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New immunization requirements for the 2016-2017 school year/SB 277: All incoming Kindergarten and 7th grade students must have current immunizations on record to begin school on August 10, 2016. California law SB 277 no longer allows personal or religious beliefs exemptions. Click here for more information.

Composer in the Spotlight Program: Mariposa students learn about the Composer of the Month at our Flag Ceremonies which are held weekly.  An overview of the Composer is presented and students hear selections from the Composer's catalog.   Each Composer of the Month runs from mid-month to mid-month.  In addition, the Composer's music is played before school as Mariposa Students enter campus!  

OUR CURRENT COMPOSERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT ARE


SIMON AND
 

GARF
UNKEL





 

BIOGRAPHY

During the early-’60s era of earnest faux-folkiness, Simon & Garfunkel seemed at first to be utterly typical. Like so many other harmony-enthralled youngsters, they’d cut their teeth on the Everly Brothers, they knew the Great Traditional Songbook as well as the next folk group, and they were driven by the same strivings as the rest of their generation – to get into a good college, to please their parents, to be admired by their peers, and to have some fun along the way. As it turned out, though, Simon & Garfunkel were far from your average folkies. Like so many of their peers, these two natives of Forest Hills, Queens, were musical sponges, but they didn’t leave it at that. Remarkably, they’d broken into the Top 50 as 15-year-olds in 1957 with their Everlys knockoff “Hey, Schoolgirl.” Tom & Jerry, as they then called themselves, even lip-synced the song on Bandstand, but nothing more came of that initial foray into the pop mainstream.

A few years later, Simon moonlighted as a songplugger for publisher E.B. Marks, working in some of the tunes he’d been writing on the side as he pitched songs from the Marks catalog to A&R reps at the labels. While Simon claims that he failed to get even one Marks tune covered, he fared better with his own material. After a live audition, Simon & Garfunkel scored a record deal, courtesy of Columbia Records staff producer Tom Wilson, a jazz specialist (Miles Davis). Wilson heard something in Simon’s overtly poetic songs and Garfunkel’s keening tenor. As it turned out, Wilson was right – but acclaim was still a year, and an album, away. As much as anything, S&G’s 1964 debut album,”Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.” stands as a distillation of the musical path Paul and Artie had traveled, along with so many of their generation: it’s an unselfconscious pastiche of Everlys-schooled vocal/rhythmic interaction, folk-pop staples, esoterica, English lit-inspired metaphors, and poetic imagery, underlaid with a budding social consciousness. While S&G’s selection and treatment of the outside material was largely unremarkable, the five original tunes made it clear that the two youngsters shared an undeniable gift. Particularly striking was “The Sound of Silence” which, even in its spare acoustic form, came across with the force of a revelation. Interestingly, Simon had begun writing the soon-to-be generational anthem in November 1963, the month President Kennedy was assassinated.

In the spring of 1965, the Byrds, five ex-folkies turned rockers, created a new hybrid that was immediately termed “folk-rock” with their hit cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man.” At that point, Tom Wilson had an epiphany. Taking the all-acoustic recording of “The Sound of Silence” from Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., the producer brought an electric guitarist and a rhythm section into the studio and proceeded to overdub their parts onto the original track. By late ’65, “The Sound of Silence” was the No. 1 single in America, and Simon & Garfunkel were back together, preparing to make an album relevant to, and worthy of, their first hit. In retrospect, one of the most intriguing aspects of Sounds of Silence is how closely connected it feels to the work recorded during the same period by several other future Hall of Famers: the unabashed romanticism of John Sebastian and his Lovin’ Spoonful (“Kathy’s Song”), the incisive character studies of Ray Davies and his Kinks (“Richard Cory,” “A Most Peculiar Man”) and the soaring loveliness of the Byrds (“I Am a Rock”), whose David Crosby was doing the same sort of inspired arrangements for three or four voices that Garfunkel was coming up with for two. Indeed, the world seemed much smaller then, and Simon & Garfunkel’s music was rapidly being absorbed into the new American vernacular.

By the fall of 1966, when Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme was released, the nation was in the throes of societal and political upheaval, and Simon vividly, if facetiously, encapsulated that turbulent historical moment on the album’s rollicking sociopolitical send-up, “A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara’d Into Submission).” Through the course of the song, Simon name-checked a tumbling litany of names in the headlines, from Martin Luther King Jr. and Gen. Maxwell Taylor to the Beatles and Lenny Bruce, while slipping in a wry reference to the mellowing-out benefits to be derived from a “pint of tea a day” – the kind of tea that was being smoked by ever-increasing numbers of America’s youth. But just as redolent of the times as its subject matter were the sounds of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, from the baroque acoustic guitar figure and celestial Garfunkel vocal that introduced “Scarborough Fair/Canticle,” which opened the album, to their a cappella reading of “Silent Night,” which closed it. If you were a discerning adolescent or young adult in 1966, you not only owned this album, you wore it out – every word, note, and nuance became permanently lodged in your cranium, as listening to it again will readily demonstrate to any War Baby or Boomer with remaining brain cells.

By 1966, S&G had become their generation’s urbane receptacles of hipness and harsh reality alike, assimilating and then embroidering the zeitgeist of a rich and manic era. At the same time, these two artists, as much as any of their peers, held firmly to the unchanging artistic fundaments of precision, clarity, and beauty. Thus, Parsley, Sage contains some songs that cling stubbornly to their moments in time, and others that are simply timeless. Unquestionably, in their exquisitely nuanced arrangement/adaptation of the traditional “Scarborough Fair” (which Simon had learned on a sabbatical to England), along with the Simon-penned “Cloudy,” “Homeward Bound,” “The Dangling Conversation,” and “For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her,” the duo made some of the loveliest recordings of that or any era. That they accomplished all this with their voices, an acoustic guitar, and the sparest of rhythmic underpinning and melodic ornamentation, remains a remarkable achievement.

The resonance of S&G’s music found a new context with the landmark 1967 film The Graduate, which acknowledged Hollywood’s embrace of youthful alienation and desire as serious subject matter, using the duo’s songs, rather than a standard film score, to drive the narrative and enrich the atmosphere. To say that the soundtrack started a lasting trend would be an understatement. The year and a half between the release of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, and March, 1968, when Bookends saw the light of day, had seen the Beatles complete their transformation from pop stars to prophets with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, while, on the West Coast, the Summer of Love and the Monterey Pop Festival (which Simon, Garfunkel, John & Michelle Phillips and Lou Adler had helped put together, and at which S&G performed) signaled an opening up of young society to new sounds and the altered state of consciousness that many then believed was the prerequisite for experiencing them. Inevitably, the duo was seduced by this dramatic profusion of aural and thematic possibilities, but, rather than jumping on the acid-rock bandwagon, as so many of their contemporaries were doing, Simon & Garfunkel used the colors of the newly expanded musical palate as carefully as they’d used their voices and acoustic guitar – to serve the sense and spirit of their songs.


 

And what songs they were, dense with meaning and implication. The most literary of albums, the aptly titled Bookends was the musical equivalent of a book containing a novella – in the form of a conceptual song cycle – and a series of interrelated short stories, among them, The Graduate’s linchpin song, “Mrs. Robinson,” as well as “A Hazy Shade of Winter,” “Fakin’ It,” the Orwellian “At the Zoo,” and the wistful “Punky’s Dilemma,” a reflection on the lost innocence of our childhoods. Overtly ambitious, the record functioned as a meditation on the passage of life and the psychological impact of life’s irreversible, ever-accumulating losses. The song cycle described the life and death of the American Dream, the romantic notion we’d grown up embracing, expressed most poignantly in the vivid narrative “America,” a rueful anthem of hope and hopelessness. But S&G didn’t stop there, expanding the scope to the universal – the relentless march toward old age and death. The elegiac “Old Friends” was underpinned by a lovely string and horn arrangement that threatened to erupt into cacophony, a la the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life,” before the storm passed and the focus shifted back to the image of two old men sitting on a park bench, “silently sharing the same fear.” The song flowed seamlessly into the “Bookends Theme,” which Simon brought to a close with the suggestion, “Preserve your memories; they’re all that’s left you.” More than three decades later, the songs of Bookends seem even more unsettling than they did at the time…but how could it be otherwise, when we’re more than three decades closer to the park bench, the half-empty bed, and the other autumnal truths they so eloquently expressed?

The prevailing vibe at the tail end of the Sixties was anything but peaceful or loving – not with the unending carnage of Vietnam, its terrors amplified by the Russian roulette of the draft lottery. Not with the Manson family metastasizing hippie idealism into unimaginable brutality. Not with the reflexive violence of Altamont, which would combine with the breakup of the Beatles to jeopardize that last vestige of Sixties idealism, the notion of music as a sacred sanctuary, as the once-harmonious pop universe exploded into disparate factions, never to reconcile. Less than a month into 1970, America got its song for the asking – from a hearteningly familiar source – with the release of the immediately and perennially adored Bridge Over Troubled Water. The title track, which S&G had tantalizingly debuted on their network TV special in November of ’69, offered that much needed message of hope with eloquent simplicity and grace. Opening the album, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” gradually ascended from whispery intimacy to breathtaking grandeur on the wings of Garfunkel’s greatest vocal.

That brilliant example of slow-build aural architecture was but one of the record’s myriad pleasures, not the least of which was the epic survivor’s narrative, “The Boxer,” a top 10 hit in 1969 and another of Simon’s most memorable songs. While several songs, most notably “Cecilia,” had nothing more pressing on their minds than getting to the hook, their old-school exuberance conspired to restore our faded memories of a long-ago moment when anything seemed possible – just what the doctor ordered for a generation whose golden dream had withered into its worst nightmare. Ironically, during the making of this landmark work, which was universally embraced as a covenant of renewal, the team of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel was itself in the process of coming apart. Their diverging ambitions certainly had something to do with it. But more crucially, as with the Beatles before them, what for so many years had been a natural and unforced shared experience for the principals had become a strained, self-conscious one. Like the decade that had borne them into prominence, Simon & Garfunkel had run out of time.

One could certainly make a case that, with “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright,” Simon was bidding adieu to his friend and partner, a onetime architecture major, or to the union itself, as, over a dusky bossa nova groove, Garfunkel sighed, “All of the nights we’d harmonize till dawn. / So long / So long.”

To Artie and Paul, those years they spent together, and the music they made together, are now merely an early chapter in their continuing personal sagas, with their attendant triumphs and disappointments. For those of us who lived through those times, though, hearing their songs never fails to bring back certain moments in our own lives – and with startling vividness. They moved on, and so did the rest of us. But, much as we’ve pulled out those worn records and relived the transformative memories they contain from time to time, Simon and Garfunkel have hooked up on occasion during the years since their breakup, performing multiple nights together at Madison Square Garden, as well as playing the legendary 1981 show documented on the album Concert in Central Park. That prospect is reason to rejoice for several generations of music lovers.

— Bud Scoppa






PREVIOUS COMPOSERS IN
 
THE SPOTLIGHT 




Danny Elfman


            Daniel Robert "Danny" Elfman is an American singer-songwriter and composer. He was born May 291953,  in Los AngelesCalifornia. When he was younger, he spent much of his time in the local movie theatre, adoring the music of such film composers as Bernard Herrmann and Franz Waxman. Dropping out of high school, he followed his older brother to France, where Elfman played his violin on the street. He later teamed up with his brother to perform in a musical theatrical group. After a while in France, Elfman moved on to a new setting: Africa. He travelled through Ghana, Mali, and Upper Volta, learning about many different styles of music and also how to play different instruments. One such musical style he learned of was called Highlife, which was a great influence to him for years to come.
            In 1972, Elfman, along with his older brother, founded the band The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, performance art group. In 1979, it reshaped from a semi-theatrical music and comedy troupe into a ska-influenced new-wave octet (an eight-member band). They also shortened their name to Oingo Boingo, and Elfman became lead songwriter and vocalist. In 1994, the band shortened their name again to Boingo, following a shift away from the use of horns and synthesizers in favor of more guitar-oriented rock that began in the late 1980s. The band retired after a farewell concert on Halloween in 1995.
            Elfman taught himself how to compose over the years.  He knew how to write music but not read it — or at least he could only read it as fast as he could write it. His musical training came from seven years of being in The Mystical Knights of Oingo Boingo, where everyone had to play three instruments. He played trombone and guitar and all members played percussion.
            The “Danny Elfman sound” is defined by his particular choice and combination of instruments. Although usually setting a foundation of a traditional strings/brass/woodwind orchestral palette, he also often adds saxes, piano (particularly in the left hand), bells and chimes, frequent use of harp, and a women’s choir. Bells and chimes, for example, add a touch of magic. Women’s choir, especially when on a single syllable such as “ooh,” can create a very spooky and mysterious feeling.    
            Elfman has written music for dozens of movies, video games, and television. Some of his famous works include:
Movies

  • Men in Black
  • Men in Black II
  • Batman Returns
  • Good Will Hunting
  • Spider-Man
  • Spider-Man II
  • Dick Tracy
  • Beetlejuice
  • Sommersby
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Goosebumps
  • Planet of the Apes
  • Hulk
            In 1985, Elfman met director Tim Burton. Burton had seen Elfman perform as a member of Oingo Boingo. Burton asked Elfman to work with him on his first full-length movie, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. Elfman worked with Burton on all but two of Burton's movies. The movies he worked on include:
Tim Burton Movies Television
  • The Simpsons Theme
  • Desperate Housewives Theme
Awards
Elfman has been nominated for many awards in the music and movie business.
PREVIOUS COMPOSERS IN TEH SPOTLIGHT 
 

 
Carlos Santana

 

Delivered with a level of passion and soul equal to the legendary sonic charge of his guitar, the sound of Carlos Santana is one of the world's best-known musical signatures. For more than four decades—from Santana's earliest days as a groundbreaking Afro-Latin-blues-rock fusion outfit in San Francisco—Carlos has been the visionary force behind artistry that transcends musical genres and generational, cultural and geographical boundaries.

Long before the category now known as “world music” was named, Santana's ever-evolving sound was always ahead of its time in its universal appeal, and today registers as ideally in sync with the 21st century’s pan-cultural landscape. And, with a dedication to humanitarian outreach and social activism that parallels his lifelong relationship with music, Carlos Santana is as much an exemplary world citizen as a global music icon.

Santana's star arrived in the era-defining late 1960s San Francisco Bay Area music scene with historic shows at the Fillmore and other storied venues. The group emerged onto the global stage with an epic set at the Woodstock festival in 1969, the same year that its self-titled debut LP Santana came out. Introducing Santana's first Top 10 hit, “Evil Ways,” the disc stayed on Billboard’s album chart for two years and was soon followed by two more classics — and Billboard #1 albums — Abraxas and Santana III.

Ever since, for more than forty years and almost as many albums later, Santana has sold more than 100 million records and reached more than 100 million fans at concerts worldwide. To date, Santana has won 10 GRAMMY® Awards, including a record-tying nine for a single project, 1999’s Supernatural (including Album of the Year and Record of the Year for “Smooth”) as well as three Latin GRAMMY’s.  In 1998, the group was ushered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, whose website notes, “Guitarist Carlos Santana is one of rock’s true virtuosos and guiding lights.”

Among many other honors, Carlos Santana received Billboard Latin Music Awards’ 2009 Lifetime Achievement honor, and, he was bestowed Billboard’s Century Award in 1996.  On December 8, 2013 he was the recipient of the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors Award. Rolling Stone has also named him #15 on the magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” noting that “Santana's crystalline tone and clean arcing sustain make him the rare instrumentalist who can be identified in just one note.”  And, with the 2014 release of Corazón, Santana surpassed the Rolling Stones and, along with Barbara Streisand, is one of only two music acts in Billboard history to score at least one Top Ten album for six consecutive decades from the 1960s on.

