(b Brno, Czech Republic, Oct 17, 1868; d Ljubljana, Slovenia, March 11, 1940). Czech composer, cellist, and music educator. Immigrated to Slovenia in 1898. After playing the cello at the Secondary School of Music of the Music Society in Brno (1884–85), he began in 1885 to study at the Organ School in Brno, where he attended composition and instrumentation classes under Leoš Janáček. He graduated with honours in 1888 and passed the national examination in Vienna in 1892. From 1889 to 1890 he was a cellist in the opera orchestra of the City Theatre in Brno. From 1890 to 1898 he taught music at the Czech Men’s College of Education in Brno and was a teaching assistant at the Brno Organ School. In 1897 he appeared before the general public in Brno (where he wrote the majority of his compositions) for the first time as a composer; he achieved his first major success as a composer with ...
Member of Bononcini family
( b Modena, June 18, 1677; d Modena, July 8, 1726). Composer and cellist , second son of (1) Giovanni Maria Bononcini. He worked alongside his more famous elder brother, (2) Giovanni, until 1713. By 1686 both were students of G.P. Colonna in Bologna. When Cardinal Pamphili was papal legate there during the period 1690–93 both played in his orchestra. Antonio composed a Laudate pueri with a florid obbligato for cello in 1693, and about the same time a set of 12 cello sonatas that employ the same kinds of patterned figuration. Only two cello sonatas preceded them, both by Gabrielli. In 1694 Bononcini was listed first among the cellists active in Rome; by November 1696 he had joined the Congregazione di S Cecilia; and during the years 1694–8 he or his elder brother played for six events sponsored by Cardinal Ottoboni. In 1698 he wrote ...
Member of Bononcini family
( b Modena, July 18, 1670; d Vienna, July 9, 1747). Composer and cellist , son of (1) Giovanni Maria Bononcini (i).
Giovanni Bononcini moved to Bologna when his father's death made him an orphan at the age of eight. There he studied counterpoint with G.P. Colonna at S Petronio; at the age of 15 he published three instrumental collections and was accepted into the Accademia Filarmonica on 30 May 1686. During the next two years he published three more collections, was engaged at S Petronio as a string player and singer, composed two oratorios which were performed in both Bologna and Modena, and succeeded G.F. Tosi as maestro di cappella at S Giovanni in Monte. For this church he wrote the double-choir masses that were printed as his op.7 in 1688. He composed a new oratorio for Modena in 1690, and in 1691 dedicated his op.8, consisting of well-wrought vocal duets, to Emperor Leopold I and played in the orchestra of the papal legate, the Roman Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili....
Member of Bononcini family
( b Modena, Nov 18, 1678; d Rome, Nov 1753). Violinist and composer , son of (1) Giovanni Maria Bononcini (i). He was born one hour after his father’s death and was given the same name. Nothing is known of any association with his elder half-brothers, and the suggestion made by La Via that Ghezzi’s drawing of ‘Bononcino [and] nephew of Bononcino’ might represent (2) Giovanni and Giovanni Maria (ii) seems unlikely, although they both did work at Rome during the period 1714–19. In 1704 Giovanni Maria wrote from Venice to a friend in Modena; his other extant letters (in I-MOe ) were written from Rome to Modena during the period 1707–15. In Rome he was employed as a professional violinist, by Cardinal Pamphili (1707–9), Prince Ruspoli (1707–15), the church of S Carlo ai Catinari (1715–36), Cardinal Ottoboni (1717–37...
Amelia S. Kaplan
(b Ann Arbor, MI, Feb 8, 1940). American composer and violinist. She studied violin at Oberlin Conservatory (BM 1962), and Michigan State University (MM 1963). She played with the Fort Worth Symphony and Opera Orchestras, and later the Dallas Symphony. During the same period she also played and recorded for commercial and pop artists, including Tony Bennett and Johnny Mathis. She composed during and after college but continued her professional violin career until 1984, when she began graduate studies in composition at Indiana University (DMA 1988), where she studied with donald Erb , harvey Sollberger , and Fred(erick Alfred) Fox.
Before beginning her tenure as Head of Composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music (1996–2008) where she held the Vincent K. and Edith H. Smith Chair, she taught at Washington and Lee University (1988–96), and served as composer-in-residence for the Roanoke Symphony (...
