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Article

John Beckwith

[Leopold]

(b Birmingham, Nov 26, 1881; d Toronto, April 18, 1952). Canadian composer, cellist and critic of English birth. He made his début as a performer in Birmingham Town Hall at the age of eight. Later he studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music with Fuchs (cello) and at Manchester University (MusB). In 1910, after working as a cellist in the Hallé and Covent Garden orchestras, he emigrated to Canada to teach the cello and theory at the Toronto Conservatory. He was a member of the Conservatory String Quartet and for many years a contributing editor of the Toronto Conservatory Quarterly Review. He was the principal cellist of the Toronto SO during its early years and held a similar post later with the orchestra of the city's summer Prom concerts. Smith also played the viol and led viol ensembles. He was appointed to the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, in ...

Article

Nicholas Temperley

(b Exeter, Oct 28, 1823; d Leeds, June 16, 1897). English organist and writer. His father William Spark (1797–1865) was a lay vicar of Exeter Cathedral; two brothers were also musicians. He was a chorister at Exeter Cathedral and was articled to S.S. Wesley for five years in 1840. When Wesley moved to Leeds parish church in 1842, Spark went with him, and was soon appointed organist successively at Chapeltown and St Paul’s, Leeds. Appointments at Tiverton, Daventry, and St George’s, Leeds (1850), followed. From his return to Leeds he was extremely active in local music, founding the Leeds Madrigal and Motet Society, the People’s Concerts, and other organizations. With Henry Smart he designed the large organ for the new town hall, opened in 1858, and was elected borough organist, a post which he held until his death. His views on organ building, tending to promote the French school, were influential. He played an organ sonata at the first Leeds Festival (...

Article

Rosemary Williamson

(b Everton, Liverpool, Jan 11, 1839; d Torquay, May 29, 1924). English architect, amateur organist and writer, father of Heathcote D. Statham. He studied the organ at Liverpool Collegiate Institution and practised architecture in Liverpool for several years before moving in 1869 to London, where he increasingly devoted time to journalism and writing. For several years during the late 1870s he gave a series of Sunday afternoon organ recitals at the Royal Albert Hall, but held no regular organist's post beyond an honorary one at St Jude's, Whitechapel. From 1883 to 1910 his principal occupation was as editor of the journal The Builder, and he wrote several standard works on architectural history.

A thoughtful and intelligent critic, Statham combined his knowledge of architecture and music in his writings on concert hall design, arguing that recently built large halls, such as the Royal Albert Hall and St George's Hall, Liverpool, were constructed solely as places of spectacle in defiance of the basic principles of acoustics. His ...

Article

Karl-Ernst Bergunder

[Nikolaus]

(b Erfurt, Aug 31, 1609; d Erfurt, April 5, 1680). German writer on music and organist. He spent his whole life at Erfurt. He attended the St Michael Lateinschule until 1621, when he transferred to the Protestant Ratsgymnasium, which was at that time noted for its fostering of music. One of his teachers there was Liborius Capsius, director of the collegium musicum and an important Erfurt University professor. He matriculated at the university in 1626, took his bachelor’s degree in 1628 and became a Master of Philosophy in 1629. He then became organist at the Protestant Thomaskirche and at the Catholic church of the Neuwerk monastery. From 1632 to 1635 he was Kantor and teacher at the Protestant school of preaching and also studied theology. In 1635 he was ordained and became deacon (in 1638 pastor) of the Kaufmannskirche in succession to Joseph Bötticher, who had won a good reputation as a musician. In ...

Article

Alex Harris Stein

(b Dayton, OH, Oct 14, 1957). American writer, guitarist, and bandleader. He was a staff writer for the Village Voice from 1987 to 2003 (a contributor since 1981) and one of a group of young African Americans writing for the Voice on black culture, politics, and identity. His work focuses on black music and culture from a postmodern, black nationalist perspective and is noteworthy for an unconventional style that Tate describes as blending academic and street culture. One of the first journalists to cover hip hop, he has written about Miles Davis, George Clinton, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Bob Dylan, and others. He has contributed to the New York Times, Rolling Stone, VIBE, the Washington Post, Spin, The Nation, Down Beat, and other publications. His books include Flyboy in the Buttermilk (New York, 1992), Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience (Chicago, 2003), and ...