 Santana’s new album Corazón (RCA/Sony Latin Iberia) released May 6, 2014 is a collaborative effort with the biggest names in Latin music including ChocQuibTown, Lila Downs, Gloria Estefan, Fabulosos Cadillacs, Juanes, Ziggy Marley, Miguel, Niña Pastori, Diego Torres, Samuel Rosa of Skank, Cindy Blackman Santana, Romeo Santos, Soledad, Wayne Shorter, and more. This is Santana’s first Latin music album of his iconic career.  The album is certified U.S. Latin Double Platinum and was the top selling Latin Music album in the United States for six consecutive weeks. HBO Latino & HBO Latin America celebrated the release with multiple HBO specials through a two part TV event: a behind the scenes reality themed special called “Santana: De Corazón” and the airing of his mega concert and documentary “Santana-Corazón: Live From Mexico, Live It To Believe It.” On September 9, 2014 a DVD/Live CD of the event was released documenting the show in its entirety. Both specials, and the DVD, include performances from the all-star line up that graces the album Corazón.

In the fall of 2014, Carlos Santana released his memoir “The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light” which offers a page-turning tale of musical self-determination and inner self-discovery, with personal stories filled with colorful detail and life-affirming lessons. It's a profoundly inspiring tale of divine inspiration and musical fearlessness that does not balk at finding the humor in the world of high-flying fame, or at speaking plainly of Santana's personal revelations and the infinite possibility he sees in each person he meets.

Beyond music, in the lifestyle and entertainment realm, River Of Colors (ROC) has enjoyed tremendous success with the Carlos by Carlos Santana and Unity by Carlos Santana brand names.  Founded in 1997, ROC is dedicated to bringing products to market that embody the passion and integrity of Carlos Santana—and that are true to his distinctive style and taste.  ROC’s endeavors encompass products including shoes, handbags, headwear and sparkling wine, as well as signature musical instruments including electric guitars and hand percussion instruments. ROC products are distributed at better retail stores internationally. For more information, visit www.santana.com. 

The arc of Santana’s performing and recording career is complemented by a lifelong devotion to social activism and humanitarian causes.  The Milagro Foundation, originally established by Carlos Santana and his family in 1998, has granted more than five million dollars to non-profit programs supporting underserved children and youth in the areas of arts, education and health. Milagro means “miracle,” and the image of children as divine miracles of light and hope—gifts to our lives—is the inspiration behind its name.









Antonio Vivaldi
 

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (28 July 1741) was a Venetian Baroque composer,virtuoso violinist, teacher and cleric. Born in Venice, he is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe. He is known mainly for composing many instrumental concertos for the violin and a variety of other instruments, as well as sacred choral works and more than forty operas. His best-known work is a series of violin concertos known as The Four Seasons.

Many of his compositions were written for the female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children where Vivaldi (who had been ordained as a Catholic priest) was employed from 1703 to 1715 and from 1723 to 1740. Vivaldi also had some success with expensive stagings of his operas in Venice, Mantua and Vienna. After meeting theEmperor Charles VI, Vivaldi moved to Vienna, hoping for preferment. However, the Emperor died soon after Vivaldi's arrival, and Vivaldi himself died less than a year later in poverty.

Vivaldi's music was innovative. He brightened the formal and rhythmic structure of the concerto, in which he looked for harmonic contrasts and innovative melodies and themes; many of his compositions are flamboyantly, almost playfully, exuberant.

Johann Sebastian Bach was deeply influenced by Vivaldi's concertos and arias (recalled in his St John Passion,St Matthew Passion, and cantatas). Bach transcribed six of Vivaldi's concerti for solo keyboard, three for organ, and one for four harpsichords, strings, and basso continuo (BWV 1065) based upon the concerto for four violins, two violas, cello, and basso continuo (RV 580).
 

Vivaldi's works attracted cataloging efforts befitting a major composer. Scholarly work intended to increase the accuracy and variety of Vivaldi performances also supported new discoveries which made old catalogs incomplete. Works still in circulation today may be numbered under several different systems (some earlier catalogs are mentioned here).

Because the simply consecutive Complete Edition (CE) numbers did not reflect the individual works (Opus numbers) into which compositions were grouped, Fanna numbers were often used in conjunction with CE numbers. Combined Complete Edition (CE)/Fanna numbering was especially common in the work of Italian groups driving the mid-20th century revival of Vivaldi, such as Gli Accademici di Milano under Piero Santi. For example, the Bassoon Concerto in B major, "La Notte" RV 501, became CE 12, F. VIII,1

Despite the awkwardness of having to overlay Fanna numbers onto the Complete Edition number for meaningful grouping of Vivaldi's oeuvre, these numbers displaced the older Pincherle numbers as the (re-)discovery of more manuscripts had rendered older catalogs obsolete.

This cataloging work was led by the Istituto Italiano Antonio Vivaldi, where Gian Francesco Malipiero was both the Director and the editor of the published scores (Edizioni G. Ricordi). His work built on that of Antonio Fanna, a Venetian businessman and the Institute's founder, and thus formed a bridge to the scholarly catalog dominant today.

Compositions by Vivaldi are identified today by RV number, the number assigned by Danish musicologist Peter Ryom in works published mostly in the 1970s, such as the "Ryom-Verzeichnis" or "Répertoire des oeuvres d'Antonio".



John Williams
One of the most popular and successful American orchestral composers of the modern age, John Williams is the winner of five Academy Awards, 17 Grammys, three Golden Globes, two Emmys and five BAFTA Awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Best known for his film scores and ceremonial music, Williams is also a noted composer of concert works and a renowned conductor.

Image result for john williams

Williams’ scores for such films as Jaws, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Schindler's List, as well as the Indiana Jones series, have won him multiple awards and produced best-selling recordings, and his scores for the original Star Wars trilogy transformed the landscape of Hollywood film music and became icons of American culture.

Williams has composed the music and served as music director for nearly eighty films, includingSaving Private Ryan, Amistad, Seven Years in Tibet, The Lost World, Rosewood, Sleepers,Nixon, Sabrina, Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, Home Alone, Far and Away, JFK, Hook,Presumed Innocent, Always, Born on the Fourth of July, the Indiana Jones trilogy, The Accidental Tourist, Empire of the Sun, The Witches of Eastwick, the Star Wars trilogy, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, The Empire Strikes Back, Superman, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jawsand Goodbye Mr. Chips.

Williams has been awarded several gold and platinum records, and his score for Schindler's Listearned him both an Oscar and a Grammy. In 2000, at the ShoWest Convention USA, he was honored as Maestro of the Year by the National Association of Theater Owners.

John Williams was born in New York and moved to Los Angeles with his family in 1948. There he attended UCLA and studied composition privately with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. After service in the Air Force, Mr. Williams returned to New York to attend the Juilliard School, where he studied piano with Madame Rosina Lhevinne. While in New York, he also worked as a jazz pianist, both in clubs and on recordings. He then returned to Los Angeles, where he began his career in the film industry, working with such composers as Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman, and Franz Waxman. He went on to write music for many television programs in the 1960s, winning two Emmy Awards for his work.

In January 1980, Williams was named nineteenth Conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra since its founding in 1885. He assumed the title of Boston Pops Laureate Conductor, following his retirement in December 1993, and currently holds the title of Artist-in-Residence at Tanglewood.

Williams has written many concert pieces, including a symphony, a sinfonietta for wind ensemble, a cello concerto premiered by Yo-Yo Ma and the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in 1994, concertos for the flute and violin recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, concertos for the clarinet and tuba, and a trumpet concerto, which was premiered by the Cleveland Orchestra and their principal trumpet Michael Sachs in September 1996. His bassoon concerto, The Five Sacred Trees, which was premiered by the New York Philharmonic and principal bassoon player Judith LeClair in 1995, was recorded for Sony Classical by Williams with LeClair and the London Symphony. In addition, Mr. Williams has composed the well-known NBC News theme "The Mission," "Liberty Fanfare" composed for the re-dedication of the Statue of Liberty, "We're Lookin' Good!," composed for the Special Olympics in celebration of the 1987 International Summer Games, and themes for the 1984, 1988, and 1996 Summer Olympic games. His most recent concert work Seven for Luck – for soprano and orchestra – is a seven-piece song cycle based on the texts of former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove. Seven for Luck was given its world premiere by the Boston Symphony under Mr. Williams with soprano Cynthia Haymon.

John Williams has led the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra on United States Tours in 1985, 1989 and 1992 and on a tour of Japan in 1987. He led the Boston Pops Orchestra on tours of Japan in 1990 and 1993. In addition to leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall and at Tanglewood, Williams has appeared as guest conductor with a number of major orchestras, including the London Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Williams holds honorary degrees from fourteen American universities, including Berklee College of Music in Boston, Boston College, Northeastern University, Tufts University, Boston University, the New England Conservatory of Music and the University of Massachusetts at Boston. On June 23, 2000, he became the first inductee into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame.




RANDY NEWMANRandy at the Tower of London in 2006.


Randy receives the Disney Legend award!

With songs that run the gamut from heartbreaking to satirical and a host of unforgettable film scores, Randy Newman has used his many talents to create musical masterpieces widely recognized by generations of audiences.

After starting his songwriting career as a teenager, Newman launched into recording as a singer and pianist in 1968 with his self-titled album Randy Newman. Throughout the 1970s he released several other acclaimed albums such as: 12 Songs, Sail Away, and Good Old Boys. In addition to his solo recordings and regular international touring, Newman began composing and scoring for films in the 1980s. The list of movies he has worked on since then includes The Natural, Awakenings, Ragtime, all three Toy Story pictures, Seabiscuit, James and the Giant Peach, A Bug’s Life, and most recently, Disney/Pixar’s Monsters University, the prequel to Monsters Inc. (which he also scored).

The highly praised 2008 Harps and Angels was Newman’s first album of new material since 1999. The Austin Chronicle wrote ‘the characters are memorable, the satire sharp, the music luxurious, and the arrangements maybe the most gorgeous in all pop music.’

The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 2, which is the second in a series of new solo piano/vocal recordings of his songs spanning his five-decades, was released in 2011. Time Out New York said of the series, which will receive a third volume soon, ‘The Songbook records strip away the orchestrations of his regular albums, leaving Newman alone at the piano, singing three-minute masterpieces from throughout a half-century career.’

That same year, Nonesuch Records released a live CD and DVD recorded at London’s intimate LSO St. Luke’s, an 18th-century Anglican church that has been restored by the London Symphony Orchestra, where he was accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Robert Ziegler. The 22-song set features some of his best-known songs like ‘Short People,’ ‘Louisiana 1927,’ and ‘I Think Itís Going to Rain Today,’ as well as newer songs such as ‘A Few Words in Defense of Our Country’ and ‘Laugh and Be Happy.’

Randy Newman’s many honors include six Grammys, three Emmys, and two Academy Awards, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, the same year he was given an Ivor Novello PRS for Music Special International Award. Most recently, Newman was presented with a PEN New England Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award in June 2014.

 

Randy


 

If Randy Newman’s self-titled 1968 debut on Reprise Records, co-produced by his childhood friend Lenny Waronker and the now equally legendary arranger Van Dyke Parks, seemed out of step with the times upon its release, that’s perhaps because he had created something timeless. Newman combined sophisticated orchestrations and indelible melodies with story-song lyrics that veered between the unabashedly romantic and the sarcastically humorous. A song like “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today,” its simple words harboring heartbreaking emotion, is arguably an American standard, covered by an astonishingly wide range of artists, including Judy Collins, Bobby Darin, Rick Nelson, Nina Simone, and, most recently, Nonesuch label-mate Audra McDonald. The albums that followed—12 Songs(1970) and Sail Away (1972)—are also regarded as classics now. The Los Angeles-born Newman spent considerable time in New Orleans with his mother’s family during his childhood; his 1974 Good Old Boys is a masterful and controversial exploration of Southern culture, its history and ingrained prejudices, as well as the views and misconceptions of outsiders.

 

While Newman’s initial record sales were modest, his reputation among critics, fellow artists, and musicians was huge, and he enjoyed great success as a songwriter. Former Animals keyboardist Alan Price popularized his work in England and Harry Nilsson did the same in the US with his still much-admiredNilsson Sings Newman. Three Dog Night had a pop hit with “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)”; Joe Cocker scored with the hilariously lascivious “You Can Leave Your Hat On.”

Newman’s own Top 40 success came with the most unlikely track, “Short People,” from the 1977 Little Criminals. Not everyone got the joke—in fact, the Maryland legislature tried to make it a crime to play “Short People” on the radio. Other pop hits were in a similarly tongue-in-cheek vein: “It’s Money That I Love” from 1979’sBorn Again and “I Love L.A.” from 1983’s Trouble In Paradise.
Randy rehearsing with the Kansas City Symphony

 

Over the course of 40 years, Newman has released 10 albums of original studio material, along with Randy Newman Live, originally designed as a promo-only item; a recording of his musical theater adaptation of Faust; and The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. 1 a piano-and-voice retrospective that also served as his Nonesuch debut. Since 1981, however, with his score for Ragtime, Newman has been a prolific film music composer, a regular Academy Award nominee, and, in 2002, an Oscar winner for “If I Didn’t Have You” from Monsters, Inc. Among his notable scores are The NaturalParenthoodAwakeningsAvalon, Pleasantvilleand Leatherheads; Newman even shared screenwriting credit for the 1986 Steve Martin hit, Three Amigos! In recent years, he has specialized in composing for an impressive range of critically acclaimed, commercially blockbuster family films, including Toy StoryJames and The Giant PeachA Bug’s LifeToy Story 2,Monsters, Inc, and Cars. Though Newman projects the image of misanthrope in his own work, he summons tremendous warmth, tenderness, and a gentler form of humor in the songs he’s created for these movies.

Newman is also a five-time Grammy Award winner, and the recipient, in 2002, of the Recording Academy’s prestigious Governors’ Award. He has also garnered three Emmys: in 2004 for the title theme to Monk, in 1991 for songs composed for the short-lived but well-regarded musical series Cop Rock and again for Monk in 2010 for Best Original Lyrics and Music for the song When I’m Gone which appeared in the series finale.

The enduring quality and emotional depth of his work are perhaps best exemplified by “Louisiana 1927,” a song from Good Old Boys about a flood that devastated parts of Louisiana early in the 20th Century. Post-Katrina, the song was adapted by Crescent City artists like Marcia Ball and Aaron Neville as a kind of anthem, sung with as much pride as bitterness. The song became a leitmotif of the 2008 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, where Newman himself delivered a bravura performance.

 


On the title track of Harps and Angels, which opens Randy Newman’s first album of all-new studio recordings since 1999’s Bad Love, a man lies stricken on a New Orleans sidewalk, about to gasp his last breath. It’s clearly the Crescent City, given the loose, jazzy shuffle the band is playing, Newman’s languid drawl, and thelaissez faire attitude of God himself when He appears to report that somebody up there had made a clerical error and the tearful guy on the pavement is not going to join his maker after all. That sets the tone for what follows: Harps and Angelsboasts a deceptively easy-going quality even as it tackles matters of life and death, memory and loss, the discontents of the rich and famous, the problems of the poor, governmental malfeasance, corporate cynicism, and the veritable end of an empire – namely, our own.

The arrival of Harps and Angels was foreshadowed more than a year ago by a conversational number called “A Few Words In Defense of Our Country,” which Newman developed during a summer 2006 tour of Europe, then slipped into his stateside sets. With a lilting country waltz as backdrop, Newman presents a caustic view of the state of our nation, ostensibly as a defense against foreign criticism. As incisive as it is darkly funny, “A Few Words in Defense of Our Country” caught the attention of The New York Times, which offered Newman space on its Op Ed page to print the lyrics. A wickedly effective digital single came next, including an eyebrow-raising verse about the Supreme Court that the Timescensored. Rolling Stone named it one of the singles of the year, “right behind Jay-Z and ahead of Rihanna,” Newman helpfully points out.

Randy at the Vienna soundcheck in 2006.

“I don’t like writing songs that are right on the nose, Tom Lehrer-like songs, commenting on what’s happening in the moment,” Newman admits, “because songs like that will go away. This one will go away because this administration will go away, and we’ll never have one quite like it. But I wanted to say something, so I did.”

