Greg Lake *XI 10 1947 — The Life You Give

As a singer and instrumentalist, Greg Lake had his greatest success and influence in the progressive rock outfit Emerson, Lake & Palmer and, before that, as a founding member of the original King Crimson. He was also reasonably popular as a solo artist working in more of a hard rock idiom. As a boy, growing… Continue reading Greg Lake *XI 10 1947 — The Life You Give

Jessye Norman *IX 15 1945 — The Life You Give

Jessye Norman, born Jessye Mae Norman on September 15, 1945, in Augusta, Georgia, U.S.A., is the operatic soprano, one of the finest of her day, who also enjoyed a successful concert career.Norman was reared in a musical family. Both her mother and grandmother were pianists and her father sang in church, as did the young… Continue reading Jessye Norman *IX 15 1945 — The Life You Give

Charlie Parker *VIII 29 1920 / The Life You Give

Charlie Parker, born Charles Parker, Jr., also called Bird or Yardbird, on August 29, 1920, in Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.A., is the alto saxophonist, composer, and bandleader, a lyric artist generally considered the greatest jazz saxophonist. Parker was the principal stimulus of the modern jazz idiom known as bebop, and—together with Louis Armstrong and Ornette… Continue reading Charlie Parker *VIII 29 1920 / The Life You Give

The Life You Give: Geddy Lee *VII 29 1953

Few hard rock bassists have been as influential as Rush's Geddy Lee. Born Gary Weinrib on July 29, 1953, in Toronto, his parents migrated from Europe to Canada and got his nickname "Geddy" from when his mother would try to pronounce "Gary" in her accent. Taking up bass as a teenager and influenced by the… Continue reading The Life You Give: Geddy Lee *VII 29 1953

The Life You Give: Evelyn Glennie *VII 19 1965

Evelyn Glennie is the world's foremost, and first full-time, solo percussionist. She has been pivotal to the expansion of percussion as solo instruments, personally having commissioned over 200 new works. The recipient of enormous media attention due to her deafness, Glennie is likewise noteworthy for the variety of her repertoire and recording projects.Glennie was born… Continue reading The Life You Give: Evelyn Glennie *VII 19 1965

The Life a you Give: Linda Ronstadt *VII 15 1946

Linda Ronstadt, born Linda Marie Ronstadt, July 15, 1946, in Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A., is the singer with a pure, expressive soprano voice and eclectic artistic tastes, whose performances called attention to a number of new songwriters and helped establish country rock music. After winning attention with a folk-oriented trio, the Stone Poneys, in California in… Continue reading The Life a you Give: Linda Ronstadt *VII 15 1946

The Life You Give: Paul McCartney *1942

Paul McCartney, born James Paul McCartney, June 18, 1942, in Liverpool, England, is the vocalist, songwriter, composer, bass player, poet, and painter whose work with the Beatles in the 1960s helped lift popular music from its origins in the entertainment business and transform it into a creative, highly commercial art form. He is also one… Continue reading The Life You Give: Paul McCartney *1942

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: 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

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: 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: Florence Price *1887

The first African-American woman whose music was played by a major symphony orchestra, Florence Price was a pioneering figure in 20th century American music. In the 21st century, her music has been performed increasingly often, especially since a large cache of her compositions was rediscovered in 2009.Price was born Florence Beatrice Smith in Little Rock,… Continue reading The Life You Give: Florence Price *1887

The Life You Give: Giuseppe Tartini *1692

Giuseppe Tartini, born April 8, 1692, in Pirano, Istria, Republic of Venice [now Piran, Slovenia], is the violinist, composer, and theorist who helped establish the modern style of violin bowing and formulated principles of musical ornamentation and harmony.Tartini studied divinity and law at Padua and at the same time established a reputation as a fencer.… Continue reading The Life You Give: Giuseppe Tartini *1692

The Life You Give: Billie Holiday *1915

Billie Holiday, born Elinore Harris, on April 7, 1915, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., is the jazz singer considered to have been one of the greatest from the 1930s to the ’50s.Eleanora (her preferred spelling) Harris was the daughter of Clarence Holiday, a professional musician who for a time played guitar with the Fletcher Henderson band. She… Continue reading The Life You Give: Billie Holiday *1915

The Life You Give: Ravi Shankar *1920

Ravi Shankar, born Ravindra Shankar Chowdhury, on April 7, 1920, Benares [now Varanasi], India, is the musician, player of the sitar, composer, and founder of the National Orchestra of India, who was influential in stimulating Western appreciation of Indian music.Born into a Bengali Brahman (highest social class in Hindu tradition) family, Shankar spent most of… Continue reading The Life You Give: Ravi Shankar *1920

Listening while relaying a message

The musician on stage is a hearing conglomerate. He has to listen to himself, perceive what he plays, and react to it. At the same time, he has to anticipate his playing and overlook the complete piece. Simultaneously, he plays for the listeners in the tenth or twenty-third row, and listens, as it were, with… Continue reading Listening while relaying a message

Celebration Day — thirty-one

No other composer, no public figure has ever played consequential roles in my life like Phillip Glass. It all began with a physical, mental, perhaps even spiritual shock in 1982, when I sat in Carnegie Hall and experienced his music for the first time. That year I moved to Boston, where, not long after that,… Continue reading Celebration Day — thirty-one