The Life You Give: Gustav Mahler *VII 7 1860

Gustav Mahler, born July 7, 1860, in Kaliště, Bohemia, Austrian Empire, is the composer and conductor, noted for his 10 symphonies and various songs with orchestra, which drew together many different strands of Romanticism. Although his music was largely ignored for 50 years after his death, Mahler was later regarded as an important forerunner of… Continue reading The Life You Give: Gustav Mahler *VII 7 1860

The Life You Give: George Walker *VI 27 1922

Although he started out as a highly promising concert pianist in a grand style (some of his most prominent concerts featured concertos by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and Brahms), George Walker was writing substantial music from his mid-twenties. By the time he was 40, he had solidly established himself as a flexible, fully contemporary composer and it… Continue reading The Life You Give: George Walker *VI 27 1922

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

The Life You Give: Harry Partch *VI 24 1901

Harry Partch, born June 24, 1901, in Oakland, Calif., U.S.A., is the visionary and eclectic composer and instrument builder, largely self-taught, whose compositions are remarkable for the complexity of their scores (each instrument has its own characteristic notation, often involving 43 tones to each octave) and their employment of unique instruments of his invention. Partch’s… Continue reading The Life You Give: Harry Partch *VI 24 1901

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: Eliades Ochoa *VI 22 1946

From the outset of his career, Eliades Ochoa built his repertoire from Cuban traditional music, in particular son, guarachas, guajiras, and boleros. As a child, he learned to play guitar and tres (an adapted guitar), and also began singing. In 1958 he moved to the city of Santiago and during the following decade, developed a… Continue reading The Life You Give: Eliades Ochoa *VI 22 1946

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: Ray Davies *VI 21 1944

Ray Davies was the lead singer, chief songwriter, and rhythm guitarist in the Kinks, one of the most long-lived of the British Invasion rock groups of the 1960s. In effect, the Kinks had always been merely a backup group for Davies, who wrote and sang nearly all their songs with only the occasional contribution from… Continue reading The Life You Give: Ray Davies *VI 21 1944

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

The Life You Give: Charles Gounod *1818

Charles Gounod, born Charles-françois Gounod, June 17, 1818, in Paris, France, is a composer noted particularly for his operas, of which the most famous is Faust.Gounod’s father was a painter, and his mother was a capable pianist who gave Gounod his early training in music. He was educated at the Lycée Saint-Louis, where he remained… Continue reading The Life You Give: Charles Gounod *1818

The Life You Give: Edvard Grieg *1843

Edvard Grieg, born Edvard Hagerup Grieg, June 15, 1843, in Bergen, Norway, is the composer who was a founder of the Norwegian nationalist school of music.His father, Alexander Grieg, was British consul at Bergen. The Grieg (formerly Greig) family was of Scottish origin, the composer’s grandfather having emigrated after the Battle of Culloden. His mother,… Continue reading The Life You Give: Edvard Grieg *1843

The Life You Give: Richard Strauss *1864

Richard Strauss, born Richard Georg Strauss, June 11, 1864, Munich, Germany, is an outstanding Romantic composer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His symphonic poems of the 1890s and his operas of the following decade have remained an indispensable feature of the standard repertoire.Strauss’s father, Franz, was the principal horn player of the… Continue reading The Life You Give: Richard Strauss *1864

The Life You Give: Robert Schumann *1810

Robert Schumann, born Robert Alexander Schumann, June 8, 1810, in Zwickau, Saxony [Germany], is the Romantic composer renowned particularly for his piano music, songs (lieder), and orchestral music. Many of his best-known piano pieces were written for his wife, the pianist Clara Schumann.Schumann’s father was a bookseller and publisher. After four years at a private… Continue reading The Life You Give: Robert Schumann *1810

The Life You Give: Prince *1958

Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson, on June 7 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., is the singer, guitarist, songwriter, producer, dancer, and performer on keyboards, drums, and bass who was among the most talented American musicians of his generation. Like Stevie Wonder, he was a rare composer who could perform at a professional level on virtually… Continue reading The Life You Give: Prince *1958

The Life You Give: Martha Argerich *1941

Martha Argerich, (born June 5, 1941, Buenos Aires, Argentina), Argentine pianist known for her recordings and performances of chamber music, particularly of works by Olivier Messiaen, Sergey Prokofiev, and Sergey Rachmaninoff.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.… Continue reading The Life You Give: Martha Argerich *1941

La Vida Que Das / The Life You Give: Federico García Lorca *1898

See English text below Federico García Lorca (Fuentevaqueros, 5 de junio de 1898 – camino Víznar a Alfacar, 1936). Poeta y dramaturgo español, adscrito a la generación del 27. Desde pequeño entra en contacto con las artes a través de la música y el dibujo. En 1915 comienza a estudiar Filosofía y Letras, así como… Continue reading La Vida Que Das / The Life You Give: Federico García Lorca *1898

The Life You Give: Laurie Anderson *1947

Laurie Anderson, born June 5, 1947, in Wayne, Illinois, U.S.A., is the performance artist, composer, and writer whose work explores a remarkable range of media and subject matter.Anderson began studying classical violin at five years of age and later performed with the Chicago Youth Symphony. In 1966 she moved to New York City, where she… Continue reading The Life You Give: Laurie Anderson *1947

Birthdates years ago today — Breonna Taylor 1993; Violinist Laurie Anderson 1947; Pianist Martha Argerich 1941; Poet Federico García Lorca 1898

Martha Argerich Laurie Anderson Martha Argerich Federico García Lorca Breonna Taylor Martha Argerich Martha Argerich

The Life You Give: Dagmar Krause *1950

It seems odd to consider the work of Dagmar Krause as specifically rock, mainly due to her superb talent singing non-rock popular music. It is because of her association with German progressive rockers Slapp Happy, and British avant-garde prog rockers Henry Cow and the Art Bears that Krause becomes a suitable subject for inclusion in… Continue reading The Life You Give: Dagmar Krause *1950

The Life You Give: Josephine Baker *1906

Josephine Baker, born Freda Josephine McDonald, June 3, 1906, in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., is the dancer and singer who symbolized the beauty and vitality of Black American culture, which took Paris by storm in the 1920s.Baker grew up fatherless and in poverty. Between the ages of 8 and 10 she was out of school,… Continue reading The Life You Give: Josephine Baker *1906