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Born in Greenock, Scotland, March 13, 1856.
His musical instruction was received mainly in Germany. From 1880 to 1887 he was conductor of the Glasgow Choral Union. From 1890 he was principal of the school of music at the Glasgow Athenaeum. Among his compositions are various piano and orchestral pieces, chamber music, cantatas, an operetta, and songs.
Mac Dowell, Edward Alexander
Born in New York City, December 18, 1861.
In 1876-79 he studied at the Paris Conservatory and with Heymann (pianoforte) and Raff (composition) at Franfort-on-the-Main. IN 1881-84 he was head of the piano department of the Darmstadt Conservatory; and in 1884-88 resided at Wiesbaden, devoting himself to composition. He returned to America in 1888 and settled in Boston as a teacher and concert pianist. From 1896 until his retirement in 1904 he was professor of music in Columbia University. He was also director of the Mendelssohn Glee Club in 1896-98 and president of the American Society of Musicians and Composers in 1897-98. In 1905 ill health compelled him to abandon all work. He was a pianist of distinction and for a time appeared frequently with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and other organizations. But he was better known as one of the most important composers of recent times. Among his works are four symphonic poems for orchestra and two orchestral suites, one of them the "Indian Suite", based on themes from the music of the Sioux; two piano concertos, four sonatas, several groups of pianoforte pieces, and over fifty songs.
Martini, Giovanni Battista
(called Padre Martini)
Born in bologna, Italy, April 25, 1706
His father, also a musician, instructed his son upon the violin and pianoforte. He joined the Franciscans, and was appointed maestro de cappella in 1725. In order to become acquainted with the theory and history of music, he collected books and manuscripts dealing with every phase of the subject, gathering the richest private library of its kind in the world. Noted musicians came to him as an authority on unsettled questions. He was a teacher and a composer of church music, and published various treatises, also collections of ancient and medieval music, and of example from the Italian and Spanish schools.
He died in Bologna, August 3, 1784.
Born in Leghorn, Italy, December 7, 1863.
He studied secretly with Soffredini, and afterward became a pupil at the Milan Conservatory under Ponchielli and Saladino. He conducted the orchestra in various minor troupes, meanwhile teaching and composing several fairly successful works. When Sonzogno, the Milan music publisher, offered prizes for one-act operas, Mascagni wrote and submitted his "Cavalleria Rusticana" (1890), which won for him the first prize, and upon its first presentation made him famous. Its success throughout the world brought him a reputation that only a work of equal merit could have maintained. Such a work he ahs not thus far succeeded in producing, his "L'Amico Fritz" (1891), "I Rantzau" (1892), "Guglielmo Ratcliff", "Zanetto" (1896), "Iris" (1898), and other compositions, in various styles, suffering by comparison with the standard he himself has established. In 1895 he became director of the Rossin Conservatory at Pesaro. After several European tours, in 1902 he brought his own troupe to American, but various unfortunate circumstances contributed to make his visit to the New World a disappointment.
Massenet, Jules Emile Frederic
Born in Montaud, France, May 12, 1842.
He was educated at the Paris conservatoire, where he won a number of prizes for piano and fugue. Later his teacher was Ambroise Thomas. In 1863 he won the Grand Prix de Rome for his cantata "David Rizzio". After the Franco-German War Massenet rose to the first rank of French composers by the production of "Don Cesar de Bazan" (1872). Among his other operas are: "Les Erinnyes" (1873); "Le Roi de Lahore" (1877); "Herodiade" (1881); "Monon Lescaut" (1884); "Le Cid" (1885); "Esclarmonde" (1889); "Le Mage" (1891); "Werther" (1892); "Thais" (1894); "La Navarraise" (1894); "Sapho" (1897); "Cendrillon" (1899); "Le Jongleur de Notre Dame" (1902). He has also written orchestral suites, overtures, cantatas, and songs.
Born in Hamburg, Germany, February 3, 1809.
He was a grandson of the Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, who brought up his children in the Protestant faith, and Felix was a Lutheran. His father, Abraham Mendelssohn, a man of wealth, gave him the advantages of a thorough training. His mother instructed him on the pianoforte, and later his teachers were Ludwig Berger, Zelter, Hennings, Mme. Bigot, and Mescheles. In his ninth years he played the pianoforte publicly in Berlin, and the following year in Paris. He began to compose before he had reached the age of twelve. In 1821 he visited Geothe, who highly commended him. With his father, in 1825, he made a second visit to Paris to consult the musicians there, especially Cherubini, who confirmed his choice of a musical career.
In 1826 Mendelssohn produced the overture to the "Midsummer Night's Dream", and the octet for strings (Opus 20). Two years later he appears to have been composing "Songs Without Words". In 1833 he became municipal musical director in Dusseldorf, and in 1835 he was made conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig. Here he completed his oratorio "St. Paul", which was first performed at Dusseldorf, under his own direction, in 1836. He made many tours, and in 1841 Frederick William IV. invited him to Berlin, where he composed his music to the "Antigone" and other dramas of Sophocles and to Racine's "Athale". Returning to Leipzig in 1842, he there brought out the music to the Midsummer Night's Dream". The founding of the Leipzig Conservatory was mainly due to his exertions.
Mendelssohn made several visits to England. At Birmingham, in 1846, his oratorio "Elijah" was performed for the first time, and was received with the greatest enthusiasm. Through this work, perhaps more than by reason of all else that he achieved, his fame still survives. The following year he returned to Leipzig, where, exhausted by his many labors and journeys, he was prostrated beyond recovery by the sudden death of his sister Fanny, to whom he was bound by the tenderest ties of affection.