Article

Leanne Langley

(b Norwich, Jan 22, 1784; d Brentwood, March 12, 1863). English bass and writer on music. Born into a prominent Unitarian family with literary leanings, he worked as an ironmonger and was active in liberal politics as well as amateur musical life in Norwich. He sang at the Octagon Chapel and the Glee and Catch Club, was principal bass at the Hall Concerts, and played a key role in the founding and organization of the Norwich Triennial Festival in 1824; he was also skilled as a wind player and choir trainer. Among his teachers were the Rev. Charles Smyth, William Fish and J.C. Beckwith.

In 1825 Taylor started an engineering firm in London, but on its failure a year later took up music professionally, as a concert singer and teacher. Still associated with opposition politics, by 1829 he had become music critic for the weekly Spectator. Its didactic, reform-minded tone suited him well, and he wrote there regularly for 14 years, notably on provincial festivals, the relative merits of Spohr (his friend) and Mendelssohn (whom he thought overrated), and on the importance of earlier music and of amateur music-making. In ...

Article

Davide Ceriani

(b Brooklyn, NY, April 14, 1948). American music critic and pianist. He studied piano with Donald Currier at Yale University (BA 1970, MMus 1972) and with Leonard Shure at Boston University (DMA 1982). Tommasini has taught music at Emerson College (1978–86) and given nonfiction writing workshops at Wesleyan University and Brandeis University. He was appointed a staff music critic at the New York Times in 1997, and in 2000 he became the paper’s chief classical music critic. Prior to joining the Times, he covered music and theater for the Boston Globe.

He has published two books on the composer Virgil Thomson: Virgil Thomson’s Musical Portraits (New York, 1986; an expanded, revised version of Tommasini’s DMA dissertation) and the critically acclaimed Virgil Thomson: Composer on the Aisle (New York, 1997). Tommasini’s latest book, released in 2004, is Opera: a Critic’s Guide to the 100 Most Important Works and the Best Recordings...

Article

Erik Levi

(b Tauberbischofsheim, Baden, Feb 10, 1879; d Herrsching am Ammersee, 2/June 3, 1968). German composer, conductor and critic. He was a pupil of Iwan Knorr at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt (1894–5) and Joseph Rheinberger at the Munich Academy (1896–9). After his studies Trunk settled in Munich where he pursued a career as an accompanist, private teacher, conductor of various choral societies and critic of the Münchner Post (1907–12). In 1912 he went to New York to serve as conductor of the Arion choral and orchestral society, returning to Munich just after the outbreak of World War I. From 1916 to 1922 he wrote music criticism for the Bayerische Staatszeitung. In 1925 he was appointed director of the Rheinische Musikschule Cologne and professor at the Staatliche Hochschule, and remained extremely active as the conductor of the Männergesangverein. Trunk returned to Bavaria in ...

Article

Bernarr Rainbow

(fl 1833–56). English organist and pioneer of school music. Music in schools, virtually dead in England since the abolition of the song and monastic schools at the Reformation, began its long period of recovery during the decade immediately following the passing of the first Reform Act (1832). Turner's Manual of Instruction in Vocal Music (1833) was the earliest music textbook published for use in English schools. Ostensibly designed to bring about the improvement of congregational psalmody, it was also meant to exert a wider civilizing effect on the industrial population.

Little is known of Turner’s life; but he wrote as an experienced teacher whose book was presented to the public ‘not as an experiment for the first time tried, but as the result of long experience’. Music master at the Westminster Day Training College for Teachers, Turner was also organist and choirmaster at St Stephen’s Church, Avenue Road, St John’s Wood (since demolished), where one of his choristers, L.C. Venables (...

Article

Kathleen Dale

revised by Robert Layton

[Fritiof]

(b Göteborg, May 30, 1853; d Stockholm, April 1, 1918). Swedish composer, critic and conductor. At Uppsala University he studied music with J.A. Josephson (1873–9), and after attending the conservatory and university in Leipzig (1879–84), he took the doctorate at the university with a thesis on Swedish folksongs. He then settled at Göteborg, became music critic of the Göteborgs handelstidning and re-established the Harmonic Society in 1886, which he conducted until 1897, performing many large works for chorus and orchestra. He gave lectures in music history and conducted concerts of the workmen's institute. In 1897 he went to Stockholm, where he was critic of Svenska dagbladet until 1902 and teacher of music history at the conservatory (professor from 1912). He was elected a member of the music academy in 1897 (appointed secretary in 1901) and gave many public lectures on music.

