(b Novgorod, 30 June/July 12, 1861; d nr Terioki, Finland [now Zelenogorsk, Russia], Feb 25, 1906). Russian composer, pianist and conductor. His father, a doctor, was a keen cellist, and his mother an excellent pianist who gave him his first music lessons. By the age of nine he had already composed some songs and piano pieces. When the family moved to St Petersburg, Arensky took lessons with Zikke before entering the St Petersburg Conservatory (1879), where he studied composition with Rimsky-Korsakov and counterpoint and fugue with Johannsen. He graduated with a gold medal in 1882. Even before this Rimsky-Korsakov had been sufficiently impressed by Arensky’s talent to entrust him with a share in preparing the vocal score of The Snow Maiden. After graduating Arensky went straight to the Moscow Conservatory as a professor of harmony and counterpoint; among his pupils were to be Rachmaninoff, Skryabin and Glière. The move to Moscow brought him into close contact with Tchaikovsky, who gave him much practical encouragement, and Taneyev. From ...
(b Castro Urdiales, Santander, Nov 19, 1913; d Madrid, Jan 21, 1958). Spanish conductor. He studied the piano with distinction at the Madrid Conservatory and proceeded for further study to Belgium and to Germany, where he was a pupil for conducting of Carl Schuricht. He had obtained a conservatory teaching post at Kassel when the outbreak of war in 1939 obliged him to return to Spain, where among other duties he played the piano and celesta with the Spanish National Orchestra in Madrid. He made his conducting début with his country’s radio orchestra, then in 1945 became conductor of the National Orchestra. He first appeared in Britain as José Iturbi’s conductor (with the LSO) at the Harringay Arena, London, in 1948. His early death cut off what promised to be a highly successful career. He made a number of recordings, including Granados’s opera Goyescas with the National Orchestra and Turina’s ...
Jennifer Spencer and Marina Frolova-Walker
(b Staroye Tezikovo, Penza, 11/Oct 23, 1846; d Prague, Nov 16, 1924). Russian choral conductor and composer. He studied music theory while at the imperial chapel in St Petersburg, gaining also a wide knowledge of Russian church music. In 1880 he founded a mixed choir which soon won a reputation for high standards of performance. At first the choir comprised 20 voices but was later increased to 90; its repertory was extensive and included folksongs and pieces by Classical and contemporary composers. Arkhangel′sky took his choir on a tour of the major cities of Russia (1899–1900), and in 1907 and 1912 they went to western Europe, where their concerts of Russian church music were well received. He supported the movement to reform Russian church music, and his experiment of substituting women’s for boys’ voices in sacred music was widely adopted. He composed two masses, a requiem and many unaccompanied choral pieces. He also arranged folksongs for his choir and made transcriptions of Russian hymns and other liturgical pieces....
Greg A. Handel
(b West Hempstead, NY, April 26, 1956). American music educator, choral arranger, editor, and conductor. He was a member of the American Boychoir (1969–71), and received degrees from St Olaf College (BM 1978), the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (MM 1980), and Michigan State University (DMA 1987). He was on the summer faculty of the American Boychoir School and now serves on the Board of Trustees. He taught at Calvin College (1980–90) before becoming the fourth conductor of the St Olaf Choir and the Harry R. and Thora H. Tosdal Endowed Professor of Music (1990–). Armstrong is the editor for Earthsongs publications and co-editor of the St. Olaf Choir Series. He chronicled the history of the St Olaf Choir in his doctoral dissertation. He is featured on an instructional video for adolescent singers, Body, Mind, Spirit, Voice (2002...
(b Memphis, TN, Feb 3, 1898; d Chicago, IL, Aug 27, 1971). American jazz pianist, singer, bandleader, and composer. She studied keyboard privately from an early age and had hopes of becoming a concert pianist. While she was enrolled at Fisk University, her mother and stepfather moved to Chicago, where in 1917 she took a job as a sheet music demonstrator, which led to her joining the Original Creole Jazz Band as its pianist. It was her first job playing jazz and she decided not to return to Fisk. She subsequently worked with several bands, including King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, with which she performed in San Francisco in 1921 and made her recording debut in 1923. By this time the band included louis Armstrong, whom she married in 1924. Armstrong’s place in jazz history was assured by her participation on Oliver’s Gennett recordings and Louis’ Hot Five sessions for Okeh. She played an important role in Louis’ move into a brighter spotlight before their separation in ...
revised by Richard Wigmore
(b Leicester, Jan 7, 1943). English conductor. An organ scholar at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, he joined the musical staff of Covent Garden in 1966, moving to the WNO in December 1968 as assistant musical director to James Lockhart. He made his conducting début with Le nozze di Figaro in 1969, and he was musical director from 1973 until 1986, when he became principal guest conductor at Frankfurt. This period covered the company’s biggest expansion, including several foreign visits. His conducting repertory included an acclaimed cycle of five Janáček operas (for which he won the Janáček Medal in 1978), the first Welsh Ring cycles, André Engel’s production of Salome, and numerous Verdi productions, including the Peter Stein Otello. He made his Proms début in 1979, and has worked frequently with most of the leading British orchestras.
