1-20 of 47 items  for:

  • Abbreviation: "AMw" x
  • Instrumentalist x
Clear all

Article

Kaleb J. Koslowski and Caryl Clark

(b Bad Iburg near Osnabrück, 30 Oct 1668; d Hanover, 1 Feb 1705). Princess of Hanover, Electress of Brandenburg, and Queen in Prussia. Musical culture in and around Berlin flourished at the turn of the 18th century as a direct result of her activities as a musical patron, performer, composer, and collector.

Sophie Charlotte was the only daughter of Ernst August of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Sophie of the Palatinate. She was thrust into a lifestyle of courtly competition from an early age. The court at Osnabrück was relatively obscure, overshadowed by the wealthier and more politically prominent seat at Hanover ruled by her father’s brother, Johann Friedrich. Her mother determined to overcome this by immersing Sophie Charlotte in the arts. As a child she received instruction in singing, courtly dance, and religion, and in French, Italian, English, and Latin. During the 1670s and into the 1680s, the family visited Versailles, Venice, Brussels, and The Hague. These visits included recurring attendance at opera and ballet performances, and provided the foundation for Sophie Charlotte’s cultivation of music as a courtly and sociopolitical tool later at Hanover and Berlin....

Article

Jocelyn Mackey

(b Schwäbisch Hall, bap. Sept 15, 1572; d Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Oct 31, 1634). German composer, organist, instrumentalist, teacher and poet.

Widmann came of a well-educated family. The Lateinschule at Schwäbisch Hall provided a good musical training in the 1580s under Johannes Crusius, and young Widmann ‘sang a good discant’ there and learnt to play the organ, harpsichord, lute, zither, viol, flute and trombone. On 28 April 1589 he entered the University of Tübingen and passed his bachelor’s examinations in 1590; at the university, students could study plainsong, notation and polyphony. Widmann is next heard of as an organist at Eisenerz, Styria, in 1595, and from 1596 until 1598 he held a similar position at Graz. He was a Lutheran, but since the Peace of Augsburg (1555) Protestantism had spread in Austria, and during the 1570s it was even tolerated. In 1598, however, on the orders of Duke Ferdinand, Lutheran ministers were given two weeks to leave. Moreover, in the same year Widmann almost lost his position because of trouble with women: two young women accused him of breach of promise, while he professed to wish to marry a third (he married Margarethe Ehetreiber on 12 June). Because of the action against Lutherans he returned in late ...

Article

Albrecht Riethmüller

(b Stuttgart, June 17, 1900; d Heidenheim an der Brenz, Jan 1, 1985). German composer and pianist. He studied composition with Walter Courvoisier at the Akademie der Tonkunst, Munich (from 1920) and his works were performed at the Donaueschingen and Baden-Baden Festivals. He performed as the accompanist for Sigrid Onegin (touring the USA seven times in the early 1930s) as well as for other singers, including Erb, Schwarzkopf and Fischer-Dieskau. From 1932 to 1936 he taught composition at the Württembergische Musikhochschule, Stuttgart.

Reutter stabilized his career during the Third Reich by becoming a Nazi party member in April 1933. The oratorio Der grosse Kalender, heralded by B. Schott’s Söhne as ‘the new oratorio of the German people’, was first performed in Dortmund in June 1933; the Reichskulturwalter, Hans Hinkel, regarded the opera Doktor Johannes Faust (staged in Frankfurt in 1936) as the opera for which the Reich had been waiting. On ...

Article

Robert Falck

[Vaqueiras]

(b Vaqueiras, nr Orange, Provence, ?1150–60; d ?Greece, ?Sept 4, 1207). Troubadour, companion-at-arms of Boniface I, Margrave of Monferrat (1152–1207). According to his vida ( I-Rvat 5232, f.160) he was the son of a ‘poor knight’ (‘paubre cavaillier’), and the fact of his humble origin, at least, is confirmed in his own writings. As a young man, he travelled to the court of Monferrat in northern Italy, where he entered the service of the Margrave of Monferrat and his son Boniface; he remained there probably until the early 1180s. Less is known of his life during the period from about 1183 to 1188, but in 1189 he was again in Provence, possibly in the service of Hugues I des Baux (d 1240). In 1190 he was back in Italy, and in 1192 had returned to Monferrat and the court of Boniface (who succeeded his father as margrave in that year)....

