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Gracian Černušák

revised by John Warrack

(b Přívaty, nr Litomyšl, March 1833, d Doksy, nr Litoměřice, May 29, 1926). Czech violinist, teacher and administrator. He studied with Mořic Mildner at the Prague Conservatory (1846–52) and held posts in Prague, Salzburg (1861–3) and Stuttgart (1863–6). He was professor at the Prague Conservatory (1865–82) and then director (1882–1901). An energetic and progressive musician, he contributed much to the artistic eminence of the school, improved its orchestra, cultivated chamber music and taught a number of pupils who made the Prague violin school world-famous; these included Otakar Ševčík, Jan Ondříček, Josef Suk, Oskar Nedbal and Karel Halíř. Under his direction appointments to the staff included Dvořák (composition), Ševčík (violin) and Hanuš Wihan (cello). He also organized some pioneering public concerts of Czech and foreign music, and himself played in chamber concerts, including in a trio with Smetana and Hegenbarth....

Article

Jeffrey Holmes

(Bryan)

(b Bakersfield, CA, Aug 18, 1953). American jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and producer. He studied piano and theory at El Camino College (1972), arranging and orchestration at Valley College (1973), and film scoring at UCLA (1981). His teachers included Abraham Fraser (piano), Donald Neligan, Heichiro Ohyama, Donald Ray, and Jan Robertson. In 1976 he became music director and conductor for the singer Lainie Kazan, followed by similar work for the singers Ann Margaret and Connie Stevens. From 1977 he has recorded his own smooth jazz albums; those from the 1980s, including This Side Up and Every Step of the Way (one of his many Grammy nominated recordings), helped to define the genre. He has been involved in a wide range of projects, including working for ten years as a composer for “Peanuts” TV specials, with the GRP All-Star Big Band, and with such musicians as Kenny Loggins, Patti Austin, Kenny Rankin, and Faith Hill. He is also a film score composer and conductor; in the latter role he has worked with the Asia America Symphony Orchestra, which gave the first performance of his piano concerto ...

Article

Mark Gilbert and Barry Kernfeld

(b Dortmund, Germany, April 23, 1959). German drummer, bandleader, and record producer. He grew up in a musical family and played trumpet, clarinet, and piano as a youth; he then took up drums and studied classical percussion at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Trossingen (1977–81). After attending the Drummers’ Collective in New York (1981–2) he either performed as a drummer or directed big bands. In the 1980s he concentrated on fusion, but later he became known for his mainstream and big-band work; apart from these activities he was first timpanist in the SWF-Rundfunkorchester from 1981. Between 1986 and 1993 his own big band played with such guest soloists as Art Farmer, Slide Hampton, Bob Mintzer, Jiggs Whigham, Jim Snidero, Barbara Dennerlein, Ack van Rooyen, and Silvia Droste. As a sideman Berg worked with, among others, the quartet of Louis Stewart and the guitarist Heiner Franz (...

Article

Cathy Ragland

(b Raymondville, TX, June 22, 1939). American accordionist, songwriter, and producer. Texas-Mexican musician Paulino Bernal led the highly influential and innovative El Conjunto Bernal, formed in 1952 with his older brother Eloy on bajo sexto. The Kingsville-based group became one of the top conjuntos in South Texas. By 1955, they were making records for Ideal Records, accompanying many of its artists. Bernal was influenced by early recordings of accordion pioneers such as Narciso Martínez and Tony de la Rosa; however, he was also interested in Latin dance genres like the bolero, son, and cha cha cha played by orquestas and Mexican trios. Bernal had his conjunto perform in suits, rather than the typical western attire, and they began to set regional rancheras and corridos to these pan-Latin rhythms, showcasing rich, three-part harmonies and a versatile chromatic accordion. “Mi único camino” (My Only Path) was one of the most popular songs in this style. The new sound attracted upwardly-mobile Mexican Americans who had shunned traditional accordion-based conjuntos. In the 1960s, Bernal (with Víctor González) formed Bego Records and became a skilled producer. He added a second accordionist to the group, Oscar Hernandez, which allowed for more complex arrangements and expanded compositional possibilities. Bernal abandoned the label and his group in the 1970s and became an evangelical preacher, recording and performing only Christian music. In ...

Article

Curtis Price

revised by Margaret Laurie

(b London, 1635; d London, April 28, 1710). English actor, manager and opera director. Generally regarded as the greatest English actor before Garrick, he played a key role in the invention of Semi-opera. In 1668 he became co-manager of the Duke's Company, which was already featuring plays with musical interludes, many of them set by Matthew Locke. In 1671 the troupe moved into the new Dorset Garden Theatre, specially equipped with the machines necessary for opera. Betterton visited Paris to study stagecraft and may have seen the famed comédies-ballets of Lully and Molière. He then produced a series of musical extravaganzas, or semi-operas: adaptations of Shakespeare's Macbeth (1673, music by Locke) and The Tempest (1674, music by Locke, Humfrey and others), Thomas Shadwell's Psyche (1675, music by Locke) and Charles Davenant's Circe (1677, music by John Banister (i)). In addition to coordinating the production and devising the scenery, Betterton often acted the protagonists, roles that never required singing....