Armstrong conducted two Ring cycles when the WNO became the first regional company to visit Covent Garden in ...
(b Peterborough, June 15, 1898; d ? Olney, Bucks, June 26, 1994). English organist, conductor, composer and educationist. He was trained by Haydn Keeton, organist of Peterborough Cathedral, where he was assistant organist, 1915–16. He then studied at the Royal College of Music and Keble College, Oxford. He became successively assistant organist of Manchester Cathedral (1921–2) and organist of St Peter's, Eaton Square, London (1922–8); during the later period he studied at the RCM with Holst and Vaughan Williams. He took the Oxford DMus in 1929. From 1928 to 1933 he was organist of Exeter Cathedral. In 1933 he was appointed organist of Christ Church, Oxford, and remained there until he was appointed principal of the Royal Academy of Music in 1955, a post from which he retired in 1968. He was knighted in 1958. While organist of Exeter Cathedral he was also director of music to the University College of the Southwest and this experience stood him in good stead at Oxford, where he achieved success as a tutor and lecturer and – in succession to Hugh Allen – as conductor of the Bach Choir and the Orchestral Society....
(b Varna, Bulgaria, May 1, 1933; d March 19, 1991). Bulgarian choral conductor. He graduated from the State Conservatory (now the Pantcho Vladigerov Music Academy) in Sofia, studying under Georgi Dimitrov (1956). He conducted the Female Sofia Teacher’s choir (1954–68), the ‘Rodina’ choir in Ruse (1963 until his death), and the ‘Ljubomir Pipkov’ Sofia female choir (which he founded in 1966 and conducted until his death), among others. The last two choirs were both renamed after his death as the Vasil Arnaudov Choir. From 1966 to 1969 he conducted the Svetoslav Obretenov National Philharmonic Choir. In 1971 he became an honoured artist, and in 1974 professor, in the Conservatory in Sofia. Some of his students conduct the most prominent choirs in Bulgaria (Teodora Pavlovitch, Miroslav Popsavov, Dragomir Yosiffov). He was founder and the first chairman of the Bulgarian Choir Union in 1990.
He consulted for several choirs all over Bulgaria, including the ‘Yanko Mustakov’ choir in Svishtov (...
(b Tuzla, Bosnia, Aug 18, 1951). Bosnian conductor and music educator. He graduated from the Department of Music Theory and Pedagogy (1974) and from the Conducting Department in the class of Teodor Romanić (1979) at the Academy of Music in Sarajevo. He completed postgraduate studies in 1982. His conducting career started at the High School of Music in Sarajevo upon his graduation (1974). He has appeared with the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio-Television Sarajevo Symphony Orchestra, Mostar Symphony Orchestra, and Radio-Television Bosnia and Herzegovina Chamber Orchestra. He has led a number of choral ensembles, including the children’s choir of Radio-Television Sarajevo, and amateur choirs in Sarajevo (‘Slobodan Princip Seljo’, ‘Vaso Miskin Crni’, ‘Miljenko Cvitković’), Mostar (‘Džemal Bijedić’, ‘Abrašević’), and Goražde (Mixed municipal choir). He successfully led the female ensemble, ‘Preporod’, and the academic female choir ‘Gaudeamus’, for which he prepared a few collections of harmonizations and stylizations of folk songs. Since ...
David F. Garcia
(b Santiago de Cuba, March 2, 1917; d San Diego, CA, Dec 2, 1986).American entertainer, bandleader, and television producer of Cuban birth. Arnaz left Santiago for the United States when his father, the mayor, was exiled upon the fall of the Machado government in 1933. Arnaz began his career as a singer in Miami and joined the internationally famous Xavier Cugat orchestra in the late 1930s. He started his own band, which recorded with Columbia in 1941 and Victor from 1946 through 1951. While Arnaz was the leader and featured singer, the band also recorded with prominent American singers, including the Andrews Sisters and Jane Harvey. Arnaz also appeared in the Broadway and film versions of Too Many Girls in 1939 and 1940, respectively. He married the film actress Lucille Ball, and the couple eventually starred in and produced their classic television show, I Love Lucy (featuring Arnaz as a bandleader), from ...