Valentin first attracted attention as a composer at Leipzig in ...

Article

Jean Mongrédien

revised by Katharine Ellis

(b Bellême, Sept 6, 1759; d Tours, April 27, 1839). French writer on music . He attended the maîtrise of Le Mans Cathedral, where he met Le Sueur, and studied oriental languages at the Sorbonne. He was ordained a priest and, as a tenor, joined the maîtrise of Notre Dame on the eve of the Revolution. During the Revolution, however, the maîtrise was suppressed, and he joined the Opéra chorus, soon gaining the post of chorus leader.

In 1798 he went to Egypt as a member of a large scientific group accompanying Napoleon on his Egyptian expedition; this journey determined much of Villoteau’s future career. During two years in Egypt he amassed numerous documents, mainly on music, which he later studied with the aid of the principal Paris libraries. He then published several works, the first of which was Recherches sur l’analogie de la musique avec les arts qui ont pour objet l’imitation du langage...

Article

Stanley Sadie

(Hamilton )

(b London, Feb 9, 1928). English writer on music , son of Guy Warrack. He was educated at Winchester College and at the RCM (1949–52), where he studied the oboe with Terence Macdonagh, history with Frank Howes and composition with Gordon Jacob and Bernard Stevens. He played as a freelance oboist, chiefly with the Boyd Neel Orchestra and at Sadler's Wells, until 1953, when he joined Oxford University Press as a music editor. The next year he was appointed assistant music critic to the Daily Telegraph. He moved in 1961 to the Sunday Telegraph, as chief music critic, resigning in 1972. Warrack became a critic for Gramophone in 1958 and a member of the editorial board of Opera in 1953. In 1975–6 he was visiting lecturer at the University of Durham, and he was a university lecturer at Oxford, 1984–93. He was director of the Leeds Festival, ...

Article

W.H. Husk

revised by Bruce Carr

(b London, March 20, 1804; d Bexley, Kent, March 8, 1881). English organist and writer on music. In 1834 he became organist of St Mary’s (Roman Catholic) Chapel, Chelsea, and composed some masses for its service. Between 1840 and 1860 he published many instruction books for organ, reed organ, concertina and church singing.

Warren was a careful and thorough editor of earlier English music: his edition of Boyce’s Cathedral Music, for example, included new biographies of the composers with exhaustive lists of their works. Such scholarship was facilitated by the large and valuable library he collected during his life, including the partbooks from which he edited Hilton’s Ayres or Fa Las, many unique sale catalogues, and autograph manuscripts of Purcell, A. Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. The fruits of his research appeared often in the early Musical World.

Article

Adam Mrygoń

(b Kroczyce in Miechów district, Nov 27, 1893; d Kraków, May 12, 1963). Polish composer, conductor and critic. He studied successively at the Conservatory of the Kraków Music Society, the Dalcroze Institute at Hellerau near Dresden, the St Petersburg Conservatory and the Paris Schola Cantorum. In 1931 he took examinations as an external candidate in composition at the Warsaw Conservatory. From 1921 he taught in Poznań, first at the Academy, then, from 1923, at the Conservatory. From 1921 to 1939 he was also active as a choral conductor, working in particular with the Koło Śpiewackie Polskie (singing society) and the Chopin and Moniuszko choirs. From 1945 he was a professor at the State Higher School of Music in Kraków.

During the inter-war period he was chief editor of Przegląd muzyczny and music reviewer for the Kurier poznański and Muzyka polska. From 1946 he edited the series Polska Literatura Chóralna published by the Polish Music Publishers (PWM). He was a founding member, and vice-chairman, of the Society of Young Polish Musicians in Paris (...

Article

Clement A. Miller

[Jobst ]

(b Resel, Värmland, c1486; d Frankfurt an der Oder, Nov 12, 1552). German humanist, physician, writer and musician . The generally accepted birthdate for him is about 1486, but according to Pietzsch it is 1501. In 1516 he entered the University of Frankfurt an der Oder, where he probably studied music under Johann Volckmar. After graduating he taught music from 1522 to 1539. In 1524 Willich became professor of Greek and in 1540 professor of medicine. Although he retained his connection with the university until his death, he was frequently called to other countries (such as Poland and Hungary) because of his renown as a physician. He corresponded with Erasmus and was personally acquainted with Luther, Melanchthon and Glarean. More than 60 writings on philology, antiquity, philosophy, theology, law, medicine, mathematics and music, some of which remained current into the 18th century, gave Willich a position as one of the outstanding German humanists of his time. An ardent lutenist, he founded about ...

