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Article

Vivian Perlis and Christopher E. Mehrens

(b Brownsville, TX, 4 Aug 1888; d New York, NY, 11 April 1978). American administrator, pianist, and educator. She was educated in France, Germany, and New York, and in 1906 began piano studies with Bertha Fiering Tapper at the Institute of Musical Art (later the Juilliard School). From 1912 to 1922 she helped organize free concerts for European immigrants at the Cooper Union (New York) under the auspices of the People's Music League of the People's Institute, of which she became chairman. During this period she also worked to adapt Montessori teaching methods to music. With former Montessori student Margaret Naumberg, Reis established the Children's School in New York in 1914, later renamed the Walden School. In 1922 she presented a landmark concert at the Cooper Union in which six composers performed their own works. A year later Reis and other composers left Edgar Varèse's International Composers’ Guild to form the ...

Article

Amra Bosnić

(b Zagreb, Croatia, 1958). Bosnian and Herzegovinian pianist. One of the best renowned pianists in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romanić completed Srednja muzička škola (‘music high school’) in Sarajevo. At the age of 16 she attended the Moscow Conservatory in the class of Vera Gornostaeva, graduating in 1981 and completing postgraduate studies in 1983 with great success. After completing the masters degree, she attended the Juilliard School (1985), specializing with Gyorgy Sandor.

Over the course of many years, Romanić had a remarkable career, winning numerous awards and giving recitals in European countries including the former Yugoslavia, France, Russia, Spain, the Czech Republic, and Malta, as well as performing on USA concert podiums. She also performed with such leading orchestras as the Munich Symphony Orchestra. She was Professor of Piano at the Academy of Music in Sarajevo (1983–93), and she also conducted masterclasses at universities in the United States and Europe. Today she lives in Munich, Germany....

Article

(b Hamburg, 14 Nov 1805; d Berlin, 14 May 1847). German composer, pianist, and salon hostess. Fanny Hensel was one of the most prolific female composers of the 19th century, among the first women to write a string quartet, and a life-long proponent of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, and her brother, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Hensel was a pianist of rare talent and prodigious memory who dazzled private audiences at her concert series in her Berlin home. She struggled her entire life with the conflicting impulses of authorship versus the social expectations for her high-class status, finally deciding to publish her music only one year before her early death at the age of 41; her hesitation was variously a result of her dutiful attitude towards her father, her intense relationship with her brother, and her awareness of contemporary social thought on women in the public sphere. Hensel’s music reflects her deep reverence for Bach especially, as well as for Beethoven, but also exhibits the fine craftsmanship and lyricism typical of the post-Classical Mendelssohnian style, and her own experimental and inventive approach to form and content. During her lifetime, Hensel’s career, conducted mostly in the private sphere, was overshadowed by the more public exploits of her brother. The true extent of her compositions (over 450 completed compositions and drafts) and her contributions to the Mendelssohnian style have been rediscovered and appreciated in the late 20th and early 21st centuries....

Article

Pavla Jonssonová

(b 22 July 1958, Bruntál in Czechoslovakia). Czech vocalist, violinist, composer, and actress..Bittová grew up in a musical family and with sisters Ida and Regina often accompanied her father, the composer and multi-instrumentalist Koloman Bitto. She gave up playing violin at the age of fourteen and so her mother, a choir singer and teacher, enrolled her to study acting at Brno Conservatory. In 1978, Bittová became a member of the avant garde theatre Husa na provázku (Goose on a String), starring as Eržika in the popular musical Balada pro banditu (Ballad for a Bandit). She also began her film acting career at this time. She quit her theatre career in 1982 to fulfill her father’s wishes and restarted her study of the violin under Rudolf Šťastný of the Moravian String Quartet. Enabled by her theatrical professionalism, improvisational skills, command of pitch, and purity of tone, Bittová developed a unique performance style consisting of combining the voice and the violin. This avant garde interplay of violin and extended vocalization techniques (ranging from primordial and nature-inspired clicking, screeching and ululating to folkloristic tunes) shocked her audiences. In ...

