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Rudolf Pohl

(Fr. Aix-la-Chapelle).

City in Germany. The cathedral and its music were the creation of Charlemagne (742–814), who made the town the northern capital of the Holy Roman Empire; the Holy Roman emperors were crowned there from 813 to 1531. The city was occupied by France in 1794 and formally annexed in 1801; after the Congress of Vienna (1814–15) it became part of Prussia. It was severely damaged in World War II.

Aachen was the political, religious and cultural centre of Charlemagne’s empire, and the Hofkirche was constructed according to his own plans. The Aachen Cathedral choir dates from his founding of the Schola Palatina, whose teachers (including Alcuin from 782) were among the most distinguished scholars of the age. Alcuin described the school in a poem, mentioning a singing teacher named Sulpicius. For Charlemagne the idea of a politically united empire was closely linked with the establishment of a uniform liturgy, set to uniform music; his reforms in this direction led to the burning of all books connected with the Ambrosian rite in order to ensure adherence to the Gregorian style. As early as 774 he sent monks to Rome to study the teaching of such chant, and in 790 Pope Hadrian I responded to repeated requests from Charlemagne and sent two trained singers to the north with copies of the antiphonary. Organ music was also cultivated; in the early 9th century an Arab organ was sent to Charlemagne by Caliph Harun-al-Rashid and installed in the Hofkirche, while on the emperor’s instructions a second organ was built for the cathedral....


David Johnson

revised by Roger B. Williams and Charles Foster

Ctiy in Scotland. Bishop Elphinstone founded the University of Aberdeen in 1495 with stringently chosen prebendary priests to sing the daily Divine Office. From 1662 to 1720 John Forbes, printer to the town council, was Scotland's only notable music publisher, and during the 1760s and 1770s John Gregory, James Beattie and Alexander Gerard, all professors at King's or Marischal universities, were the leading British writers on musical aesthetics. From about 1890 to 1930 Aberdeen was the centre of Scots fiddle playing and folksong collecting, and the university library houses the Greig Duncan collection of north-east songs. Aberdeen's most distinguished native musicians are the operatic soprano Mary Garden, the tenor Neil Mackie, the percussionist Evelyn Glennie, the folksinger Jeannie Robertson and composers Martin Dalby, John McLeod and Judith Weir.

Aberdeen's earliest-known musical institutions are the St Nicholas, St Machar and King's College song schools, which were in existence at the beginning of the 16th century. During the course of the century the composers John Fethy, John Black and Andrew Kemp were employed as ‘maisters’ at the St Nicholas song school. As church schools the first two of these establishments survived the Reformation and continued to teach singing, theory and instrumental playing until about ...


Stanley Sadie

English town on the Thames, near Oxford. It was an important centre for Handel revivals in the 1960s and 70s. Performances, modest in scale but noted for their spirit and enthusiasm, were given in the Unicorn Theatre (built in the granary of the 14th-century abbey) and twice in a civic hall, were directed and translated by Alan Kitching and were conducted and costumed (until her death in 1968) by Frances Kitching. Given by amateurs and advanced students until 1970, when they became professional, they began with Orlando in 1959; then followed, from 1961 to 1964, Partenope, Floridante, Agrippina and Admeto, and from 1966 to 1974 Poro, Giustino, Flavio, Sosarme, Il pastor fido, Arminio, Tolomeo and Arianna in Creta (Lotario was also given by the company, at Henley, in 1975). Most were modern premières. Several performances were repeated elsewhere, notably three at the City of London Festival.

A. Kitching...


Robyn Holmes and Peter Campbell

City in Australia. Unlike Australian convict settlements, the city (the capital of South Australia) was founded, in 1836, through planned colonization and subsidized migration. Dependence on a pastoral and mining economy meant that the city’s prosperity was subject to the fluctuating seasons, the Victorian goldrush and the commercial interests of rival cities. 19th-century migration added a distinct ethnic mix to the transplanted British society, most notably the German communities who established wine-making regions. European and Asian migration after World War II continued this trend, and national clubs and cultural organizations preserve many diverse music and dance traditions. The Aboriginal population in South Australia (estimated at 12,000 before colonization) was decimated and pushed into arid lands during the 19th century, but extensive research in Aboriginal culture and special initiatives such as the Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music, founded at the University of Adelaide by ethnomusicologist Catherine J. Ellis in 1975...


