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Article

Dezső Legány

(b Szent-György-Ábrány, Oct 15, 1822; d Budapest, Dec 20, 1903). Hungarian writer on music, composer and pianist. He came from the wealthy Eördögh family: the name means ‘devil’ and his father changed it to Ábrányi, the name of their estate. He studied the piano under János Kirch (1810–63) and Vilmos Dolegni. His first composition, Magyar ábránd (‘Hungarian Fantasy’), was published in 1841. In the early 1840s he gave concerts in Hungarian towns, and in 1846 left for Vienna to take piano lessons with Joseph Fischhof. There is no reliable evidence that he was ever a student of Chopin in Paris. From 1847 he lived in Pest, in the 1850s as a piano teacher, and studied composition with Mosonyi, together with whom he became a devoted follower of Liszt and Wagner. He was one of the founders of the first Hungarian music periodical, the Zenészeti lapok, in ...

Article

Thomas Henry Porter

(b Spring Hill, PA, Jan 21, 1887; d Whittier, CA, July 3, 1960). American gospel composer and editor, brother of Bentley DeForest Ackley. He studied harmony and composition in New York and London, and later became an accomplished cellist. Ackley was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in 1914...

Article

Harry Eskew

(b Spring Hill, PA, Sept 27, 1872; d Winona Lake, IN, Sept 3, 1958). American gospel music composer and editor, brother of Alfred H(enry) Ackley. He learned to play several instruments, including melodeon, piano, reed organ, alto horn, cornet, piccolo, and clarinet. He studied shorthand and typing and then worked as a stenographer in New York and Philadelphia. Several of his secular songs were published in the 1890s. From 1908 to 1915 Ackley was pianist and private secretary to the evangelist Billy Sunday, and during this period he began to compose gospel songs. In 1910 he and Homer A. Rodeheaver founded the Rodeheaver–Ackley publishing company in Chicago, which became the Rodeheaver Co. the following year. He worked for the firm as a composer and editor until his death; with his brother and Charles H. Gabriel, he provided many of the firm’s copyrighted publications. More than 2000 of Ackley’s gospel songs were published, including “If your Heart Keeps Right” (...

Article

E. Eugene Helm

revised by Darrell Berg

(b Dobitschen, Saxe-Altenburg, Jan 4, 1720; d Berlin, Dec 2, 1774). German musicographer, composer, organist, singing master and conductor. His father occupied an important post as government agent and jurist in Dobitschen. Burney, who visited the Agricolas in 1772, reported that Johann Friedrich’s mother, born Maria Magdalena Manke, ‘was a near relation of the late Mr Handel, and in correspondence with him till the time of his death’; but later Handel research has failed to substantiate this claim.

Agricola began his study of music as a young child. In 1738 he entered the University of Leipzig, where he studied law; during this time he was a pupil of J.S. Bach and visited Dresden, where he heard performances of Passion oratorios and Easter music by Hasse. In 1741 he moved to Berlin, became a pupil of Quantz, made the acquaintance of C.P.E. Bach, C.H. Graun and other musicians, and embarked on a career that touched many aspects of Berlin’s musical life. He became keenly interested in music criticism and theoretical speculation in Berlin, and his work as a musicographer has proved to be his most lasting accomplishment. In ...

Article

Axel Helmer

(b Visby, June 5, 1805; d Stockholm, May 4, 1857). Swedish composer, conductor and organist. He studied music at the University of Uppsala and became the musical director of E.V. Djurstrms theatre company in 1828. From 1832 to 1842 he was a teacher at the Gymnasium in Vsterå and the city’s cathedral organist. He then moved to Stockholm, where he was a conductor of various theatre orchestras, for which he composed the music for about 100 productions, often in collaboration with August Blanche. His only full-length opera, Alfred den store (Alfred the Great), based on a text of Theodor Krner, was written in 1848 but never performed; another opera, Abu Hassan, was not finished. His other compositions include about 300 entractes, a vocal symphony, some orchestral works, a piano concerto and solo piano pieces. He also edited collections of Swedish and Nordic folksongs and folkdances and compiled a pocket dictionary of music (...