(b Frýdek-Místek, 30 March 1980). Czech composer and guitarist. He studied singing and composition at the Ostrava Conservatory and composition at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno with Martin Smolka, with whom he completed the PhD in 2014. He also studied at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague (with Louis Andriessen and Clarence Barlow), the Matej Bel University in Bánská Bystrica, CalArts (with David Rosenboom), and the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna.
His work’s penchant for drama and rhythmic drive betrays influences of both rock music and American minimalism. His harmonies are mostly dissonant, which, together with the use of fractured, grating, or fragile sounds, creates an unusual aesthetic. His work with more indeterminate types of notation, however, has led to a looser, more environmental conception of rhythm (The Book of Sand, The Book of Earth).
He has led the Dunami Ensemble since its foundation in ...
revised by Ned Kellenberger
(b Vienna, 17 Nov 1780; d Vienna, 3 Nov 1842). Austrian violinist, conductor, and composer. He began to play the violin at the age of four with his father, who recognized his unusual musical gifts. At the age of five he began giving private concerts. At the age of seven the boy prodigy was enlisted in lessons under Kurzweil, concertmaster for Prince Grassalkovich. Shortly thereafter Clement gave his first public concert (11 April 1788). He spent two years in England (1790–92) giving concerts, appearing with Haydn, Salomon, and the young Bridgetower. Clement took a journal with him on his travels, consisting mostly of entries by people he met along the way, many of them illustrious, including entries by Haydn and Beethoven from 1791 and 1794 respectively. During this time Clement studied with the eminent violinist Giovanni Giornovichi, who mentored the young violinist. Back in Vienna in ...
(b Concord, NH, March 7, 1940; d Cheektowaga, NY, April 9, 2016). American filmmaker, composer, violinist, and media artist. He began playing violin in his youth and studied with Ronald Knudsen. He became fascinated with the physics of sounds and interested in intonation, the harmonic series, long-held tones, and the act of close listening. He attended Harvard University and received an AB in mathematics in 1962. While at Harvard he met Henry Flynt and Christian George Wolff and became involved with the post-Cagean avant garde based in New York. In 1959 Conrad met La Monte Young, who became a frequent collaborator in the mid-1960s. Conrad credited an encounter with the music of 17th-century composer and violinist Heinrich Ignaz Biber in the late 1950s with a profound transformation of his musical thinking, drawing his attention to variable tunings and the role of timbre as an aesthetic concern. Conrad’s exposure to the music of Ali Akbar Khan also heightened his interest in drones as a basis for musical performance....
(b Ioannina, May 10, 1929). Greek-American composer and violinist; emigrated to the USA in 1963 and naturalized in May 1967. He studied violin and music theory at the Ioannina and Hellenic Conservatories. He then became a violinist in the Athens State Orchestra (1952–63), though from 1957 to 1961 he pursued his violin studies at the Juilliard School. He emigrated to the USA, working initially as a violinist at various orchestras and ensembles (he also performed as a soloist), while at the same time studying violin at Indiana University (MM 1965) and composition at Michigan State University (PhD 1968). He has also been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Macedonia, Greece (2010). He taught violin at Louisiana State University for 15 years (starting in 1966), where he has also taught composition, and became Boyd Professor in 1986. In addition, he is the founding director of the Louisiana Sinfonietta since ...
David Fuller and Bruce Gustafson
Member of Couperin family
(b Chaumes-en-Brie, c1626; d Paris, Aug 29, 1661). Composer, harpsichordist, organist and viol player, son of Charles Couperin (i). He was the greatest of the Couperins after (4) François (ii) and one of the best keyboard composers of the 17th century.
If Titon du Tillet was correct in saying that he died at the age of 35, he must have been born in 1626, a year for which the Chaumes parish registers are lacking. All that is known of his first 23 years is limited to a few official documents (Thomas, 1978): in 1639 he stood godfather to a cousin; he appeared twice in 1641 as a witness before a notary and was identified as a clerc living in Chaumes; a third, incomplete notarial act of the same year has his signature. In May 1645, he was still a clerc living in Chaumes, but in January of ...
