(b Prague, June 18, 1843; d Baden, Vienna, Aug 7, 1913). Austrian cellist and composer. He was born in the Prague ghetto, the son of Angelus Popper, cantor at two local synagogues. Having auditioned for the Prague Conservatory at the age of 12 as a violinist, he matriculated as a cellist because of the shortage of cello students, and became a pupil of Julius Goltermann. He made such rapid progress that within six years he presided over the cello class when Goltermann was on tour. At the age of 18 he was appointed assistant principal cellist of the Löwenberg Court Orchestra, and the following year assumed the post of principal. During this time he was engaged by Bülow and the Berlin Philharmonic as soloist in Robert Volkmann’s newly composed concerto. In 1868 he secured the position of principal in the Vienna Hofoper and the Vienna PO (the youngest player to hold such a post) and later joined the Hellmesberger Quartet. In ...
[Priwin, Andreas Ludwig ]
( b Berlin, April 6, 1929). American conductor, pianist and composer of German birth . Son of a prosperous lawyer who was also a talented amateur musician, he showed exceptional musical talent from his earliest years. Playing piano duets with his father, he quickly developed phenomenal sight-reading ability, and at the age of six entered the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, studying the piano with Rudolf Breithaupt. In 1938 his family (of Russian-Jewish origin) left Germany for Paris, where he studied briefly at the Conservatoire. Emigrating to the USA the following year, the family settled in Los Angeles, where in 1943 he became an American citizen. While still at school he quickly learnt to use his talents as a pianist, playing accompaniments to silent films in a cult movie house and later becoming an orchestrator at the MGM film studios. This led to commissions to write film music of his own, which – following the practice of the studios – he had to conduct himself. This, in turn, fostered an ambition to conduct more widely, and he was soon conducting local performances of the classical repertory with players from the studio orchestras. Meanwhile he was developing a talent for playing jazz, and while still at school was performing in clubs, soon afterwards making his first recordings. At the same time he took composition lessons, with Joseph Achron, Ernst Toch and Castelnuovo-Tedesco among his teachers, and was invited by the violinist Josef Szigeti to play in private performances of chamber music. Previn was called up for army service in ...
(b Russia, 1899; d Tel Aviv, 1968). Israeli critic, choral conductor and composer of Russian birth. In 1925, soon after his emigration to Palestine, he was appointed music critic of the newly founded socialist daily Davar, a position he retained throughout his life. He changed his surname from Rabinowitz to the more Hebrew Ravina in 1930. His frequent and detailed reviews, which insisted on a high standard of performance and programming, and sought a genuine Jewish musical style, were highly influential. In an attempt to bring music to the people, he collaborated with David Shor on an ambitious education project that included public lectures, the publication of popular music appreciation booklets and song anthologies, and the establishment of a nation-wide network of amateur choirs. He was also a strong supporter of contemporary music in Palestine. His many songs (around 60), mostly written for young children, were intended as part of a newly composed folksong repertory....
Trena Jordanoska and Dimitrije Bužarovski
(b Skopje, Aug 8, 1943). Macedonian singer of Roma ethnicity . She is identified by her radiant voice, her vivacious, rhythmical, and virtuoso ornamentation, and her charismatic appearance. In her teens, her talent was noticed by the Macedonian accordionist, arranger, and composer of Macedonian traditional music, Stevo Teodosievski (b Kočani, 16 April 1924; d Skopje, 9 April 1997). He mentored her as leading soloist of the Ensemble Teodosievski, established in 1953 and consisting of accordion, clarinet, two trumpets, and tarabuka. The ensemble was later renamed The Esma Ensemble Teodosievski and recorded 108 singles, 20 LPs, 32 cassette tapes, 6 video tapes, and 12 TV programmes. Redžepova and Teodosievski’s partnership resulted in marriage in 1968.
She was one of the first Yugoslav TV celebrities, and a favourite of Josip Broz Tito, receiving the state honours The October Prize of Yugoslavia, A Silver and A Gold Medal from Josip Broz Tito, and the title Remarkable Entertainer of Yugoslavia. The ensemble was also present at the first World Festival of Roma Music and Culture held in the city of Chandigarh, Punjab in ...
