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Article

Lucrecia R. Kasilag

(b Santa Cruz, Manila, May 14, 1876; d Manila, April 23, 1944). Filipino composer, conductor and violin teacher. At an early age he studied solfège, composition, conducting and the violin with Ladislao Bonus. He played the violin in the Rizal Orchestra in his youth, and in 1910 he founded the Oriental Orchestra; in the early 1920s he conducted many zarzuelas and operas. He was the moving spirit behind the Manila Chamber Music Society, of which he became director in 1921. A well-known violin teacher, he also excelled as a nationalist composer. Among his works are the zarzuelas Ang sampaguita (‘The Sampaguita Flower’), Anak ng dagat (‘Son of the Sea’), Luha’t dugo (‘Tears and Blood’), Ang masamang kaugalian (‘The Bad Traits’), Delinquente and Declaracion de amor. Other compositions include a cantata, O! dios sa kalangitan (‘O God in Heaven’), Ibong adarna (‘The Adarna Bird’), a coloratura song, and Kundiman...

Article

Lucrecia R. Kasilag

(b Tagoloan, Oriental Misamis, July 13, 1922; d Fresno, CA, June 5, 1991). Filipina composer and conductor. She studied music at Lourdes College, the piano at St Scholastica’s College and composition at the Philippine Women’s University (MM 1957). Later she attended the Labunski School of Composition in Ohio, the Eastman School and the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. A nun of the Order of the Virgin Mary, she taught music theory and composition, conducted fund-raising concerts, and travelled widely to take part in international music conferences. In 1977 she moved to the USA, teaching at Kansas University and St Pius Seminary in Kentucky before moving to Fremont, California; in 1980 she was elected president of the Philippine Foundation of Performing Arts in America. Among the honours she received were the Republic Culture Heritage Award (1967) and the Philippines’ Independence Day Award (1973). She produced over 300 compositions and some published music textbooks. Her style is marked by neo-classical and Impressionist features, with quartal harmonies, added-note chords, pentatonic and modal scales....

Article

Lucrecia R. Kasilag

(b San Miguel, Bulacan, Feb 7, 1893; d Manila, March 21, 1934). Filipino composer, conductor and teacher. As a child he had violin lessons from his father, and in 1901 he wrote his first composition, Ang unang buko (‘The First Fruit’), a waltz. He was sent to study at the Liceo de Manila and he learnt to play the piano, but at the same time he had to take various jobs to support himself and his family. In 1916 he entered the Conservatory of the University of the Philippines, and in the next year he composed a march, U. P. Beloved, which won first prize in an open competition. He studied with Victoriano Carreon (singing), José Silos (bandurria), Bonifacio Abdon (violin) and José Estella (piano); he received a teacher’s certificate at the conservatory in 1921, and in 1923 he pursued postgraduate studies there.

The piano concerto, which he wrote for these later courses, was the first concerto written by a Filipino. From the same period are ...

Article

Noël Goodwin

[Georgy]

(b Leningrad [now St Petersburg], May 13, 1932; d Cologne, Oct 31, 2002). Israeli conductor of Soviet birth. He studied at the Leningrad Central School of Music and the Leningrad Conservatory, and also with Natan Rakhlin and Kurt Sanderling. In 1956 he was appointed conductor of the Saratov PO; he also taught at the conservatory there and conducted his first operas. The next year he became conductor at Yaroslav, remaining there until his appointment as chief conductor of the Moscow RSO in 1964; his guest engagements included appearances with the Bol′shoy Ballet. Ahronovich left the USSR in 1972 and became an Israeli citizen. After concerts with the Israel PO he began touring, appearing in London with the RPO and with the New York PO in the USA. He made his operatic début in the West with Otello at Cologne, where he was conductor of the Gürzenich Concerts from ...

Article

Faruk Yener

(b Istanbul, March 11, 1906; d Ankara, July 27, 1978). Turkish composer and conductor. He had his first music lessons from his mother. He showed a precocious talent for playing the qānūn and at 16 he composed a musical play in traditional Turkish monophonic style. In 1927 he went to Vienna and studied composition with Joseph Marx at the Academy of Music and conducting with Oswald Kabasta. He returned to Turkey in 1932, was appointed conductor to the Istanbul City Theatre Orchestra and taught history of music at the Istanbul Conservatory. In 1936 he became assistant conductor of the Ankara Presidential SO, taught piano at the State Conservatory and was an assistant to Carl Abert at the Ankara State Opera. In 1946 he was appointed conductor of the Presidential PO and held the post until 1952, when he left because of a nervous breakdown, though he continued to teach at the conservatory and to appear as guest conductor in Ankara and with the Vienna SO and the Stuttgart RSO. One of the Turkish Five, Alnar showed strong attraction in his works to the rhythmic and melodic patterns of Turkish monophonic music. (...

