(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 ...
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 ...
Robert Paul Kolt
(b Portland, OR, Dec 15, 1906; d Richmond, CA, Aug 19, 1999). American pianist, organist, accompanist, educator, and critic. After childhood training in piano and organ, Allen received his formal music education at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, OH, (BM, 1928, MM 1936), where he studied piano with George C. Hastings and Frank H. Shaw; in the interim he studied with Gordon Stanley and James Friskin at the Juilliard School (1928–9). He taught at Howard University, Washington, DC (1929–35), and at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee (1936–43, 1951). Allen held a fellowship from the US Department of Education to study piano with Egon Petri in Kraków, Poland (1938–9). When his visit was cut short by the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, he used the remainder of his fellowship to study with Isabelle Vengerova at the Mannes College of Music in New York City (...
revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu
(b Bucharest, Dec 22, 1894/Jan 5, 1895; d Bucharest, Feb 4, 1974). Romanian composer, pianist, teacher, and critic. An erudite personality of Romanian music, he contributed to the formation of a Romanian school of composition during the inter-war years. At the Bucharest Conservatory (1906–13) he studied with Kiriac-Georgescu, Castaldi, Klenck, and Dunicu. In 1919 he graduated law school in Bucharest and then took the PhD in 1922 in Paris. During his stay in France, he participated in the courses of composition of Vincent d’Indy and Gabriel Faure. In 1920, he founded the Society of Romanian composers with other important musicians. At the Bucharest Conservatory (now the National University of Music Bucharest) he taught chamber music (1926–48) and composition (1948–59). His students include Stefan Niculescu, Dumitru Capoianu, and Aurel Stroe. He was not only a partner at the chamber concerts of George Enescu, but also promoted together with Enescu the new Romanian and French chamber music. He wrote for numerous publications on subjects ranging from music aesthetics to jazz and folk music, for instance, ‘George Enescu the Way I Met Him’ in ...
John C.G. Waterhouse
(b San Domenico di Fiesole, Florence, June 20, 1883; d Tunis, Sept 22, 1927). Italian critic, composer and pianist. Largely self-taught, he became music critic of the newspapers La nazione (Florence) from 1915 to 1918 and Il resto del Carlino (Bologna) during 1919–23. He also taught composition and music history at the Nuova Scuola di Musica, Florence (1917). From 1909 to 1915 he regularly contributed to the influential Florentine cultural periodical La voce. His books, notably La crisi musicale europea (1912) in which he explored in depth the idea of decadence, are among the most thought-provoking written by any Italian musician of the time; and he had a knowledge and understanding of current trends (Skryabin, Schoenberg, etc.) which was then rare. His ideas exerted an important influence on progressive Italian musical opinion, and particularly on other composers: in 1911 he was the chief spokesman for a short-lived pressure group known as La Lega dei Cinque or ‘I “Cinque” Italiani’, whose other members were Pizzetti, G. F. Malipiero, Respighi and Renzo Bossi. Bastianelli’s propaganda advocated ‘the ...
revised by Philip E.J. Robinson
(b Paris, Jan 24, 1732; d Paris, May 18, 1799). French writer. The son of a clockmaker, he defended his invention of a watch escapement mechanism against theft by the royal clockmaker Lepaute, whom he replaced at court in 1755. He subsequently became harp teacher to the daughters of Louis XV and, thanks to contact with the homme d’affaires Pâris-Duverney, was ultimately able to buy himself into the nobility. In his Essai sur le genre dramatique sérieux (1767), the preface to his Eugénie, he took up the ideas of Diderot in favour of a distinct genre of drame, different from both French classical tragedy and comedy. His works in this genre outnumber his Figaro comedies, and even these show its influence: he returned to it fully in the third Figaro play, La mère coupable (1792). His racy parades, playlets written for the high-society private stage, served as an apprenticeship in comic musical theatre, particularly in the use of vaudevilles (well-known tunes sung, as part of the dramatic text, to new words). ...
