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"... Elvis Presleys' first album ... had more energy and more enthusiam than any other album at the time - when it was released it just blew everything else out. It changed the whole landscape of music" Brian Setzer - Stray Cats / Brian Setzer Orchestra
Sir Elton Hercules John CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March 1947) is an English pop/rock singer, composer and pianist.
In his four-decade career, John has been one of the dominant forces in rock and popular music, especially during the 1970s. He has sold over 200 million records, making him one of the most successful artists of all time. He has more than 50 Top 40 hits including seven consecutive No. 1 U.S. albums, 59 Top 40 singles, 16 Top 10, four No. 2 hits, and nine No. 1 hits. He has won five Grammy awards and one Academy Award. His success has had a profound impact on popular music and has contributed to the continued popularity of the piano in rock and roll. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him #49 on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.
Some of the characteristics of John's musical talent include an ability to quickly craft melodies for the lyrics of songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, his former rich tenor (now baritone) voice, his classical and gospel-influenced piano, the aggressive orchestral arrangements of Paul Buckmaster among others and the flamboyant fashions, outlandishly excessive eyeglasses, and on-stage showmanship, especially evident during the 1970s.
John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. He has been heavily involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s, and was knighted in 1998. He entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish on 21 December 2005 and continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements. On April 9, 2008, John held a benefit concert for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, raising $2.5 million.
Ludwig van Beethoven (16 December 1770 - 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. He was a crucial figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music, and remains one of the most respected and influential composers of all time.
Born in Bonn, then in the Electorate of Cologne (now in modern-day Germany), he moved to Vienna in his early twenties and settled there, studying with Joseph Haydn and quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. Beethoven's hearing gradually deteriorated beginning in his twenties, yet he continued to compose masterpieces, and to conduct and perform, even after he was completely deaf.
Niccolò Paganini (27 October 1782 – 27 May 1840) was an Italian violinist, violist, guitarist, and composer. He was one of the most celebrated violin virtuosi of his time, and left his mark as one of the pillars of modern violin technique. His caprice in A minor, Op. 1 No. 24 is among his best known of compositions, and serves as inspiration for many prominent artists.
Paganini composed his own works to play exclusively in his concerts, all of which had profound influences on the evolution of violin techniques. His 24 Caprices were probably composed in the period between 1805 to 1809, while he was in the service of the Baciocchi court. Also during this period, he composed the majority of the solo pieces, duo-sonatas,trios and quartets for the guitar. These chamber works may have been inspired by the publication, in Lucca, of the guitar quintets of Boccherini. Many of his variations (and he has become the de facto master of this musical genre), including Le Streghe, The Carnival of Venice, and Nel cor più non mi sento, were composed, or at least first performed, before his European concert tour.
Playbill of Paganini's concert at the Covent Garden in 1832. Note that all solo pieces were of his composition, which was typical of all his concerts.
Generally speaking, Paganini's compositions were technically imaginative, and the timbre of the instrument was greatly expanded as a result of these works. Sounds of different musical instruments and animals were often imitated. One such composition was titled Il Fandango Spanolo (The Spanish Dance), which featured a series of humorous imitations of farm animals. Even more outrageous was a solo piece Duetto Amoroso, in which the sighs and groans of lovers were intimately depicted on the violin. Fortunately there survives a manuscript of the Duetto which has been recorded, while the existence of the Fandango is known only through concert posters.
However, his works were criticized for lacking characteristics of true polyphonism, as pointed out by Eugène Ysaÿe. Yehudi Menuhin, on the other hand, suggested that this might have been the result of his reliance on the guitar (in lieu of the piano) as an aid in composition. The orchestral parts for his concertos were often polite, unadventurous, and clearly supportive of the soloist. In this, his style is consistent with that of other Italian composers such as Paisiello, Rossini and Donizetti, who were influenced by the guitar-song milieu of Naples during this period.
Paganini was also the inspiration of many prominent composers. Both "La Campanella" and the A minor caprice (Nr. 24) have been an object of interest for a number of composers. Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Boris Blacher, Andrew Lloyd Webber, George Rochberg and Witold Lutosławski, among others, wrote well-known variations on these themes.
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky (May 7 1840 â November 6 1893) was a Russian composer of the Romantic era. While not part of the nationalistic music group known as "The Five", Tchaikovsky wrote music which, in the opinion of Harold Schonberg, was distinctly Russian: plangent, introspective, with modally-inflected melody and harmony.
