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Achille-Claude Debussy (August 22, 1862 – March 25, 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he is considered one of the most prominent figures working within the field of Impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions. Debussy was not only among the most important of all French composers but also was a central figure in all European music at the turn of the twentieth century.
Debussy's music virtually defines the transition from late-Romantic music to twentieth century modernist music. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as Symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant.
Desplat has extensively composed for films, first in France and later in Hollywood, including scores and incidental music for some 100 films among which are Lapse of Memory and Family Express (both 1992), Regarde Les Hommes Tomber (1994), Les Péchés Mortels (1995), the César nominated Un Héros Très Discret (1996), Une Minute De Silence and Sweet Revenge (both 1998), Le Château Des Singes (1999), Home Sweet Home and Reines D'Un Jour (both 2001), the César nominated Sur Mes Lèvres (2002), and Rire Et Châtiment (2003), among others.
Desplat has composed individual songs that have been sung in films by artists such as Akhenaton, Kate Beckinsale, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Valérie Lemercier, Miosotis, and Catherine Ringer. He has also written music for the theatre, including pieces performed at the Comédie Française. Desplat has conducted performances of his music played by the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Munich Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his composing and performing, Desplat has also given Master Classes at La Sorbonne in Paris and at London's Royal College of Music.
In 2007 he composed the high profile scores for Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass; Zach Helm's directorial debut Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium with American composer Aaron Zigman; and the Ang Lee movie Lust, Caution. Prior to these breakout works, he contributed scores for The Luzhin Defence, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Syriana, Birth, Hostage, Casanova, The Nest and The Painted Veil, for which he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Music, and the 2006 World Soundtrack Award. He won the 2007 BMI Film Music Award, 2007 World Soundtrack Award, 2007 European Film Award, and received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score for The Queen. He also won the Silver Berlin Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for Best Film Music in The Beat that My Heart Skipped. In 2008, Desplat received his second Oscar nomination for David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Desplat's recent projects include Largo Winch, based on the Belgian comic; Afterwards a French-Canadian psychological thriller film directed by Gilles Bourdos in English; Anne Fontaine's Coco avant Chanel based on the life of designer Coco Chanel; Robert Guédiguian's L'Armée du Crime; Cheri, reuniting him with director Stephen Frears, whom he collaborated with on The Queen; Un Prophète reuniting with director Jacques Audiard; Julie & Julia directed by Nora Ephron; Fantastic Mr. Fox, directed by Wes Anderson and based on the novel by Roald Dahl; and New Moon, directed by Chris Weitz, out in November 2009.
Desplat's upcoming projects are The Tree of Life, directed by Terrence Malick, The Ghost, directed by Roman Polanski, and Largo Winch 2 .
Nino Rota (December 3, 1911, Milan – April 10, 1979, Rome) was a world-renowned Italian composer and academic who is best known for his film scores, notably for the films of Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti. He also composed the music for two of Franco Zeffirelli's Shakespeare films, and for the first two films of Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather trilogy.
During his long career Rota was an extraordinarily prolific composer, especially of music for the cinema. He wrote more than 150 scores for Italian and international productions from the 1930s until his death in 1979—an average of three scores each year over a 46 year period, and in his most productive period from the late 1940s to the mid-1950s he wrote as many as ten scores every year, and sometimes more, with a remarkable thirteen film scores to his credit in 1954. Alongside this great body film work, he composed ten operas, five ballets and dozens of other orchestral, choral and chamber works, the best known being his string concerto. He also composed the music for many theatre productions by Visconti, Zeffirelli and Eduardo de Filippo as well as maintaining a long teaching career at the Liceo Musicale in Bari, Italy, where he was the director for almost 30 years.
Justin Randall Timberlake (born January 31, 1981) is an American pop singer-songwriter, record producer, dancer and actor. He has won six Grammy Awards as well as an Emmy Award.
Justin Timberlake came to fame as one of the lead singers of pop "boy band" (or "vocal harmony group") 'N Sync, whose launch was financed by Lou Pearlman. In 2002, he released his debut solo album, Justified, which sold more than 7 million copies worldwide. Timberlake's second solo release, FutureSex/LoveSounds, was released in 2006 with the U.S. number-one hit singles "SexyBack", "My Love", and "What Goes Around.../...Comes Around". The album also spawned three additional U.S. top twenty hits ("Summer Love", "LoveStoned", and "Until the End of Time"). As of January 2008, FutureSex/LoveSounds has sold more than 8.6 million copies. With his first two albums, Timberlake has sold more than 18 million records worldwide alone, as well as more than 50 million copies as one of the two lead singers in 'N Sync. His other ventures include record label Tennman Records, fashion label William Rast, and the restaurants Destino and Southern Hospitality.
Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin (/skriˈæbɪn/; Russian: Алекса́ндр Никола́евич Скря́бин; 6 January 1872 – 27 April 1915) was a Russian composer and pianist. Scriabin's early work is characterised by a lyrical and idiosyncratic tonal language influenced by Frédéric Chopin. Later in his career, independently of Arnold Schoenberg, Scriabin developed a substantially atonal and much more dissonant musical system, accorded to mysticism. Scriabin was influenced by synesthesia, and associated colors with the various harmonic tones of his atonal scale, while his color-coded circle of fifths was also influenced by theosophy. He is considered by some to be the main Russian Symbolist composer.
Scriabin was one of the most innovative and most controversial of early modern composers. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia said of Scriabin that, "No composer has had more scorn heaped or greater love bestowed..." Leo Tolstoy once described Scriabin's music as "a sincere expression of genius." Scriabin had a major impact on the music world over time, and influenced composers like Roy Agnew, Nikolai Roslavets, Sergei Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky. Scriabin's importance in the Soviet musical scene, and internationally, drastically declined. "No one was more famous during their lifetime, and few were more quickly ignored after death." In the 1970s, for instance, there were only three recordings of his complete (published) sonatas. Yet Scriabin's work has steadily regained popularity in recent years.
Teresa Teng (January 29, 1953 – May 8, 1995; traditional Chinese: 鄧麗君; simplified Chinese: 邓丽君; pinyin: Dèng Lìjūn; Wade–Giles: Teng Li-chun; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tēng Lē-kun, Japanese: テレサ・テン) was a Taiwanese pop singer. Teng's voice and songs are instantly recognized throughout East Asia and in areas with large Asian populations. It is often said, "Wherever there are Chinese people, the songs of Teresa Teng can be heard." Her songs enjoy popularity among Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese listeners as well.
Teng was known for her folk songs and romantic ballads. Many became standards in her lifetime, such as "When Will You Return?" and "The Moon Represents My Heart". She recorded songs not only in her native Mandarin but also in Taiwanese Hokkien, Cantonese, Japanese, Indonesian, and English.
Teng, a lifelong sufferer from asthma, died in 1995 from a severe respiratory attack while on holiday in Thailand. She was 42.
Kanye Omari West (born June 8, 1977) is a 9 time Grammy Award-winning American rapper and record producer. He released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004, his second album Late Registration in 2005, and his third album Graduation in 2007. His first three albums have received numerous awards, critical acclaim, and commercial success. West also runs his own record label GOOD Music. West's mascot and trademark is "Dropout Bear," a teddy bear which has appeared on the covers of his three albums as well as the singles "Stronger" and "Homecoming."
West's parents divorced when he was three years old, and he and his mother moved to Chicago, Illinois. He enrolled at Chicago State University but later dropped out to continue pursuing his music career. He later gained fame by producing hit singles for musical artists including Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, and Janet Jackson. West's style of production often utilizes pitched-up vocal samples, usually from soul songs, with his own drums and instruments. Some controversy has also surrounded West, such as an incident during a live telecast of a benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina relief, when he deviated from the script and told the audience, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."
On May 16, 2008, Kanye West was crowned by MTV as the year's #1 "Hottest MC In The Game."
Miley Ray Cyrus (born Destiny Hope Cyrus; November 23, 1992) is an American pop singer and television and film actress. Cyrus is best known for starring as the title character in the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana. Following the success of Hannah Montana, in October 2006, a soundtrack CD was released in which she sang eight songs from the show. Cyrus' solo music career began with the release of her debut album, Meet Miley Cyrus on June 23, 2007, which included her first top ten single "See You Again". Her second album, Breakout, was released on July 22, 2008. Breakout is Cyrus' first album that does not involve the Hannah Montana franchise. Both albums debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. In 2008, she appeared in the Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert film.