(b Aurillac, June 18, 1784; d Tours, February 3, 1846). French conductor, composer, and violinist. He studied the violin with his uncle Jean Crémont in Limoges, and maybe with Pierre Baillot. He left France around 1800 and was presumably a student of Beethoven, as he wrote himself later. At the age of 19, he became the director, concertmaster, and conductor of the Imperial Theatre in Moscow. He left Russia in 1812, when the Great Fire destroyed the theatre and his music. He made a successful début in Paris in 1815 playing a Violin Concerto he had composed in Moscow, and then reached some important positions: principal conductor at the Odéon from 1824 to 1828, and then at the Opéra Comique. He imposed new dispositions and rigour in his orchestras, with a favourable outcome. He collaborated with Rossini, Meyerbeer, Weber, and other composers to rearrange their opéras comiques for the French scene. He also published a Clarinet Concerto, a Quartet, and string duos and trios, and composed ...
revised by Jason Mellard
[Theron Eugene ]
(b Beauregard Parish, LA, Sept 21, 1912; d Houston, TX, Oct 6, 1996). American country-music guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Raised in Houston and encouraged to pursue a musical career by the western swing pioneer Milton Brown, he played steel guitar with Leon Selph’s Blue Ridge Playboys (1934–5), a group that also included Floyd Tillman and Moon Mullican, and the Bar X Cowboys (1936–40). His song “Truck Driver’s Blues” (Decca, 1939), reputedly the first trucking song in country music, became a hit for Cliff Bruner’s Texas Wanderers. In 1940 Daffan formed his own band, the Texans, with whom he recorded several popular songs, including the classic “Born to Lose” (OK, 1943), and published several compositions under the pseudonym Frankie Brown. Amid changes in his band’s lineup, Daffan followed the western swing migration to California in the 1940s before returning to Texas after World War II. In this period Daffan worked with former bandmates Bruner, Mullican, and Tillman to create the style which became known as ...
Mark E. Perry
(b San Juan, PR, Nov 22, 1962). Puerto Rican composer and guitarist. He studied music at the Universidad de Puerto Rico (BA 1985) and composition at Ithaca College (MM 1990) and later attended the Sorbonne in Paris and the Goethe Institute in Berlin. His teachers included Carlos Vázquez, Juan Sorroche, ernesto Cordero , francis Schwartz , karel Husa , and donald Erb . De la Torre taught music at the Universidad de Puerto Rico at Río Piedras. Belonging to the generation of late 20th-century Puerto Rican composers, his music is diverse and wide ranging. His oeuvre ranges from solo compositions to orchestral works. He explores the use of motivic cells and extended piano techniques in Cinco piezas breves (1986). Inspired by the historic fall of the Berlin Wall, he composed the brass quintet Imagenes (1990). Including the anthem Deutschlandlied, the quintet evokes in three interconnected movements representations of the present, past, and future. ...
M. Rusty Jones
[Al Laurence Dimeola ]
(b Jersey City, NJ, July 22, 1954). American jazz fusion guitarist and composer. He is known especially for his technical virtuosity and for combining Latin, world, and jazz styles. His guitar influences include Larry Coryell, Tal(madge Holt) Farlow, and Kenny Burrell. He was also inspired by the tangos of Ástor Piazzolla, with whom he developed a close friendship. He enrolled in the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1971, where he remained until 1974 when he was invited to join the fusion group Return to Forever with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and Lenny White. The group released three recordings with Di Meola, including the Grammy award-winning No Mystery (1975), before disbanding in 1976. The group reunited for a tour in 2008. Di Meola’s career as a leader began with the production of Land of the Midnight Sun (1976). Recordings on which he is recognized as leader now number over 20 albums. He has collaborated with luminaries such as Jaco Pastorius, Jan Hammer, and Chick Corea. One of his most successful collaborations was his trio with guitarists John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia. Their ...
revised by Jonas Westover
(b Prague, NE, March 8, 1909; d Bradenton, FL, Oct 29, 1990). American composer and violinist. At the Eastman School (BM 1931, MM 1937, PhD 1947), he studied composition with bernard Rogers and howard Hanson , conducting with sir eugene Goossens , and violin with Gustave Tinlot. As a violinist he was a member of the Rochester PO (1927–31) and of the Hochstein Quartet (1929–31); he also made appearances as a soloist with various chamber music ensembles and organized his own quartet for radio broadcasting. He was head of the violin departments of Drake University (1931–7), Iowa State Teachers College (1937–9; now Northern Iowa University), and the University of Texas (1939–46). From 1947 he taught composition and conducting at Northwestern University, becoming professor emeritus in 1976. He received a Fulbright award to lecture on contemporary American music in England and Scotland (...
