(bPaterson, NJ, 2 July 1904; d Princeton, NJ, 13 May 1991). American organist. A graduate of New York University (1927) and of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia (1930), he studied with Mark Andrews, Marcel Dupré and Lynnwood Farnam. At the time of Farnam’s illness and untimely death (1930), Weinrich completed his projected season of recitals and succeeded Farnam at the Church of the Holy Communion, New York. His Bach recitals drew special critical acclaim and large audiences. He toured extensively as a recitalist from 1934, but it was as a scholarly performer and teacher that he was most distinguished. His great technical gifts (rivalling those of Virgil Fox) and his broad grasp of music history (comparable with that of E. Power Biggs) were always at the service of the art. He taught at Westminster Choir College in Princeton (1934–40), at Wellesley College, Massachusetts (1936–46) and at Columbia University (1942–52), and served as director of music at Princeton University Chapel (1943–73). In 1950–51 he was Lamb Visiting Lecturer at Harvard University. His early recordings (especially on the ‘Praetorius’ organ) at Westminster Choir College were a landmark, and subsequent recordings furthered interest in and knowledge of the 20th-century revival in organ design and building. He edited Schoenberg’s Variations on a Recitative op.40 (New York, 1947) and performed many new organ works and much little-known old music. He wrote ‘Albert Schweitzer’s Contribution to Organ-Building’ (The Albert Schweitzer Jubilee Book, Cambridge, MA, 1945, p.215). (C.T. Russell and C. Krigbaum: ‘In Memoriam Carl Weinrich 1905–1991’, The Diapason, lxxxii/9 (1991), 11 only)
(b Milwaukee, 16 Nov 1905; d New York, 21 Oct 1971). American writer on music. After initial studies in Milwaukee he attended the University of Chicago. He worked for the firm of book publishers Alfred A. Knopf, New York (1943–59 and 1963–71), notably as music editor; he was a fluent and prolific writer especially on operatic subjects. From 1966 he was New York correspondent for the British journal Opera. He was also active as a translator: his interest in Carlos Chávez led to his translation Toward a New Music: Music and Electricity (New York, 1937), and he also translated Edmond Michotte’s Souvenirs personnels as Richard Wagner’s Visit to Rossini (Paris 1860) and An Evening at Rossini’s in Beau-Sejour (Passy 1858) (Chicago, 1968).
‘Carlos Chávez’, MQ, xxii (1936), 435–45
with W. Brockway: Men of Music (New York, 1939, enlarged, 2/1950)
with W. Brockway: The Opera: a History of its Creation and Performance, 1600–1941 (New York, 1941, 2/1962 as The World of Opera)
Tchaikovsky (New York, 1943)
Handel (New York, 1946, 2/1959)
Chopin: the Man and his Music (New York, 1949)
Music as an Art (New York, 1953, enlarged 2/1966 as What Music Is)
Donizetti and the World of Opera in Italy, Paris and Vienna in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century (New York, 1963)
‘Speaking of Musical Biography’, Notes, xxii (1965–6), 861–71
Rossini: a Biography (New York, 1968)
Vincenzo Bellini: his Life and Operas (New York, 1971)
(b Stal'noye, Ukraine, 10 March 1904). American music publisher. An accomplished musician, he started publishing music in 1940 in New York. He was director of the Am-Rus Music Corp., in charge of Soviet music distribution in the USA, and in this capacity arranged the first American performances of works by Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Kabalevsky and Myaskovsky. He obtained the highest ever hire fee ($10,000) in 1944 for the first American performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony no.8. From 1944 to 1950 he was head of the department of Soviet music at Leeds Music Corporation. In 1950 he established the Weintraub Music Company, which specialized in works by American composers, including George Antheil, Virgil Thomson, Robert Kurka, Howard Swanson and Benjamin Lees, issuing about ten new titles each year. Music Sales Corporation acquired the Weintraub firm in 1987, although Weintraub continued as music editor for a time.
W. THOMAS MARROCCO, MARK JACOBS
Weinzweig, John (Jacob)
(b Toronto, 11 March 1913). Canadian composer. He was one of the first Canadians to employ and champion 20th-century compositional techniques. His piano piece Spasmodia (1938) represents the first use of a 12-note series by a Canadian composer. Born to Polish-Jewish immigrants with little musical background, Weinzweig received instruction on the mandolin at the Workman’s Circle Peretz School before beginning piano lessons. At the age of 17 he joined the school orchestra at Harbord Collegiate Institute playing the mandolin, tenor saxophone, sousaphone, tuba, double bass and piano. He also worked as a freelance musician. He pursued his musical interest further at the local library where he engaged in score study, particularly of the works of Wagner.
