Benjamin Britten *XI 22 1913 — The Life You Give

Benjamin Britten, born Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten Of Aldeburgh, November 22, 1913, in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, is the composer of the mid-20th century, whose operas were considered the finest English operas since those of Henry Purcell in the 17th century. He was also an outstanding pianist and conductor.Britten composed as a child and at… Continue reading Benjamin Britten *XI 22 1913 — The Life You Give

Meredith Monk *XI 20 1942 — The Life You Give

Meredith Monk, born Meredith Jane Monk, November 20, 1942, New York City, New York, U.S.A., is the performance artist, a pioneer in the avant-garde, whose work skillfully integrated diverse performance disciplines and media.Monk studied piano and eurythmics from an early age. She earned a B.A. in 1964 from Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York. From… Continue reading Meredith Monk *XI 20 1942 — The Life You Give

Fanny Mendelssohn *XI 14 1805 — The Life You Give

Fanny Mendelssohn, born Fanny (Cäcilie) Mendelssohn (-Bartholdy, married name Fanny Hensel), on November 14, 1805, Hamburg [Germany], is the pianist and composer, the eldest sister and confidante of the composer Felix Mendelssohn.Fanny is said to have been as talented musically as her brother, and the two children were given the same music teachers. Felix readily… Continue reading Fanny Mendelssohn *XI 14 1805 — The Life You Give

György Cziffra *XI 5 1921 — The Life You Give

György Cziffra was one of the most celebrated and individual piano virtuosos of the postwar decades in Europe, especially noted for his powers of improvisation and as a Liszt pianist.He was born in a shantytown called Angels Court on the outskirts of Budapest to a family of gypsy musicians. The family was desperately poor, and… Continue reading György Cziffra *XI 5 1921 — The Life You Give

Keith Emerson *XI 2 1944 — The Life You Give

Throughout his career with the Nice, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and as a solo artist, Keith Emerson proved himself perhaps the greatest, most technically accomplished keyboardist in rock history. For all his reputation as an innovator and master of classically influenced rock, Emerson began his career playing R&B; the Nice got their first big break… Continue reading Keith Emerson *XI 2 1944 — The Life You Give

Conlon Nancarrow *X 27 1912 — The Life You Give

Conlon Nancarrow was an iconoclastic American composer who wrote in an utterly new way using new instrumental resources. While isolated from the main currents of music, he was virtually ignored by the public and his colleagues until the 1970s. In the 1980s composer György Ligeti said Nancarrow was writing "the best music by any living… Continue reading Conlon Nancarrow *X 27 1912 — The Life You Give

Sofia Gubaidulina *X 24 1931 — The Life You Give

Sofia Gubaidulina, born October 24, 1931, Chistopol, Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic [now Tatarstan, Russia]), is the composer whose works fuse Russian and Central Asian regional styles with the Western classical tradition.During her youth, Gubaidulina studied music in the city of Kazan, the capital of her home republic. She had lessons at the Kazan Music… Continue reading Sofia Gubaidulina *X 24 1931 — The Life You Give

Charles Ives *X 20 1874 — The Life You Give

Charles Ives, born Charles Edward Ives, October 20, 1874, in Danbury, Connecticut, U.S.A., is the significant composer known for a number of innovations that anticipated most of the later musical developments of the 20th century.Ives received his earliest musical instruction from his father, who was a bandleader, music teacher, and acoustician who experimented with the… Continue reading Charles Ives *X 20 1874 — The Life You Give

Emil Gilels *X 19 1916 — The Life You Give

Emil Gilels, born Emil Grigoryevich Gilels, Oct. 6 [Oct. 19, New Style], 1916, in Odessa, Ukraine, is the concert pianist admired for his superb technique, tonal control, and disciplined approach.Gilels began piano studies at age 6 and gave his first public concert in 1929 at age 13. In 1933 he gained top honours in the… Continue reading Emil Gilels *X 19 1916 — The Life You Give

Thelonious Monk *X 10 1917 — The Life You Give

Thelonious Monk, born Thelonious Sphere Monk, Oct. 10, 1917, in Rocky Mount, N.C., U.S.A., is the pianist and composer who was among the first creators of modern jazz.As the pianist in the band at Minton’s Playhouse, a nightclub in New York City, in the early 1940s, Monk had great influence on the other musicians who… Continue reading Thelonious Monk *X 10 1917 — The Life You Give

Camille Saint-Saëns *XI 9 1835 — The Life You Give

Camille Saint-Saëns, in full Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns, (born October 9, 1835, Paris, France—died December 16, 1921, Algiers [Algeria]), composer chiefly remembered for his symphonic poems—the first of that genre to be written by a Frenchman—and for his opera Samson et Dalila. Saint-Saëns was notable for his pioneering efforts on behalf of French music, and he was… Continue reading Camille Saint-Saëns *XI 9 1835 — The Life You Give

Edwin Fischer *X 6 1886 — The Life You Give

Edwin Fischer was a Swiss pianist, conductor, and educator during the first half of the 20th century. He was known for his expressive interpretations of the piano music of J.S. Bach and Mozart.Fischer was born in 1886 in Basle, Switzerland, and he started playing the piano when he was four years old. Both of his… Continue reading Edwin Fischer *X 6 1886 — The Life You Give

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

Glenn Gould *IX 25 1932 — The Life You Give

Glenn Gould, born Glenn Herbert Gold, September 25, 1932, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is the pianist known for his contrapuntal clarity and brilliant, if often unorthodox, performances.Gould studied piano from the age of 3, began composing at 5, and entered the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto at 10, earning its associate degree in 1946.… Continue reading Glenn Gould *IX 25 1932 — The Life You Give

Ray Charles *IX 23 1930 — The Life You Give

Ray Charles, born Ray Charles Robinson, September 23, 1930, in Albany, Georgia, U.S.A., is the pianist, singer, composer, bandleader, and leading entertainer billed as “the Genius” who was credited with the early development of soul music, a style based on a melding of gospel, rhythm and blues, and jazz music.When Charles was an infant his… Continue reading Ray Charles *IX 23 1930 — The Life You Give

Vladimir Horowitz *IX 18 1903 / The Life You Give

Vladimir Horowitz, born September 18 [Old Style], 1903, in Berdichev, Russia [now in Ukraine], is the virtuoso pianist in the Romantic tradition who was celebrated for his flawless technique and an almost orchestral quality of tone. Horowitz’s performances of works by Franz Liszt, Sergey Rachmaninoff, Frédéric Chopin, Aleksandr Scriabin, Domenico Scarlatti, and Sergey Prokofiev were… Continue reading Vladimir Horowitz *IX 18 1903 / 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

The Life You Give: John Cage *IX 5 1912

John Cage, born John Milton Cage, Jr., September 5, 1912, in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., is the avant-garde composer whose inventive compositions and unorthodox ideas profoundly influenced mid-20th-century music.The son of an inventor, Cage briefly attended Pomona College and then traveled in Europe for a time. Returning to the United States in 1931, he studied… Continue reading The Life You Give: John Cage *IX 5 1912

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: Bill Evans *VIII 16 1929

Bill Evans, born William John Evans, August 16, 1929, in Plainfield, New Jersey, U.S.A., is the jazz pianist known for lush harmonies and lyrical improvisation, one of the most influential pianists of his time.Evans’s first piano teacher was his mother; he also studied violin and flute. He graduated with a music teaching degree from Southeastern… Continue reading The Life You Give: Bill Evans *VIII 16 1929

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