(b Lodz, Poland, Dec 17, 1941). German pianist and keyboard player. He took private piano lessons (1948–60) and studied piano and composition in Dresden and Berlin. From the early 1970s he worked as a jazz musician in the East German bands FEZ (1974–7) and Osiris (1977–9), with musicians such as Manfred Hering, Helmut “Joe” Sachse, and Manfred Schulze, and with his own groups; among these are an ensemble of electronics and voice (from 1989), duos with the tuba player Dietrich Unkrodt (from 1980; Duo Unkrodt/Zerbe, 1987, Amiga 856336) and the clarinetist Jürgen Kupke (from 1996), and the Hannes Zerbe Blechband (from 1979), an ensemble consisting of jazz and classical musicians. From the mid-1980s Zerbe has worked extensively with synthesizers and computers, which he has used to further his aim of mediating between the worlds of contemporary composition and free improvisation. He also likes to involve poetry in his performances, as was heard, for example, in concerts given in ...
(b Baden-Baden, July 26, 1822; d Winterbach, Dec 14, 1881). German soprano . She studied in Paris and made her début in 1839 in Karlsruhe as Amina (La sonnambula). In 1846 she was engaged at the Vienna Hofoper, making her début as Lucia and creating the title role of Flotow’s ...
H. Earle Johnson
revised by Nancy Newman
(b Malchow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, July 28, 1826; d Milton, MA, Dec 29, 1909). American conductor and flautist of Germanorigin. Zerrahn studied with Friedrich Weber in Rostock from age 12, moving to Hanover and then Berlin, where he joined the Germania Musical Society as a flute player in 1848. During the six years the orchestra toured the United States, he was featured as a virtuoso soloist and occasional composer. After the Germania disbanded, Zerrahn remained in Boston and became conductor of the Handel and Haydn Society (1854–98), the Orchestral Union (1854–68) and the Philharmonic (1857–63). He conducted the newly-formed Harvard Musical Association Orchestra from its inception in 1865 until it disbanded in 1882. The ensemble gave the American premières of works by Mozart, Haydn, and Mendelssohn, and promoted new compositions such as John Knowles Paine’s Symphony No.2. Zerrahn was a renowned choral director throughout New England, directing the Handel and Haydn Society’s triennial festivals for more than two decades, the Worcester County Music Association Festivals (...
(b Hagfors, Sweden, Sept 20, 1938; d Stockholm, May 12, 2005). Swedish singer. In 1957 she sang with Ib Glindemann’s band in Copenhagen and performed with Arne Domnérus’s orchestra in Stockholm; she made several recordings with Domnérus (from 1958) and also recorded with studio bands of various sizes. In 1959–60 she appeared in Great Britain and the USA. Notable among her recordings are Waltz for Debby (1964, Phi. 08222PL), made with a trio led by Bill Evans (ii); Hej man (1975, Odeon 06235171), recorded under her own name; and It Only Happens Every Time (1977, EMI 06235454), with Thad Jones as leader. Zetterlund’s style is cool but sensitive and shows a genuine sympathy with the jazz idiom, though her repertory includes Swedish classical songs and folksongs. She is also an actress, and has worked in films, television, and the theater, both in drama and comedy. She published ...
[Herrmann, Jakob Zeugheer ]
(b Zürich, July 20, 1803; d Liverpool, June 15, 1865). Swiss violinist and composer . He studied the violin first with Wassermann in his native town, and in 1818 went to Munich, where he studied the violin with Ferdinand Fränzl and composition with Gratz. The example of Schuppanzigh and of the four brothers Moralt suggested to Zeugheer the idea of attempting the same with his friends at Munich, as ‘das Quartett Gebrüder Herrmann’. The other members were Joseph Wex, Carl Baader and Joseph Lidel. They started in 1824, touring in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and England, playing with particular success at Dover, Ramsgate and Brighton, where they settled for five months. Later tours took them throughout the British Isles, where in many places they were the first professional quartet ever to appear. By the spring of 1830 the ‘brothers’ had had enough of a roving life and Zeugheer settled at Liverpool, where he remained till his death....
