(b Belfast, Aug 12, 1839; d Manchester, Dec 12, 1911). English clarinettist, brass band conductor and teacher. He was the son of a military bandmaster and had a precocious musical talent; by the age of 11 he was appearing as a piccolo soloist with Louis Jullien’s orchestra. He also appears to have been a talented pianist, but it was as a clarinettist that he made his mark as a player. After touring with a number of theatre bands he became leader of the Harrogate Spa Band, and in 1861 he joined the Hallé Orchestra in which he remained for most of his playing career. In the 1850s he started to conduct brass bands, and he went on to have influential associations with the most successful Victorian bands, particularly the Meltham Mills Band. At the time of his death Gladney was widely referred to as the father of the brass band movement. With two other successful Victorian band conductors, Edwin Swift and Alexander Owen, he shaped the format and idiom of the British brass band. The standard instrumentation comes from their preferred combination of forces (...
Robert E. Eliason
(b Lyme, NH, May 16, 1822; d Boston, Feb 11, 1900). American bandleader, bugle player and brass instrument manufacturer. He was an accomplished keyed bugle player and led several bands, first in Hartford, Connecticut (1844–5), then in New Haven (1845–6). Shortly after he became director and E♭ bugle soloist with the Lowell, Massachusetts, brass band. He was presented with an extremely fine E♭ keyed bugle of solid gold on 15 April 1850 by the members of the Lowell band. In 1856 Hall succeeded Patrick S. Gilmore as leader of the Boston Brass Band, a position he retained for many years.
In 1862, after a year of partnership with J. Lathrop Allen, a leading Boston instrument maker, Hall began his own brass instrument manufactory and importing business. He was joined by Benjamin F. Quinby, and from 1866 to 1875 Hall & Quinby were leading producers and importers of brass instruments in Boston. Their instruments were made in circular and over-shoulder forms as well as in the shapes common today, and they were usually equipped with Allen valves. Although most of Hall & Quinby’s instruments were pitched alternately in E♭ and B♭ like saxhorns, they also made brass instruments pitched a 3rd apart, like those in the ...
Klaus Wolfgang Niemöller
(b Bamberg, Nov 8, 1718; d Karlsruhe, Oct 24, 1809). German composer, conductor and glass harmonica maker. He received his musical education from the organ builder J.P. Seuffert in Würzburg and was a musician at the Rastatt court from about 1745 until its dissolution in 1771. There he was Konzertmeister in 1762 (leading the orchestra from the harpsichord) and Kapellmeister from 1765. In 1772 he became Konzertmeister at the Karlsruhe court, but in 1775 he went to Cologne as Kapellmeister at the cathedral and director of public concerts. Although his stay was brief, he had a lasting influence on Cologne’s musical life through his sacred compositions (in particular his mass for Epiphany, 1776, published in 1781) and through his introduction of modern orchestral methods in the style of Mannheim. In 1777 he accepted an invitation to return to Karlsruhe as Kapellmeister, and was also active there as a teacher and maker of glass harmonicas, whose range he extended from two octaves to four (...