1-17 of 17 Results  for:

  • 19th c. /Romantic (1800-1900) x
  • Instrumentalist x
  • Peoples and Music Cultures x
Clear all

Article

(b Paris, Nov 30, 1813; d Paris, March 29, 1888). French pianist and composer. His real name was Morhange. He was one of the leading piano virtuosos of the 19th century and one of its most unusual composers, remarkable in both technique and imagination, yet largely ignored by his own and succeeding generations.

Of Jewish parentage, Alkan was the eldest of five brothers, all of whom, with an elder sister as well, became musicians under the assumed name Alkan; Napoléon Alkan, the third brother (1826–1910), taught solfège at the Paris Conservatoire for over 50 years. Valentin Alkan’s career at the Conservatoire started brilliantly with a premier prix for solfège at the age of seven. When Alkan was nine Cherubini observed that he was ‘astonishing for his age’ and described his ability on the piano as ‘extraordinary’. He won a premier prix for piano in 1824, for harmony in ...

Article

Gerald Abraham

(b Goldingen, Courland [now Kuldīga, Latvia], 3/March 15, 1838; d Moscow, 14/Feb 26, 1889). Russian cellist, composer and administrator. The son of a Jewish doctor and amateur violinist (Davidhoff), he studied mathematics at Moscow University, graduating in June 1858. He then went to Leipzig to study composition with Moritz Hauptmann. Moscheles and Ferdinand David happened to hear him play, and he was invited to perform his own B minor Concerto with the Gewandhaus Orchestra on 15 December. In the following year he succeeded Friedrich Grützmacher as principal cellist of the orchestra and cello professor at the conservatory; against his will, he was obliged to recognize his vocation as a cellist rather than as a composer. Despite his notorious distaste for intensive practising he was soon acclaimed as one of the greatest players of his day, superb as a soloist, perhaps even finer in chamber music....

Article

Victor de Pontigny

revised by Paul Sparks

(b Heilbronn, 1802; d Styria, 1890). German jew's harp and guitar player. After an initial lack of success in his native country, he travelled through Switzerland in 1825–6, eventually arriving in Paris where he worked as a guitar virtuoso. In 1827 his op.1 (a set of 12 airs for solo guitar) was published by Richault in Paris, and in the same year he appeared in London as a guitarist and jew's harpist. He produced extremely beautiful effects by performing on 16 jew's harps, having for many years cultivated this instrument in an extraordinary manner. The patronage of the Duke of Gordon induced him to return to London in 1828; but he soon found that the iron jew's harp had so injured his teeth that he could not play without pain, and he therefore spent more time playing the guitar. At length a dentist devised a glutinous covering for his teeth, which enabled him to play his jew's harp again. He was very successful in Scotland and thence went to Bath (...

Article

Efrim Fruchtman

revised by Valerie Walden

(b Neuberg, Feb 15, 1768; d Berlin, c1857). German cellist, baryton player and composer. A member of a musical family, he received his general musical education from Hofmusikus Simon. His first position was as a court musician in Mannheim, where he studied the cello with Peter Ritter. Friedl was equally respected as a baryton player, and following a performance at Schwetzingen was given by Prince Carl Theodore of Mannheim an inlaid and bejewelled instrument made by Joachim Tielke. In 1793, on returning from a concert tour in the Netherlands, he performed at Frankfurt for an audience which included Friedrich Wilhelm II, who then engaged him for the Royal Chapel in Berlin. He subsequently studied the cello with Jean-Louis Duport, to whom he dedicated his three cello sonatas op.1 (Offenbach, 1798). Friedl was pensioned in 1826; his name appeared in the Berlin Address Calendar until 1857.

Very little is known of Friedl's compositions. Eitner's ...

Article

Irving Lowens

revised by S. Frederick Starr

(b New Orleans, May 8, 1829; d Tijuca, Brazil, Dec 18, 1869). American composer and pianist. His considerable reputation as a composer of virtuoso piano pieces did not long survive his death, but a renewed interest in his life and works began in the 1930s and he is now generally acknowledged as one of the most significant 19th-century American musicians, and his music as a direct precursor of ragtime.

