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Article

Viorel Cosma

revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu

(b Bucharest, 2/Aug 14, 1893; d Bucharest, Feb 18, 1959). Romanian composer, pianist, conductor, teacher, music critic, and director of music programmes. A leading figure of the first half of the 20th century, he laid the foundation of the Romanian school in music, concert life, and musical journalism. He studied with A. Castaldi, D. Dinicu, D.G. Kiriac, and E. Saegiu at the Bucharest Conservatory (1903–11), completing his education with two periods of study in Paris (1913–14, 1923–4), where he studied with d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum and with Paul Vidal at the Conservatoire. A remarkable accompanist, he worked with Enescu, Thibaud, Mainardi, Moodie, and others during the period 1919–45. As a conductor he always achieved a soberly balanced performance; he conducted more than 1500 performances at the Romanian Opera in Bucharest (1921–59), where he specialized in the French repertory (Bizet, Massenet, and Gounod). In his capacities as conductor of the Romanian Philharmonic Society, and as conductor and artistic manager of the Romanian RSO, he did much to encourage Romanian composers. He was also active as a music critic for Romanian and French reviews. Much of his compositional work was done during his youth, including ...

Article

Val Wilmer

[Cecil Valentine ]

(b Kingston, Jamaica, March 28, 1926; d Romford, Oct 10, 2009). Jamaican trumpeter, flugelhorn player, conductor, arranger, bandleader, journalist, and broadcaster. Self-taught on clarinet, he changed to trumpet to play with the big bands of the drummer Redver Cooke and the saxophonist Eric Deans, then formed the Beboppers with Ernest Ranglin and Dizzy Reece. He performed annually with the Jamaica All-Stars, and in 1950 he formed a septet which included Joe Harriott. From 1954 he promoted concerts and festivals, organizing the annual Big Band, which featured the island’s leading talents, notably Wilton “Bogey” Gaynair, Don Drummond, and the pianist (later politician) Seymour “Foggy” Mullings. Ranglin, Roland Alphonso, and the trombonist Emanuel “Rico” Rodriguez joined this ensemble to accompany such visiting artists as Sarah Vaughan, Donald Byrd, and Jimmy Owens. Bradshaw, who played in a raw, direct style influenced by Dizzy Gillespie, was a tireless promoter of Jamaican music. For 25 years he served as president of the Jamaican Federation of Musicians, and he arranged the island’s national anthem. Although he recorded extensively and toured throughout the Americas playing reggae, jazz was his preferred mode of expression. Among the guests who appeared with his poll-winning small group are Roy Haynes, Reece, Coleridge Goode, and Byard Lancaster. In the 1990s he travelled to England annually, playing in Birmingham with Andy Hamilton’s band....

Article

Gaynor G. Jones

revised by Christopher Fifield

(Dorius Johannes)

(b Potsdam, Oct 22, 1838; d Danzig, Aug 27, 1922). German critic, pianist, conductor and composer. The son of an organist, he studied music from an early age. In 1859 he enrolled at the University of Berlin, studying theology and later philosophy; during this time he took piano lessons from Hans von Bülow. For a time he was torn between his interests in philosophy and music; having decided upon the latter he studied thoroughbass with Carl Friedrich Weitzmann and composition with Friedrich Kiel. For two and a half years he taught the piano privately in Berlin before accepting a position at Kullak’s Neue Akademie der Tonkunst in 1868. With the singer Clara Werner (whom he married in 1870) he gave concerts in Berlin, Pomerania and Silesia and became organist at the Nikolaikirche in Stralsund in 1869. In his dissertation Praeliminarien zu einer Kritik der Tonkunst (University of Greifswald, ...

Article

Jacquelyn Sholes

(b Shenandoah, IA, June 2, 1898; d Memphis, TN, Feb 4, 1990). American music critic, conductor, and pianist. He studied at the University of Nebraska (1915–16), Chicago Music College (1920–22, subsequently incorporated into Roosevelt University), and the Gunn School in Chicago (MM 1923). He worked as a music critic for the Chicago Herald and Examiner between 1925 and 1936 and for the Chicago Tribune from 1943 to 1947. Between 1935 and 1943 he served as the Illinois state director of the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Music Project and as a co-conductor of the Illinois SO. In 1947 he became the first full-time music critic for the Los Angeles Times, a position from which he officially retired in 1965. He subsequently contributed to the LA Times as a staff writer and, from 1966 until shortly before his death, as Critic Emeritus. Goldberg was known for his emphatic support of conductors Zubin Mehta and Georg Solti and also for his recollections of such figures as Percy Grainger, Josef Hofmann, Vladimir Horowitz, Lauritz Melchior, and Artur Rubinstein. Trained as a pianist, he was especially knowledgeable about pianists and piano repertory....

