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Igor′ Bėlza

(b Poltava, 17/May 29, 1894; d Moscow, Aug 15, 1967). Soviet music historian, theorist, pianist and instrument maker . In 1912 he went to Moscow University to read physics and mathematics, but he changed to law and graduated in 1917. At the same time he studied at the Moscow People’s Conservatory under Boleslav Yavorsky (composition) and Yevgeny Bogoslovsky and Aleksandr Goedicke (piano). Between 1912 and 1916 he appeared as a concert pianist and performed his own sonatas (all five of which have remained in manuscript) and other works, stylistically influenced by the Taneyev school. In 1915 he started teaching at the conservatory. He edited the literary journal Gyulistan, and from 1923 to 1933 held a number of posts in different publishing houses; from 1937 to 1941 he was editor of the publishing house of the USSR Academy of Architecture. For several years he played an active part in the Union of Soviet Composers; he was chairman of the Moscow branch (...

Article

Wolfgang Maria Hoffmann

(Alcantara) [Josef Anton]

(b Häselgehr, July 18, 1810; d Salzburg, Jan 25, 1882). Austrian composer, music theorist, organist, choirmaster and instrument maker. He was musically mainly self-taught; at the age or 9 he learnt to play the piano and organ, as well as the violin, harp, flute, clarinet and horn. When he was 11 he took lessons in harmony and basso continuo from P. Mauritius Gasteiger in Reutte. He attended the Gymnasium in Hall (1824–30), and took some organ and piano lessons from the organist Ignaz Heinz. He entered the Franciscan monastery of Salzburg in 1830 under the name of Peter von Alcantara, and was ordained in 1834. From 1837 to 1840 he was organist and choirmaster in Bolzano and Innsbruck, and he spent the rest of his life in the Franciscan monastery in Salzburg.

Singer became famous for the building of his ‘Pansymphonikon’ in 1845; this was a keyboard instrument with sets of reeds, two manuals and 42 registers which imitated an entire orchestra. He wrote contemplative works, a treatise on choral singing entitled ...