Marcel Frémiot

City in southern France. Strophic songs, ‘planchs de St Estève’, were chanted from the 9th century for the feast of St Stephen in the former cathedral, Notre Dame de la Seds, but the city suffered for a long time from Saracen invasions and was able to resume any artistic activity of note only from the 11th century. The first known maître de musique was Pons (Pontius Grammaticus) who ‘for 40 years taught the tuneful singing of the Psalms of David’ to about 20 churchmen in the second half of the century. The first stone of the cathedral, St Sauveur, was laid in 1060; the building was consecrated in 1103 and in 1115 there were 40 canons and churchmen to sing the Office. No troubadours are known, probably because the princes who owned the town then resided in Barcelona, Toulouse or Aragon rather than in Aix; a palace was built there only in the second half of the 12th century. In the second half of the 13th century the first choir school was established at St Sauveur, with between eight and ten boys. The marriage of Béatrix de Provence and Charles I d’Anjou, who took Adam de la Halle into his service, is the main reason for the Bibliothèque Méjanes in Aix now possessing a fine manuscript of the ...


Karl Hinterbichler

City in New Mexico (pop. 541,615; metropolitan area 869,684; 2010 US Census). The Rio Grande Valley has been populated and cultivated since as far back as 2000 bce. The Pueblo people who lived in the area when Europeans arrived had a sophisticated culture and advanced skills in stone masonry, ceramics, and a wide range of arts and crafts. Although the Spanish settled in New Mexico in 1598, a city charter was not granted to this small outpost until 1706, when provincial governor Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdes named it in honor of Don Francisco Fernández de la Cueva, viceroy of New Spain (1653–60). One of de la Cueva’s aristocratic titles was Duke of Alburquerque, referring to the Spanish town of Alburquerque, which led to Albuquerque, New Mexico becoming known as the Duke City. Present-day Albuquerque retains much of its Spanish and Native American cultural heritage, but long ago dropped the additional “r” found in the Spanish name. The spectacular Sandia Mountains run along the eastern side of Albuquerque, and the Rio Grande flows through the city, north to south....


Paolo Gallarati

Italian city in Piedmont. It acquired its first theatre in 1729 when the hall of the palace of Marchese Filippo Guasco Gallarati di Solerio was inaugurated. The Teatro Civico opened in 1775 and in 1779 Cherubini’s first opera, Il Quinto Fabio, was performed there during the Alessandria fair. Restored in 1853–4, the theatre was particularly active in the second half of the 19th century, and became an essential platform for singers and dancers who aspired to perform in the major theatres. The auditorium was restructured several times before its destruction by bombing in 1944. The Teatro Comunale, built in 1978, houses opera, concerts, plays and entertainments staged by the ‘Laboratorio Lirico’ (formed in 1980 by the Azienda Teatrale Alessandrina). This arrangement continues the venture organized by the ‘Teatro Lirico di avviamento artistico’ which took place in Alessandria from 1937 to 1943. Every summer, young singers, instrumentalists, assistant conductors and directors are selected by competition, and after a month working together they present a lyric opera as final test. The Teatro Lirico has staged two world premières: Lorenzo Ferrero’s ...


Gregory Salmon

Capital of Kazakhstan, to 1921 known as Vernïy. A provincial outpost of the Russian empire, it occasionally received touring groups and produced some original works of lyric theatre, but regular operatic activity did not begin until 1933, when the musical troupe of the Kazakh National Dramatic Theatre became independent. Yevgeny Brusilovsky’s Kïz-Zhibek, the first Kazakh national opera, was given its première at the theatre on 7 November 1934, beginning a long association with the composer. The Gosudarstvennïy Ob’yedinyonnïy Teatr Kazakhskoy i Russkoy Operï (State United Theatre of Kazakh and Russian Opera), formed by a merger of this troupe with a Russian troupe from Kuybyshev, in 1937 became the Kazakhskiy Gosudarstvennïy Teatr Operï i Baleta, moving to a new 1243-seat theatre in Kalinin Street in 1941 (designed by N. Prostakov, incorporating elements of native art). The theatre was closely associated with the local composer Mukhtan Tulebayev, whose Birzhan i Sara (‘Birzhan and Sara’) was first performed in ...


