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Martin Bernheimer

(b Vienna, April 2, 1905; d Ross, CA, Feb 9, 1988). American conductor and opera director of Austrian birth. He was educated at the Musikakademie and university in Vienna, and made his début in 1925 as a conductor for the Max Reinhardt theatre, then conducted at the Volksoper and opera houses in Germany, Italy and Czechoslovakia. He assisted Toscanini in Salzburg (...

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Ivor Beynon

(b Baltimore, Feb 10, 1914; d London, Aug 6, 2001). American harmonica player. He was acknowledged as the first harmonica player to achieve recognition and acceptance in classical musical circles and to have elevated the instrument to concert status. He started playing the harmonica at the age of ten, and as a teenager earned his living in vaudeville theatres in New York. Spotted by the British impresario Sir Charles Cochran in ...

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Paul D. Fischer

(b Chicago, IL, Dec 13, 1933). American record producer, songwriter, artist manager, label owner, and entrepreneur. He was most active in the popular-music industry from the 1950s to the 1970s. He held jobs in publishing and became co-manager of Jan and Dean with Herb Alpert. Under the pseudonym Barbara Campbell, the pair co-wrote “Only Sixteen” for Sam Cooke. Adler also co-wrote “Wonderful World” with Alpert and Cooke. In ...

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Elliott W. Galkin

(b Jablonec, Dec 2, 1899; d Ridgefield, CT, Oct 2, 1990). American conductor. After studying composition and conducting with Zemlinsky at the Prague Conservatory, he became music director of the Bremen Staatsoper (1929–32) and the Ukrainian State Philharmonia, Kiev (1932–7...

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Geoffrey Block

(b New York, August 3, 1921; d Southampton, NY, June 21, 2012). American composer and lyricist. Although the son of the distinguished pianist and pedagogue Charles Adler, he received no musical training and instead studied playwriting with Paul Green at the University of North Carolina, graduating in ...

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Marie Rolf

(b Mannheim, March 4, 1928). American composer and conductor of German birth. Both of his parents were musical, his father being a cantor and composer of Jewish liturgical music. The family came to the USA in 1939 and Adler attended Boston University (BM ...

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Natan Shahar

(b Yekatrinoslav [now Dnepropetrovsk], Dec 5, 1894; d Tel-Aviv, April 2, 1982). Israeli composer and singer. He emigrated to Palestine from the Ukraine in 1906. He studied at the Teacher's Seminary in Jerusalem where his teachers included Abraham Zvi Idelsohn. During World War I he moved to Egypt and enlisted in the British Army. After the war he returned to Palestine and, while earning his living as an accountant, took singing lessons with Jehuda Har-Melaḥ. A countertenor with a phenomenal ability to improvise, he travelled to the USA in ...

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James P. Cassaro

(b New York, May 31, 1955). American composer. A graduate of the Juilliard School (1976), he has taught at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts (1983–1993), at Yale University (1984–5) and in the pre-college division of the Juilliard School (...

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(b Frankfurt, Sept 11, 1903; d Brig, Switzerland, Aug 6, 1969). German writer on music and philosopher. The son of a businessman of Jewish extraction, Oscar Alexander Wiesengrund, and a professional singer of Catholic Corsican origin, Maria Calvelli-Adorno della Piana, he adopted his mother's name in the 1920s, initially as Weisengrund-Adorno, dispensing with the hyphen in ...

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Rainer E. Lotz

(b Cambridge, MA, Dec 5, 1927). Thai clarinetist and reed player. He was brought up in the USA and in Switzerland, where he learned to play clarinet; he later mastered the whole family of reed instruments, favoring soprano saxophone. Although he is interested in early jazz he was influenced predominantly by Benny Goodman, and participated in jam sessions with Goodman and other jazz musicians who visited Thailand, notably Jack Teagarden and Lionel Hampton. He occasionally plays with his court orchestra in a swing style of the 1940s that is modified by the strong influence of traditional Thai music, but, on account of his official status as the king of Thailand, no recordings by him have been authorized for distribution. (H. Esman and V. Bronsgeest: “Een jazz king: Koning Phoemipol,” ...

