Adolphe Charles Adam was a French composer and music critic. Later set to different English lyrics and widely sung as O Holy Night, Adam was a noted teacher, who taught Delibes and other influential composers. Adolphe Adam was born in Paris, to Jean-Louis Adam, who was a prominent Alsatian composer and his mother was the daughter of a physician. As a child, Adolphe Adam preferred to improvise music on his own rather than study music seriously and occasionally truanted with writer Eugène Sue who was something of a dunce in early years. Jean-Louis Adam was a pianist and teacher but was set against the idea of his son following in his footsteps. Adam was determined and studied and composed secretly under the tutelage of his older friend Ferdinand Hérold, a popular composer of the day. When Adam was 17, his father relented, and he was permitted to study at the Paris Conservatoire—but only after he promised that he would learn music only as an amusement, not as a career. He entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1821, where he studied organ and harmonium under the celebrated opera composer François-Adrien Boieldieu.
Adam played the timpani in the orchestra of the Conservatoire, however, he did not win the Prix de Rome and his father did not encourage him to pursue a music career, as he won second prize. By age 20, he was writing songs for Paris vaudeville houses and playing in the orchestra at the Gymnasie Dramatique, like many other French composers, he made a living largely by playing the organ. In 1825, he helped Boieldieu prepare parts for his opera La dame blanche, Adam was able to travel through Europe with the money he made, and he met Eugène Scribe, with whom he collaborated, in Geneva. By 1830, he had completed twenty-eight works for the theatre, Adam is probably best remembered for the ballet Giselle. He wrote several ballets and 39 operas, including Le postillon de Lonjumeau. After quarreling with the director of the Opéra, Adam invested his money and borrowed heavily to open a fourth house in Paris. It opened in 1847, but closed because of the Revolution of 1848 and his efforts to extricate himself from these debts include a brief turn to journalism.
From 1849 to his death in Paris, he taught composition at the Paris Conservatoire. His Christmas carol Cantique de Noël, translated to English as O Holy Night, is an international favorite, Cantique de Noel is based on a poem written by M. Cappeau de Roquemaure. Adam is buried in Montmartre Cemetery in Paris, List of operas by Adam List of ballets by Adolphe Adam
Spending much of the 1920s in Europe, Antheil returned to the US in the 1930s, and thereafter spent much of his time composing music for films and, television. As a result of work, his style became more tonal. A man of diverse interests and talents, Antheil was constantly reinventing himself and he wrote magazine articles, an autobiography, a mystery novel and music columns. This technique is now known as spread spectrum and is used in telecommunications. This work led to their being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014, Antheil was born George Johann Carl Antheil, and grew up in a family of German immigrants in Trenton, New Jersey. His father owned a shoe store in the city. Antheil was raised bilingually, writing music and poetry from an early age, according to Antheils autobiography The Bad Boy of Music, he was so crazy about music, that his mother sent him to the countryside where no pianos were available. Undeterred, George simply arranged for a music store to deliver a piano.
His somewhat unreliable memoir mythologized his origins as a futurist, and emphasized his upbringing near a machine shop. Georges younger brother was Henry W. Antheil Jr and he became a diplomatic courier and died on June 14,1940, when his plane was shot down over the Baltic Sea. Antheil started studying the piano at the age of six, in 1916 he traveled regularly to Philadelphia to study under Constantine von Sternberg, a former pupil of Franz Liszt. From Sternberg he received formal training in the European tradition. In 1919, he began to work with the more progressive Ernest Bloch in New York, intensely engaged in his music, during this period Antheil worked on songs, a piano concerto and a work that came to be known as the Mechanisms. Around this time, von Sternberg introduced Antheil to his patron of the two decades, Mary Louise Curtis Bok, the founder of the Curtis Institute of Music. Assured by von Sternberg of Antheils genius and good character, Bok gave him a stipend of $150. Though she came to disapprove of his behavior and his work, Antheil continued his piano studies, and the study of modernist compositions, such as those by Igor Stravinsky and members of the Les Six group of French composers.