Article

John Griffiths

(b Navalcarnero, nr Madrid; fl 1553–78). Spanish vihuelist and composer. He was blind from birth. The earliest evidence of him is the printing licence for Orphenica lyra (Seville, 1554/R1981; ed. C. Jacobs, Oxford, 1978), issued on 11 August 1553 by crown prince Philip, which affirms his presence at court in Valladolid. On 29 March 1554, now resident in Seville, Fuenllana contracted with Martín de Montesdoca to print 1000 copies of Orphenica lyra. The edition was completed on 2 October, though Wagner has shown the surviving copies to represent two variants of the same impression. In 1555, Fuenllana is described as a citizen of Seville in a legal action initiated to suppress a fraudulent edition of the book. According to Bermudo (Declaración, 1555), Fuenllana was in the employ of the Marquesa de Tarifa at this time, but he would have left her service by ...

Article

Christoph Wolff

(b Nuremberg, c1410; d Munich, Jan 24, 1473). German organist, lutenist and composer. He was born blind, probably the son of an established craftsman family in Nuremberg, a free imperial town with a flourishing cultural life. The patrician Ulrich Grundherr, and from 1423 onwards his son Paul Grundherr, sponsored the talented but heavily handicapped young musician. Nothing specific, however, is known about his musical training. From at least as early as 1446 Paumann occupied the post of organist at St Sebaldus in Nuremberg, where the main organ had been built by Heinrich Traxdorff of Mainz in 1440–41. In 1446 he became engaged to Margarete Weichsler of Nuremberg. He undertook at that time not to leave the town without the permission of the town council. He was appointed official town organist in 1447.

He had by then already acquired a reputation as Germany's foremost organist. Hans Rosenplüt's poem eulogizing the town of Nuremberg (...

Article

Anthony Newcomb

(b Salò, March 26, 1547; d ?Rome, after 1609). Italian instrumentalist and composer. Bernardino was the son of Agostino, from 1571 to 1582 maestro di cappella of Salò Cathedral and a member of a famous family of instrumentalists and instrument makers. He was employed as an instrumentalist at the court of Ferrara from December 1578 until its dissolution early in 1598. A letter (in I-MOs ) states that one of his functions at Ferrara was as a violinist. He served Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga of Mantua briefly in 1598 and dedicated the third book of madrigals to him. He was almost certainly employed as a trombonist at S Luigi dei Francesi, Rome, in March 1600 and, according to the title-page of the third book of madrigals, in 1609 he was instrumentalist of the pope in Castel S Angelo in Rome. He was a composer of minor importance and managed to preserve the conventional style of the canzonetta-madrigal even in the midst of the revolutionary developments in style characteristic of the early 1590s in Ferrara. A comparison of his setting of ...

Article

Lilian P. Pruett

(b Böhlen, 1707; d Schmalkalden, May 3, 1774). German composer and instrumentalist. This extraordinarily versatile musician studied the organ with Johann Balthasar Rauche in Böhlen (1719) and piano with Johann Graf in Halberstadt (1722), and the violin, viola d’amore and composition with Schweitzelberg in Arnstadt and again Graf in Rudolstadt. He was also proficient on the oboe: after travels to Erfurt, Brunswick, Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden he finally obtained employment in 1728 as regimental oboist and violinist to Duke August Wilhelm of Brunswick. In 1731 he moved to Schmalkalden as town organist, shortly thereafter also becoming Konzertmeister at the court of Saxe-Coburg-Meiningen. Declining health curtailed his activities after 1765 and in 1768 his pupil J.G. Vierling was appointed to assist him, eventually becoming his successor.