Moreau (as he was called in the family) was the first of eight children born to Edward and Marie-Aimée (Bruslé) Gottschalk. His London-born, German-Jewish father went to New Orleans in the early 1820s and established himself there as a merchant; his mother was the daughter of a prosperous Catholic baker of French ancestry who had fled from St Domingue in Haiti to Louisiana following the slave rebellion in the 1790s. The child showed an aptitude for music before his fourth birthday, and when he was five his parents engaged François Letellier, organist and choirmaster of St Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, to give him private lessons. By ...

Article

Irena Poniatowska

(b Szkłów, [now Belorussia], Sept 2, 1806; d Aachen, Oct 21, 1837). Polish xylophonist. Born into a poor family of Jewish musicians, Guzikow was, in his early years, a street player of the dulcimer and flute. After an illness had weakened his lungs, he took up the xylophone. He improved the instrument, extending its range to two and a half chromatic octaves and placing the keys on straw rolls in order to amplify the sound. Within three years he had become a master of the instrument, and his concert performances in Kiev, Moscow and Odessa in 1834 aroused great admiration. Encouraged by Lipiński, Lamartine and Michaud, he set off on a concert tour of Europe. In May 1835 he played in Kraków, Warsaw and Lemberg, and subsequently in Bohemia and in Vienna, Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris and Brussels, always to enthusiastic audiences: Mendelssohn and George Sand were among those who were impressed by his playing. Guzikow’s concerts often featured a guest soloist, for example Kalkbrenner at a Paris concert in the Tuileries. Guzikow’s repertory consisted of his own works, particularly fantasias on Polish themes. He also played transcriptions of piano and violin concertos by Weber, Hummel, Hoffmeister and Paganini, whose ...

Article

Ronald Earl Booth

revised by Matthias Thiemel

[István]

(b Pest, May 15, 1813; d Paris, Jan 14, 1888). French pianist and composer of Hungarian birth. His parents were of Jewish descent and came from the vicinity of Eger (Cheb, Bohemia). He was first taught music by a regimental bandsman stationed near the Hungarian capital, and then by Ferenc Bräuer, a well-known piano teacher in Pest. He took composition lessons from an organist called Cibulka and then went to Vienna to study with Carl Czerny, but his father soon found that he could not afford the celebrated teacher’s high fees. Stephen became a pupil of Anton Halm, the teacher of Adolf Henselt and other 19th-century virtuosos. Through Halm, Heller met Schubert and Beethoven. In 1828 he made his début, and his success encouraged his father to arrange a concert tour through Hungary, Transylvania, Poland and Germany. It lasted almost two years and ended in Augsburg, where he collapsed from nervous exhaustion; intending to stay only a few weeks to recover, he remained for eight years. During this time he lived in the home of Frau Caroline Hoeslin von Eichthal, a highly intelligent and artistic woman whose son became one of his first pupils. He also came under the patronage and guidance of the cultivated Count Friedrich Fugger-Kircheim-Hoheneck, a gifted musician who encouraged him to study composition under Hippolyte Chelard, the Kapellmeister in Augsburg....

Article

Jean Mary Allan

revised by Rosemary Williamson

(b Edinburgh, July 26, 1823; d London, May 28, 1891). Scottish pianist and composer. He had his first lessons from his father, Samuel, and made his first concert appearance in the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms at the age of six. In 1834 he entered the RAM in London to study the piano under Cipriani Potter, and harmony and composition under John Goss; he became King’s Scholar in 1837. In 1838 he played at the RAM a piano concerto of his own. He was soon appointed teacher of piano in the RAM, and later a director. During the 1850s he was also professor of music at St Mary’s Hall, Brighton. In his earlier life Jewson was considered one of London’s finest pianists, and was famous as a teacher (Mackenzie was one of his pupils). Although his compositions are little heard today, they are of fine calibre and craftmanship; the Etudes de concert...

Article

Beatrix Borchard

revised by Katharina Uhde

(b Kitsee, nr Pressburg [now Bratislava], June 28, 1831; d Berlin, Aug 15, 1907). Austro-Hungarian violinist, composer, conductor, and teacher. He was born on the Esterházy estates into a Jewish family which moved in 1833 to Pest. His talent was recognized at an early age and systematically nurtured. His first teacher was the leader of the Pest Opera Orchestra, Serwaczyński, with whom Joachim made his public début at the Adelskasino in Pest, on March 17, 1839. He went to Vienna to play first for Hauser and then for Georg Hellmesberger the elder, and took lessons from Joseph Böhm, a former pupil of Rode, himself taught by Viotti, both of whom adhered to the classical French school.

