The Life You Give: George Walker *VI 27 1922

Although he started out as a highly promising concert pianist in a grand style (some of his most prominent concerts featured concertos by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and Brahms), George Walker was writing substantial music from his mid-twenties. By the time he was 40, he had solidly established himself as a flexible, fully contemporary composer and it… Continue reading The Life You Give: George Walker *VI 27 1922

The Valkyrie (Wagner) premiered today in 1870

Valkyrie, also spelled Walkyrie, Old Norse Valkyrja (“Chooser of the Slain”), in Norse mythology, any of a group of maidens who served the god Odin and were sent by him to the battlefields to choose the slain who were worthy of a place in Valhalla. These foreboders of war rode to the battlefield on horses,… Continue reading The Valkyrie (Wagner) premiered today in 1870

The Life You Give: Anthony Bourdain *1956

Anthony Bourdain, born Anthony Michael Bourdain, June 25, 1956, in New York City, New York, U.S.A., is the chef, author, and television personality who helped popularize “foodie” culture in the early 21st century through his books and television programs.Raised in New Jersey, Bourdain first took an interest in food when he ate an oyster as… Continue reading The Life You Give: Anthony Bourdain *1956

The Life You Give: Mick Fleetwood *VI 24 1947

Mick Fleetwood anchored his namesake band Fleetwood Mac through thick and thin, seeing the group evolve from one of the pioneering British blues combos to the biggest pop/rock band in the world. Fleetwood may have never left his seat behind the drums in Fleetwood Mac but he did occasionally step away from the group. Notably,… Continue reading The Life You Give: Mick Fleetwood *VI 24 1947

The Life You Give: Harry Partch *VI 24 1901

Harry Partch, born June 24, 1901, in Oakland, Calif., U.S.A., is the visionary and eclectic composer and instrument builder, largely self-taught, whose compositions are remarkable for the complexity of their scores (each instrument has its own characteristic notation, often involving 43 tones to each octave) and their employment of unique instruments of his invention. Partch’s… Continue reading The Life You Give: Harry Partch *VI 24 1901

The Life You Give: George Orwell *VI 25 1903

George Orwell, born Eric Arthur Blair, June 25, 1903, in Motihari, Bengal, India, is the novelist, essayist, and critic famous for his novels Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-four (1949), the latter a profound anti-utopian novel that examines the dangers of totalitarian rule.Orwell never entirely abandoned his original name, but his first book, Down and… Continue reading The Life You Give: George Orwell *VI 25 1903

Remembering James Levine *VI 23 1943

James Levine, born June 23, 1943, in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A., is the conductor and pianist, especially noted for his work with the Metropolitan Opera (Met) of New York City. He was considered the preeminent American conductor of his generation.As a piano prodigy, Levine made his debut in 1953 with the Cincinnati Orchestra in Ohio. He… Continue reading Remembering James Levine *VI 23 1943

The Life You Give: Eliades Ochoa *VI 22 1946

From the outset of his career, Eliades Ochoa built his repertoire from Cuban traditional music, in particular son, guarachas, guajiras, and boleros. As a child, he learned to play guitar and tres (an adapted guitar), and also began singing. In 1958 he moved to the city of Santiago and during the following decade, developed a… Continue reading The Life You Give: Eliades Ochoa *VI 22 1946