Dmitri Shostakovich *IX 25 1906 — The Life You Give

Dmitri Shostakovich, born Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich, on September 12 [September 25, New Style], 1906, in St. Petersburg, Russia, is the composer renowned particularly for his 15 symphonies, numerous chamber works, and concerti, many of them written under the pressures of government-imposed standards of Soviet art.Shostakovich was the son of an engineer. He entered the Petrograd… Continue reading Dmitri Shostakovich *IX 25 1906 — The Life You Give

Francesca Caccini *IX 18 1587 — The Life You Give

Francesca Caccini, also called Francesca Signorini, Francesca Signorini-Malaspina, or Francesca Raffaelli, byname La Cecchina, born September 18, 1587, in Florence, Italy, is the composer and singer who was one of only a handful of women in 17th-century Europe whose compositions were published. The most significant of her compositions—published and unpublished—were produced during her employment at… Continue reading Francesca Caccini *IX 18 1587 — The Life You Give

Jessye Norman *IX 15 1945 — The Life You Give

Jessye Norman, born Jessye Mae Norman on September 15, 1945, in Augusta, Georgia, U.S.A., is the operatic soprano, one of the finest of her day, who also enjoyed a successful concert career.Norman was reared in a musical family. Both her mother and grandmother were pianists and her father sang in church, as did the young… Continue reading Jessye Norman *IX 15 1945 — The Life You Give

Arnold Schönberg *IX 13 1874 — The Life You Give

Arnold Schoenberg, born Arnold Franz Walter Schönberg, September 13, 1874 in Vienna, Austria, is the composer who created new methods of musical composition involving atonality, namely serialism and the 12-tone row. He was also one of the most-influential teachers of the 20th century; among his most-significant pupils were Alban Berg and Anton Webern.Schoenberg’s father, Samuel,… Continue reading Arnold Schönberg *IX 13 1874 — The Life You Give

Tatiana Troyanos *IX 12 1938 — The Life You Give

The dynamic mezzo-soprano Tatiana Troyanos was born into a singing family; her Greek father was a tenor, and her German mother a soprano. Born in New York, Troyanos studied at the Juilliard School with Hans J. Heinz, while singing occasionally in the New York area (she was a member of the original chorus for the… Continue reading Tatiana Troyanos *IX 12 1938 — The Life You Give

The Life You Give: Antonin Dvořák *IX 8 1841

Antonín Dvořák, born Antonín Leopold Dvořák, September 8, 1841, in Nelahozeves, Bohemia, Austrian Empire [now in Czech Republic], is the first Bohemian composer to have achieved worldwide recognition, noted for turning folk material into 19th-century Romantic music.Dvořák was born, the first of nine children, in Nelahozeves, a Bohemian village on the Vltava River north of… Continue reading The Life You Give: Antonin Dvořák *IX 8 1841

The Life You Give: Angela Gheorghiu *IX 7 1965

Angela Gheorghiu, born Angela Burlacu on September 7, 1965, in Adjud, Romania, is an operatic lyric soprano noted for her powerful voice and commanding stage presence.Gheorghiu early realized her love of singing, and she was supported by her family in working toward a career in opera. She left home at age 14 to study at… Continue reading The Life You Give: Angela Gheorghiu *IX 7 1965

Robert the Devil, by Giacomo Meyerbeer *IX 5 1791 / TLYG

Giacomo Meyerbeer, born Jakob Liebmann Meyer Beer, September 5, 1791, in Tasdorf, near Berlin, Germany, is the opera composer who established in Paris a vogue for spectacular romantic opera.Born of a wealthy Jewish family, Meyerbeer studied composition in Berlin and later at Darmstadt, where he formed a friendship with C.M. von Weber. His early German… Continue reading Robert the Devil, by Giacomo Meyerbeer *IX 5 1791 / TLYG

“Hänsel und Gretel” by Engelbert Humperdinck *IX 1 1854 / TLYG

Engelbert Humperdinck, born September 1, 1854, in Siegburg, Prussia [Germany], is the composer known for his opera Hänsel und Gretel.Humperdinck studied at Cologne and at Munich. In 1879 a Mendelssohn scholarship enabled him to go to Italy, where he met Richard Wagner, who invited him to assist in the production of Parsifal at Bayreuth. He… Continue reading “Hänsel und Gretel” by Engelbert Humperdinck *IX 1 1854 / TLYG

