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Digby Fairweather

revised by Simon Adams

[William Michael Allingham ]

(b Blackpool, England, Dec 6, 1936). English bandleader. He began playing saxophone and clarinet in school, and after service in an RAF band he organized two jazz bands while studying at Oxford University (1955–62). In the early 1960s he performed in several clubs in London. In 1965 he formed the London Schools Jazz Orchestra, which was later known as the London Youth Jazz Orchestra and then the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO); it became a professional organization in 1974 and is the only full-time big band of its kind in Great Britain. Through its ranks have passed some of Britain’s finest young musicians, including Julian and Steve Argüelles, Guy Barker, Chris Biscoe, Paul Lytton, Dave O’Higgins, Gerard Presencer, and Jamie Talbot. It has toured with Shorty Rogers (1982, 1983), and John Dankworth (1986), made regular appearances at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London, and made a large number of recordings, among them ...


James Chute


(b Seattle, June 27, 1953). American composer and conductor. He studied composition with Stephen Albert, Ronald Perera and Randall McClellan at Hampshire College (BA 1975). His teachers at Yale University (MM 1977) included Druckman and MacCombie (composition), and Arthur Weisberg (conducting). He also studied composition with Schuller at the Berkshire Music Center (1979) and with Yun at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik (1980). He served on the faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory from 1980 to 1986. A UK Fulbright Arts Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1987–8) enabled him to work in London from 1986 to 1988, where he was a visiting lecturer at City University. He joined the faculty of the University of Arizona in 1988. He has conducted the university-based Arizona Contemporary Ensemble, founded and co-directed the New York contemporary music ensemble Musical Elements (1977–) and served as composer-in-residence for the Phoenix SO (...


(b Amsterdam, Oct 8, 1947). Dutch harpsichordist, clavichordist, organist and conductor. After a classical education, he studied the harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt and the organ with Albert de Klerk at the Amsterdam Conservatory, graduating in 1971. Since his début in Haarlem in 1968, van Asperen has performed as recitalist and occasionally as conductor in Europe, the USA and Australia. His repertory ranges from the keyboard music of the late 16th century to that of the late 18th, with special emphasis on the works of the English virginalists, Frescobaldi, the French clavecinistes, Soler, and J.S. and C.P.E. Bach. From 1968 to 1984 he performed with the ensemble Quadro Hotteterre, with whom he made several recordings. In addition to the principal harpsichord works of J.S. Bach and the organ concertos of Handel, van Asperen has also recorded the complete printed keyboard works of C.P.E. Bach and the complete sonatas of Soler....


Giorgos Sakallieros

[Nikos, Nicolaos]

(b Akkerman, now Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, May 6, 1921; d Thessalonikē, Dec 10, 2010). Greek composer, pianist, and conductor, of Greek-Romanian parentage. He entered the Bucharest University to study chemistry (1939) and continued his initial piano studies with Miron Şoarec at the Bucharest music academy and privately with the famous Dinu Lipatti. During WWII (1941–3) he served as member of the Royal Hellenic Air Force in the Libya front. In 1944 he won the first prize in the Eistedfodd Festival in Cairo, both in piano performance and composition. He conducted his first major symphonic work, Œdipe-roi, at the Cairo Opera in 1945. In 1947–8 he studied piano and composition at the Schola Cantorum, Paris, graduating with honours. He toured extensively all over the world either as recitalist or as accompanist for renowned soloists like Jacques Thibaud, Christian Ferras, and Henryk Szeryng. With French violinist Colette Frantz he founded and ran a music school and a chamber orchestra at Martinique (...


Magdalena Manolova

(b Plovdiv, 6/May 18, 1882; d Fasana, Lake Garda, Nov 17, 1931). Bulgarian composer and conductor. At the age of 14 he began formal music studies in Bucharest. He studied composition with Mascagni at the Pesaro Conservatory (1901–3), then returned to Bulgaria, where he became well known as a military bandmaster. In 1922–3 he conducted the Sofia National Opera, and over a period of many years directed more than 90 orchestral concerts in the capital; these were the first regular symphony concerts in Bulgaria since the liberation of 1878.

Atanasov was the first Bulgarian professional opera composer. His lyrical, Romantic style shows the influence of late 19th-century Italian opera, but is primarily melodic and also bears traces of folk idioms. He achieved dramatic effects by the alternation of contrasting numbers. His most frequently performed opera is Gergana, the first Bulgarian opera to make an individual character the centre of the plot. The opera ...