In 1921, he wrote his first in a series of technology-based works, Other works in the group included the Sonata Sauvage and subsequently Third Sonata, Death of Machines, both composed in Europe. He worked on his first symphony, managing to attract Leopold Stokowski to premiere it, before the performance could take place, Antheil left for Europe to pursue his career
Alexander Aleksandrovich Alyabyev, rendered as Alabiev or Alabieff, was a Russian composer known as one of the fathers of the Russian art song. He wrote seven operas, twenty musical comedies, a symphony, born to a wealthy family in Tobolsk in Siberia, Alyabyev learned music in his early years. He joined the Russian Army in 1812, during the Napoleonic War and he participated in the entry of the Russian forces into Dresden and Paris, and he won two awards. After the mysterious death of a man he spent all night gambling with in February 1825, while the evidence was not conclusive, Tsar Nicholas I expressly ordered him into exile to his native town of Tobolsk. Freed in 1831, he spent some years in the Caucasus before returning to Moscow, alyabyevs most famous work is The Nightingale, a song based on a poem by Anton Delvig. It was composed while Alyabyev was in prison, in 1825 and it has entered Russian consciousness as akin to a folk song. Mikhail Glinka wrote piano variations based on the song, as did Mily Balakirev, franz Liszt wrote a transcription of it.
It was one of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovskys favourite songs from his earliest childhood, the Artaria String Quartet at UNC, Whos on First. Archived from the original on April 10,2008, Free scores by Alexander Alyabyev at the International Music Score Library Project Free scores Mutopia Project Free scores by Alexander Alyabyev in the Choral Public Domain Library
Franz Wilhelm Abt was a German composer and choral conductor. He composed roughly 3,000 individual works mostly in the area of vocal music, several of his songs were at one time universally sung, and have obtained a more or less permanent place in the popular repertory. During his lifetime, Abt was a choral conductor and he spent much of the last three decades of his life working as a guest conductor with choirs throughout Europe and in the United States. Abt was born at Eilenburg in Prussian Saxony, and showed talent at an early age. His father was a clergyman and a talented pianist, and it is he who gave Franz his earliest instruction in music, while in school, Abt became friends with Albert Lortzing, Felix Mendelssohn, and Robert Schumann. Upon the death of his father in 1837, Abt abandoned his theological studies and it is at this time that he began to compose and publish music, mostly works for the piano which were written for performance in Leipzigs salons. In 1841 Abt became kapellmeister at Bernburg, moved to Zurich in the year where he became an immensely popular and skilled choirmaster.
While in Zurich he was appointed director of almost all of the citys numerous choral societies in succession, in 1852 Abt returned to Germany to become musical director at the court theater in Braunschweig where he served until 1882. Abt remained active as a conductor during his time in Braunschweig. He was appointed director of the Hofkapelle in 1855, serving in that position for many years and he was frequently invited to conduct choirs in many capital cities of Europe during the 1850s through the 1880s, having at this point developed an international reputation. He notably toured the U. S. in 1872 where he was received with overwhelming enthusiasm by music critics, by 1882, his busy schedule wore him down to a state of ill health and he was forced to retire to Wiesbaden where he died in 1885. Abts compositions comprise more than 600 opus numbers which make up over 3,000 individual items and he was primarily a composer of vocal music and was particularly prolific in writing music for male choirs which he thought was lacking in sufficient literature.
Indeed, his greatest successes in Germany and Switzerland were obtained in part-songs for mens voices, Abt was successful in writing choral music for mixed choruses both a cappella and with either piano or orchestral accompianement. He wrote numerous popular vocal art songs for voice, part songs for multiple voices. Abts compositional style betrays an easy fluency of invention, couched in pleasing popular forms, many of his songs, were at one time universally sung, and have obtained a more or less permanent place in the popular repertory. Due to their simple and melodic style some of Abts songs, such as Wenn die Schwalben heimwärts ziehn, Abts other compositions include three operas, Des Königs Scharfschütz, Die Hauptprobe, and Reisebekanntschaften. In the early part of his life Abt composed much for the piano and these have never had the same popularity as his vocal works
John Adams (composer)
John Coolidge Adams is an American composer of classical music and opera, with strong roots in minimalism. The opera has drawn controversy, including allegations by some that the opera is antisemitic, the works creators and others have disputed these criticisms. John Coolidge Adams was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1947 and he was raised in various New England states, where he was greatly influenced by New Englands musical culture. He graduated from Concord High School in Concord, New Hampshire, Adams began composing at the age of ten and first heard his music performed around the age of 13 or 14. After he matriculated at Harvard University in 1965 he studied composition under Leon Kirchner, Roger Sessions, Earl Kim and his piece American Standard was recorded and released on Obscure Records in 1975. He taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music from 1972 until 1984 and he served as musical producer for a number of series for the Public Broadcasting System including the award-winning series, The Adams Chronicles in 1976 and 1977.