By the age of 12 his technique was fully developed, and in early 1843 he began studying with Mendelssohn in Leipzig. The meeting with Mendelssohn was so decisive for the young Joachim that his life can be understood in terms of a mission to promote Mendelssohn’s work. The composer arranged for Joachim to receive composition tuition from Hauptmann, and also a good general education. After a successful début playing Bériot’s Adagio and Rondo at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in ...

Article

(b Rosenberg, Hungary [now Ružomberok, Slovakia], Nov 27, 1882; d Tel-Aviv, Jan 14, 1962). Israeli educationist and pianist of Hungarian birth, active mainly in Germany. After studying the piano with Kullak and Busoni and composition with Felix Draeseke in Berlin, he made frequent appearances as a concert pianist and began teaching at the Stern and Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatories in Berlin. From his student days his political and cultural activities had developed his ideas about the role of music in education and had also equipped him with the organizational experience to put them into practice. In 1918 he became musical adviser to the Prussian Ministry of Science, Culture and Education, becoming in 1922 director of the newly established music department of the Central Institute for Education and Teaching. The institute organized in May 1921 a school music week, the first of eight annual events held in different German towns, where Kestenberg’s music reforms were explained and discussed. In the same year Kestenberg’s ...

Article

Peter Wollny

(b Berlin, June 19, 1761; d Berlin, May 11, 1854). German harpsichordist, music collector and patron. She was a daughter of the Jewish banker Daniel Itzig (1723–99) and great-aunt of Mendelssohn. On 2 July 1783 she married the banker Samuel Salomon Levy (1760–1806). With her siblings, of whom Fanny von Arnstein (1758–1818) and Zippora Wulff (later Cäcilie von Eskeles, 1760–1836) were particularly well known as musical amateurs, she received a thorough musical education. She is said to have been a pupil of W.F. Bach at a later date, and she was certainly in contact with C.P.E. Bach, from whom she commissioned a harpsichord concerto. A number of contemporary documents mention her activity as a harpsichordist in private musical circles, for instance in the house of her brother-in-law Joseph Fliess. Later she frequently performed with the Ripienschule of the Berlin Sing-Akademie founded by C.F. Zelter. She was particularly interested in the music of the Bach family as well as the works of other Berlin composers (J.G. and C.H. Graun, Janitsch and Quantz), and is therefore one of the figures central to the appreciation of Bach in Berlin in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. She gave the Sing-Akademie considerable parts of her extensive collection of music, including autograph manuscripts by W.F. and C.P.E. Bach; after her death, some of the remaining items apparently came into the possession of A.W. Bach, and is now dispersed among many European and North American libraries....

Article

Jerzy Morawski

(b Kalisz, March 14, 1831; d Warsaw, Nov 22, 1896). Polish violinist, composer and bandmaster. Born into a Jewish intellectual family, he started learning to play the violin at an early age and gave public performances as a child. After leaving secondary school in Kalisz, he studied the violin under K. Baranowski and Jan Hornziel in Warsaw. From 1850 he played in the orchestra of the Wielki Theatre in Warsaw. Then, with the cooperation of A. Kühn, he organized his own orchestra and gave concerts at Nowa Arkadia. He also gave performances at the Mineral Water Institute in the Saski Gardens, and from 1857 until his death he performed in the Variety Theatre, playing mainly dances, of which he composed many. He also organized popular symphony concerts at the Resursa Obywatelska (Citizens' Club) and played in chamber music concerts. For a time he was a member of the string quartet founded by K. Baranowski. Lewandowski left about 350 compositions, which were published from ...

