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Tom R. Ward

[Richard de Bellengues]

(b Rouen, c1380; d Brussels, Feb 25, 1470). French singer and composer. He was a priest, and appears as a singer in the Burgundian chapel between 1415 and 1419. He was in the Papal Chapel from 1422 to 1425. In 1422 he received a canonry in Notre Dame in Ligny and also became rector of St Willibrodus, near Antwerp. He later held ecclesiastical offices in Beauvais, Picquigny and possibly Rouen. By 1430 he may again have been active at the Burgundian court since his name appears in the list of singers in Binchois’ motet Nove cantum melodie, composed in Burgundy in that year. His name is found in the lists of singers from 1434 to 1464. He died in Brussels and was interred in Ste Gudule. His motto ‘Fais tout ce que tu vouldras/Avoir faist quand tu mourras’ served as his epitaph. His single surviving work is a rondeau for three voices ...


F.A. Marshall

revised by Christopher H. Gibbs

( b Constantinople, Dec 13, 1785; d Berlin, May 29, 1838). Austrian soprano . She was brought up in Constantinople and Bucharest, before moving to Vienna, where she studied with Tomaselli and Salieri (on Schikaneder’s recommendation) and also had instruction from Neukomm (on Haydn’s advice). She made her début as Juno in Süssmayr’s Der Spiegel von Arkadien (1803), and sang Leonore in all three versions of Beethoven’s Fidelio (1805, 1806 and 1814). Her voice was described by Haydn as ‘like a house’ and by Griesinger as ‘like pure metal’.

In 1808 she made a successful tour, and was admired by Napoleon, among others; in 1816 she was appointed court prima donna assoluta in Berlin. In 1810 she married a jeweller, Peter Hauptmann, whose difficult personality seems to have lain behind a later faltering in her career. She achieved her greatest triumph in 1812 in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride...


Robert Falck


(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)....


Kerala J. Snyder

revised by Geoffrey Webber

(b Magdeburg, bap. March 17, 1664; d Wolfenbüttel, June 6, 1735). German music collector, singer and composer. The son of a brewer, he began his musical education with the Magdeburg Kantor Johann Scheffler, spent two years (1678–80) at the Thomasschule in Leipzig under Johann Schelle and continued his studies at the Johanneum in Hamburg. There he began his professional career as alto and later tenor soloist in the city's Kantorei, interrupted by a year at the university in Leipzig (1683–4). From 1686 to 1689 he worked as a tenor at the court in Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel; during this time he lived with the Kapellmeister Johann Theile, receiving lessons in composition from him and in singing from the two Italian castratos in residence at the court. He himself became Kapellmeister in 1689 to Duke Christian Albrecht of Schleswig-Holstein and moved to Gottorf Castle with his new bride, Magdalena Darnedden, daughter of a Brunswick brewer....


Burkhard Kippenberg

[Mompfort, Munfurt]

(b 1357; d Bruck an der Mur, April 4, 1423). German Minnesinger. Born into the family of the dukes of Montfort-Bregenz, he is mentioned in numerous documents and some chronicles. He played a considerable role as a politician and undertook several journeys in the service of the Habsburgs. In 1377 he took part in Duke Albrecht III’s crusade against the Prussians and afterwards in Duke Leopold III’s war against Francesco Carrara of Padua in which Hugo led an invading army to Treviso (1381–2). After the battle of Näfels (1388) he became Austrian governor in Thurgau, Aargau and the Black Forest; from 1395 to 1397 he was master of the household to Duke Leopold IV. Twice widowed, he married for the third time in 1402. After 1400 he lived mostly in Styria of which he was governor from 1413 to 1415. In 1414 he spent some time at the Council of Konstanz, perhaps as the representative of Duke Ernst....


