(b Istanbul, May 6, 1908; d Ankara, Feb 16, 1999). Turkish composer. He was a member of the Turkish Five, a group of outstanding composers who, from the 1930s, promoted a Western musical style. Akses first played the violin and then took up the cello at the age of 14. He studied harmony with Cemal Reşit Rey at the Istanbul Municipal Conservatory. In 1926 he left for Vienna where he attended Joseph Marx’s harmony, counterpoint and composition classes for advanced students at the Academy. After receiving his diploma in 1931, he went to Prague and studied with Josef Suk and Alois Hába at the Prague Conservatory. He returned to Turkey in 1934 and was appointed a teacher of composition at the Music Teachers School, becoming its director in 1948. He then took a number of official positions: in 1949 he was director general of the Fine Arts Section of the Ministry of Education, then cultural attaché in Berne (...
revised by Münir Nurettin Beken
(b Fresno, CA, Jan 19, 1945). American composer and administrator of Armenian descent. He studied at Fresno State University (BA in English 1967), San Francisco State University (MA in interdisciplinary creative arts 1969) and Mills College (MFA in electronic music and recording media 1980), where his teachers included David Behrman, Robert Ashley and Paul de Marinis. He has served as music director for KPFA Radio (Berkeley, California, 1969–92), executive director of the Djerassi Artists Program (1993–7), and both artistic (from 1993) and executive director (from 1998) of the Other Minds Festival (San Francisco). His honours include ASCAP's Deems Taylor Award for innovative musical programming (1989) and residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland (1997), and the Bellagio Study and Conference Centre, Italy (1997).
Amirkhanian's experiences as a percussionist and radio presenter have informed all of his works. Between ...
Kevin E. Mooney
(b Port Arthur, TX, Oct 27, 1949; d Austin, TX, May 23, 2006). American nightclub owner, promoter, and producer. The son of Lebanese immigrants, he briefly attended the University of Texas at Austin (summer 1969), then opened an imported food and clothing store. Its backroom became a place for informal jam sessions, often with Antone playing bass. On 15 July 1975 he opened Antone’s. Although not the first or only club in Austin to book blues musicians, it became significant for both its relevance to the Austin music scene and the opportunities allowed for young musicians to share the stage with blues legends. In 1987 he launched recording label Antone’s Record and Tapes and opened Antone’s Records Shop. After serving two drug-related prison terms (1985–6; 1999–2002), Antone began an annual fundraiser for troubled youth. During the last two years of his life, he taught a course on the blues at both the University of Texas at Austin and Texas State University-San Marcos. A recipient of the National Blues Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in ...
Saadalla Agha Al-Kalaa
(b al-Qrayya, Syria, Oct 18, 1915; d Beirut, Dec 26, 1974). Syrian singer, composer, ‘ūd player and film actor and producer. In 1924 political circumstances forced his family to move to Egypt. His mother, the noted singer ‘Aliyya al-Munther, taught him singing in the Syrian style. He studied the ‘ūd (lute) at the Cairo Institute for Arab Music. His professional work began as an ‘ūd player and singer at the national radio station and in Badī ‘a Maṣabnī's variety show saloon.
In 1941, through his sister Asmahān , he entered the cinema industry, and for the rest of his life was involved in films as a composer, singer actor, and producer. His singing of Syrian mawwāl (popular songs), tangos and rumbas achieved great popularity, and his work laid the foundations for Arab variety show films, cinematic operetta, orchestral musical overtures and comic and sad songs. His 31 films are mostly autobiographical and provide valuable insight into the role of the musician in society....
