O'Hara, Kane [Kean, Kene]
(b ?Dublin or Co. Sligo, 1711/12; d Dublin, 17 June 1782). Irish librettist and musician. He was the younger son of Kean O'Hara, High Sheriff of County Sligo in 1703, and married the widow of Theobald Mathew the younger of Thomastown, County Tipperary. He was admitted to Trinity College, Dublin, on 3 March 1728 at the age of 16 and graduated in 1732. He is known chiefly as the librettist and arranger of the music for Midas (repr. of lib and facs. of 4 airs from score (Us-Ws) in Dircks; lib ed. Dircks, New York, 1987), the first ‘English burletta’, presented at the Crow Street Theatre, Dublin, on 22 January 1762 as a rival attraction to the season of Italian burlettas at the Smock Alley Theatre. Flood (History of Irish Music) stated that it had previously been performed at the private theatre of the Rt Hon. William Brownlow MP in Lurgan in April 1760; and O'Keeffe (Recollections) described a meeting at O'Hara's house in King Street, Dublin, at which O'Hara, Lord Mornington and Brownlow were ‘settling the music for Midas’. The music contains popular songs of the time, such as arias from Italian operas and folksongs from Ireland and other countries, linked by dialogue set to recitative. There is frequent resort to concerted numbers. With characters consisting of mythological gods and mortals, Midas is in reality a burlesque of opera seria. It attained considerable popularity and was frequently performed in London after the first production at Covent Garden on 22 February 1764.
O'Hara was also author of the libretto for Thomas Arne's pasticcio of 1773, The Golden Pippin (lib ed. Dircks, New York, 1987), and was responsible for the musical farce Two Misers (Covent Garden, 21 January 1775), which was covenanted to Thomas Ryder in 1780 for production at Crow Street in Dublin, the burlesque A Fine Day (Haymarket, 22 August 1777), and a version of Fielding's Tom Thumb (Covent Garden, 3 October 1780), which had been set by both Arne and J.F. Lampe in 1733. He was vice-president of Lord Mornington's Musical Academy, which was founded in 1757 mainly through his exertions. For the last four years of his life he was blind.
T.J. Walsh: Opera in Dublin 1705–1797: the Social Scene (Dublin, 1973)
P.T. Dircks: Introduction to Midas: an English Burletta (Los Angeles, 1974) [repr. of lib, with facs. of 4 airs from score in US-Ws]
A. Klein: ‘Irische Nachfogler der Bettleroper, oder Eine kritische Geschichte des “grössten Gelächters” auf britischen Bühnen’, Concerto, no.63 (1991), 13–18
Ohio Chamber Orchestra.
Orchestra established in 1972, based in Cleveland.
Ohio State University School of Music.
A school of music in the college of the arts of the state university at Columbus, Ohio, USA. The university opened in 1873 and soon began to offer music instruction; the school of music was established in 1945. Its first director was Eugene J. Weigel (1894–1973), also director of the university’s renowned marching band. Students numbered about 550 and faculty about 65 in the 1990s; BA, BM, BME, AB, MM, MA, DMA and PhD degrees are awarded in performance, conducting, jazz studies, music education, theory, composition and music history. The library holds over 130,000 volumes and 38,000 recordings. The Weigel Hall (1980) at the school has a recital hall with a movable ceiling and other acoustical refinements.
(b St Pölten, 30 March 1912). Austrian bassoonist and teacher. On completing his studies under Karl Strobl in Vienna in 1936, he had the rare distinction of being at once appointed to the principal position in the Vienna PO. Two years later he succeeded his teacher as professor at the Vienna Music Academy. In these positions he upheld the highest traditions of the Viennese school of wind playing, exerting considerable influence by attracting students from many foreign countries. He retired from the Vienna PO in 1974. His 80th birthday was commemorated by a Festschrift, Fagott Forever, edited by W.H. Sallagar and Michael Nagy (Wilhering, 1992).
Ohlsson, Garrick (Olof)
(b Bronxville, NY, 3 April 1948). American pianist. His first teacher was Thomas Lishman at the Westchester Conservatory, and at 13 he went to Sascha Gorodnitzki at the Juilliard School, where he also studied with Rosina Lhévinne. The most crucial influence, however, was Olga Barabini, a pupil of both Arrau and Hofmann. Ohlsson's career was established when he became the first American to win the Warsaw International Chopin Competition (1970); he had already attracted attention as the winner of competitions in Bolzano (1966) and Montreal (1968). Because of his Warsaw success he became known as a Chopin player and has made many tours of Poland. His repertory is nevertheless broad and includes even such early composers as Thomas Tomkins, while Skryabin is a special interest. He has appeared with major symphony orchestras across Europe, the USA, Japan and New Zealand and at numerous festivals including the Proms and the City of London Festival.
Ohlsson is a large man with large hands who plays easily such works as Skryabin's Etude in 9ths. His technique is complete, his tone large and unpercussive, though hard-edged. He is a musician with a modest manner and exceptional intelligence, adept at projecting, for example, the subtle forms of late Chopin, if tending towards heaviness in late Romantic works. He has made many recordings, including works by Chopin, the complete piano music of Brahms and an unusual recording of Wagner performed on the composer's own piano. In 1984 Ohlsson was the soloist for the world première of Wuorinen's Third Piano Concerto.
Ohm, Georg Simon
(b Erlangen, 16 March 1789; d Munich, 6 July 1854). German scientist. He studied mathematics at the University of Erlangen, taking a degree in 1811. He spent the rest of his life in a series of undistinguished posts, teaching mathematics and later physics at a relatively elementary level, apart from a period (1833–49) as professor of physics and rector of the Polytechnic Institute at Nuremberg. Among his writings is the paper of 1827 which contained the famous Ohm’s Law of Electricity, which however was little recognized at the time. His contribution to music is contained in two papers (published in Annalen der Physik uns Chemie, 1843 and 1844) in which he presented what became known as Ohm’s Law of Acoustics: he suggested that musical sounds depended not on phase but on the distribution of energies among the harmonics. His research stimulated Helmholtz’s important experiments in the 1850s and 1860s, and dominated the conception of the subject for a century. Ohm’s place in musical acoustics, although less publicized, is as secure as his place in electromagnetic theory.
See also Physics of music, §4.
K.L. Caneva: ‘Ohm, Georg Simon’, Dictionary of Scientific Biography, ed. C.C. Gillispie (New York, 1970–80)
JAMES F. BELL/MURRAY CAMPBELL