Kurt von Fischer

revised by Gianluca D’Agostino

(fl Florence, c 1400). Italian composer, poet and singer. He is known not only as the composer of two ballatas and one madrigal in I-La 184 (nos.61, 72, 73), but also as the poet and composer of three-voice laude of which the music has not survived. In 1399 he served as leader and singer in the processions of the Bianchi Gesuati in Florence. Stylistically Stefani made use of both the Florentine technique of writing for two voices and the influence of the French style in his three-voice ballata with supporting tenor and contratenor. The first three lines of the text of his madrigal are taken from Petrarch's Amor, se vuo' chi'i' torni al giogo antico.


Ian D. Bent

revised by Edward H. Roesner

(fl mid-13th century). English singer. He was one of three Englishmen described by the theorist Anonymus 4 as ‘good singers’ of mensural polyphony, who sang with great refinement (‘valde deliciose’). Some time before 1295 he bequeathed a troper to St Paul’s Cathedral, London, where he may have been a canon. Flindell’s contention that he was the 11th/12th-century theorist Johannes Cotto is without foundation. The appellation ‘Filius Dei’ (Godson) may imply that he was a foundling....


R.B. Lenaerts

revised by Kristine Forney and Nathalie Vanballenberghe

(b Turnhout, 1563; d Antwerp, July 5, 1625). Flemish composer and singer. The singer of this name who was active in Madrid is now known to be a different musician (Vanballenberghe).

According to Sweerts, Verdonck spent his earliest years in the house of Cornelis Pruenen, treasurer and senator of Antwerp; he was to enjoy Pruenen’s protection for many years. Around 1580, Verdonck became a pupil in Antwerp of Séverin Cornet, who included one work of the younger composer in each of his three publications of 1581. Verdonck’s publications in the following years confirm his ties with Antwerp and the musical circle he belonged to. In 1599 he took an active part in the preparations for the triumphal entry of Archduke Albert and Archduchess Isabella into Antwerp; his motet for the occasion, Prome novas, Hymenae, was performed by an ensemble of boys riding atop an artificial elephant. Verdonck’s madrigal book of ...


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....


Christoph Petzsch

revised by Martin Kirnbauer

(b Sülzbach, nr Weinsberg, Württemberg, 1420; d Sülzbach, 1472–9). German poet and Meistersinger. After training under his father, a weaver, he entered the service of the imperial chamberlain, Konrad von Weinsberg, as a singer (‘fürtreter’) in the 1440s. He named as his models Muskatblüt, whom he probably met in Konrad's household, and Heinrich von Mügeln. He performed his own songs mostly at royal and noble households in southern Germany in which he was employed: the court of Albrecht Achilles, Margrave of Brandenburg, in Ansbach (1449–53, interrupted by a Scandinavian journey that took him to Copenhagen and Trondheim); the Bavarian court in Munich (1453–4); the court of King Ladislaus of Bohemia in Prague and Vienna (1455–7); in Austria, for Duke Albrecht VI (1454, 1458) and at the court of the Emperor Frederick III in Vienna (1459–65); and finally the court of the Elector Palatine Frederick I (...


Harold E. Samuel

(b Nuremberg, bap. Nov 21, 1645; d Nuremberg, April 2, 1705). German composer, organist and singer. By the time he was 15 his parents had died, and he was adopted by his brother-in-law G.C. Wecker, under whose tuition he became a musician. From the scanty information available it appears that he was away from Nuremberg for only two of his 60 years. He played the regal at St Sebaldus from 1665 to 1670. He then served briefly as a tenor at Bayreuth and made a journey to Vienna, Salzburg (where he probably performed for the archbishop) and Leipzig (to hear Sebastian Knüpfer). In 1671 he was back in Nuremberg, where he was used as a tenor in various churches and perhaps as an organist at the Frauenkirche. In 1682 he was appointed organist of the Spitalkirche and in 1694 of St Lorenz, where he remained until his death....


Martin Staehelin

revised by Clytus Gottwald

(b Liège, c1485; d Altenburg, c1520). South Netherlandish composer and singer. In 1498 he was a boy chorister at the court of Emperor Maximilian. In 1500, probably after his voice broke, he went to Burgundy to study, but was at the Habsburg court again by 1503 as a composer. He was a singer and composer at the court of the Saxon Elector in Torgau from 1507, apparently succeeding Adam von Fulda, who died in 1505. Records of Rener's tenure in Torgau stop in 1517, and the last documented evidence of his life is the appearance of his name in the Altenburg court records of 1520.

