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Dorothy C. Pratt

(b Constantinople, 1881; d Chamonix, July 27, 1954). Armenian cellist. He studied with Grützmacher and while a student played chamber music with Brahms and Joachim. At the age of 17 he appeared as the soloist in Strauss's Don Quixote with the composer conducting and scored a triumph; he was then invited to play concertos with Nikisch and Mahler. In 1901 he settled in Paris, where Casals saw some of his fingerings and recognized that Alexanian shared his own, then revolutionary, ideas on technique and interpretation. Many years' collaboration followed, leading to the publication in 1922 of their joint treatise Traité théorique et pratique du violoncelle and in 1929 of Alexanian's analytical edition of the solo cello suites of Bach. Alexanian was professor of the Casals class at the Ecole Normale de Musique from 1921 to 1937, when he left for the USA. His classes in Paris, Baltimore and New York attracted artists and students from all over the world, and his influence extended far beyond his own pupils (among them Maurice Eisenberg and Antonio Janigro) to such cellists as Feuermann, Cassadó, Piatigorsky and Fournier. He was also a conductor of distinction....

Article

Geoffrey Self

[Ricketts, Frederic Joseph]

(b London, Feb 21, 1881; d Reigate, May 15, 1945). English composer and bandmaster. As a cornet-player with the Royal Irish Regiment, he served in India. Subsequently he studied at Kneller Hall (1904–8), qualifying as a bandmaster, and in 1908 was appointed to the 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. In 1912, under the pseudonym Alford (his mother's name), he published the marches The Vedette and Holyrood, the first of a long series of marches. Two of the most famous, written during World War I, illustrate differing approaches to march-style. Colonel Bogey (1913) is in simple time; the golfing allusion of the title reflects the work's origin on the green, where Alford's partner would whistle the notes C and A instead of shouting ‘fore’. On the Quarter Deck (1917) is in the compound time made popular by the American John Philip Sousa. Alford is unlikely to have missed Sousa's concert on ...

Article

Denon  

Sachio Moroishi

Japanese record label of Nippon Columbia Kabushiki Kaisha. The firm's forerunner, Nippon Chikuonki Shōkai (Japan Phonograph Company), was established in 1910 by the American entrepreneur Frederick Whitney Horne. The company immediately undertook a recording programme, becoming one of the first Japanese companies to do so, and produced records by the soprano Miura Tamaki among others. In 1927 it became affiliated to the British Columbia Company, and it changed its name to Nippon Columbia Chikuonki Kabushiki Kaisha the following year. In addition to marketing a large number of Columbia recordings, the company won popularity with recordings by the tenor Yoshie Fujiwara.

Foreign management of the company came to an end in 1935, after which it was administered with Japanese capital, and in 1946 its trading name was changed to Nippon Columbia Kabushiki Kaisha. From 1948 the company distributed recordings from American Columbia (the relationship with American CBS continued until 1968, and that with the British Columbia Company until ...

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Article

Jonas Westover

Record producers of Turkish birth. The brothers Nesuhi (b Istanbul, Turkey, 26 Nov 1917; d New York, NY, 15 July 1989) and Ahmet Ertegun (b Istanbul, 31 July 1923; d New York, 14 Dec 2006) became top executives at Atlantic Records. At an early age Nesuhi developed a love of jazz, which his brother soon shared. They moved to the United States in 1935 after their father, a diplomat, was appointed Turkey’s first ambassador to the country. In 1941 Nesuhi began to promote jazz concerts in Washington, DC. Soon afterwards he moved to California, where he founded Crescent Records and purchased Jazz Man Records, on which he reissued recordings of New Orleans jazz. Ahmet attended St. John’s College, graduating in 1944. Shortly thereafter, he convinced his friend Herb Abramson to help him start a record label, and in 1947 Atlantic Records was born. By 1949 the label had released a few hits by Professor Longhair and later the Clovers and Ray Charles, among others. Nesuhi was brought into the Atlantic fold in ...