Article

Bertil H. van Boer

(b Åletorp, Värdinge, Aug 14, 1756; d Stockholm, Aug 11, 1835). Swedish composer. After early musical education with a local organist, he moved in 1772 to Stockholm, where he was instructed in composition by Ferdinand Zellbell the younger. In 1777 he was appointed organist at the Mariakyrka and in 1786 at the Jakobskyrka. Though he made his livelihood mainly in government posts, he was active as a music publisher from 1787 to 1823, under royal privilege; in the journals he founded, Musikaliskt tidsfördrif (‘Musical Pastimes’, 1789–1834) and Skaldestycken satte i musik (‘Poetry Set to Music’, 1790–1823) he often published his own piano reductions of portions of the most popular operas in Stockholm during the period. His own operatic works, beginning with the nationalist comedy Frigga (1787), demonstrate a good sense of lyrical line coupled with influences from the opéras comiques of Grétry and Dalayrac. His orchestration is often fairly dense, and sometimes rich in texture. He was highly esteemed as a pianist and composer of songs, most of which were published in his own journals. He also wrote numerous pedagogical keyboard pieces for the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm....

Article

Theophil Antonicek

(b ?Milan, c1644; d Vienna, Sept 22, 1685). Italian composer and musician. He is first heard of in a letter of 6 September 1671 in which the Prince-Bishop of Olomouc, Karl Liechtenstein-Kastelkorn, told J.H. Schmelzer that he need not have apologized for some apparent bad behaviour on Albertini’s part, since he himself in any case had a good opinion of him. At the time of his death (he was murdered) Albertini was chamber musician in Vienna to the dowager Empress Eleonora. He himself prepared for publication his printed collection of sonatas and signed the dedication to Leopold I, but it did not appear until seven years after his death (the delay may have been due to the cost of engraving, towards which the emperor had granted a subsidy as early as 1686). The 12 sonatas have no regular pattern or number of movements. Most of the opening and closing movements are adagios; two sonatas begin with a separate movement marked ‘Praeludium’ characterized by figuration over a supporting bass. The form of each movement stems as a rule from freely varied development of phrases – usually, but not always, the initial one – which reappear in new guises and thus with a fresh impulse. Larger sections are never repeated literally. In a few of the sonatas there are thematic connections between several (though never between all) movements. Sonata no.9 is a passacaglia whose theme is presented at the beginning and end as a canon at the 5th and whose formal sections sometimes overlap with the statements of the ostinato theme. Double stopping appears conspicuously in the last sonata, which consists entirely of imitative movements....

Article

Diana Poulton

revised by Warwick Edwards

(b ?1560–70; d ?before 1610). English composer. He referred in the dedication of his Psalmes to the late Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick (died 1589/90) as ‘my good Lord and Master’. Allison is represented by 13 compositions in a set of consort books (dated 1588), from the household of Sir Francis Walsingham. Ten four-part settings by him appeared in Thomas East's Whole Booke of Psalms (RISM 15927), and he contributed a dedicatory poem to Giles Farnaby's Canzonets to Fowre Voyces (1598). In 1599 he published his own Psalmes of David in Meter, giving his London address as Dukes Place, near Aldgate, and describing himself as a ‘gentleman’ and a ‘practitioner’ of music. This print also includes his coat of arms, providing much information about his family. In the same year seven of his instrumental works appeared without attribution in Morley's ...

Article

Peter Andreas Kjeldsberg

revised by Martin Anderson

(b Fredrikstad, April 29, 1872; d Oslo, Dec 24, 1932). Norwegian composer, conductor and organist. He studied with Peter Lindeman (organ) and Iver Holter (harmony, counterpoint and composition) at the Christiania Music and Organ School (1888–92), and was then a pupil of Reinecke (composition) and Ruthard (piano) at the Leipzig Conservatory (1892–4). Appointments as organist followed in Drammen (1895–1907) and Oslo (1907–32), where he served at the cathedral from 1916; his First Symphony was completed during a course of study in Berlin in 1897. He was one of those responsible for the foundation of the Norsk Komponistforening, of which he was president from 1921 to 1923. As a member of the Koralbokkomiteen (1922–6) he harmonized most of the melodies in the chorale book of the Norwegian Church, and he edited preludes to all of the chorales. He was active as a choir-conductor, leading the Håndverksangforening (...

Article

Klaus Fischer

(b Fossano, region of Cuneo, Oct 19, 1545; d Saluzzo, Cuneo, Aug 31, 1604). Italian music editor, composer and possibly writer on music. He was born into a leading aristocratic family of Melle, about 30 km from Fossano. He was educated at home and, from 1559, at Montpellier and then entered Turin University to study medicine, philosophy and rhetoric; he may also have studied music, since five of his 118 submissions for the doctorate were concerned with music. In 1566 he went to Pavia to continue his medical studies. On 29 January 1567 he graduated with outstanding results in arts and medicine from Turin University, and a few months later he was admitted to the university's college of doctors as a supernumerary lecturer. At the end of 1570 he left lecturing to become tutor and physician in the household of Count Madruzzi di Challant. When the count became an ambassador of the Duke of Savoy he accompanied him to Rome, where he arrived on ...