(b Armavir, Russia, March 15, 1919). Record producer and writer of Armenian descent. He grew up in New York, played piano (from 1930), and studied English literature at Yale University (BA 1941); while a student he began to work as a jazz critic for Tempo (1937). Later he was a contributing editor on jazz to Mademoiselle and Pic (1946–8), contributed to Esquire’s 1947 Jazz Book, and, with W. E. Schaap, revised and enlarged Charles Delaunay’s Hot Discography for its first American edition (1948). He wrote articles for Down Beat and Metronome and provided numerous liner notes for jazz albums. Avakian produced the pioneering documentary jazz album Chicago Jazz (1939–40) for Decca, and in early 1940 began to work for Columbia, where he established a series of jazz reissues. After four years of military service he returned to Columbia as a full-time record producer for jazz and popular music; he was director of the international department and later head of the popular album department. In ...
revised by Vincent J. Novara
(b Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec 1, 1927; d White Plains, NY, July 5, 2002). American music administrator and composer of Georgian descent. After immigrating to the United States in 1947, he studied composition with Ross Lee Finney at the University of Michigan (BM 1950, MM 1951, DMA 1958). He then studied with Aaron Copland at the Berkshire Music Center (1959–60), during which time he won the George Gershwin Memorial Award. In the course of his expansive career he was an editor at Prentice-Hall (1960–61), director of the Contemporary Music Project (1961–9), dean of the School of Performing Arts at the University of Southern California (1969–82), and president of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (1982–91). An effective administrator, he explained that he “designed activities to demonstrate that the artist shapes cultural and social institutions.” His compositional style reflects the influence of his principal teachers, Finney and Copland....
(b Manhattan, NY, Oct 3, 1959). American music industry executive of Israeli descent. He helped bring hip hop to mainstream American culture and beyond. After graduating from college he landed a job at the semi-independent label Def Jam, where he worked for its co-founder Russell Simmons. In 1988 Cohen became president of the label, taking over from Rick Rubin, who had launched the company in his New York University dorm room and found success with the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy. During the late 1980s and early 1990s Def Jam helped transform rap from specialized urban music to global pop. Although it had long been distributed by major labels, Cohen oversaw its integration with a series of larger companies and subsequently expanded its scope, especially after it merged with the Universal Music Group in 1999. As Island Def Jam with Cohen as president, the company ran other labels dedicated to gangsta rap (Murder, Inc.) and alternative country music (Lost Highway) and absorbed Chris Blackwell’s Island Records. Under Cohen, Island Def Jam doubled its earnings. He moved to the Warner Music Group in ...
(b Constantinople [now Istanbul], July 31, 1923). American record producer, brother of Nesuhi Ertegun. He traveled internationally in his youth – his father was minister to Switzerland, Turkish observer at the League of Nations, and the Turkish ambassador to France (living in Paris from 1929), Great Britain (London from 1931), and the United States (Washington, DC, from 1934) – and was educated at St. John’s College, Annapolis (BA 1944). He first became involved with Herb Abramson in running two small, short-lived record labels, Quality and Jubilee; then in late 1947 the two men founded the company and label Atlantic (jazz), with Ertegun as vice-president. It became one of the largest independent labels concerned with jazz, rhythm-and-blues, and soul recordings, and retained this position throughout the 1950s and 1960s. The company was purchased by Warner Bros. in 1967 but remained under its previous management. In the 1980s and 1990s Ertegun continued to be an executive of great importance in popular music, and in ...
Gary W. Kennedy
(b Boston, May 19, 1961). American pianist and record producer. He attended the Oberlin (Ohio) Conservatory of Music (BM piano and jazz 1983) and also studied classical Indian music (1983–4). Between 1986 and 1990 he led his own quartet, with either Joe Lovano or Dick Oatts on saxophone and Drew Gress and Jamey Haddad filling out the rhythm section, and from ...
(b Samsun, Aug 1944). Turkish popular musician. Gencebay is widely credited as the inventor of arabesk, a popular genre which has dominated the Turkish recording industry since the mid-1970s and which has been widely condemned by the Turkish nationalist intelligentsia (see Turkey §V 3.). As a child, he received an early training in the religious repertory and Western art music from his family circle. He studied the reformed rural music genre at local music societies, played guitar in a rock band while at lycée and learnt the popular dance band hits of the day as a saxophonist during military service at an officers' club in Istanbul. In 1967 he was recruited to the Istanbul radio station but resigned a year later to continue his work in the popular market as a singer and film star, in 1973 managing his own recording company, Kervan. His early work, characterized by his first Columbia recording of ...
