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Article

Melinda Berlász

(b Poroszló, Apr 5, 1927; d Budapest, Nov 6, 1992). Hungarian choirmaster, composer and folksong collector. After Lajos Bárdos, Vass was the last figure of great consequence in the history of the Hungarian choral movement linked with the name of Kodály. He completed his secondary education at a teacher-training college in Debrecen (1941–6), after which he studied composition and singing at the Liszt Academy of Music; he graduated in 1951. His composition teachers were Veress and Ferenc Farkas. He held appointments as conductor (from 1949) and artistic director (1953–7) of the Hungarian Army Art Ensemble, conductor of the Hungarian State Male-Voice (1957–8) and Steel Sound (1960–64) choirs and as chief conductor of the Art Ensemble of the Ironworkers' Union (1964–92).

As choirmaster he was a faithful interpreter of the works of Kodály and Bartók and a disseminator of more recent Hungarian choral works. With his choirs he raised the standard of Hungarian singing to an international level, as attested by the many prizes he won at international competitions. His dynamic personality was well suited to the dissemination of musical knowledge. (He was, among other things, a well-known personality on Hungarian television and radio.) Additionally, he played an important role in the Hungarian folk music revival of the 1970s. Understandably, vocal music lies at the centre of his output. His musical language developed gradually from the early folksong adaptations to a style involving discernible use of dodecaphonic technique. He was awarded the Erkel Prize (...

Article

Viorel Cosma

revised by Laura Otilia Vasiliu

(b Mânerău, Arad district, Dec 17, 1863; d Lugoj, Feb 7, 1931). Romanian composer, choral conductor, and folklorist. He began his musical studies at the Conservatorium der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Arad (Austro-Hungarian Empire) (1880–81), and continued them in Caransebeş (1885) and at the Conservatory of Music and Declamation, Iaşi (1890–91). In Iaşi he studied harmony, composition, and choral conducting with Gavriil Musicescu, a well-trained musician who had studied in Saint Petersburg. He was a music teacher and choir conductor (with the Reuniunea română de muzică şi cântări (‘Romanian Convention for Music and Song’) in Lugoj), and he managed the most important local institution dedicated to the promotion of national culture – the Asociaţia corurilor şi fanfarelor române din Banat (‘The Choral and Brass Band Society of Banat’, 1888–1927). He was a passionate folklore collector active in Western Transylvania and the Banat (he had connections with Bartók, Musicescu, and Kiriac-Georgescu). His exclusively choral compositions are representative of both lay works (folklore adaptations, patriotic songs, etc.) and religious ones, inspired by the Orthodox chanting music from the Banat. His first collection of choruses, ...

Article

John Tyrrell

(Ignác František)[Voyachek, Ignaty Kasparovich ]

(b Zlín, Moravia, Dec 4, 1825; d Tsarskoye Selo [now Pushkin], 27 Jan/Feb 9, 1916). Czech musician, active in Russia . He was brought up in Vsetín, where his father obtained a teaching post in 1830, and in Brno, as a chorister of the Augustinian monastery (from 1838). He studied for a year at the University of Vienna (1845–6) and founded a Slavonic student choral society, for which he wrote a large number of male-voice choruses. After working as a music tutor (1846–8) to the family of Count Bethlen in Hermannstadt, Transylvania (now Sibiu, Romania), he returned to Brno, conducting Czech concerts of the Brno Männergesangsverein. He returned to Vienna and in 1852 helped compile a collection of Valachian and Slovak folksongs (he had begun collecting folksongs himself in 1838). In Vienna he got to know the Russian composer Aleksey Fyodorovich L′vov, who obtained a post for him (...

Article

Elisabeth Lebeau

revised by Fiona Clampin

(Théodore)

(b Guebwiller, Nov 9, 1821; d Trottberg, nr Guebwiller, May 20, 1910). French folklorist, bibliographer and composer. Destined by his father for a career in industry he studied chemistry, but in 1843 ran away to Paris to study music. He was accepted at the Conservatoire shortly thereafter despite his lack of musical training and studied composition (with Halévy), harmony and singing. After leaving the Conservatoire he earned his living by teaching music, and from 1850 to 1855 he was the choir conductor of the Société Ste Cécile, founded and directed by F.-J.-B. Seghers; there Weckerlin gained familiarity with major choral works and was able to have his own compositions performed. Several operas and orchestral works also helped to make his name in the 1850s. In 1863 he became librarian and archivist of the Société des Compositeurs de Musique. He was appointed clerk to the librarian of the Conservatoire in ...

Article

Oldřich Pukl

(b Prague, Feb 13, 1862; d Prague, April 4, 1944). Czech composer and folksong collector. He studied in Prague at the conservatory (1873–8) and the organ school (1878–81) and privately with Fibich. He was organist of St Štěpán and choirmaster at the main synagogue of Prague (1881–2), a teacher at the music school of the Moravan choral society in Kroměříž (1882–3), a violinist in the National Theatre orchestra, Prague (1883–6) and conductor of the Švanda Theatre Company in Prague and Brno (1886–7). Subsequently he edited the monthly Hudební květy (1895–9), conducted the Academic Orchestra (1898) and worked as an accompanist (1896–1904), mainly for the violinist František Ondříček. From 1896 to the end of his life he gave most of his attention to collecting and arranging folksongs, particularly those of the Chodsko region, south Bohemia. Weis’s large and varied output was influenced mostly by Smetana and Dvořák and included three operas in Czech, two in German and six German operettas. His only work to have stood the test of time, however was the 15-volume collection ...

Article

Olga Manulkina

(b Leningrad [now St Petersburg], Nov 28, 1926). Russian composer and folksong collector. She was greatly influenced by her mother, the pianist, composer and music theorist, Nadezhda Bogolyubova. Yel′cheva studied with Sergey Vol′fenson at the Musorgsky College, Leningrad, during World War II; she then attended the Leningrad Conservatory, where she studied the piano with Aleksandr Kamensky (graduating in 1950) and composition with O.S. Chishko (graduating in 1958). In 1953 and 1956 she participated in folksong expeditions to the Pskov region, to northern Russia and to the lower reaches of the river Pechora. Since 1965 she has collected songs independently in the Ivanovo region; she published her edition of collected folksongs in 1968 and in the late 1970s recorded her own performances of some of these. Most of her original compositions reflect her two main concerns: impressions of war and Russian folk culture. She writes in a traditional style based on folk tunes....