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Warren M. Sherk

(b Chariton, IA, Aug 6, 1876; d New York, NY, Jan 27, 1932). American Composer, conductor, and teacher. At the Chicago Conservatory he studied with composer Frederick G(rant) Gleason, the organist Wilhelm Middelschulte, and the violinist S.E. Jacobson. He spent three years, beginning in 1899, at the Culver Military Academy in Indiana. At the University School of Music in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1901 he became the leader of the cadet band and violin department. By the time he left in 1908 he was head of the composition department. He spent the next three years teaching privately in Vienna and Leipzig, where he studied with composers Max Reger and Hans Sitt. Back in the United States, he lived in Georgia from 1912 to 1916, directing the Atlanta Philharmonic, conducting light opera, and teaching at Brenau College in Gainesville. After moving to New York, he taught at the Malkin School of Music and contributed music to a National Academy of Music university course. He spent ...


Josephine Wright

(b St. Louis, MO, Sept 7, 1937). American composer and music educator. Wilson studied piano and clarinet formally as a child. He began performing professionally as a jazz pianist around age 15, and he later played double bass in the St. Louis PO and other ensembles. He studied composition with Robert Wykes at Washington University (BM 1959), with Robert Kelly at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (MM 1960), and philip Bezanson at the University of Iowa (PhD 1964). He obtained additional training at the University of Illinois’ Studio for Experimental Music (1967), and he studied traditional West African music at the University of Ghana as a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (1971–2).

Wilson’s career as an educator included appointments at Florida A&M University (1960–2, 1964–5), Oberlin College Conservatory of Music (1965–70), and the University of California, Berkeley (...


(b Belmont, MA, Jan 19, 1937). American trombonist, educator, and arranger. He first learned piano and later took up trombone, which he studied at the New England Conservatory; while in Boston he played in Herb Pomeroy’s big band (1955–7). After playing trombone and piano with Jimmy Dorsey intermittently from 1956 to 1958, in 1959 he led his own band until being drafted in December of that year. During his military service he briefly continued his studies at the Navy School of Music and played trombone in the North American Air Defense Command Band (1962). Wilson then became a regular soloist with Woody Herman, with whom he was associated from 1962 until 1965. The following year he was appointed to the faculty of the Berklee School of Music, where he became head of the trombone department and taught theory and arrangement; he also renewed his association with Pomeroy. Wilson wrote some arrangements for Buddy Rich (notably ...


James Wierzbicki

revised by Mary L. Frantz


(b Cleveland, May 15, 1941). American composer and pianist. After studying the cello and the piano at the Cleveland Music School Settlement, he was awarded the BA from Harvard (1963), then studied the piano with Wührer in Munich and composition with Moevs (his main Harvard professor) in Rome on a Frank Huntington Beebe Fellowship. He pursued postgraduate study at Rutgers, New Jersey (MA 1966), subsequently joining the music faculty of Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, where he was appointed professor in 1976; he was appointed to the Mary Conover Mellon Professorship there in 1988. His works have been performed worldwide; among his many awards are a joint prize in the League of Composers/ISCM Piano Music Competition (1976) as well as the Burge/Eastman Prize (1978) for his virtuoso piano work Eclogue, and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1992–3). He has been commissioned by the San Francisco SO for ...


Michael Tenzer

(b Kutri, nr Singapadu, Bali, 1954). Balinese composer and performer. With Ketut Gdé Asnawa he was the chief innovator and exponent of new Balinese gamelan composition in the 1980s and 90s. Windha studied at the government music high school then at the Indonesian Academy for the Performing Arts in Surakarta, joining its faculty in 1985. At first known as a charismatic and skilled performer on the ugal, he began composing in 1983. His early music extended and enriched the instrumental tabuh kreasi form, which had been codified a generation earlier by his mentor Beratha. With a distinctive melodic gift and the ability to compose complex music extremely fluidly, he enjoyed what for Bali was unprecedented fame as a composer. The performance of many of his works at the annual Festival Gong gamelan competitions gave him a level of exposure that ensured his music was in demand throughout Indonesia and in international gamelan organizations. Windha also composed for dance in the experimental ...


Harrison Ryker

(b Haikou, Hainan, July 29, 1949). Hong Kong Chinese composer and teacher. Brought up in Macau and Hong Kong, Law studied composition with Hsu Tsang-houei at the Taiwan Normal University, graduating in 1972. He absorbed a wide variety of Western influences while studying with John Crawford at the University of California, Riverside (MA 1979). Returning to Hong Kong, he worked initially in the film industry before teaching composition at Lingnan College (1980–84); he subsequently became head of the composition department of the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts. In 1995 he studied electronic and computer music at Stanford. Law’s music has won numerous prizes and has been widely performed in major Asian cities.