It turns out that Newman has a lot to say. “Piece of the Pie” is even more audacious social commentary than “A Few Words In Defense of Our Country” — a full-blown musical- theatre-style song that features orchestral backing arranged and conducted by Newman; a “patriots chorus,” defending the honor of John Mellencamp for licensing a song to General Motors; and a tribute to the social consciousness of Jackson Browne. Says Newman, “It’s an old-time sort of Industrial Workers of the World, socialist thing. The fact that you can work real hard and do all the country says you’re supposed to do, and still not make it is a little surprising, you know what I mean? It’s hard to get used to the fact that things are not getting better and better, that if you work hard and do what you’re supposed to, it still might not work for you.” The proceedings are briefly interrupted by a pair of bickering Belgians, proving that even the tiniest, prettiest places can be divisive.

Randy conducts the orchestra at a Princess and Frog recording session.

The arrangements throughout Harps And Angels have a jaunty, Dixieland feel, with Newman on piano fronting a club-size combo, and he brings a touch of the blues to his vocals: “It’s the way my voice sounds best to me at the moment, doing blues oriented stuff. That’s the kind of singer I think I am.” His orchestrations, featured on several tracks, are as gorgeous as anything he has produced on his film scores, and lend his misanthropic tales an improbably grand quality. With three of his uncles having been successful Hollywood composers, Newman says, “I grew up with maybe an inordinate love of the orchestral sound. When I was five years old, I was fifty feet away from the greatest musicians in the world, the studio guys. Guys I learned later were known worldwide. I had and still have enormous respect for my Uncle Alfred and the work he did. I’m not as good as he is with my film music – but no one else is either, so that’s not something I have to worry about.”

On “Laugh and Be Happy,” he provides a prescription for the troubles of America’s immigrant population, set to a madcap Charleston-worthy tempo. “Korean Parents” is more like an elegant ballroom dance, with kitschy Oriental embellishments; Newman takes on the sorry condition of American education by employing clichés about overachieving Asian students, and does it in such earnest fashion he’s sure to offend just about everybody.

Newman contrasts the satire with a downright moving pair of ballads. “Losing You” is based on a story his physician brother recounted about a couple whose son was dying: “His parents had been in the camps during World War II. They said, we made it, we were able to get over the fact that we lost both of our families, but we don’t have enough time left to get over losing our son.” “Feels Like Home” is a proudly sentimental love song, a surprisingly heartwarming denouement to the album: “People are going to like ‘Feels Like Home, it’s going to be the most successful song on the album probably, because that’s the nature of the world, even though I mostly choose a different kind of song to write, other than straight ballads. That’s what people like me doing the best – songs ‘Feels Like Home’ or ‘Marie’ [from Good Old Boys], whereas my favorite songs are like ‘Only A Girl’ or ‘Harps and Angels,’ ones with characters, a cast, a narrator.”

-Michael HILL


Randy rehearses with only the finest BBC musicians.

 

 

     




BRIAN WILSON!

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He is one of popular music's most deeply revered figures, the main creative force behind some of the most cherished recordings in rock history. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to call Brian Wilson one of the most influential composers of the last century. Wilson’s remarkable journey began in a modest Hawthorne, California home that was filled with music. His mom and dad both played piano, and as a young “boy soprano,” Brian’s vocal gift was immediately evident. He had also started singing harmonies…literally “in their room”…with his two younger brothers (Dennis and Carl). As a teen in the 1950s, he became obsessed with the harmonic blend of groups like the Four Freshmen, and then, in the early 1960s, inspired to combine multi-part vocal harmony with the rock rhythms of Chuck Berry, Brian found his place in the musical sun. He was barely out of his teens when he began to create some of the most beloved records ever... nine consecutive “gold” albums that featured such classics as "Surfer Girl," “In My Room,” “I Get Around,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” "Fun, Fun, Fun," “Help Me Rhonda” and "California Girls"...just to name a handful of the more than two dozen Top 40 hits Brian co-wrote, arranged, produced and performed on with his family band, the Beach Boys. 



On the charts in America, the album reached #10 and featured four hit singles (including two Top 10 hits, a reworking of the folk standard “Sloop John B” [#3] and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” [#8] as well as two others that cracked the Top 40---“God Only Knows” and “Caroline No”). The former is considered by many, including Sir Paul McCartney, to be one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded; the latter was released as a solo single under the name “Brian Wilson”. (NOTE: It would be twenty years before there would be another Brian Wilson solo single.)


Brian’s second studio masterpiece in 1966 was a track that he first cut during the Pet Sounds session, but it wasn’t included on the album because it was not only unfinished but destined for a different kind of greatness. As spring turned to summer, as Brian repeatedly “tracked” different arrangements and pieces of it, he began to close in on completing what he once called “the biggest production of our lives.”

Over more than a dozen sessions, the Pet Sounds outtake began to take shape as the next Beach Boys single, and when it was unleashed on the world forty years ago in the fall of ’66, it stunned everybody. It was not just the Beach Boys’ first million-selling, worldwide #1 but an absolute milestone in recording history. "Good Vibrations” was a record that the legendary publicist Derek Taylor called a “pocket symphony”; given its kaleidoscopic movements, it was an apt description, as Wilson demonstrated the breadth of his musical vision as well as how the recording studio could be both an artist’s garret and a key instrument in creating his art. 

Everybody in the industry was asking “How did he do it?” and “What is he going to do next?” The answer would take shape through a new collaboration, this time with an inspired poet, a young studio musician and burgeoning songwriter, Van Dyke Parks. 

And so as “Good Vibrations” headed from final mix to master to pressing plant, Brian and Van Dyke began work on his third major production of ‘66, an album Brian believed would be “a teenage symphony to God.” Smile was to feature such Wilson/Parks songs as “Heroes & Villains,” “Surf’s Up,” “Wonderful,” “Cabin Essence” and the wordless a cappella marvel, “Our Prayer.” Those who heard the “work in progress” were hailing it as the cutting edge of a “new” sound. A suite of songs that combined classical composition, multi-part harmonies, rock rhythms, wondrous wordplay and an avant-garde sensibility, it was somehow going to be both ahead of its time and timeless. Smile quickly became one of the most anticipated works of the rock era.d received from his music. 

In the summer of 2000, Wilson began a series of “dreams come true” events when he kicked off his acclaimed Pet Sounds symphonic tour, taking that studio creation to concert halls around the world (from the Hollywood Bowl to London’s Royal Festival Hall to the Sydney Opera House), giving audiences the opportunity to experience Wilson’s production masterpiece as a living, breathing work of art. Those shows received more than a few reviews calling it “the best concert ever”. With good reason. Few had believed that Pet Sounds would ever be performed live, let alone with its creator infusing compositions like “Don’t Talk” and “Caroline No” with the kind of passionate performances that on some nights actually exceeded the record.

Welcomed back to the world of music (through such honors as induction into the “Songwriters Hall of Fame”), Wilson was feted in 2001 at “An All Star Tribute” at Radio City Music Hall. Sir Elton John, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Carly Simon, David Crosby, Vince Gill, Jimmy Webb and Sir George Martin were some of the greats who assembled to honor Brian on that rainy March night. In addition to a generous sampling of Wilson’s Beach Boys song catalogue, the evening included a start-to-finish performance of the entire Pet Sounds album by the assembled cast.

The following year, Wilson was the only American rocker at the Queen’s Jubilee, sharing the backyard stage at Buckingham Palace with, among so many others, Sir Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton. These events led to a series of appearances at charity concerts (Brian joined Sir Paul for a landmine benefit; Mr. Clapton took to the stage with Brian at a concert that raised money for cancer research) and studio collaborations that were featured on Wilson’s third solo album, 2004’s Gettin’ In Over My Head.

Yet, throughout all of this, Brian never lost sight of the music that had become “the holy grail” of pop---SMiLE. Inspired by the Radio City tribute, where he performed “Heroes & Villains” for the first time in decades, Wilson began to add SMiLE songs to his live sets. Then, in 2003, the day after receiving the UK’s prestigious Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement, Wilson announced the impossible. Against all odds and in the face of enormous expectation, Wilson and Van Dyke Parks reunited and with the able assistance of key band member Darian Sahanaja, set out do a version of SMiLE.

Wilson, the father of seven, including daughters Carnie and Wendy from a previous marriage and Daria, Delanie, Dylan, Dash and Dakota Rose spends his time juggling activities with his kids while jumping back into the studio. In 2008 Wilson returned to Capitol Records and released the critically acclaimed “That Lucky Old’ Sun” that Rolling Stone Magazine praised as “Brian’s strongest new work in years.” Brian and his band toured the album of what many are proclaiming his latest…and perhaps most joyous…masterpiece.

In 2009 Wilson announced his next project, a groundbreaking collaboration with one of his musical heroes George Gershwin. With the blessing of the Gershwin estate he was able to complete 2 unfinished fragments of music by the late composer. This historical moment in music history will be released in 2010 on Walt Disney Records. The album will also include Wilson’s versions of his all time favorite Gershwin tunes.

If you’ve seen Brian in concert, you’ve already witnessed the magic and the celebration. If you’ve heard his records, you know why he’s been called the Mozart of Rock, the Gershwin of his generation. In a culture where trends change overnight, Wilson has gone the distance. It’s been said that if music is math, then Wilson just might be Einstein. But no comparisons are really necessary; he’s Brian Wilson, an American composer, arranger and producer whose work has proved to be as powerful as faith, as timeless as love and as heartfelt as mercy.



JOHN WILLIAMS!




One of the most popular and successful American orchestral composers of the modern age, John Williams is the winner of five Academy Awards, 17 Grammys, three Golden Globes, two Emmys and five BAFTA Awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Best known for his film scores and ceremonial music, Williams is also a noted composer of concert works and a renowned conductor.

Williams’ scores for such films as Jaws, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Schindler's List, as well as the Indiana Jones series, have won him multiple awards and produced best-selling recordings, and his scores for the original Star Wars trilogy transformed the landscape of Hollywood film music and became icons of American culture.

Williams has composed the music and served as music director for nearly eighty films, including Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, Seven Years in Tibet, The Lost World, Rosewood, Sleepers, Nixon, Sabrina, Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, Home Alone, Far and Away, JFK, Hook, Presumed Innocent, Always, Born on the Fourth of July, the Indiana Jones trilogy, The Accidental Tourist, Empire of the Sun, The Witches of Eastwick, the Star Wars trilogy, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, The Empire Strikes Back, Superman, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws and Goodbye Mr. Chips.

Williams has been awarded several gold and platinum records, and his score for Schindler's List earned him both an Oscar and a Grammy. In 2000, at the ShoWest Convention USA, he was honored as Maestro of the Year by the National Association of Theater Owners.

John Williams was born in New York and moved to Los Angeles with his family in 1948. There he attended UCLA and studied composition privately with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. After service in the Air Force, Mr. Williams returned to New York to attend the Juilliard School, where he studied piano with Madame Rosina Lhevinne. While in New York, he also worked as a jazz pianist, both in clubs and on recordings. He then returned to Los Angeles, where he began his career in the film industry, working with such composers as Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman, and Franz Waxman. He went on to write music for many television programs in the 1960s, winning two Emmy Awards for his work.

In January 1980, Williams was named nineteenth Conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra since its founding in 1885. He assumed the title of Boston Pops Laureate Conductor, following his retirement in December 1993, and currently holds the title of Artist-in-Residence at Tanglewood.

Williams has written many concert pieces, including a symphony, a sinfonietta for wind ensemble, a cello concerto premiered by Yo-Yo Ma and the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in 1994, concertos for the flute and violin recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, concertos for the clarinet and tuba, and a trumpet concerto, which was premiered by the Cleveland Orchestra and their principal trumpet Michael Sachs in September 1996. His bassoon concerto, The Five Sacred Trees, which was premiered by the New York Philharmonic and principal bassoon player Judith LeClair in 1995, was recorded for Sony Classical by Williams with LeClair and the London Symphony. In addition, Mr. Williams has composed the well-known NBC News theme "The Mission," "Liberty Fanfare" composed for the re-dedication of the Statue of Liberty, "We're Lookin' Good!," composed for the Special Olympics in celebration of the 1987 International Summer Games, and themes for the 1984, 1988, and 1996 Summer Olympic games. His most recent concert work Seven for Luck – for soprano and orchestra – is a seven-piece song cycle based on the texts of former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove. Seven for Luck was given its world premiere by the Boston Symphony under Mr. Williams with soprano Cynthia Haymon.

John Williams has led the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra on United States Tours in 1985, 1989 and 1992 and on a tour of Japan in 1987. He led the Boston Pops Orchestra on tours of Japan in 1990 and 1993. In addition to leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall and at Tanglewood, Williams has appeared as guest conductor with a number of major orchestras, including the London Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Williams holds honorary degrees from fourteen American universities, including Berklee College of Music in Boston, Boston College, Northeastern University, Tufts University, Boston University, the New England Conservatory of Music and the University of Massachusetts at Boston. On June 23, 2000, he became the first inductee into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame.



CAROLE KING

Pop music as we know it would be far different without the many lasting contributions of Carole King, who is more than a half century into her singular career as a songwriter, performer, and author. Indeed, this universally renowned and beloved figure has rarely been more active than during the last five years.

Carole King and James TaylorKing’s late-career whirlwind began in November 2007, when she and longtime friend and sometime musical partner James Taylor returned to the Troubadour—the famed West Hollywood venue that had nurtured them as gifted young artists and soon-to-be critical and commercial sensations—for a three-night, six-show run to celebrate the venue’s 50th anniversary. Those historic performances were documented in the Grammy-nominated, RIAA gold-certified Live at the Troubadour(Hear Music/Concord Music Group), featuring 15 songs and 75 minutes of video and audio, including intimate renditions of the pair’s most beloved hits. The CD+DVD was released in May 2010.

This memorable event was the inspiration for the pair’s 60-concert “Troubadour Reunion” world tour of 2010, which included three sold-out concerts at the Hollywood Bowl and another trio of sellouts at Madison Square Garden. During the tour, The Philadelphia Inquirer marveled that “King and Taylor managed to present an arena-size show that retained their music’s innate craftsmanship, intimacy, and soul while adding vigor, muscle, and showmanship.”

The Troubadour shows also inspired the Morgan Neville-directed feature-length documentary Troubadours: Carole King / James Taylor & The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter, which made its TV premiere in March 2011 on PBS’ American Masters, shortly after being released on DVD by Hear Music/Concord Music Group. “When we sprang out of the box,” King notes early in the film, “there was just all this generational turbulence, cultural turbulence, and there was a hunger for the intimacy, the personal thing that we did.”

King’s first-ever holiday album, A Holiday Carole, followed in November 2011. Produced by her daughter Louise Goffin, the album’s 12 songs artfully blended the sacred and the secular with an eclectic mix of standards and newly-written material, and found King ringing in the season everywhere from The Today Show and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to the Christmas at Rockefeller Center tree lighting.

The crowning glory of King’s last half decade was the April 2012 release of her memoir, A Natural Woman—which prompted Vanity Fair to say, “America is having a Carole King moment.” USA Today described the book as “candid [and] endearingly chatty… [with] more humor and joy than pathos,” while the U.K.’s Independent hailed it as “intelligent, honest, self-effacing, well-written.” In the pages of A Natural Woman, which King wrote completely on her own, she shares her incredible story from her beginnings in Brooklyn to her groundbreaking achievements as a songwriter, as well as her first major performances with Taylor and her long years of environmental and political activism. On publication, King’s memoir instantly cracked the top 10 of The New York Times best-sellers list.

As a companion to Carole’s life story, The Legendary Demos was released by Hear Music/Concord Records. A previously unreleased collection of 13 recordings featuring some of her most celebrated songs, including “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “It’s Too Late,” and “You’ve Got a Friend,” the albumtraces King’s journey from her days as a staff writer at Don Kirschner’s Aldon Music in the early ’60s—where she crafted hit after hit for other artists—to the dawn of her own triumphant solo career in the 1970s.