In his youth Tischer’s compositional activities centred on church music; after 1732 he divided his efforts between keyboard and orchestral music. Particularly well represented in his output are pedagogical collections for young pianists and concertos for the piano, violin and oboe, instruments on which he himself excelled. Although his keyboard works were much published and appreciated during his lifetime, modern scholars have generally dismissed his works as shallow and of little consequence....

Article

Harold E. Samuel

[Gottlieb]

(b Kulmbach, bap. Nov 6, 1607; d Nuremberg, bur. July 30, 1655). German composer, instrumentalist, organist and theorist, son of Johann Staden. He was a leading musician in Nuremberg, and though a lesser composer than his father he is perhaps, as the composer of the first extant Singspiel, historically more important.

The German form, ‘Gottlieb’, of Staden’s middle name appears in part iv of the magazine Frauenzimmer Gesprächspiele (1644) edited by Georg Philipp Harsdörffer, who was a crusader for the purification of the German language; Staden himself used ‘Theophil’. His early musical studies with his father were so successful that in July 1620, some ten years after the family returned to Nuremberg from Kulmbach and Bayreuth, Johann Staden petitioned the city council for an expectant's salary for his 13-year-old son. This request was apparently denied, but in December 1620 the council granted the boy 150 gulden a year for board, room and lessons with Jakob Paumann in Augsburg. Johann Staden could teach his son composition, the organ and the violin, whereas Paumann, a well-known instrumental teacher, who from ...

Article

Georg Feder

revised by Steven Zohn

[Dügren, Johann Jeremias]

(d Danzig [now Gdańsk], Jan 1756). ?French singer, keyboard player and composer, active in Germany. He was probably related to French immigrants whose names appear frequently in the city records of Danzig. A pupil of Telemann, Du Grain is first mentioned at Hamburg in 1730 as a soloist in cantatas by Telemann performed to commemorate the Augsburg Confession. From 1732 he lived in Elbing (now Elbląg, Poland) where he was a singer, organist and harpsichord player. In 1737 he was enjoined (‘injungieret’), presumably as an assistant, to the organist of the Marienkirche Daniel Dibbe; his name appears in the church accounts from 1737 to 1739. Among his compositions for Elbing were a St Matthew Passion (1737), performed annually until the 19th century, and the lost cantata Hermann von Balcke, written to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the city; the latter contained recitatives and some arias by Du Grain and arias from operas by Handel who helped to compile the work, but who left Elbing before the performance....

Article

Nona Pyron

revised by Aurelio Bianco

(b Mantua, c1604; d Vienna, 1639). Italian violinist and composer. His Mantuan origins are referred to on the title pages of his five published books. Nothing is known of his musical education, but if he was the son of Luigi Farina of Casalmaggiore, Cremona, a ‘sonatore di viola’ who was known to have been in Mantua, in the service of the Gonzagas, at the beginning of the 17th century and to have married there in 1603 and taken Mantuan citizenship in 1606, he probably received his early musical training from his father. Mantua at that time was a particularly productive and stimulating environment for a young violinist, what with the presence of the virtuoso violinist Salamone Rossi and the important musical legacy of Claudio Monteverdi. Farina soon became very well known as a violinist, and in 1625 he was appointed Konzertmeister of the court of the Elector of Saxony, Johann Georg I, in Dresden, working directly under Heinrich Schütz. From ...

Article

Edmond Strainchamps

(b Florence, Nov 16, 1567; d Florence, July 15, 1648). Italian composer and lutenist. Cesare Tinghi, the Medici court diarist, called him (in Solerti) ‘Lorenzo [or Lorenzino] todesco del liuto’, which has encouraged the notion that he may have been German, but his baptismal record confirms that he was from Florence. He entered the ranks of salaried musicians at the Medici court on 15 April 1604 as a lutenist; during the period 1636–7 he was referred to as maestro di liuto. In January 1622 he was appointed guardaroba della musica, and in due course he was also placed in charge of the pages who played, sang and danced in court entertainments. He continued to serve the court until his death. He seems chiefly to have written instrumental music. Only two vocal pieces by him are known: Tu piangi, a madrigal for solo voice and continuo published in Antonio Brunelli's ...