Alone among Hong Kong composers of his generation, he stayed away from colonial musical life during his formative years and this resulted in the formation of a highly original, unpredictable style that strongly challenges the performer and shows a special sensitivity to instrumental colours. Pieces for chamber ensemble such as ...


Harrison Ryker

(b Hong Kong, Feb 2, 1954). Hong Kong Chinese composer and teacher. His experience of singing polyphonic music in a Catholic church choir from the age of 16 fuelled his later commitment to composition and choral conducting. He studied with David Gwilt at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and after graduating in 1979, studied with John Beckwith at the University of Toronto (MM 1981, DMus, 1985). He became strongly influenced by the music of the European avant garde, especially Henze and Messiaen, after attending the Darmstadt summer course in 1986. Joining the Chinese University as a lecturer in 1986, he became chair of the music department in 1992.

By contrast with most Hong Kong composers, there is little reference to vernacular Chinese music in his compositions, a notable exception being the court music episode of Symphony no.3. Chinese instruments however are widely employed, as in the two solo pipas of Symphony no.2. He won a prize in the USA with the refined, colourfully scored chamber piece ...


Sigrid Wiesmann

(b Salzburg, Oct 14, 1959). Austrian composer. He studied at the Salzburg Mozarteum (1974–80) with Helmut Eder, among others, and at the Vienna Musikhochschule, where his teachers included Erich Urbanner; he also studied musicology, philosophy and psychology at the universities of Vienna and Salzburg (doctorate 1986). He has worked as a freelance recording director and programme planner for Austrian Radio (ÖRF) and taught at the universities of Salzburg and Innsbruck. In 1987 he began an intensive involvement with live electronic and computer music. He has lectured at the Darmstadt summer courses (1992–4) and at IRCAM in Paris (1995–6). His honours include a prize in the Vienna Konzerthausgesellschaft composition competition (1987) and commissions from IRCAM, the Donaueschingen Festival, the Salzburg Festival, Wien modern, and other institutions, festivals and ensembles.

Winkler's compositional technique is based on theories of complex dynamic systems and the spatial projection of sound. His ‘growth projects’ take the form of complexes of compositions, crossing boundaries between individual works and employing multimedia (video, choreography, lighting, etc). Beginning in ...


Michael Meckna

(b Los Angeles, Jan 26, 1943). American composer. After studying with Seymour Shifrin at the University of California, Berkeley (BA 1964), he attended Princeton University (MFA 1968), where his teachers were Babbitt and Kim. From 1968 to 1971 he was a Junior Fellow at Harvard; he then joined the faculty of SUNY, Stony Brook. In 1976 he won a League of Composers-ISCM prize for Humoresque and in 1978 received a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. He has also been active as a musical director for theatrical productions.

Winkler's compositions are either formal and cultivated or popular and vernacular, with each style influencing the other. A strong sense of rhythm pervades his work (one important exception being the experimental String Quartet, 1967). Conspicuous also are a controlled sense of humour, as in Piano Rags (1971) and No Condition is Permanent (1980–89), and dramatic gestures, as in the final movement of the Symphony (...


Nicholas E. Tawa

(b Philadelphia, May 11, 1827; d Philadelphia, Nov 22, 1902). American composer, teacher and publisher . His parents were Joseph Eastburn Winner, a violin maker, and Mary Ann Winner (née Hawthorne), a relative of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Largely self-educated in music, he played and taught several instruments. Around 1845 Winner became a music publisher and opened a music store with his brother Joseph. He was active in Philadelphia’s music circle and was a member of the Musical Fund Society, in whose orchestra he played for five years, the Cecillian Musical Society, and the Philadelphia Brass Band.

Winner wrote many simple and highly popular pieces, arrangements and instruction methods for different instruments. He is best known for his songs issued under the pseudonym Alice Hawthorne, which spawned the genre known as ‘Hawthorne Ballads’. Other pseudonyms were Percy Guyer, Mark Mason and Paul Stenton. Recognition came with How sweet are the roses...