Cyrus also starred in Bolt in 2008, and recorded "I Thought I Lost You" for the soundtrack for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. She starred in the film spin-off of Hannah Montana, titled Hannah Montana: The Movie which was released on April 10, 2009. In 2008, Cyrus was listed in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World. Forbes magazine ranked her #35 on the "Celebrity 100" list with earnings of $25 million in 2008. Her rank improved to #29 in 2009.
Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1970) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. She made her recording debut in 1990 under the guidance of Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola, and became the first recording artist to have her first five singles top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Following her marriage to Mottola in 1993, a series of hit records established her position as Columbia's highest-selling act. According to Billboard magazine, she was the most successful artist of the 1990s in the United States.
Following her separation from Mottola in 1997, Carey introduced elements of hip hop into her album work, to much initial success, but her popularity was in decline when she left Columbia in 2001, and she was dropped by Virgin Records the following year after a highly publicized physical and emotional breakdown, as well as the poor reception given to Glitter, her film and soundtrack project. In 2002, Carey signed with Island Records, and after a relatively unsuccessful period, she returned to pop music in 2005.
Carey was named the best-selling female pop artist of the millennium at the 2000 World Music Awards. She has had the most number-one singles for a solo artist in the United States (eighteen; second artist overall behind The Beatles), where, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, she is the third best-selling female and sixteenth overall recording artist. In addition to her commercial accomplishments, Carey has earned five Grammy Awards, and is well-known for her vocal range, power, melismatic style, and use of the whistle register.
Rihanna (born Robyn Rihanna Fenty; February 20, 1988) is a Barbadian singer, model and fashion designer. She is the second artist, and first female, from Barbados to have received a Grammy Award (the first being Jimmy Senya Haynes). Rihanna is currently signed to the Def Jam Recordings label. She has attained four Billboard Hot 100 number ones thus far ("SOS", "Umbrella", "Take a Bow", and "Disturbia"), tying her with Mariah Carey and Beyoncé as the female solo artist with the most number ones this decade.
Rihanna came to fame in 2005 with the release of her debut album Music of the Sun, which featured her breakthrough single "Pon de Replay". Less than a year later, Rihanna released A Girl Like Me and gave her first number one single, "SOS". In 2007, Rihanna released her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad. The album has yielded six hit singles including five worldwide number one singles "Umbrella", "Don't Stop the Music" and "Take A Bow". Since the release of her debut album, Rihanna has amassed eleven top 40 hit singles in the U.S.
Pink Floyd are an English rock band from Cambridge. The band initially earned recognition for their psychedelic and space rock music, and, as they evolved, for their progressive rock music. Pink Floyd are known for philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album cover art, and elaborate live shows. One of rock music's most successful acts, the group have sold over 200 million albums worldwide including 74.5 million albums in the United States alone. Pink Floyd have influenced progressive rock artists of the 1970s such as Genesis and Yes; and contemporary artists such as Nine Inch Nails and Dream Theater.
Pink Floyd had moderate mainstream success and were one of the most popular bands in the London underground music scene in the late 1960s as a psychedelic band led by Syd Barrett. However, Barrett's erratic behaviour eventually forced his colleagues to replace him with guitarist and singer David Gilmour. After Barrett's departure, singer and bass player Roger Waters gradually became the dominant and driving force in the group by the late-1970s, until his eventual departure from the group in 1985. The band recorded several albums, achieving worldwide success with The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), and The Wall (1979).
In 1985, Waters declared Pink Floyd "a spent force", but the remaining members, led by Gilmour, continued recording and touring under the name Pink Floyd. Waters sued them for the name and eventually they reached a settlement out of court, under which Gilmour, Mason and Wright would continue as Pink Floyd. They again enjoyed worldwide success with A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994). Waters performed with the band for the first time in 24 years on 2 July 2005 at the London Live 8 concert.
Peter Gene Hernandez (born October 8, 1985), better known by his stage name Bruno Mars, is an American singer-songwriter and music producer. Raised in Honolulu, Hawaii by a family of musicians, Mars began making music at a young age. After performing in various musical venues in his hometown throughout his childhood, he decided to pursue a musical career. Mars began producing songs for other artists, joining production team The Smeezingtons.
