The Life You Give: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau *1925

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, born May 28, 1925, in Berlin, Germany, was an operatic baritone and preeminent singer of lieder, distinguished for his lyrical voice, commanding presence, and superb artistry. Fischer-Dieskau studied with Georg Walter before serving in World War II and with Hermann Weissenborn afterward. In 1947 he made his concert debut in Johannes Brahms’s Ein… Continue reading The Life You Give: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau *1925

The Life You Give: György Ligeti *1923

György Ligeti, born György Sándor Ligeti, May 28, 1923, in Diciosânmartin [now Tîrnăveni], Transylvania, Romania, is a leading composer of the branch of avant-garde music concerned principally with shifting masses of sound and tone colours.Ligeti, the great-nephew of violinist Leopold Auer, studied and taught music in Hungary until the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, when he… Continue reading The Life You Give: György Ligeti *1923

The Life You Give: Miles Davis *1926

Miles Davis, born Miles Dewey Davis III on May 26 1926, in Alton, Illinois, U.S.A., is the jazz musician, and great trumpeter who as a bandleader and composer was one of the major influences on the art from the late 1940s.Davis grew up in East St. Louis, Illinois, where his father was a prosperous dental… Continue reading The Life You Give: Miles Davis *1926

The Life You Give: Teresa Stratas *1938

Stratas was one of the controversial stars of the latter half of the twentieth century, and one whose personality and life, like that of Callas, another great soprano of Greek descent, are inextricably linked with her performances in the minds of many members of the public. Also like Callas, she had a special magnetism as… Continue reading The Life You Give: Teresa Stratas *1938

The Life You Give: Rubén González *1919

Rubén González was one of the last of Cuba's great Afro-Cuban piano players. Although he had played and recorded with the band led by Enrique Jorrín, the creator of the cha-cha, for a quarter of a century, he had retired from music by the mid-'80s. Things began to change when González recorded with the Afro-Cuban… Continue reading The Life You Give: Rubén González *1919

The Life You Give / La Vida Que Das: Rosario Castellanos *1925

Biografía en español a fin de página Rosario Castellanos, born May 25, 1925, in Mexico City, Mexico, is the novelist, short-story writer, poet, essayist, and diplomat who was probably the most important Mexican woman writer of the 20th century. Her 1950 master’s thesis, Sobre cultura femenina (“On Feminine Culture”), became a turning point for modern… Continue reading The Life You Give / La Vida Que Das: Rosario Castellanos *1925

The Life You Give: Alicia de Larrocha *1923

Alicia de Larrocha's greatest contribution as a musician was her unrivaled advocacy of Spanish and Catalonian piano music. Her interpretations of the music of Albéniz, Granados, Falla, Mompou (a lifelong friend who dedicated several works to her), and Montsalvatge were universally described as brilliant, authentic, and masterful in tonal color, texture, and rhythm. She was… Continue reading The Life You Give: Alicia de Larrocha *1923

The Life You Give: Carl Linnaeus *1707

Carolus Linnaeus, born on May 23, 1707, in Råshult, Småland, Sweden, is the naturalist and explorer who was the first to frame principles for defining natural genera and species of organisms and to create a uniform system for naming them (binomial nomenclature).Linnaeus was the son of a curate and grew up in Småland, a poor… Continue reading The Life You Give: Carl Linnaeus *1707

The Life You Give: Richard Wagner *1813

Richard Wagner, born Wilhelm Richard Wagner, on May 22, 1813, in Leipzig, Germany, is the dramatic composer and theorist whose operas and music had a revolutionary influence on the course of Western music, either by extension of his discoveries or reaction against them. Among his major works are The Flying Dutchman (1843), Tannhäuser (1845), Lohengrin… Continue reading The Life You Give: Richard Wagner *1813

The Life You Give: Joe Cocker *1944

After starting out as an unsuccessful pop singer (working under the name Vance Arnold), Joe Cocker found his niche singing rock and soul in the pubs of England with his superb backing group, the Grease Band. He hit number one in the U.K. in November 1968 with his version of the Beatles' "A Little Help… Continue reading The Life You Give: Joe Cocker *1944