revised by Michael Musgrave
(b Dresden, April 28, 1775; d Paris, Jan 24, 1841). German pianist and composer . He studied the piano in Dresden and composition with D.G. Türk in Halle; in 1802 while in St Petersburg he also took lessons from Clementi. On a later visit to Russia he taught the young Glinka, who found his theoretical teaching dull though he made progress as a pianist. He undertook concert tours to Paris in 1803, and in 1805 to Vienna, where he settled briefly (and was employed by Prince Golitsïn). He returned to his home city and continued to tour Europe as a successful concert pianist until just before his death on a visit to Paris. Though less admired for his composition than his playing, he wrote some technically skilled if uninspired piano pieces, chamber music and songs which were much in vogue in his time. These included fantasias and variations for piano, a Polonaise for piano duet op.10, string quartets (opp.11, 14 and 15), two piano concertos (op.12 in G and op.13 in E♭) and several ballets....
Kenneth S. Habib
(b Chicago, IL, Jan 24, 1947; d Los Angeles, CA, Sept 7, 2003). American Rock singer-songwriter, guitarist, and keyboardist. He began studying classical piano after moving to California as a child, and following the divorce of his parents, he dropped out of high school and left home to pursue popular music. A witty and characteristically dark satirical artist, he was associated with the Los Angeles–based singer-songwriters emerging from the mid-1960s to early 1970s. His recording career began in the duo Lyme & Cybelle in 1966. He continued composing and session work until the 1969 recording of his first solo album, Wanted Dead or Alive, which met with lackluster reception. His 1976 eponymous album, which was produced by Jackson Browne, featured a host of solid supporting artists and met with critical acclaim and commercial success. Excitable Boy was released in 1978 and certified platinum. Co-produced by Jackson Browne and Waddy Wachtel, it featured Zevon’s biggest hit, “Werewolves of London,” along with the successful title track, “Lawyers, Guns, and Money,” and “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner,” which he had co-written with a former mercenary in Spain during the summer of ...
(b Condrăteşti, Ungheni, May 24, 1939). Moldovan composer and choral conductor. He graduated from the Kishinev Institute of Arts where he studied choral conducting with L. Aksyonova. He has since conducted the leading choral ensembles of Moldova such as the Doina chorus (1967–76) and state radio and television choir (1976–87). In 1988 he founded the Renaissance choir which, under his direction, has won a number of awards and performed internationally. Zgureanu won the ‘best conductor’ prize at competitions in Varna, Bulgaria (1995), and Debrecen, Hungary (1996). He has headed the choral conducting department of the Chişinău Institute of Arts and in 1992 was appointed professor. He was awarded first prize by UNESCO for the Trei madrigale (‘Three Madrigals’) in 1995; he has also received many official awards. His output is associated with most choral genres. In stylistic terms, he combines techniques prevalent in post-World War II composition with ancient Moldovan folklore and Byzantine chant. Miniatures such as ...
George J. Grella Jr.
(b Dandong, China, 1973). Conductor of Chinese birth. Zhang studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing where she undertook conducting at the age of 16 (BA 1994, MA 1996). She made her conducting debut in 1992, leading the China National Opera Orchestra in Le Nozze di Figaro. She then went on to serve as conductor-in-residence of the China Opera House, Beijing, and as the conductor of the Jinfan Symphony Orchestra. Zhang taught one year of conducting at the Central Conservatory (1997) before relocating to the United States for doctoral studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. After completing her doctoral work, she joined the faculty at Cincinnati as an assistant professor of conducting (2000). In 2002, Zhang won the Maazel/Vilar International Conductor’s Competition, upon which Loren Maazel appointed her to be his assistant at the New York Philharmonic. In ...
(b Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 1949). Albanian singer and composer. An amateur singer who was discovered while a student in economics in the mid-1970s, he went on to have a successful career as a member of Tirana’s State Estrada and, later, a composer. With his contemporaries Kozma Dushi, Liljana Kondakçiu, and Bashkim Alibali, he specialized in performing popular music, or light music songs, in the 1970s and 80s. Zhegu became a fixture at the annual Festival of Song and the Spring Festival organized by Radio Tirana, winning several prizes as a singer. He is best known for his interpretations of composer Aleksandër Lalo’s 1982 song Kompozitori dhe Femijët (‘The Composer and the Children’) and Osman Mula’s 1987 song A Do Të Vish (‘Won’t You Come’). Though he began composing his own songs during the 1980s, Zhegu did not often perform these works because the figure of singer-songwriter remained politically suspect during socialism. In the 1990s, he largely withdrew from the stage as a singer but he continues to compose and present popular songs and children’s songs. He received the title Meritorious Artist in ...
