The Life You Give: Warren Zevon *1947

Few of rock & roll's great misanthropes were as talented, as charming, or as committed to their cynicism as Warren Zevon. A singer and songwriter whose music often dealt with outlaws, mercenaries, sociopaths, and villains of all stripes, Zevon's lyrics displayed a keen and ready wit despite their often uncomfortable narrative circumstances, and while he… Continue reading The Life You Give: Warren Zevon *1947

The Life You Give: Neil Diamond *1941

Neil Diamond, born Neil Leslie Diamond on January 24, 1941, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. is singer-songwriter who began his career writing pop songs for other musicians and then launched a solo recording career that spanned more than five decades.Diamond’s interest in music began at age 16, when he obtained his first guitar. After graduating from… Continue reading The Life You Give: Neil Diamond *1941

patience, handwritten (in German)

“Geduld” written with graphite on a vintage bottle “Geduld” which translates from the German language into English as patience, is the word I used for my second writing performance in the early 1990s.In an effort to give more meaning to a single action, I did several sound-performances which consisted of such acoustic writings, using a… Continue reading patience, handwritten (in German)

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

Martha Argerich — Early Recordings

A prodigy, Argerich was performing professionally by age eight. In 1955 she went to Europe, where her teachers included Friedrich Gulda and Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. She won two prestigious competitions in 1957 at age 16: the Geneva International Music Competition and the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition. In 1965 she won the Chopin Piano Competition… Continue reading Martha Argerich — Early Recordings

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 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: 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: 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: Grace Bumbry *1937

Grace Bumbry is a pioneering Mezzo & Soprano. Few mezzo-sopranos have successfully made the transition to becoming top sopranos. Grace Bumbry managed that. She was also a major figure in helping black singers find their rightful place on the opera stage in an era where segregation ran rampant.Born on Jan. 4, 1937, the mezzo was… Continue reading The Life You Give: Grace Bumbry *1937

The Life You Give: Earle Brown *1926

Earle Brown, born Earle Appleton Brown on December 26, 1926, Lunenburg, Massachusetts, was one of the leading American composers of avant-garde music, best known for his development of graphic notation and the open-form system of composition.Brown had been trained in engineering and mathematics before he began to study music theory and composition. In 1952 Brown… Continue reading The Life You Give: Earle Brown *1926

The Life You Give: Mauricio Kagel *1931

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Kagel proved to be one of the most versatile, creative, and witty composers to come of age in the second half of the twentieth century. He studied piano, theory, violoncello, organ, singing, and conducting, and was self-taught as a composer. Kagel also studied philosophy and literature extensively during his college… Continue reading The Life You Give: Mauricio Kagel *1931

The Life You Give: Giacomo Puccini *1858

Giacomo Puccini, born Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini, December 22, 1858, in Lucca, Tuscany [Italy], is the composer, and one of the greatest exponents of operatic realism, who virtually brought the history of Italian opera to an end. His mature operas included La Bohème (1896), Tosca (1900), Madama Butterfly (1904), and Turandot (left… Continue reading The Life You Give: Giacomo Puccini *1858