The Life You Give: Erik Satie *1866

Erik Satie, born Eric Alfred Leslie Satie, on May 17, 1866, in Honfleur, Calvados, France, is the composer whose spare, unconventional, often witty style exerted a major influence on 20th-century music, particularly in France.Satie studied at the Paris Conservatory, dropped out, and later worked as a café pianist. About 1890 he became associated with the… Continue reading The Life You Give: Erik Satie *1866

The Life You Give: Brian Eno *1948

Brian Eno, born Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, May 15, 1948, in Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, is producer, composer, keyboardist, and singer who helped define and reinvent the sound of some of the most popular bands of the 1980s and ’90s and who created the genre of ambient music.While an… Continue reading The Life You Give: Brian Eno *1948

The Life You Give: Robert Fripp *1946

A truly singular figure in rock music, Robert Fripp is a guitarist, composer, and bandleader who has brought a unique, strikingly intelligent perspective to his work. One of the most technically gifted guitarists in rock, Fripp is the thinking-person's guitar hero, showing no interest in shredding but eager to challenge himself and blaze new trails… Continue reading The Life You Give: Robert Fripp *1946

The Life You Give: Claudio Monteverdi *1567

Claudio Monteverdi, baptized May 15, 1567, Cremona, Duchy of Milan [Italy], is the composer in the late Renaissance, seen as most important developer of the then new genre, the opera. He also did much to bring a “modern” secular spirit into church music.Monteverdi, the son of a barber-surgeon and chemist, studied with the director of… Continue reading The Life You Give: Claudio Monteverdi *1567

The Life You Give: Stevie Wonder *1950

Stevie Wonder, born Steveland Judkins or Steveland Morris, May 13, 1950, in Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.A., is the singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, a child prodigy who developed into one of the most creative musical figures of the late 20th century.Blind from birth and raised in inner-city Detroit, he was a skilled musician by age eight. Renamed… Continue reading The Life You Give: Stevie Wonder *1950

The Life You Give: George Carlin *1937

George Carlin, born George Denis Patrick Carlin, May 12, 1937, in New York, N.Y., U.S.A., is the comedian whose “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” routine led to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that gave the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the right to determine when to censor radio and TV broadcasts.Carlin began working… Continue reading The Life You Give: George Carlin *1937

The Life You Give: Salvador Dalí *1904

Salvador Dalí, born Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí y Domenech, May 11, 1904, in Figueras, Spain, is the Surrealist painter and printmaker, influential for his explorations of subconscious imagery.As an art student in Madrid and Barcelona, Dalí assimilated a vast number of artistic styles and displayed unusual technical facility as a painter. It was not until… Continue reading The Life You Give: Salvador Dalí *1904

The Life You Give: Bono *1960

Bono, born Paul David Hewson, May 10, 1960, in Dublin, Ireland, is lead singer for the popular Irish rock band U2 and prominent human rights activist.He was born of a Roman Catholic father and a Protestant mother (who died when he was just age 14). In Dublin in 1977, he and school friends David Evans… Continue reading The Life You Give: Bono *1960

The Life You Give: Milton Babbitt *1916

Milton Babbitt, born Milton Byron Babbitt, on May 10, 1916, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., is the composer and theorist known as a leading proponent of total serialism—i.e., musical composition based on prior arrangements not only of all 12 pitches of the chromatic scale (as in 12-tone music) but also of dynamics, duration, timbre (tone colour),… Continue reading The Life You Give: Milton Babbitt *1916

The Life You Give: Billy Joel *1949

Billy Joel, born William Martin Joel, on May 9, 1949, in Bronx, New York, U.S.A., is singer, pianist, and songwriter in the pop ballad tradition whose numerous hit songs in the 1970s and ’80s made him an enduring favourite on the concert circuit.Joel, whose father was a German Jewish immigrant, was raised in Hicksville, a… Continue reading The Life You Give: Billy Joel *1949

The Life You Give: Keith Jarrett *1945

Keith Jarrett, born May 8, 1945, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., is a jazz pianist, composer, and saxophonist considered to be one of the most original and prolific jazz musicians to emerge during the late 20th century. He was also a noted classical pianist.A child prodigy, Jarrett began studying the piano at age three and performed… Continue reading The Life You Give: Keith Jarrett *1945