The Life You Give: Mikhail Glinka *1804

Mikhail Glinka, born Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka, May 21 [June 1, New Style], 1804, in Novospasskoye, Russia, is the first Russian composer to have won international recognition and the acknowledged founder of the Russian nationalist school.Glinka first became interested in music at age 10 or 11, when he heard his uncle’s private orchestra. He studied at… Continue reading The Life You Give: Mikhail Glinka *1804

Shirley Verrett *V 31 1931 / The Life You Give

Shirley Verrett was one of America's finest opera stars and recital singers, and was one of the remarkable generation of great African-American singers who came to international prominence in the 1950s and 1960s.She studied voice in Los Angeles with Anna Fitziu and Hall Johnson. In 1955, she won the nationally broadcast CBS program Arthur Godfrey's… Continue reading Shirley Verrett *V 31 1931 / The Life You Give

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

Richard Wagner *V 22 1813 / The Life You Give

Vea biografía en español abajo 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… Continue reading Richard Wagner *V 22 1813 / The Life You Give

Claudio Monteverdi *V 15 1567 / The Life You Give

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 Claudio Monteverdi *V 15 1567 / The Life You Give

Pyotr Tchaikovsky *V 7 1840 / The Life You Give

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, also spelled Chaikovsky, Chaikovskii, or Tschaikowsky, born April 25 [May 7, New Style], 1840, in Votkinsk, Russia, is the most popular Russian composer of all time. His music has always had great appeal for the general public in virtue of its tuneful, open-hearted melodies, impressive harmonies, and colourful, picturesque orchestration, all of… Continue reading Pyotr Tchaikovsky *V 7 1840 / The Life You Give

The Life You Give: Valery Gergiev *1953

Valery Gergiev, born May 2, 1953, Moscow, Russia, U.S.S.R., is a conductor, known for his charismatic stage presence and passionate performances, who became artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theatre (previously called Kirov Theatre) in St. Petersburg in 1996.Gergiev was the son of Ossetian parents and spent much of his youth in the Caucasus.… Continue reading The Life You Give: Valery Gergiev *1953

Montserrat Caballé *IV 12 1933 — La Vida Que Das / The Life You Give

Montserrat Caballé, nacida el 12 de abril de 1933 en Barcelona, España, es la soprano española de ópera, que fue admirada por su versatilidad y fraseo y por sus interpretaciones en las óperas de Giuseppe Verdi, Gaetano Donizetti y Richard Strauss. Comenzó sus estudios como niña en el Conservatorio Liceu de Barcelona con Eugenia Kenny… Continue reading Montserrat Caballé *IV 12 1933 — La Vida Que Das / The Life You Give

Herbert von Karajan *IV 5 1908 — The Life You Give

Herbert von Karajan, born April 5, 1908, in Salzburg, Austria, is the orchestra and opera conductor who was a leading international musical figure of the mid-20th century.A child prodigy on the piano, Karajan studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He made his professional conducting debut in 1929 at Salzburg, and he was appointed to a… Continue reading Herbert von Karajan *IV 5 1908 — The Life You Give

Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre *III 17 1665 — The Life You Give

Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre, also known as Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre or Elisabeth Jacquet, Elisabeth also spelled Élisabeth, (baptized March 17, 1665) in Paris, France, is the composer, harpsichordist, and organist, who was the first woman to compose an opera in France. Elisabeth Jacquet was born into a family of artisans that included… Continue reading Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre *III 17 1665 — The Life You Give

Christa Ludwig *III 16 1928 — The Life You Give

Christa Ludwig was one of the most admired mezzo-sopranos of her generation, with a wide repertoire of both lieder and opera. She brought a fine sense of musicianship as well as drama to her performances. Her roles ranged from Dorabella in Così fan Tutte to Brangane in Tristan und Isolde and Clytemnestra in Elektra, and… Continue reading Christa Ludwig *III 16 1928 — The Life You Give

Samuel Barber *III 9 1910 — The Life You Give

Early years Barber was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, the son of Marguerite McLeod (née Beatty) and Samuel LeRoy Barber. At a very early age, Barber became profoundly interested in music, and it was apparent that he had great musical talent and ability. At the age of nine he wrote to his mother: Dear Mother:… Continue reading Samuel Barber *III 9 1910 — The Life You Give

Bedřich Smetana *III 2 1824 — The Life You Give

Bedřich Smetana, born March 2, 1824, in Leitomischl, Bohemia, Austrian Empire [now Litomyšl, Czech Republic], was composer of operas and symphonic poems, and founder of the Czech national school of music. He was the first truly important Bohemian nationalist composer.Smetana studied music under his father, an amateur violinist. He early took up piano under a… Continue reading Bedřich Smetana *III 2 1824 — The Life You Give

Gioachino Rossini *February 29 1792 — The Life You Give

Gioachino Rossini, born Gioachino Antonio Rossini, on February 29 1792, in Pesaro, Papal States [Italy], is the composer noted for his operas, particularly his comic operas, of which The Barber of Seville (1816), Cinderella (1817), and Semiramide (1823) are among the best known. Of his later, larger-scale dramatic operas, the most widely heard is William… Continue reading Gioachino Rossini *February 29 1792 — The Life You Give

Renée Fleming *II 14 1959 — The Life You Give

Renée Fleming, born February 14 1959, in Indiana, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., is the soprano noted for the beauty and richness of her voice and for the thought and sensitivity she brought to the texts. Fleming’s repertoire was extraordinarily broad, spanning three centuries and ranging from Handel and Mozart through 19th-century bel canto to the works of… Continue reading Renée Fleming *II 14 1959 — The Life You Give

Leontyne Price *II 10 1927 — The Life You Give

Metropolitan Opera audiences began an extraordinary love affair with American soprano Leontyne Price immediately upon her debut on January 27, 1961. She was by then an internationally heralded singer and an experienced, refined musician and artist. But more than anything, it was the sheer beauty of her voice that excited her listeners. What they heard… Continue reading Leontyne Price *II 10 1927 — 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

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

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