To paraphrase one of her songwriter contemporaries, King has traveled a long and winding road during her life in music. She wrote her first #1 hit at the tender age of 17, penning “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” for the Shirelles with then-husband Gerry Goffin. The dozens of chart hits Goffin and King wrote during this period have become part of music legend, including “Take Good Care of My Baby” and “Run to Him” (#1 and #2 hits for Bobby Vee in 1961), “Crying in the Rain” (The Everly Brothers, #6 in 1962), “The Loco-Motion” (Little Eva, #1 in 1962), “Up on the Roof” (The Drifters, #5 in 1962), “Chains” (The Cookies, #17 in 1962, The Beatles in 1963), “One Fine Day” (The Chiffons, #5 in 1963), “Hey Girl” ( Freddy Scott, #10 in 1963, also Bobby Vee and The Righteous Brothers), “I’m Into Something Good” (Herman’s Hermits, #13 in 1964), “Just Once in My Life” (written with Phil Spector for The Righteous Brothers, #9 in 1965), and “Don’t Bring Me Down” (The Animals, #12 in 1966).

In 1960, King made her solo record debut with a song called “Baby Sittin’,” and two years later, her demo of “It Might As Well Rain Until September” made the Top 25 in the U.S., climbing all the way to #3 on the British charts. Lennon & McCartney were well aware of her work; they were quoted as saying that all they “ever wanted to be was like Goffin and King.”

In the late ’60s, soon after Goffin and King’s “(You make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” was immortalized by Aretha Franklin, Carole moved to Los Angeles with her daughters, Louise and Sherry, setting up house in Laurel Canyon and forming The City, who released one album, 1968’s Now That Everything’s Been Said. King released her first solo album, Writer, in 1970.

It was 1971’s Tapestry that took King to the pinnacle, though. It spoke personally to every one of her contemporaries and provided the spiritual musical backdrop to the decade. While King was in the studio recording Tapestry, Taylor recorded King’s “You’ve Got a Friend,” taking the song all the way to #1.

In a first for a female writer/artist, Tapestrywon all three of the key Grammy Awards—record, song and album of the year—as well as best female vocalist honors for King. With more than 25 million units sold, Tapestryremained the best-selling album by a female artist for a quarter century, and King went on to amass three other platinum and seven gold albums.

In 1987, King was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and, a year later, Goffin and King were awarded the National Academy of Songwriters’ Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1990, the duo was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2002, King was honored with the prestigious Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Two years later, Goffin and King received the Trustee Award from the Recording Academy.

Carole KingIn addition to her continuously evolving musical career, King, who has lived on an Idaho ranch since the early ’80s, is actively involved with environmental organizations in support of forest wilderness preservation.

To date, more than 400 of her compositions have been recorded by over 1,000 artists, resulting in 100 hit singles. Now 70 and still full of life, Carole King is without question the most successful and revered female songwriter in pop music history.

 

 
 
 

 



PREVIOUS COMPOSERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
 

Leonard Bernstein (August 25, 1918 - October 14, 1990)



Leonard Bernstein was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He took piano lessons as a boy and attended the Garrison and Boston Latin Schools. At Harvard University, he studied with Walter Piston, Edward Burlingame-Hill, and A. Tillman Merritt, among others. Before graduating in 1939, he made an unofficial conducting debut with his own incidental music to "The Birds," and directed and performed in Marc Blitzstein's "The Cradle Will Rock." Then at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, he studied piano with Isabella Vengerova, conducting with Fritz Reiner, and orchestration with Randall Thompson.

Bernstein was appointed to his first permanent conducting post in 1943, as Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic. On November 14, 1943, Bernstein substituted on a few hours notice for the ailing Bruno Walter at a Carnegie Hall concert, which was broadcast nationally on radio, receiving critical acclaim. Soon orchestras worldwide sought him out as a guest conductor.


In 1945 he was appointed Music Director of the New York City Symphony Orchestra, a post he held until 1947. After Serge Koussevitzky died in 1951, Bernstein headed the orchestral and conducting departments at Tanglewood, teaching there for many years. In 1951 he married the Chilean actress and pianist, Felicia Montealegre. He was also visiting music professor, and head of the Creative Arts Festivals at Brandeis University in the early 1950s.

Bernstein became Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in 1958. From then until 1969 he led more concerts with the orchestra than any previous conductor. He subsequently held the lifetime title of Laureate Conductor, making frequent guest appearances with the orchestra. More than half of Bernstein's 400-plus recordings were made with the New York Philharmonic.

Bernstein traveled the world as a conductor. Immediately after World War II, in 1946, he conducted in London and at the International Music Festival in Prague. In 1947 he conducted in Tel Aviv, beginning a relationship with Israel that lasted until his death. In 1953, Bernstein was the first American to conduct opera at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan: Cherubini's "Medea" with Maria Callas.

Bernstein was a leading advocate of American composers, particularly Aaron Copland. The two remained close friends for life. As a young pianist, Bernstein performed Copland's "Piano Variations" so often he considered the composition his trademark. Bernstein programmed and recorded nearly all of the Copland orchestral works --many of them twice. He devoted several televised "Young People's Concerts" to Copland, and gave the premiere of Copland's "Connotations," commissioned for the opening of Philharmonic Hall (now Avery Fisher Hall) at Lincoln Center in 1962.

While Bernstein's conducting repertoire encompassed the standard literature, he may be best remembered for his performances and recordings of Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Sibelius and Mahler. Particularly notable were his performances of the Mahler symphonies with the New York Philharmonic in the 1960s, sparking a renewed interest in the works of Mahler.

Inspired by his Jewish heritage, Bernstein completed his first large-scale work: Symphony No. 1: "Jeremiah." (1943). The piece was first performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1944, conducted by the composer, and received the New York Music Critics' Award. Koussevitzky premiered Bernstein's Symphony No. 2: "The Age of Anxiety" with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Bernstein as piano soloist. His Symphony No. 3: "Kaddish," composed in 1963, was premiered by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. "Kaddish" is dedicated "To the Beloved Memory of John F. Kennedy."

Other major compositions by Bernstein include "Prelude, Fugue and Riffs" for solo clarinet and jazz ensemble (1949); "Serenade" for violin, strings and percussion, (1954); "Symphonic Dances from West Side Story," (1960); "Chichester Psalms" for chorus, boy soprano and orchestra (1965); "Mass: A Theater Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers," commissioned for the opening of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and first produced there in 1971; "Songfest" a song cycle for six singers and orchestra (1977); "Divertimento," for orchestra (1980); "Halil," for solo flute and small orchestra (1981); "Touches," for solo piano (1981); "Missa Brevis" for singers and percussion (1988); "Thirteen Anniversaries" for solo piano (1988); "Concerto for Orchestra: Jubilee Games," (1989); and "Arias and Barcarolles" for two singers and piano duet (1988).

Bernstein also wrote a one-act opera, "Trouble in Tahiti," in 1952, and its sequel, the three-act opera, "A Quiet Place" in 1983. He collaborated with choreographer Jerome Robbins on three major ballets: "Fancy Free" (1944) and "Facsimile" (1946) for the American Ballet theater; and "Dybbuk" (1975) for the New York City Ballet. He composed the score for the award-winning movie "On the Waterfront" (1954) and incidental music for two Broadway plays: "Peter Pan" (1950) and "The Lark" (1955).

Bernstein contributed substantially to the Broadway musical stage. He collaborated with Betty Comden and Adolph Green on "On The Town" (1944) and "Wonderful Town" (1953). In collaboration with Richard Wilbur and Lillian Hellman and others he wrote "Candide" (1956). Other versions of "Candide" were written in association with Hugh Wheeler, Stephen Sondheim et al. In 1957 he again collaborated with Jerome Robbins, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents, on the landmark musical "West Side Story," also made into the Academy Award-winning film. In 1976 Bernstein and Alan Jay Lerner wrote "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."

Festivals of Bernstein's music have been produced throughout the world. In 1978 the Israel Philharmonic sponsored a festival commemorating his years of dedication to Israel. The Israel Philharmonic also bestowed on him the lifetime title of Laureate Conductor in 1988. In 1986 the London Symphony Orchestra and the Barbican Centre produced a Bernstein Festival. The London Symphony Orchestra in 1987 named him Honorary President. In 1989 the city of Bonn presented a Beethoven/Bernstein Festival.

In 1985 the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences honored Mr. Bernstein with the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award. He won eleven Emmy Awards in his career. His televised concert and lecture series started with the "Omnibus" program in 1954, followed by the extraordinary "Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic," in 1958 that extended over fourteen seasons. Among his many appearances on the PBS series "Great Performances" was the eleven-part acclaimed "Bernstein's Beethoven." In 1989, Bernstein and others commemorated the 1939 invasion of Poland in a worldwide telecast from Warsaw.

Bernstein's writings were published in "the Joy of Music" (1959), "Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts"(1961), "The Infinite Variety of Music" (1966), and "Findings" (1982). Each has been widely translated. He gave six lectures at Harvard University in 1972-1973 as the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry. These lectures were subsequently published and televised as "The Unanswered Question."

Bernstein always rejoiced in opportunities to teach young musicians. His master classes at Tanglewood were famous. He was instrumental in founding the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute in 1982. He helped create a world class training orchestra at the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival. He founded the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. Modeled after Tanglewood, this international festival was the first of its kind in Asia and continues to this day.

Bernstein received many honors. He was elected in 1981 to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which gave him a Gold Medal. The National Fellowship Award in 1985 applauded his life-long support of humanitarian causes. He received the MacDowell Colony's Gold Medal; medals from the Beethoven Society and the Mahler Gesellschaft; the Handel Medallion, New York City's highest honor for the arts; a Tony award (1969) for Distinguished Achievement in the Theater; and dozens of honorary degrees and awards from colleges and universities. He was presented ceremonial keys to the cities of Oslo, Vienna, Bersheeva and the village of Bernstein, Austria, among others. National honors came from Italy, Israel, Mexico, Denmark, Germany (the Great Merit Cross), and France (Chevalier, Officer and Commandeur of the Legion d'Honneur). He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1980.

World peace was a particular concern of Bernstein. Speaking at Johns Hopkins University in 1980 and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York in 1983, he described his vision of global harmony. His "Journey for Peace" tour to Athens and Hiroshima with the European Community Orchestra in 1985, commemorated the 40th anniversary of the atom bomb. In December 1989, Bernstein conducted the historic "Berlin Celebration Concerts" on both sides of the Berlin Wall, as it was being dismantled. The concerts were unprecedented gestures of cooperation, the musicians representing the former East Germany, West Germany, and the four powers that had partitioned Berlin after World War II.

Bernstein supported Amnesty International from its inception. To benefit the effort in 1987, he established the Felicia Montealegre Fund in memory of his wife who died in 1978.

In 1990, Bernstein received the Praemium Imperiale, an international prize created in 1988 by the Japan Arts Association and awarded for lifetime achievement in the arts. Bernstein used the $100,000 prize to establish The Bernstein Education Through the Arts (BETA) Fund, Inc. before his death on October 14, 1990.

Bernstein was the father of three children -- Jamie, Alexander, and Nina -- and the grandfather of four: Francisca, Evan, Anya and Anna. 




   Bernstein became Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in 1958. From then until 1969 he led more concerts with the orchestra than any previous conductor. He subsequently held the lifetime title of Laureate Conductor, making frequent guest appearances with the orchestra. More than half of Bernstein's 400-plus recordings were made with the New York Philharmonic.

Bernstein traveled the world as a conductor. Immediately after World War II, in 1946, he conducted in London and at the International Music Festival in Prague. In 1947 he conducted in Tel Aviv, beginning a relationship with Israel that lasted until his death. In 1953, Bernstein was the first American to conduct opera at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan: Cherubini's "Medea" with Maria Callas.

Bernstein was a leading advocate of American composers, particularly Aaron Copland. The two remained close friends for life. As a young pianist, Bernstein performed Copland's "Piano Variations" so often he considered the composition his trademark. Bernstein programmed and recorded nearly all of the Copland orchestral works --many of them twice. He devoted several televised "Young People's Concerts" to Copland, and gave the premiere of Copland's "Connotations," commissioned for the opening of Philharmonic Hall (now Avery Fisher Hall) at Lincoln Center in 1962.

While Bernstein's conducting repertoire encompassed the standard literature, he may be best remembered for his performances and recordings of Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Sibelius and Mahler. Particularly notable were his performances of the Mahler symphonies with the New York Philharmonic in the 1960s, sparking a renewed interest in the works of Mahler.

Inspired by his Jewish heritage, Bernstein completed his first large-scale work: Symphony No. 1: "Jeremiah." (1943). The piece was first performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1944, conducted by the composer, and received the New York Music Critics' Award. Koussevitzky premiered Bernstein's Symphony No. 2: "The Age of Anxiety" with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Bernstein as piano soloist. His Symphony No. 3: "Kaddish," composed in 1963, was premiered by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. "Kaddish" is dedicated "To the Beloved Memory of John F. Kennedy."

Other major compositions by Bernstein include "Prelude, Fugue and Riffs" for solo clarinet and jazz ensemble (1949); "Serenade" for violin, strings and percussion, (1954); "Symphonic Dances from West Side Story," (1960); "Chichester Psalms" for chorus, boy soprano and orchestra (1965); "Mass: A Theater Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers," commissioned for the opening of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and first produced there in 1971; "Songfest" a song cycle for six singers and orchestra (1977); "Divertimento," for orchestra (1980); "Halil," for solo flute and small orchestra (1981); "Touches," for solo piano (1981); "Missa Brevis" for singers and percussion (1988); "Thirteen Anniversaries" for solo piano (1988); "Concerto for Orchestra: Jubilee Games," (1989); and "Arias and Barcarolles" for two singers and piano duet (1988).

Bernstein also wrote a one-act opera, "Trouble in Tahiti," in 1952, and its sequel, the three-act opera, "A Quiet Place" in 1983. He collaborated with choreographer Jerome Robbins on three major ballets: "Fancy Free" (1944) and "Facsimile" (1946) for the American Ballet theater; and "Dybbuk" (1975) for the New York City Ballet. He composed the score for the award-winning movie "On the Waterfront" (1954) and incidental music for two Broadway plays: "Peter Pan" (1950) and "The Lark" (1955).

Bernstein contributed substantially to the Broadway musical stage. He collaborated with Betty Comden and Adolph Green on "On The Town" (1944) and "Wonderful Town" (1953). In collaboration with Richard Wilbur and Lillian Hellman and others he wrote "Candide" (1956). Other versions of "Candide" were written in association with Hugh Wheeler, Stephen Sondheim et al. In 1957 he again collaborated with Jerome Robbins, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents, on the landmark musical "West Side Story," also made into the Academy Award-winning film. In 1976 Bernstein and Alan Jay Lerner wrote "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."

Festivals of Bernstein's music have been produced throughout the world. In 1978 the Israel Philharmonic sponsored a festival commemorating his years of dedication to Israel. The Israel Philharmonic also bestowed on him the lifetime title of Laureate Conductor in 1988. In 1986 the London Symphony Orchestra and the Barbican Centre produced a Bernstein Festival. The London Symphony Orchestra in 1987 named him Honorary President. In 1989 the city of Bonn presented a Beethoven/Bernstein Festival.

In 1985 the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences honored Mr. Bernstein with the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award. He won eleven Emmy Awards in his career. His televised concert and lecture series started with the "Omnibus" program in 1954, followed by the extraordinary "Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic," in 1958 that extended over fourteen seasons. Among his many appearances on the PBS series "Great Performances" was the eleven-part acclaimed "Bernstein's Beethoven." In 1989, Bernstein and others commemorated the 1939 invasion of Poland in a worldwide telecast from Warsaw.

Bernstein's writings were published in "the Joy of Music" (1959), "Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts"(1961), "The Infinite Variety of Music" (1966), and "Findings" (1982). Each has been widely translated. He gave six lectures at Harvard University in 1972-1973 as the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry. These lectures were subsequently published and televised as "The Unanswered Question."