(b Liegnitz, Nov 22, 1921; d Heidelberg, Jan 15, 1989). Israeli bass of German birth. He studied in Berlin and Mannheim, making his début in 1961 at Gelsenkirchen as Iago. Engaged at Stuttgart, he sang regularly at Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Berlin, where he created Soroker in Blacher’s 200 000 Taler (1969). Though his vast repertory included Don Alfonso and Hans Sachs, he specialized in 20th-century opera; he sang Dallapiccola’s Ulysses, Morone (Palestrina), Duke Adorno (Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten), Busoni’s Faust, Satan (Penderecki’s Paradise Lost), Reimann’s Lear and Schoenberg’s Moses (he has twice recorded the role of Moses). He created Löwel Perl in Penderecki’s Schwarze Maske at Salzburg (1986). The role that best displayed his outstanding musical and dramatic gifts was Dr Schön in Lulu, which he sang at Covent Garden (1981), at the Teatro Real in Madrid (...
William Y. Elias
revised by Irina Boga
(b Iaşi, April 17, 1929; d Jerusalem, 9 May, 2009). Romanian-born Israeli conductor, composer, and violinist. He studied the violin (with Garabet Avakian) and conducting (with Constantin Silvestri) at the Bucharest Academy of Music (1945–7). In 1957 Rodan pursued advanced studies in conducting and chamber music at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary. He made his début with the Romanian RSO in 1953. In 1961 he moved to Israel and conducted the Israel PO, becoming chief conductor and music adviser to the Israel Broadcasting SO (1963–72). As a conductor he preferred post-Romantic and less extreme contemporary music. In 1965 he founded the Jerusalem Chamber Orchestra and, as its permanent conductor until 1969, toured with it to Europe, East Asia, Australia, South Africa, and the USA. Rodan appeared as a guest with various European orchestras and frequently conducted at the Israel and Arthur Rubinstein festivals, with such soloists as Rubinstein himself, Barenboim, Rampal, Perlman, and du Pré. In ...
William A. Everett
(b Nagykanizsa, July 29, 1887; d New York, Nov 9, 1951). American composer and conductor of Hungarian birth. He was born into a cultured Jewish household: his father was an amateur pianist who spoke four languages, while his mother was a respected writer of poetry and short stories. Romberg studied at various places in the Austro-Hungarian Empire before eventually going to Vienna, where his parents’ intent was for him to study civil engineering. Instead, Romberg focussed on music, working as a coach and accompanist at the Theater an der Wien, and studying composition and orchestration with operetta composer Victor Heuberger, thereby absorbing the world of Viennese operetta. In 1909, he arrived in New York City and found work as a pianist at various restaurants. He formed and conducted a small orchestra at Bustanoby’s, a venue frequented by the theatre world, where he came to the attention of the Shubert brothers who, in ...
(b Kraków, Jan 27, 1895; d New York, Oct 17, 1985). American conductor of Polish birth. His musical studies were in Kraków and in Vienna with Schreker. He began his career in the opera houses of Darmstadt (1922–5) and Wiesbaden (1925–7). He spent one season at the Metropolitan Opera, where he made his début directing Lohengrin in 1929. Returning to Europe, he was music director of Mannheim Opera (1930–33) and of the Jewish Kulturbund in Berlin (1933–6) until he was compelled to flee Hitler’s Germany; he then conducted in Tokyo from 1937 to 1941. In 1948 he began a long association with New York City Opera, culminating in his appointment as general manager (1952–6). After conducting in Cologne, 1958–9, he returned to the Metropolitan (1961–8), directing 175 performances of 16 operas, chiefly works of Mozart, Strauss and Wagner....
(b Balassagyarmat, 1789; d Pest, Jan 23, 1848). Hungarian composer and violinist. The son of a poor Jewish tradesman named Rosenthal, he began studying the violin at the age of eight. After a time in Nyitra (now Nitra, Slovakia) and Pozsony (now Bratislava) he went to Prague, where he studied both music and calligraphy. In 1808 he moved to Pest, first working as a bookkeeper for a wholesaler. In the same year he gave a violin recital there, playing works by Kreutzer and compositions of his own in the Hungarian style; after this concert he decided to devote himself exclusively to music. In 1809 he joined the second Hungarian theatrical company in Pest as a violinist, later becoming its musical director; on 12 April 1812 this company performed the play Angyal Bandi with his music. He lived in Baja from 1813 to 1819, when a fire destroyed all his possessions, including his manuscripts. From ...
(b Rochovot, Israel, Jan 14, 1960). South African bass-baritone of Israeli birth. The son of an Israeli father and an English mother, he emigrated to South Africa with his family in 1966. After studying singing at the RNCM in Manchester and at the University of Toronto, Saks made his professional début in 1982, in the title role in The Mikado at Stratford, Ontario. He learnt his operatic craft in Germany, singing with the Gelsenkirchen Opera from 1985 to 1988 and the Bielefeld Opera from 1988 to 1991. From 1992 to 1994 he was principal bass-baritone with Scottish Opera. Although he was admired in roles such as Leporello, this period was marred by clashes with the management over the company’s style of productions. He made his Covent Garden début, as Mr Flint in Billy Budd, in 1995 and the following year sang his first major Wagner role, Daland (...
