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Article

Alan Tyson and Leon Plantinga

[Clementi, Mutius Philippus Vincentius Franciscus Xaverius]

(b Rome, Jan 23, 1752; d Evesham, Worcs., March 10, 1832). English composer, keyboard player and teacher, music publisher and piano manufacturer of Italian birth.

Leon Plantinga

The oldest of seven children of Nicolo Clementi (1720–89), a silversmith, and Magdalena, née Kaiser, Clementi began studies in music in Rome at a very early age; his teachers were Antonio Boroni (1738–92), an organist named Cordicelli, Giuseppi Santarelli (1710–90) and possibly Gaetano Carpani. In January 1766, at the age of 13, he secured the post of organist at his home church, S Lorenzo in Damaso. In that year, however, his playing attracted the attention of an English traveller, Peter Beckford (1740–1811), cousin of the novelist William Beckford (1760–1844) and nephew of William Beckford (1709–70), twice Lord Mayor of London. According to Peter Beckford’s own forthright explanation, he ‘bought Clementi of his father for seven years’, and in late ...

Article

David Nicholls and Joel Sachs

(Dixon )

(b Menlo Park, CA, March 11, 1897; d Shady, NY, Dec 10, 1965). American composer, writer, pianist, publisher, and teacher. Described by Cage as “the open sesame for new music in America,” he was an early advocate for many of the main developments in 20th-century music, including the systematization of modernist techniques, the exploration of timbral resources, and transculturalism.

Many facets of Cowell’s remarkable personality resulted from the unusual circumstances of his upbringing. His father, Harry, had immigrated to British Columbia with his brother after their own father, the Dean of Kildare’s Anglican Cathedral, bought them some land. Finding no satisfaction in farming life, Harry moved to San Francisco in search of a literary career. Henry’s mother Clara (usually called Clarissa) Dixon, a gifted writer, was the daughter of a fundamentalist Midwestern farming family. She had left the church and their community, married, and produced a son called Clarence. After he ran away from home as a teenager, Clarissa fled her stifling small-town life for San Francisco. In the Bay area, she met Harry, with whom she founded a philosophical-anarchist newsletter. As dedicated anarchists, they rejected the heavy hand of government, including what they saw as the homogenizing power of conventional public schooling. They built a little cottage on the still-rural edge of Menlo Park, where Stanford University was being constructed. Henry Cowell was born there, and Menlo Park remained his principal base until ...

Article

Noal Cohen

[Grice, George General; Qusim, Basheer]

(b Pensacola, FL, Nov 28, 1925; d Pensacola, FL, March 14, 1983). American jazz saxophonist, flutist, composer, arranger, music publisher, and teacher. Known more as a composer and arranger than as an instrumentalist, he was nonetheless an alto saxophonist out of the Charlie Parker tradition with a lyrical bent and a recognizable style and sound. He studied clarinet initially and after serving in the US Navy (1944–6) attended the Boston Conservatory (to 1952). His first exposure came through an encounter with the saxophonist Stan Getz in Boston who recorded several of Gryce’s compositions. After moving to New York in 1953, Gryce was soon a part of the city’s vibrant milieu, recording with the drummer Max Roach and the pianist Tadd Dameron. Throughout his career, Gryce collaborated with a number of noted trumpet players including Clifford Brown, Art Farmer, Donald Byrd, and Richard Williams. With Byrd, he co-led the Jazz Lab, which made a number of highly regarded recordings in ...

Article

Katherine K. Preston and Michael Meckna

(b Davenport, IA, March 15, 1924; d Seattle, March 5, 1977). American composer, music publisher and pianist . He studied composition with George McKay at the University of Washington (1938–42) and after military service joined the faculty there to teach piano and theory (1947–9). He was music director of the Eleanor King Dance Company (1947–50) and the pianist of the Seattle SO (1948–51); during these years he performed extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest in chamber ensembles and as a soloist.

In 1951 Johnson moved to New York, where he worked in the music publishing business as education director for Mercury Music (1951–4), head of the orchestral department at C.F. Peters (1954–8) and president of Dow Publishers (1957–62). After returning to Seattle, he served at the helm of the Cornish School of Music (1962–9) and in ...

Article

[Jan Antonín, Ioannes Antonius]

(b Velvary, June 26, 1747; d Vienna, May 7, 1818). Bohemian composer, pianist, music teacher and publisher. He was baptized Jan Antonín, but began (not later than 1773) to use the name Leopold to differentiate himself from his older cousin of that name. He received his basic music education in Velvary and then studied music in Prague with his cousin, who probably gave him a thorough grounding in counterpoint and vocal writing, and with F.X. Dušek, whose piano and composition school prepared him mainly for writing symphonies and piano sonatas. After the success of his first ballets and pantomimes (performed in Prague, 1771–8), Kozeluch abandoned his law studies for a career as a musician. In 1778 he went to Vienna, where he quickly made a reputation as an excellent pianist, teacher and composer. By 1781 he was so well established there that he could refuse an offer to succeed Mozart as court organist to the Archbishop of Salzburg. By ...

Article

Richard Jackson

[?Richard ]

(fl c1806–36). Pianist, teacher, publisher, and composer, probably of French origin. He was one of the many musicians in New York in the early 19th century who dabbled in several musical activities in order to earn a living. Meetz was listed as a music teacher in New York directories from 1810 to 1836 (he claimed in newspaper advertisements to have been a pupil of Mozart). He also appeared as a pianist, sold pianos, and sold and published music. Meetz was primarily the New York agent for the Philadelphia music publisher George E. Blake, though he did publish a few titles under his own name; two of his works for piano, General Lafayette’s Grand March and Quick Step (1824) and General Montgomery’s Dead March (?1818), bear a Philadelphia imprint. He was probably related to the pianist Cesarine Meetz and the pianist and singer Julius Metz...

Article

Anne Dhu McLucas

(b Edinburgh, June 1, 1776; d Philadelphia, Dec 11, 1831). American cellist, teacher, composer and music publisher of Scottish birth. He was the son of the Edinburgh cellist and composer J.G.C. Schetky and a nephew of Alexander Reinagle. Schetky emigrated to the USA in 1787 and became active as a performer and music teacher in Philadelphia, where he lived with the musicians Benjamin Carr and Joseph C. Taws. With Carr he was co-editor of The Musical Journal for the Piano Forte (vols.iii–v) and published music from about 1802 to 1811. Between 1812 and 1818 he apparently visited Britain, for he published piano compositions by his father and himself in London and Edinburgh. He was a co-founder in 1820 of the Musical Fund Society in Philadelphia, which owns a portrait of him.