(b Novosibirsk, Russian SFSR [now Russia], March 16, 1947). Russian drummer, writer, broadcaster, and educator. He began playing jazz in 1962, and after graduating from the state medical institute in Novosibirsk in 1971 he pursued a dual career as a jazz musician and an obstetrician. In 1975 he established Tvorcheskoye Dhazovoye Ob’yedinenie (Creative Jazz Unity), the first association of musicians and jazz promoters east of the Urals. He performed with Vladimir Tolkachev in the Musical Improvising Trio (1975–9), with Igor Dmitriev in various groups (including, from 1977, Zolotoye Gody Dhaza (Golden Jazz Years), with Vytautas Labutis in the quartet SibLitMash (Siberian-Lithuanian Jazz Machine, 1980s), and with Vagif Sadykhov in another quartet (1998), while also working as a freelance with Vladimir Chekasin, Anatoly Vapirov, Igor Butman, Joe Locke, Paul Bollenback, and former members of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, among others. In 1990 he began to broadcast on radio, and in ...
William F. Coscarelli
(b Wichita, KS, May 1941). American concert organist. At age five she started piano lessons and at age eleven, after hearing Alexander Schreiner play the Mormon Tabernacle organ, she began organ studies. Bish studied organ with Dorothy Addy, Era Wilder Peniston, Mildred Andrews, and Marie-Claire Alain, studied harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt, and attended classes with Nadia Boulanger. In 1982 she began her own television series The Joy of Music, which continues to reach a vast worldwide audience every week. She also served as organist at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for 20 years.
Bish has won several performance competitions and has been the recipient of prestigious awards. In 1963, while a student at the University of Oklahoma, she won the Mu Phi Epsilon student performance competition and later went on to be a national Mu Phi composition winner. In 1989 she was awarded the National Citation by the National Federation of Music Clubs of America. In ...
(b Bordeaux, ?April 1791; d Paris, Dec 18, 1858). French violinist, composer, dramatist and critic. His date of birth, given as 7 February 1778 in all reference works since Fétis, is contradicted by Blanchard himself in the Revue et gazette musicale (21 January 1838). He was a pupil of Franz Beck in Bordeaux and of Kreutzer (violin), Méhul and Reicha (composition) in Paris. In 1815 he wrote the words and music of a pantomime, Clarisse et Lovelace, and was conductor at the Théâtre des Variétés from 1818 until 1829. There he came into contact with the leading actors and entertainers of the day, and composed a large quantity of vaudeville airs, some of which, for example Tra la la and Guernadier, que tu m’affliges, enjoyed immense popularity. In 1830 he became director of the Théâtre Molière, where a series of his plays appeared, one of which, ...
(b Saint-Gilles, Brussels, May 29, 1890; d Brussels, April 11, 1961). Belgian composer, pianist and critic. He studied at the Brussels Conservatory, where in 1908 he won a first prize for piano in De Greef's class. Wounded in World War I, he was evacuated to England and then moved to Australia, where he became Melba's accompanist. After several international tours he settled in Brussels in 1925. He abandoned his career as a virtuoso pianist to study composition with Gilson and joined the ‘Synthétistes’ group. At the same time he launched into music criticism, giving proof of a caustic wit. Until 1955 he taught harmony (assistant professor 1939, professor 1943) and counterpoint (from 1949) at the Brussels Conservatory. A fluent composer, he began with works describing his memories of travel. He attempted to renew the symphonic poem by choosing modern subjects, as in Le jazz vainqueur, op.33. After ...
[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....