In 1934 Weinzweig entered the music faculty at the University of Toronto where he studied counterpoint and fugue with Healey Willan, orchestration with Ernest MacMillan and harmony with Leo Smith. He studied conducting privately with Reginald Stewart. In December 1934 he founded the University of Toronto SO which he conducted over the next three years. Upon his graduation with the MB he enrolled at the Eastman School where for the first time, as a student of Bernard Rogers, he received instruction in composition. During this period he became acquainted with Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Berg’s Lyric Suite and the music of Schoenberg, all of which affected him deeply. His four orchestral tone poems (1937–8) impressed Howard Hanson so much that he chose Weinzweig’s Suite for Orchestra for broadcast on the NBC radio network in 1938.
After receiving the MMus Weinzweig returned to Toronto where he gained a post at the Toronto Conservatory teaching ear training, theory, orchestration and composition. In 1941 the CBC commissioned him to write original music for radio dramas. He produced c100 scores in this capacity for programmes based on the true stories of people who fled persecution in Europe by coming to Canada to those on Canadian literature and geography. His scores often combine folktunes or ethnic musics appropriate to the background of the persons and stories concerned, with 12-note compositional techniques. Weinzweig learned quickly that concision, distinctive rhythms and sparse textures were most effective for the medium. While commentators remarked on the effectiveness of his writing, Canadian radio listeners were introduced to modern music.
As a military band instructor during World War II Weinzweig began composing Divertimento no.1, the first in a series of divertimentos. In these pieces he develops a musical dialogue between a featured timbre and a larger ensemble. The Divertimento no.1 (1946) for flute and strings won the highest medal given for chamber music at the 1948 Olympiad. Eleven more divertimentos were completed by 1998. The first six utilize a serial technique that emphasizes the lyricism of motivic development by exposing the complete set one note at a time. Each new pitch is added only after a complete presentation of previously introduced pitch material. The fast–slow–fast arrangement of movements in the first five Divertimentos exhibits a neo-classical influence. This is no longer the case in Divertimentos no.6 (1972), 7 (1979), 10 (1988), 11 (1990) and 12 (1998) which incorporate jazz-like improvisational cadenzas into multi-sectional movements. The influence of New Orleans jazz and Swing imbues these works with changing time signatures, irregular groupings and offbeat accents. In each divertimento the timbre of the featured instrument is fully explored, often in new and experimental ways. In Divertimento no.9 (1982) for orchestra and no.10 for piano and strings, timbral explorations are applied to all of the participating instruments.
In 1951 Weinzweig was appointed to the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, where he was an important influence until his retirement in 1978. During the 1950s Weinzweig increased his efforts to improve opportunities for the performance and publication of contemporary Canadian concert music. With several students and colleagues Weinzweig formed the Canadian League of Composers in 1951. His extensive contacts across the country in addition to his leadership qualities resulted in an organization that effectively voiced the needs and concerns of Canadian composers. As the League’s president Weinzweig was instrumental in the planning of the Canadian Music Centre, an important resource library for performers and researchers. He was also associated with the National Advisory Committee of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, the Canadian Music Council and the Composers, Authors and Publishers Association of Canada, of which he became chair in 1973.
Although his administrative responsibilities reduced his time for composition, the Violin Concerto (1951–4) and the Wine of Peace (1957), dedicated to the United Nations, are among his most moving scores. His works of the 1960s increasingly incorporated ritualistic gestures borrowed from North American vernacular musics to articulate formal sections. The Harp Concerto (1967) continues to demonstrate an interest in timbral exploration. In the 1970s he introduced elements of theatre and no longer used serial procedures in an explicit manner. In addition to short pieces for solo instruments he wrote works for the voice, using his own frequently witty texts.
Throughout his life, Weinzweig has received many tributes and honours. These include appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada (1974), the Canadian Music Council Medal (1978), and membership in the Order of Ontario (1988). He was the first composer to be awarded both the prestigious Molson Prize for outstanding cultural achievement (1981), and the Roy Thomson Hall Award (1991). In 1978 the CBC issued five records of his music to initiate the series Anthology of Canadian Music. He is the subject of the 1989 Rhombus International documentary The Radical Romantic.
