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Article

Godelieve Spiessens

(Louis Marcel)

(b Antwerp, March 7, 1907; d Antwerp, March 27, 1964). Belgian musicologist and art historian. He studied music at the Antwerp Conservatory and art history in Ghent, taking the doctorate in 1939 with a dissertation on Peter Benoit. He also studied 16th-century stage music with E.J. Dent in Cambridge in 1936. While pursuing a career as a journalist, he joined the staff of the Antwerp Conservatory in 1935, later becoming administrative secretary (1938–47; 1953–64). He also held posts at the Brussels Conservatory as interim librarian (1949–51) and in the Belgian Ministry of Education (1951–3). Corbet’s main interests were music drama and nationalist Flemish music, especially that of its pioneer, Peter Benoit; his writings on Benoit remain authoritative. Together with the Dutchman Wouter Paap he published the Algemene muziekencyclopedie (1957–63), the first venture of such magnitude in the Dutch language. Apart from short, scholarly articles in encyclopedias and journals, he wrote a large number of popular articles on all types of cultural topics....

Article

Marie Cornaz

(b Brighton, Aug 11, 1918; d Antwerp, March 9, 1991). Belgian composer. She studied at the Antwerp Conservatory, where her composition teacher was Flor Alpaerts, and gave piano concerts in Belgium and elsewhere; she also occasionally worked as a journalist. After the death of her husband, the Belgian pianist Alex de Vries, in 1964, she founded the Fonds Alex de Vries, an association to help young musicians begin their careers. In 1979 she became director of the Flemish section of Live Music Now – Belgium. Her early compositions show impressionist influences, but the later ones are more expressionist in style. The most prominent of her works are Hulde aan Béla Bartok for flute, violin, piano and percussion, broadcast in New York in 1957, and the three-movement Piano Concerto, first performed in 1958 with her husband as soloist.

(selective list)

Article

Diana von Volborth-Danys

(b Gullegem, Sept 29, 1943). Belgian composer. He studied at the Brussels Conservatory and obtained first prizes in harmony with Vic Legley, counterpoint with Jean Louël and fugue with Marcel Quinet. He was also taught the piano by Eduardo del Pueyo. During one year he studied composition with Dutilleux at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris (licentiate in composition, 1968). Afterwards he studied composition for three more years at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth with Legley. In 1970 he was appointed professor of harmony, counterpoint and fugue at the Brussels Conservatory, where he later taught composition and analysis. Since 1986 he has also taught at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth. His compositions have received national and international awards, including the Oscar Esplá Prize in Alicante for the cantata Klage der Ariadne (1972) and the Lili Boulanger Prize (1977) for his entire output....

Article

Libya  

Monique Brandily

[Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Republic] (Arab. Jamahiriya Al-Arabiya Al-Libiya Al-Shabiya Al-Ishtirakiya Al-Uzma)

Country in North Africa. It has an area of approximately 1,759,540 km² and covers various cultural areas. Its coastline of approximately 2000 km between Egypt and Tunisia is part of the Mediterranean region, although most of its territory lies in the Sahara desert, extending from the Sudan to southern Algeria; to the south, it borders the sub-Saharan African states of Chad and Niger.

Since ancient times Libya has been situated at a cultural crossroads, where different musical currents co-exist without destroying each other. Two factors contribute to the cohesion of Libyan society, which comprised an estimated 6·39 million people at the beginning of the 21st century, namely uniformity of religion (all groups of the population, whatever their origins, are Muslim) and a single official language, Arabic. Some minority dialects are used in the sung poetry of various regions. Traditional music continues to flourish, preserving certain features of ancient societies, which include the reservation of musical instruments for certain social groups, although such differences have been abolished in the institutions of contemporary Libya....

Article

Eric Blom

revised by Anne-Marie Riessauw

(b Ghent, Aug 4, 1843; d Ghent, May 18, 1910). Belgian musicologist and composer. The son of the poet Prudens van Duyse, he studied the violin from the age of seven. When he was ten he entered the Ghent Conservatory, where he was a pupil of Karel Miry; he won prizes in harmony (1859) and counterpoint (1861–2). His operetta Teniers te Grimbergen, on a libretto by his father, was produced in 1860 at the Minardtheater in Ghent, and several short vaudevilles followed at the Nationaal Toneel in Antwerp; his opéra comique Rosalinde was also produced there in 1864. At about this time he entered the University of Ghent, where he took a degree in law in 1867. While continuing to compose (in 1873 he won second prize in the Belgian Prix de Rome with his cantata Torquato Tasso’s dood), he made a career as a magistrate and as a musicologist. He played an important part in the cultural education of the working class by organizing evenings of singing, which were highly successful. However, his greatest musical achievements lie in his researches into folksong, in which connection he did epoch-making work. His last monograph, ...

