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Margaret M. McGowan

(fl early 17th century). French dancer, violinist and composer. The only known fact in his personal life is that he was married on 27 May 1637 to Antoinette Guibourg, the widow of the painter and costume designer Daniel Rabel. Belleville was in charge of organizing court entertainments for Louis XIII from c1616 to c1637 and contributed to nearly all ballets performed at court during this time. As a dancer he rivalled Louis Constantin and the celebrated dancing-master Jacques Cordier. He wrote all the dance tunes and some of the airs for Etienne Durand's Ballet de la délivrance de Renaud (1617) and for the Ballet de Tancrède (1619). His virtues as a musician were extolled by Michel de Marolles (Mémoires, Amsterdam edn, 1755, iii, pp.207–8), and together with the singer Marais it was said of him by contemporaries that ‘[ils] n'ont besoing que d'estre nommez pour avoir des louanges’. An allemande and a four-part instrumental piece, ...

Article

Mareia Quintero Rivera

(b San Juan, PR, July 10, 1910; d Carolina, PR, July 21, 1996). American Puerto Rican composer, singer, percussionist, dancer, and drum-maker. A master of traditional bomba and plena, he was one the most prominent figures of Afro-Puerto Rican musical folklore in the 20th century. He is also known for his commitment to passing down these traditions to subsequent generations. Together with his wife, Caridad Brenes, a gifted dancer, he raised a family of skilled practitioners and maintained a lifelong practice of teaching in the community of Villa Palmeras, Santurce, the working-class area where they lived.

Cepeda was a key figure in gaining national and international recognition for Afro-Puerto Rican musical genres. In the 1940s he created an ensemble for radio performances, and he later developed a stage version of bomba, which he presented in San Juan’s major hotels. Several of his compositions were popularized by Ismael Rivera and Rafael Cortijo. Cepeda also developed ties with the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, founded in ...

Article

James R. Anthony

(b 1718; d Paris, after 1775). French composer, dancer, ?singer and harpsichordist. In his contemporary manuscript, Notices sur les oeuvres de théâtre, the Marquis d'Argenson commented that Duval, ‘une jeune fille de l'Opéra’, was 18 in 1736 when she composed Les Génies, ou Les caractères de l'Amour. Fétis gave 1769 as her death date; Choron identified her as a ‘singer at the Paris Opéra’ and claimed that she was ‘still living in 1770’; the Anecdotes dramatiques for 1775 referred to her as a ‘former actress at the Opéra’ and included a ‘Mlle Duval’ as a supernumerary among the dancers.

Duval was best known as the composer of Les Génies, ou Les caractères de l'Amour (libretto by Fleury [de Lyon]), a ballet-héröique in a prologue and four entrées (printed in Paris about 1736). The dedication page reveals that the Prince of Carignan was her ‘Protecteur’. Les Génies...

Article

Margaret M. McGowan

(b c1630; d after 1666). French dancer, instrumentalist and composer. His first name is unknown. He regularly performed in court ballets from 1653, when he was mentioned as playing the role of ‘une assez laide bourgeoise’ in Le ballet de la nuit, to 1666, when he danced as a muse in ...

Article

Jérôme de La Gorce

[Lulli, Giovanni Battista]

Member of Lully family

(b Florence, Nov 28, 1632; d Paris, March 22, 1687). Composer, dancer and instrumentalist of Italian birth.

Lully's origins were modest. His father, Lorenzo (1599–1667), seems to have come from peasant stock; like his ancestors, he was born in Tuscany in the Mugello area and probably at Campestri, where he, his brothers and a cousin owned a chestnut wood. By the age of twenty he was living in Florence, and in 1620 he married a miller's daughter, Catarina del Sera (or del Seta). They had three children: Verginio (1621–38), Giovanni Battista and Margherita (d 1639). Little is known about the education of the younger son. He may have learnt writing and arithmetic at an early age from his father, who became a miller and a businessman, but the boy probably had to turn to the Franciscan friars of the Via Borgo Ognissanti, where his parents lived, for his introduction to music and instruction on the guitar and violin, which he must have learnt in his youth. According to Le Cerf de la Viéville, his first music master was ‘a good Franciscan friar’. It is not known how he came to be chosen to go to France as an Italian tutor to Louis XIV's cousin Anne-Marie-Louise d'Orléans, known as the ‘Grande Mademoiselle’, who was studying the language at the time, but he was engaged by the princess's uncle Roger de Lorraine, the chevalier de Guise, who visited Florence in ...