Charles Barber and José A. Bowen

(b Blackpool, Jan 3, 1944). English conductor. After studying at Cambridge (1962–6), the RAM and the GSMD, he was appointed by Solti to the staff of Covent Garden in 1967. A year later he made his début there in Il trovatore, and served as resident conductor until 1980. He made his début at La Scala in 1976 and at the San Francisco Opera in 1978. From 1968 to 1973 and from 1989 to 1991 he was music director of the London Sinfonietta. Atherton was music director of the Royal Liverpool PO from 1980 to 1983 and from 1983 to 1986 its principal guest conductor. From 1980 to 1987 he was music director of the San Diego SO, a tenure marred by controversy. He became principal guest conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in 1984, and was principal guest conductor of the BBC SO from ...


Michal Ben-Zur

( b Haifa, Nov 17, 1933). Israeli conductor . She studied the piano at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem, and subsequently studied conducting in Europe and the USA with Franco Ferrara, Celibidache, Hans Swarowsky and Boulez. From 1954 to 1960 she taught piano at the Rubin Academy of Music. Atlas won several international conducting awards, including the Dimitri Mitropoulos Competition (1964), the Leopold Stokowski Prize (1978) and the Eugene Ormandy Award (1980). In 1981 she was appointed associate professor and director of musical studies at the Technion in Haifa. She is the founder and principal conductor of the symphony orchestra and choir of Technion, the Israel Pro Musica Orchestra and the Atlas Camerata. She has also appeared as a guest conductor with the RPO in London, the Royal Liverpool PO and the Stockholm PO, among others. Atlas has given the first performances of works by the Israeli composers Amy Maayany and Zvi Avni, and has recorded Stravinsky's ...


F.R. Bosonnet

(b Wettingen, canton of Aargau, May 5, 1837; d Zürich, May 22, 1914). Swiss choral conductor and composer. He was a pupil of D. Elster and studied at the Leipzig Conservatory (1857–8) where E.F. Richter was among his teachers. After holding several minor teaching posts at Muri (1859), in 1863 he became director of music at Rapperswil, where his excellence as a choral conductor during a national singing festival in 1866 soon made his name known throughout the country. In the same year he moved to Zürich and fulfilled a number of important choral conducting engagements. In 1870 he was appointed director of music at the university, and in 1896 became second director, with Friedrich Hegar, of the conservatory. Together with the painter Arnold Böcklin and Hegar, he was given an honorary doctorate by the university in 1889. In addition to his various conducting duties he was an active composer; he wrote a great deal of church and chamber music, but excelled primarily in vocal music. His best works are, perhaps, his accompanied and ...


Hans Åstrand and Bo Wallner


(b Göteborg, Dec 12, 1887; d Stockholm, Feb 15, 1974). Swedish composer, administrator, conductor and critic. He studied the cello at school in Göteborg and then entered the Stockholm College of Technology. Having passed the examination in civil engineering in 1911, he spent his working life (1912–68) in the patent office. He was largely self-taught although he studied composition and instrumentation with Hallén at the Swedish Royal Academy of Music (1910–11), and partly used the state composer’s scholarships he received between 1911 and 1915 to study in Germany (1911 and 1913). He made his début as a conductor at Göteborg in 1912, when the programme included his First Symphony; thereafter (particularly during the 1920s) he often conducted his own music and that of contemporaries, both at home and abroad (where he promoted Swedish music). From 1916 to 1922 he was kapellmästare at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm; he also worked enthusiastically as co-founder and president (...


Arthur Jacobs

(b Budapest, July 30, 1931). Israeli conductor. His family settled in British-mandated Palestine in 1944 and he followed Israeli custom in changing his original surname to the present Hebrew form. Having studied the piano and horn, he graduated from the Tel-Aviv Academy of Music in composition and conducting (1962) and was encouraged by Antal Dorati to pursue a conducting career. In London, where he studied at the GSM, he won the school's conducting prize in 1963, followed in 1964 by the first prize at the international conducting competition sponsored by the Royal Liverpool PO. In 1967 he conducted the Vienna PO at the Salzburg Festival. From 1969 to 1971 he was chief conductor of the Sydney SO, and in 1972 he became chief conductor of the NDR SO and of the Basle SO. After a spell in Tokyo as musical adviser for the Tokyo Metropolitan SO (...


Paul Griffiths and Andrea Musk

(Louis Alexandre)

(b Paris, Dec 8, 1907; d Paris, Sept 21, 1981). French composer and conductor. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire (1925–30) with Samuel-Rousseau (harmony), Noël Gallon (counterpoint) and Dukas (composition), winning the Prix de Rome in 1930 with Actéon. Having studied conducting with Gaubert (1934–5) he took up the artistic direction of the RTF station Paris Mondial (1937–44) and then served as a conductor for French radio (1945–60), for whom his work included a recording of Ariane et Barbe-Bleue. In 1945 he was appointed professor of composition at the Conservatoire, and in 1969 he was elected to the Institut. In 1979 he became president of the Académie des Beaux-Arts and was made a Commandeur of the Légion d'Honneur. His compositions pursue the more harmonically rich and colourful aspects of the music of Ravel and Dukas. In Actéon (1930) he achieves a sense of mystery by combining dissonant clusters with a repeated motif. His only opera ...


