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Article

Hanns-Bertold Dietz and Joseph Vella Bondin

(Matteo)

(b Valetta, Nov 16, 1715; d Naples, Oct 1760). Maltese composer and teacher. His grandfather, who was French, settled in Malta in 1661. Abos's cousin Carol Farrugia paid for him to go to Naples as a child and receive his musical training at the Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesù. An entry in the 1729 account book of the institution lists a payment to a ‘Maltese maggiore’ for copying a ‘new work by Sig Francesco Durante, Dixit’. Abos's principal teachers at the conservatory would have been first Gaetano Greco, then Durante and Gerolimo Ferrara (not Leonardo Leo). His first opera for Naples was Le due zingare simili, an opera buffa staged at the Teatro Nuovo in 1742. In the same year he took teaching posts at two Neapolitan conservatories: the Poveri di Gesù Cristi, where he succeeded Alfonso Caggi as secondo maestro and assisted Francesco Feo until the institution was dissolved in ...

Article

(b Riverside, ny , 1878; d New York, Feb 9, 1919). American soprano . She appeared first with her sister Jessie in vaudeville, then, in London, in operetta; she was heard there in 1898 by Jean de Reszke, who helped her to study in Paris with Victor Capoul and Mathilde Marchesi. Her début at the Opéra as Juliet in ...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

(b Beirut, Aug 17, 1957). Lebanese ’ūd player and leader. He was classically trained on ’ūd and flute, and continued to study flute when he moved to Munich at the outbreak of the Lebanese civil war in the late 1970s. He made two albums as a flute player, one in a duo with the pianist Michael Armann (1981), but neither attracted much attention, so Abou-Khalil resumed playing the ’ūd. In 1986 he recorded as the leader of a seven-piece group which included Charlie Mariano, Glen Moore, and the percussionist Glen Velez, all of whom have taken part in his later recordings. Among his other guests have been Kenny Wheeler and Steve Swallow, and Sonny Fortune toured and recorded as a soloist with him in 1988 and 1990. In the 1990s he led a group with the harmonica player Howard Levy, Michel Godard, Mark Nauseef, and the Syrian percussionist Nabil Khaiat; its combination of ...

Article

(b Lisbon, 1437; d Venice, 1508). Philosopher and biblical exegete. His writing on music forms the introduction to his commentary on Exodus xv (the ‘Song of the Sea’, 1505; I-Rvat Rossiano 925, also printed in Venice in 1579). Relying on earlier sources including Ibn Rushd's commentary on Aristotle's Poetics and Moses ibn Tibbon's commentary on the Song of Solomon, Abrabanel describes three kinds of verse set to music: with metre and rhyme, as in Hebrew hymns (piyyutim); without metre or rhyme, yet arranged in a succession of short and long lines (as in the ‘Song of the Sea’); and metaphorical texts, by which he appears to refer to Psalms. Whereas, for him, the first and third kinds do not require music to qualify as poetry (prosodic considerations prevail in the first, conceptual ones in the third), the second kind does (its construction depends on its musical usage). Yet all three kinds rely on music for their usual mode of presentation. The author recognizes different functions for music in conjunction with poetry: to serve as a mnemonic device for retaining the texts, to improve the understanding of their content, and to elevate the spirit....

Article

David Lloyd-Jones

revised by David Brown

(Ernest Heal)

(b Newport, Isle of Wight, March 9, 1904; d Midhurst, March 18, 1988). English musicologist. Apart from having piano lessons as a boy, musically he was entirely self-taught. His formal education was completed in Portsmouth in preparation for a career in the navy, but he was obliged to abandon this plan owing to ill-health. During a period of recuperation he was able to put some of his self-acquired musical knowledge into practice by making orchestrations, arrangements and some attempts at original composition for the garrison band on the Isle of Wight. A year spent in Cologne resulted in his first major contribution to musical literature, a study of Borodin, which was begun in 1924 and published in 1927; this book (which he later disowned) immediately established him as an expert in the field of Russian music. He spent the next eight years as a freelance writer, contributing to a wide variety of publications, notably ...