He died in Leipzig, November 4, 1847.
Born in Oberoderwitz, Saxony, November 12, 1827.
He studied music under Julius Otto and Johann Schneider, and was also a favorite pupil of Reissiger and Schumann. In 1858 he was appointed organist of the Waisenkirche, Dresden; in 1860 he went to the Kreuzkirche' and in 1864 he became court organist. From 1867 to 1873 he was director of the Dresden Singakademie. Merkel both as organist and composer of organ music, ranks very high among musicians. His compositions include preludes, fugues, fantasias, sonatas, etc. Besides organ music, he published pieces for the violin and pianoforte, and a few songs, of which the "Songs of Spring" are the best known.
He died in Dresden, October 30, 1885.
Born in Berlin, Germany, September 5, 1791.
His father was a wealthy Jewish banker, and both he and the boy's mother encouraged his musical instinct, which early developed into promising talent. He studied the pianoforte under Lauska, and at nine made his first public appearance. His early life was spent under the most brilliant masters, who instructed him in composition and organ playing. Among his teachers were Clementi, Bernhard Anselm, Weber, and the Abbe Volger, whose academy at Darmstadt he entered, and there formed a life long friendship with Karl Maria von Weber.
Meyerbeer's early works were unsuccessful, but he received encouragement from the recognition given to a series of operas in the Italian style. These he wrote after visiting Italy and studying the effect of Rossini's works, which he strove to emulate. The last of the series, "Il Crociato in Egitto" (1824), won him a European reputation. It was not, however, until several years later that he produced a work displaying his genius. This was shown in his French opera "Robert le Diable", staged at the Grand Opera, Paris, in 1831. Its popularity was unbounded; yet Meyerbeer did not again appear before the public for five years. He then produced "Les Huguenots" (1836), which was perhaps a still greater success. In 1842 he became Royal Music Director in Berlin.
Another period of retirement was followed by one of Meyerbeer's greatest works, "Le Prophete" (1849). IN 1865, after his death, "L'Africaine" was first produced. He had worked on it at different times for more than thirty years, and considered it his best composition. Besides his operas, he wrote an oratorio, many songs, a "Te Deum", cantatas, and other works; and whatever may be saidof his limitations or demerits, his name stands among those of the world's great musicians.
He died in Paris, May 2, 1864.
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, April 13, 1861.
He received his early instruction from his father, and was later a pupil of Kiel and Stockhausen. His best known works are his operas "Die beiden Klingsberg" and "Der Liebeskampf". He has also written a ballet, "Rubezahl", a one-act burlesque entitled "Tischka", concerted music, numerous pianoforte pieces, and songs.
Born in Ballenstedt, Germany, in 1831
He wrote both upon the history and theory of music and of composition. He is also known for his contributions to pianoforte music. One of his best known pieces is the "Turkish Patrol March".
He died in Hamburg in 1887.
Born in Breslau, Prussia, August 23, 1854.
He studied at the Dresden conservatory, and completed his musical education at the Stern and Kullak Conservatory, Berlin. His pianoforte solos and duets proved very popular. His more important works include: "Boabdil der Maurenkonig" (1892); incidental music to Grabbe's "Don Juan und Faust" (1896); "Jeanne d'Arc", a symphonic poem. His "Spanish Dances" greatly extended his reputation.
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
Born in Salzburg, Austria, January 27, 1756.
His genius developed very easily under the instruction of his father, and when less than five years old Wolfgang began composing, and at six he gave his first public performance, which was followed by a tour of the European capitals with his sister, under their father's direction. At Vienna, in 1768, the young Mozart conducted a mass composed by himself. Soon after this he was made concert meister to the Archbishop of Salzburg.
In 1869 Mozart went with his father to Italy, and in Rome, after twice hearing the famous "Miserere" of Allegri, which the authorities had kept secret, he wrote it out from memory. The Pope made him a Knight of the Golden Spur. At Bologna he was elected a member of the Philharmonic Society. At Milan, in 1770, he composed and brought out his first opera, "Mitridate, Re de Ponto". On his next visit to Milan, in 1771, the triumph of his serenata "Ascanio in Alba", written for the marriage of the Archduke Ferdinand, added to his reputation. The next year, the Archbishop of Salzburg being dead, Mozart composed for the installation of his successor "Il Sogno de Scipione" (The Dream of Scipio). At Milan he also produced "Lucio Silla" and "La Finta Giardiniera"; and at Salzburg, in 1775, during the visit of Archduke Maximilian Francis, he brought out "Il Re Pastore". The new Archbishop of Salzburg proved himself an enemy, rather than a friend, and gladly escaping from slights and indignities, in 1777 Mozart set out on a journey that led him to Paris the next year. Returned to Salzburg, he resumed his composition.
Mozart's position as an artist was finally assured in 1781, when his opera "Idomeneo" was produced in Munich with triumphant success. That year he settled in Vienna, where his "Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail" (1782) was equally well received. Minor operas and other works came steadily from his pen, and the latter years of his life were extremely fruitful. He fulfilled many commissions, adding materially to his fame, though little to his wealth. "Il Nozze de Figaro" and "Die Zauberflote" (The Magic Flute) are among the most successful of his later works. Sacred music also claimed his attention, and he produced grand hymns and masses. His "Requiem" was the work of his closing days. It was completed by his pupil Sussmayer from directions given by Mozart on his deathbed.
He died in Vienna, December 5, 1791.
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