Barbara L. Kelly
(b Bucharest, Dec 2, 1859; d Monte Carlo, May 31, 1955). French impresario, opera director and composer of Romanian birth. He studied medicine in Bucharest until the Russo-Turkish war, and received composition lessons while in the Russian ambulance corps. In 1881 he managed the first theatre for French opéra comique in Moscow. He later travelled in France and Italy, directing the Grand Théâtre, Lille (1888–9), and the Nice Opéra (1889–91). His claim that he was a spy for Tsar Aleksandr III remains unsubstantiated.
As director of the Monte Carlo Opéra from 1893 to 1951, he became an influential figure, engaging the best singers, including Caruso, Battistini and Chaliapin, to sing both standard repertory and more obscure roles. He introduced Tristan und Isolde in 1893, and mounted the French premières of the Ring cycle (1909) and Berlioz's La prise de Troie (1891...
Dominique-René de Lerma
(b Baltimore, MD, c1840; d Surabaya [now in Indonesia], 1902). American minstrel-troupe manager. He became one of the most successful African American managers of minstrel groups. In about 1865 he organized the Original Georgia Minstrels, probably named after a 15-member troupe of former slaves called the Georgia Minstrels, established in April of that year by W.H. Lee in Macon. Hicks’s troupe began touring in the Northeast and the West and, within three years, included a 13-piece brass band. In 1870 Hicks and some of his members joined with Sam Hague’s Great American Slave Troupe (formerly Lee’s group) for a tour of the British Isles. In July of the following year there was a disagreement and Hicks returned to the United States. He sold his company to Charles Callender in 1872 but continued to work as its manager. From 1877 to 1880 he toured Australia with a new troupe, also called the Georgia Minstrels. Returning once more to the United States, he worked with various groups including Hicks and Kersands’ Minstrels, McIntosh and A.D. Sawyer’s Colored Minstrels, and Callender’s Minstrels, with whom he presented the Callender Consolidated Minstrel Festival in the Grand Opera House, New York, in ...
(b Osaka, Japan, Sept 6, 1938). Impresario and concert manager of Japanese birth. She studied piano at the Tōhō Gakuen School of Music, Tokyo, before coming to the United States to study at the Berkshire Music Center. She then attended Boston University (BA) and New York University (MA in musicology). She married the violist Raphael Hillyer. In 1968 she founded Pacific World Artists to promote cultural exchange between Asia and the United States. This organization worked with the Japanese government to bring about the first American tours of the Grand Kabuki Theater (1970) and the Noh National Theater (1971) and to take American musicians, including the Cleveland Orchestra, to Expo ’70 in Osaka; it also arranged Pacific tours for the Los Angeles PO. Its other activities have included setting up cultural exchanges between East Germany and the United States, and it was responsible for the first foreign tours of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (...
Ramón P. Santos
(b San Fernando, La Union, August 31, 1918). Filipina composer and administrator. She studied at the Philippine Women’s University (BA 1936, BM 1949), at St Scholastica’s College with Baptista Battig (teacher’s diploma in piano 1939), and theory and composition at the Eastman School with Allen McHose and Wayne Barlow (MMus 1950). While her training in the USA developed a leaning towards neo-classicism, her active involvement as music director of the folkdance group Bayanihan significantly influenced her style, which is a combination of the rhythms and scales of Asian instrumental music with the structural and formal designs of Western classical music. In Toccata (1958) and Divertissement (1960) she used the kulintang, a Philippine gong-chime instrument. Her extensive output also includes a number of large-scale theatre pieces such as Filasiana Choral Dance Kaleidoscope of Asia (1964) and the opera-oratorio Dularawan (...