Article

William B. Davis

(b Amsterdam, Netherlands, 3 July 1887; d Garden City, NY, 24 Aug 1953). American harpist, music educator, and music therapist of Dutch birth. He received early training in music as a harpist at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, with additional musical studies in Germany. After arriving in the United States in 1910 he performed as a harpist with the Metropolitan Opera (1910–6), the New York SO (1916–7), and the US Marine Band (1917–9). From 1921 to 1936 he served as director of a committee to study the feasibility of using music in institutions under the sponsorship of the Russell Sage Foundation. During this period he became an important advocate for music therapy through lecturing and authorship of numerous articles about the therapeutic benefits of music. Van de Wall then described music education and therapy techniques for institutionalized adults and children in his landmark book entitled ...

Article

Christopher Brodersen

(b Bethlehem, PA, 1947). American oboist and maker of early oboes and bassoons, based in Germany. After initial studies at the Oberlin Conservatory, he enrolled at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, studying Baroque oboe under Michel Piguet (1932–2004). Hailperin graduated from the Schola Cantorum in 1970, with the first diploma in Baroque oboe performance from that institution. In 1971 he joined the Vienna Concentus Musicus under Harnoncourt. Hailperin participated in numerous recordings and tours with the Concentus Musicus during the period 1971–9. During this time he began building instruments, following short internships with recorder makers Bob Marvin and Friedrich von Huene. With the encouragement of Jürg Schäftlein, Hailperin made copies of the Paulhahn oboe in the Harnoncourt collection; these copies were soon in demand by leading players. Hailperin’s reconstructions of the Eichentopf oboe da caccia, based on two originals in Scandinavian museums, were the first modern copies to use a brass bell....

Article

Ian Mikyska

(b Frýdek-Místek, 30 March 1980). Czech composer and guitarist. He studied singing and composition at the Ostrava Conservatory and composition at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno with Martin Smolka, with whom he completed the PhD in 2014. He also studied at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague (with Louis Andriessen and Clarence Barlow), the Matej Bel University in Bánská Bystrica, CalArts (with David Rosenboom), and the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna.

His work’s penchant for drama and rhythmic drive betrays influences of both rock music and American minimalism. His harmonies are mostly dissonant, which, together with the use of fractured, grating, or fragile sounds, creates an unusual aesthetic. His work with more indeterminate types of notation, however, has led to a looser, more environmental conception of rhythm (The Book of Sand, The Book of Earth).

He has led the Dunami Ensemble since its foundation in ...

Article

Ian Mikyska

(b Havířov, 30 April 1974). Czech violinist. He studied at the Ostrava Conservatory and the Ostrava Institute of the Arts (with Ladislav Gořula and Zdeněk Gola). He is a laureate of the Beethoven’s Hradec Competition (in both the solo violin and string quartet categories) and the Leoš Janáček International Competition. As a soloist, he has performed with the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava, the Brno Chamber Soloists, the Prague Chamber Philharmonic, and the Veni Academy. From 2000 to 2011 he was a member, and later deputy leader of second violins, in the Prague Philharmonia (PKF), during which time he was also guest concertmaster or leader with orchestras including the Bilbao Philharmonic, the Berg Orchestra, the Czech Chamber Philharmonic, and the Talich Chamber Orchestra. In 2016, he became the acting director of the Czech Music Information Center.

He is an enthusiastic advocate and performer of contemporary music. He founded the Fama Quartet, leads the ensemble Prague Modern, and is a member of the ensembles Ostravská banda, MoEns, and Early Reflections. He regularly premieres compositions by composers from both the Czech Republic and abroad, and collaborates with dancers, actors, and experimental artists. He is equally at home in many settings, from fully improvised music to complex notation, to all of which he brings the utmost precision and dedication, whether that means the intense quietude of late Nono or the precise abandon of Xenakis’ ...