(b Suzhou, 1902; d 1992). Chinese Kunqu opera performer. Undoubtedly the 20th century’s most distinguished performer of Kunqu, Yu Zhenfei was most noted for his performance of xiaosheng (young scholar-lover) roles. He also performed in Beijing opera , belonging to troupes headed by such notable performers as Mei Lanfang and Cheng Yanqiu, and was an accomplished player of the dizi, the transverse flute which is so essential to the musical accompaniment of Kunqu. He wrote a treatise on Kunqu acting and several other works.
Yu Zhenfei was the son of the Kunqu specialist Yu Zonghai (1847–1930). After early training, in 1923 he gained a major opportunity when the great dan performer Cheng Yanqiu visited Shanghai and invited him to share the stage with him in the role of the scholar-lover in the centrepiece scene of the famous ‘Peony Pavilion’ (Mudan ting) by Tang Xianzu (...
(b Xinmin county, Liaoning, Dec 31, 1920; d Beijing, April 4, 1998). Chinese zheng plucked zither player and scholar. While studying classical Chinese literature in Beijing, he took lessons on the zheng from Lou Shuhua; later he also studied briefly with Liang Tsai-ping. Turning professional on the eve of the Chinese revolution, from 1950 until 1964 he was based at music academies in north-eastern China, also spending periods at the Shanghai and Xi′an conservatories and making many recordings. Having been appointed in 1964 to the Chinese Conservatory of Music in Beijing, he was based there from the end of the Cultural Revolution.
Cao Zheng's zheng playing mainly represented the Henan style, though also borrowing from Shandong and southern styles. An influential music educator, he was author of teaching materials and wide-ranging articles. Despite his base in the conservatory system, Cao Zheng's outlook firmly reflected his training in the Chinese classics. He was also a keen maker and researcher of the ancient ...
Jonathan P.J. Stock
[Wei Chongfu ]
(b Shanghai, March 12, 1908 or Feb 21, 1909; d 1998). Chinese pipa (plucked lute) and qin (seven-string zither) player . Wei Zhongle was an early member of the influential Datong Ensemble, a group of Chinese musicians who met in Shanghai to improve their own performance skills and to develop from traditional and Western elements a new repertory of ‘national music’ (guoyue). Other than pipa and qin, Wei also learnt several instruments. From the 1930s onwards Wei held a succession of music teaching and performing posts at universities and colleges in Shanghai, one of the most notable of which was his founding of a traditional instruments department at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in the early 1950s.
See also China, People’s Republic of.Xu Lisheng: ‘Rang Zhongguo de minzu yinyue zou xian shijie: ji pipa yanzoujia, yinyue jiaoyujia Wei Zhongle’ [Let Chinese national music reach the world: a record of ...
John S. Weissmann
revised by Maria Eckhardt
(b Sztára, Hungary [now Slovakia], July 23, 1849; d Budapest, Jan 14, 1924). Hungarian pianist and composer . Although he lost his right arm in a hunting accident when he was 14, he became a celebrated piano virtuoso and made frequent concert tours from 1880. He studied composition with Robert Volkmann and the piano with Liszt, who orchestrated his ballad Der Zaubersee (now lost), transcribed his Valse d’Adèle (originally for left hand) and wrote a preface to his Six études pour la main gauche seule (Paris, 1878); the two became intimate friends and performed together in benefit concerts. Zichy also attained prominence as a jurist and administrator in Budapest; between 1891 and 1894 he was Intendant of the Royal Hungarian Opera, his appointment precipitating Mahler’s resignation as music director. From 1895 to 1918 he was president of the National Conservatory. In 1911 he was elected to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, giving an inaugural address on Liszt (in ...
Jonathan P.J. Stock
(b Yangyuan, Hebei province, June 17, 1904; d Dec 25, 1987). Chinese dizi bamboo flute player. Adept on both the sihu four-string fiddle and dizi bamboo flute, Feng Zicun supplemented his income as a labourer by working in the evenings as a performing musician accompanying local song and dance entertainment, folksongs and stilt dances. In the early 1920s he spent four years as a musician in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, where he learnt local errentai opera music, a style he was subsequently to introduce to Hebei province.
