Washington, Dinah [Jones, Ruth (Lee)]
(b Tuscaloosa, AL, 29 Aug 1924; d Detroit, 14 Dec 1963). American popular singer. She grew up in Chicago, where she directed and played the piano with her church choir. From the age of 15 she performed alternately in night clubs as a singer and pianist and in Sallie Martin's gospel choir. She was renamed Dinah Washington by the manager of the Garrick Stage Bar, where she was heard by Lionel Hampton, whose big band she subsequently joined (1943–6). Having recorded several blues hits in 1943, she embarked on a successful solo career from 1946. Washington's singing was characterized by high-pitched, penetrating sounds, precise enunciation, contrasts between tender understatement and gospel-inspired intensity, and an entrancing languor. Like Ray Charles, she could rework any type of material. From 1949 to 1955 her rhythm-and-blues, classic blues, pop and country recordings consistently reached the top ten on the rhythm and blues chart in the USA. What a difference a day makes (1959) marked her breakthrough into the general pop market, where she obtained several other gold records, some in duet with Brook Benton, before her early death from an accidental overdose of sleeping pills.
S. Harris: Blues Who's Who: a Biographical Dictionary of Blues Singers (New Rochelle, NY, 1979)
G. Endress: ‘Dinah Washington’, Jazz Podium: Musiker über sich selbst (Stuttgart, Germany, 1980), 66–73
J. Haskins: Queen of the Blues: a Biography of Dinah Washington (New York, 1987) [incl. discography]
Washington, University of.
University in Seattle; its school of music was established in 1891.
(b Grossleesen, nr Danzig, 17 June 1822; d Sondershausen, 13 Dec 1896). German violinist, conductor and writer on music. He received his early musical education at home, and on 3 April 1843 became one of the first pupils of the Leipzig Conservatory, where his teachers were Mendelssohn, Hauptmann and David. After graduating in 1846 he played first violin in the Leipzig Gewandhaus, various theatre orchestras and in the Euterpe concerts. Following concert tours and a period in Halle playing under Robert Franz, in 1850 he went at Schumann's invitation to Düsseldorf, where he worked as a violinist and teacher, also becoming a family friend of the Schumanns and personal assistant and amanuensis to the composer. In May 1852 he moved to Bonn and conducted the recently founded Concordia choral society and later the Beethovenverein. Three years later he found a more advantageous position at Dresden, and began to concentrate on music research, without however giving up playing and teaching. He published music criticism in the Signale, Leipziger Zeitung, Dresdener Journal and other papers and contributed many articles to periodicals. In 1869 he returned to Bonn as municipal director of music and became highly regarded as a conductor, but failed to obtain a university position. He retired in 1884 to Sondershausen, where he continued to teach music history at the conservatory and to write. He was decorated by the Duke of Meiningen in 1871 and was a member of the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna.
Wasielewski composed some partsongs and a nocturne for violin and piano, but his eminence both as a performing musician and writer is the chief testimony to his extraordinary gifts. His comprehensive and objective biography of Schumann was the first definitive work on this composer, though it was tepidly received by Schumann's immediate circle and is occasionally marred by an overly formalistic approach to the music; he also wrote valuable books on early string chamber music and instruments, distinguished by their sensitive use of the available evidence. Some of his work appeared under the name Joseph Wilhelm von Wasielewski, apparently an earlier form.
Robert Schumann (Dresden, 1858, rev., enlarged 4/1906/R by W. von Wasielewski; Eng. trans., 1871/R)
Die Violine und ihre Meister (Leipzig, 1869, enlarged, 8/1927/R by W. von Wasielewski)
Die Violine im XVII. Jahrhundert und die Anfänge der Instrumentalcomposition (Bonn, 1874/R) [music suppl. pubd separately as Intrumentalsätze vom Ende des XVI. bis Ende des XVII. Jahrhunderts (Bonn, 1874/R as Anthology of Instrumental Music from the End of the 16th to the End of the 17th Century)]
Geschichte der Instrumentalmusik im XVI. Jahrhundert (Berlin, 1878/R)
Musikalische Fürsten vom Mittelalter his zum Beginne des 19. Jahrhunderts (Berlin, 1879/R)
Goethe's Verhältnis zur Musik (Berlin, 1880/R)
Schumanniana (Bonn, 1883)
Ludwig van Beethoven (Berlin, 1888)
Das Violoncell und seine Geschichte (Leipzig, 1889, enlarged 3/1925/R; Eng. trans., 1894/R)
Carl Reinecke (Leipzig, 1892)
Aus siebzig Jahren: Lebenserinnerungen (Stuttgart, 1897)
ADB (V. Mnzer)
H. Deiters: ‘Robert Schumann: eine Biographie von Jos. Wilh. v. Wasielewski’, AMz, new ser., iv (1869), 364–7, 370–73, 378–80
E. Hanslick: Die moderne Oper, ix: Aus neuer und neuester Zeit (Berlin, 1900/R, 3/1911), 313–27
B. Litzmann, ed.: Clara Schumann: ein Künstlerleben (Leipzig, 1902–8, 4/1910) [letters]
T.A. Henseler: Das musikalische Bonn im 19. Jahrhundert (Bonn, 1959), 247–52, 286
R. Federhofer-Königs: Wilhelm Joseph von Wasielewski (1822–1896) im Spiegel seiner Korrespondenz (Tutzing, 1975)
R. Federhofer-Königs: ‘Wilhelm Joseph von Wasielewski, Schumanns Düsseldorfer Konzertmeister und Biograph’, Robert Schumann: ein romantisches Erbe in neuer Forschung (Mainz, 1984), 67–86
H. Lenneberg: Witnesses and Scholars: Studies in Musical Biography (New York, 1988), 138–49
GEORGE GROVE/DAVID CHARLTON
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