Bernstein always rejoiced in opportunities to teach young musicians. His master classes at Tanglewood were famous. He was instrumental in founding the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute in 1982. He helped create a world class training orchestra at the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival. He founded the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. Modeled after Tanglewood, this international festival was the first of its kind in Asia and continues to this day.

Bernstein received many honors. He was elected in 1981 to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which gave him a Gold Medal. The National Fellowship Award in 1985 applauded his life-long support of humanitarian causes. He received the MacDowell Colony's Gold Medal; medals from the Beethoven Society and the Mahler Gesellschaft; the Handel Medallion, New York City's highest honor for the arts; a Tony award (1969) for Distinguished Achievement in the Theater; and dozens of honorary degrees and awards from colleges and universities. He was presented ceremonial keys to the cities of Oslo, Vienna, Bersheeva and the village of Bernstein, Austria, among others. National honors came from Italy, Israel, Mexico, Denmark, Germany (the Great Merit Cross), and France (Chevalier, Officer and Commandeur of the Legion d'Honneur). He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1980.

World peace was a particular concern of Bernstein. Speaking at Johns Hopkins University in 1980 and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York in 1983, he described his vision of global harmony. His "Journey for Peace" tour to Athens and Hiroshima with the European Community Orchestra in 1985, commemorated the 40th anniversary of the atom bomb. In December 1989, Bernstein conducted the historic "Berlin Celebration Concerts" on both sides of the Berlin Wall, as it was being dismantled. The concerts were unprecedented gestures of cooperation, the musicians representing the former East Germany, West Germany, and the four powers that had partitioned Berlin after World War II.

Bernstein supported Amnesty International from its inception. To benefit the effort in 1987, he established the Felicia Montealegre Fund in memory of his wife who died in 1978.

In 1990, Bernstein received the Praemium Imperiale, an international prize created in 1988 by the Japan Arts Association and awarded for lifetime achievement in the arts. Bernstein used the $100,000 prize to establish The Bernstein Education Through the Arts (BETA) Fund, Inc. before his death on October 14, 1990.

Bernstein was the father of three children -- Jamie, Alexander, and Nina -- and the grandfather of four: Francisca, Evan, Anya and Anna. 





Alexander
Tsubota


 
Alexander Akira Tsubota was born in 1988 in Victorville, CA. He grew up in Trona, CA (near Death Valley), went to college in Riverside, and now lives in Redlands. Alex is half-Japanese. His dad is an elementary school principal, and his mom teaches 6th Grade in Trona. Alex has one younger brother who works in public relations in Tulsa, Oklahoma. You might see Alex on our Mariposa campus as he is also a member of the R.U.S.D. Tech. Services Department and visits us often.
 
He finished high school in 2005, which is before some of you were born! In school Alex's favorite subjects were English and Social Studies and as an avid debater he won several essay and debate contests. Alex attended UC Riverside and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor in Information Technology.  Alex wants you to know that Information Technology pertains to the use of computers and networks; not their engineering, programming, and design (aka Computer Science). 

Outside of school, Alex is greatly interested in music technology.  He helped design and is still on the staff at a few online communities that focus on home recording and music production.  He became interested in music at 4 years old, wanting badly to be a drummer, but his dad- who is a drummer- would not have it.  Although piano was his second choice, Alex says he did plenty of drumming on plastic chairs, hampers, pots and pillows in the many "concerts" he and his younger brother performed in the living room.  He began taking music lessons at 6 and continued them for 10 years.  Alex is an award winning musician, receiving music awards from  the Exchange Club, Lions Club, High Desert Music Teacher's Association, and Associated Christian Schools International.  In high school, Alex performed with Grammy Award-winning musician and producer Daniel Ho; more recently he wsa the main artist for the grand opening of the C3 Performing Arts Center in San Diego, CA.
 
At age 10 Alex began writing his own music.  Alex says that "the ability to play the music I heard in my head was an invaluable, freeing form of self-expression. I have been writing music I want to hear – but doesn’t yet exist – ever since. I am not too interested in making a living as a musician, selling CDs, or touring in concert. Someday, I would like to see my music licensed for commercial use or in documentaries."
  
Alex's music is freely available to download at www.alextsubota.com - Alex says that he "already feels like a celebrity when twenty of you come filing by out of a classroom and all say "Hi Alex!!!" Although I know only a few of your names, I hope to learn more of them during my visits. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of your school."










GLENN MILLER



Alton Glenn Miller (March 1, 1904 – missing in action December 15, 1944) was an American big band musician, arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era. He was the best-selling recording artist from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best known big bands. Miller's notable recordings include "In the Mood", "Moonlight Serenade", "Pennsylvania 6-5000", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "A String of Pearls", "At Last", "(I've Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo", "American Patrol", "Tuxedo Junction", and "Little Brown Jug".While he was traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France during World War II, Glenn Miller's aircraft disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel.



GEORGE GERSHWIN


 

George Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known. Among his best known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928), as well as the opera Porgy and Bess (1935).

Gershwin studied piano under Charles Hambitzer and composition with Rubin Goldmark and Henry Cowell. He began his career as a song plugger, but soon started composing Broadway theatre works with his brother Ira Gershwin and Buddy DeSylva. He moved to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger, where he began to compose An American in Paris. After returning to New York City, he wrote Porgy and Bess with Ira and the author DuBose Heyward. Initially a commercial failure, Porgy and Bess is now considered one of the most important American operas of the twentieth century. Gershwin moved to Hollywood and composed numerous film scores until his death in 1937 from a brain tumor.

Gershwin's compositions have been adapted for use in many films and for television, and several became jazz standards recorded in many variations. Countless celebrated singers and musicians have covered his songs.






 

George Frideric Handel (German: Georg Friedrich Händel; (1685-02-23)23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759(1759-04-14)) was a German-born British Baroque composer famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Born in a family indifferent to music, Handel received critical training in Halle, Hamburg and Italy before settling in London (1712) as a naturalized British subject in 1727.By then he was strongly influenced by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition.

Within fifteen years, Handel had started three commercial opera companies to supply the English nobility with Italian opera. In 1737 he had a physical breakdown, changed direction creatively and addressed the middle class. As Alexander's Feast (1736) was well received, Handel made a transition to English choral works. After his success with Messiah (1742) he never performed an Italian opera again. Handel was only partly successful with his performances of English oratorio on mythical and biblical themes, but when he arranged a performance of Messiah to benefit the Foundling Hospital (1750) the criticism ended. It has been said that the passion of Handel's oratorios is an ethical one, and that they are hallowed not by liturgical dignity but by moral ideals of humanity.Almost blind, and having lived in England for almost fifty years, he died in 1759, a respected and rich man. His funeral was given full state honours, and he was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Handel is regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time, with works such as Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks and Messiah remaining popular. Handel composed more than forty operas in over thirty years, and since the late 1960s, with the revival of baroque music and original instrumentation, interest in Handel's operas has grown.





WYNTON MARSALIS



 
Wynton Marsalis is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of American culture. He is the world’s first jazz artist to perform and compose across the full jazz spectrum from its New Orleans roots to bebop to modern jazz.
By creating and performing an expansive range of brilliant new music for quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras, tap dance to ballet, Wynton has expanded the vocabulary for jazz and created a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers.
The Early Years
Wynton was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on October 18, 1961, to Ellis and Dolores Marsalis, the second of six sons. At an early age he exhibited a superior aptitude for music and a desire to participate in American culture. At age eight Wynton performed traditional New Orleans music in the Fairview Baptist Church band led by legendary banjoist Danny Barker, and at 14 he performed with the New Orleans Philharmonic. During high school Wynton performed with the New Orleans Symphony Brass Quintet, New Orleans Community Concert Band, New Orleans Youth Orchestra, New Orleans Symphony, various jazz bands and the popular local funk band, the Creators.
At age 17 Wynton became the youngest musician ever to be admitted to Tanglewood’s Berkshire Music Center. Despite his youth, he was awarded the school’s prestigious Harvey Shapiro Award for outstanding brass student. Wynton moved to New York City to attend Juilliard in 1979. When he began to pick up gigs around town, the grapevine began to buzz. In the years to follow Wynton performed with Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sweets Edison, Clark Terry, Sonny Rollins, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and countless other jazz legends.
Wynton assembled his own band in 1981 and hit the road, performing over 120 concerts every year for 15 consecutive years. With the power of his superior musicianship, the infectious sound of his swinging bands and an exhaustive series of performances and music workshops, Marsalis rekindled widespread interest in jazz throughout the world. Wynton embraced the jazz lineage to garner recognition for the older generation of overlooked jazz musicians and prompted the re-issue of jazz catalog by record companies worldwide. He also inspired a renaissance that attracted a new generation of fine young talent to jazz. A look at the more distinguished jazz musicians of today reveals numerous students of Marsalis’ workshops: James Carter, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Harry Connick Jr., Nicholas Payton, Eric Reed and Eric Lewis, to name a few.


Classical Career
Wynton’s love of the music of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and others drove him to pursue a career in classical music as well. He recorded the Haydn, Hummel and Leopold Mozart trumpet concertos at age 20. His debut recording received glorious reviews and won the Grammy Award® for “Best Classical Soloist with an Orchestra.” Marsalis went on to record 10 additional classical records, all to critical acclaim. Wynton performed with leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston Pops, The Cleveland Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and London’s Royal Philharmonic, working with an eminent group of conductors including: Leppard, Dutoit, Maazel, Slatkin, Salonen and Tilson-Thomas. Famed classical trumpeter Maurice André praised Wynton as “potentially the greatest trumpeter of all time.”
The Composer
Wynton Marsalis is a prolific and inventive composer. The dance community embraced Wynton’s inventiveness by awarding him with commissions to create new music for Garth Fagan (Citi Movement-Griot New York), Peter Martins at the New York City Ballet (Jazz: Six Syncopated Movements and Them Twos), Twyla Tharp with the American Ballet Theatre (Jump Start), Judith Jamison at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre (Sweet Release and Here…Now), and Savion Glover (Petite Suite and Spaces). Marsalis collaborated with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society in 1995 to compose the string quartet At The Octoroon Balls, and again in 1998 to create a response to Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale with his composition A Fiddler’s Tale.
Awards and Accolades
Wynton Marsalis has won nine Grammy Awards® in grand style. In 1983 he became the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards® for both jazz and classical records; and he repeated the distinction by winning jazz and classical Grammy Awards® again in 1984. Marsalis went on to win Grammy Awards® for five consecutive years (1983-1987). Honorary degrees have been conferred upon Wynton by over 30 of America’s leading academic institutions including Columbia, Harvard, Howard, Princeton and Yale. Elsewhere Wynton was honored with the Louis Armstrong Memorial Medal and the Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts. He was inducted into the American Academy of Achievement and was dubbed an Honorary Dreamer by the “I Have a Dream Foundation.” The New York Urban League awarded Wynton with the Frederick Douglass Medallion for distinguished leadership and the American Arts Council presented him with the Arts Education Award. Time magazine selected Wynton as one of America’s most promising leaders under age 40 in 1995, and in 1996 Time celebrated Marsalis again as one of America’s 25 most influential people. In November 2005 Wynton Marsalis received The National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States Government. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan proclaimed Wynton Marsalis an international ambassador of goodwill for the Unites States by appointing him a UN Messenger of Peace (2001).
In 1997 Wynton Marsalis became the first jazz musician ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his epic oratorio Blood On The Fields. During the five preceding decades the Pulitzer Prize jury refused to recognize jazz musicians and their improvisational music, reserving this distinction for classical composers. In the years following Marsalis’ award, the Pulitzer Prize for Music has been awarded posthumously to Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane.
 
 

NICHOLAS RIMSKY-KORSAKOV  (1844-1908)

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Leonard Bernstein (August 25, 1918 - October 14, 1990)



Leonard Bernstein was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He took piano lessons as a boy and attended the Garrison and Boston Latin Schools. At Harvard University, he studied with Walter Piston, Edward Burlingame-Hill, and A. Tillman Merritt, among others. Before graduating in 1939, he made an unofficial conducting debut with his own incidental music to "The Birds," and directed and performed in Marc Blitzstein's "The Cradle Will Rock." Then at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, he studied piano with Isabella Vengerova, conducting with Fritz Reiner, and orchestration with Randall Thompson.
 
Bernstein was appointed to his first permanent conducting post in 1943, as Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic. On November 14, 1943, Bernstein substituted on a few hours notice for the ailing Bruno Walter at a Carnegie Hall concert, which was broadcast nationally on radio, receiving critical acclaim. Soon orchestras worldwide sought him out as a guest conductor.

In 1945 he was appointed Music Director of the New York City Symphony Orchestra, a post he held until 1947. After Serge Koussevitzky died in 1951, Bernstein headed the orchestral and conducting departments at Tanglewood, teaching there for many years. In 1951 he married the Chilean actress and pianist, Felicia Montealegre. He was also visiting music professor, and head of the Creative Arts Festivals at Brandeis University in the early 1950s.

Bernstein became Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in 1958. From then until 1969 he led more concerts with the orchestra than any previous conductor. He subsequently held the lifetime title of Laureate Conductor, making frequent guest appearances with the orchestra. More than half of Bernstein's 400-plus recordings were made with the New York Philharmonic.

Bernstein traveled the world as a conductor. Immediately after World War II, in 1946, he conducted in London and at the International Music Festival in Prague. In 1947 he conducted in Tel Aviv, beginning a relationship with Israel that lasted until his death. In 1953, Bernstein was the first American to conduct opera at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan: Cherubini's "Medea" with Maria Callas.

Bernstein was a leading advocate of American composers, particularly Aaron Copland. The two remained close friends for life. As a young pianist, Bernstein performed Copland's "Piano Variations" so often he considered the composition his trademark. Bernstein programmed and recorded nearly all of the Copland orchestral works --many of them twice. He devoted several televised "Young People's Concerts" to Copland, and gave the premiere of Copland's "Connotations," commissioned for the opening of Philharmonic Hall (now Avery Fisher Hall) at Lincoln Center in 1962.

While Bernstein's conducting repertoire encompassed the standard literature, he may be best remembered for his performances and recordings of Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Sibelius and Mahler. Particularly notable were his performances of the Mahler symphonies with the New York Philharmonic in the 1960s, sparking a renewed interest in the works of Mahler.

Inspired by his Jewish heritage, Bernstein completed his first large-scale work: Symphony No. 1: "Jeremiah." (1943). The piece was first performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1944, conducted by the composer, and received the New York Music Critics' Award. Koussevitzky premiered Bernstein's Symphony No. 2: "The Age of Anxiety" with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Bernstein as piano soloist. His Symphony No. 3: "Kaddish," composed in 1963, was premiered by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. "Kaddish" is dedicated "To the Beloved Memory of John F. Kennedy."

Other major compositions by Bernstein include "Prelude, Fugue and Riffs" for solo clarinet and jazz ensemble (1949); "Serenade" for violin, strings and percussion, (1954); "Symphonic Dances from West Side Story," (1960); "Chichester Psalms" for chorus, boy soprano and orchestra (1965); "Mass: A Theater Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers," commissioned for the opening of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and first produced there in 1971; "Songfest" a song cycle for six singers and orchestra (1977); "Divertimento," for orchestra (1980); "Halil," for solo flute and small orchestra (1981); "Touches," for solo piano (1981); "Missa Brevis" for singers and percussion (1988); "Thirteen Anniversaries" for solo piano (1988); "Concerto for Orchestra: Jubilee Games," (1989); and "Arias and Barcarolles" for two singers and piano duet (1988).

Bernstein also wrote a one-act opera, "Trouble in Tahiti," in 1952, and its sequel, the three-act opera, "A Quiet Place" in 1983. He collaborated with choreographer Jerome Robbins on three major ballets: "Fancy Free" (1944) and "Facsimile" (1946) for the American Ballet theater; and "Dybbuk" (1975) for the New York City Ballet. He composed the score for the award-winning movie "On the Waterfront" (1954) and incidental music for two Broadway plays: "Peter Pan" (1950) and "The Lark" (1955).