Aesthetically, Tchaikovsky remained open to all aspects of Saint Petersburg musical life. He was impressed by Serov and Balakirev as well as the classical values upheld by the conservatory. Both the progressive and conservative camps in Russian music at the time attempted to win him over. Tchaikovsky charted his compositional course between these two factions, retaining his individuality as a composer as well as his Russian identity. In this he was influenced by the ideals of his teacher Nikolai Rubinstein and Nikolai's brother Anton.
Tchaikovsky's musical cosmopolitanism led him to be favored by many Russian music-lovers over the "Russian" harmonies and styles of Mussorgsky, Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov.
Nonetheless he frequently adapted Russian traditional melodies and dance forms in his music, which enhanced his success in his home country. The success in St. Petersburg at the premiere of his Third Orchestral Suite may have been due in large part to his concluding the work with a polonaise. He also used a polonaise for the final movement of his Third Symphony.
Beauty and the Beast is a 1991 animated American family film. It is the thirtieth animated feature produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation. The film received its premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on November 13, 1991. This film, one of the best known of the Disney studio's films, is based on the well-known fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, about a beautiful woman kept in a castle by a horrific monster. It is the first and only full-length animated feature film to ever be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture (it lost to The Silence of the Lambs). Heightening the level of performance in the era known as the Disney Renaissance (1989-1999, beginning with The Little Mermaid and ending with Tarzan ), many animated films following its release have been influenced by its blending of traditional animation and computer generated imagery.
Beauty and the Beast ranked 7th on the American Film Institutes's list of best animated films, #22 on the Institutes's list of best musicals and #34 on its list of the best romantic American movies. On the list of the greatest songs from American movies, Beauty and the Beast ranked #62. The film was adapted into a Broadway musical of the same name, which ran from 1994 to 2007.
In 2002, Beauty and the Beast was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." In January of the same year, the film was reissued in IMAX format in a special edition edit including a new musical sequence. A two-disc Platinum Edition DVD release followed in October.
Maaya Sakamoto (坂本 真綾 Sakamoto Maaya?, born March 31, 1980) is a Japanese singer-songwriter, actress, and voice actress who made her debut as a voice actress in 1992 as the voice of Chifuru in Little Twins, but is better known as voice of Hitomi Kanzaki in The Vision of Escaflowne. She released her debut single Yakusoku wa Iranai, in collaboration with Yoko Kanno under Victor Entertainment on April 24, 1996.
She has also branched into singing, performing songs in both English and Japanese. As well as being a prolific voice actress, she has also had several successful releases; despite initially only modestly selling, her singles "Tune the Rainbow", "Loop", "Ame ga Furu", and "Triangler" have all reached the top 10 Oricon singles chart: "Triangler" in particular charted at number 3 and remained charting for 26 weeks. Her albums have had similar success, with Shōnen Alice and Yūnagi Loop both reaching the top 10 Oricon albums chart; and her album You Can't Catch Me, released on January 12, 2011, became her first release to ever reach number 1. She held a concert at the Nippon Budokan on March 31, 2010, her thirtieth birthday. She is also the Japanese voice dub-over artist for Natalie Portman.
Ástor Pantaleón Piazzolla (March 11, 1921 – July 4, 1992) was an Argentine tango composer and bandoneón player. His oeuvre revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. An excellent bandoneonist, he regularly performed his own compositions with different ensembles.
Piazzolla's nuevo tango was distinct from the traditional tango in its incorporation of elements of jazz, its use of extended harmonies and dissonance, its use of counterpoint, and its ventures into extended compositional forms. As Argentine psychoanalyst Carlos Kuri has pointed out, Piazzolla's fusion of tango with this wide range of other recognizable Western musical elements was so successful that it produced a new individual style transcending these influences. It is precisely this success, and individuality, that makes it hard to pin down where particular influences reside in his compositions, but some aspects are clear. The use of the passacaglia technique of a circulating bass line and harmonic sequence, invented and much used in 17th and 18th century baroque music but also central to the idea of jazz "changes", predominates in most of Piazzolla's mature compositions. Another clear reference to the baroque is the often complex and virtuosic counterpoint that sometimes follows strict fugal behavior but more often simply allows each performer in the group to assert his voice. A further technique that emphasises this sense of democracy and freedom among the musicians is improvisation that is borrowed from jazz in concept, but in practice involves a different vocabulary of scales and rhythms that stay within the parameters of the established tango sound-world. Pablo Ziegler has been particularly responsible for developing this aspect of the style both within Piazzolla's groups and since the composer's death.