He became recognized as a solo artist after lending his vocals and co-writing the hooks for the songs "Nothin' on You" by B.o.B, and "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy. He also co-wrote the hits "Right Round" by Flo Rida featuring Kesha, "Wavin' Flag" by K'naan, and "Fuck You!" by Cee Lo Green. In October 2010, he released his debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. Anchored by the singles "Just the Way You Are" and "Grenade", the album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200. He has been nominated for seven Grammys at the 53rd Grammy Awards, which will be held on February 13, 2011.
Seamus Blake (born December 1970) is a Canadian tenor saxophonist.
Born in London, England, Blake was brought up in Vancouver, Canada. His mother introduced him to jazz when he was a child and he later attended Berklee School of Music in Boston. Upon graduation moved to New York. In February 2002 he won the Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition. He currently plays with his own quintet (featuring David Kikoski, Lage Lund, Bill Stewart, and Matt Clohesy) and has been a regular with the Mingus Big Band as well as many other New York musicians.
Howard Blake OBE (born 28 October 1938, London) is an English composer whose career has spanned over 50 years and produced more than 650 works. Most successful is his soundtrack for Channel 4’s 1982 film The Snowman including the song Walking In The Air. He is increasingly recognised for his classical works including concertos, oratorios, ballets, operas and many instrumental pieces. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians states: ‘Howard Blake has achieved fame as pianist, conductor and composer
Daft Punk is an electronic music duo consisting of French musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (born February 8, 1974) and Thomas Bangalter (born January 3, 1975). Daft Punk reached significant popularity in the late 1990s house movement in France and met with continued success in the years following, combining elements of house with synthpop. The duo is also credited with producing songs that are considered essential in the French house scene. They were managed from 1996 to 2008 by Pedro Winter (Busy P), the head of Ed Banger Records. Early in the group's career, the band members were strongly influenced by groups such as The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones. Bangalter and de Homem-Christo were originally in a band called Darlin', which disbanded after a short period of time, leaving the two to experiment musically on their own.
The duo became Daft Punk, and released their critically acclaimed debut album Homework in 1997. The 2001 release Discovery was even more successful, driven by the club singles "One More Time", "Digital Love" and "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger". In March 2005, the duo released the album Human After All to mixed reviews. However, the singles "Robot Rock" and "Technologic" achieved success in the United Kingdom. Daft Punk toured throughout 2006 and 2007 and released the live album Alive 2007, which won a Grammy award for Best Electronic/Dance Album. The duo composed the score of the film Tron: Legacy and in 2010 released the soundtrack album of the film. Daft Punk are noted for their elaborate live shows, in which visual elements and effects are incorporated with the music. The group is also known for its emphasis on visual and story components associated with their musical productions, as well as for wearing disguises, most notably, ornate robot costumes in public and while performing.
William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. His prophetic poetry has been said to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language". His visual artistry led one contemporary art critic to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced". In 2002, Blake was placed at number 38 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. Although he lived in London his entire life except for three years spent in Felpham he produced a diverse and symbolically rich corpus, which embraced the imagination as "the body of God", or "Human existence itself".
Considered mad by contemporaries for his idiosyncratic views, Blake is held in high regard by later critics for his expressiveness and creativity, and for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work. His paintings and poetry have been characterised as part of the Romantic movement and "Pre-Romantic", for its large appearance in the 18th century. Reverent of the Bible but hostile to the Church of England – indeed, to all forms of organised religion – Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American revolutions, as well as by such thinkers as Jakob Böhme and Emanuel Swedenborg. Despite these known influences, the singularity of Blake's work makes him difficult to classify. The 19th-century scholar William Rossetti characterised him as a "glorious luminary," and "a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or readily surmisable successors".
Graham Kendrick (born on 2 August 1950, Blisworth, Northamptonshire) is a prolific British Christian singer-songwriter and worship leader. He is the son of Baptist pastor, the Revd. M. D. Kendrick. He now lives in Croydon and is a former member of Ichthus Christian Fellowship. Together with Roger Forster, Gerald Coates and Lynne Green, he was a founder of March for Jesus.