Bernstein contributed substantially to the Broadway musical stage. He collaborated with Betty Comden and Adolph Green on "On The Town" (1944) and "Wonderful Town" (1953). In collaboration with Richard Wilbur and Lillian Hellman and others he wrote "Candide" (1956). Other versions of "Candide" were written in association with Hugh Wheeler, Stephen Sondheim et al. In 1957 he again collaborated with Jerome Robbins, Stephen Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents, on the landmark musical "West Side Story," also made into the Academy Award-winning film. In 1976 Bernstein and Alan Jay Lerner wrote "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."

Festivals of Bernstein's music have been produced throughout the world. In 1978 the Israel Philharmonic sponsored a festival commemorating his years of dedication to Israel. The Israel Philharmonic also bestowed on him the lifetime title of Laureate Conductor in 1988. In 1986 the London Symphony Orchestra and the Barbican Centre produced a Bernstein Festival. The London Symphony Orchestra in 1987 named him Honorary President. In 1989 the city of Bonn presented a Beethoven/Bernstein Festival.

In 1985 the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences honored Mr. Bernstein with the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award. He won eleven Emmy Awards in his career. His televised concert and lecture series started with the "Omnibus" program in 1954, followed by the extraordinary "Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic," in 1958 that extended over fourteen seasons. Among his many appearances on the PBS series "Great Performances" was the eleven-part acclaimed "Bernstein's Beethoven." In 1989, Bernstein and others commemorated the 1939 invasion of Poland in a worldwide telecast from Warsaw.

Bernstein's writings were published in "the Joy of Music" (1959), "Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts"(1961), "The Infinite Variety of Music" (1966), and "Findings" (1982). Each has been widely translated. He gave six lectures at Harvard University in 1972-1973 as the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry. These lectures were subsequently published and televised as "The Unanswered Question."

Bernstein always rejoiced in opportunities to teach young musicians. His master classes at Tanglewood were famous. He was instrumental in founding the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute in 1982. He helped create a world class training orchestra at the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival. He founded the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. Modeled after Tanglewood, this international festival was the first of its kind in Asia and continues to this day.

Bernstein received many honors. He was elected in 1981 to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which gave him a Gold Medal. The National Fellowship Award in 1985 applauded his life-long support of humanitarian causes. He received the MacDowell Colony's Gold Medal; medals from the Beethoven Society and the Mahler Gesellschaft; the Handel Medallion, New York City's highest honor for the arts; a Tony award (1969) for Distinguished Achievement in the Theater; and dozens of honorary degrees and awards from colleges and universities. He was presented ceremonial keys to the cities of Oslo, Vienna, Bersheeva and the village of Bernstein, Austria, among others. National honors came from Italy, Israel, Mexico, Denmark, Germany (the Great Merit Cross), and France (Chevalier, Officer and Commandeur of the Legion d'Honneur). He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1980.

World peace was a particular concern of Bernstein. Speaking at Johns Hopkins University in 1980 and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York in 1983, he described his vision of global harmony. His "Journey for Peace" tour to Athens and Hiroshima with the European Community Orchestra in 1985, commemorated the 40th anniversary of the atom bomb. In December 1989, Bernstein conducted the historic "Berlin Celebration Concerts" on both sides of the Berlin Wall, as it was being dismantled. The concerts were unprecedented gestures of cooperation, the musicians representing the former East Germany, West Germany, and the four powers that had partitioned Berlin after World War II.

Bernstein supported Amnesty International from its inception. To benefit the effort in 1987, he established the Felicia Montealegre Fund in memory of his wife who died in 1978.

In 1990, Bernstein received the Praemium Imperiale, an international prize created in 1988 by the Japan Arts Association and awarded for lifetime achievement in the arts. Bernstein used the $100,000 prize to establish The Bernstein Education Through the Arts (BETA) Fund, Inc. before his death on October 14, 1990.

Bernstein was the father of three children -- Jamie, Alexander, and Nina -- and the grandfather of four: Francisca, Evan, Anya and Anna.


 


 

Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov  (1844 – 1908) was a Russian composer, and a member of the group of composers known as The Five. He was a master of orchestration. His best-known orchestral compositions—Capriccio Espagnol, the Russian Easter Festival Overture, and the symphonic suite Scheherazade—are staples of the classical music repertoire, along with suites and excerpts from some of his 15 operas. Scheherazade is an example of his frequent use of fairy tale and folk subjects.

Rimsky-Korsakov believed, as did fellow composer Mily Balakirev and critic Vladimir Stasov, in developing a nationalistic style of classical music. This style employed Russian folk song and lore along with exotic harmonic, melodic and rhythmic elements in a practice known as musical orientalism, and eschewed traditional Western compositional methods. However, Rimsky-Korsakov appreciated Western musical techniques after he became a professor of musical composition, harmony and orchestration at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1871. He undertook a rigorous three-year program of self-education and became a master of Western methods, incorporating them alongside the influences of Mikhail Glinka and fellow members of The Five. His techniques of composition and orchestration were further enriched by his exposure to the works of Richard Wagner.

For much of his life, Rimsky-Korsakov combined his composition and teaching with a career in the Russian military—at first as an officer in theImperial Russian Navy, then as the civilian Inspector of Naval Bands. He wrote that he developed a passion for the ocean in childhood from reading books and hearing of his older brother's exploits in the navy. This love of the sea might have influenced him to write two of his best-known orchestral works, the musical tableau Sadko (not his later opera of the same name) and Scheherazade. Through his service as Inspector of Naval Bands, Rimsky-Korsakov expanded his knowledge of woodwind and brass playing, which enhanced his abilities in orchestration. He passed this knowledge to his students, and also posthumously through a textbook on orchestration that was completed by his son-in-law, Maximilian Steinberg.

Rimsky-Korsakov left a considerable body of original Russian nationalist compositions. He prepared works by The Five for performance, which brought them into the active classical repertoire (although there is controversy over his editing of the works of Modest Mussorgsky), and shaped a generation of younger composers and musicians during his decades as an educator. Rimsky-Korsakov is therefore considered "the main architect" of what the classical music public considers the Russian style of composition.
His influence on younger composers was especially important, as he served as a transitional figure between the autodidactism which exemplified Glinka and The Five and professionally trained composers which would become the norm in Russia by the closing years of the 19th century. While Rimsky-Korsakov's style was based on those of Glinka, Balakirev, Hector Berlioz, and Franz Liszt, he "transmitted this style directly to two generations of Russian composers" and influenced non-Russian composers including Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Paul Dukas and Ottorino Respighi.

 

Early life and career

Miller was born on a farm in Clarinda, Iowa, to Lewis Elmer Miller and Mattie Lou (née Cavender).He attended grade school in North Platte in western Nebraska. In 1915, Miller's family moved to Grant City, Missouri. Around this time, Miller had finally made enough money from milking cows to buy his first trombone and played in the town orchestra. Originally, Miller played cornet and mandolin, but he switched to trombone by 1916.In 1918, the Miller family moved again, this time to Fort Morgan, Colorado, where Miller went to high school. In the fall of 1919, he joined the high school football team, Maroons, which won the Northern Colorado Football Conference in 1920. He was named the Best Left End in Colorado.During his senior year, Miller became very interested in a new style of music called "dance band music." He was so taken with it that he formed his own band with some classmates. By the time Miller graduated from high school in 1921, he had decided to become a professional musician.

In 1923, Miller entered the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he joined Sigma Nu Fraternity,but spent most of his time away from school, attending auditions and playing any gigs he could get, most notably with Boyd Senter's band in Denver. He dropped out of school after failing three out of five classes one semester, and decided to concentrate on making a career as a professional musician. He later studied the Schillinger technique with Joseph Schillinger, under whose tutelage he composed what became his signature theme, "Moonlight Serenade".In 1926, Miller toured with several groups, eventually landing a good spot in Ben Pollack's group in Los Angeles. He was also notably known for playing for Victor Young, whose Los Angeles studio orchestra accompanied Judy Garland and Bing Crosby, allowing him to be mentored by other professional musicians.In the beginning, he was the main trombone soloist of the band. However, when Jack Teagarden joined the Pollack's band in 1928, Miller found that his solos were cut drastically. From then, he realized that, rather than being a trombonist, his future lay in writing music.He also had a songbook published in Chicago entitled Glenn Miller's 125 Jazz Breaks for Trombone by the Melrose Brothers in 1927.During the late 1920s and early 1930s, Miller managed to earn a living working as a freelance trombonist in several bands. On a March 21, 1928 Victor session, Miller played alongside Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, and Joe Venuti in the All-Star Orchestra, directed by Nat Shilkret. During this period, Miller arranged and played trombone on several significant Dorsey Brothers OKeh sessions including "The Spell of The Blues", "Let's Do It" and "My Kinda Love", all with Bing Crosby vocals. On November 14, 1929, an original vocalist named Red McKenzie hired Miller to play on two records that are now considered to be jazz classics:[ "Hello, Lola" and "If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight". Beside Miller were clarinetistPee Wee Russell, guitarist Eddie Condon, drummer Gene Krupa and Coleman Hawkins on tenor saxophone.

In the early-to-mid-1930s, Miller also worked as a trombonist, arranger, and composer in The Dorsey Brothers, first when they were a Brunswick studio group (under their own name and providing accompaniment for many of The Boswell Sisters sessions), and finally when they formed an ill-fated co-led touring and recording orchestra.Miller composed the songs "Annie's Cousin Fanny","Dese Dem Dose","Harlem Chapel Chimes", and "Tomorrow's Another Day" for the Dorsey Brothers Band in 1934 and 1935. In 1935, he assembled an American orchestra for British bandleader Ray Noble,developing the arrangement of lead clarinet over four saxophones that eventually became the sonic keynote of his own big band. Members of the Noble band included future bandleaders Claude Thornhill, Bud Freeman and Charlie Spivak. Glenn Miller made his first movie appearance in the 1935 Paramount Pictures release The Big Broadcast of 1936 as a member of the Ray Noble Orchestra performing "Why Stars Come Out at Night".The Big Broadcast of 1936 starred Bing Crosby, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Ethel Merman, Jack Oakie, and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and also featured other performances by Dorothy Dandridge and the Nicholas Brothers, who would appear with Miller again in two movies for Twentieth Century Fox in 1941 and 1942.

1939 Baltimore Hippodrome Ballroom concert poster.

Discouraged, Miller returned to New York. He realized that he needed to develop a unique sound, and decided to make the clarinet play a melodic line with a tenor saxophone holding the same note, while three other saxophones harmonized within a single octave. George T. Simon discovered a saxophonist named Wilbur Schwartz for Glenn Miller. Miller hired Schwartz, but instead had him play lead clarinet. According to Simon, "Willie's tone and way of playing provided a fullness and richness so distinctive that none of the later Miller imitators could ever accurately reproduce the Miller sound."With this new sound combination, Glenn Miller found a way to differentiate his band's style from the many bands that existed in the late thirties. Miller talked about his style in the May, 1939 issue of Metronome magazine. "You'll notice today some bands use the same trick on every introduction; others repeat the same musical phrase as a modulation into a vocal ... We're fortunate in that our style doesn't limit us to stereotyped intros, modulations, first choruses, endings or even trick rhythms. The fifth sax, playing clarinet most of the time, lets you know whose band you're listening to. And that's about all there is to it."

First gold record award for "Chattanooga Choo Choo" is presented to Glenn Miller by W. Wallace Early of RCA Victor with announcer Paul Douglas on far left, February 10, 1942.

Miller and his band appeared in two Twentieth Century Fox films. In 1941's Sun Valley Serenade they were major members of the cast, which also featured comedian Milton Berle.The Miller band returned to Hollywood to film 1942'sOrchestra Wives,featuring Jackie Gleason playing a part as the group's bassist, Ben Beck.  The Glenn Miller Story was released in 1953/1954.
 

Bust outside the Corn Exchange in Bedford, where Miller played in World War II.

In 1942, at the peak of his civilian career, Miller decided to join the war effort. At 38, Miller was too old to be drafted, and first volunteered for the Navy but was told that they did not need his services. Miller then wrote to Army Brigadier General Charles Young. He persuaded the United States Army to accept him so he could, in his own words, "be placed in charge of a modernized Army band." After being accepted into the Army, Miller's civilian band played its last concert in Passaic, New Jersey, on September 27, 1942.His patriotic intention of entertaining the Allied Forces with the fusion of virtuosity and dance rhythms in his music earned him the rank of captain and he was soon promoted to major by August 1944.

At first placed in the United States Army, Miller was transferred to the Army Air Force.Captain Glenn Miller served initially as assistant special services officer for the Army Air Forces Southeast Training Center at Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama, in December 1942. He played trombone with the Rhythmaires, a 15-piece dance band, in both Montgomery and in service clubs and recreation halls on Maxwell. Miller also appeared on both WAPI (Birmingham, Alabama) and WSFA radio (Montgomery), promoting the activities of civil service women aircraft mechanics employed at Maxwell.

Miller initially formed a large marching band that was to be the core of a network of service orchestras. His attempts at modernizing military music were met with some resistance from tradition-minded career officers. For example, Miller's arrangement of "St. Louis Blues March", combined blues and jazz with the traditional military march. Miller's weekly radio broadcast "I Sustain the Wings", for which he co-wrote the eponymous theme song, moved from New Haven to New York City and was very popular. This led to permission for Miller to form his 50-piece Army Air Force Band and take it to England in the summer of 1944, where he gave 800 performances.While in England, now Major Miller recorded a series of records at EMI owned Abbey Road Studios. EMI at this time was the British and European distributor for RCA Victor.[The recordings the AAF band made in 1944 at Abbey Road were propaganda broadcasts for the Office of War Information. Many songs are sung in German by Johnny Desmond and Glenn Miller speaks in German about the war effort.Before Miller's disappearance, his music was used by World War II AFN radio broadcasting for entertainment and morale as well as counter-propaganda to denounce fascist oppression in Europe with even Miller once stating on radio:

"America means freedom and there's no expression of freedom quite so sincere as music".-Glenn Miller

U.S. Army Air Force UC-64
 
 
 

John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer, conductor and pianist. In a career spanning over six decades, he has composed some of the most recognizable film scores in cinematic history, including the Star Wars saga, Jaws, Superman, the Indiana Jones films, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Home Alone and its sequel, Hook, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse and the first three Harry Potter films. He has had a long association with director Steven Spielberg, composing the music for all but two (Duel and The Color Purple) of Spielberg's major feature films.

Other notable works by Williams include theme music for four Olympic Games, NBC Sunday Night Football, the NBC Nightly News, the Statue of Liberty's rededication, and the television series Lost in Space and Land of the Giants. Williams has also composed numerous classical concerti, and he served as the Boston Pops Orchestra's principal conductor from 1980 to 1993; he is now the orchestra's conductor laureate.

Williams has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards and twenty-one Grammy Awards. With forty-eight Academy Award nominations, Williams is the second most-nominated person, after Walt Disney.Williams was honored with the prestigious Richard Kirk award at the 1999 BMI Film and TV Awards. The award is given annually to a composer who has made significant contributions to film and television music.Williams was inducted into the Hollywood BowlHall of Fame in 2000, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004.

