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Article

Viorel Cosma

revised by Ruxandra Arzoiu

(b Bucharest, 2/Aug 14, 1893; d Bucharest, Feb 18, 1959). Romanian composer, pianist, conductor, teacher, music critic, and director of music programmes. A leading figure of the first half of the 20th century, he laid the foundation of the Romanian school in music, concert life, and musical journalism. He studied with A. Castaldi, D. Dinicu, D.G. Kiriac, and E. Saegiu at the Bucharest Conservatory (1903–11), completing his education with two periods of study in Paris (1913–14, 1923–4), where he studied with d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum and with Paul Vidal at the Conservatoire. A remarkable accompanist, he worked with Enescu, Thibaud, Mainardi, Moodie, and others during the period 1919–45. As a conductor he always achieved a soberly balanced performance; he conducted more than 1500 performances at the Romanian Opera in Bucharest (1921–59), where he specialized in the French repertory (Bizet, Massenet, and Gounod). In his capacities as conductor of the Romanian Philharmonic Society, and as conductor and artistic manager of the Romanian RSO, he did much to encourage Romanian composers. He was also active as a music critic for Romanian and French reviews. Much of his compositional work was done during his youth, including ...

Article

Kara Gardner

(b Detroit, March 28, 1866; d Chicago, Dec 6, 1945). American violinist, conductor, musical director, teacher, and composer. Bendix was born to Jewish parents who had emigrated from Germany. His father William was a music teacher. Bendix began formal study at the Cincinnati College of Music where, at the age of twelve, he performed with the college orchestra, directed by Theodore Thomas. This began a long association between the two men, leading to Bendix’s appointment as first violinist and concertmaster of the Theodore Thomas Orchestra in 1886. In August 1893 Thomas resigned his position as music director of the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition following a series of unsuccessful concerts. Bendix took Thomas’s place as conductor of the Exposition orchestra. This created tension between the two men, and Bendix left the Thomas orchestra in 1896. He went on to serve as conductor at the Manhattan Opera House and to conduct orchestras for world fairs in St. Louis (...

Article

Bálint Vázsonyi

[Ernst von]

(b Pozsony [now Bratislava], July 27, 1877; d New York, Feb 9, 1960). Hungarian pianist, composer, conductor, teacher and administrator. Next to Liszt he ranks as the most versatile Hungarian musician, whose influence reached generations in all spheres of musical life. He is considered the first architect of Hungary’s musical culture in the 20th century.

He received his early training in Pozsony. His father, an outstanding amateur cellist, and Károly Forstner, cathedral organist, gave him lessons in piano playing and theory. Despite the absence of professional training, he showed an extraordinary appetite for music and made rapid progress. Having finished at the Gymnasium, he decided to obtain his formal education in music at the Budapest Academy. He was the first Hungarian of significant talent to do so and his example, as well as his personal intervention, induced Bartók (his friend from early schooldays) to follow the same course. Dohnányi studied the piano with Thomán and composition with Koessler, and received his artist’s diploma in ...

Article

Reinhold Sietz

(Heinrich Carsten)

(b Altona, June 23, 1824; d Leipzig, March 10, 1910). German composer, teacher, administrator, pianist and conductor. He was given a thorough musical education by his father, J.P. Rudolf Reinecke (b Hamburg, 22 Nov 1795; d Segeberg, 14 Aug 1883), a respected music theoretician and author of several textbooks. From 1845 Reinecke travelled through Europe, from Danzig to Riga; in Copenhagen he was appointed court pianist in 1846, where his duties included accompanying the violinist H.W. Ernst as well as giving solo recitals. He was given a particularly friendly reception in Leipzig by Mendelssohn and the Schumanns, and Liszt, whose daughter was later taught by Reinecke in Paris, spoke of his ‘beautiful, gentle, legato and lyrical touch’. In 1851 he moved to Cologne, where he taught counterpoint and the piano at Hiller’s conservatory. He also gave concerts with Hiller, who recommended him to Barmen. There as musical director and the conductor of several musical societies between ...