Article

J. Michele Edwards

(b New London, CT, Jan 15, 1908; d New London, CT, April 15, 2007). American composer, organist and choral director. After graduation from Connecticut College for Women (BA 1928), she studied theory and organ at the Guilmant Organ School (1930), attended Columbia University (MA 1932) and was the first woman to take the doctorate at the School of Sacred Music, Union Theological Seminary (MSM 1935; DSM 1945). Her principal composition teachers included J. Lawrence Erb, Howard Murphy, Edwin Stringham (1933–5), T. Tertius Noble (1943–5) and Wayne Bohrnsted (1957–60). During her career as organist and director of music she held positions in Protestant churches and temples in New York, New Jersey, California, Michigan and Connecticut. She was the first woman president of the American Guild of Organists (1975–81). As a composer she focussed exclusively on church music, writing many anthems for young people and giving special attention to practicable works for small church choirs (e.g. ...

Article

Ryan Bruce

(b Montreal, Canada, Nov 10, 1932; d Montreal, Jan 3, 2016). Canadian jazz pianist, composer, record producer, and bandleader. He was established by the age of 17, when Oscar Peterson recommended him as his replacement for the last year of an engagement at the Alberta Lounge in Montreal. After moving to New York to attend the Juilliard School (1950–54), he became part of the traditional and modern music scenes and recorded his first album as leader, with Charles Mingus and Art Blakey among his sidemen (Introducing Paul Bley, 1953, Debut). He also played with other notable musicians such as Ben Webster, Lester Young, Roy Eldridge, and Charlie Parker during the 1950s. In 1957 he moved to Los Angeles where he performed at the Hillcrest Club. His quintet, which included Charlie Haden, Billy Higgins, Don Cherry, and Ornette Coleman, became Coleman’s quartet when Bley left for New York in ...

Article

Rolf Haglund

(b Stockholm, July 15, 1935). Swedish composer and administrator. He studied composition with L. Wenström (1956–60), but he is self-taught in his principal field of electro-acoustic music, in which he is one of the most important composers, teachers and administrators in Sweden. His background as a jazz musician, pictorial artist (including computer-generated images) and biochemist has contributed to a characteristic openness and enthusiasm for the crossing of the boundaries between different artistic genres which he has passed on to a younger generation of electro-acoustic composers. Following his début in the concert organization Fylkingen in 1962, he became one of the driving forces in creating a small electronic music studio there. Together with Bengt Emil Johnson he directed the text and sound festivals initiated in Stockholm in 1967; Bodin was also Fylkingen’s chairman from 1969 to 1972. He became a pioneer of instrumental theatre, organized now legendary happenings at the Modern Museum in Stockholm and brought John Cage and other leading modernists to Sweden. In ...

Article

Carolyn Gianturco

revised by Biancamaria Brumana

(b Rome, Nov 10, 1922; d Florence, Dec 8, 2009). Italian administrator, pianist and musicologist. He was a piano pupil of Casella at the Accademia di S Cecilia, Rome, and of Cortot at the Ecole Normale de Musique, Paris; he also studied composition with Virgilio Mortari and musicology with Luigi Ronga at the University of Rome and P.M. Masson at the Sorbonne. After performing widely in Europe and the USA, he devoted himself to teaching and musicology, holding posts at the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh (1948–51), the Pesaro Conservatory (1951–7), the Rome Conservatory (1957–67), and Perugia University (1967–93). In 1978 he founded the periodical Esercizi: arte musica spettacolo. His book L’arte clavicembalistica di Domenico Scarlatti, prompted by his own playing, was one of the first to approach the subject in the context of both historical background and stylistic criticism. In addition to serving as director of ...

Article

Barbara Chmara-Żackiewicz

(b Glinno, nr Poznań, April 9, 1757; d Warsaw, July 23, 1829). Polish impresario, librettist, actor and singer. He was a central figure in the history of the Polish theatre. He studied in Kraków (1770–73), where he attended many theatrical and concert performances organized by Sierakowski, prompting him to change the direction of his career away from the army and towards the theatre. He probably completed his studies at the Piarist school in Warsaw. For a few months during 1778 he studied acting with L. Montbrun, a Warsaw theatrical impresario. Soon afterwards he made his début as an actor in N.T. Barthé’s comedy Zmyślona niewierność (‘Imaginary Infidelity’), and on 11 July 1778 as a singer and librettist in the première of Maciej Kamieński’s opera Poverty made Happy. In 1783 he became the director of the National Theatre in Warsaw, remaining in this position (with some breaks) until ...