Article

Peter Gradenwitz

Israeli firm of music publishers. It was founded in Tel-Aviv in 1949 by Peter Gradenwitz in association with the Israeli Association of Composers. From 1952 Gradenwitz managed the firm independently as a limited company. It was the first Israeli music publishing house of an international standard, and publishes works by Israeli composers of all schools and styles, as well as works by composers of any nationality that are based on biblical subjects or texts or that have a particular association with Israel or the Near East. The firm has published works written specially for Israel by Schoenberg, Milhaud, Villa-Lobos, Martinů, Martinon, Staempfli, Hovhaness, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Rathaus and many others. The series Early Hebrew Art Music comprises practical scholarly editions of synagogue music from the 12th to the 19th centuries; other first publications include an Allegro barbaro for piano by Alkan, Beatus vir for soprano and alto soloists, chorus and orchestra by Galuppi, the completion of Schubert’s fragmentary setting of Psalm xiii ...

Article

Israeli institution dedicated to the research and propagation of liturgical and para-liturgical Jewish music. It was founded in Jerusalem in 1957 as the Israel Institute for Sacred Music by Avigdor Herzog, a former student of Kodály and Szabolcsi, to study and preserve the musical traditions of the Jewish communities that converged on Israel during the mass immigrations of the 1950s. Herzog, the centre's first director, wanted to preserve these disparate traditions before they were diluted in the melting-pot of modern Israel and so developed the institute on ethnomusicological and educational lines. He recorded the sacred songs of various communities and, under the title Renanot, periodically published leaflets of selected transcriptions, based on Bartók's methods. Working alongside Herzog were Yehoshua Leib Neeman, who published books and records on biblical cantillation and liturgical chants according to eastern European tradition, Meir Shimíon Geshuri, who investigated Hasidic music and Uri Sharvit, who researched Yemenite chants. The institute organized an annual musicological conference and, from ...

Article

Sony  

Dave Laing

Japanese record company and general electrical manufacturer. It was founded by Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka as the Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo electronics company in 1946 and developed the first Japanese tape recorder four years later. In 1958 the name was changed to Sony Corporation, and in the following decades the company found international markets for its pocket-sized radio, Trinitron TV set, Walkman cassette player, CD and other consumer products.

Sony entered the music industry in 1968 by becoming the Japanese partner of CBS Records of the USA, owner of the Columbia and Epic labels. CBS-Sony eventually became the largest record company in Japan, selling both local popular music and American pop and classical recordings. In 1988 Sony purchased CBS Records for $2 billion. The corporate name became Sony Music Entertainment soon afterwards, although Sony retained the Columbia and Epic symbols around the world for its popular music recordings. Under Norio Ogha (a former concert singer), Sony continued to run the record company from New York and maintained its position as an all-round record company with strong coverage of classical music and jazz. Sony Classical took on a more populist approach when Peter Gelb succeeded Gunther Breest as president in ...

Article

Toshiba  

Sachio Moroishi

Japanese record company, part of the general electrical engineering company Tōkyō Shibaura, founded in 1939. The company entered the record business in 1955, releasing a large number of EMI recordings; in 1969, with an injection of capital from EMI, the name changed to Toshiba EMI. Toshiba had begun, in the mid-1950s, to record contemporary Japanese works, providing a stimulus to Japanese composers as well as bringing their achievements to the attention of the public. Works recorded include the opera The Black Ships by Kōsaku Yamada, the opera The Twilight Heron by Ikuma Dan, and orchestral works by Akira Ifukube, Yasushi Akutagawa, Yoritsune Matsudaira and Kan Ishii. These recordings were also released overseas, providing a wider forum for Japanese composers and performers, notably the conductors Masashi Ueda and Kazuo Yamada, the Iwamoto Mari String Quartet and the Tokyo SO.

In the 1980s Toshiba EMI began recording in Europe, with issues such as a complete Mahler symphony cycle by the Cologne RSO conducted by Gary Bertini, while at home its recordings won praise for excellent performances in music such as the complete piano works of Satie played by Aki Takahashi. Although the core of Toshiba EMI's classical output has consisted of releases of EMI recordings, the company has contributed to the promotion of classical music and continues to be a leading record label in Japan....