Article

Israel J. Katz

(b Berlin, May 30, 1872; d Berlin, Jan 24, 1926). German physician and psychologist. He graduated in medicine at Berlin University in 1894, and thereafter dedicated himself primarily to psychoacoustics and the physiology of music. From 1896 to 1905 he was assistant professor under Carl Stumpf at the Psychological Institute of Berlin University (which in 1905 became the Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv). In 1900, when Hornbostel joined the staff, Abraham and Stumpf recorded on wax cylinders a visiting Siamese court orchestra – the first German attempt to record non-Western music. Abraham also recorded music from South Africa in the same year. In 1901 he published an article on absolute pitch which later (1906) resulted in a polemic between him and Auerbach. Adopting Stumpf's methods, Abraham and Hornbostel entered into a collaboration which laid the foundation for comparative musicology; he also collaborated with the physiologist and otologist K.L. Schaefer (...

Article

Andrew Lamb

[Ábrahám, Pál]

(b Apatin, Hungary, Nov 2, 1892; d Hamburg, May 6, 1960).Hungarian composer. He studied at the Budapest Academy of Music (1910–16) and began as a composer of serious orchestral and chamber music, a cello concerto being performed by the Budapest PO and a string quartet at the 1922 Salzburg Festival. In 1927, however, he was appointed conductor at the Budapest Operetta Theatre, where he was called upon to write numbers for various operettas. Viktória (1930), a work making use of the dance styles of the time, enjoyed huge popularity and led to a move to Germany, where his success continued with his score for the film Die Privatsekretärin (1931) and the operettas Die Blume von Hawaii (1931) and Ball im Savoy (1932). However, the rise of Hitler forced him to leave Germany, at first for Vienna where the operettas ...

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Barry Kernfeld

(b Mons, Belgium, 1962). Belgian trombonist and leader. He studied piano and guitar and at the age of 15 played piano in an amateur band; he then took up trombone (on which he is self-taught) and joined a succession of dixieland bands, including that of Claude Luter. In 1984 he turned to modern jazz as an occasional soloist with Félix Simtaine’s Act Big Band and the BRT (Belgische Radio & Televisie) Big Band and as the leader of a quartet; the latter group appeared at clubs and festivals, recorded its first album in 1986, and toured Europe from the late 1980s. Abraham joined Guy Cabay’s quintet in 1989. In the 1990s he appeared on television as a guest artist with a big band in Moscow, and he recorded with his quartet (including the albums Stapler, 1991, Igloo 091, and En public, 1996, Lyrae 9703007), as well as with Michel Herr’s big band (...

Article

Val Wilmer

(Stanley )

(b Cape Town, June 26, 1947). South African drummer, percussionist, singer, and leader. Known first for his singing, he developed as a drummer by accompanying other singers in Cape Town and playing with the quartet led by the pianist Cecil May. In 1962 he joined the Coon Carnival stage show. He then spent seven years in Swaziland, where he played bop with the pianists Roy Peterson and Howard Belling and accompanied Sarah Vaughan and Nancy Wilson. In 1975 he traveled to England and worked in variety and dance bands before joining Dudu Pukwana’s group Zila. In 1981 he founded the trio District Six with Mervyn Afrika and the guitarist Russell Herman, both of whom grew up in the District Six area of Cape Town; with Abrahams as its leader, the trio expanded to a sextet (including Jim Dvorak from 1983 to 1993 and Claude Deppa at some point thereafter) and became an important focus for musicians who played both jazz and African rhythms. Abrahams also worked with Ronnie Scott, John Taylor, Johnny Dyani, and the Brotherhood of Breath. In ...

Article

John Shand

(b Oamaru, New Zealand, April 9, 1961). Australian keyboard player. Having moved with his family to Australia in 1964 he began taking piano lessons at the age of five; his early inspirations included the boogie-woogie pianists and Teddy Wilson. He took Australian citizenship in 1975. During high school he heard Red Garland on a recording by Miles Davis, which led him to contemporary jazz. He attended the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, where he formed The Benders with fellow students Dale Barlow, Lloyd Swanton, and the drummer Andrew Gander; the quartet recorded three albums in the first half of the 1980s. Abrahams was also involved with an improvised music collective, the Keys Music Association, which saw the start of an important association with Mark Simmonds. With the saxophonist Jason Morphett having replaced Barlow, The Benders recorded two more albums (1983, 1985), then toured India, Europe, and Cuba before disbanding. In those same years Abrahams recorded as an unaccompanied soloist, and in ...