Shaker Loops, A modular composition for three violins, one viola, two cellos, and one bass, with a conductor and it is divided into four movements. Harmonium for large orchestra and chorus, The piece starts with quietly insistent repetitions of one note – D –, Inspired by a dream of an oil tanker taking flight out of San Francisco Bay and by Arnold Schoenbergs book, Harmonielehre. This piece is about harmony of the mind, the Chairman Dances, This is a by-product of Nixon in China, set in the three days of President Nixons visit to Beijing in February 1972. Short Ride in a Fast Machine, This piece is joyfully exuberant and it begins with a marking of half-notes and eighths, the woodblock is fortissimo and the other instruments play forte. Nixon in China, The opera, in three acts, is based on Richard Nixons visit to China on February 21–25,1972, main characters in the opera are, the Nixons, Mao Tse-tung, Chou En-lai, Chiang Ching and Henry Kissinger. It was directed by Peter Sellars and this piece is John Adamss second major composition on a text, after Harmonium for chorus and orchestra.
In October 2008, Adams told BBC Radio 3 that he had been blacklisted by the U. S, homeland Security department and immigration services. The Wound-Dresser, John Adamss setting of Walt Whitmans 1865 poem of the same title, the piece is scored for baritone voice, two flutes, two oboes, bass clarinet, two bassoons, two horns, timpani and strings. Chamber Symphony, This piece was commissioned by the Gerbode Foundation of San Francisco for the San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Players, I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, A stage piece with libretto by June Jordan and staging by Peter Sellars. The main characters are seven young Americans from different social and ethnic backgrounds, the story takes place in the aftermath of the earthquake in Los Angeles in 1994. Hallelujah Junction, This piece for two pianos employs variations of a two note rhythm. The intervals between the notes remain the same through much of the piece, on the Transmigration of Souls, This piece commemorates those who lost their lives in the September 11,2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York
Eugen Francois Charles dAlbert was a Scottish-born German pianist and composer. Educated in Britain, dAlbert showed early talent and, at the age of seventeen. Feeling a kinship with German culture and music, he emigrated to Germany. DAlbert repudiated his early training and upbringing in Scotland and considered himself German, while pursuing his career as a pianist, dAlbert focused increasingly on composing, producing 21 operas and a considerable output of piano, vocal and orchestral works. His most successful opera was Tiefland, which premiered in Prague in 1903 and his successful orchestral works included his cello concerto, a symphony, two string quartets and two piano concertos. In 1907, dAlbert became the director of the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin and he held the post of Kapellmeister to the Court of Weimar. DAlbert was married six times, including to the pianist-singer Teresa Carreño, DAlberts father was a pianist, arranger and a prolific composer of salon music who had been ballet-master at the Kings Theatre and at Covent Garden.
DAlbert was born when his father was 55 years old, the Musical Times wrote in 1904 that This, and other circumstances, accounted for a certain loneliness in the boys home-life and the years of his childhood. He was misunderstood, and cribbed and confined to such an extent as to largely prejudice him against the country gave him birth. DAlbert was brought up in Glasgow and taught music by his father until he won a scholarship to the new National Training School for Music in London, dAlbert studied at the National Training School with Ernst Pauer, Ebenezer Prout, John Stainer and Arthur Sullivan. By the age of 14, he was winning praise from The Times as a bravura player of no mean order in a concert in October 1878. He played Schumanns Piano Concerto at the Crystal Palace in 1880, receiving encouragement from The Times. Also in 1880, dAlbert arranged the piano reduction for the score of Sullivans sacred music drama The Martyr of Antioch. He is credited with writing the overture to Gilbert and Sullivans 1881 opera, for many years, dAlbert dismissed his training and work during this period as worthless.