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."
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).
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.
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, dancer and entertainer. Referred to as the King of Pop, he is the most commercially successful entertainer of all time, and one of the most influential. His contributions to music, dance and fashion, along with a much publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
Alongside his brothers, he made his debut as lead singer and youngest member of The Jackson 5 in 1964. He began his solo career in 1971. His 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album ever, with Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995) also among the world's best-selling albums. He is widely credited with having transformed the music video from a promotional tool into an art form with videos for his songs such as "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Thriller" making him the first African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound, vocal style, and choreography, is credited with stretching across and breaking down cultural, racial, economic, generational, and global barriers that has inspired countless pop, rock, R&B and hip hop artists.
One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements feature multiple Guinness World Records—including the "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—15 Grammy Awards (including the "Living Legend Award" and the "Lifetime Achievement Award"), 26 American Music Awards (24 only as a solo artist, including one for "Artist of the Century")—more than any artist—, 17 number one singles in the US (including the four as a member of the Jackson 5), and estimated sales of up to 750 million records worldwide making him the world's best selling artist in history.
Jackson's personal relationships and life generated controversy for years. His changing appearance was noticed from the late 1970s onwards, with changes to his nose and to the color of his skin drawing media publicity. He was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993 though no charges were brought, and in 2005 he was tried and acquitted when the jury ruled him not guilty on all charges. He married twice, first in 1994 and again in 1996, and brought up three children, one born to a surrogate mother. While preparing for the This Is It concert tour in 2009, Jackson died at the age of 50 after suffering from cardiac arrest. He reportedly had been administered drugs such as propofol and lorazepam, and his death was ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County coroner. His death triggered an outpouring of grief from around the world with his globally live broadcast memorial service attracting an audience of up to one billion people; as well as a huge surge in his album sales, resulting in him becoming the best selling artist of 2009 with sales in excess of 8.2 million in the United States where he became the first artist ever to have 4 of the top 20 best-selling albums in a single year, and 29 million albums globally, where he had an unprecedented 8 of the top 25 best-selling albums worldwide.
Lifehouse is an American rock band. They came to prominence in 2001 with the hit single "Hanging by a Moment" from their debut major label album, No Name Face. The single won a Billboard Music Award for Hot 100 Single of the Year, beating out Janet Jackson and Alicia Keys for the #1 Single of 2001. In 2002, they released their follow up album Stanley Climbfall. The band's third album, self-titled Lifehouse, was released in 2005. The band released their fourth studio album, Who We Are, on June 19, 2007. The band consists of Jason Wade, Rick Woolstenhulme Jr. and Bryce Soderberg.
Niccolò Jommelli (10 September 1714 – 25 August 1774) was an Italian composer. He was born in Aversa and died in Naples. Along with other composers mainly in the Holy Roman Empire and France, he made important changes to opera and reduced the importance of star singers.
Aram Ilyich Khachaturian (Armenian: Արամ Խաչատրյան; Russian: Ара́м Ильи́ч Хачатуря́н; June 6 1903 – May 1, 1978) was a prominent Soviet Armenian composer. Khachaturian's works were often influenced by classical Russian music and Armenian folk music. He is most famous for the Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia from his ballet Spartacus, and for the "Sabre Dance" from his ballet Gayane and the adagio from the same ballet, much used in films since its first use in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Justin Bieber (pronounced /ˈbiːbər/, BEE-bər; born March 1, 1994) is a Canadian pop/R&B singer. His performances on YouTube were seen by Scooter Braun, who later became his manager. Braun arranged for him to meet with Usher in Atlanta, Georgia, and Bieber was soon signed to Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG), a joint venture between Braun and Usher, and then to a recording contract with Island Records offered by L.A. Reid.
His debut single, "One Time", was released worldwide during 2009, and charted within the top thirty in over ten countries. It was followed by his debut release, My World on November 17, 2009, which was certified platinum in the United States, which at the time gave Bieber the highest debut by a new artist in the year, and made Bieber the first artist to have seven songs from a debut album chart on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. His first full studio release, My World 2.0 was released on March 23, 2010, debuting at number one and within the top ten of several countries. It was preceded by the international hit song, "Baby".