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Gary W. Kennedy and Barry Kernfeld

(b New Albany, IN, July 21, 1939). American educator, publisher, record producer, and saxophonist. He performed locally from the age of 15 and while studying at Indiana University (BM 1961; MM 1962) led groups that worked in southern Indiana and Kentucky. Having taught music education at Indiana University Southeast (...

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André Clergeat

(b Zurich, July 27, 1939). Swiss cellist, violinist, and singer. She studied piano and violin from a very young age and played in the orchestra at the conservatory in Geneva. An encounter with Steve Lacy in Italy in the late 1960s led her to abandon classical music; the couple were married, and in ...

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Robert Pernet

(bAntwerp, Belgium, Nov 11, 1903; dKeerbergen, Belgium, Sept 9, 1973). Belgiandrummer. He first performed as a teenager in revues and minstrel acts, and in the 1920s he worked with local bands in Antwerp and Ostend. He then became a member of the big band led by Chas Remue (...

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Barry Kernfeld

(b Brussels, June 21, 1964). Belgian double bass player. Self-taught, he first played guitar and electric bass guitar at the age of 11. He took up double bass when he was 14 and played with a dixieland band before turning to modern-jazz styles; from around the age of 18 he began to rehearse and to give concerts with Charles Loos. From the mid-1980s he performed and recorded with Félix Simtaine’s Act Big Band and accompanied such visiting soloists as Joe Lovano, Joe Henderson, Larry Schneider, Ali Ryerson, Steve Grossman, Chet Baker, Dave Kikoski, Richard Beirach, and Tom Harrell. He recorded as the leader of a trio (...

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Jordan A. Yamaji Smith

(b Northport, Long Island, NY, June 5, 1976).

American hip-hop lyricist, vocalist, and producer. Aesop Rock began his career in alternative/underground hip-hop music with two self-financed albums that blended an eclectic approach to sample-based production with poetic, figurative lyrics. His creative output has helped to establish him as a prolific solo artist with a commitment to renovating the rap genre with politically-charged songs and experimental production techniques....

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Ateş Orga

(b Moscow, Sept 8, 1947). Russian pianist, conductor, writer and poet. A student of Yakov Zak and Emil Gilels at the Moscow Conservatory (1965–73), he won the 1968 Leipzig Bach Competition, four years later taking the gold medal at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. After seeking political asylum in Belgium in ...

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(bPittsburgh, Dec 30, 1966). Americanelectric guitarist. He took up guitar at the age of 12 and was primarily self-taught. In 1984 he moved to Los Angeles, where he played with Jack Sheldon, Dave Pike, and Pete Christlieb. From 1987 he has led a quartet, in which his sidemen have included the pianist Brian O’Rourke and Andy Simpkins (both from ...

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David Toop and Margaret Jackson

(b New York, April 10, 1960). American hip-hop DJ. DJ Afrika Bambaataa’s musical eclecticism and his vision of African American unity helped to shape rap music’s early sound, and he is often credited with lending the burgeoning musical style, and the larger culture from which it emerged, the name “hip-hop.”...

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Val Wilmer

(b Cape Town, Oct 18, 1950). South African pianist, composer, and arranger. He grew up in the District Six area of Cape Town with the guitarist Russell Herman, studied music at the University of Cape Town, and played in various groups with Herman, including Oswietie, with which they toured South Africa and Angola. After joining Sipho Gumede in the funk-jazz group Spirits Rejoice he traveled along Africa’s west coast as far as Gabon, then in ...

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M. Rusty Jones

(b Tehran, Iran, March 9, 1960). American guitarist and educator of Iranian birth. She took up the guitar at the age of ten, later moving to the United States. She received BM and MM degrees in guitar from the Boston Conservatory and the New England Conservatory of Music. In ...