 

 

Rodgers and Hammerstein re-worked the musical theatre genre. Early 20th-century musicals, except for the Princess Theatre musicals and a few important examples like Hammerstein and Jerome Kern's Show Boat, were usually whimsical or farcical, and usually built around a star. Because the efforts of Rodgers and Hammerstein were so successful, many musicals followed that contained thought-provoking plots with mature themes, and in which all the aspects of the play, dance, song, and drama, were combined in an integrated whole. Stephen Sondheim has cited Rodgers and Hammerstein as having had a crucial influence on his work.
Rodgers and Hammerstein also use the technique of what some call the "formula musical". While some hail this phenomenon, others criticize it for its predictability. The term 'formula musical' may refer to a musical with a predictable plot, but it also refers to the casting requirements of Rodgers & Hammerstein characters. Typically, any musical from this team will have the casting of a strong baritone lead, a dainty and light soprano lead, a supporting lead tenor, and a supporting alto lead. Although there are exceptions to this generalization, it simplifies the audition process, and gives audiences an idea of what to expect vocally from a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. However, this formula had been used in Viennese operetta, such as The Merry Widow.
William A. Everett and Paul R. Laird wrote that Oklahoma!, "like Show Boat, became a milestone, so that later historians writing about important moments in twentieth-century theatre would begin to identify eras according to their relationship to Oklahoma!" In The Complete Book of Light Opera, Mark Lubbock adds, "After Oklahoma!, Rodgers and Hammerstein were the most important contributors to the musical-play form – with such masterworks as Carousel, The King and I and South Pacific. The examples they set in creating vital plays, often rich with social thought, provided the necessary encouragement for other gifted writers to create musical plays of their own."
In 1950, the team of Rodgers and Hammerstein received The Hundred Year Association of New York's Gold Medal Award "in recognition of outstanding contributions to the City of New York." In addition to their enduring work, Rodgers and Hammerstein were also honored in 1999 with a United States Postal Service stamp commemorating their partnership.
The Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City is named after Rodgers. Forbes named Rodgers and Hammerstein second on its list of top-earning dead celebrities in 2009 at $235 million.
The original film arrangements of the team's music have been restored and performed at the Proms concerts in London's Royal Albert Hall by the John Wilson Orchestra.
 

 


George Winston grew up mainly in Montana, and also spent his later formative years in Mississippi and Florida. During this time, his favorite music was instrumental rock and instrumental R&B, including Floyd Cramer, the Ventures, Booker T & The MG’s, Jimmy Smith, and many more. Inspired by R&B, jazz, Blues and rock (especially the Doors), George began playing organ in 1967. In 1971 he switched to the acoustic piano after hearing recordings from the 1920s and the 1930s by the legendary stride pianists Thomas “Fats” Waller and the late Teddy Wilson. In addition to working on stride piano, he also at this time came up with this own style of melodic instrumental music on solo piano, called folk piano. In 1972, he recorded his first solo piano album, BALLADS AND BLUES 1972, for the late guitarist John Fahey’s Takoma label.

His latest solo piano release is LOVE WILL COME – THE MUSIC OF VINCE GUARALDI, VOL. 2 (released 2/2/10), which features compositions by the late jazz pianist, including pieces from the Peanuts® TV specials.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era.

Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood. 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 travelled 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 portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his death. 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. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers, and his influence on subsequent Western art music is profound; Beethoven composed his own early works in the shadow of Mozart, and Joseph Haydn wrote that "posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years. 





Claude-Achille Debussy (22 August 1862 – 25 March 1918) was a French composer. Along with
Maurice Ravel, he was 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.

In France, he was made Chevalier of the
Legion of Honour in 1903.A crucial figure in the transition to the modern era in Western music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers.

His music is noted for its sensory component and for not often forming around one key or pitch. Often Debussy's work reflected the activities or turbulence in his own life. 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.

Debussy's music,  "established a new concept of tonality in European music":

  1. Glittering passages and webs of figurations which distract from occasional absence of tonality;
  2. Frequent use of parallel chords which are "in essence not harmonies at all, but rather 'chordal melodies', enriched unisons"; some writers describe these as non-functional harmonies;
  3. Bitonality, or at least bitonal chords;
  4. Use of the whole-tone and pentatonic scale;
  5. Unprepared modulations, "without any harmonic bridge."

Debussy's achievement was the synthesis of monophonic based "melodic tonality" with harmonies, albeit different from those of "harmonic tonality

 

      Alexander Tsubota
 

Alexander Akira Tsubota was born in 1988 in Victorville, CA. He grew up in Trona, CA (near Death Valley), went to college in Riverside, and now lives in Redlands. Alex is half-Japanese. His dad is an elementary school principal, and his mom teaches 6th Grade in Trona. Alex has one younger brother who works in public relations in Tulsa, Oklahoma. You might see Alex on our Mariposa campus as he is also our Technology Technician.
 
He finished high school in 2005, which is before some of you were born! In school Alex's favorite subjects were English and Social Studies and as an avid debater he won several essay and debate contests. Alex attended UC Riverside and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor in Information Technology.  Alex wants you to know that Information Technology pertains to the use of computers and networks; not their engineering, programming, and design (aka Computer Science). 
 
Outside of school, Alex is greatly interested in music technology. He helped design and is still on staff at a few online communities that focus on home recording and music production.  He became interested in music at 4 years old, wanting badly to be a drummer, but his dad – who is a drummer –would not have it. Although piano was his second choice, Alex says he did plenty of drumming on plastic chairs, hampers, pots, and pillows in the many "concerts" he and his younger brother performed in the living room. He began taking music lessons at 6 and continued them for 10 years. Alex is an award winning musician, receiving music awards from the Exchange Club, Lions Club, High Desert Music Teacher's Association, and Associated Christian Schools International. In high school, Alex performed with Grammy Award-winning musician and producer Daniel Ho; more recently he was the main artist for the grand opening of the C3 Performing Arts Center in San Diego, CA.
 
At age 10 Alex began writing his own music.  Alex says that "the ability to play the music I heard in my head was an invaluable, freeing form of self-expression. I have been writing music I want to hear – but doesn’t yet exist – ever since. I am not too interested in making a living as a musician, selling CDs, or touring in concert. Someday, I would like to see my music licensed for commercial use or in documentaries."
  
Alex's music is freely available to download at www.alextsubota.com - Alex says that he "already feels like a celebrity when twenty of you come filing by out of a classroom and all say "Hi Alex!!!" Although I know only a few of your names, I hope to learn more of them during my visits. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of your school."


Last year's Composers in the Spotlight:

Brian Wilson was born on June 20, 1942. He is an American musician, best known as the leader and main songwriter of the group The Beach Boys. Brian Wilson provided many of the lead vocals for the bands’ songs. Early during his on-stage career, Wilson primarily played bass on stage, but gradually transitioned to primarily playing piano/keyboards.

Besides being the primary composer in The Beach Boys, he also functioned as the band's main producer and arranger. Wilson wrote or co-wrote more than two dozen Top 40 hits including "Surfin' Safari", "Surfin' USA", "Shut Down", "Little Deuce Coupe", "Be True to Your School", "In My Room", "Fun, Fun, Fun", "I Get Around", "Dance Dance Dance", "Help Me Rhonda", "California Girls" and "Good Vibrations". These songs and their albums were internationally popular, making The Beach Boys one of the biggest acts of their time.

In the mid-60s Wilson used his increasingly creative ambitions to compose and produce Pet Sounds, considered one of the greatest albums of all time. At this point his music was considered to rival that of Lennon–McCartney. Brian Wilson began a solo career in 1988 with Brian Wilson, the same year that he and The Beach Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 2008, Rolling Stone magazine published a list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time", and ranked Brian Wilson number 52. He is an occasional actor and voice actor, having appeared in television shows, films, and other artists' music videos. On December 16, 2011, a 50th Anniversary Reunion was announced and Brian returned to The Beach Boys.



BILLY JOEL


 

William Martin "Billy" Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American pianist, performer, singer-songwriter, and composer.  Since releasing his first hit song, "Piano Man", in 1973, Joel has become the sixth best-selling recording artist and the third best-selling solo artist in the United States, according to RIAA.

Joel had Top 40 hits in the 1970's, 1980's, and 1990's, achieving 33 Top 40 hits in the United States, all of which he wrote  himself.  He is also a six-time Grammy Award winner, a 23-time Grammy nominee and has sold over 150 million records world wide.

He was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame (1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999), the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2006), and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame (2009).  In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart's 50th anniversary, with Billy Joel positioned at No. 23.  With the exception of the 2007 songs "All My Life" and "Christmas in Fallujah," Joel discontinued recording pop/rock material after 1993's River of Dreams, but he continues to tour.

 

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) Italian Baroque Era Composer



Antonio Vivaldi was born in Venice, Italy, which is where he spent most of his life. His father, Giovanni Battista, a barber before becoming a violist, taught young Antonio play the violin, and the two would often perform together.

 
At the age of 15, Antonio began training to become a priest. Antonio continued to study and practice the violin, even after he became a priest at age 25. He was called the "Red Priest" because of his flaming red hair. However, after a while, his bad asthma kept Antonio from saying Mass. 
 
After that, Vivaldi spent all his time writing music and teaching. He taught at an orphanage for girls, and wrote a lot of music for the girls to play. People came from miles around to hear Vivaldi's talented students perform the beautiful music he had written. 
 
Many people think Vivaldi was the best Italian composer of his time. He wrote concertos, operas, church music and many other compositions. In all, Antonio wrote over 500 concertos. His most famous set of concertos is The Four Seasons. Vivaldi’s music is joyful, almost playful, revealing his own joy of composing. In addition, Vivaldi was able to compose non-academic music which means it would be enjoyed by many people rather than just college professors. It was these qualities that made Vivaldi’s music very popular.
 
Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, composed in 1723 is a set of four concertos for violin. It is his most popular work and is among the most popular works of the Baroque Era. For this composition he wrote sonnets to match each season.

 

 

 

Randy

Randy Newman (1943 - Present) Popular Music Composer

Randy Newman has long been one of the most musically and lyrically ambitious singer-songwriters ever to be at play in the fields of popular music.

Born on November 28, 1943 to a renowned musical family, by seventeen Newman was a working songwriter. In 1968 he debuted with Randy Newman, and before long an unusually wide range of artists were recording his songs.

Critics lauded the musical depth, edge and literary quality of his lyrics as the 70’s brought 12 Songs, Live, the classic Sail Away and brilliant and controversial Good Old Boys. Little Criminal caught the public’s ear with the hit “Short People”. Born Again followed.

In the Eighties, Newman’s foray into film composing earned him his first two of sixteen Oscar nominations. Trouble In Paradise and the Grammy-winning score for The Natural followed. Next, Land of Dreams was considered another breakthrough work.

In the Nineties, Newman earned an Emmy and several more Grammys for work on films like Toy Story, James and the Giant Peach, Bug’s Life and Toy Story 2. Newman also tickled his adult audience with his darkly hilarious take on Faust. The four-CD compilation: Guilty: 30 Years of Randy Newman and Bad Love followed, and in 2002, Newman won his first Oscar for Best Original Song for Monsters Inc. He has also earned 5 Grammy awards and 2 Emmy awards throughout his career.

The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. I (2003), his first effort for Nonesuch, introduces powerful new solo versions of early classics and recent gems alike. The eighteen songs are an intimate and powerful reminder of the enduring work that Newman has established. In 2008 he released Harps and Angels; for Nonesuch records. His first collection of new songs since 2009’s Bad Love.

Most recently, Newman wrote the songs and score for Disney’s The Princess and the Frog as well as Toy Story 3. He has earned two more Academy Award nominations(19 total) in the Best Original Song category for Almost There andDown In New Orleans.

On June 2nd 2010 Newman received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


 

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Russian Romantic Era Composer










 

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in 1840 in present-day Udmurtia, Russia. His father was a Ukrainian mining engineer. Peter began piano lessons at the age of five, and within three years he could read music as well as his teacher.  In 1850, Peter's father was appointed as the Director of the St. Petersburg Technological Institute. It was there that Peter received his education at the School of Jurisprudence. The only music instruction he received were piano lessons from a piano manufacturer who occasionally made visits to the school. He also attended the opera and theater with his classmates. It was the works of Rossini, Bellini, Verdi and Mozart that he enjoyed the most.
Peter's mother died in 1854, which brought him much sorrow. He responded by turning to music. It was at this time that he made his first serious efforts as a composer, writing a waltz in her memory.  In 1855, Peter's father asked a well-known German piano teacher to encourage his son's interest in music. However, when Peter's father asked about his son's musical potential, his teacher wrote that nothing indicated he would be a fine composer or performer. His father asked Peter to complete his course of study and then pursue a post in the Ministry of Justice. He did as he was asked, though his interest in music never left him.
In 1861, Tchaikovsky heard about classes being offered by the Russian Musical Society. He promptly began his studies. In the following year, Tchaikovsky followed his teacher to the St. Petersburg Conservatory where he accepted a post. It was at the conservatory that he met and studied with Anton Rubinstein, director and founder of the Conservatory. Rubinstein was impressed with Tchaikovsky's talent.  In 1869 Tchaikovsky composed his first recognized masterpiece, the Overture-Fantasy Romeo and Juliet. Tchaikovsky was deeply inspired by Shakespeare's writing, and in later years composed other works for The Tempest and Hamlet.

On November 6, 1893 Tchaikovsky died in St. Petersburg from cholera. His compositions are some of the greatest works of the Romantic Era, including the 1812 Overture, March Slav, and The Nutcracker, which has become a Christmas season favorite.
 

 



  Jim Brickman (1961-Present) American Composer

Jim Brickman has revolutionized the sound of solo piano with his pop-style instrumentals and star-studded vocal collaborations.  A native of Cleveland, Brickman began playing piano at the age of five and studied music at the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Music. He founded his own advertising music company in 1980, writing commercial jingles for such advertisers as McDonald’s, Pontiac and Kellogg’s.  Brickman has received international acclaim as a concert performer, taking his popular live concerts to more than 125 cities each year. 

His signature style has brought him six Gold and Platinum albums, 30 charted adult radio hits, and two Grammy nominations. 
Other artistic endeavors include a popular weekly radio show, Your Weekend; two best-selling books, Simple Things and Love Notes; debuts at Carnegie Hall and the White House; and international touring from Spain to Thailand.  Brickman lends a hand to many charitable foundations for children, including Autism Speaks, UNICEF and Camp Heartland. A scholarship was recently established in his name at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Ludwig van Beethoven: portraits...
Ludwig Von Beethoven (1770-1827)
German Classical/Romantic Era Composer

 

Ludwig van Beethoven was baptised on December 17th 1770 at Bonn. His family originated from Brabant, in Belgium. His father was musician at the Court of Bonn, with a definite weakness for drink. His mother was always described as a gentle, retiring woman, with a warm heart. Beethoven referred to her as his "best friend". The Beethoven family consisted of seven children, but only the three boys survived, of whom Beethoven was the eldest

At an early age, Beethoven took an interest in music, and his father taught him day and night, on returning to the house from music practice or the tavern. Without doubt, the child was gifted, and his father Johann envisaged creating a new Mozart, a child prodigy.


On March 26th 1778, at the age of 7 1/2, Beethoven gave his first know public performance, at Cologne. In 1782, before the age of 12, Beethoven published his first work: 9 variations, in C Minor, for Piano, on a march by Ernst Christoph Dressler (WoO 63). And the following year, in 1783, Neefe wrote in the "Magazine of Music", about his student: "If he continues like this he will be, without doubt, the new Mozart".

In June 1784, on Neefe's recommendations, Ludwig was appointed organist of the court of Maximilian Franz, Elector of Cologne. He was 14.

Beethoven made numerous acquaintances at Vienna. Everybody in the musical and aristocratic world admired the young composer. These music-lovers were Beethoven's greatest supporters. In 1800, Beethoven organised a new concert at Vienna including, notably, the presentation of his first symphony. This genius, Beethoven, who was still a young, new composer, was already pushing the established boundaries of music.

In the years that followed, the creative activity of the composer became intense. He composed many symphonies, amongst which were the Pastoral, the Coriolan Overture, and the famous Letter for Elise.

In 1826, Beethoven caught cold coming back from his brother's place. The illness complicated other health problems from which Beethoven had suffered all his life. He passed away encircled by his closest friends on March 26th 1827

 

 

Previous Composers in the Spotlight: 2010-11


 Vangelis (1943-Present) Modern Greek Electronic Composer

Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou  is a Greek composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, pop rock and orchestral music, under the artist nameVangelis. He is best known for his Academy Award-winning score for the film Chariots of Fire, and scores for the films Blade Runner, 1492: Conquest of Paradise and Alexander.