William Y. Elias
(b Heidelberg, Nov 13, 1897; d Beit Zayit, nr Jerusalem, Jan 15, 1974). Israeli composer and conductor of German birth . A pupil of Richard Strauss at the Berlin Academy of Arts, he became a répétiteur at the Berlin Staatsoper, sang at the Hamburg Opera and conducted in Baden-Baden. After settling in Jerusalem in 1933, he became the first music director of the Jerusalem Broadcasting Service in 1936. In 1938 he founded the Israel Radio SO (now Jerusalem SO), and from 1957 to 1962 he was director of the Israel Broadcasting Authority’s Transcription Service. In Germany he was active in reviving Handel’s Rodelinda and in 1944 he organized the first Bach and Handel festival in Jerusalem.
On his arrival in Israel, Salmon became influenced by the folk music of the region, which resulted in such works as the Symphonic Suite on Greek Themes (1943) and the Sephardic Suite...
(b Heidelberg, Nov 13, 1897; d Jerusalem, Jan 15, 1974). Israeli composer, conductor, singer and keyboard player of German birth. He studied the organ with Philipp Wofrum and composition with Richard Strauss. From 1920 to 1926 he held the position of conductor at the Hamburg Neues Stadt-Theater, and from 1931 to 1932 was baritone and stage director at the Deutsche Musikbühne. He emigrated to Palestine in 1933, where he was appointed programme director of the newly founded Palestine Broadcasting Service (PBS, later Kol Israel [‘The Voice of Israel’]), a position he held until his retirement in 1962; he founded the PBS Orchestra (later the Kol Israel Orchestra) in 1938.
Many of Salomon’s early works were destroyed. His music from 1933 is tonal with modal inflections, combining European traditions with folk influences to create a light, accessible style. The Sepharadic Suite (1961) incorporates Spanish melodies; popular material is also used in the Second Symphony ‘Leilot be’Cna’an (‘Nights of Canaan’, ...
revised by Barbara A. Renton
(b Vale-Hotzulovo, nr Odessa, Ukraine, Nov 8, 1882; d Port Chester, NY, June 30, 1959). American composer, conductor and writer on music of Russian origin. He studied mathematics and philosophy at St Petersburg University (1906–9) and composition and conducting with Lyadov and Rimsky-Korsakov at the conservatories of St Petersburg and Moscow (1906–10). In 1908 he and some other St Petersburg Conservatory students founded the Society for Jewish Folk Music, and in 1913 he took part in the Baron de Guinzburg Ethnological Expedition to collect religious chants of the Transcaucasian Jews. He was active as a conductor in Tbilisi, Paris and London between 1915 and 1920, and in 1917–18 he directed the Tbilisi Conservatory. In 1920 he settled in New York, where he was a founder of the League of Composers (1923) and one of its directors for two decades. He was also music director of Temple Emanu-El, New York (...
revised by Irina Boga
(b Davideni, nr Cernăuţi, March 4, 1904; d Gyrembad, nr Zürich, Nov 16, 1942). Romanian tenor and actor. As a boy he sang in the synagogue at Czernowitz (now Chernovtsy, Ukraine), and he remained active as a cantor throughout his professional life. He studied in Vienna, but his future as an operatic tenor was limited by his smallness of stature. Broadcasts and recordings provided the answer: in 1928 he made his radio début in a performance of Idomeneo in Berlin, and he quickly became one of the most popular singers in Germany. He appeared on numerous radio shows and worked on German and English films, which led to a first tour of the USA in 1936. Germany became closed to him in 1934 and Austria in 1938; he took refuge in Belgium, then Switzerland, where he died in an internment camp. His many recordings preserve a fine voice, well produced except for a certain nasal quality, with an exceptional upper range and a distinctive personality. Schmidt had a lyrical tenor voice, with a high timbre, which enabled him to sing ...
Anthony Philip Pattin
(b Detroit, Jan 24, 1947). American composer and pianist, active in Israel. He studied at Converse College (Spartanburg, South Carolina), Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Arizona (DMA 1970). His principal teachers include Ozan Marsh and Rudolf Serkin (piano), and Robert Muczynski (composition). Although he has composed for virtually all media, he has shown a special affinity for solo piano works and chamber music with piano. His brilliant piano writing often requires enormous technical facility on the part of the performer; textures are invariably contrapuntal, regardless of tempo, and rhythms are vital and varied with frequent changes of metre. His works often evoke a frenzied state through climaxes, rapid harmonic motion and breakneck speed. He has remarked that his ‘is not the kind of music to relax to, but the kind that makes people sweat; not only performer, but audience'. His interest in folk music stems largely from his desire to explore his own Jewish roots....
