William S. Burroughs *II 5 1914 — The Life You Give

The elder statesman of literature's Beat Generation -- and, by extension, of the American underground culture -- few figures outside of the musical sphere exerted a greater influence over rock & roll than novelist William S. Burroughs. A provocative, controversial figure famed for his unique cut-up prose aesthetic, Burroughs lived the rock lifestyle years before… Continue reading William S. Burroughs *II 5 1914 — The Life You Give

Rosa Parks *II 4 1913 — The Life You Give / Virtuous in History (BHM)

Rosa Parks, born Rosa Louise McCauley, on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama, U.S.A., is the civil rights activist whose refusal to relinquish her seat on a public bus precipitated the 1955–56 Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama, which became the spark that ignited the civil rights movement in the United States.Born to parents James McCauley,… Continue reading Rosa Parks *II 4 1913 — The Life You Give / Virtuous in History (BHM)

Felix Mendelssohn *II 3 1809 — The Life You Give

Felix Mendelssohn, born Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, on February 3 1809, in Hamburg, Germany, is, as composer, pianist, musical conductor, and teacher, one of the most-celebrated figures of the early Romantic period. In his music Mendelssohn largely observed Classical models and practices while initiating key aspects of Romanticism—the artistic movement that exalted feeling and the… Continue reading Felix Mendelssohn *II 3 1809 — The Life You Give

Jascha Heifetz *II 2 1901 — The Life You Give

Jascha Heifetz, born February 2 [Jan. 20, Old Style] 1901, in Vilna, Lithuania, Russian Empire [now Vilnius, Lithuania] was the Russian-born American violinist noted for his conscientious musical interpretation, his smooth tone, and his technical proficiency. His name became associated with musical perfection. Heifetz studied violin from age three and at six performed Felix Mendelssohn’s… Continue reading Jascha Heifetz *II 2 1901 — The Life You Give

Renata Tebaldi *II 1 1922 — The Life You Give

Renata Tebaldi, born February 1, 1922, in Pesaro, Italy, was an operatic soprano, a star at both Milan’s La Scala and New York City’s Metropolitan Opera. Tebaldi received her early musical training from her mother, a singer, and studied at the Parma Conservatory. At age 18 she sang for Carmen Melis, of the Arrigo Boito… Continue reading Renata Tebaldi *II 1 1922 — The Life You Give

Franz Schubert *I 31 1797 — The Life You Give

Franz Schubert, born Franz Peter Schubert on January 31, 1797, in Himmelpfortgrund, near Vienna, Austria, is the composer who bridged the worlds of Classical and Romantic music, noted for the melody and harmony in his songs (lieder) and chamber music. Among other works are Symphony No. 9 in C Major (The Great; 1828), Symphony in… Continue reading Franz Schubert *I 31 1797 — The Life You Give

Philip Glass *I 31 1937 — The Life You Give

No other composer, no public figure has ever played consequential roles in my life like Phillip Glass. It all began with a physical, mental, perhaps even spiritual shock in 1982, when I sat in Carnegie Hall and experienced his music for the first time. That year I moved to Boston, where, not long after that,… Continue reading Philip Glass *I 31 1937 — The Life You Give

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart *I 27 1756 — The Life You Give

Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, baptized as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, born January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, is the composer widely recognized as one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music. With Haydn and Beethoven he brought to its height the achievement of the Viennese Classical school. Unlike any other composer… Continue reading Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart *I 27 1756 — The Life You Give

Jacqueline du Pré *I 26 1945 — The Life You Give

Her story is one of the most legendary of all twentieth century musicians' stories, and also, one of the most tragic. Cellist Jacqueline Du Pré, born on January 26, 1945, in Oxford, England, to Derek and Iris Du Pré. (Despite the family name, Derek Du Pré was not French, but rather of British Channel Island… Continue reading Jacqueline du Pré *I 26 1945 — The Life You Give

Eddie van Halen *I 26 1955 — The Life You Give

Eddie Van Halen belongs in a rarefied group of musicians who changed the very notion of the possibilities of their chosen instrument. In Van Halen's case, he was a guitarist of superlative imagination and skill, innovating and introducing a number of techniques that would soon become part of the arsenal of many guitarists, including finger-tapping,… Continue reading Eddie van Halen *I 26 1955 — The Life You Give