Yozo Iwanami and Barry Kernfeld
(b Tokyo, Feb 25, 1947). Japanese guitarist and record producer. He gained a BS degree in physics at Nippon University in Tokyo and first played professionally with the tenor saxophonist Seiichi Nakamura in the 1960s; he also worked with the tenor saxophonist Jiro Inagaki and with Takeshi Inomata. After forming a group with Shigeharu Mukai and the alto saxophonist Hidefumi Toki, in 1973 he moved to New York, where he played with Joe Lee Wilson (1973), Gil Evans (1973–5), Chico Hamilton (for a tour of the USA, c1975>), and Elvin Jones (1976–7), with whom he toured the Americas and Europe and appeared in the documentary film Different Drummer (1979). In 1977–8 he toured Europe with JoAnne Brackeen and worked as a leader. Active from 1979 through the 1980s in computerized music and in the development and utilization of guitar synthesizers, in New York he formed the record company and label Satellites (...
(b Batavia, Dutch East Indies [now Jakarta], Feb 23, 1919; d New York, 26 or July 27, 1990). Record producer of Javanese birth and Dutch parentage. He was educated in the Netherlands, where he first became acquainted with jazz, and he pursued this interest on returning to Batavia and after he moved to the USA in 1939. He worked as a record producer in New York and Chicago, then produced jazz recordings for the Keynote company (1943–6). In 1949 he recorded Al Haig for his own label, HL. After producing a few sessions for the label Seeco, including one by Wardell Gray, he briefly revived Keynote (1955), and thereafter worked as the principal expert on jazz at Sam Goody’s record store in New York (1956–73). In 1972 he founded a new company and label, Famous Door (see Famous Door). Obituaries give his death date as both 26 and 27 July....
[Shimura, Tsutomu; (“Tom”)]
Rapper, producer, and songwriter. Shimura was born in Tokyo, Japan to Japanese and Jewish Italian American parents. His delivery is noted for incorporating multiple syllables and an extensive vocabulary. Growing up in Berkeley, California, he was a co-founder of the independent label Quannum Projects, which has released albums by Blackalicious, DJ Shadow, Pigeon John, and others, including his own projects.
Early in his career, Shimura went by the name Asia Born but later changed it to Lyrics Born. His first single, “Send Them,” was released in 1993. The song was produced by DJ Shadow, and it featured the B-Side single “Entropy.” He later formed a group with Lateef the Truthspeaker called Latryx, and they released Latryx (The Album) in 1997.
Lyrics Born’s greatest commercial success as a solo artist occurred in 2003 with the release of his album Later That Day. The album featured the song “Callin’ Out,” which ended up being a surprise hit. The song was licensed by Electronic Arts for use in video games and by the Coca-Cola Company. In addition to his work as a solo artist, Shimura is also active as a voice-over actor, lending his voice to several shows and cartoon programs on Cartoon Network’s ...
(b Yaroslavl’, 17/Sept 30, 1917). Israeli director of Russian origin. He began his career as an actor in Moscow, first with the Second Studio of the Moscow Arts Theatre, and then at the Vakhtangov Theatre, with which he toured Europe in 1957. From 1964 to 1984...
Peter G. Davis
(b Teheran, June 15, 1929); d San Fransisco, CA, August 31, 2013 American director and administrator of Iranian birth . After graduating from UCLA in 1953 with a degree in psychology, he turned to opera direction, serving as resident stage director for the Zürich Opera (1960–65) and the Geneva Opera (...
(b Bombay [now Mumbai], India, Oct 28, 1938). American orchestra manager of Indian birth. He is the son of violinist mehli Mehta and brother of conductor zubin Mehta. After studying in England to become an accountant, he moved to Canada and became partner at Coopers & Lybrand. While there, he joined the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors, later becoming managing director of the Montreal SO (1981–90). He was subsequently appointed executive director (later CEO) of the Ravinia Festival outside of Chicago (1990–2000), where he introduced jazz and world music series to complement the festival’s classical offerings. In 2000, Mehta was named executive director (later president) of the New York Philharmonic, an orchestra for which his brother Zubin had served as music director several decades earlier. While in New York, he hired two music directors (Lorin Maazel in 2002 and Alan Gilbert in 2009...