Orch: Rhapsody, 1940; Interlude in an Artist’s Life, 1943; Our Canada (Music for Radio no.1), 1943; Divertimento no.1, fl, str, 1946; Edge of the World (Music for Radio no.2), 1946; Divertimento no.2, ob, str, 1948; Red Ear of Corn (ballet), 1949; Round Dance, band, 1950; Vn Conc., 1951–4; Sym. Ode, 1958; Divertimento no.3, bn, str, 1960; Divertimento no.5, tpt, trbn, wind, 1961; Pf Conc., 1966; Harp Conc., 1967; Divertimento no.4, cl, str, 1968; Dummiyah (Silence), 1969; Divertimento no.6, sax, str, 1972; Divertimento no.7, hn, str, 1979; Out of the Blues, band, 1981; Divertimento no.9, 1982; Divertimento no.10, pf, str, 1988; Divertimento no.11, eng hn, str, 1990; Jammin’, fl, eng hn, cl, a sax, bn, hn, 2 tpt, trb, tuba, timp, pf, str, 1991; Divertimento no.12, ww qnt, str, 1998
Chbr and solo inst: Spasmodia, pf, 1938; Pf suite, no.1, 1939; Sonata, vn, pf, 1941; Improvisation on an Indian Tune, org, 1942, rev. 1980; Intermissions, fl, ob, 1943; Str Qt no.2, 1946; Sonata ‘Israel’, vc, pf, 1949; Sonata, pf, 1950; Pf Suite no.2, 1950; Str Qt no.3, 1962; Wind Qnt, 1964; Cl Qt, 1965; Around the Stage in 25 Minutes during which a Variety of Instruments are Struck, perc, 1970; Riffs, fl, 1974; Contrasts, gui, 1976; Pieces of Five, brass qnt, 1976; Refrains, db, pf, 1977; 18 Pieces, gui, 1980; 15 Pieces, hp, 1983; Conversations, 3 gui, 1984; Cadenza, cl, 1986; Tremologue, va, 1987; Micromotions, pf, 1988; Duologue, 2 pf, 1990; Riffs 2, trbn, 1991; Belaria, vn/vc/va, 1992; Riffs 3, tpt, 1992; Arctic Shadows, ob, pf, 1993; Divertimento, hn, pf, 1993; Diversions, pf, 1994; Swing Out, bn, 1995
Vocal: To the Lands over Yonder (trad. Inuit), SATB, 1945; Of Time and the World, 3 songs (J. Weinzweig), Mez/Bar, pf, 1947; Hitlahavuth (Dance of the Masada) (I. Lamdam), Bar, pf, 1951; Am Yisrael chai! [Israel Lives] (M. Lee), SATB, 1952; Wine of Peace (after Calderón, anon.), S, orch, 1957; Trialogue (Weinzweig), S, fl, pf, 1971; Private Collection (Weinzweig), S, pf, 1975; Choral Pieces (Weinzweig), SATB, 1985–6; Prime Time, S, Bar, fl, b cl, 1992; Journey Out of Night (Weinzweig), Mez, pf, 1994; Le rendez-vous (Weinzweig), Mez, Bar, pf, 1995; Parodies and Travesties (Weinzweig), S, Mez, pf, 1995; Walking-Talking, S, Mez, T, Bar, pf, 1996
Principal Publishers: Boosey & Hawkes, Can. Musical Heritage, J.B. Cramer, Frederick Harris, Leeds, Oxford University Press, Southern, Transcontinental
‘The New Music’, Canadian Review of Music and Art, v/5 (1942), 5–6, 16
‘A Composer Looks at the Teaching of Theory’, Royal Conservatory of Music Bulletin [Toronto] (1949), Nov, 2–3
ed. R. Henninger: ‘Writings of John Weinzweig’, Les cahiers canadiens de musique/The Canada Music Book, vi (1973), 41ff
John Weinzweig: his Words and his Music (Grimsby, ON, 1986)
‘John Weinzweig’, Canadian Music of the 1930s and 1940s, ed. B. Cavanagh (Kingston, ON, 1987), 41–3
‘By the Time I was Nineteen I Decided that I Wanted to be A Composer’, Voices of Canadian Jews, ed. B.M. Knight and R. Alkallay (Montreal, 1988), 453–66
Sounds & Reflections (Grimsby, ON, 1990)
‘The Making of a Composer’, A Celebration of Canada’s Arts 1930–1970, ed. G. Carruthers and G. Lazarevich (Toronto, 1996), 77–86
EMC2(J. Beckwith, R. Henninger)
‘Professor John Weinzweig: Important Musical Influence’, Canadian Composer, xiv (1967) 40
A.Walter, ed.: Aspects of Music in Canada (Toronto, 1969), 110ff
E.Keillor: John Weinzweig and His Music: the Radical Romantic of Canada (Metuchen, 1994)