Article

John Bergsagel

(Schack Olufsen)

(b Brande, Jutland, April 9, 1893; d Copenhagen, Feb 17, 1949). Danish musicologist. After studying at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music (1910–13), where he graduated as an organist, he was organist and choirmaster at the Luther Church (1914–24) and head of the music division of the Copenhagen Royal Library (1916–21). As a student he attended Hammerich's lectures in music history at Copenhagen University (there was no degree course in music history until 1915) and in 1917 he became the first MA in musicology in Denmark, graduating with a dissertation on the transition from Catholic to Protestant liturgy in Denmark in the 16th and 17th centuries. During his years at the Royal Library he began to study its large collection of Latin liturgical fragments on the basis of which he tried to reconstruct the Danish medieval liturgy and to provide a demonstration of Peter Wagner’s theory of the two traditions, Roman and Germanic, of Gregorian chant. He submitted this as a doctoral dissertation to the university in ...

Article

Anders Beyer

(b Copenhagen, Dec 23, 1952). Danish composer. He first studied the horn and was later trained in music theory at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. He also undertook private studies in composition from Nørgård and Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, among others. Abrahamsen was active for a period in the Gruppen for Alternativ Musik, a forum for musicians who wished to perform new music in alternative forms; the group also aimed to develop socially and politically committed music, and Abrahamsen was thus able to cultivate his interest in political issues expressed through music. (His first symphony was originally entitled Anti-EEC-Sats (‘Anti-EEC Movement’); it became Symphony in C after the composer came to the realization that ‘music cannot be against’.) In 1982 Abrahamsen became a teacher of instrumentation at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. He has also been artistic director of the Esbjerg Ensemble since 1988.

The composer’s first works adhered to the style of the Danish ‘new simplicity’ movement of the mid-1960s. For Abrahamsen and other composers such as Gudmundsen-Holmgren, Christiansen and Ole Buck, this stylistic attitude, which marked a break with serial music, was a Danish response to the complexity emanating from central Europe, particularly the circle around the Darmstadt School. In Abrahamsen this aesthetic anchorage came to mean an almost naive simplicity in musical expression, as exemplified in his orchestral piece ...

Article

Svetlana Sarkisyan

(b Yerevan, March 8, 1932). Armenian cellist and teacher. She studied first at the Yerevan Central Music School (where her teachers were K. Khizanov and L. Grigoryan) and then with Grigoryan at the Komitas Conservatory in Yerevan (1950–53). She continued her studies with Rostropovich at the Moscow Conservatory (1953–6) and became a laureate of the H. Wihan International Cello Competition (1955). In 1956 she made her début as a soloist with the Armenian PO, and has performed regularly with the orchestra since then. In 1960 she became professor of cello at the Yerevan Conservatory. She has performed widely in Russia, the USA, Canada and Western Europe, as a soloist and during numerous festivals, specializing in 20th-century works, notably those by Armenian composers. She has given premières of some 100 works, a number of which are dedicated to her. Her playing is distinguished by refinement of intonation, a broad range of colour and a strong dramatic impetus....

Article

Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

(b c1758; d Torquay, March 8, 1821). English soprano and composer. She made her début in October 1775 as the little gypsy in May Day, a piece designed for her by Garrick with music by her teacher Thomas Arne. However, she had limited success as a stage personality and in 1780 she left Drury Lane to become a principal singer at fashionable London concerts and provincial festivals. She appeared in the Handel Commemoration concerts in 1784, when Burney praised the sweetness and taste of her singing, in the next three Handel festivals, the Concerts of Ancient Music, and concert series organized by Rauzzini, Ashley and Salomon. Her sister Theodosia (d Torquay, 4 Nov 1849), whose voice Mount-Edgcumbe described as the most beautiful contralto he ever heard, often sang with her. In 1783, the Public Advertiser, while admiring Harriett's solo singing, commented that the ‘Forte...

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[Abramson, Leon Curtis]

(bNew York, Jan 6, 1925; dNew York, April 20, 1992). Americandrummer, brother of Ray Abrams. After serving in the army (1943–6) he played and made recordings (including Lover come back to me, 1946, Decca 24119) with Roy Eldridge (1946–7) and recorded with Joe Thomas (iv). He worked on 52nd Street in the mid-1940s with Coleman Hawkins, J. J. Johnson, and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (with whom he recorded in 1950), then played in Eddie Heywood’s trio and Andy Kirk’s orchestra (both 1948). Following a tour with Hot Lips Page he rejoined Heywood, performed and recorded with Illinois Jacquet (1951–2), played with Oscar Pettiford (1952), and worked with Lester Young for 18 months (from spring 1952). He also recorded in bop trios led by Wynton Kelly (1951), Duke Jordan (1954), and Al Haig (...