Ingram D. Marshall

revised by Katie Buehner

(b Morris, IL, May 10, 1938). American composer. He studied at Illinois Wesleyan University (BM 1960), the University of California, Berkeley (1961), San Francisco State University (MA 1963), the Milan Conservatory (1964), and the University of Illinois, Urbana (1965–6); while in San Francisco he held residencies at the Tape Music Center (1961–3, 1964–5). He also studied privately with robert Erickson, Will Ogdon, and Salvatore Martirano, and, as a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome, with Luigi Nono (1966). After teaching at the San Francisco Music and Arts Institute (1964–5) and Moorhead (Minnesota) State University (1967–8), he was on the faculty of DePaul University (1968–82), where he served as chairman of the theory and composition department (1968–77), director of the Contemporary Music Ensemble (1970–79), and director of the Electronic Music Studio (...


[Johannes ]

(b Oschatz, Saxony; fl 1548–72). German composer, singer, copyist and teacher . In 1548 he was in the choir of the electoral Hofkapelle at Dresden. He attended the St Afra Fürstenschule at Meissen from 1551 to 1554, when on 16 April he entered the University of Wittenberg. In 1557 he is described as Rektor of the school at Borna, Saxony, in 1561 as a Kantor and musician at the Saxon electoral court and in 1563–5 as a copyist in the service of King Maximilian of Bohemia at Breslau. In 1565 he is referred to by the name Testorius, in 1571 as a musician at Oschatz with the name Hymaturgus and in 1572, as Johann Würker, as a singer. He may be the Johann Weber referred to in 1562 as ‘composer from Oschatz’. As a composer he is known by the Missa super ‘Castigans castigavit’ and the wedding motet ...


Brian Trowell

(Charles Arthur)

(b Crowborough, June 25, 1921; d Bath, August 14, 1984). English composer and teacher of Scottish descent. He studied with Hely-Hutchinson at Birmingham University (1938–41) and with Boulanger in Paris (1947–8). Returning to Birmingham, he taught at the Midland Institute and, from 1950, at the University, where he produced his valuable Toveyan monograph Harmony. In 1959 he moved to London, teaching at the GSMD from 1961 and becoming a lecturer at King’s College in 1972. In 1977 he was appointed professor of music at Reading University. He is buried in Great Elm, near Frome, where he lived for many years.

He first became known as a Midlands composer of choral pieces, especially carols, and elegant chamber music. His Concerto for Orchestra (1957) was a Feeney Trust commission for the CBSO, and the vocal-instrumental suite Elegies (1958) was composed for the Barber Institute Concerts in Birmingham; in ...


Stephen Montague

(b Leeds, Oct 11, 1946). English composer and writer on music. He studied at Oxford University (BA 1968), the University of Nottingham (MA 1969) and the University of York (PhD, composition, 1973). Subsequently he remained in York working as a freelance composer, and has lectured at many institutions worldwide, with extended stays in Australia, Canada, USA, Sweden and the Netherlands as well as at British universities. His reputation among contemporaries is that of a radical innovator. His early works involve improvisation with found objects, environmental events, performance and installation art and participatory games and workshops designed to involve audiences in the creative process. In later works he has sought to extend the vocal repertory through the exploration of new vocal sounds (Anticredos and the Vox series) and pioneered the art of composing directly with sound, or ‘sonic art’ (see Electro-acoustic music, §2). This music moves between the pure manipulation of sonority and what he calls ‘cinematographic use of soundscapes’, employing sophisticated signal processing instruments of his own design to control the internal quality and the evolution of sounds themselves. His writings, particularly ...


Bernd Baselt and Karl-Ernst Bergunder

(b Altenburg, c1660; d Gotha, April 3, 1717). German composer, music editor and teacher. He was first taught music by his father, Johann Ernst Witt, who was Altenburg court organist in succession to Gottfried Scheidt and had come from Denmark when a Danish princess married into the ruling house of Saxe-Altenburg about 1650. The Altenburg male heirs having all died out, the succession passed in 1672 to the Duke of Saxe-Gotha, Friedrich I, who, probably in 1676, gave Witt a scholarship to study in Vienna and Salzburg. He also paid for him to study composition and counterpoint with G.C. Wecker in Nuremberg in 1685–6. On 1 June 1686 Witt was appointed chamber organist at the Gotha court. In 1688 he was again sent to study with Wecker. In 1694 he was appointed substitute for the Kapellmeister, W.M. Mylius, and he succeeded him after his death, in 1713...