Article

Neal W. La Monaco

(b Bologna, May 16, 1639; d Bologna, 1720). Italian composer and instrumentalist, brother of Giovanni Battista Degli Antoni. He spent his life in Bologna, first distinguishing himself as a cornett player with Cazzati’s cappella musicale at S Petronio. Soon after joining the Accademia dei Filaschisi, he became in 1666 a charter member of the Accademia Filarmonica. He was principe of the latter in 1676, a distinction that he enjoyed in five subsequent years: 1684, 1696, 1700, 1705 and 1708. He was maestro di cappella of three churches: S Giovanni in Monte as early as 1666 and again from 1697 until at least 1712, S Maria Maggiore from 1680 and S Stefano from 1686 to 1696. In 1703 he married the famous singer Maria Maddalena Musi, known as La Mignatta.

Degli Antoni wrote a number of oratorios as well as music for two stage works, but, except for the oratorio ...

Article

Anthony Newcomb

[Orazio della Viola]

(b Cento, c1550; d Nov 8, 1615). Italian instrumentalist and composer. Bassani was a renowned virtuoso of the viola bastarda. He entered the service of the Farnese court at Parma as a viola player on 1 November 1574. His service there was interrupted by a brief period with Cardinal Farnese in Rome in 1583. During the 1580s and 90s the courts of Mantua and Ferrara tried vigorously but unsuccessfully to lure Bassani to their own music establishments. Upon the death of Ottario Farnese in October 1586, Bassani was called to the service of Alessandro Farnese in Brussels, with an annual pension of 300 gold scudi. Upon the death of Alessandro Farnese in 1592, he returned to Parma and the service of Duke Ranuccio Farnese, who commissioned Agostino Caracci to paint the portrait of Bassani now in the Museo nazionale di Capodimonte in Naples. After returning to Rome again in ...

Article

Antony Beaumont

(Dante Michelangelo Benvenuto)

(b Empoli, April 1, 1866; d Berlin, July 27, 1924). Italian composer and pianist, active chiefly in Austria and Germany. Much to his detriment as composer and aesthetician, he was lionized as a keyboard virtuoso. The focus of his interests as a performer lay in Bach, Mozart and Liszt, while he deplored Wagner. Rejecting atonality and advocating in its place a Janus-faced ‘Junge Klassizität’, he anticipated many later developments in the 20th century. His interests ranged from Amerindian folk music and Gregorian chant to new scales and microtones, from Cervantes and E.T.A. Hoffmann to Proust and Rilke. Only gradually, during the final decades of the 20th century, has his significance as a creative artist become fully apparent.

Busoni's father, Ferdinando, was a clarinet virtuoso of Corsican origin, his mother, Anna (née Weiss), an Austrian-born pianist. Although he considered himself a Tuscan, the family moved to Trieste when he was only a few months old, transplanting him into a cosmopolitan, German-orientated environment. He had no regular schooling; the theatre and literature were mainstays of his self-education, and he became a talented linguist. Early piano tuition, in which the study of Bach played a major role, came from his father. His first compositions date from ...

Article

Edward H. Tarr

(b St Michaelis, Saxony, April 27, 1940). German organologist. He played the cornett with the Capella Lipsiensis and studied musicology, indology and ethnology at the University of Leipzig with Besseler, H.C. Wolff, Eva Lips and Johannes Mehlig, 1959–64; thereafter he was on the staff of the Musikinstrumenten-Museum of the university until 1973. After working as a freelance scholar, he moved to the USA and in 1992 was employed at the Streitwieser Foundation and the Shrine to Music Museum; from 1994 he took up a post at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Heyde’s work is distinguished by an exemplary thoroughness in a wide range of fields associated with organology. His catalogues of wind instruments in the Leipzig collection have set a new standard with their detailed analysis, photographs and line drawings, which have often helped solve questions of provenance of similar instruments elsewhere. In vols.3 and 5 of his ...