Selena Marie Gomez (born July 22, 1992) is an American singer and actress. Gomez first made her debut appearing as Gianna in Barney & Friends, lasting from 2002 to 2004. Following this, Gomez had cameo roles in films such as Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003) and Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire (2005). In 2006, Gomez appeared as a guest star on an episode of the Disney Channel series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, as well as Hannah Montana. Following this, Gomez starred in the Disney Channel television series Wizards of Waverly Place. The series was a critical and commercial success, earning Gomez numerous awards and nominations. Gomez later appeared in numerous Disney Channel series and films including Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream (2008) and Disney Channel Games (2008). In 2009, Gomez appeared in the films Princess Protection Program and Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie before releasing her first studio album as Selena Gomez & the Scene, titled Kiss & Tell. The album was a commercial success, peaking inside the Top 10 of the Billboard 200.
Supertramp were a British progressive rock band that released a series of top-selling albums in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Their early music included ambitious concept albums, from which were drawn a number of hits including "Goodbye Stranger", "Bloody Well Right", "The Logical Song", "Breakfast in America", "Dreamer", "Give a Little Bit", "It's Raining Again", and "Take the Long Way Home". Supertramp attained superstardom in the United States, Canada, most of Europe, South Africa, Australia and Brazil, although they were not quite as popular in their home country, the UK. Nonetheless, the album Breakfast in America was a big hit there, reaching number three on the UK charts and featuring two top 10 singles.
Gabriel Urbain Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. He was the foremost French composer of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th century composers. His harmonic and melodic language affected how harmony was later taught.
Gonzales, (born Jason Charles Beck; 1972), is a Grammy-nominated Canadian musician who resided in Paris, France for several years, now in Cologne, Germany. Though best known for his first MC and electro albums, he is also a pianist, producer, and songwriter.
He regularly collaborates with the Canadian musicians Peaches, Mocky and Feist (who, among other things, joined him on tour through Europe and Australia for the album 'Presidential Suite'). Additionally, he has collaborated with Jamie Lidell on the albums Multiply and Compass, Buck 65 on the album Secret House Against the World, Daft Punk on the album Random Access Memories and performed with Drake at the 2011 Juno Awards.
Carlos Gardel (11 December 1890 – 24 June 1935) was a singer, songwriter and actor, and is perhaps the most prominent figure in the history of tango. The unerring musicality of Gardel's baritone voice and the dramatic phrasing of his lyrics made miniature masterpieces of his hundreds of three-minute tango recordings. Together with lyricist and long-time collaborator Alfredo Le Pera, Gardel wrote several classic tangos, most notably "Mi Buenos Aires querido", "Por una cabeza" and "El día que me quieras".
Gardel died in an airplane crash at the height of his career, becoming an archetypal tragic hero mourned throughout Latin America. For many, Gardel embodies the soul of the tango style. He is commonly referred to as "Carlitos", "El Zorzal" (The Song Thrush), "The King of Tango", "El Mago" (The Magician) and "El Mudo" (The Mute).
Steve Walsh (born June 15, 1951) is a musician and singer-songwriter best known for his work as a member of the progressive rock band Kansas. He sings lead on Kansas' four best-known hits: "Carry On Wayward Son," "Dust in the Wind", "Point of Know Return", and "All I Wanted", the last two of which he also co-wrote.
Greg Maroney is a very gifted pianist. The original piano music found in his nine CDs is beautifully written and flows as if it comes directly from nature. His songs have a warmth and naturalness that speak to the listener, bringing them closer to their own heart. His life and surroundings, along with his past and present, all add to the stories that are behind his wonderful music. He has studied classical and jazz piano since age five and currently performs in concert as a solo pianist, playing original compositions from his eight highly acclaimed CDs. He is based in rural south central Pennsylvania.
Levi Celerio (April 30, 1910 – April 2, 2002) was a Filipino composer and lyricist. Celerio was a prolific songwriter, with over 4,000 songs to his credit. He is perhaps best known for being a leaf-player, a feat for which he was put into the Guinness Book of World Records. In 1997, he was named National Artist of the Philippines for Music.
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988 in Enfield, North London), She is the first recipient of the Brit Awards Critics' Choice, which was given to artists who, at the time, had yet to release an album. She debuted at number one with her Mercury Prize nominated debut album 19 in the UK album chart and has since then been certified platinum with sales over 500,000 copies.
Koji Kondo (近藤浩治 Kondō Kōji?, born August 13, 1960) is a Japanese video game composer and sound director who has been employed at Nintendo since 1984. He is best known for scoring numerous titles in the Mario and The Legend of Zelda series.
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