Article

John H. Baron

revised by Georgie Durosoir

(b c1615; d Paris, April 18, 1688). French dancer, composer, poet, lutenist and lute teacher. He was director of entertainments for the Countess of Soissons from at least 1636 until her death in 1644; it was her patronage that enabled him to enter the court. He became a royal lutenist in 1646 and was still playing the lute at court in 1673. He was named a royal dancer in 1644, and it is in this capacity that he achieved his greatest renown. He danced in nearly every ballet de cour from then until 1665 (e.g. Ballet du dérèglement des passions, 1648; Ballet de Cassandre, 1651; Ballet de la galanterie du temps, 1656), often alongside the young Louis XIV and his favourite, Lully. He composed music for ballets, and sometimes also the words (e.g. Ballet des plaisirs troublés, 1657). According to the Mercure galant (July 1677...

Article

J.G. Prod’homme and Marian Smith

(b Paris, Sept 17, 1821; d Paris, Sept 2, 1870). French violinist, dancer, choreographer and composer. His real surname was Michel. He studied ballet with his father, a ballet-master at the royal theatre in Stuttgart, and studied the violin with Paganini and Mayseder. He made his début as a violinist in Stuttgart in 1834 and as a dancer in Munich in 1835, when he adopted the name Saint-Léon. In 1837–8 he studied ballet with François Decombe (known as Albert) at the Paris Opéra. From 1838 he toured Europe as a dancer and in 1843 he created the ballet La vivandiera ed il postiglione (music by Rolland) in Rome. He married the ballerina Fanny Cerrito (1817–1909) in 1845; they danced together frequently until their separation in 1851. Meanwhile he became famous as a choreographer. In the early 1850s he was premier maître de ballet at the Opéra. He appeared as choreographer, dancer and violinist in ...

Article

Nils Schiørring

(b Copenhagen, April 28, 1757; d Copenhagen, Aug 9, 1835). Danish composer, dancer and violinist. In 1772 he joined the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen as a dancer, and in 1775 became a member of the court chapel. The dancer and choreographer Vincenzo Galeotti, recognizing Schall’s ability, appointed him répétiteur and director of ballet at the Royal Theatre in 1776; he also engaged Schall to compose music for many of his ballets. After travelling in the late 1780s to Paris, Dresden, Berlin and Prague (where he met Mozart), Schall returned to Copenhagen in 1792 to take Hartmann’s place as Konzertmeister at the Opera, working successively under J.A.P. Schulz and F.L.A. Kunzen. In 1795 Schall became composer to the Royal Ballet and in 1818 music director at the Opera, where he remained until 1834; he conducted the première of Weber’s Freischütz overture there in 1820.

Though self-taught as a composer, Schall was rated highly by his contemporaries, and his experience as a violinist (he played in the court chapel from ...

Article

Ian Mikyska

(b Boskovice, 19 Jan 1984).Czech composer and performer (voice, accordion, and tap dance). She studied the accordion (2004–10) and composition (2007–8) at the Brno Conservatory, and composition at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (with martin smolka and Peter Graham[1]). She also studied as an exchange student at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the California Institute of the Arts (with michael pisaro), the Universität der Künste Berlin (with Marc Sabat), and Columbia University (with george e. lewis).

While she often works with elements outside of music, there is almost always an intense engagement with direct listening, often arrived at through intense focus on very limited material. Sources for her work include Morse code, maps of garments which she turns into scores (Shirt for Harp, Oboe, and Accordion; Jacket for Ensemble), field recordings which she notates descriptively and then asks musicians to interpret the notation (...