Article

(b Mainz, Jan 13, 1883; d Wiesbaden, Sept 15, 1978). German librettist and publisher. In 1909 he joined his father Ludwig Strecker (1853–1943) as a partner in the music publishing house of Schott in Mainz, becoming a director with his brother Willy Strecker (1884–1958) in 1920. From an early age he had shown a deep interest in literature and poetry, and during the 1930s began to develop his skills as a librettist, adopting the professional pseudonym of Ludwig Andersen. His first efforts were in oratorio, but he soon moved on to opera, adapting Franz Graf von Pocci’s tale Die Zaubergeige (1935) for Werner Egk, Karl Simrock’s version of the medieval puppet play Doktor Johannes Faust (1936) for Hermann Reutter, and Hermann Heinz Ortner’s drama Tobias Wunderlich (1937) for Joseph Haas. The first two of these works ranked among the most frequently performed contemporary operas in Nazi Germany and were largely responsible for securing Schott’s reputation as the pre-eminent German publisher of music-theatre works of the period. During World War II Andersen completed librettos for two comic operas, Wolf-Ferrari’s ...

Article

Roxanne R. Reed

(b Anguilla, MS, March 21, 1919; d Hazel Crest, IL, 15 June, 1995). American gospel director, singer, composer, and publisher. Anderson established a career forming and training gospel groups in Chicago. His formative years were spent as one of the original Roberta Martin Singers, one of the premiere gospel groups of the 1930s and 1940s. He left briefly, between 1939 and 1941, to form the first of his many ensembles, the Knowles and Anderson Singers with R.L. Knowles. He rejoined Martin, but ultimately resigned because of the travel demands. In 1947 he formed Robert Anderson and his Gospel Caravan, but after several members left in 1952, he formed a new set of singers that recorded and performed under the name the Robert Anderson Singers through the mid-1950s. Throughout his career, Anderson recorded on a multitude of labels including Miracle and United with Robert Anderson and the Caravans; and later with the Robert Anderson Singers, on Apollo. Anderson wrote, and often sang lead on, many of the songs his groups performed, including “Why Should I Worry” (...

Article

(b Comber, Co. Down, Aug 10, 1904; d Oxford, Oct 10, 1965). Northern Irish music scholar, teacher, organist, composer and editor. He went to Bedford School, and studied at the RCM in London, Trinity College, Dublin, and New College, Oxford, gaining doctorates of music at both universities. In 1938, after four years as organist and choirmaster at Beverley Minster, he moved to a similar position at New College. Thereafter, he lived and worked in Oxford, where he was a university lecturer in music and a Fellow of New College, and later of Balliol. He also taught at the RCM.

Andrews's published work consists of three books, various articles (including contributions to the fifth edition of Grove's Dictionary of Music), reviews, and several motets, services and songs. The Oxford Harmony, vol.ii, traces the development of chromatic harmony through standard repertory works and relates this to techniques of composition. The opening chapters of ...

Article

(b Montona [now Motovun], Istria [Croatia], c1480; d after 1538). Italian woodblock cutter, editor, publisher and composer of Croatian birth. His birthplace is frequently appended to his name, as in his papal privilege of 1516: ‘to our beloved son Andreas Antiquus de Montona, cleric of the diocese of Parenzo now living in Rome’. (Despite the reference to clerical status, there is no evidence that he was ordained as a priest or served the church.) Active as a woodblock cutter, editor and music publisher in Rome from 1510 to 1518, in Venice 1520–21 and again from 1533 to 1539, he was the earliest competitor of Ottaviano Petrucci, who had initiated the printing of volumes of polyphonic music at Venice in 1501. Antico was the first to publish such books in Rome.

Antico’s method differed fundamentally from Petrucci’s: Antico was a cutter of woodblocks from which music and text were printed in one impression, whereas Petrucci employed multiple impression from moveable type. Antico both cut the blocks for and published, in collaboration with printers and others, his Roman editions and those of his first two years in Venice. After ...

