The Life You Give: Jim Jarmush *1953

Jim Jarmusch, born January 22, 1953, in Akron, Ohio, is the director and screenwriter whose darkly humorous tone and transcendence of genre conventions established him as a major independent filmmaker.Jarmusch studied at Columbia University and at New York University Film School, where he directed his first feature-length film, Permanent Vacation (1980; released 1986). His next… Continue reading The Life You Give: Jim Jarmush *1953

The Life You Give: George Balanchine *1904

George Balanchine, born Georgy Melitonovich Balanchivadze on January 22 [January 9, Old Style], 1904, in St. Petersburg, Russia, was the most influential choreographer of classical ballet in the United States in the 20th century. His works, characterized by a cool neoclassicism, include The Nutcracker (1954) and Don Quixote (1965), both pieces choreographed for the New… Continue reading The Life You Give: George Balanchine *1904

Happy Birthday, Plácido Domingo! *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 Happy Birthday, Plácido Domingo! *1941

The Life You Give: David Lynch *1946

David Lynch, born David Keith Lynch on January 20 1946 in 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… Continue reading The Life You Give: David Lynch *1946

The Life You Give: Marilyn Horne *1934

Marilyn Horne, born January 16, 1934 in Bradford, Pennsylvania, was one of the most admired singers of her generation, and was a major factor in the bel canto revival of the 1960s. While she was especially associated with the works of Rossini and Handel (she persuaded the Metropolitan Opera to mount Rinaldo for her in… Continue reading The Life You Give: Marilyn Horne *1934

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

The Life You Give: Morton Feldman *1926

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 The Life You Give: Morton Feldman *1926

The Life You Give: Blixa Bargeld *1959

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 The Life You Give: Blixa Bargeld *1959

The Life You Give: Eva Hesse *1936

Eva Hesse created innovative sculptural forms using unconventional materials such as latex and fiberglass and gave minimal art organic, emotional, and kinetic features. She scorned good taste and the decorative, creating sculptures out of repeated units which embodied opposite extremes. These extremes were born from the extremes of her own life.Hesse is recognized as one… Continue reading The Life You Give: Eva Hesse *1936

The Live You Give: Sherrill Milnes *1935

Sherrill Milnes was born on January 10, 1935, and grew up on a dairy farm in Downers Grove, Illinois. Despite a childhood devoted to daily chores, he took voice lessons and studied piano, violin, viola, double bass, clarinet, and tuba. But when it came time for college, he pursued pre-medical studies. After a year and… Continue reading The Live You Give: Sherrill Milnes *1935

The Life You Give: Rod Stewart *1945

Over the course of his career, Rod Stewart has been lauded as the finest singer of his generation; he's written several songs that turned into modern standards; he's sung with the Faces, who rivaled the Rolling Stones in their prime; and he's had massive commercial success. He's one of rock & roll's best interpretive singers… Continue reading The Life You Give: Rod Stewart *1945

The Life You Give: Waltraut Meier *1956

Though she has achieved much acclaim for her Wagnerian roles -- and rightly so, mezzo-soprano Waltraud Meier possesses a vast repertory -- not to mention a consummate skill -- in Italian, French, and even Russian opera, from Bizet's Carmen and Tchaikovsky's Jeanne d'Arc to Verdi's Azucena (Il Trovatore) and Saint-Saëns' Dalila (Samson and Dalila). She… Continue reading The Life You Give: Waltraut Meier *1956

The Live You Give: Giacinto Scelsi *1905

Giacinto Scelsi, Conte Giacinto Scelsi di Valva, born Giacinto Francesco Maria Scelsi, on January 8 1905, in La Spezia, Italy, is the composer, disciple of Schoenbergian serialism, who became interested in Eastern music, and developed a variety of pre-minimalism, writing works based on one note, and also wrote surrealist poetry in French, becoming a cult… Continue reading The Live You Give: Giacinto Scelsi *1905

The Life You Give: David Bowie *1947

David Bowie, born David Robert Jones, on January 8, 1947, London, England, is the singer, songwriter, and actor who was most prominent in the 1970s and best known for his shifting personae and musical genre hopping.To call Bowie a transitional figure in rock history is less a judgment than a job description. Every niche he… Continue reading The Life You Give: David Bowie *1947

The Life You Give: Aleksandr Scriabin *1871

Aleksandr Scriabin, born Aleksandr Nikolayevich Scriabin, on Jan. 6, 1872, in Moscow, Russia, was a composer of piano and orchestral music noted for its unusual harmonies through which the composer sought to explore musical symbolism. Scriabin was trained as a soldier at the Moscow Cadet School from 1882 to 1889 but studied music at the… Continue reading The Life You Give: Aleksandr Scriabin *1871

The Life You Give: Rowan Atkinson *1955

Rowan Atkinson, born Rowan Sebastian Atkinson on born January 6 1955, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, is the actor and comedian who delighted television and film audiences with his comic creation Mr. Bean.Atkinson, the son of wealthy Durham farmers, attended Durham Cathedral Choristers’ School. At the University of Newcastle upon Tyne he studied electrical engineering;… Continue reading The Life You Give: Rowan Atkinson *1955

The Life You Give: Maurizio Pollini *1942

Pollini made his debut at age nine. He graduated from the Milan Conservatory in 1959 and won the Ettore Pozzoli Competition that same year, followed by the Warsaw Chopin Competition in 1960. He appeared on the stage more frequently during the second half of the 1960s, playing in the United States for the first time in 1968. In subsequent years he became known for his recordings and performances of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

The Life You Give: Alvin Ailey *1931

Alvin Ailey, Jr., born Jan. 5, 1931, in Rogers, Texas, U.S.A., was dancer, choreographer, and director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.Having moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1942, Ailey became involved with the Lester Horton Dance Theater there in 1949. Following Horton’s death in 1953, Ailey was director of the company… Continue reading The Life You Give: Alvin Ailey *1931

The Life You Give: Alfred Brendel *1931

Alfred Brendel, born January 5, 1931, in Wiesenberg, Czechoslovakia [now Loučná nad Desnou, Czech Republic], is a pianist and writer whose recordings and international concert appearances secured his reputation. He is best known for his interpretations of Ludwig van Beethoven’s music, recording several cycles of the composer’s piano sonatas and concertos.Brendel studied the piano with… Continue reading The Life You Give: Alfred Brendel *1931

The Life You Give: Nikolai Medtner *1880

Russian composer Nikolai Karlovich Medtner (or Metner) was born January 4 1880 in Moscow, to parents of German descent who had lived in Russia for several generations. The family background was musical; his mother's brother was Fedor Gedike (Theodore Goedicke), a minor Romantic composer and professional pianist. He received early piano lessons from his mother… Continue reading The Life You Give: Nikolai Medtner *1880

The Life You Give: Louis Braille *1809

Louis Braille, born January 4, 1809, in Coupvray, near Paris, France, is the educator who developed a system of printing and writing, called Braille, that is extensively used by the blind.Braille was himself blinded at the age of three in an accident that occurred while he was playing with tools in his father’s harness shop.… Continue reading The Life You Give: Louis Braille *1809