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George Leotsakos

(b Korça, Jan 24, 1929; d Tirana, Nov 9, 1991). Albanian composer and violinist. He studied theory and the violin at the Jordan Misja Art Lyceum, Tirana (1946–c1950) and became leader of the Albanian Philharmonia before studying composition with Shaporin at the Moscow Conservatory (...

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George Leotsakos

(b Sparta, Feb 23, 1905; d Athens, Dec 22, 1987). Greek composer and conductor. He studied the violin at the Athens and Hellenic conservatories (1919–24), conducting with Boutnikoff and Mitropoulos and composition with Lavrangas and Riadis. His studies were continued with Kalomiris at the National Conservatory (...

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Richard Taruskin

(b c1755; fl 1777). Russian composer . He wrote the earliest Russian opera (i.e. Singspiel) to survive in its entirety. Pererozhdeniye (‘The Rebirth’), concerning an old woman who is magically transformed into a young beauty, was given for the first time in Moscow (Theatre on the Znamenka) on 8/...

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Álvaro Zaldívar

(b ?Aragon, c1545; d ?Tarragona, after 1592). Spanish composer. It seems (according to StevensonSCM) that he lived in Valencia until 1578, when he was appointed maestro de capilla of Tarragona Cathedral, a post in which he remained until at least 1589...

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Juan María Veniard

(b Buenos Aires, Nov 11, 1935; d Buenos Aires, Aug 25, 1999). Argentine and Italian composer and conductor. He studied in Buenos Aires at the Municipal Conservatory (1947–51), composition with Gilardi at the National Conservatory (1952–7) and conducting with Mariano Drago at the National University of La Plata (...

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Octavian Cosma and Ruxandra Arzoiu

(b Oradea, April 4, 1932). Romanian composer, active in Germany. A lyricist and exquisite colourist, he preferred small and well-refined works. His musical language is close to the impressionist and postimpressionist one, especially in his first years of composition. In recent years he has focused more on film music....

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Jan Trojan

(b Kotvrdovice, Feb 8, 1927; d Brno, November 18, 2011). Czech composer. He studied at Brno University (PhD 1962) and was a composition pupil of Theodor Schaefer at the Brno Academy, where he later taught as a professor of composition (1962–95...

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László Gombos

(b Esztergom, May 12, 1887; d Budapest, June 24, 1936). Hungarian violinist, composer and conductor. He studied the violin with Hubay and composition with Koessler at the Budapest Academy of Music (1901–6). In 1907 he qualified as a teacher, and soon after he changed his name to the more Hungarian-sounding Zsolt. As a composer, he made a highly successful début in ...

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Robert Stevenson

(b Salinas de Oro, nr Pamplona, Dec 6, 1888; d Hermosillo, Sonora, May 26, 1987). Mexican composer and pianist of Spanish birth. At the age of eight she entered the Pamplona Academia Municipal de Música, studying the piano with Joaquín Maya, and at 15 the Madrid Real Conservatorio, completing her course there in ...

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(b Garay, Vizcaya, Feb 13, 1837; d Madrid, Jan 13, 1914). Spanish composer of Basque descent. He was a choirboy in the basilica of Santiago, Bilbao. In 1852 he was appointed organist in the parish church of Santurce, and the following year left Spain for South America, where he was widely acclaimed. He returned in ...

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Walter Ojakäär

(b Moscow, Nov 15, 1936). Russian saxophonist and composer. Self-taught as a musician, he played clarinet in the brass band of the Moscow M. V. Lomonosov State University, where he studied physics (graduating in 1958), and tenor saxophone in the big band of the Tsentral’ny Dom Rabotnikov Iskusstva (Central house of artists; ...

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Yelena Zin′kevich

(b Goloskovo, Nikolayev province, March 2, 1953). Ukrainian composer. He studied at the Gnesin Music College in Moscow (1969–71), then at Kiev Conservatory (the bayan with V.V. Besfail′ny, composition with Skoryk and conducting with Viktor Gnedash, graduating 1976–9). From 1976...

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Judith Tick

(b New York, NY, Dec 25, 1885; d Miami, FL, March 8, 1981). American composer and pianist. She changed her name to Mana Zucca in her teens and became a protégée of the pianist and teacher Alexander Lambert; according to her unpublished memoirs she performed with major orchestras in New York before the age of ten (although this and other claims in her memoirs have not been verified). In ...

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Judith Tick

( b New York, Dec 25, 1885; d Miami, March 8, 1981). American composer and pianist . She changed her name to Mana Zucca in her teens and became a protégée of the pianist and teacher Alexander Lambert; according to her unpublished memoirs she performed with major orchestras in New York before the age of ten (although this and other claims in her memoirs have not been verified). In ...

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(b Waldbröl, April 12, 1803; d Nachrodt, March 23, 1869). German music scholar, critic and poet of Italian and Dutch extraction. He was educated in Mülheim am Rhein and at the Carmelite Gymnasium in Cologne. After three years’ military service he entered the University of Heidelberg in ...

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Michael Talbot

(b Casalmaggiore, nr Cremona, Nov 10, 1704; d Casalmaggiore, May 3, 1792). Italian violinist and composer. He studied the violin first in his home town, later in Parma, Guastalla and Bologna, and finally in Cremona with Gasparo Visconti. Giuseppe Gonelli taught him counterpoint. In ...

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(b Brescia, ?c1540 or ?c1560; d after 1615). Italian composer. He was a Benedictine monk; the dedication of his Promptuarium harmonicum (1616) establishes that he took holy orders in the monastery of S Giorgio Maggiore at Venice at the earliest possible age, probably when he was about 15. He may have been the ‘D.nus Gregorius de Brixia’ who professed on ...

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Frans van Rossum

(b Gouda, Sept 23, 1964). Dutch composer. He studied at the Rotterdam Conservatory with Philippe Boesmans and Klaas de Vries, and in Tanglewood with Knussen and Foss. In 1989 he won the Koussevitzky Composition Prize with Fishbone, which launched his international career. While being trained as a classical pianist, he played the guitar in punk bands, and his chameleon-like musical output reflects a natural affinity with the complex compositional procedures of serious music and the simple directness of rock music. Though Zuidam uses a multiplicity of genres and styles, both Western and non-Western, he alludes to his models rather than borrowing from them literally. In his music, which is vigorous and entertaining, rhythm plays a paramount role because ‘it forges the link between reason and emotion’. The communicative simplicity and formal transparency of his music stems from a desire for clear musical argument but involves elaborate transformational techniques. These facilitate the music’s change of perspective by shifting quickly but smoothly between disparate elements and emotions. Zuidam’s talents for twisting the obvious and predictable are considerable. In a way, his music reflects on ordinary perceptions. It is a critique in disguise, seriously humorous and biting, even as it pretends to be sentimental or downright vulgar. His opera ...

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Jacques Aboucaya

(b Belgrade, Feb 2, 1968). Serbian pianist and composer. He discovered jazz in 1984 and quickly became one of the busiest pianists in Belgrade. After gaining a scholarship to the University of Michigan (1986) he spent time with Clare Fischer, under whose influence he renewed his approach to the piano. In the course of his service in the Serbian army (...

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Susana Friedmann

(b Cereté, July 18, 1945). Colombian composer. He completed his undergraduate studies in composition at the National University of Colombia (1970) and was granted a scholarship to study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, where he twice won the Grand Prix de Composition (...