Article

Jon Ceander Mitchell

(b Pontiac, MI, April 24, 1921; d Alpena, MI, July 26, 2010). American conductor and music educator. The son of Armenian immigrants, his childhood was spent in Dearborn, Michigan. As a youth, he often observed conductors, such as Fritz Reiner and Serge Koussevitzky, rehearse the Detroit SO; by the time he was a senior in high school he was studying privately with the symphony’s principal trumpet player, Leonard B. Smith. After studies at Wayne State University (BME 1943), Begian began teaching at Mackenzie HS in Detroit, then was drafted into the army. He returned to Wayne State after the war (MS 1947) and studied conducting at Tanglewood. He developed one of the finest high school bands in the country at Detroit’s Cass Technical High School (1947–64) while studying with William Revelli at the University of Michigan (EdD 1964). His university band conducting career included appointments at Wayne State (...

Article

Lucrecia R. Kasilag

(b Santa Maria, Bulacan, Oct 14, 1929). Filipino composer, conductor and teacher. He studied at the universities of S Tomas and Centro Escolar, and at the Gregorian Institute. Teaching appointments followed at the Philippine Women’s University, St Scholastica’s College and other institutions. For a time he was the organist of Manila Cathedral, and he has also been active as the director of several bands and of the glee club of Ateneo University, Loyola. He became dean of the Centro Escolar University Conservatory and received the Republic Cultural Heritage Award twice (1964, 1972); he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Philippine Women's University in 1989. His compositions, often based on Philippine legend and history, use Romantic, Impressionist and contemporary idioms.

(selective list)

Article

Svetlana Sarkisyan

(b Constantinople, 1837; d Izmir, March 23, 1898). Armenian composer, conductor and teacher. He studied with G. Yeranian and Mangioni at Constantinople, then at the Milan Conservatory (1861–4). On his return to Turkey he took part in the activities of the Armenian Musical Society, published the journal K‘nar Haykakan (‘The Armenian Lyre’) with G. Yeranian, gave lectures and concerts, organized a small orchestra and worked with the Gusanergakan Music Theatre. He also worked from 1864 to 1867 with the Arevelyan Tadron, the theatre of the Constantinople Armenians, and it was there that his incidental music to the play Vardan Mamikonean, p‘erkitch hayreneats (‘Vartan Mamikonian, the Saviour of his Country’, by Durian, Terzian and Sedefjian) was first performed in 1867. In 1868 he completed the opera Arshak Erkrord (‘Arshak II’), to a libretto by Terzian, marking the birth of Armenian national opera. Excerpts were performed in Constantinople, Naples, Venice, Paris and Vienna during the composer’s lifetime. The score, which was thought to have been lost, was discovered in Yerevan in ...

Article

Lucrecia R. Kasilag

(b Manila, May 15, 1909; d Manila, August 11, 1991). Filipino composer, conductor and pianist. In 1930 he graduated from the Conservatory of the University of the Philippines with teacher’s diplomas in piano and in theory and composition; he then studied at the Chicago Musical College (BMus 1932, MMus 1933) and the Neotarian College of Philosophy, Kansas City (PhD 1947). He taught at the University of the Philippines Conservatory (1930–34) and was director and professor at the Manila (1934–9, 1949–52) and Cosmopolitan College (1948–9) conservatories. During World War II he appeared as a pianist and conductor in the USA, Canada, Europe and Hawaii. He was a state cultural adviser (1958–60) and founder-president of the National Federation of Music. He lectured in humanities at the University of the City of Manila (1968–75), and after 1978 worked mainly in the USA, appearing as a composer-conductor at the Seattle Opera House....

Article

Svetlana Sarkisyan

(b Vagharshapat, Feb 2, 1856; d Tbilisi, March 19, 1905). Armenian composer, teacher and choirmaster. He studied at the Gevork′ian Academy in Vagharshapat with Nikoghayos T′ashchian, who had published three volumes of his transcriptions of Armenian liturgical music. In 1879 Ekmalian entered the St Petersburg Conservatory to study with Rimsky-Korsakov, Iogansen and Solov′yov; he graduated in 1888 with the cantata Der Rose Pilgerfahrt (after M. Horn) of which only extracts survive. From 1890 until his death he lived in Tbilisi, teaching at the Nersessian College (1891–1902) and also directing the music college of the Russian Music Society (1893–4). In addition to teaching both conventional notation and the Armenian system devised by Hambartsum Lymonja (1768–1839) he organized an excellent chapel choir. He taught many singers who subsequently became well known; his composition pupils included Komitas and Tigranian. He spent much time collecting and arranging folksongs; his collection of liturgical music, which was completed in ...

