(b El Burgo de Osma, 1865; d Madrid, 11 Feb 1909). Spanish organist, composer and writer on music. He was a choirboy at Burgo de Osma Cathedral, where he studied with Damián Sanz and León Lobera, first the violin, then the organ and composition. In 1887 he was elected by competition organist of Tudela Cathedral, and in December that year became organist of Burgos Cathedral. In 1903 he was made deputy choirmaster at Burgos and in 1907 choirmaster of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid.
In his brief but stormy life Olmeda was notably active as a composer, organizer, conductor and publicist. After the Motu proprio of Pope Pius X, reforming church music, he dedicated himself untiringly to this cause, but his polemic spirit often rendered his efforts useless. His principal writings, apart from his numerous contributions to periodicals and magazines, are his Memoria de un viaje a Santiago de Galicia (1895), in which he wrote at length on the Calixtine manuscript, and his Discurso sobre la orquesta religiosa (Burgos, 1896). Also of significance is his Folklore de Castilla (Burgos, 1902), in which he collected a large number of popular songs. Apart from the masses, motets and psalms which he wrote for Burgos Cathedral, his most important works are chamber music, particularly his beautiful quartet in E, and some of his piano music, above all the Rimas and the sonatas. His extensive library, which included a large number of manuscripts, old editions of liturgical music and theoretical treatises, was acquired in 1911 by the Hispanic Society of New York.
L. Villalba Muñoz: Ultimos músicos españoles del siglo XIX (Madrid, 1914), 147–60
H. Collet: L'essor de la musique espagnole au XXe siècle (Paris, 1929)
J. López-Calo: Catálogo musical del archivo de la Santa Iglesia Catedral de Santiago (Cuenca, 1972, rev. 2/1992–3 as La Catedral de Santiago) [with further bibliography]
J. López–Calo: La música en la Catedral de Burgos (Burgos, 1995–7)
E. Ros-Fábregas:: ‘La biblioteca musical de Federico Olmeda (1865–1909) en la “Hispanic Society of America” de Nueva York’, RdMc, xx (1997), 553–70
Olmstead [Olmsted], Timothy
(b Hartford, CT, 12 Nov 1759; d Phoenix, Oswego Co., NY, 15 Aug 1848). American composer, tune book compiler, singing master and fifer. During the Revolutionary War he served as a fifer (1775–6) and played in a regimental band (1777–80). After the war he apparently settled in Connecticut and worked as a singing master. He served in the War of 1812, and in his later years lived in Whitestown, New York.
Olmstead compiled The Musical Olio (Northampton, MA, 1805, 2/1811), which was devoted mostly to European pieces and favoured the Methodist style, but also contained 25 of his own compositions. Drawing on his experience as a bandsman he also compiled Martial Music (Albany, NY, 1807), a collection of instrumental marches and dances, including nearly a dozen of his own. Olmstead’s range as a musician was unusual for Americans of his generation. As a psalmodist, he composed in both the indigenous New England idiom and a more Europeanized style, and he also wrote with some skill for instruments.
H.K. Olmsted and G.K. Ward: Genealogy of the Olmsted Family in America (New York, 1912), 40
F.J. Metcalf: American Writers and Compilers of Sacred Music (New York, 1925/R)
F.H. Johnson: Musical Memories of Hartford (Hartford, CT, 1931/R), 40–41
R.J. Wolfe: Secular Music in America, 1801–1825: a Bibliography (New York, 1964)
R. Crawford: Andrew Law, American Psalmodist (Evanston, IL, 1968/R)
R.F. Camus: Military Music of the American Revolution (Chapel Hill, NC, 1976)
P.R. Osterhout: Music in Northampton, Massachusetts to 1820 (diss., U. of Michigan, 1978), 275–9
R.M. Wilson: Connecticut’s Music in the Revolutionary Era (Hartford, CT, 1979)
A.P. Britton, I. Lowens and R. Crawford: American Sacred Music Imprints 1698–1810: a Bibliography (Worcester, MA, 1990), 480–82
R.F. Camus: Introduction to American Wind and Percussion Music, Three Centuries of American Music, xii (Boston, 1992), xviii–xix
RICHARD CRAWFORD/DAVID W. MUSIC
(b nr Warsaw, 1685; d Toruń, 15 April 1735). Polish theologian and musician of German origin. He was the son of a Protestant pastor, Marcin Olof (1658–1715), who was active mainly in Warsaw and Toruń, and was the compiler of a Polish religious folksong collection, Zbiór kantycznek (‘Collection of Psalm-Books’, Toruń, 1672). Efraim Olof was educated in Toruń and Leipzig and was active as a Protestant preacher in Elblag and Toruń. His work of historical value is Polnische Lieder Geschichte von polnischen Kirchen Gesängen (Danzig [now Gdańsk], 1744), which is in three parts: a list of the names of authors of songs, with information about their lives; a survey of the history of Polish ecclesiastical song; and a list of songs. Among his other works is Pieśni niektóre z niemieckiego na polski język przetłumaczone (‘Some Songs Translated from the German to Polish’, Toruń, 1727).
(b Bonn, 5 May 1924). Dutch violinist. His earliest lessons were from his mother; he gave his first performance when he was five years old. From 1933 he studied in Amsterdam with Oskar Back, and his Dutch début was in 1935. After 1945 he made extensive concert tours through Europe, the USA and the USSR. From 1951 to 1971 he was leader of the Residentie-Orkest, The Hague, a post that for a number of years he shared with Herman Krebbers, with whom he also formed a violin duo; Badings, Frid and Kox wrote double concertos for them. Olof gave first performances of violin concertos by Maderna, Ton de Leeuw, Henkemans and Van Vlijmen. From 1974 to 1985 he was leader of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam. He also formed a violin and piano duo with Janine Dacosta. He has written a number of books, including two volumes of autobiography, Daar sta je dan … (The Hague, 1958) and Daar sta je dan opnieuw (Nieuwkoop, 1980), and has published rhythmic exercises for string players. He taught at The Hague Conservatory and is an Officer of the Order of Oranje Nassau.
TRUUS DE LEUR