The Beatles were a pop and rock group from Liverpool, England formed in 1960. Primarily consisting of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals) throughout their career, The Beatles are recognised for leading the mid-1960s musical "British Invasion" into the United States. Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll and homegrown skiffle, the group explored genres ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, styles, and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. After the band broke up in 1970, all four members embarked upon solo careers.
The Beatles are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music, selling over a billion records internationally. In the United Kingdom, The Beatles released more than 40 different singles, albums, and EPs that reached number one, earning more number one albums (15) than any other group in UK chart history. This commercial success was repeated in many other countries; their record company, EMI, estimated that by 1985 they had sold over one billion records worldwide. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States than any other band. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked The Beatles number one on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. According to that same magazine, The Beatles' innovative music and cultural impact helped define the 1960s, and their influence on pop culture is still evident today. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of top-selling Hot 100 artists to celebrate the chart's fiftieth anniversary; The Beatles reached #1 again.
Béla Viktor János Bartók (pronounced /ˈbɑrtɒk/ (Wells 1990), Hungarian pronunciation: ) (March 25, 1881 – September 26, 1945) was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered to be one of the greatest composers of the 20th century and is regarded, along with Liszt, as his country's greatest composer (Gillies 2001). Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of ethnomusicology.
Michelle Diehl (b. 1962, Minneapolis) is a composer who is receiving invitations, commissions and performance opportunities throughout the United States. Equally at home in the solo, symphonic, and chamber music genre, she taps her varied instrumental skills in composing music ranging from tangos to symphonies. A tireless craftsperson, her works embody artisanal attraction to balance and purity. Her works are often lyrically eloquent, rhythmically compelling and appeal on a broad intellectual and emotional spectrum.
Rodion Konstantinovich Shchedrin (Russian: Родио́н Константи́нович Щедри́н, Scientific transliteration: Rodion Konstantinovič Ščedrin, Russian pronunciation: ; born December 16, 1932) is a Russian composer. He was one оf the leading Soviet composers, and was the chairman of the Union of Russian Composers from 1973 until 1990.
Fiddler on the Roof is a musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, set in csarist Russia in 1905.
Fiddler on the Roof was originally entitled Tevye. It is based on Tevye and his Daughters (or Tevye the Milkman) and other tales by Sholem Aleichem which he wrote in Yiddish and published in 1894. The story centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and religious traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives. He must cope with both the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters—each daughter's choice of husband moves progressively further away from established customs—and with the edict of the Tsar that evicts the Jews from their village.
The musical's title stems from a painting by Marc Chagall, one of many surreal paintings he created of Eastern European Jewish life, often including a fiddler. The Fiddler is a metaphor for survival, through tradition and joyfulness, in a life of uncertainty and imbalance.
The original Broadway production of the show, which opened in 1964, was the first musical to surpass the 3,000 performance mark, and it held the record for longest-running Broadway musical for almost 10 years until Grease surpassed its run. The production earned $1,574 for every dollar invested in it.
The show was highly acclaimed and nominated for ten Tony Awards, winning nine, including Best Musical, score, book, direction and choreography. It spawned four Broadway revivals, a successful 1971 film adaptation, and has enjoyed enduring international popularity. It is also a very popular choice for school and community productions.
Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and organist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity. Although he introduced no new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organisation in composition for diverse musical forces, and the adaptation of rhythms and textures from abroad, particularly Italy and France.
Revered for their intellectual depth and technical and artistic beauty, Bach's works include the Brandenburg concertos; the Goldberg Variations; the English Suites, French Suites, Partitas, and Well-Tempered Clavier; the Mass in B Minor; the St. Matthew Passion; the St. John Passion; The Musical Offering; The Art of Fugue; the Sonatas and Partitas for violin solo; the Cello Suites; more than 200 surviving cantatas; and a similar number of organ works, including the celebrated Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.
While Bach's fame as an organist was great during his lifetime, he was not particularly well-known as a composer. His adherence to Baroque forms and contrapuntal style was considered "old-fashioned" by his contemporaries, especially late in his career when the musical fashion tended towards Rococo and later Classical styles. A revival of interest and performances of his music began early in the 19th century, and he is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.
