Composers of Today: A Comprehensive Biographical and Critical Guide to Modern Composers of All Nations

By David Ewen | Go to book overview

COMPOSERS OF TODAY

Joseph Achron 1886-

JOSEPH ACHRON was born in Lodzeye, a small town in former Russian- Poland (now Lithuania) on May 1, 1886. His musical precocity was unparalleled. At the age of two he was already receiving violin instruction from his father, upon an instrument which his father had expressly constructed for him; and his ear was already so sensitive that it could readily distinguish the right pitch from the wrong. At the age of two and a half, Joseph composed his first melody, with a surprisingly complicated rhythmic design. It was quite apparent that the boy was born for music; and, wisely enough, his parents decided from the very first to train him for a musical career.

At the age of five, he began to study violin seriously under Michaelowitsch in Warsaw, and then with Isidor Lotto, acquiring sufficient proficiency at the end of three years to be able to make his first public appearance. His success was emphatic. An extended concert-tour followed, culminating with a private performance at the Imperial Palace before Czar Nicholas II and the Dowager Czarina Maria; Joseph Achron was now definitely established as one of the most amazing violin-prodigies of his day. After these concerts, the Achrons returned to Warsaw where Joseph entered the Imperial Conservatory to devote himself more seriously than ever to music, studying violin under the celebrated Leopold Auer, and composition under Liadov. It was at the Conservatory that it first became apparent to him that his life-work would be composition rather than the playing of the violin. During one of the harmony-lessons, Achron showed Liadov a prelude he had just composed in which he consciously committed that first deadly sin of harmony of writing "consecutive fifths" for the sake of a certain effect he was trying to attain. Liadov, usually a martinet where harmonic rules were

concerned, smiled at this rebellious gesture on the part of his young pupil, and said: "If you will write on your examination in harmony a prelude as good as this, you will receive the highest mark in spite of the 'parallel fifths'!"

It was Liadov who encouraged the boy to become a composer, and Joseph, reassured, created prolifically. Some of these works, Achron soon afterwards showed to Glazunov, the famous Russian composer, who found that, altho some of the smaller pieces possessed talent, this music was for the most part technically deficient. Glazunov, therefore, urged Achron to curb his fecundity until he had completed a rigorous study of theory and composition. Achron followed Glazunov's advice and from 1907 to 1910 he studied counterpoint, canon, fugue and form. After he had completed these studies, he resumed his concert-work in order to support himself, and began to compose with greater intensity than ever. It was at this time that he composed his first prominent work, a violin sonata. "The first sonata," was the verdict of V. Karatigin, "despite the relative simpli

