist. On the title-page of his first published treatise, Versuch eines Lehrbuchs der praktischen Musik (Gera, 1783), he is referred to as a registered attorney to the dukes of Saxony and church organist in Eisenberg, and in 1801 he had been promoted to Hofadvokat and still held the post of organist. His Versuch is a practical treatise on basic musicianship, which discusses musical signs, melody and harmony (both separately and together), tuning, temperament, enharmonicism and continuo. In the foreword he draws attention to the integral relationships of rhetoric and poetry to music, as well as the necessity for composers to know how to arouse and calm passions. Probably the most useful section of the work (pp.232–58) is that on continuo performance in ensemble genres current in the last decades of the 18th century. He prefers the harpsichord for this purpose as it can be more distinctly heard than the fortepiano. Finally, for a more comprehensive treatment of the matter, he refers the reader to the continuo performance section in the second part of C.P.E. Bach's ...