Article

Nancy Kovaleff Baker

(b Rudolstadt, Oct 10, 1749; d Rudolstadt, March 19, 1816). German theorist and violinist. He served in his youth as a violinist in the Hofkapelle at Rudolstadt and in 1772 became a court musician. He studied the violin and composition with the Kapellmeister Christian Scheinpflug and briefly continued his studies in Weimar, Dresden, Berlin and Hamburg before returning to Rudolstadt, where he remained for the rest of his life. In 1792 he was appointed Kapellmeister, but he returned voluntarily to the orchestra as a first violinist after one year. Composition and writing then occupied him until his death. He was posthumously elected to the Swedish Royal Academy of Music in 1818.

The majority of Koch's compositions were for the court: cantatas, a drama Die Stimme der Freude in Hygeens Haine (1790), instrumental works and sacred music. Except for excerpts illustrating his theoretical writings, these are now lost. Seven symphonies ascribed to ‘Koch’ and formerly held by the Hofkapelle (now in ...

Article

Paula Morgan

[Rudolf]

(b Uzice, Nov 27, 1885; d Montclair, NJ, Feb 7, 1957). American writer on music, pianist and composer of Serbian birth. In Vienna he studied the piano and music theory at the Academy of Music and musicology at the university. As a concert pianist he gave the first performance of Schoenberg’s op.11 piano pieces (1911). He was an initiator of the Salzburg Music Festival (1922), which led to the founding of the International Society for Contemporary Music. Later he became chief music critic of the Vienna newspaper Das Echo (1930–38), and after emigrating to the USA he was a contributing editor to the Musical Digest.

Réti’s theory of composition was based on his analyses of Beethoven’s sonatas; some of these analyses were published posthumously as Thematic Patterns in Sonatas of Beethoven (1967). In The Thematic Process in Music (1951...

Article

Edward R. Reilly

[Theofil]

(b Breslau, Feb 17, 1696; d Berlin, April 12, 1760). German lutenist, composer and writer on music. Neither Baron’s life nor his works have as yet been fully explored by scholars. His father Michael was a maker of gold lace and expected his son to follow in his footsteps. The younger Baron showed an inclination towards music in his youth, however, and later made it his profession. He first studied the lute from about 1710 with a Bohemian named Kohott (not to be confused with the later Karl von Kahaut). In Breslau he attended the Elisabeth Gymnasium, and from there went in 1715 to Leipzig, where he studied philosophy and law at the university for four years.

Much of the period from 1719 to 1728 was spent in travels from one small court to another. He first visited Halle for a short period, then in quick succession Cöthen, Schleiz, Saalfeld and Rudolstadt. He arrived in Jena in ...

Article

(b Hohenstein, nr Chemnitz, 1709; d Berlin, Feb 17, 1763). German harpsichordist, composer and teacher. One of the earliest references to him was in 1733, when he applied for the position of organist at the Sophienkirche, Dresden. In his application he stated that for the past three years he had been ‘harpsichordist to the king’ and the Polish Prince Sangusko. Although one of three candidates short-listed, Schaffrath was unsuccessful and the post went to Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. By the following year, however, he was in the service of Crown Prince Frederick (later Frederick the Great). He was among those who moved with the prince’s establishment from Ruppin to Rheinsberg in 1736, and on Frederick’s accession in 1740 was installed as harpsichordist in the court Kapelle at Berlin. In 1741 he was appointed musician to the king’s sister, Princess Amalia, a title which appears on contemporary publications of his music and which he was still using in the 1760s. Although he remained at Berlin until his death his name is not included in Marpurg’s register of the Kapelle (...