Vangelis began his professional musical career working with several popular bands of the 1960s such as The Forminx.  Throughout the 1970s, Vangelis composed music scores for several animal documentaries.  The success of these scores brought him into the film scoring mainstream. In the early 1980s, Vangelis formed a musical partnership with Jon Anderson, the lead singer of progressive rock band Yes, and the duo went on to release several albums together as Jon & Vangelis. In 1981, he composed the score for the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire. The soundtrack's single, "Titles", won Vangelis the Academy Award for Best Original Music Score and also reached the top of the American Billboard.

In a career spanning over 50 years, writing and composing more than 52 albums, Vangelis is regarded by some music critics as one of the greatest composers of electronic music of all time.

 

 

 

Upon graduating high school, Copland studied harmony and counterpoint through a correspondence course, a very difficult way to learn music. He was then referred to Rubin Goldmark, who was a specialist in harmony. Copland dreamt of studying music in France, and for the next several years, he saved his money and continued to practice. In 1920, Copland was granted a scholarship, and in the summer of 1921, he traveled to the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau.

In France, Copland studied with Nadia Boulanger and became her first American student in composition. Copland studied in France for three years, then returned to New York with a commission from his teacher. While working as a pianist in a Pennsylvania resort, Copland composed the Symphony for Organ and Orchestra, for Boulanger's American appearances. The work premiered at Carnegie Hall with the New York Symphony Orchestra, under conductor Walter Damrosch.

After his successful debut, Copland spent several months composing in New Hampshire. His early compositions were influenced by jazz rhythms. He described this style as symphonic jazz. Music for the Theater (1925) and Piano Concerto (1926) were written during this period of Copland's career. During this time, Copland was awarded the first monetary grant from the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, enabling him to continue his work.

Copland soon moved into a more austere and abstract style. Piano Variations (1930) and Statements for Orchestra (1933-35) reflect this change. Copland made another abrupt style change in the mid-1930s with a move towards simplicity and melody, in an effort to be more accessible to the general public. He wanted to bring more music to more people.

The next 10 years were Copland's most productive. Using elements of American folk music, Copland produced lyrical compositions such as the ballets Billy the Kid (1938), Rodeo (1942), and Appalachian Spring (1944). He composed music for films, including Of Mice and Men (1937), Our Town (1940), and The Heiress (1949). Copland also produced two works for high school students called The Second Hurricane (1937) and An Outdoor Overture (1938). Additional works of this period include Lincoln Portrait (1942), Third Symphony (1946), and El salon Mexico, an orchestral piece based on Mexican folk music.

Copland again returned to a more austere style in the 1950s. The Piano Fantasy (1957); Connotations (1962), which was commissioned for the opening of Lincoln Center in New York City; and Inscape (1967), reflect the 12-tone style popularized by composer Arnold Schoenberg. These works were not as well received as Copland's previous works.

In the 1970s, Copland virtually stopped composing, although he continued to conduct. His final work, Proclamation (1982), was performed during a concert celebrating his 85th birthday. Aaron Copland died on December 2, 1990.

In addition to composing and conducting, Copland wrote several books, including What to Listen for in Music (1939), Music and Imagination (1952), and Copland on Music (1960). He was influential in promoting contemporary composers and organized numerous musical events. Copland received more than 30 honorary degrees. He was a distinguished teacher at the Berkshire Music Center, and in 1945, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Bibliographic Citation Format:

Sahlman, R.  "Aaron Copeland." SPECTRUM Home & School Magazine. [http://www.incwell.com/Spectrum.html] (3-2011). © K. B. Shaw



ELTON JOHN



Elton John was the single most successful pop artist of the 1970's, and he continued to score hits for decades after his initial reign of popularity.  Born Reginald Dwight of Pinner, England, he showed an early aptitude for the piano and received classical trianing, winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music at the age of 11.  But after six years he tgurned to pop music, and struggled as a song writer, sideman, and mamber of unsuccessful groups for the rest of the '60's.

During this period, he met lyricist Bernie Taupin through a newspaper advertisement, and the two were signed as songwriters to publisher Dick James, who was to have a tremendous impact on John's early career.  A debut album sponsored by James, Empty Sky, flopped in 1969, but in 1970, with the album and the single "Your Song,"Elton John took off, scoring especially well in America.  For the next five years, his output-and the sales that material racked up-was enormous.  John always had the ability to hit with ballads like the wistful "Daniel," then turn around and rock as hard as the Rolling Stones on a song like "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting."  There hardly seemed a day from 1972, when "Rocket Man" began a streak of 16 straight Top 20 hits (15 of which were Top Ten), to 1976, when John took a breather, that his songs were not dominating the airwaves and the record  charts.

The late '70's seem to have been a period of recovery and indecision for the singer, but by 1980 he had settled into making one well-crafted album a year, and many of them tossed off hits, if not with such consistency as before. "Little Jeannie" (1980), "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" and "Sad Songs (Say So Much)" (both 1984), and "Nikita" (1986) all showed John could still hit the upper reaches of the charts, expecially with his trademark ballads.

The late '80's again saw a slowing of John's record success, but by the start of the '90's he had gone public about addiction problems he said were behind him, and he looked poised for a new start.  After several years of adult contemporary hits in the early '90's, John moved into film, writing the music for Walk Disney's 1994 film  The Lion King.  The soundtrack was a tremendous success and John's version of "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" was his biggest hit in years.

Elton is alive and well still making records and giving concerts throughout the world.  He recently welcomed a new baby boy into his family and composed and sang all the songs on the new movie Gnomeo and Juliet.


BURT BACHARACH


 

Burt Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Missouri, but grew up in the Forest Hills section of New York City, graduating Forest Hills High School in 1946.  Bacharach studied music at McGill University, under Helmut Blume, at the Mannes School of Music, and at the Music Academy of the West in Montecito, California. Following service in the Army, Bacharach worked as a pianist, both as a solo player and as an accompanist for singers such as Vic Damone, Polly Bergen, Steve Lawrence, the Ames Brothers and Paula Stewart (who became his first wife). For some years he was musical arranger for Marlene Dietrich as well as touring with her.

In 1957, Bacharach and lyricist Hal David were introduced while at the Brill Building in New York City, and began their writing partnership. Almost a year later, they received a significant career break when their song "The Story of My Life" was recorded by Marty Robbins for Columbia Records, becoming a No. 1 hit on the U.S. country music charts in late 1957.

Soon after, "
Magic Moments" was recorded by Perry Como for RCA Records, and became a No. 4 U.S. hit in February of that year. These two songs were back-to-back No. 1 singles in the UK ("The Story of My Life" in a version by Michael Holliday), giving Bacharach and David the honor of being the first songwriters to have written consecutive No. 1 UK singles. In 1959, their song "Make Room for the Joy" was featured in Columbia's film musical Jukebox Rhythm,, sung by Jack Jones.

In the early 1960s, Bacharach wrote well over a 100 songs with David. The two were associated throughout the '60s with Dionne Warwick, a conservatory-trained vocalist. Bacharach and David started writing a portion of their work with Warwick in mind, leading to one of the most successful teams in popular music history.

Over a 20-year period, beginning in the early 1960s, Warwick charted 38 singles co-written or produced by Bacharach and David, including 22 Top-40, 12 Top-20, and nine Top-10 hits on the American Billboard Hot 100 charts. During the early '60s, Bacharach also collaborated with Bob Hilliard on a number of songs, including "Please Stay" and "Mexican Divorce" for The Drifters, "Any Day Now" for Chuck Jackson, "Tower of Strength" for Gene McDaniel, and "Dreamin' All the Time" and "Pick Up the Pieces" for Jack Jones.

Bacharach songs were adapted by jazz artists of the time, such as Stan Getz, Cal Tjader and Wes Montgomery. The Bacharach/David composition "My Little Red Book", originally recorded by Manfred Mann for the film What's New, Pussycat?, and promptly covered by Love in 1966, has become a rock standard; however, according to Robin Platts' book "Burt Bacharach and Hal David,", the composer did not like Love's version.

Bacharach composed and arranged the soundtrack of the 1967 film Casino Royale, which included "The Look of Love," performed by Dusty Springfield, and the title song, an instrumental Top 40 single for Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Bacharach and David also collaborated with Broadway producer David Merrick on the 1968 musical Promises, Promises, which yielded two hits, the title tune and "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," for Dionne Warwick. The year 1969 marked, perhaps, the most successful Bacharach-David collaboration, the Oscar-winning "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," written for and prominently featured in the acclaimed film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Bacharach's music is characterized by unusual chord progressions, striking syncopated rhythmic patterns, irregular phrasing, frequent modulation, and odd, changing meters. Bacharach has arranged, conducted, and co-produced much of his recorded output.

An example of his distinctive use of changing meter is found in "Promises, Promises" (from his score for the musical of the same name). His style is sometimes also associated with particular instrumental combinations he is assumed to favor or to have favored, including the prominent use of the

flugelhorn

 

 

in such works as "Walk on By", "Nikki", and "Toledo".



 

Simon & Garfunkel are an American singer-songwriter duo consisting of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. They formed the group Tom & Jerry in 1957, and had their first taste of success with the minor hit "Hey, Schoolgirl". As Simon & Garfunkel, the duo rose to fame in 1965, backed by the hit single "The Sounds of Silence". Their music was featured in the landmark film The Graduate, propelling them further into the public consciousness.

They are well known for their close vocal harmonies and were among the most popular recording artists of the 1960s; among their biggest hits, in addition to "The Sounds of Silence", were "Bridge over Troubled Water", "I Am a Rock", "Homeward Bound", "A Hazy Shade of Winter", "Mrs. Robinson", "The Boxer", "Cecilia", and "Scarborough Fair/Canticle". They have received several Grammys and are inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2007).

Their sometimes rocky relationship led to their last album, Bridge over Troubled Water, being delayed several times due to artistic disagreements and as a result the duo broke up in 1970. But Simon and Garfunkel have reunited to perform and sometimes tour together in every decade since the 1970 breakup, most famously for 1981's "

The Concert in Central Park

 

 

," which attracted about 500,000 people, and they have toured very successfully since then.



Will Ackerman



William Ackerman is a
Grammy winning guitarist and composer of acoustic-based instrumental music. William Ackerman was born in West Germany but was adopted by a couple who lived in Palo Alto, California. A self-professed poet and musician who briefly studied guitar with Robbie Basho, Ackerman grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended the Northfield Mount Hermon School and Stanford University.

William Ackerman's musical influences are Erik Satie, John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and Leo Kottke. William Ackerman has told an anecdote about his musical debt to John Fahey. One of his early pieces of music sounded a great deal like a Fahey composition titled The Last Steam Engine Train and so he visited Fahey, asked him if he thought the music was too similar, and played him the tune. Fahey said "You can have it!". The tune in question is "The Rediscovery of Big Bug Creek, Arizona", from It Takes a Year.

In addition to discovering George Winston, William Ackerman's other great discovery was
Michael Hedges.  Hedges and Ackerman performed concerts together for several years in the early 1980s and played together on one of William Ackerman's albums. Some other notable artists he produced include Liz Story and Shadowfax. He has recorded many artists in his personal recording studio, Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont. An airlock door at the studios bears the names of at least 84 artists who have recorded in the studio, including Michael Manring, Philip Aaberg, Tom "T-Bone" Wolk, Michael Hedges, Preston Reed, Eugene Friesen, Happy Rhodes, Samite, Tom Bodett, Jeff Pearce, Jeff Oster, Dana Cunningham, Zade Dirani, Martin Sexton and Karen Hesse.

EDVARD HAGERUP GRIEG!


 

Edvard Hagerup Grieg (15 June 1843 – 4 September 1907) was a Norwegian composer and pianist who composed in the Romantic period. He is best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor, for his incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's playPeer Gynt (which includes Morning Mood and In the Hall of the Mountain King), and for his collection of piano miniatures Lyric Pieces.

Grieg is renowned as a
nationalist composer, drawing inspiration from Norwegian folk music. Early works include a symphony (which he later suppressed) and a piano sonata. He also wrote three sonatas for violin and piano and a cello sonata. His many short pieces for piano — often based on Norwegian folk tunes and dances — led some to call him the "

Chopin

 

 

of the North".

Henry Mancini


Henry Mancini (April 16, 1924 – June 14, 1994) was one of the most versatile talents in contemporary music.  The Mancini name is synonymous with great motion picture and television music, fine recordings and international concert performances. 

During his lifetime Mancini was nominated for 72 GRAMMY (R) Awards, winning 20.  He was nominated for 18 Academy Awards (R) winning four, honored wit ha Golden Globe (R) Award and nominated for two Emmy(R) Awards. Mancini created many memorable film scores including Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Pink Panther, Days of Wine and Roses, Hatari!, Charade, Victor/Victoria, "10", Darling Lily and Arabesque.  He wrote for many television series, including Peter Gunn, Newhart, Remington Steele and Hotel.  He recorded over 90 albums from big band to jazz to pop.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio Mancini was introduced to music and the flute at age eight by his father.  He also played the piano and loved arranging music. In 1946 he joined the Glenn Miller-Tex Beneke Orchestra as a pianist/arranger.  It was there he met his future wife, Ginny O'Connor, who was one of the original members of Mel Torme's Mel-Tones. 

Mancini went on to contribute music to over 100 movies and earn multiple honorary degrees.  He created scholarships and fellowships at top music schools.  In April 2004 Mancini was honored with a U.S. Postage Stamp commemorating his lifetime achievements in film music, and to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film The Pink Panther. 

Hear Henry Mancini's music!  Go to
www.youtube.com/watch

Want to learn more?  Go to his web site

 

 

 



AARON COPELAND

Artist: Dick Strandberg

Aaron Copland, one of America's greatest composers, was the fifth child born into a family of Russian-Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn, New York. He was born on November 14, 1900. However, it was not until he reached his teens that Copland began to show an interest in music. He learned to play the piano from his older sister Laurine, and in less than one year, Copland had learned everything she could teach him. Following much pestering of his father, Copland was allowed to take formal lessons. After attending his first concert at age 15, Copland decided to become a composer. 



 



Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) Italian Baroque Era Composer

Antonio Vivaldi was born in Venice, Italy, which is where he spent most of his life. His father, Giovanni Battista, a barber before becoming a violist, taught young Antonio play the violin, and the two would often perform together.
 
At the age of 15, Antonio began training to become a priest. Antonio continued to study and practice the violin, even after he became a priest at age 25. He was called the "Red Priest" because of his flaming red hair. However, after a while, his bad asthma kept Antonio from saying Mass. 
 
After that, Vivaldi spent all his time writing music and teaching. He taught at an orphanage for girls, and wrote a lot of music for the girls to play. People came from miles around to hear Vivaldi's talented students perform the beautiful music he had written. 
 
Many people think Vivaldi was the best Italian composer of his time. He wrote concertos, operas, church music and many other compositions. In all, Antonio wrote over 500 concertos. His most famous set of concertos is The Four Seasons. Vivaldi’s music is joyful, almost playful, revealing his own joy of composing. In addition, Vivaldi was able to compose non-academic music which means it would be enjoyed by many people rather than just college professors. It was these qualities that made Vivaldi’s music very popular.
 
Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, composed in 1723 is a set of four concertos for violin. It is his most popular work and is among the most popular works of the Baroque Era. For this composition he wrote sonnets to match each season.

 

 




Richard Rodgers (1902–1979) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895–1960) were an influential, innovative and successful American musical theatre writing team, usually referred to as Rodgers and Hammerstein. They created a string of popular Broadwaymusicals in the 1940s and 1950s, initiating what is considered the "golden age" of musical theatre.[1] With Rodgers composing the music and Hammerstein writing the lyrics, five of their shows, Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music, were outstanding successes. Among the many accolades their shows (and film versions) garnered were thirty-four Tony Awards, fifteen Academy Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and two Grammy Awards
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