Article

Amra Bosnić

(b Sarajevo, 1936). Bosnian and Herzegovinian violinist. He graduated in the violin at the Academy of Music in Sarajevo in 1962, after which he completed the Masters Degree in 1964. During the period 1965–7 he had further studies at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in the David Oistrakh Violin Department in the class of professor Olga Kaverzneva. He specialized at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome (1970, 1973).

In 1955 he was employed as a teacher of the violin at the Srednja muzička škola (‘music high school’) in Sarajevo. In 1962 he started his engagement at the Academy of Music in Sarajevo, where he remained as an assistant professor (starting in 1971), associate professor (1977), and full professor (1984) in the violin and violin pedagogy. Due to a shortage of relevant teaching staff, he was entrusted with the subjects of the viola and chamber music. From ...

Article

Ian Mikyska

(b Olomouc, 3 May 1967). Czech violinist. Raised in a musical family, she studied at the People’s School of Art in Opava with Marcela Kuvíková, then at the Ostrava Conservatory with Vítězslav Kuzník and at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (AMU) with the professors Jiří Vlach, Jiří Novák, and Ivan Štraus. She also took part in master classes with Josef Gingold in Greensboro, NC and with Wolfgang Marschner in Weimar. In 1990 she received a scholarship to the International Menuhin Music Academy in Gstaad, Switzerland, where she studied with Alberto Lysy.

In 1997, she became a laureate of the Prague Spring International Violin Competition. She has also received the Gideon Klein Prize, the Bärenreiter Prize, the Supraphon Prize, the Prize of the City of Prague, and the Prague Spring Foundation Prize. In 2005 she represented the Czech Republic at the World Exhibition in Aichi, Japan, together with the Prague Philharmonic....

Article

Ian Mikyska

(b Bratislava, 16 Oct 1981). Slovak composer, saxophonist, and improviser. Studied composition at the University of Performing arts in Bratislava (VŠMU) (with Jevgenij Iršai and Vladimír Godár) and at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (with Michal Rataj), as well as musicology at the Comenius University in Bratislava.

He is unusual in the Czecho-Slovak context for the breadth of his musical and cultural interests – eclecticism and a Schnittkean polystylism are the only unifying elements of his work, perhaps together with relentless demands on the listener’s emotions (in one direction or another). His earlier works betray the influence of Schnittke in their rapid changes and distressed emotiveness interspersed with moments of (ironic?) grandeur, while at other times, his use of explosive improvisation and a range of stylistic contexts brings John Zorn to mind.

He has a close relationship with theatre, both in his operas and video-operas – often made in collaboration with the actor, director, and librettist Marek Kundlák – and in his instrumental music, which doesn’t shy away from theatricality and make-believe. He often treats musics as cultural phenomena, mindful of their history and current position, unafraid to appropriate and explore what he calls the emptied-out or sketched-out worlds that remain in music after the 20th century....

Article

Ian Mikyska

(b Kyjov, 15 June 1981). Czech clarinetist. Studied at the Brno Conservatory with Břetislav Winkler and at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (AMU) with Jiří Hlaváč and Vlastimil Mareš, where he completed his PhD dissertation on the topic of the clarinet concerto repertoire in the 20th century. He also spent an important year with Michel Arrignon at the Paris Conservatoire.

He performs classical repertoire with the pianists Martin Kasík, Ivo Kahánek, and Daniel Wiesner and contemporary music with the Ostravská banda and the Berg Orchestra. Though most active as a performer of classical and contemporary music, he is also involved in several multi-genre projects, such as Irvin_Epoque with the Epoque Quartet, which mixes folk, jazz, and composed music, or JA-RA-LAJ, a solo CD inspired by Romani music from Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

He has performed at festivals including Mitte Europa, the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades, Mozart, der Europäer Mannheim, Prague Spring, Dvořák’s Prague, and others, and with conductors, including Radovan Vlatkovič, Zakhar Bron, Peter Czaba, Igor Ardašev, and ...