Article

[Abrams, Richard Louis ]

(b Chicago, IL, Sept 19, 1930). American pianist, composer, and administrator. After receiving private piano lessons, he studied at the Chicago Musical College and taught himself the system of composition devised by Joseph Schillinger. He began to work professionally in 1948 and performed regularly at the Cotton Club in Chicago during the 1950s, accompanying visiting musicians such as Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt, and Max Roach. After composing and arranging for the Walter “King” Fleming band in the mid-1950s, Abrams joined the hard bop ensemble MJT+3 and made his recording debut on the group’s album DADDY-O PRESENTS MJT+3 (1957, VJ 1013). Beginning in 1961 Abrams led the Experimental Band, a composer-centered rehearsal ensemble whose members included the double bass player Donald Rafael Garrett, Jack DeJohnette, Roscoe Mitchell, and the reed player Joseph Jarman. He subsequently co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in 1965...

Article

[Abramson, Raymond Joseph]

(bNew York, Jan 23, 1920). Americantenor saxophonist, brother of Lee Abrams. In the early 1940s he played in the resident band at Monroe’s Uptown House, which accompanied Coleman Hawkins in performances and on the first studio recordings of bop (16 February 1944); he remained with the group when it became the core of Dizzy Gillespie’s first big band in 1945. The following year he recorded with Kenny Clarke and (during a tour of Europe) Don Redman; his solo playing is well represented on Redman’s For Europeans Only (1946, Ste. 6020–21). His own band (formed 1947) recorded with the singer Billy Stewart (1947, 1949) and under Abrams’s name (1948); Fats Navarro and Coleman Hawkins were among his sidemen. After playing with Andy Kirk (1947–8) he rejoined Gillespie and recorded with Cecil Payne (both 1949). He toured and made recordings with Hot Lips Page (...

Article

Tibor Tallián

revised by Anna Dalos

(b Budapest, Sept 22, 1882; d Budapest, Feb 11, 1970). Hungarian composer and conductor, grandson of Kornél Ábrányi. He studied composition, the organ and piano at the Budapest Academy of Music, and spent a year with Nikisch in Leipzig. From 1904 he was a theatre conductor in Cologne, and from 1907 in Hanover. In 1911 he returned to Budapest to become conductor at the Royal Hungarian Opera House; he was director there (1919–20) and then at the Budapest Theatre (1921–6). He taught conducting at the Liszt Academy of Music.

Ábrányi was the most prolific Hungarian opera composer of his generation; between 1903 and 1923 five of his operas and a Singspiel were produced at the Budapest Opera House and the City Theatre. Rather than subscribing to the established Hungarian romantic opera style or folklore, Ábrányi composed in a cosmopolitan style. The operas Monna Vanna...

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Dezső Legány

(b Szent-György-Ábrány, Oct 15, 1822; d Budapest, Dec 20, 1903). Hungarian writer on music, composer and pianist. He came from the wealthy Eördögh family: the name means ‘devil’ and his father changed it to Ábrányi, the name of their estate. He studied the piano under János Kirch (1810–63) and Vilmos Dolegni. His first composition, Magyar ábránd (‘Hungarian Fantasy’), was published in 1841. In the early 1840s he gave concerts in Hungarian towns, and in 1846 left for Vienna to take piano lessons with Joseph Fischhof. There is no reliable evidence that he was ever a student of Chopin in Paris. From 1847 he lived in Pest, in the 1850s as a piano teacher, and studied composition with Mosonyi, together with whom he became a devoted follower of Liszt and Wagner. He was one of the founders of the first Hungarian music periodical, the Zenészeti lapok, in ...

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Angelina Petrova

(b March 28, 1936; d Nov 6, 2006). Bulgarian composer and musicologist. He studied composition under Pantcho Vladigerov at the State Conservatoire (now renamed the Pantcho Vladigerov National Music Academy) in Sofia, Bulgaria. He worked as a conductor with the Filip Kutev National Folklore Ensemble, and as a lecturer (from 1966) and professor (from 1990) of symphonic orchestration at the NMA. He served as vice-president of the NMA (1999–2001) and as Minister of Culture (2001–2005).

A composer of symphonic and chamber music, his individual style epitomizes the post-tonal tendencies of the early 20th century; he distanced himself from the Social Realism movement that was imposed upon composers in the countries of Eastern Europe. After 1990 he also wrote cantatas and oratorios, which exhibit an even more radical post-tonal style. He is the author of a number of theoretical studies on symphonic orchestration....