The Life You Give: Edward Elgar *1857

Sir Edward Elgar, born Edward William Elgar, June 2, 1857, in Broadheath, Worcestershire, England, is the composer whose works in the orchestral idiom of late 19th-century Romanticism—characterized by bold tunes, striking colour effects, and mastery of large forms—stimulated a renaissance of English music.The son of an organist and music dealer, Elgar left school at age… Continue reading The Life You Give: Edward Elgar *1857

The Life You Give: Mikhail Glinka *1804

Mikhail Glinka, born Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka, May 21 [June 1, New Style], 1804, in Novospasskoye, Russia, is the first Russian composer to have won international recognition and the acknowledged founder of the Russian nationalist school.Glinka first became interested in music at age 10 or 11, when he heard his uncle’s private orchestra. He studied at… Continue reading The Life You Give: Mikhail Glinka *1804

The Life You Give: John Bonham *1948

Drummer John Bonham, often referred to by his nickname "Bonzo," was one of the most important and influential drummers of the 1960s and '70s -- as a member of Led Zeppelin, he was also a bona fide superstar for the last decade of his life and, along with Ringo Starr of the Beatles, Charlie Watts… Continue reading The Life You Give: John Bonham *1948

The Life You Give: Iannis Xenakis *1922

Iannis Xenakis, born May 29, 1922, in Brăila, Romania, is the Romanian-born French composer, architect, and mathematician who originated musique stochastique, music composed with the aid of electronic computers and based upon mathematical probability systems.Xenakis was born to a wealthy family of Greek ancestry, and he moved to Greece in 1932. He fought in the… Continue reading The Life You Give: Iannis Xenakis *1922

The Life You Give: György Ligeti *1923

György Ligeti, born György Sándor Ligeti, May 28, 1923, in Diciosânmartin [now Tîrnăveni], Transylvania, Romania, is a leading composer of the branch of avant-garde music concerned principally with shifting masses of sound and tone colours.Ligeti, the great-nephew of violinist Leopold Auer, studied and taught music in Hungary until the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, when he… Continue reading The Life You Give: György Ligeti *1923

The Life You Give: Miles Davis *1926

Miles Davis, born Miles Dewey Davis III on May 26 1926, in Alton, Illinois, U.S.A., is the jazz musician, and great trumpeter who as a bandleader and composer was one of the major influences on the art from the late 1940s.Davis grew up in East St. Louis, Illinois, where his father was a prosperous dental… Continue reading The Life You Give: Miles Davis *1926

The Life You Give: Teresa Stratas *1938

Stratas was one of the controversial stars of the latter half of the twentieth century, and one whose personality and life, like that of Callas, another great soprano of Greek descent, are inextricably linked with her performances in the minds of many members of the public. Also like Callas, she had a special magnetism as… Continue reading The Life You Give: Teresa Stratas *1938

The Life You Give: Alicia de Larrocha *1923

Alicia de Larrocha's greatest contribution as a musician was her unrivaled advocacy of Spanish and Catalonian piano music. Her interpretations of the music of Albéniz, Granados, Falla, Mompou (a lifelong friend who dedicated several works to her), and Montsalvatge were universally described as brilliant, authentic, and masterful in tonal color, texture, and rhythm. She was… Continue reading The Life You Give: Alicia de Larrocha *1923

The Life You Give: Richard Wagner *1813

Richard Wagner, born Wilhelm Richard Wagner, on May 22, 1813, in Leipzig, Germany, is the dramatic composer and theorist whose operas and music had a revolutionary influence on the course of Western music, either by extension of his discoveries or reaction against them. Among his major works are The Flying Dutchman (1843), Tannhäuser (1845), Lohengrin… Continue reading The Life You Give: Richard Wagner *1813

The Life You Give: Joe Cocker *1944

After starting out as an unsuccessful pop singer (working under the name Vance Arnold), Joe Cocker found his niche singing rock and soul in the pubs of England with his superb backing group, the Grease Band. He hit number one in the U.K. in November 1968 with his version of the Beatles' "A Little Help… Continue reading The Life You Give: Joe Cocker *1944