Article

Ian Mikyska

(b Prague, 5 Feb 1978). Czech oboist. He studied at the Prague Conservatory with František Xaver Thuri, at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague with Liběna Séquardtová, and at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin with Dominik Wollenweber. His time in Germany was particularly fruitful thanks to two years in the Gustav Mahler Jugend Orchester, followed by a further two years as a Karajan scholar in the Berlin Philharmonic. He is a laureate of the 7th Competition of Tokyo by the Sony Music Foundation and of Concertino Praha.

As a soloist, he has worked with most of the major orchestras in the Czech Republic, as well as the Tokyo Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Bayerisches Kammerorchester, Münchener Kammerorchester, Kraków Philharmonic, and others. He is the solo oboist with the Brno Philharmonic and a founding member of the PhilHarmonia Octet and Ensemble Berlin-Prague.

In 2010 he founded the Isang Yun Trio (with Kateřina Engelchová on harp and Petr Nouzovský on cello), which is dedicated to performing the chamber music cataloge of the Korean composer (including several world premières), as well as other contemporary repertoire. Veverka is also a champion of contemporary Czech music, including premières of pieces by Pavel Zemek-Novák, ...

Article

Christopher Brodersen

Lee

(b Montreal, Quebec, 9 Feb 1952). American oboist and maker of early oboes, based in Eugene, Oregon. She studied modern oboe with Alan Vogel at the California Institute of the Arts (1970–75) and privately with Marc Lifschey (1971–3). Her Baroque oboe teachers included Ku Ebbinge and Stephen Hammer. She served as an adjunct instructor of Baroque oboe at the University of Southern California School of Music. Taylor began making Baroque oboes in 1985, after receiving initial guidance from the flute maker Rod Cameron and coaching in wood turning from a furniture maker. Otherwise, she is self-taught in her craft. She offers Baroque oboes after Schlegel and J. Denner, an oboe d’amore after Poerschmann, and a Classical oboe after Delusse. By 2012 Taylor had completed about 30 instruments and was the only maker in the USA to offer an oboe d’amore based on Poerschmann’s original (at ...

Article

Ian Mikyska

(b Prague, 12 June 1975). Czech composer and violist. He studied the viola (1989–95) and composition (1992–6) at the Prague Conservatory, then composition at HAMU with Marek Kopelent (1997–2003). In 2002 he co-founded the composers’ collective Konvergence, and since 2010 he has taught composition and music theory at the Deyl Conservatory in Prague. His work is composed predominantly for chamber instrumental forces, often utilizing spatialization of the musicians (Šeptet, prop.A.S.ti, Notturno fragile). His music has been performed by ensembles such as the Luxembourg Sinfonietta, Ensemble Bern Modern, Moens Ensemble, Ensemble Platypus Wien, Berg Orchestra, and Brno Contemporary Orchestra, and by soloists including Karel Dohnal, Petr Nouzovský, Cécile Boiffin, and Iris Gerber.

Over the last 15 years, his music has followed a general process of reduction of materials and a distancing from drama, focusing on the ephemeral, the whispered, and the epiphenomenal, but using these to approach elementary ideas of communication and emotion in music....

Article

Ian Mikyska

(b Boskovice, 19 Jan 1984).Czech composer and performer (voice, accordion, and tap dance). She studied the accordion (2004–10) and composition (2007–8) at the Brno Conservatory, and composition at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (with martin smolka and Peter Graham[1]). She also studied as an exchange student at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the California Institute of the Arts (with michael pisaro), the Universität der Künste Berlin (with Marc Sabat), and Columbia University (with george e. lewis).

While she often works with elements outside of music, there is almost always an intense engagement with direct listening, often arrived at through intense focus on very limited material. Sources for her work include Morse code, maps of garments which she turns into scores (Shirt for Harp, Oboe, and Accordion; Jacket for Ensemble), field recordings which she notates descriptively and then asks musicians to interpret the notation (...