Catherine Parsons Smith
(b Hamburg, June 27, 1924; d Scarsdale, NY, July 11, 2006). American composer and pianist of German origin. She studied at the Sternsches Konservatorium, Berlin, from the age of five until her expulsion in 1935. On her family’s emigration to Sweden in 1938, she was admitted to the Swedish Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, despite restrictions on Jewish refugees, studying composition (with Ingemar Liljefors) and piano there until early 1941. The family then travelled to Mexico City, via the USSR, where Schonthal studied composition with Rodolfo Halffter and Manuel Ponce, and piano with Pablo Castellanos. She gave an acclaimed performance of her own piano concerto in Mexico City, and in 1946, after Hindemith heard her playing her own works, she entered Yale University on his recommendation (AB, composition, 1948).
Virtually all of Schonthal’s study and much of her subsequent compositional career took place in situations of exile and in relative isolation from other composers and creative artists. To support herself and her family she played the piano in bars and wrote popular songs and music for TV commercials, and from ...
(b Monaco, March 23, 1878; d Berlin, March 21, 1934). Austrian composer, teacher, conductor and administrator. He is a central figure in that remarkable flowering of opera in Austria that included the works of Zemlinsky, Berg and Korngold. Integrating his aesthetic plurality (a mixture of Romanticism, naturalism, symbolism, Impressionism, Expressionism and Neue Sachlichkeit), timbral experimentation, strategies of extended tonality and conception of total music theatre into the narrative of 20th-century music has contributed to a more differentiated understanding of central European modernism.
Schreker was the oldest of four surviving children born to Ignaz Schrecker, a court photographer of Jewish birth, and Eleonore von Clossmann, a member of the Catholic aristocracy of eastern Styria. Ignaz Schrecker’s restless travels took him and his family from Vienna to Monaco, Spa, Brussels, Paris, Trieste and Pola before he settled at last in Linz in 1882. After his death in 1888 the family moved to Vienna, where in ...
(b Rostock, July 4, 1896; d Berlin, Oct 16, 1987). German composer and viola player. He studied composition and musicology in Freiburg, where his teachers included Julius Weismann and Willibald Gurlitt. After serving as solo viola player at the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus (1924–5), he played in a number of orchestras in Berlin. He attracted considerable attention during the early 1930s as a member of the Harlan-Trio (other members included his wife, the musicologist Cornelia Schröder (née Auerbach), and instrument maker Peter Harlan), an ensemble that performed medieval and Renaissance music on historical instruments. In 1935, because of his wife’s Jewish heritage and his connections with the workers’ music movement, Schröder was excluded from the Reichsmusikkammer. Although special permission allowed him to work as a violist at a Berlin theatre, his political difficulties continued after 1945, as he worked in East and lived in West Berlin. In 1965...
(b Vienna, April 29, 1905; d London, Jan 30, 1994). British conductor of Austrian birth. He studied in Vienna, and was prompted by the example of Nikisch to seek a career as a conductor. At 18 he joined the Düsseldorf Opera as répétiteur; he made his conducting début there the following year (1924), and went to Karlsruhe (1927–33) under Josef Krips. In 1936, at a time of increasing Nazi hostility, he was appointed musical director of the Jewish Cultural Organization in Berlin; this caused his internment in German labour camps (1943–5). While recuperating in Sweden he competed for, and obtained, the post of musical director to Bournemouth Corporation, where from 1947 he reorganized and considerably developed what became the Bournemouth SO.
Schwarz became a British citizen in 1952, was musical director of the City of Birmingham SO (1951–7), then succeeded Sargent as principal conductor of the BBC SO (...
revised by Noël Goodwin
(b Jerusalem, March 7, 1944). Israeli conductor. He studied the violin and conducting at the Rubin Conservatory in Jerusalem, and then conducting at the Guildhall School of Music in London, 1966–9, winning the 1969 Dimitri Mitropoulos Competition in New York. This brought him a season’s engagement as assistant to Szell and Bernstein with the New York PO, preparing performances but not conducting. His début was with the Zealand Orchestra in Copenhagen in 1969 and he then appeared with the Israel PO. From 1970 he began touring in Europe, making his first appearances in Britain that year with the BBC Welsh Orchestra in Cardiff, and in London with the English Chamber Orchestra in 1971. He first appeared in the USA with the Chicago SO at the 1972 Ravinia Summer Festival and made his opera début at Santa Fe in 1973 with Der fliegende Holländer. In 1970 he moved to London and in ...