Article

Hans Åstrand

(Axel)

(b Ichang, China, Dec 6, 1897; d Lund, Oct 19, 1961). Swedish composer, conductor and teacher. He spent his first ten years at his father’s missionary station in China and then studied the violin at the Malmö Conservatory (1913–15). Fernström played in the Helsingborg SO (1916–39), acting as manager from 1932. His violin studies were continued with Max Schlüter in Copenhagen (1917–21, 1923–4) and with Barmas in Berlin (1921–2); he studied composition with Peder Gram in Copenhagen (1923–30) and in 1930 at the Sondershausen Conservatory, where he also took lessons in conducting. He was conductor for Malmö radio (1939–41), and from 1948 until his death he was director of music in Lund and conductor of the Lund Orchestral Society. A stimulating teacher, he directed the Lund Conservatory and in 1951 founded the Nordic Youth Orchestra. In ...

Article

Svetlana Sarkisyan

(Il′ich)

(b Tbilisi, 24 May/June 6, 1903; d Moscow, May 1, 1978). Armenian composer, conductor and teacher. He is considered by some to be the central figure in 20th-century Armenian culture and, along with Prokofiev and Shostakovich, was a pillar of the Soviet school of composition. He influenced the development of composition not only in Armenia but also in Asia and South America. His name graces the Grand Concert Hall in Yerevan, a string quartet has been named after him and a prize in his name was instituted by the Armenian Ministry of Culture. His house was opened as a museum in 1978 and since 1983 the International Khachaturian Fund in Marseilles has held competitions for pianists and violinists.

Khachaturian's earliest musical impressions came from hearing folk music in Tbilisi and listening to his mother sing (he dedicated his opus one, the Pesnya stranstvuyushchego ashuga (‘The Song of the Wandering Ashugh’ to her in ...

Article

Gerard Béhague

(b Freiburg, Sept 2, 1915). German composer, teacher and conductor, active also in Brazil, India and Japan. He attended the Berlin Academy of Music (1934–6), where his teachers were Gustav Thomas and Scherchen for composition and conducting, Scheck for the flute, Martienssen for the piano and Schünemann and Seiffert for musicology; his flute studies were continued with Moyse at the Geneva Conservatoire (1936–7). In 1937 he moved to Brazil, of which he became a naturalized citizen in 1948. He taught theory and composition at the Brazilian Conservatory in Rio de Janeiro (1937–52) and the São Paulo Institute of Music (1942–4). The group Música Viva, which he founded in as early as 1939, included some of the best-known Brazilian musicians; its manifesto promoting new music experimentation was published in 1946. He directed the São Paulo Free Academy of Music (1952–5...

Article

Lucrecia R. Kasilag

(b Penaranda, Nueva Ecija, May 1, 1912; d Manila, Dec 2, 1992). Filipino composer and conductor . He studied at the Conservatory of Music at the University of the Philippines, where he received a teacher’s diploma in composition and conducting (1939), and where he remained as a teacher of theory and composition. Thereafter he was director of the music school at Union College, Manila, and then, during the war, he founded his own music academy; later he lectured on Philippine music in many parts of the country. Formerly music critic for the Manila Times and Taliba, he was director of cultural affairs for the city of Manila; he also held appointments as state cultural adviser (1972), president of the National Music Council of the Philippines (until 1973) and president of the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Among the many honours he received are the Republic Cultural Heritage Award (...

Article

Jennifer Spencer

(b Borisovka, Kursk province, 25 March/April 6, 1812; d Gatchina, 11 /May 21, 1885). Russian choral conductor, teacher and composer. At the age of ten he joined Count Sheremet′yev's choir in St Petersburg (his father was one of Sheremet′yev's serfs); there he was taught music by Antonio Sapienza. When his voice broke in 1830 he became a singing teacher to the choir, and was later appointed director (1850–72). Under his leadership it became one of the most important musical institutions in Russia, giving concerts of traditional church music, folksongs and contemporary choral works. When the choir was disbanded in 1874 Lomakin conducted Sheremet′ev's male-voice choir, but ill-health soon compelled him to resign. In 1862 Balakirev invited him to help him found the Free School of Music, and for eight years Lomakin conducted the student choir. He also taught at the court chapel (...