James B. Kopp
(b Avignon, France, May 18, 1854; d Versailles, France, May 20, 1933). Organist, composer, collector, and writer on musical instruments. Born a count into an old Norman family, he studied organ with Gigout in Paris in the late 1880s and was admitted to the Académie des Sciences Morales, des Lettres et des Arts de Versailles in 1891. Beginning in 1897, de Bricqueville played the organ in the chapel of the palace of Versailles for about 20 years. Writing as a music critic, he enthusiastically promoted Wagner but also appreciated earlier French opera. His studies of historical instruments, instrument collecting, and music iconography, while largely superseded by later research, offer valuable insight to the state of scholarship at the turn of the 20th century. He described his private collection of instruments (mainly European of the preceding three centuries) in three published catalogues, the last being Catalogue sommaire de la collection d’instruments de musique anciens formée par le Cte de Bricqueville...
(b Ecclesall Bierlow, York, August 16, 1862; d London, Nov 16, 1951). English composer, pianist and critic. She studied composition and the piano at the RAM (1881–9); together with Edward German she was a member of a group of young composers known as ‘The Party’, and frequently appeared at student concerts as a pianist and composer. Notable early works include the Air and Variations for string quartet, which in 1888 won the first Charles Lucas Medal to be awarded to a woman, and a Piano Concerto in A minor which she performed herself to critical acclaim at a variety of London concerts.
After leaving the RAM, Bright established herself as a pianist in Britain and Europe and promoted the music of British composers in her annual series of piano recitals and chamber concerts in London. Among the continuing high-profile performances of her works was an 1892...
Anna E. Kijas
(b Washington, DC, Aug 25, 1960). American pianist, writer, broadcaster, and new music advocate. An extraordinary performer and champion of new American and experimental music, she began formal piano studies at the age of seven with Sharon Mann. At 16, she performed Bach’s D major Toccata at the chamber music festival Sommermusikwochen in Trogen, Switzerland. In 1977, she briefly attended the San Francisco Conservatory before transferring to the University of Michigan and studying English (BA 1985). She serves on the music faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory, writes reviews, program notes, liner notes, and articles, and hosts the classical music show Then and Now on public radio station KALW 91.7 FM. In her performances and other activities, she has promoted the work of early 20th-century composers, including Henry Cowell and Ruth Crawford, and contemporary figures such as Kyle Gann, Terry Riley, and Frederic Rzewski, among many others....
(b Cremona, June 24, 1870; d Sale Marasino, Brescia, Oct 21, 1934). Italian musicologist, critic and double bass player. Besides the double bass, he studied the violin, cello and flute at the Milan Conservatory (1888–91); while visiting Hamburg on tour with the Bimboni orchestra in 1894 he attended the lectures of Julius Bernuth and Arnold Krug at the conservatory there. After taking up his education again in 1903, he took the doctorate in 1908 at Munich University under Sandberger, Kroyer and Lipps, concurrently taking an MA in music under Felix Mottl at the Munich Akademie der Tonkunst. From 1910 he contributed to the newspaper Il secolo, the Rivista musicale italiana and the Revue de pays latins, subsequently working as music critic of the Corriere della sera (1920–34) and correspondent of the Revue de musicologie (1929–34). He was also librarian of the Milan Conservatory (...
(b Bassano del Grappa, nr Vicenza, July 12, 1848; d Bassano del Grappa, June 23, 1916). Italian writer on music. After graduating in law from the University of Padua (1871), he studied the cello, flute and guitar; he also became an outstanding performer on the lute, which led him to investigate the structure, tuning and repertory of that instrument.
Chilesotti owned a large collection of 16th- and 17th-century tablatures, both printed and manuscript, and was a pioneer in transcribing lute music. His methods were interpretative, in that he picked out the implied polyphony in the tablature and retained the single staff in transcription, using a treble clef. In order for the music to be performed on the guitar he employed a false tuning in E rather than the original tuning in G or A. Many scholars were critical of these choices, finding the transcriptions too guitar-like. Chilesotti’s two principal publications, the ...