Mamoru Fujisawa (藤澤 守 Fujisawa Mamoru?), known professionally as Joe Hisaishi (久石 譲 Hisaishi Jō?, born December 6, 1950), is a composer and director known for over 100 film scores and solo albums dating back to 1981.
While possessing a stylistically distinct sound, Hisaishi's music has been known to explore and incorporate different genres, including minimalist, experimental electronic, European classical, and Japanese classical. Lesser known are the other musical roles he plays; he is also a typesetter, author, arranger, and head of an orchestra.
He is best known for his work with animator Hayao Miyazaki, having composed scores for many of his films including Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), Castle in the Sky (1986), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Kiki's Delivery Service (1989), Porco Rosso (1992), Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001), Howl's Moving Castle (2004) and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (2008). He is also recognized for the soundtracks he has provided for filmmaker 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano, including A Scene at the Sea (1991), Dolls (2002), Kikujiro (1999), Hana-bi (1997), Kids Return (1996), Ocean Heaven (2010) and Sonatine (1993).
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (Italian pronunciation: ; 10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901) was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture - such as "La donna è mobile" from Rigoletto, "Va, pensiero" (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco, "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" (The Drinking Song) from La traviata and the "Grand March" from Aida. Although his work was sometimes criticized for using a generally diatonic rather than a chromatic musical idiom and having a tendency toward melodrama, Verdi’s masterworks dominate the standard repertoire a century and a half after their composition.
Verdi's predecessors who influenced his music were Rossini, Bellini, Giacomo Meyerbeer and, most notably, Gaetano Donizetti and Saverio Mercadante. With the exception of Otello and Aida, he was free of Wagner's influence. Although respectful of Gounod, Verdi was careful not to learn anything from the Frenchman whom many of Verdi's contemporaries regarded as the greatest living composer. Some strains in Aida suggest at least a superficial familiarity with the works of the Russian composer Mikhail Glinka, whom Franz Liszt, after his tour of the Russian Empire as a pianist, popularized in Western Europe.
Throughout his career, Verdi rarely utilised the high C in his tenor arias, citing the fact that the opportunity to sing that particular note in front of an audience distracts the performer before and after the note appears. However, he did provide high Cs to Duprez in Jérusalem and to Tamberlick in the original version of La forza del destino. The high C often heard in the aria Di quella pira does not appear in Verdi's score.
Franz von Vecsey (Hungarian: Vecsey Ferenc, March 23, 1893 – April 5, 1935) was a Hungarian violinist and composer.
He was born in Budapest and began his violin studies with his father, Lajos Vecsey, and at the age of eight he entered the studio of Jenő Hubay. Two years later, aged ten, he played for Joseph Joachim in Berlin and subsequently became known as a stellar child prodigy virtuoso.
He became one of the pre-eminent violinists in Europe in the 1910s and '20s, at one point touring with Béla Bartók as his piano accompanist. Aged only 12, he became the re-dedicatee of Jean Sibelius's Violin Concerto in D minor in 1905, after the original dedicatee, Willy Burmester, refused to play the work after he was unable to appear at the premiere of the revised version and it was premiered by Karel Halíř instead. Vecsey championed the Sibelius concerto, first performing at when he was only 13, although he could not adequately cope with the extraordinary technical demands of the work. He was also the dedicatee of Hubay's Violin Concerto No. 3. He also spent time composing, and wrote a number of virtuosic salon pieces for the violin.
His career faltered somewhat after the First World War, as he grew tired of the constant touring involved in the life of a concert artist. He hoped to take up conducting. However, in 1935, he became seriously ill with pulmonary embolism that grew through much of his life. He sought medical care in Rome. However, the operation was unsuccessful, and he died at the age of 42.
Henryk Wieniawski (10 July 1835 – 31 March 1880) was a Polish violinist and composer. He was considered a violinist of genius and wrote some of the most important works in the violin repertoire, including two extremely difficult violin concertos, the second of which (in D minor, 1862) is more often performed than the first (in F♯ minor, 1853). His "L'Ecole Moderne, 10 Etudes-Caprices" is a very well known and required work for aspiring violinists. His Scherzo-Tarantelle, Op. 16 and Légende, Op. 17 are also frequently performed works. He also wrote two popular mazurkas for solo violin and piano accompaniment (the second one, Obertas, in G Major), using techniques such as left-hand pizzicato, harmonics, large leaps, and many double stops. Wieniawski has been given a number of posthumous honors. His portrait appeared on a postage stamp of Poland in 1952 and again in 1957. A 100 Złoty coin was issued in 1979 bearing his image.