Rener is historically important because, like his contemporary Isaac, he took the spirit of Netherlandish music into Germany soon after 1500. Under his direction the Saxon chapel became an important musical centre, its up-to-date repertory clearly shown by the music in the so-called Jena choirbooks, some of which Rener may have helped to edit. His compositions sometimes show a tendency to depart from strict cantus firmus in favour of freer construction, following the tendencies of the time. This is especially apparent in his settings of the Ordinary of the Mass and the ...


Paulette Letailleur

(b Béziers, Oct 9, 1760; d Charenton, nr Paris, Feb 5, 1825). French singer and composer. At the age of seven he became a choirboy at Béziers Cathedral, where he was a soloist for nearly ten years. Intended for the clergy, he studied Latin and began philosophical studies while working at composition with the cathedral organist, Abbé Combès. On the death of the Bishop of Béziers he accepted a post as first tenor at St Séverin, Bordeaux. He continued his musical studies under the direction of Franz Beck, and his early success as a composer of motets decided his vocation. He abandoned his clerical plans and was engaged as a conductor and tenor at the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux. In 1788 he was active in Montpellier and toured in the south of France, and the following year was called to Paris to sing in the Théâtre de Monsieur, which at that time was in the Tuileries. His light and agreeable voice had a fine timbre so that he could sing such major roles as Floreski in Cherubini’s ...


Hans Joachim Marx

(bc 1700; d after 1735). German soprano . She is first mentioned as singing in Brunswick in 1717, in G. C. Schürmann’s Telemachus und Calypso. She is noted in Willers’s theatrical register of 8 April 1720: ‘there was no opera, because the Eisentraut would not sing for the year for 300 Reichsthalers’; presumably she was in Hamburg from 1717 to 1720, and refused to sing because of the devaluation of money at the time. In 1730 she sang in Telemann’s Das neu-beglückte Sachsen at the Gänsemarkt Opera. After another refusal to appear on 19 November 1731, she disappears from the records until the beginning of 1733, when she sang in operas by Telemann and Keiser. On 22 November 1733 Willers notes that ‘an infamous lampoon on the Eisentraut’ had been published, which ‘very much distressed her’. She last sang at the Gänsemarkt Opera in 1735; there is no record of her thereafter....


Paul Corneilson

(b Mainz, Aug 18, 1745; d Berlin, July 10, 1825), German bass. He was singing in a church choir in Mainz, where he was discovered by the tenor Anton Raaff; Fischer followed Raaff to Mannheim in 1770 to continue his voice study, and he received an appointment at court by 1772 (according to the libretto of Salieri’s La fiera di Venezia, 1772). In summer 1775 he appeared as Herkules in Anton Schweitzer’s Alceste. By 1776 he was earning 200 florins a year at Mannheim, and in 1777 he created the role of Rudolf in Ignaz Holzbauer’s Günther von Schwarzburg. The following year he accompanied Elector Carl Theodor to Munich and sang there one season. On 6 October 1779, Fischer married the soprano Barbara Strasser (b Mannheim, 1758; d after 1825), and three of their children had successful singing careers: Joseph (1780–1862), Josepha Fischer-Vernier (...


Edith Gerson-Kiwi

revised by Israel J. Katz

(b Filzburg, nr Libau [now Liepāja, Latvia], June 11, 1882; d Johannesburg, Aug 15, 1938). Jewish cantor and musicologist of Russian birth. Raised in a traditional German Jewish environment, he trained as a cantor in Libau; he also studied briefly at Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) where he met Eduard Birnbaum. Later he studied at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin and at the conservatory and university in Leipzig; his claim to have studied at both institutions with Kretzschmar (history), Zöllner (composition) and Jadassohn (harmony) remains unsubstantiated. He served as cantor at the Adat Jeshurun congregation, Leipzig (1902). From 1903 to 1905 he was a cantor at Regensburg and then after a year in Johannesburg he was persuaded by the president of the Zionist movement, David Wolffsohn, to emigrate to Jerusalem, where he lived from 1906 to 1921. These were decisive years for Idelsohn's research into the diverse musical traditions of the Sephardi and ‘Oriental’ Jewish communities and Muslim and Christian sects. Although his plans in ...