The Life You Give: Karlheinz Stockhausen *VIII 22 1928

Karlheinz Stockhausen, born Aug. 22, 1928, in Mödrath, near Cologne, Germany, is the composer, and important creator and theoretician of electronic and serial music who strongly influenced avant-garde composers from the 1950s through the ’80s.Stockhausen studied at the State Academy for Music in Cologne and the University of Cologne from 1947 to 1951. In 1952… Continue reading The Life You Give: Karlheinz Stockhausen *VIII 22 1928

The Life You Give: Antonio Salieri *VIII 18 1750

Antonio Salieri, born Aug. 18, 1750, in Legnago, Republic of Venice [Italy], is the composer whose operas were acclaimed throughout Europe in the late 18th century.At the age of 16, Salieri was taken to Vienna by F.L. Gassmann, the imperial court composer and music director (Hofkapellmeister), and was introduced to Emperor Joseph II. During the… Continue reading The Life You Give: Antonio Salieri *VIII 18 1750

Siegfried (Wagner) premiered VIII 16 1876

Siegfried - music drama in three acts(third of the four works which constitute the cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen)Music - Richard WagnerLibretto - Richard Wagner Premiere - August 16 1876, in Bayreuth FestspielhausLanguage - German Siegfried, Old Norse Sigurd, is a figure from the heroic literature of the ancient Germanic people. He appears in both… Continue reading Siegfried (Wagner) premiered VIII 16 1876

The Life You Give: Enrique Granados *VII 27 1867

Enrique Granados, born July 27, 1867, in Lérida, Spain, is the pianist and composer who was a leader of the movement toward nationalism in late 19th-century Spanish music.Granados made his debut as a pianist at 16. He studied composition in Barcelona with Felipe Pedrell, the father of Spanish nationalism in music. He studied piano in… Continue reading The Life You Give: Enrique Granados *VII 27 1867

“Parsifal” (Wagner) premiered on July 26 1882

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) premiered on July 26 1882

The Life You Give: Herman Prey *VII 11 1929

Growing up during the regime of the the National Socialist Party, Hermann Prey was scheduled to be drafted at the age of 15 when the end of World War II brought peace and a chance for him to study voice with Gunther Baum and Jaro Prohaska at the Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin. He sang… Continue reading The Life You Give: Herman Prey *VII 11 1929

The Life You Give: Carl Orff *VII 10 1895

Carl Orff, born July 10, 1895, in Munich, Germany, is the composer known particularly for his operas and dramatic works and for his innovations in music education.Orff studied at the Munich Academy of Music and with the German composer Heinrich Kaminski and later conducted in Munich, Mannheim, and Darmstadt. His Schulwerk, a manual describing his… Continue reading The Life You Give: Carl Orff *VII 10 1895

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

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: Peter Pears *VI 22 1910

Sir Peter Pears, born Peter Neville Luard Pears, June 22, 1910, in Farnham, Surrey, England, is the tenor, a singer of outstanding skill and subtlety who was closely associated with the works of Sir Benjamin Britten. He received a knighthood in 1977.Pears studied at the University of Oxford, at the Royal College of Music, and… Continue reading The Life You Give: Peter Pears *VI 22 1910

The Life You Give: Eva Marton *1943

Hungarian soprano Eva Marton has enjoyed a highly successful career on the world's leading operatic stages since the late '60s. With her powerful, attractive voice she has managed to score numerous successes in the Italian spinto roles of Verdi and Puccini, the heftier roles of Wagner and Richard Strauss, and the more delicate but equally… Continue reading The Life You Give: Eva Marton *1943

The Life You Give: Igor Stravinsky *1882

Igor Stravinsky, born Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky, June 5 [June 17, New Style], 1882, Oranienbaum [now Lomonosov], near St. Petersburg, Russia, is the composer whose work had a revolutionary impact on musical thought and sensibility just before and after World War I, and whose compositions remained a touchstone of modernism for much of his long working… Continue reading The Life You Give: Igor Stravinsky *1882