(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 ...
(b Portsmouth, Feb 7, 1812; d Gad’s Hill, nr Rochester, June 9, 1870). English writer. He wrote the libretto for John Hullah’s ‘operatic burletta’ The Village Coquettes, produced at St James’s Theatre in December 1836, while his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, was appearing in monthly instalments. References to opera in his novels are infrequent, but he often attended performances at Covent Garden and Her Majesty’s Theatre, and in letters praised Mario, Grisi, Lind and Viardot (especially as Fidès in Meyerbeer’s Le prophète). In Paris he was moved to tears by a performance of Berlioz’s version of Gluck’s Orfeo in November 1862 (with Viardot in the title role) and, a few months later, by Gounod’s Faust. As editor of the journals Household Words and, later, All the Year Round, he published articles about music from time to time, and in 1869 published in All the Year Round...
(b Villers-Cotterêts, Aisne, July 24, 1802; d Puys, nr Dieppe, Dec 5, 1870). French dramatist and novelist. By his own account the least musical man of his acquaintance, unable to tune a violin after three years of lessons, Dumas’s place in the history of 19th-century music remains contradictory. At a purely social level, he was prominent in the music-loving literary community in 1830s Paris, both as contributor and member of the editorial board on Schlesinger’s Revue et gazette musicale (1835–8). He was present at many of the defining moments of French musical Romanticism, from the première of Berlioz’s Lélio (1832) to the imaginary performance of Beethoven by Liszt pictured in Josef Danhauser’s famous painting, ‘Souvenir de Liszt’ (1840). Having moved to Paris in 1822, Dumas earned his reputation overnight with the success of Henri III et sa cour at the Théâtre Français (...
revised by Bret Werb
(b Berdyansk, Crimea, 4/April 16, 1868; d Tel-Aviv, Feb 11, 1927). Russian composer, critic, lexicographer and folklorist. He studied law at Kharkov University but soon turned to music, studying theory and composition with Taneyev and Ippolitov-Ivanov at the Moscow Conservatory (1893–7). From 1897 to 1919 he worked as a music critic for the newspaper Russkiye vedomosti. In 1901 his translation of Riemann’s Lexikon into Russian with newly written sections on Russian music was published in Moscow. Although an early opera, Esther, was performed in 1894, his work as a critic overshadowed that as a composer. Under the influence of the Russian nationalist music critic Vladimir Stasov, however, he turned his attention to Jewish folklore, collecting, arranging, performing and publishing the songs of eastern European Jews. In 1909 his first album of ten Jewish folksongs appeared in Moscow; a second volume followed later in the same year. Engel continued to promote his new interest with public lectures and a series of articles in ...
revised by Neely Bruce
(b St Paul, April 23, 1872; d New York, Jan 20, 1952). American composer, critic, editor and proponent of community music. As a boy he took violin lessons but had no thought of devoting himself to music. He prepared for a career in electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from which he graduated in 1893. Meanwhile the experience of hearing the Boston SO and the influence of Rudolph Gott, an eccentric musician, convinced him that music should be his career. He studied with Norris and Chadwick in Boston, and was encouraged by MacDowell. He then went to Germany for further study with Humperdinck and Pfitzner (1897–9); he also studied briefly with Guilmant in Paris. Returning to the USA he accepted a lectureship at Cornell University (1899–1901), but his ambition was to be free of academic obligations. His failure to find a publisher for his ...
revised by Cecelia H. Porter
(b Sulza, Thuringia, March 7, 1783; d Leipzig, Aug 27, 1846). German critic, editor, theologian and composer. The son of a Reformed pastor, Gottfried was a chorister at Naumburg. In Leipzig he studied music and theology (1804–9) and served as a Reformed pastor (1810–16), establishing and directing a theological seminary (1814–27). He also composed many songs and in 1808 began writing for the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, of which he succeeded Gottfried Christoph Härtel as editor (1827–41). He taught at the Leipzig Conservatory (1838–43) and was briefly its director in 1842.
Fink was initially neutral in the controversy between Classicism and Romanticism, and was friendly with Weber, who gave his Sechs Lieder (1812) a warm review in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung and printed one song, Die Liebenden, in full. However, Fink later took up a stubborn stand against the younger Romantics. He published only half of Schumann's enthusiastic review (...
( fl 1351–92). English friar . He was from the Custody of Bristol and was the author-compiler of the Quatuor principalia musice ( GB-Ob Digby 90; CoussemakerS, iv, 200–98; shortened version in GB-Lbl Cotton Tiberius B.IX, ante f. 204-214r; CoussemakerS, iii, 334–64) and the scribe, maker and owner of the earliest extant copy of this work, completed at Oxford on 4 August 1351 and donated by John to the Oxford Franciscans in 1388 with the assent of Thomas de Kingsbury, the 26th provincial minister of the Franciscan order in England. Another book of which John was the author-compiler, scribe, maker and owner, containing the astronomical treatise De situ universorum and two smaller tracts ( GB-Mch 6681), was compiled some time between 1356 (or 1357) and (possibly) 1371, and it includes an explicit date of 1392; several passages in this work indicate that he had been at the Oxford Franciscan convent on ...
revised by Ramona H. Matthews
(b New York, Sept 23, 1890; d New York, April 8, 1969). American publisher, editor, critic and composer. He studied the violin with his father, Maximilian Kramer, and with Carl Hauser and Richard Arnold. After studying at the College of the City of New York he joined the staff of the magazine Musical America (1910–22) and then spent several years studying, writing and composing in Europe; for a time he worked with Malipiero. In 1927 he became music supervisor for the CBS Radio Network, and then returned as editor-in-chief to Musical America (1929–36); subsequently he became managing director of the music publishers Galaxy Music Corporation (1936–56), and after his retirement continued to write and compose. He helped to found the Society for Publication of American Music (1919) and served as its president (1934–40) and on the board of directors of the ASCAP (...
George J. Buelow
(b Hamburg, Sept 28, 1681; d Hamburg, April 17, 1764). German composer, critic, music journalist, lexicographer and theorist.
Mattheson was the third and only surviving son of Johann Mattheson, a Hamburg tax collector, and Margaretha Höling of Rendsburg (Holstein). Details of Mattheson’s life come largely from his autobiography published in the Grundlage einer Ehren-Pforte. His education was exceptionally broad, perhaps because his parents hoped he would gain a position in Hamburg society. At the Johanneum he received a substantial background in the liberal arts, including musical instruction from Kantor Joachim Gerstenbüttel. He also had private instruction in dancing, drawing, arithmetic, riding, fencing, and English, French and Italian. At six he began private music lessons, studying the keyboard and composition for four years with J.N. Hanff (later organist at Schleswig Cathedral), taking singing lessons from a local musician named Woldag and instruction on the gamba, violin, flute, oboe and lute. At nine Mattheson was a child prodigy, performing on the organ and singing in Hamburg churches. His voice was of such quality that Gerhard Schott, manager of the Hamburg opera, invited him to join the company, and he sang in J.W. Franck’s opera ...