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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

Viorel Cosma

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 ...

Article

James Deaville

(Heinrich )

(b Brunswick, Sept 5, 1820; d Königsberg [now Kaliningrad], Feb 16, 1886). German pianist, composer, critic and teacher. He quickly developed as a pianist and was sent to Vienna, where he studied the piano with C.M. von Bocklet and theory with Sechter and Seyfried. After a further two years in Brunswick, he settled in 1845 in Königsberg, where he initially worked in the theatre and conducted the Singverein. From 1847 Köhler devoted himself exclusively to piano pedagogy and to writing about music. He was music critic for the Hartungsche Zeitung for almost 40 years (1849–86), and contributed to Signale from 1844 until his death. His correspondence articles from Königsberg for Brendel's Neue Zeitschrift für Musik brought him to the attention of Liszt and Wagner in 1852, but it was his first book, Die Melodie der Sprache (1853), that established him as one of the leading New German writers, a reputation substantiated by his many journal articles, newspaper reviews and books of the 1850s and 60s. He also proposed the idea behind the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein, which he, Liszt and Brendel (among others) developed at the ...

Article

Alan Walker

(b Rudersdorf, nr Berlin, Jan 30, 1844; d Jena, April 27, 1918). German critic, pianist and composer. Although he was best known as the owner and editor of the influential Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung (1882–1907), Lessmann had earlier studied the piano with Bülow and composition with Friedrich Kiel in Berlin. In 1866 he became a piano teacher at the Stern Conservatory and the following year joined the faculty of the Klavier-Schule Tausig, a position he held until Tausig's death in 1871. From 1872 he was head of the music department of the Kaiserin Augusta Stiftung, in Potsdam, and he also taught at the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory. The relationship with Bülow and Tausig was important in bringing him into personal contact with both Liszt and Wagner, and he became a staunch supporter of the New German School.

Lessmann was widely respected as a critic. His prose was judicious and tempered, and it was informed by many years of practical music-making. Generally speaking he championed the new and unusual in music. This made him the polar opposite of his older contemporary Eduard Hanslick, who was seen as representing the more conservative musicians of the time. Lessmann was a regular visitor to Bayreuth and gave generous coverage to the festivals of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein, of which Liszt was the lifetime president. Liszt thought well of him as a composer and transcribed his three ‘Tannhäuser’ songs for solo piano. He also wrote a monograph on Liszt (...

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 (...

Article

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Article

Albert Mell

(b Breslau, Oct 3, 1807; d Florence, Nov 18, 1887). German singing teacher, violinist, composer and critic. He studied singing with the Kantors Strauch and Förster, and learnt the violin with Joseph Mayseder. His initial career was as a violinist. About 1834 he settled in Paris, as a performer, critic and composer, and editor of and contributor to the new Gazette et revue musicale; he was also a correspondent for the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. He was a prolific composer for the violin and of solo songs. After 1840 Panofka’s interest turned towards the art and techniques of the great singers he heard in Paris. He studied the methods of Marco Bordogni, and went to London in 1847 and directed the chorus of the Royal Italian Opera under Lumley. He met Jenny Lind there and studied her vocal techniques, as well as those of Lablache, Fraschini and Staudigl. In London he was esteemed more as a singing teacher than as a violinist. His first didactic work, the ...

Article

Ralph Scott Grover

(b Northampton, May 23, 1901; d Gerrards Cross, Feb 14, 1986). English composer, critic, pianist and teacher.

Born into a poor working-class family, Rubbra was fortunate in having music-loving parents. His mother’s pure soprano voice was prominent in her church choir, and she was in demand locally as a soloist. He began piano lessons at eight, transferring later to a teacher who added instruction in harmony and counterpoint. In his uncle’s music shop he discovered the music of Cyril Scott and Debussy. Leaving school at 14 to help his family financially, he worked as an office boy, then a railway clerk. At 17 he organized an all-Scott concert in Northampton, prompting the composer to accept him as a private pupil. In 1920 he won a composition scholarship to Reading University for study with Holst, and also piano with Evlyn Howard-Jones. In 1921 Rubbra won an open scholarship to the Royal College of Music where his teachers were, Holst, Howard-Jones (privately) and R.O. Morris in counterpoint; Vaughan Williams was used as a substitute during Holst’s absences. Of Rubbra’s earliest compositions, some of his songs were published during his RCM days. One, ...