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Godelieve Spiessens

revised by Sylvie Janssens

(b Boom, June 8, 1891; d Brussels, Dec 10, 1989). Belgian musicologist, pianist and conductor. As a prizewinner of Mechelen Conservatory, he began to appear as a pianist in 1911. In 1919 he obtained the doctorate in natural sciences at Brussels and became a professor at the Mechelen Atheneum. He founded the Pro Arte concerts at Brussels in 1921, with the principal intention of promoting the performance and appreciation of contemporary music. As director of the Flemish music service of Belgian Radio (1937–53) he was able to champion new music all the more effectively, though at the same time he also contributed to the rediscovery of figures such as Cavalieri, Cesti and Monteverdi. During World War I he applied himself to ethnomusicology and from 1953 was instrumental in organizing the annual international Colloques de Wégimont. He was also president of the scientific council of the International Institute for Comparative Music Studies in Berlin and was successful in obtaining support from UNESCO for the creation of the Department of Ethnomusicology at the Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale in Tervuren, near Brussels....

Article

Mark E. Perry

(b San Juan, PR, March 26, 1854; d San Juan, PR, April 4, 1934). Puerto Rican composer, flutist, scholar, and conductor. His earliest achievements came as a flutist; he studied flute with Italian-born Rosario Aruti. Chiefly self-taught as a composer, he was influenced musically by his father, a cellist and double bass player, and Felipe Gutiérrez Espinosa, an established Puerto Rican composer of sacred music. In 1877 Dueño Colón received the gold medal from the Ateneo Puertorriqueño for the symphonic work La amistad (1877). In 1880 he formed a municipal band in Bayamón and shortly afterwards served as the flutist for the chapel of San Juan Cathedral. Awards for his compositions continued, including a silver medal at the Pan American Exposition, held in Buffalo in 1901, for Canciones escolares, a collection of original songs as well as arrangements for Puerto Rican school children. In addition to showing substantial interest in European masterworks, he embarked on the scholarly study of the Puerto Rican ...

Article

K.M. Knittel

(b Meedl, Moravia, June 13, 1795; d Bockenheim, nr Frankfurt, Jan 16, 1864). Moravian violinist, conductor, writer and biographer of Beethoven. The eldest of 12 children, he studied the violin with his father before becoming a choirboy at St Mauritz in Olmütz. Although music was his main interest, he moved to Vienna in 1813 to study law. He claimed that he first met Beethoven in March 1814, when Schuppanzigh asked him to deliver a note to the composer, and that later that year, his brief arrest for involvement in student protests aroused the interest of Beethoven, who then sought a closer acquaintance with him.

Despite his attempts to show otherwise, including forgeries in the conversation books, Schindler was not in close contact with Beethoven until 1820, and there are only scattered (authentic) earlier references to him in the conversation books. With the departure that year of Franz Oliva, Schindler became Beethoven's unpaid private secretary. By late ...

Article

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....