Article

Jonas Westover

(b Phalanx, NJ, Jan 19, 1887; d New York, NY, Jan 23, 1943). American drama critic, playwright, and actor. Woollcott is especially known for being a part of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of writers and artists that met for ten years at the Algonquin Hotel in New York. Woollcott attended Hamilton College in 1909, but moved to New York City because of his interest in the theater. From 1914 to 1922 he was writing for The New York Times, eventually moving to the New York World. Writing for The New Yorker, he penned a column entitled “Shouts and Murmurs” (1929–34), which is still a feature of the magazine. Concurrent with his writing, Woollcott also found a home on the radio, where one of his shows, The Town Crier, first appeared in 1929. Known for his sharp tongue mixed with unabashed sentimentality, the critic was compared to his friends James Thurber and George S. Kafuman, the latter of which penned two plays with Woollcott. Woollcott was widely read and highly respected, enough so that a positive review from him could solidify the success of a new production. One important notice was written for ...

Article

(b Moscow, 19/Dec 31, 1875; d Kharkiv, Jan 19, 1933). Ukrainian composer, conductor and critic. A graduate of Kiev University (1903) he studied music privately with E. Ryb and worked as a conductor and critic in Kiev until 1910. He then continued these activities in St Petersburg and then Moscow where he conducted at the Zimin Private Opera (1916–17). In 1918 he settled in Kharkiv where he added teaching (at the Musical Dramatic Institute) to his activities. His opera Vybukh (‘Explosion’) was the first Ukrainian opera on a revolutionary theme, while his last opera, Duma chornomors′ka (‘Duma of the Black Sea’), is a grand opera based on Ukrainian folk music and is dedicated to Verdi. Polish and Turkish materials are also used to characterize the various national elements of the plot.

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Article

David Scott

(b Northwich, Cheshire, May 17, 1912; d York, May 9, 2004). English writer on music and music educationist . He was educated at Christ’s Hospital (1924–30) and read English, music and history as an organ scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge (1930–34; MusB 1933). He was director of music at Stranmillis Teachers Training College, Belfast, from 1934 until 1937, when he took the MusD at Trinity College, Dublin. From 1937 to 1944 he was music adviser to the city of Stoke on Trent. In 1944 he became director of music at Wolverhampton College of Technology; there he also formed a choir which gave many performances, particularly of lesser-known works by Handel. Since 1970 he has been a visiting scholar and lecturer at numerous colleges in the USA.

Young was an exceptionally fluent and prolific writer. His books include short popular biographies and several volumes for younger readers. Many of his more substantial writings are based on a lively, fresh and industrious, if not always highly discriminating, examination of source material; these include original research on Elgar and useful surveys of the British choral tradition and British music generally. As a composer Young was equally prolific: his works include a Fugal Concerto for two pianos and strings (...

Article

Leah G. Weinberg

(b Exeter, NH, Nov 8, 1961). American Musician, songwriter, record company founder, and author. Zanes was raised near Concord, New Hampshire, and after attending Oberlin College for one year, moved to Boston. There, Zanes, his brother Warren, the bass player Tom Lloyd, and the drummer Steve Morrell formed the Del Fuegos. The roots-rock band produced five albums between 1984 and 1989, with singles “Don’t Run Wild,” “I still want you,” “Name Names,” and “Move with me Sister.” After the Del Fuegos disbanded and Zanes’s solo album Cool Down Time failed to sell, he began to listen to banjo songs, cowboy tunes, and traditional songs that he remembered from childhood. After his daughter Anna was born, Zanes’s dissatisfaction with the American children’s music market led him to form a family-oriented band that merged folk and rock styles and instrumentation. Initially known as the Wonderland String Band, the New York based-group underwent changes in title and personnel, first to the Rocket Ship Revue, and then to Dan Zanes & Friends. The seven-member band has produced nine albums on Zanes’s label, Festival Five Records, which include original songs as well as folk, traditional, and gospel songs from the United States, Jamaica, Africa, and Mexico. ...