A. Dean Palmer

American city in northwest Texas. It is an important cultural centre of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles and eastern New Mexico. It has one professional opera company, the Amarillo Opera (founded in 1988 by Mila Gibson), which gives four to five operas annually at the Amarillo Civic Center (2400 seats) and the Amarillo Little Theater (450 seats) during two two-week seasons in September and March. As well as professional musicians from the area the company includes personnel from opera workshops and choral organizations at Amarillo College and nearby West Texas State University (Canyon), and sponsors guest artists from major operatic centres for leading roles; Giorgio Tozzi and Richard Cassilly are among recent guests. Although it performs works from all segments of the repertory, its speciality is opera on American folk topics. The company gave Leonardo Balada’s Hangman, Hangman in 1989 and Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah in 1991, and has staged premières of two one-act comic operas by Gene Erwin Murray: ...



Frank Dobbins

City in France, capital of Picardy. Christianity was introduced in the 4th century, St Firminus being the city’s first bishop. The cathedral of Notre Dame, the largest in France, was built between 1220 and 1270. During the Middle Ages the town’s prosperity was based on the cloth trade. By the Treaty of Arras (1435) King Charles VII ceded Amiens to Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy, but Louis XI recaptured the city in 1471 and, except for brief occupations by the Spanish in 1597 and the Germans in 1914 and 1940, the town has since remained part of northern France.

The history of the city’s music centres on the cathedral. The first evidence of plainchant dates from after the Norman invasion, when Bishop Gervin (1091–1102) engaged several choirboys, clerks and a cantor named Rogerus. Surviving manuscripts include a late 13th-century ‘Liber ordinarius’ in troped plainchant and a 14th-century ‘Liber organicus’ in polyphony. By ...


Jan van der Veen, J.H. Giskes, and Michael Davidson

Capital city of the Netherlands. Its musical history reflects the city’s rapid growth from a small settlement in the 13th century to a centre of world trade as a result of 17th-century Dutch colonial expansion. During this period the city government, merchants and patricians promoted music not only as a leisure activity, but also to add to their status. Civic encouragement of music has continued since then, notably in support of the Concertgebouw Orchestra (founded 1888), which has received international acclaim over many years.

Jan van der Veen, revised by J.H. Giskes

Amsterdam's musically important churches in the late Middle Ages were the Nicolaaskerk or Oude Kerk (c1300), the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk or Nieuwe Kerk (c1410), the Heilige Stede or Nieuwezijdskapel (1347) and the St Olofskapel or Oudezijdskapel (c1450): all had organs. From 1537 the Heilige Stede used the Occo Codex, from the workshop of Pierre Alamire, with polyphonic music by Josquin, Mouton, Isaac and others. In the 16th century laymen were admitted to the choirs, and in ...


Susan Wingrove

City in Alaska, USA. Anchorage Opera, a nationally recognized regional non-profit-making company founded by Elvera Voth, its artistic director, presented Pagliacci as its first production in 1975, followed by The Ballad of Baby Doe to celebrate America’s 1976 bicentenary, then La bohème in 1977. In 1979 Lucia di Lammermoor became the first fully produced non-English opera to be presented in its original language in Alaska. Since ...



Elvidio Surian

revised by Marco Salvarani

City in Italy. It is the capital of the Marches region. Documents of the mid-16th century attest to the activities of a group of players of wind instruments and singers employed by Municipal Authorities, to be used in civil and convivial occasions. Among the earliest musicians recorded as active in the cathedral of S Ciriaco are Nicolò Branchino or Bianchini (1559) of Pesaro and the Flemish composers Hector Vidue (1562) and Giovanni Ferretti (?1573–9), all perhaps preceded by the Anconan Francesco Lupino. Among those in Ancona in the 17th century were Fabio Costantini, Nicolò Cherubini (1629–40), Biagio Gherardi (1645–50) and Giovanni (?1687) and Pietro Paolo (1691–1701) Moresi. Eliseo Ghibel (1581), Giacomo Finetti (1608–12) and Francesco Boccella worked at the church of SS Sacramento; a collection of Boccella's instrumental music (1653) was among the works printed by the publisher Ottavio Beltrano, who established himself in Ancona in ...



Jeffrey M. Engel

City in France. It is situated at the western end of the Loire valley.