Article

Karen Monson

revised by Jonathan E. Blumhofer

(b Bombay [now Mumbai], India, Sept 25, 1908; d Santa Monica, CA, Oct 19, 2002). Violinist and conductor of Indian birth. He studied at the University of Bombay and at Trinity College of Music, London. Mehta founded the Bombay SO in 1935 and served as its concertmaster for ten years before becoming its conductor. In 1940 he formed the Bombay String Quartet, which he led for 15 years. Encouraged by Efrem Zimbalist, he studied for a time with Ivan Galamian at the Juilliard School, then served as assistant concertmaster of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, England, under Barbirolli (1955–9). He returned to America in 1959, at which time he joined the Curtis String Quartet in Philadelphia, performing with them throughout the United States for five years. In Los Angeles, where he settled in 1964, Mehta founded the American Youth SO (1964) and served on the faculty of UCLA (...

Article

Lucrecia R. Kasilag

(Jesus)

(b Manila, Dec 26, 1894; d Manila, Jan 29, 1980). Filipino composer and conductor. He studied at the S Juan de Letran College (BA) and the University of the Philippines Conservatory (teacher’s cello diploma 1933); his composition teacher was Nicanor Abelardo. Later he joined the staff of the University of the Philippines, where he was secretary of the conservatory until 1941. He taught and lectured outside the university as well, also conducting choral groups, church choirs, opera and orchestral concerts. In 1956 he was made director of the Cosmopolitan Academy of Music, and also directed the Centro Escolar University Conservatory (1948–71). He received an honorary doctorate from the university in 1953 and was made dean emeritus of the conservatory on his retirement. In 1973 he was made National Artist, the highest state recognition accorded a Filipino musician. His compositions show a daring departure from the traditional Romantic style of his colleagues: he employed the whole-tone scale, augmented 4ths, unresolved dissonances, parallel 5ths and Debussian progressions, all with a meticulous care for detail....

Article

Jessica Duchen

(b Kamakura, Nov 8, 1947). Japanese conductor, son of Hisatada Otaka . He attended the celebrated Toho Gakuen College of Music in Tokyo and came to Europe to further his studies at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik. He rejoined the Toho Gakuen College as a faculty member in 1970. That appointment was followed by prestigious conducting appointments within Japan: from 1974 to 1992 he was principal conductor of the Tokyo PO and from 1981 principal conductor of the Sapporo SO. Otaka's career was established in the West when in 1987 he became principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in Cardiff, an appointment which took him to the Proms in 1991. In 1991 he also made his début with the WNO, conducting Salome. The following year he was appointed principal conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon SO in Tokyo, and in 1995 he became principal conductor of the newly formed Kioi Sinfonietta. He has also appeared as a guest conductor with the LSO, BBC SO, Oslo PO, Royal Liverpool PO and other orchestras. Admired both for his spacious, expressive readings of the central symphonic repertory and as an exponent of 20th-century music, Otaka has given a number of world premières, including Elena Firsova's ...

Article

(b Kakhovka, Crimea, Nov 1, 1871; d Yerevan, May 7, 1928). Armenian composer and conductor. Together with Komitas he was one of the founders of the 20th-century Armenian national school; like The Five, and in particular Rimsky-Korsakov, he drew on a wide range of east European and Near Eastern folk music. His early years were spent in the Crimea, first at Kakhovka, then at Simferopol′ (1882–90), where he studied at the Gymnasium. In 1895 he graduated from the law faculty of Moscow University; there he had played the violin in the student orchestra conducted by Klenovsky, who recommended him to move to St Petersburg to study with Rimsky-Korsakov (1896–1900). Spendiaryan returned to the Crimea and carried out important work in developing music education. From 1908 he directed the Society of Amateurs of Music and Dramatic Art, and he was involved in the management of the Yalta section of the Russian Music Society (RMO); he also conducted in Moscow, St Petersburg, various south Russian towns and abroad. In ...

Article

Evgeny Machavariani

revised by Gulbat Toradze

(b Tbilisi, July 27, 1924; d Feb 21, 1989). Georgian composer, teacher, conductor and writer on music. He graduated from Barkhudarian’s composition class at the Tbilisi Conservatory in 1947 and then did postgraduate work at the same institution, where he taught choral literature (from 1947), counterpoint and instrumentation (from 1959) and served as rector (1962–5). In addition, he was appointed artistic director of the State Choral Kapella of Georgia in 1952, having previously worked as a choirmaster and conductor. He also served as a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (fourth to sixth convocations), a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the Georgian SSR and a member of the Presidium of the International Music Council of UNESCO. In 1965 he was appointed Minister of Culture of Georgia and held the post for nearly 30 years, in addition to serving as chairman of the Georgian Composers’ Union (...