In years, however, he modified his views, The former prejudice which I had against England, in 1881, Hans Richter invited dAlbert to play his first piano concerto, which was received with enthusiasm. This seems to have been dAlberts lost concerto in A major, in the same year dAlbert won the Mendelssohn Scholarship, enabling him to study in Vienna, where he met Johannes Brahms, Franz Liszt and other important musicians who influenced his style. DAlbert, retaining his early enthusiasm for German culture and music changed his first name from Eugène to Eugen and emigrated to Germany, in Germany and Austria, dAlbert built a career as a pianist. Liszt called him the second Tausig, and dAlbert can be heard in a recording of Liszt works
William Alwyn CBE, born William Alwyn Smith, was an English composer and music teacher. William Alwyn was born in Northampton, where he showed an early interest in music, at the age of 15 he entered the Royal Academy of Music in London where he studied flute and composition. He was a virtuoso flautist and for a time was a flautist with the London Symphony Orchestra, Alwyn served as professor of composition at the Royal Academy of Music from 1926 to 1955. William Alwyn had a range of talents. He was a polyglot and artist, as well as musician. In 1948 he became a member of the Savile Club in London and he helped found the Composers Guild of Great Britain, and was its chairman in 1949,1950 and 1954. He was sometime Director of the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society, a Vice-President of the Society for the Promotion of New Music, for many years he was one of the panel engaged by the BBC to read new scores to help assess whether the works should be performed and broadcast. He was appointed a CBE in 1978 in recognition of his services to music and his compositional output was varied and large and included five symphonies, four operas, several concertos, film scores and string quartets.
Alwyn wrote over 70 film scores from 1941 to 1962. His classic film scores included Odd Man Out, Desert Victory, Fires Were Started, The History of Mr. Polly, The Fallen Idol, The Black Tent, The Way Ahead, The True Glory and The Crimson Pirate. Some of the scores have been lost, although many scores and sketches are now in the William Alwyn Archive at Cambridge University Library, in recent years CD recordings have been made. Some works, for which only fragmentary sketches remained, were reconstructed by Philip Lane or Christopher Palmer from the film soundtracks themselves, Alwyn relished dissonance, and devised his own alternative to twelve-tone serialism. The work was premièred by Sir Thomas Beecham, Alwyns concerto for harp and string orchestra, Lyra Angelica, was popularized when the American figure skater Michelle Kwan performed to it at the 1998 Winter Olympics. William Alwyn spent the last twenty-five years of his life at Lark Rise, Dunwich Road, Suffolk and he was survived by his second wife, the composer Doreen Carwithen.
Stage The Fairy Fiddler, Opera Farewell, Radio Opera, composing in words, William Alwyn on his art edited by Andrew Palmer, includes many of Alwyns autobiographical writings, and other writings on music published by Toccata Press,2009
Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni was an Italian Baroque composer. While famous in his day as a composer, he is mainly remembered today for his instrumental music. Born in Venice, Republic of Venice, to Antonio Albinoni, relatively little is known about his life, especially considering his contemporary stature as a composer, and the comparatively well-documented period in which he lived. In 1694 he dedicated his Opus 1 to the fellow-Venetian, Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, Ottoboni was an important patron in Rome of other composers and his first opera, regina de Palmireni, was produced in Venice in 1694. Albinoni was possibly employed in 1700 as a violinist to Charles IV, Duke of Mantua, in 1701 he wrote his hugely popular suites Opus 3, and dedicated that collection to Cosimo III de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. In 1705, he was married, Antonino Biffi, the maestro di cappella of San Marco was a witness, and evidently was a friend of Albinoni. In 1722, Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria, to whom Albinoni had dedicated a set of twelve concertos, invited him to direct two of his operas in Munich.
Around 1740, a collection of Albinonis violin sonatas was published in France as a posthumous work, however, it appears he lived on in Venice in obscurity, a record from the parish of San Barnaba indicates Tomaso Albinoni died in Venice in 1751, of diabetes mellitus. Most of his works have been lost, largely because they were not published during his lifetime. However, nine collections of works were published. These were met with success and consequent reprints. He is therefore known more as a composer of music today. In his lifetime these works were compared favourably with those of Corelli and his nine collections published in Italy and London were either dedicated to or sponsored by an impressive list of southern European nobility. Albinoni wrote at least fifty operas, of which twenty-eight were produced in Venice between 1723 and 1740, in spite of his enormous operatic output, today he is most noted for his instrumental music, especially his oboe concerti. In Italy, Alessandro Marcello published his well-known oboe concerto in D minor a little later, Albinoni employed the instrument often in his chamber works.
His instrumental music attracted attention from Johann Sebastian Bach, who wrote at least two fugues on Albinonis themes and frequently used his basses for harmony exercises for his pupils. Part of Albinonis work was lost in World War II with the destruction of the Dresden State Library, as a result, little is known of his life and music after the mid-1720s. The famous Adagio in G minor for violin and organ, however, a discovery by musicologist Muska Mangano, Giazottos last assistant before his death, brought up new findings