(b Charlottenburg, Berlin, April 1, 1907; d Berlin, Dec 25, 1976). German choral conductor and radio producer. He studied at the Akademie für Kirchen- und Schulmusik in Berlin and at the university there. A choirmaster and lecturer in music at the Berlin Volkshochschule (1932–40), he also taught music at a secondary school (1932–4) and was co-founder and conductor of the Berlin Heinrich Schütz Chorale. With the resumption of postwar musical life in Berlin he was appointed head of Berlin radio's chamber music department and from 1949 was a specialist adviser on symphonic music for RIAS. He founded the Berlin Motet Choir in 1950 and was its conductor to 1960, and he was also conductor of the RIAS Chamber Choir (1955–72). From 1964 until his retirement in 1972 he was deputy head of music for RIAS, and from 1965 he was also music director at Berlin’s Freie und Technische Hochschule. Arndt gave the RIAS Chamber Choir an international reputation through numerous broadcasts and concert tours; he did much to promote contemporary music, giving many first performances including works by Bialas, Henze, Krenek, Schoenberg, Genzmer, Milhaud, Reimann and Sakać. Arndt was awarded the Grosse Verdienstkreuz der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in ...
revised by Michael Dawney
(b London, Sept 15, 1917; d Bromley, Kent, April 10, 2009). English composer and conductor. He studied at the RCM (1936–9) with Ireland (composition) and Dykes Bower (piano), winning the Farrar composition prize in 1938. He was music consultant to the North American service of the BBC (1939–45). In 1948 he became a professor of composition at Trinity College of Music. He made extended visits to the USA as a Fulbright Visiting Lecturer (1967–70). He was appointed music consultant to the London International Film School (1972) where he founded the course in music in film. He edited Composer magazine 1961–4 and served as chairman (1965–6 and 1974–5) and vice-president (from 1991) of the Composers’ Guild.
Arnell’s early works included three symphonies and concertos for violin and piano. His music was conducted by Stokowski, Herrmann and by Beecham, who conducted the première of the ...
Gaynor G. Jones
(b Altdorf, canton of Uri, Sept 1, 1831; d Lucerne, Sept 28, 1900). Swiss conductor, organist and composer. After instruction in singing (with Aloys Zwyssig) and the piano, Arnold studied music in Engelberg (1842–4) and in Lucerne (1844–7), where he was active as a choral singer, organist and pianist and began to compose. In 1850 he went to England, where he was appointed organist and choirmaster at the Roman Catholic church in Lancaster and taught the piano and languages. Moving to Salford in 1854, he became organist and choral director at the cathedral. He studied with Charles Hallé, who greatly influenced him, and had singing lessons with Manuel García. From 1856 he took positions in Manchester, first at St Augustine’s and subsequently at St Wilfrid’s church.
Arnold returned to Switzerland permanently in 1865 to become musical director of Lucerne. His duties included conducting various choirs and an amateur orchestra for the performance of masses (at the cathedral), operas and oratorios. He founded an orchestra of professional musicians in ...
revised by Lars Westin
(b Hälsingborg, Sweden, Aug 7, 1920; d Stockholm, Feb 11, 1971). Swedish bandleader, arranger, and saxophonist. He led a big band in Malmö (1942–9), was a member of Thore Ehrling’s orchestra in Stockholm (1949–52), and worked as a studio musician. From 1956 to 1965 he was the leader of Radiobandet (the Swedish Radio Big Band), which achieved considerable success in the USA. First presented there as the Jazztone Mystery Band (an invention of the writer George T. Simon), it was mistaken by several critics and well-known musicians for one of the leading American big bands, and it received considerable further acclaim through albums released under Arnold’s own name. The ensemble played in a modernized swing style and included such prominent Swedish and Norwegian musicians as Arne Domnérus, Bengt Hallberg, Bjarne Nerem, Åke Persson, Carl-Henrik Norin, Egil Johansson, and Georg Riedel. Benny Bailey, living in Sweden at that time, was also an intermittent member, and he recorded as a soloist with the group, as did Nat Adderley and Coleman Hawkins as guests (all on ...
Robert Paul Kolt
[Strothotte, Maurice Arnold]
(b St. Louis, MO, Jan 19, 1865; d New York, NY, Oct 23, 1937). American composer and conductor. At first, he was known professionally by his full name but eventually dropped his surname and went by Maurice Arnold. He studied music with his mother, a prominent pianist. At 15, he enrolled in the College of Music in Cincinnati Ohio, then travelled to Germany, attending the Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium (Berlin) and the Cologne Conservatory of Music, where his first piano sonata was written and performed. Arnold subsequently went to Breslau where, under the instruction of Max Bruch, he wrote one of his first major works, a cantata, The Wild Chase. Upon his return to St. Louis he worked as a violinist, educator, opera conductor, and composer. Arnold attended the newly-established National Conservatory of Music in New York City (1892–95), where he studied with ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK and eventually became an instructor of harmony. He subsequently toured Europe (...