Elektra (Strauss) premiered today in 1909

Music: Richard StraussLibretto: Hugo von HofmannsthalPremiere: 25 January 1909, Königliches Opernhaus, Dresden The courtyard of the Palace of Mycenae. The servants wonder whether Elektra will be grieving over her father, as is her daily ritual. Daughter of King Agamemnon and Klytämnestra, Elektra appears and locks herself up in solitude straight away. The servants all criticize… Continue reading Elektra (Strauss) premiered today in 1909

Plácido Domingo *I 21 1941

Plácido Domingo, born January 21 1941 in Madrid, Spain, is singer, conductor, and opera administrator whose resonant, powerful tenor voice, imposing physical stature, good looks, and dramatic ability made him one of the most popular tenors of his time.Domingo’s parents were noted performers in zarzuela, a form of Spanish light opera. The family moved to… Continue reading Plácido Domingo *I 21 1941

David Lynch *I 20 1946 — The Life You Give

David Lynch, born David Keith Lynch, January 20, 1946, Missoula, Montana, U.S.A., is the filmmaker and screenwriter known for his uniquely disturbing and mind-bending visual work. His films juxtapose the cheerfully mundane with the shockingly macabre and often defy explanation.Lynch’s father was a research scientist with the U.S. Forest Service, and the family moved frequently… Continue reading David Lynch *I 20 1946 — The Life You Give

Manon (Massenet) premiered today in 1884

Music: Jules MassenetLibretto: Henri Meilhac & Philippe GilleACT IThe noblemen de Brétigny and Guillot de Morfontaine are having dinner with three young women—Poussette, Javotte, and Rosette—at an inn in Amiens. People gather for the arrival of the coach to Paris, among them Lescaut. He is waiting for his young cousin Manon, who is on her… Continue reading Manon (Massenet) premiered today in 1884

The Nose (Shostakovich) premiered today in 1930

The Nose “The Nose” details an “extraordinarily strange incident” of status-obsessed Kovalev and his nose. The story begins with drunken barber Ivan Yakovlevich unexpectedly discovering a nose in his breakfast, which he immediately recognizes as belonging to Kovalev, who is one of his clients. Fearing legal trouble, Ivan Yakovlevich hastily dumps the nose in the… Continue reading The Nose (Shostakovich) premiered today in 1930

The Live You Give: Yukio Mishima *1925

Mishima Yukio, born Hiraoka Kimitake, January 14 1925 in Tokyo, Japan, was a prolific writer who is regarded by many critics as the most important Japanese novelist of the 20th century.Mishima was the son of a high civil servant and attended the aristocratic Peers School in Tokyo. During World War II, having failed to qualify… Continue reading The Live You Give: Yukio Mishima *1925

“Parsifal” (Wagner) is completed on this day

The Poem Parzival, an epic poem, is one of the masterpieces of the Middle Ages, written between 1200 and 1210 in Middle High German by Wolfram von Eschenbach. This 16-book, 25,000-line poem is in part a religious allegory describing Parzival’s painful journey from utter ignorance and naïveté to spiritual awareness. The poem introduced the theme… Continue reading “Parsifal” (Wagner) is completed on this day

Blixa Bargeld *I 12 1959 — The Life You Give

A powerfully influential figure in experimental and avant-garde rock, Blixa Bargeld is best known as one of the founders of the pioneering industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten, as well as for his work with Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.Blixa Bargeld was born Christian Emmerich in the Friedenau quarter of Berlin, Germany on January 12, 1959.… Continue reading Blixa Bargeld *I 12 1959 — The Life You Give

Morton Feldman *I 12 1926 — The Life You Give

Morton Feldman, born on January 12 1926, in New York, N.Y., U.S.A., was an avant-garde composer. He studied composition with Wallingford Riegger and Stefan Wolpe. In the 1950s, much more influenced by Abstract Expressionist painters than by other composers, he began using a method of graphic notation that included such devices as indicating the length… Continue reading Morton Feldman *I 12 1926 — The Life You Give

The Man Who Fell to Earth /

"The Man Who Fell to Earth" 1976 Directed by Nicolas Roeg, Screenplay by Paul Mayersberg, based on the novel by Walter Tevis A strange creature from another planet falls to earth. His arrival is seen by a mysterious observer. Is the witness a CIA agent, a scientist, a psychic, or a believer in extraterrestrial beings?… Continue reading The Man Who Fell to Earth /

“Labyrinth”, with David Bowie

The Labyrinth (allegory)The labyrinth in the film is an allegory for coming of age and entering the world of adulthood. Initially, Sarah is portrayed as a character in a fairy tale until it is revealed that she is indeed a regular teenage girl in contemporary society. As such, the film demonstrates that she still has… Continue reading “Labyrinth”, with David Bowie