Article

Severine Neff

(b Topeka, KS, Oct 2, 1874; d Washington, DC, Nov 22, 1963). American music critic, conductor, and pianist. In 1893 he entered the Leipzig Conservatory, where he studied piano with Carl Reinecke. From 1901 to 1905 he taught piano at the Chicago Musical College and studied theory privately with Ziehn. He gave a number of recitals in Chicago that included works by Debussy, Ravel, MacDowell, and Ferruccio Busoni; his playing was described in the Music News as that of a “thinker and experimenter.” From 1910 to 1915, as music critic of the Chicago Tribune, he reviewed works by such composers as De Lamarter, Freer, Clarence Loomis, and Adolph Weidig. Between 1914 and 1916 he taught Ernst Bacon, on whom he exerted a profound influence. He left the Tribune to form the American SO, and became its conductor; the orchestra’s inaugural program (14 November 1915) included works by De Lamarter, Loomis, MacDowell, and Cecil Burleigh. He founded the Glenn Dillard Gunn School of Music and Dramatic Art in ...

Article

Anne-Marie Forbes and Rob Barnett

[Josef] (Charles)

(b Croydon, England, July 5, 1878; d London, England, Aug 5, 1958). English composer, critic, conductor, and pianist. A prominent figure in British musical life in the early decades of the 20th century, he was a great publicist and advocate for the cause of the British composer and for his own works. Throughout his life he railed against public and institutional apathy towards native composition, becoming progressively disillusioned.

After studying at the RAM, Holbrooke’s career was launched with the first performance of his dramatic musical representation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven at the Crystal Palace in 1900. Commissions of large-scale choral works for provincial festivals further established him as a young composer of great promise. Henry Wood, Thomas Beecham, and Dan Godfrey conducted premières of a number of his early orchestral and choral works, although later in life he became estranged from many of his earlier supporters. It was Lord Howard de Walden (T.E. Ellis) who was the most influential figure in Holbrooke’s career. Present at the ...

Article

Israel J. Katz

(b Orense, Oct 1, 1918). Spanish pianist, composer, conductor, administrator, critic and writer on music. He studied piano and composition with José Cubiles and Conrado del Campo at the Madrid Conservatory, taking diplomas in piano (1935) and composition (1944); later he was a pupil of Marguerite Long, Lazare Lévy and Yves Nat in Paris and of Isidore Philipp in New York, and studied conducting with Luís de Freitas Branco and Louis Fourestier. He has made concert tours of Europe, North Africa and the USA. His professional activities have included the founding (1957) and directing of the Orense Conservatory of Music, giving piano masterclasses and teaching the interpretation of Spanish music at Música en Compostela (from 1958) and organizing the Manuel de Falla seminars and courses at Granada. He created (1962) the Semanas de Música Religiosa at Cuenca and as music adviser to the Instituto de Cultura Hispánica planned music festivals in Spain and the USA in collaboration with the Organization of American States; he has served as secretary-general of the Spanish section of ISCM (whose festivals he organized in ...

Article

Susan Fast

(b Paris, April 19, 1928; d London, Jan 1, 1984). British guitarist, bandleader, journalist and broadcaster. In the late 1940s and 50s he played traditional jazz and skiffle, but his musical sympathies lay with the country blues of artists such as Leadbelly, Robert Johnson and Big Bill Broonzy. He befriended the jazz musician Chris Barber, who had similar musical interests and had brought several blues artists over to England; Korner met many of these artists and promoted them in articles for journals including Melody Maker and Jazz on Record, and from 1958 through broadcasts on the BBC. With Cyril Davies, he formed the first British blues club, the London Blues and Barrelhouse Club. He had played acoustic guitar in the armed forces in Germany (1947–9), but took up electric guitar only after hearing Muddy Waters in 1958. With Davies he formed the electric band Blues Incorporated (...

Article

Article

Viorel Cosma

revised by Laura Otilia Vasiliu

(b Bucharest, Romania, Oct 1, 1890; d Bucharest, Jan 19, 1951). Romanian composer, conductor, music critic, teacher, and violinist. Along with Alfred Alessandrescu and Ion Nonna Otescu, Nottara was among the first disciples of the renowned composition professor Alfonso Castaldi from the Bucharest Conservatory. First under the influence of French impressionism, then of Italian verismo, Nottara’s work then gradually integrated with the tendency of forming a Romanian national style in the first half of the 20th century.

He studied at the Bucharest Conservatory (1900–07) with D.G. Kiriac (music theory and solfège), Alfonso Castaldi (composition), and Robert Klenck (violin); he continued his studies under George Enescu and Berthelier (violin) in Paris (1907–9), and under Klinger (violin) and Schatzenholz (composition) at the Königliche Akademie der Künste, Berlin, (1909–13). His career as a violinist included orchestral playing in the Bucharest PO (1905–7, 1918–20), leading a string quartet (...