Dave Gelly

revised by Barry Kernfeld

[Altwerger, John ]

(b Toronto, May 19, 1919; d Palm Springs, CA, Jan 8, 1990). American tenor saxophonist and bandleader. His family moved to New York in 1919. He first played professionally on alto saxophone, but changed to the tenor instrument because of Coleman Hawkins’s influence. He led his own band at Nick’s, New York, and worked with Bunny Berigan (1937–8) and Artie Shaw (c December 1938 – November 1939). Following Shaw’s first retirement he led the latter’s band briefly, then played for a short time with Jan Savitt and was a member of Benny Goodman’s orchestra and sextet (November 1940 – c June 1941); during the same period he recorded in Benny Carter’s band, accompanying Billie Holiday (September–October 1940), and again under Carter’s leadership (October 1940). After a second period with Shaw (to January 1942) Auld resumed bandleading (February 1942...


Robert Layton

(Bernhard Vilhelm)

(b Stockholm, Sept 10, 1866; d Saltsjöbaden, March 1, 1914). Swedish violinist, composer and conductor, brother of Valborg Aulin. He studied from 1877 to 1883 with J. Lindberg (violin) and C. Nordqvist (theory) at the Swedish Royal Academy of Music and in Berlin from 1884 to 1886 with E. Sauret (violin) and P. Scharwenka (composition). He was active as an orchestral musician in the early years of his career and served as leader of the Swedish Hovkapell from 1889 to 1902. In 1887 he founded the Aulin Quartet, which made annual tours of Sweden and other northern European countries until it was disbanded in 1912; it specialized not only in the Classical repertory, particularly Beethoven, but in a wide-ranging representation of the works of Scandinavian composers, above all Berwald, Grieg, E. Sjögren and W. Stenhammar. From 1890 Aulin worked closely with Stenhammar, who also took part in most of the Aulin Quartet’s tours as pianist. His circle of friends also included Grieg and Sjögren....


Christiane Spieth-Weissenbacher

(b Pau, Feb 22, 1917; d Toulouse, March 12, 1982). French conductor. He attended the Toulouse Conservatoire, where he won first prizes for violin (1931), singing, recitation (1937) and harmony (1939). He studied conducting under Markevich at the International Conductors’ Course at Salzburg between 1951 and 1956. It was with the orchestra of the Salzburg Summer Academy that he made his first appearance as a conductor (Linz, 1956). Later he assisted Markevich in his conducting courses in Salzburg and Mexico (1957), Santiago de Compostela (1966), Madrid (1967) and Monte Carlo (1968). In 1953 he founded the Orchestre de Chambre National de Toulouse, an ensemble of 12 strings and harpsichord, which specialized in Baroque music but also played many contemporary works. These included the first performance of Ombres by Boucourechliev (1970, Toulouse) and the American première of ...


John L., Jr. Clark

[Calhoun, Cora]

(b Chattanooga, TN, Sept 19, 1887; d Chicago, IL, July 10, 1972). American jazz and blues pianist, composer, bandleader, arranger, and music director. After studying at Roger Williams University (Nashville) and Knoxville College, she performed on the TOBA circuit and toured accompanying her second husband Buster Austin. In the early 1920s Austin moved to Chicago, where for almost 20 years she directed shows for touring stage performers as the music director and bandleader at the Monogram and Joyland theaters. From 1923 to 1926 she also led the house band at Paramount Records, accompanying blues singers and making instrumental recordings featuring such jazz musicians as Tommy Ladnier, Al Wynn, Johnny Dodds, and Jimmy O’Bryant. After working in a defense plant during World War II, Austin returned to music, working in dancing schools. Her final recording, in 1961 for Riverside Records, was a reunion with her friend Alberta Hunter and several musicians she had previously worked with in Chicago....


Norris L. Stephens

(b Newcastle upon Tyne, bap. Feb 16, 1709; d Newcastle upon Tyne, 9/May 10, 1770). English composer, conductor, writer on music and organist. He was the most important English concerto composer of the 18th century and an original and influential writer on music.