The Life You Give: Rick Wakeman *1949

One of the premier rock keyboardists of the progressive era, Rick Wakeman cut his teeth as a London session musician at the tail-end of the 1960s before earning star status as a member of prog rock superstars Yes in 1971. He left the band in 1973 to concentrate on his burgeoning solo career and within… Continue reading The Life You Give: Rick Wakeman *1949

The Life You Give: Erik Satie *1866

Erik Satie, born Eric Alfred Leslie Satie, on May 17, 1866, in Honfleur, Calvados, France, is the composer whose spare, unconventional, often witty style exerted a major influence on 20th-century music, particularly in France.Satie studied at the Paris Conservatory, dropped out, and later worked as a café pianist. About 1890 he became associated with the… Continue reading The Life You Give: Erik Satie *1866

The Life You Give: Brian Eno *1948

Brian Eno, born Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, May 15, 1948, in Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, is producer, composer, keyboardist, and singer who helped define and reinvent the sound of some of the most popular bands of the 1980s and ’90s and who created the genre of ambient music.While an… Continue reading The Life You Give: Brian Eno *1948

The Life You Give: Claudio Monteverdi *1567

Claudio Monteverdi, baptized May 15, 1567, Cremona, Duchy of Milan [Italy], is the composer in the late Renaissance, seen as most important developer of the then new genre, the opera. He also did much to bring a “modern” secular spirit into church music.Monteverdi, the son of a barber-surgeon and chemist, studied with the director of… Continue reading The Life You Give: Claudio Monteverdi *1567

The Life You Give: Bono *1960

Bono, born Paul David Hewson, May 10, 1960, in Dublin, Ireland, is lead singer for the popular Irish rock band U2 and prominent human rights activist.He was born of a Roman Catholic father and a Protestant mother (who died when he was just age 14). In Dublin in 1977, he and school friends David Evans… Continue reading The Life You Give: Bono *1960

The Life You Give: Billy Joel *1949

Billy Joel, born William Martin Joel, on May 9, 1949, in Bronx, New York, U.S.A., is singer, pianist, and songwriter in the pop ballad tradition whose numerous hit songs in the 1970s and ’80s made him an enduring favourite on the concert circuit.Joel, whose father was a German Jewish immigrant, was raised in Hicksville, a… Continue reading The Life You Give: Billy Joel *1949

The Life You Give: Keith Jarrett *1945

Keith Jarrett, born May 8, 1945, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., is a jazz pianist, composer, and saxophonist considered to be one of the most original and prolific jazz musicians to emerge during the late 20th century. He was also a noted classical pianist.A child prodigy, Jarrett began studying the piano at age three and performed… Continue reading The Life You Give: Keith Jarrett *1945

The Life You Give: Peter Tchaikovsky *1840

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, also spelled Chaikovsky, Chaikovskii, or Tschaikowsky, born April 25 [May 7, New Style], 1840, in Votkinsk, Russia, is the most popular Russian composer of all time. His music has always had great appeal for the general public in virtue of its tuneful, open-hearted melodies, impressive harmonies, and colourful, picturesque orchestration, all of… Continue reading The Life You Give: Peter Tchaikovsky *1840

The Life You Give: Johannes Brahms *1833

Johannes Brahms, (born May 7, 1833, Hamburg [Germany]—died April 3, 1897, Vienna, Austria-Hungary [now in Austria]), German composer and pianist of the Romantic period, who wrote symphonies, concerti, chamber music, piano works, choral compositions, and more than 200 songs. Brahms was the great master of symphonic and sonata style in the second half of the… Continue reading The Life You Give: Johannes Brahms *1833

The Life You Give: Ron Carter *1937

Ron Carter, born Ronald Levin Carter, on May 4, 1937 in Ferndale, Michigan, USA, is known for Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), House of Gucci (2021) and What Happens in Vegas (2008). He was previously married to Janet Hasbrouch. The epitome of class and elegance without the stuffiness, Ron Carter has been a… Continue reading The Life You Give: Ron Carter *1937

The Life You Give: Bartolomeo Cristofori *1655

Bartolomeo Cristofori, born Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori, May 4, 1655, in Padua, Republic of Venice, Italy, is the harpsichord maker generally credited with the invention of the piano, called in his time gravicembalo col piano e forte, or “harpsichord that plays soft and loud.” The name refers to the piano’s ability to change loudness according… Continue reading The Life You Give: Bartolomeo Cristofori *1655