Article

Irena Poniatowska

(b Warsaw, Dec 22, 1840; d Warsaw, July 13, 1927). Polish violinist and composer. Son of a Jewish street musician, he played the violin in Warsaw taverns. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire (1852–5) with J.L. Massart (violin) and Ambroise Thomas (composition), and won a premier prix in 1855. His career as a soloist began in 1852 when he performed in the Salle Herz in Paris. In 1857 he gave three concerts in Warsaw (15, 18 and 19 February), in 1860 in Warsaw, Lublin and in 1861 played in Kraków; he also appeared in many European cities, including Paris (1860, 1865), Berlin, Weimar and Leipzig. He was professor of violin at the Strasbourg Conservatory (1873–80) and the Music Institute in Warsaw (from 1880); he was also leader of the Warsaw opera orchestra. His compositions are exclusively for the violin.

Article

Jerome Roche

revised by Henry Roche

(Isaac)

(b Prague, May 23, 1794; d Leipzig, March 10, 1870). Bohemian pianist and composer. He was of Jewish descent: the extra Hebrew forename Isaac, occasionally added in modern publications, was of purely religious significance and was never used by him professionally. His date of birth is given incorrectly as 30 May in many earlier works of reference. His piano lessons began early, and from 1804 to 1808 he was taught by B.D. Weber, director of the Prague Conservatory, who insisted on an exclusive study of Bach, Mozart and Clementi. But already Moscheles had discovered the ‘Pathétique’ Sonata, and was keen to explore every new Beethoven piano work. In 1808 he moved to Vienna, where he could come closer personally and musically to Beethoven, while studying counterpoint with Albrechtsberger and composition with Salieri. By 1814, when the publisher Artaria commissioned him to prepare a piano reduction of Beethoven’s Fidelio...

Article

Martin Eastick

(b Breslau [now Wrocław], Aug 23, 1854; d Paris, March 4, 1925). German pianist, composer and conductor of Polish descent. Born into a wealthy Jewish family, he received his first musical tuition at home, showing exceptional talent from an early age. In 1865 the family moved to Dresden, where Moszkowski was accepted at the conservatory. Moving to Berlin in 1869, he studied at the Stern Conservatory with Eduard Frank (piano) and Friedrich Kiel (composition), and subsequently at Theodore Kullak's Neue Akademie der Tonkunst with Kullak himself (piano) and Richard Wuerst (composition). While still only 17 he accepted Kullak's invitation to join the staff at his academy, where he taught for over 25 years. In 1873 he made his successful début in Berlin as a pianist, and quickly acquired a reputation not only as a brilliant virtuoso but also as a fine interpreter of the Classical and Romantic repertory. He was also a competent violinist, sometimes playing first violin in the academy orchestra. Among his early compositions were several substantial orchestral works, most of which have been lost. These included a piano concerto, first performed in Berlin in ...

Article

Marc Moskovitz

(b Prague, June 18, 1843; d Baden, Vienna, Aug 7, 1913). Austrian cellist and composer. He was born in the Prague ghetto, the son of Angelus Popper, cantor at two local synagogues. Having auditioned for the Prague Conservatory at the age of 12 as a violinist, he matriculated as a cellist because of the shortage of cello students, and became a pupil of Julius Goltermann. He made such rapid progress that within six years he presided over the cello class when Goltermann was on tour. At the age of 18 he was appointed assistant principal cellist of the Löwenberg Court Orchestra, and the following year assumed the post of principal. During this time he was engaged by Bülow and the Berlin Philharmonic as soloist in Robert Volkmann’s newly composed concerto. In 1868 he secured the position of principal in the Vienna Hofoper and the Vienna PO (the youngest player to hold such a post) and later joined the Hellmesberger Quartet. In ...

Article

(b Balassagyarmat, 1789; d Pest, Jan 23, 1848). Hungarian composer and violinist. The son of a poor Jewish tradesman named Rosenthal, he began studying the violin at the age of eight. After a time in Nyitra (now Nitra, Slovakia) and Pozsony (now Bratislava) he went to Prague, where he studied both music and calligraphy. In 1808 he moved to Pest, first working as a bookkeeper for a wholesaler. In the same year he gave a violin recital there, playing works by Kreutzer and compositions of his own in the Hungarian style; after this concert he decided to devote himself exclusively to music. In 1809 he joined the second Hungarian theatrical company in Pest as a violinist, later becoming its musical director; on 12 April 1812 this company performed the play Angyal Bandi with his music. He lived in Baja from 1813 to 1819, when a fire destroyed all his possessions, including his manuscripts. From ...