Charles Edward Stephens

July 17, 2008

Charles Edward Stephens was born in London on March 28th 1821 and died there July 13th 1892. He was a pianist and teacher, and also first organist at several London churches until 1875. His chief instructors were 0. Potter (piano), Wagner Grove (violin), and Hamilton (theory). In 1850 he was appointed Associate, and in 1857 full member, of the London Philharmonic, of which he was later Director and Treasurer. In 1874 Stephens was an originating member of the Music Association.

The best-known works of Charles Edward Stephens include: Orchestral and chamber-music (2 symphonies; 2 string-quartets; a piano-quartet; a piano-trio; etc.) and  such pianoforte-pieces as Sonata in A; Duo brillant in A, for piano 4 hands; Duo concert in D, and another in F (for 2 pianos); organ-music, glees, songs, and church-music.

Christian August Pohlenz

June 26, 2008

Christian August Pohlenz was born at Saalgast, Niederlausitz, July 3rd 1790, and died at Leipzig, March 9th 1843. He was organist of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, and conductor of the Gewandhaus Concerts 1827-35, when he was replaced by Mendelssohn. His best known works include choruses for male voices, and are in the “Olpheus” collection. During his lifetime, his songs were more popular: Der kleine Tambour Veil, Auf, Matrosen, die Anker gclichlel, etc.

Carl Christian Muller

April 28, 2008

Carl Christian Muller was born in Saxe-Meiningen, July 3rd 1831.  F. W. and Heinrich Pfeifer were his teachers for pianoforte and organ, Andreas Zollner for composition. Muller went to New York in 1854 where he was at first employed in a pianoforte factory, then was leader of the Barnum’s Museum orchestra. From 1879 onward he was professor of harmony at the New York College of Music. Muller translated Sechter’s “Grundsatze der musikalischen Composition” (as “Fundamental Harmony”; New York, 1871, and 9 subsequent editions). He also supplemented it with four sets of Tables, on primary instruction, modulation, chord-succession, and harmonization, (1882-93). His published works include: “Pleasant Recollections,” and “Golden Hours” for pianoforte; two organ-sonatas, opus 47, sonata for violin and pianoforte, and opus 61 string-quintet in A; a four part piece for male choruses; various songs; and for organ, “March of the Crusaders,” and “Resignation” as well as several further works.

William T Giffe

March 13, 2008

William T Giffe was a musician, composer, born June 28, 1848, in Portland, Indiana, of Irish parents, and served with the Union forces in the Civil War. Married to Nannie J Booth on October 9th, 1889, he was the author of Giffe’s Practical Course in Harmony and Musical Composition, and a number of popular and religious music books for singers. He was the president of the Home Music company of Logansport, Indiana. He died some time between 1910 and 1927.

Charles-Vilfride de Beriot

February 12, 2008

Charles-Vilfride de Beriot, son of the famous violinist Charles, was born in Paris, France, on February 12th 1835. An accomplished pianist, he was a pupil of Thalberg (1855). Later he became professor of pianoforte at the Paris Conservatory. Some of his works include the Symphonic poem “Fernand Cortez”; several overtures; three pianoforte concertos; “Operas sans paroles” for pianoforte and violin; a Fantasie-Ballet for violin; a septet; two pianoforte quartets; a pianoforte trio; Sonata for pianoforte and flute; and about 60 compositions for pianoforte. Co-author with his father of “Methode d’accompagnement.”

Edward Collett May

February 8, 2008

Edward Collett May was a celebrated organist and singing-teacher, born in Greenwich, England, October 29th 1806; he died at London, January 2nd 1887. A pupil of Thomas Adams, C. Potter, and Crivelli, he was organist of Greenwich Hospital, 1837-69; and professor of vocal music at Queen’s College, London. A disciple of Hullah, he taught in numerous schools and private classes, doing much to popularize singing among the masses. May published “Progressive Vocal Exercises for Daily Practice” (in 1853), and various songs.