(b Rochester, NY, June 12, 1982). American composer, organist, writer, and critic. He was exposed to music from an early age (his paternal grandmother was a music teacher and an Eastman graduate). He began piano lessons at age 3; organ lessons with Bruce Klanderman followed at age 10. It was then that he began to turn his attention to composition. His formal education took place at Harvard (AB, 2000) and Carnegie Mellon (MM, 2006). Among his chief composition teachers were bernard Rands and Judith Weir.
With a voracious interest in the entire history of Western music and an unquenchable drive to compose, Cooman has amassed an enormous body of work (nearly a thousand opus numbers before reaching the age of 30), while pursuing parallel career tracks as an organist specializing in contemporary works (including more than 100 premieres), as a writer on many musical subjects, and as a consultant to other composers. His own music embraces a vast range of styles and genres, sacred as well as secular, from tonal choral anthems to atonal orchestral, solo, and chamber music, from songs to full operas, along with a variety of postmodern hybrids. He has written a large number of occasional pieces, as well as compositions for unusual instrumental combinations, avowing a belief in the value of such utilitarian pieces equivalent to that of more ambitious, large-scale works. Most of his recent music has been composed on commission, and his works are performed frequently throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in Europe and elsewhere. Dozens have appeared on recordings....
(b Galaţi, May 20, 1852; d Bucharest, c1918). Romanian music critic, flautist and teacher. He studied at the Bucharest Conservatory with Luigi de Santis (flute) and Gheorghe Brătianu (theory). After working for a short period as a flautist in the orchestra of the Romanian Philharmonic Society, he became a teacher at the Pedagogical Seminary and at the Gheorghe Şincai secondary school in Bucharest. In 1890 he founded and directed the important music journal România Musicală, and began his activity as a music critic; he also initiated the collection Biblioteca Lirică, editing more than 50 booklets on Romanian and European music. He formed an artistic salon in Bucharest, inviting outstanding Romanian and foreign musicians to give concerts in his own home. For the Götzl company of Austria he invented a new type of flute. Cordoneanu drew up the Curs elementar de musică pentru uzul şcoalelor în genere (‘An elementary course of music for general school use’, Bucharest, ...
(b Riga, Sept 26, 1906; d Seattle, June 24, 1962). Latvian composer, pianist and critic, son of Emīls Dārziņš. He graduated in 1929 from Vītols’s composition class and in 1934 from Nadežda Kārkliņa’s piano class at the Latvian State Conservatory. From 1928 he worked as a pianist and critic in Riga, but in 1944 fled from the advancing Soviets and worked in the same occupations in Esslingen, Germany, until 1950. Afterwards Dārziņš lived in the USA, teaching first at the Spokane Conservatory in Washington State, then moving in 1955 to Seattle, where he took part in the concerts of the University of Washington School of Music.
In his early music, Dārziņš followed the French post-Impressionists Dukas and Roussel, and also experimented with exoticism, for example in the Spanish Dance Suite (1931). In the 1940s he developed the goal of integrating the unique qualities of Latvian folk music with those of 20th-century art music, much in the manner of Bartók. The results included hundreds of folk melody arrangements and original piano music....
(b Orléans, Dec 23, 1823; d Paris, Aug 8, 1854). French organist, pianist, composer, pedagogue, and music critic. As a child, Dillon learned harmony and piano from her mother, Elisabeth. Dillon later took lessons from the organist Marius Gueit of the Eglise Saint-Paterne in Orléans, displaying a precocious talent for composition and improvisation. In 1837, she and her mother moved to the Parisian suburb of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Dillon failed to establish a performance career there, but when she was 17, she secured the post of organiste titutlaire at the cathedral in Meaux. She held that post until 1853, the year before her death.
Dillon attracted significant critical attention for her composition Contes fantastiques de Hoffmann (published 1847), which she called a ‘translation’ of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s work. She published this composition under the name ‘Juliette Godillon’, but after multiple reviews referred to her as ‘Juliette G. Dillon’, she assumed the name ‘Juliette Dillon’. In ...