What is sometimes called the "Russian bow grip" ought to be called the "Wieniawski bow grip": Wieniawski taught his students his own kind of very stiff bowing that allowed him to play a "devil's staccato" with ease. This "devil's staccato" was easily used to discipline students.
Luiz Gonzaga do Nascimento (Exu, December 13, 1912 — Recife, August 2, 1989) was a very prominent Brazilian folk singer, songwriter, musician and poet. Born in the countryside of Pernambuco (Northeastern Brazil), he is considered to be responsible for the promotion of northeastern music throughout the rest of the country. He is also known as the "king of baião" and "Gonzagão".
Gonzaga's son, Luiz Gonzaga do Nascimento Júnior, known as Gonzaguinha, born 1945, was also a noted Brazilian singer and composer. He was also a famous Brazilian freemason that composed Acacia Amarela (Yellow Acacia). The Luiz Gonzaga Dam was named in his honor.
Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band formed in 1985 under the name Majesty by John Petrucci, John Myung, and Mike Portnoy while they attended Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts, before they dropped out to support the band. Though a number of lineup changes followed, the three original members remain today along with James LaBrie and Jordan Rudess.
Dream Theater has become a successful progressive metal band. Although the band has had one successful hit ("Pull Me Under" in 1992, which received extensive MTV rotation), they have remained relatively out of the mainstream.
The band is well known for the technical proficiency of its instrumentalists, who have won many awards from music instruction magazines. Dream Theater's members have collaborated with many other notable musicians. Guitarist John Petrucci has been named as the third player on the G3 tour six times, more than any other invited guitarist, following in the footsteps of Eric Johnson and Robert Fripp. Drummer Mike Portnoy has won 23 awards from Modern Drummer Magazine and is also the second youngest person (at the age of 37) to be inducted into the Rock Drummer Hall of Fame.
The band's highest selling album is the gold selling Images and Words (1992), which reached #61 on the Billboard 200 charts. Both the 1994 release Awake and their 2002 release Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence also entered the charts at #32 and #46 respectively and received mostly positive reviews. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence also led to Dream Theater becoming the initial band reviewed in the Music Section of Entertainment Weekly during its opening week of release, despite the magazine generally preferring more mainstream music. In 2007, Systematic Chaos entered US Billboard 200 at #19. Dream Theater has sold over two million albums in the U.S., and over 8 million records worldwide. The band's tenth studio album, Black Clouds & Silver Linings, was released on June 23, 2009. It entered the US Billboard 200 at #6 and Eurochart Hot 100 at #1, marking their highest entry on either chart. Currently the musician and writer Jose Aranda is writing a doctoral thesis book about Dream Theater and the meaning of music.
Charles Edward "Charlie" Daniels (born on October 28, 1936) is an American musician known for his contributions to country and southern rock music. He is known primarily for his number one country hit "The Devil Went Down to Georgia", and multiple other songs he has performed and written. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.
Franz Peter Schubert (January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828) was an Austrian composer. He wrote some 600 lieder, nine symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), liturgical music, operas, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. He is particularly noted for his original melodic and harmonic writing.
While Schubert had a close circle of friends and associates who admired his work (including his teacher Antonio Salieri, and the prominent singer Johann Michael Vogl), wider appreciation of his music during his lifetime was limited at best. He was never able to secure adequate permanent employment, and for most of his career he relied on the support of friends and family. Interest in Schubert's work increased dramatically in the decades following his death and he is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.
While he was clearly influenced by the Classical sonata forms of Beethoven and Mozart (his early works, among them notably the 5th Symphony, are particularly Mozartean), his formal structures and his developments tend to give the impression more of melodic development than of harmonic drama. This combination of Classical form and long-breathed Romantic melody sometimes lends them a discursive style: his 9th Symphony was described by Robert Schumann as running to "heavenly lengths". His harmonic innovations include movements in which the first section ends in the key of the subdominant rather than the dominant (as in the last movement of the Trout Quintet). Schubert's practice here was a forerunner of the common Romantic technique of relaxing, rather than raising, tension in the middle of a movement, with final resolution postponed to the very end.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, full name Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 â 5 December 1791) was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. His over 600 compositions include works widely acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. Mozart is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers, and many of his works are part of the standard concert repertoire.