The cathedral of St Maurice was constructed between 1125 and 1148. Musical activity centred around it until the French Revolution. Of particular note was the Psallette, a choir school founded in 1369. Four children aged seven and older were given vocal and instrumental instruction by a maître de chapelle and prepared for participation in the service. By the mid-16th century the Pueri Chori (children of the Psallette) had increased to ten. The Psallette still functions. The chanson composer Clément Janequin was a maître (appointed 1534). The earliest written reference to an organ at St Maurice also dates from 1369. Major renovations during the 16th century transformed it into one of the country’s finest. Jean Daniel (1540) and Jean Huré (1899) were among the titular players.

The city’s first theatre was built in ...


Nathan Platte

City in Michigan (pop. 113,934; 2010 US Census). It was founded in 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey, then chartered as a city in 1851. When the new city charter arrived by train at the Ann Arbor depot in 1851, performances from the local German Brass Band heightened the awaiting crowd’s celebratory mood. From the time of that inaugural event, Ann Arbor’s musical life has continued as a sonic expression of the city’s people, institutions, and spaces.

The university of Michigan and University Musical Society (UMS) have long played a vital role. In 1879 a group of community members led by university professors Henry Frieze and Calvin Cady formed the Choral Union to perform choruses from Handel’s Messiah. The UMS formed the following year to support additional Choral Union concerts and attract visiting artists. The Ann Arbor School of Music—which has since become the University’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance—also formed in ...




Percy M. Young

Town in Germany. It was formerly the seat of the Hohenzollern margraves of Brandenburg-Ansbach in Bavaria. The margravate was established in the 14th century. An organ was installed in the newly built parish church of St Johannis in 1435, but it was only after Georg ‘the Pious’ (ruled 1536–43) had recognized Lutheranism as the official creed that music began to assume considerable importance. After 1565, under the Kapellmeister Jacob Meiland and Teodore Riccio, the music staff of the court included Flemings, Italians and Saxons, and the repertory became more cosmopolitan. Martin Zeuner, organist of the collegiate church of St Gumbertus – for which a new organ was built in 1565 – was for 40 years a conspicuous (if sometimes quarrelsome) influence on the music of the town. In 1579 the margrave became Duke of Prussia, which required his staff to serve from time to time at his residence in Königsberg.

In the later 17th century the Ansbach court began to develop towards its final Baroque splendour, and this was also a climactic period in the musical life of the court. In ...





Godelieve Spiessens

(Flem. Antwerpen; Fr. Anvers)

City in Belgium. For centuries it has been an important musical centre and has played a leading role in the music of the Low Countries. Around 1410 the choir school of the church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk; later the cathedral) began to develop an active musical life. Up to the 17th century its choirmasters, organists and singers included such composers as Pullois, Ockeghem, Barbireau, Obrecht, Waelrant, Gérard de Turnhout, Séverin Cornet, Pevernage, Opitiis and John Bull; in addition Rore, Lassus and Monte all spent some time in the city. Secular music was promoted by the establishment of the town players (before 1430) and the formation of a musicians’ guild (c1500). Musicians who either came from Antwerp or were active there outside the cathedral included the composers Faignient, Hèle, Canis, Verdonck, Luython and Messaus, and the lute virtuosos Adriaenssen, Huet and Hove. Music printing flourished after 1540...


Raffaella Camilot-Oswald

Town in Italy. From early Christian times and during the Middle Ages it was an important city in the Friuli region of Northern Italy, giving its name to the patriarchate it governed. It is known to have been a major liturgical centre and probably developed a distinctive tradition of plainchant. The patriarchate of Aquileia was suppressed in the 18th century. The town is of Roman origin.

According to tradition the episcopal see of Aquileia was founded by St Mark and from the 5th century was established as an archbishopric. The earliest known evidence for the use of the title of patriarch for the bishop of Aquileia dates from the reign of Pope Pelagius I (556–61) and the term ‘ritus aquileiensis’ or ‘partiarchinus’ for the Aquileian rite is documented from the 7th century. In 606 the patriarchate was divided and a double sequence of patriarchs instituted: one governed from the city of Aquileia and was subsequently controlled by the Lombards and Frankish Empire; the other from Grado and was ruled by Byzantium and, later, Venice. From about 737 the patriarch of Aquileia was based at Cividale del Friuli and from ...