Article

Donna G. Cardamone

(b Corato; d Bari, after 1608). Italian composer and anthologist. Antiquis was associated with the basilica of S Nicola, Bari, for most of his career, first as cleric (from 1565), then as canon and choirmaster. From 1606 to 1608 he was chaplain and singing teacher of the Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesù Cristo in Naples. His two anthologies of 1574 (dedicated to the banker Daniello Centurione) contain 13 of his own villanellas and 31 by various musicians employed in Bari, among them Pomponio Nenna and Stefano Felis. His villanellas usually open homorhythmically and proceed in lightly imitative textures. Two books of madrigals by Antiquis are listed in the catalogue of the library of Federico Franzini, compiled in 1676 (Mischiati nos.XII:26–7); they do not survive. He also published a number of instrumental bicinia in anthologies.

Article

[Roggerio]

(b Castelnuovo di Garfagnana; fl 1612). Italian music editor and composer. He edited Responsoria Hebdomadae Sanctae, psalmi, Benedictus, et Miserere, una cum missa ac vesperis Sabbati Sancti, for eight voices and continuo (Venice, 1612²). It includes pieces by 20 composers, among them Croce and Viadana, and two are anonymous; Argilliano himself, with 11 pieces, is the best-represented composer....

Article

Greg A. Handel

(Eugene)

(b West Hempstead, NY, April 26, 1956). American music educator, choral arranger, editor, and conductor. He was a member of the American Boychoir (1969–71), and received degrees from St Olaf College (BM 1978), the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (MM 1980), and Michigan State University (DMA 1987). He was on the summer faculty of the American Boychoir School and now serves on the Board of Trustees. He taught at Calvin College (1980–90) before becoming the fourth conductor of the St Olaf Choir and the Harry R. and Thora H. Tosdal Endowed Professor of Music (1990–). Armstrong is the editor for Earthsongs publications and co-editor of the St. Olaf Choir Series. He chronicled the history of the St Olaf Choir in his doctoral dissertation. He is featured on an instructional video for adolescent singers, Body, Mind, Spirit, Voice (2002...

Article

Robert Hoskins

(b London, Aug 10, 1740; d London, Oct 22, 1802). English composer, conductor, organist and editor. He was the son of Thomas Arnold, a commoner, and, according to some sources, the Princess Amelia. Arnold received his education as a Child of the Chapel Royal (c1750 to August 1758) and on leaving became known as an organist, conductor and teacher, and composed prolifically. In autumn 1764 he was engaged by John Beard as harpsichordist and composer to Covent Garden; there he compiled several pastiche operas, including the popular The Maid of the Mill (1765), which is among the supreme examples of the form. In 1769 Arnold bought Marylebone Gardens, and during the next six summers produced several short all-sung burlettas, composing or at least contributing to four new examples (now lost). These productions were simply written (from the literary point of view at least) and would have appealed to an audience with no previous experience of operatic music....

Article

Watkins Shaw

(Algernon)

(b Llandaff, Nov 29, 1869; d Worcester, Nov 26, 1953). English organist, composer and editor. After instruction from his father and C. Lee Williams, Atkins became a pupil and assistant of G.R. Sinclair at Truro and Hereford, and was appointed organist of Ludlow parish church in 1893. In 1897 he became organist of Worcester Cathedral, retiring in 1950, having directed the Worcester Three Choirs Festivals from 1898 to 1948. He revived the festivals after World War I and was knighted in 1921. Though he was not a gifted conductor, the programmes of the Worcester Festivals under him showed considerable breadth of taste, and it was at his insistence that Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius was performed in 1902. His own Hymn of Faith was given in 1905 and revived in 1993.

Atkins produced (with Elgar) an English-language edition of Bach’s St Matthew Passion, and (alone) of Bach’s St John Passion...

Article

Laurie J. Sampsel

(b Milton, MA, Feb 18, 1760; d French Mills, NY, Nov 23, 1813). American composer, singing master, singer, and tunebook compiler. Babcock lived most of his life in Watertown, MA, where he worked as a hatter. As a teenager he fought in the Revolutionary War, and he died while enlisted in the Army during the War of 1812. He was active primarily as a psalmodist during the period from 1790 to 1810. Babcock was the choir leader at the Watertown Congregational church, sang at and composed music for town events, and taught singing schools there in 1798 and 1804. He may also have been an itinerant singing master in the Boston area. Babcock composed 75 extant pieces, including anthems, set pieces, fuging tunes, psalm, and hymn tunes. Most of his music was first published in his own tunebook, Middlesex Harmony, which was published in two editions (1795...