(b London, Aug 10, 1740; d London, Oct 22, 1802). English composer, conductor, organist, and editor. He was the son of Thomas Arnold, a commoner, and, according to some sources, the Princess Amelia (she was certainly his patron). Arnold received his education as a Child of the Chapel Royal (December 1, 1748 to August 31, 1758), where he was occasionally noticed by Handel (something he ‘remember’d with delight & spoke of with a starting tear’), and on leaving became known as an organist, conductor, and teacher, and composed prolifically. In autumn 1764 he was engaged by John Beard as harpsichordist and composer to Covent Garden; there he compiled several pastiche operas, including the popular The Maid of the Mill (1765), which is among the supreme examples of the form. In 1769 Arnold bought Marylebone Gardens, and during the next six summers produced several short all-sung burlettas, composing or at least contributing to four new examples (now lost). These productions were simply written (from the literary point of view at least) and would have appealed to an audience with no previous experience of operatic music....
(b New York, April 8, 1856; d New York, Feb 4, 1919). American theater manager, conductor, and composer. After studying harmony and composition with Emile Durand at the Paris Conservatoire (1874–7), Aronson returned to New York as a young manager and conductor at the Metropolitan Hall. He encountered his greatest success as founder of the Casino Theatre in Manhattan, a building celebrated for its “Moorish” architecture and its roof garden (the first of its kind). Opening on 21 October 1882 with a performance of The Queen’s Lace Handkerchief, the Casino quickly became the major venue for comic opera performances in New York, featuring sumptuously designed performances of the works of J. Strauss, Sullivan, Offenbach, and Millöcker, among others. Though he considered the production inferior to his other work, Aronson’s most successful run at the Casino was Jakobowski’s Erminie (1256 performances). Throughout his career, Aronson maintained strong European connections, managing theater houses abroad and contracting American tours of major European musicians, including Leoncavallo....
(b Pittsburgh, PA, Oct 8, 1844; d Lakewood, OH, Nov 20, 1918). American tenor, educator, conductor, and composer. Arthur moved throughout the United States as a young man, studying in Ashland, Ohio, as well as the Boston Music School. After additional studies in Europe, Arthur fought in the Civil War before moving to Cleveland in 1871. Within two years, he founded the Cleveland Vocal Society, which he conducted for 29 seasons; the group was good enough to win first prize at the world choral competition of the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. He conducted an orchestra at Brainard’s Piano Warerooms beginning in 1872, performing classical music and popular dances that represented the first sustained orchestral presence in Cleveland. Arthur also opened a voice studio that eventually became the Cleveland School of Music in 1875.
Arthur wrote three operas: The Water Carrier (1875), The Roundheads and Cavaliers...
(b Detroit, MI, Aug 6, 1932; d Santa Monica, CA, April 13, 1986). American jazz harpist and bandleader, daughter of the jazz guitarist Wiley Thompson. She attended Cass Technical High School with Donald Byrd and Kenny Burrell, and took up piano, double bass, saxophone, and, eventually, harp. She then studied piano and music education at Wayne State University. Although she performed on piano in nightclubs, she had settled on harp as her primary instrument by 1952. She also formed a trio in which her husband, John Ashby, played drums. During the 1960s, Ashby presented her own radio show and, with her husband, formed the Ashby Players, an African-American theater group. Down Beat included her on its poll of best jazz performers in 1962, and by the late 1960s, she was in demand as a studio musician, in which capacity she recorded with Stevie Wonder, Barry Manilow, and Diana Ross, among others, and on movie soundtracks. Ashby’s most celebrated albums include ...
(b Gor′kiy [now Nizhniy Novgorod], July 6, 1937). Russian pianist and conductor, naturalized Icelandic. He was born into a musical Jewish family and entered the Moscow Central School of Music in 1945; his teacher there for the next ten years was Anaida Sumbatyan. His first major recital, devoted entirely to Chopin, was in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in April 1955, and later that year he gained second prize at the fifth Warsaw International Chopin Competition. In 1956, now a pupil of Lev Oborin at the Moscow Conservatory, he was awarded first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. While still a student he made his first tour outside the USSR the following year, to East and West Germany. After graduating, it was inescapable that he should be groomed for the second International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1962 (the American Van Cliburn having won the first), and he duly restored national honour by carrying off a shared first prize (with John Ogdon). His London début followed in ...