Kerala J. Snyder

(b Kolberg, Pomerania [now Kołobrzeg, Poland], Jan 1, 1628; d Dresden, Nov 14, 1692). German music theorist, composer and singer. He is best known for his discussion of musical-rhetorical figures in Tractatus compositionis augmentatus.

The birthplace given above is documented in a funeral poem by Bernhard’s brother-in-law C.C. Dedekind and is confirmed by Walther; the birth date appears in Müller-Blattau (2/1963) without documentation. Mattheson states, no doubt erroneously, that Bernhard was born in Danzig in 1612. According to Dedekind, Bernhard studied in Danzig (probably with the elder Kaspar Förster and possibly Paul Siefert) and in Warsaw (very likely with Scacchi); Mattheson’s assertion that Bernhard studied in Danzig with Balthasar Erben must also be in error for Erben did not become Kapellmeister at the Marienkirche until 1658, well after Bernhard was established in Dresden. At some point Bernhard also studied law. He began singing as an alto at the electoral court in Dresden under Schütz probably in ...


Klaus Fischer

(b Perugia, c1580; d Rome, May 6, 1638). Italian composer, singer and teacher. He was a pupil of G.B. Nanino at the choir school at S Luigi dei Francesi, Rome, from June 1592 to 31 October 1594. On 1 May 1600 he was engaged as a bass there. From February 1603 to 6 December 1609 he was maestro di cappella of S Maria Maggiore, Rome; after a severe illness in January 1606 he could no longer fulfil his obligations and in order to recover his health was granted leave of absence from Rome from May to September that year. From 1610 he worked at Benevento Cathedral and from 1614 was director of music to Cardinal Arrigoni in Rome. From 1 August 1616 to 31 July 1620 he was maestro di cappella of S Luigi dei Francesi. On 13 June 1620 he was chosen as successor to Francesco Soriano, who had retired as ...


Allan W. Atlas

[Vincentius du Bruecquet]

(b Hainaut, Belgium; d ?Naples, before 1480). South Netherlandish composer and singer. Though long known only as ‘Vincenet’ (which was thought to be a surname), and often conflated with the singer and priest Johannes Vincenet (Vincenetti, Vicenot) of Toul, who served in the papal chapel from 1425 to 1429 and is now known to have died in 1447, the Vincenet of the later 15th century is a quite different person, whose full name is now known to have been Vincenet du Bruecquet.

The earliest information about Vincenet places him at the court of Savoy, where he was a singer and organist between about 1450 and 1464. By August 1469 he was at the Aragonese court of Naples, where a payroll notice dated 14 August reads: ‘To Vinxenet de Enaut, singer of the chapel of His Majesty the King [Ferrante I] viii ducats, for writing and notating viii polyphonic offices for the said chapel, which offices he has delivered to Mossen Pere Brusca [the king's ...


Joshua Rifkin

revised by David Fallows

(b Picardy; fl late 15th century). French singer and composer. It is just possible that he is identifiable with the ‘Pierre Donnell’ or ‘Donelli’ reported at the court of King René of Anjou from 1462 to 1472 and again in 1479. But he certainly worked at the court of Savoy in 1488–9 and at both the cathedral and the convent church of the SS Annunziata in Florence in 1490–91 and 1492–3; later in the decade – perhaps from 1496 to 1499 – he sang in the chapel of Anne of Brittany, Queen of France. He had probably worked at the French court before, for he copied one of his chansons, Qu’en dictez vous, and added attributions for three others in I-Fr 2794, a manuscript almost certainly written at the court during the 1480s. In this source as elsewhere his works appear under his first name alone, which has led some writers to ascribe them to Pierre de La Rue or to Guillaume Pietrequin, a musician by whom no compositions survive....