Mozart's music, like Haydn's, stands as an archetypal example of the Classical style. His works spanned the period during which that style transformed from one exemplified by the style galant to one that began to incorporate some of the contrapuntal complexities of the late Baroque, complexities against which the galant style had been a reaction. Mozart's own stylistic development closely paralleled the development of the classical style as a whole. In addition, he was a versatile composer and wrote in almost every major genre, including symphony, opera, the solo concerto, chamber music including string quartet and string quintet, and the piano sonata. While none of these genres were new, the piano concerto was almost single-handedly developed and popularized by Mozart. He also wrote a great deal of religious music, including masses; and he composed many dances, divertimenti, serenades, and other forms of light entertainment.
The central traits of the classical style can be identified in Mozart's music. Clarity, balance, and transparency are hallmarks of his work.
Joseph-Maurice Ravel (March 7, 1875 – December 28, 1937) was a French composer of Impressionist music known especially for his melodies, orchestral and instrumental textures and effects. Much of his piano music, chamber music, vocal music and orchestral music has entered the standard concert repertoire.
Ravel's piano compositions, such as Jeux d'eau, Miroirs and Gaspard de la Nuit, demand considerable virtuosity from the performer, and his orchestral music, including Daphnis et Chloé and his arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, uses a variety of sound and instrumentation very effectively.
Ravel is perhaps known best for his orchestral work, Boléro (1928), which he considered trivial and once described as "a piece for orchestra without music."
According to SACEM, Ravel's estate earns more royalties than that of any other French musician. According to international copyright law, Ravel's works are public domain since January 1, 2008 in most countries. In France, due to anomalous copyright law extensions to account for the two world wars, they will not enter the public domain until 2015.
Darius Milhaud (French pronunciation: ; 4 September 1892 – 22 June 1974) was a French composer and teacher. He was a member of Les Six—also known as The Group of Six—and one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century. His compositions are influenced by jazz and make use of polytonality (music in more than one key at once).
Johann Andreas Amon (1763 – March 29, 1825) was a German virtuoso horn player, violist, conductor and composer. Amon composed around fifty works, including symphonies, concerti, sonatas, and songs. He also wrote two masses, various liturgical works, and two operettas.
Amon was born at Bamberg, Bavaria in 1763, being first instructed in singing by the court singer Madame Fracassini, then later in instrumental work by Giovanni Punto, who took Amon to Paris to study composition with Antonio Sacchini in 1781. Amon then traveled with Punto, often leading his orchestra, until 1789, when he became the musical director at Heilbronn. In 1817, he became kapellmeister to the Prince of Oettingen-Wallerstein, continuing in this position until his death at Wallerstein, Bavaria in 1825.
Jean Sibelius ( pronunciation (help·info)) (8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957) was a Finnish composer of the later Romantic period whose music played an important role in the formation of the Finnish national identity. His mastery of the orchestra has been described as "prodigious."
The core of Sibelius's oeuvre is his set of seven symphonies. Like Beethoven, Sibelius used each successive work to further develop his own personal compositional style. His works continue to be performed frequently in the concert hall and are often recorded.
In addition to the symphonies, Sibelius's best-known compositions include Finlandia, the Karelia Suite, Valse triste, the Violin Concerto in D minor and The Swan of Tuonela (one of the four movements of the Lemminkäinen Suite). Other works include pieces inspired by the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala; over 100 songs for voice and piano; incidental music for 13 plays; the opera Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the Tower); chamber music; piano music; Masonic ritual music; and 21 separate publications of choral music.
Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet OM, GCVO (2 June 1857 – 23 February 1934) was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies. He also composed choral works, including The Dream of Gerontius, chamber music and songs. He was appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1924.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (German: , full baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers.
Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood in Salzburg. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty; at 17 he was engaged as a court musician in Salzburg, but grew restless and traveled in search of a better position, always composing abundantly. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and the Requiem. The circumstances of his early death have been much mythologized. He was survived by his wife Constanze and two sons.
Mozart learned voraciously from others, and developed a brilliance and maturity of style that encompassed the light and graceful along with the dark and passionate—the whole informed by a vision of humanity "redeemed through art, forgiven, and reconciled with nature and the absolute." His influence on subsequent Western art music is profound. Beethoven wrote his own early compositions in the shadow of Mozart, of whom Joseph Haydn wrote that "posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years."
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