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Earlier this year, we featured Haydn, Handel, Martinů, Mendelssohn and Purcell, each of whom has an anniversary in 2009. Read more

This month, we mark several more anniversaries of composers both famous and less well known from the Classical to the contemporary:


Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (1736 - 1809)


Johann Georg Albrechtsberger gave lessons to Beethoven and succeeded Mozart, at the latter's request, as assistant to the Kapellmeister of St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. He won contemporary distinction as an organist, composer and teacher, and displayed a particular mastery of counterpoint.

Albrechtsberger Biography & Discography


Isaac Albéniz (1860 - 1909)


A pianist and composer, the Spanish musician Albéniz was a leading figure in the creation of a national style of composition in Spain. Although he wrote operas, including a King Arthur to English words, songs and orchestral music, he is best known for his piano music, some of which has been arranged by others for orchestra.

Isaac Albeniz Biography & Discography


George Antheil (1900 - 1959)


Antheil began his composition studies at the age of sixteen, and later moved to Paris where he joined the artistic avant-garde. Joyce, Pound, Hemingway, Man Ray, Léger, Satie, Picasso and many others were to become his friends and colleagues. Following the disastrous American première of his Ballet Mécanique, the 1930s were a difficult decade for Antheil although his fortunes revived during the 1940s once he moved to Hollywood.

George Antheil Biography & Discography


Ernest Bloch (1880 - 1959)


Ernest Bloch was one of the most interesting, inventive and successful composers, recognised and appreciated during his lifetime as a successor to Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. Bloch was a wanderer and explorer, a great creator in each of the varied styles in which he wrote throughout his whole life. Born in Switzerland, he later took out American citizenship.

Ernest Bloch Biography & Discography


Vagn Holmboe (1909 - 1996)


The spirit of folk culture plays an important role in the music of the Danish composer Vagn Holmboe. He was the most influential Danish composers of the generation after Carl Nielsen and his large output includes twelve symphonies, chamber concertos, and a long series of extremely fine string quartets. The Dacapo label, which Naxos distributes, features a number of recordings of his music.

Vagn Holmboe Biography & Discography


Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov (1859 - 1935)


After musical training at the Moscow Conservatory, Ippolitov-Ivanov was appointed director of the Tbilisi Conservatory in Georgia. In 1905 he returned to Moscow to teach at the Conservatory, where he worked until his death in 1935. He shared with Rimsky-Korsakov and Balakirev an interest in the relatively exotic, enhanced through his experience of musical life in Georgia.

Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov Biography & Discography


Franz Vincenz Krommer (1759 - 1831)


Born in Kamenice, Franz Krommer made his career in the service of various noblemen, finally settling in Vienna. Krommer's orchestral music includes symphonies and concertos, and he added to the repertoire of Harmoniemusik, music for wind band, with well crafted compositions that serve their entertaining purpose admirably.

Franz Vincenz Krommer Biography & Discography


Giuseppe Martucci (1856 - 1909)


The foremost Italian orchestral composer of the late nineteenth century, as well as an accomplished pianist and conductor, Giuseppe Martucci was one of the first of a line of composers, which included Sgambati, Mancinelli and Faccio and, later, Casella, Malipiero, Respighi and Pizzetti, who were determined to break away from opera’s dominance in Italian musical life.

Giuseppe Martucci Biography & Discography


Louis Spohr (1784 - 1859)


Louis Spohr remains well known to violinists, brought up to play some at least of his fifteen violin concertos. As a conductor he made use of a baton, a practice unusual at the time. From 1822 until his death in 1859 he was director of music at Kassel. His compositions include nine symphonies, some three dozen string quartets and many other chamber works.

Louis Spohr Biography & Discography


Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887 - 1959)


Villa-Lobos came to occupy a leading position in the musical life of his native Brazil. After a period in Paris, he returned home in 1930, eventually winning official recognition. His varied compositions include stage-works, choral and instrumental compositions, chamber music, songs and piano music. His instrumental works include a series of Bachianas brasileiras and Chôros.

Heitor Villa-Lobos Biography & Discography

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