____________________
Achron: ŏ ′ Hrŏn

-1-

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Composers of Today: A Comprehensive Biographical and Critical Guide to Modern Composers of All Nations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Books of the Same Author ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction vii
  • Key to Pronunciations xiv
  • Joseph Achron 1886- 1
  • George Antheil 1900- 3
  • Kurt Atterberg 1887- 4
  • Louis Aubert 1877- 6
  • Georges Auric 1899- 7
  • Granville Bantock 1868- 8
  • Béla Bartók 1881- 10
  • Arnold Bax 1883- 15
  • Robert Russell Bennett 1894- 16
  • Lord Berners 1883. 20
  • Julius Bittner 1874- 22
  • Arthur Bliss 1891- 23
  • Marc Blitzstein 1905- 24
  • Ernest Bloch 1880- 25
  • Rutland Boughton 1878- 26
  • Walter Braunfels 1882- 29
  • Frank Bridge 1879- 31
  • Alfred Bruneau 1857-1934 32
  • Charles Wakefield Cadman 1881- 35
  • Alfredo Casella 1883- 36
  • Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco 1895- 38
  • Juan José Castro 1895- 40
  • Gustave Charpentier 1860. 41
  • Frederick Shepherd Converse 1871- 46
  • Henry Cowell 1897- 49
  • Sir Frederic H. Cowen 1852- 51
  • Sir Walford Davies 1869- 53
  • Claude Debussy 1862-1918 55
  • Frederick Delius 1863-1934 56
  • Ernst Von Dohnányi 1877. 60
  • Arcady Dubensky 1890- 62
  • Paul Dukas 1865- 64
  • Paul Dupin 1865- 67
  • Georges Enesco 1881- 68
  • Manuel De Falla .1876- 70
  • Gabriel Fauré 1845-1924 72
  • Henri Gagnebin 1886- 79
  • Philippe Gaubert 1879- 80
  • George Gershwin 1898- 80
  • Umberto Giordano 1867- 82
  • Alexander Glazunov 1865- 84
  • Reinhold Glière 1874- 86
  • Michael Gniessin 1883- 90
  • Paul Graener 1872- 91
  • Percy Grainger 1882- 93
  • Alexander Gretchaninoff 1864- 94
  • Louis Gruenberg 1883- 96
  • Alois Hába 1893- 98
  • Henry Hadley 1871- 99
  • Reynaldo Hahn 1874- 101
  • Howard Hanson 1896- 103
  • Sandor Harmati 1892- 104
  • Roy Harris 1898- 106
  • Edward Burlingame Hill 1872- 110
  • Paul Hindemith 1895- 112
  • Gustav Holst 1874-1934 115
  • Arthur Honegger 1892- 117
  • Herbert Howells 1892- 119
  • Jacques Ibert 1890- 120
  • Vincent D'Indy 1851-1931 122
  • Michael Ippolitov-Ivanov 1859- 123
  • John Ireland 1879- 125
  • Frederick Jacobi 1891- 128
  • Leoš Janáček 1854-1928 130
  • Werner Janssen 1900- 131
  • Joseph Jongen 1873. 133
  • Werner Josten 1888- 134
  • Paul Juon 1872- 135
  • Heinrich Kaminski 1886- 136
  • Wilhelm Kienzl 1857- 139
  • Lyof Knipper 1898- 140
  • Zoltan Kodály 1882- 141
  • Erich Wolfgang Korngold 1897- 142
  • A. Walter Kramer 1890- 147
  • Alexander Kreyn 1883- 148
  • Ladislas Lajtha 1892- 151
  • Constant Lambert 1905- 151
  • Charles Martin Loeffler 1861- 152
  • Nikolai Lopatnikoff 1903- 153
  • Igor Markevitch 1912- 157
  • Frank Martin 1890- 159
  • Bohuslav Martinu 1890- 161
  • Joseph Marx 1882- 162
  • Pietro Mascagni 1863- 164
  • Daniel Gregory Mason 1873- 165
  • Nikolai Medtner 1880- 167
  • Nikolai Miaskovsky 1881- 168
  • Georges Migot 1891- 170
  • Darius Milhaud 1892- 171
  • Italo Montemezzi 1875- 175
  • Harold Morris 1890- 176
  • Alexander Mossolov 1900- 177
  • Leo Ornstein 1895- 179
  • Ignace Jan Paderewski 1860- 181
  • Hans Pfitzner 1869- 185
  • Willem Pijper 1894- 189
  • Paul Pisk 1893- 191
  • Walter Piston 1894- 192
  • Ildebrando Pizzetti 1880- 193
  • Francis Poulenc 1899- 194
  • John Powell 1882- 196
  • Serge Prokofieff 1891- 198
  • Henri Rabaud 1873- 199
  • Serge Rachmaninoff 1873- 201
  • Maurice Ravel 1875- 205
  • Rhené-Baton 1879- 210
  • Wallingford Riegger 1885. 212
  • Vittorio Rieti 1898- 213
  • Roger-Ducasse 1875- 215
  • Dane Rudhyar 1895- 218
  • Carl Ruggles 1876- 220
  • Victor De Sabata 1892- 221
  • Lazare Saminsky 1882- 224
  • Ernest Schelling 1876- 226
  • Joseph Schillinger 1895- 228
  • Max Von Schillings 1868-1933 230
  • Florent Schmitt 1870. 232
  • Arnold Schönberg 1874- 234
  • Cyril Scott 1879- 238
  • Alexander Scriabin 1871-1915 240
  • Bernhard Sekles 1872- 242
  • Roger Sessions 1896- 245
  • Dmitri Shostakowitch 1906- 246
  • Christian Sinding 249
  • Leone Sinigaglia 1868- 252
  • David Stanley Smith 1877­ 253
  • Leo Sowerby 1895- 255
  • William Grant Still 1895- 256
  • Albert Stoessel 1894- 258
  • Richard Strauss 1864- 259
  • Igor Stravinsky 1882- 260
  • Edwin J. Stringham 1890- 268
  • Alexander Tansman 1897- 270
  • Deems Taylor 1885- 271
  • Alexander Tcherepnine 1899- 273
  • Nikolai Tcherepnine 1873- 275
  • Virgil Thomson 1896- 276
  • Ernest Toch 1887- 278
  • Vincenzo Tommasini 1880- 279
  • Joaquin Turina 1882. 281
  • Edgar Varèse 1885- 283
  • Ralph Vaughan-Williams 1872- 284
  • Hector Villa-Lobos 1886- 286
  • H. Waldo-Warner 1874- 288
  • William Walton 1902- 290
  • Anton Webern 1883- 291
  • Kurt Weill 1900- 292
  • Jaromir Weinberger 1896- 295
  • Leo Weiner 1885- 296
  • Adolph Weiss 1891- 298
  • Egon Wellesz 1885- 300
  • Alexander Weprik .1899- 301
  • Riccardo Zandonai 1883- 305
  • Bibliography of Modern Music 309
  • Index 313
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