He was the fifth of nine children born to Richard and Ann Avison. Since his father, a Newcastle town wait, was a practising musician, his musical training probably began at home. Later, while in the service of Ralph Jenison, a patron of the arts and MP for Northumberland from 1724 to 1741, he had opportunity for further study. He had additional support in his musical development from Colonel John Blathwayt (or Blaithwaite), formerly a director of the Royal Academy of Music, the operatic organization in London. There is no evidence that, as has been claimed, Avison went to Italy, but William Hayes and Charles Burney wrote that he studied with Geminiani in London....


Charles Barber

(Henry Patrick)

(b Vancouver, April 25, 1917; d Vancouver, Nov 30, 1983). Canadian conductor, broadcaster and accompanist. After studying the piano privately, he took degrees at the universities of British Columbia (1935) and Washington (1936), and subsequently studied at the Juilliard School of Music (1946), Columbia (1946–7) and with Hindemith at Yale (1947). From 1939 to 1980 he was principal conductor of the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra (now the CBC Vancouver Orchestra); there he gave premières of hundreds of works, including music by the Canadian composers Jean Coulthard, Barbara Pentland and Elliott Weisgarber, and earned a citation of merit from the Composers, Authors and Publishers Association of Canada. He was guest conductor with numerous Canadian and European orchestras, conducted at the Aspen Music Festival and taught at the universities of Victoria and British Columbia. He was also accompanist to Maureen Forrester, Lois Marshall and Lauritz Melchior. In ...


Eliyahu Schleifer

(b Jerusalem, Sept 15, 1941). Israeli composer and conductor. He studied at the Rubin Academy of Music (teacher's diploma 1967, BMus 1972) and at the Salzburg Mozarteum (1976). From 1968 to 1973 he served as the director of Renanot, the Institute of Jewish Music, Jerusalem. In 1971 he joined the music department at Bar-Ilan University, where he founded an electro-acoustic laboratory in 1995. He has conducted numerous concerts in Israel, as well as national television and radio broadcasts. In 1973 he helped establish the Natanya SO, with which he has performed concerts of contemporary Israeli music. An award-winning youth orchestra conductor, he became music director of the Jerusalem Youth Orchestra in 1987.

Avitsur's compositions express a deep commitment to Jewish and Israeli culture. Many of his works are large-scale vocal compositions based on scenes from recent Jewish history. Much of his music, such as the Symphony no.2 ‘Shirat Hadorot’ (‘Generations’ chanting’, ...


Nicholas Tochka

(b Korça, Albania, March 16, 1915; d Tirana, Albania, Nov 18, 1985). Albanian conductor, composer, and arranger. A major organizer and administrator in state-socialist Albania from the 1940s to the 60s, he received his early training from the pre-war choral and theatre groups active in Korça during the late 1920s and 30s. A talented and precocious youth, Avrazi was named assistant music director in the ensemble Korça Youth (Rinia Korçare) in the early 1930s. During World War II, he organized musical performances in support of the antifascist movement in southern Albania, popularizing partisan and nationalist songs and staging short theatrical works for Communist guerrillas beginning in 1943. Following the war, he first organized the Army Choir (Kori i Ushtrisë) before directing the Artistic Ensemble of the People’s Army (Ansambli Artistik i Ushtrisë Popullore), two groups modelled after the grand choral and instrumental ensembles of the Soviet Red Army. These groups served an important function in the late 1940s and early 50s by training Albania’s first socialist generation of musicians. Many young men who became major figures in Albanian music, including Çesk Zadeja, Tish Daija, and Gjon Athanasi, received scholarships to study abroad following their participation in Avrazi’s ensemble. In addition to his role as a conductor, Avrazi also arranged folk songs and composed a number of cantatas, vocal suites, and other choral works. A prolific song composer, he created a number of partisan songs as well as popular tangos, waltzes, and foxtrots during the 1950s and 60s. He retired with the title the Artist of the People....


Martin Marks

(b New York, April 19, 1888; d Ukiah, CA, Feb 13, 1959). American composer and conductor. After private music study in Berlin, he conducted for Oscar Hammerstein’s Manhattan Opera Company (which closed in 1910), then for productions on Broadway. By 1921 he had become an assistant conductor at the Capitol Theater, where silent films were presented with full orchestral accompaniment; in 1923, in partnership with David Mendoza, he replaced Erno Rapee as principal conductor. In addition to conducting, he composed incidental film music for the Capitol as needed, including 57 pieces published in the Capitol Photoplay Series (New York, 1923–7). From 1925 to 1929 he collaborated with Mendoza in New York on compilation scores for at least 20 MGM films, beginning with The Big Parade. Their collaboration continued with the music for Don Juan (1926), the first feature film score to be presented using the Vitaphone process, which mechanically synchronized the playback of music recorded on wax discs with the projection of the film. In ...