Article

revised by Herbert Antcliffe, Corneel Mertens and Diana von Volborth-Danys

(b Antwerp, Feb 5, 1868; d Antwerp, June 24, 1952). Belgian conductor and composer. He studied with Jan Blockx and Peter Benoit at the Antwerp School of Music, and in 1893 he won the Belgian Prix de Rome with his cantata Lady Macbeth. Appointed professor of counterpoint and fugue at the Antwerp Conservatory in 1902, he directed that institution from 1924 until 1933 and taught at the Lemmens Institute, Mechelen. He was the first director and conductor of the Nouveaux Concerts d’Anvers, founded in 1914. Mortelmans’s teaching attracted many gifted pupils, among them De Jong and Peeters. An enthusiast for the Flemish movement, he was president of the Society of Flemish Composers and made many settings of Guido Gezelle, the leading Flemish poet of the 19th century. In 1921 Mortelmans toured the United States, where his songs met with great praise from both press and public. Several of his works were published by Schirmer of New York and by the Composers’ Music Corporation. For the last 20 years of his life Mortelmans lived in the countryside and devoted himself exclusively to composition. He was made a member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium....

Article

Godelieve Spiessens

revised by Sylvie Janssens

(Maria)

(b Bornem, Oct 26, 1902; d Leuven, Feb 27, 1992). Belgian musicologist. He trained for the church and was ordained priest in 1927 and canon in 1955. While he was at the theological seminary at Mechelen he also studied at the Lemmens Institute, and took the doctorate in Germanic philology at Leuven in 1929 with a dissertation on Netherlandish polyphonic song in the 16th century. He pursued further musicological studies under André Pirro in Paris (1931–2), and began his teaching career in secondary schools at Geel and Antwerp. He then taught at the Catholic University of Leuven, as junior lecturer (1944), lecturer (1946) and as full professor of musicology (1949–73); his great achievement there was to develop an excellent department of musicology. In 1953 he was visiting professor at Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley. From 1958 to 1971...

Article

Godelieve Spiessens

(b Houdeng-Aimeries, June 7, 1910; d Liège, Sept 25, 1985). Belgian musicologist. After studying in Italy and Germany, where her teachers included Besseler at Heidelberg, she took the doctorate at Liège in 1939 with a dissertation on the development of instrumental music in the Netherlands in the 18th century. From 1940 to 1949 she worked as a librarian at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels. In 1945 she became junior lecturer at Liège University, where she was successively appointed lecturer, reader and in 1966 professor until 1980. For several years she was a committee member of the Société Belge de Musicologie and a member of the editorial staff of the Revue belge de musicologie. She also served on the editorial committee of Acta musicologica (1957–71) and was chairman of Les colloques de Wégimont, the annual international congress for ethnomusicology that she founded in collaboration with Paul Collaer in ...

Article

John H. Robinson

(b Antwerp, 1567; d The Hague, 1620). Flemish lutenist, composer, intabulator and teacher. His father, Peeter Reynierszoon van Hove was from Diest and became a burgher of Antwerp in 1563 entering the guild of musicians the following year, and stadsspeelman (city musician) in 1581. Although records are lacking, Joachim and his brother Hercules, also a lutenist, are likely to have received instruction from one of the lute masters in Antwerp at the time, the most prominent of them being Emanuel Adriaenssen. Joachim later settled in Leiden where he is recorded early in 1593. He married Anna Rodius from Utrecht the following year and became established in Leiden as a lutenist and teacher. The town provided lucrative opportunities for teaching wealthy students of the University. He is also recorded in the period 1600–11 supplementing his income renting rooms to students. He rented rooms in a house overlooking the Pieterkerk that he had bought in ...

Article

Antwerp  

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...

Article

Arthur J. Ness

revised by John H. Robinson

[Jacomo (de)

(b province of Puglia, c1520; d ?Trieste, between 1575 and 1579). Italian composer and virtuoso lutenist. He was blind and may have been a member of the nobility. Since his napolitane show a close stylistic affinity with those of Felis, Nenna and Antiquis, it is possible that Gorzanis spent his early career at the Spanish court at Bari. About 1557 he travelled to the Austrian duchies of Carinthia and Carniola, continuing on to Munich where he appeared at court. He settled in Trieste and received citizenship before 1567. His works for lute are important precursors of the Italian variation dance suite. Much of his music consists of suites in two and three sections, containing dances (e.g. passamezzo, paduana, galliard, balo todescho and saltarello), in which individual movements are frequently treated to a number of increasingly complex and virtuoso variations. Some of the dances draw on French or Italian vocal polyphony for their opening thematic and harmonic material, others use the popular ...