Following the Communist victory in 1949, Feng – now a locally renowned dizi player – was appointed to a full-time post as a performing musician, joining the Central Song and Dance Troupe as dizi soloist in Beijing in 1953. In 1964 he took a teaching post at the China Conservatory of Music, also in Beijing.
Feng popularized several dizi solos, including Xi xiangfeng (‘Happy Reunion’), ...
(b Kravaře, nr Opava, June 4, 1926; d May 19, 2003). Czech tenor . He studied in Ostrava, where he made his début as Werther (1944), then joined the Prague Opera in 1948, his roles including Tamino, Don Carlos, Siegmund, Hoffmann, Tom Rakewell and Peter Grimes. Many of his greatest successes were in Janáček operas, most notably as Gregor in The Makropulos Affair, Števa and Laca in Jenůfa and Skuratov in From the House of the Dead. In 1966 he sang the Inventor in the première of Kašlík’s Krakatit. He also appeared in Vienna, Wexford, Germany, South America and at the Edinburgh Festival (1964 and 1970 as Dalibor and as Mazal in the British première of Janáček’s The Excursions of Mr Brouček). Though occasionally reported as sounding strained or coarse, he was widely acclaimed for the commanding style of his acting and the clear-cut intensity of his singing. Recordings include ardent performances as Jeník in ...
(b Atlanta, Sept 4, 1951). American mezzo-soprano. She took part in the Santa Fe Apprentice Program (1978–9), then sang Maddalena at St Louis and Meg Page at Washington, DC. She made her European début in 1981 at Bonn as Dorabella, then sang Octavian, Cherubino, Berlioz’s Marguerite and Adalgisa. In ...
(b Vienna, Sept 14, 1722; d Vienna, Oct 18, 1767). Austrian violinist and composer. After teaching the violin at the Jesuit seminary in Vienna, he became a cathedral musician at the Stephansdom and played at the court chapel. About 1753 he gave violin lessons to Dittersdorf, who later spoke of him as ‘a very fine violinist and a skilful and worthy composer of chamber music. He took great pains with me’. Through Ziegler's recommendation Dittersdorf gained his first musical appointment. Ziegler's chamber and sacred compositions were highly esteemed in Vienna and he was also respected as a virtuoso; Albrechtsberger and Joseph and Michael Haydn praised his playing.
(bap. Plön, Feb 22, 1741; d Copenhagen, June 13, 1802). German composer and flautist. He learnt to play the flute from his father. In 1757, after he had spent some time in Lübeck, Duke Friedrich Carl of Plön financed his studies in Hamburg, where he took composition lessons with Telemann and flute lessons with F.H. Graf. After the duke’s death, the Duchy of Plön was annexed by Denmark in 1761 and the Hofkapelle was dissolved. Zielche first went with other Plön court musicians to Hamburg, where he organized performances and sold tickets to concerts. In 1770, together with other musicians from Plön, he joined the royal orchestra in Copenhagen; he was solo flautist under J.G. Naumann from 1785, and was also court organist. Around 1780 he married the singer Anna Elizabeth Maria Franziska Almerigi. For a time Zielche was the most highly paid court musician in Copenhagen. He retired in ...
(b Lubocza Królewska, March 31, 1847; d Santa Barbara, CA, July 25, 1922). Polish pianist and composer . He graduated from secondary school in Lemberg, having studied music under F. Guniewicz and Mikuli while still at school. He continued his studies in Berlin and Vienna with Schulhoff and Frey, and in Milan with Ceruti. In Vienna he also graduated from the Theresianum Imperial Military Institute. After the failure of the January uprising he left in 1864 for the USA, where he settled permanently and fought in the Civil War; he left the army in 1865 and started giving concerts. In 1869 he went to live in Michigan, first at Grand Rapids, later in Detroit, and in 1878 became director of the music department at Fairmount College, Tennessee. From 1888 to 1910 he lived in Buffalo, giving frequent concert performances in different states of the USA. He organized a music department at the University of Bailey Springs, Alabama, in ...