Barry Jean Ancelet
(b Lafayette, LA, Feb 14, 1951). American fiddler, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. Doucet has become arguably the most widely recognized Cajun musician ever. His formative influences within Cajun and Creole music include acknowledged masters such as Dewey Balfa, Canray Fontenot, and especially Dennis McGee, as well as lesser-known but no less important masters such as Varise Conner, Lionel Leleux, and Hector Duhon. Other influences include the folk rock, country, and swamp pop influences of his youth. Doucet first approached Cajun music in the 1970s in a group called Bayou des Mystères. He then founded a rock-country-Cajun fusion band called Coteau, the first such band to attract the attention of the younger university crowds. After Coteau dissolved, Doucet turned to his long-running band Beausoleil, which was informed by an eclectic collection of influences that reflect the complex history of Cajun music, including traditional, classical, rock, and jazz elements. Beausoleil has played all over the world and recorded more than 30 albums for many labels, including Swallow, Arhoolie, Rounder, Rhino, and Alligator. These albums have garnered 11 Grammy nominations and two wins. Doucet has also recorded albums with other musicians, including Marc and Ann Savoy, Ed Poullard, and his brother David Doucet. He has performed with symphony orchestras and with the Fiddlers Four. Along the way, he has made ingenious use of old material, for example, turning unaccompanied ballads that John and Alan Lomax collected in Louisiana in ...
Stephen W. Ellis
(b Viatka, Russia, Oct 15, 1890; d Tenafly, NJ, Oct 14, 1966). Composer and violinist of Russian birth. By the age of 13 he was playing violin in a local theater orchestra. A scholarship enabled him to enroll in the Moscow Conservatory in 1904, where he studied violin with Jan Hřímalý, counterpoint with Alexander Il’yinsky, and conducting with Andrei Arends (diploma 1909). From 1910 to 1919 he was first violinist in the Moscow Imperial Opera orchestra; he left revolutionary Russia in 1919, settled in New York in 1921, and the following year joined the New York SO (later the New York Philharmonic), where he remained for 31 years.
Dubensky’s works, many of which have unusual scorings, are diatonic and representative of the Russian Romantic School. They were played frequently in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and other cities during Dubensky’s active years with the New York Philharmonic but were very little heard after his retirement in ...
[Robert Lee ]
(b Spraggs, OK, Feb 5, 1908; d Houston, TX, May 27, 1971). American steel guitarist and composer. He pioneered the amplified steel guitar in country music. The son of a country fiddler, he gravitated to Hawaiian steel at age nine and studied the instrument via correspondence with guitarist Walter Kolomoku. Dunn, who also played trombone, was playing professionally by 1927. His love of jazz led him to create improvisational lines emulating the trombone (he admired Texas-born jazz trombone great Jack Teagarden) or the trumpet by blending aggressive technique with the rough, primitive tone of early electric amplification. In late 1934 he joined Milton Brown and the Musical Brownies in Fort Worth, Texas. He was showcased on various numbers, including his original instrumental “Taking off” (1935, Decca). After Brown’s death in 1936, Dunn performed and recorded with Texas groups led by pianist Roy Newman, ex-Brownies fiddler Cliff Bruner, Leon “Pappy” Selph, the Modern Mountaineers, and Bill Mounce. He also led his own band, the Vagabonds. After World War II Navy service, he resumed performing in Houston until he retired around ...
(fl c1706–49). French cellist, harpsichordist, and composer. Nothing is known about his early life or musical education. He acquired his position at the French court on 16 August 1706, upon the death of his father, also named Nicolas. The younger Nicolas Duport is mentioned on several occasions as early as 1738 in the memoirs of the Duke of Luynes. He served as huissier de la chambre du roi, and in 1748, according to Luynes, was rewarded for his services with a snuff box bearing a portrait of the king. Luynes also referred to him as a ‘grand musicien’ who played ‘fort bien’. His grand motet Qui confidunt in Domino (for 5 voices and orchestra), was performed at Versailles on 1 February 1730. He also collaborated with a certain Dugué in the composition of Jupiter et Europe, a divertissement nouveau set to words by Louis Fuzelier, performed at court on ...