Friedrich Baser

revised by Rudolf Walter

(b Schwarzenbach am Wald, Upper Franconia, Dec 17, 1854; d Samaden, Grisons, May 8, 1919). German conductor, concert organizer, teacher and composer. He became an elementary teacher at the Altdorf teachers' seminary. In 1875 he was appointed second music teacher at the Bamberg teacher's seminary. He then studied in Munich at the Königliche Musikschule with Rheinberger and Franz Wüllner. Humperdinck was a fellow pupil, and they became lifelong friends. Wolfrum returned to the Bamberg seminary from 1879 to 1884, when he was appointed to teach music at the University of Heidelberg. He became music director at the university in 1885, and in the same year founded and directed the Akademischer Gesangverein and the Bachverein, which made Heidelberg an important musical centre. Wolfrum was made professor of music history in 1898. His pupils included Fritz Stein, Karl Hasse and Hermann Poppen.

Wolfrum was a champion of the works of Liszt, Bruckner, Strauss and Reger. He conducted all of Reger's works composed between ...


Francisco J. Albo

(b Alzey, Rheinhessen, Germany, Dec 14, 1834; d Deal Beach, NJ, July 30, 1907). American pianist, teacher, conductor, and composer of German origin. He studied with Aloys Schmitt in Frankfurt, making his début there in 1848. Later he studied with Vincenz Lachner and toured Bavaria. After a two-year stay in London, he moved to the United States in 1854, settling in Philadelphia. A scholarly performer, for the next twenty years he gave annual series of chamber music concerts and piano recitals, introducing many classical works to American audiences. He gave recitals devoted entirely to the piano music of Chopin and Schumann, a rare feat at the time. In 1866–7 he performed the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven in a series of matinées in New York. In 1873 he moved to Chicago, where he gave momentum to the musical life of the city and founded the Beethoven Society choir. His goal being education through the works of the masters, he gave several “historical” recitals with programs designed chronologically, from Couperin to Brahms. Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler was one of his pupils....


Jewel A. Smith

(b Schkeuditz, nr Leipzig, Sept 27, 1827; d New York, Sept 18, 1863). German pianist, composer, and teacher. He studied at the Leipzig Conservatorium with Julius Knoor (piano) and Moritz Hauptmann (composition). Following his arrival in the United States in 1845, he appeared as pianist on various occasions with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and in other concerts, and attained a distinguished career as a pianist, teacher, and composer. In 1855 he undertook a successful concert tour of Europe. He wrote nearly 100 compositions, chiefly for the piano, including five Morceaux caractéristiques en forme d’Etude, op. 22; Nocturne, op. 29, no. 10; A Bord de l’Arago, valse brilliant, op. 33; Fantasia, “Il Trovatore,” op. 43; Stories of Nocomis, for four hands, op. 48; Star Spangled Banner, paraphrase brilliant, op. 60; and many transcriptions and arrangements. His compositions have been successfully used as teaching pieces, and many of them were also published in Europe....


William D. Gudger


(b Wiesentheid, Oct 11, 1917; d Wiesentheid, Aug 7, 1978). German composer and teacher. His early studies were in Regensburg, where he was a choirboy at the cathedral. In 1937 he was appointed assistant chorus master at the Stadttheater in Regensburg, where he also attended classes at the Catholic church music school. He began studies in 1939 at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, attending the master classes of Wolf-Ferrari, Krauss and Walther Lampe. Wolpert taught music theory and the piano at the Mozarteum from 1941 to 1944; from 1950 he taught in Salem on Lake Constance. He received the Düsseldorf Schumann Prize in 1956. His music adopts the harmonic language of Bartók and Hindemith; in particular, the Banchetto musicale no.1 (1952) demonstrates an affinity with Bartók’s earlier string quartets. Wolpert’s book Neue Harmonik is an admirable summary: all vertical sonorities are explained through Rameau’s principles as triads, triads with notes added, or chords built in 4ths; further possibilities are created by the inversion or respacing of these sonorities....


Jeremy Dibble

(b Armagh, June 15, 1866; d Cambridge, July 12, 1926). Irish composer and teacher. A chorister at Armagh Cathedral, he was educated at the cathedral school. He received training in harmony and counterpoint (1880–81) from T.O. Marks, the cathedral organist, as well as encouragement from his elder brother, William Wood (1859–95), himself a professional musician. In 1883 he was elected to the Morley Open Scholarship in Composition at the newly instituted RCM where he studied composition with Parry and Stanford. He won an organ scholarship to Selwyn College, Cambridge in 1888 where, after five terms, he migrated to Gonville and Caius as organ scholar. In 1888 he was appointed to teach harmony at the RCM and the following year he was made a lecturer in harmony and counterpoint at Caius. He was elected a fellow there in 1894, and in 1897 he became university lecturer in harmony and counterpoint, succeeding George Garrett. At Cambridge, Wood was awarded the degrees of BA and MusB in ...