Sarah Caldwell (1924-2006)
Kiri Te Kanawa (1944)
Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
art: Salon Strindberg (photo studio)
Luigi Mancinelli (1848-1921)
Bob Marley (1945-1981)
Official website~ http://danielbarenboim.com/
Barenboim’s parents were both pianists, and his father, Enrique Barenboim, was also a noted music professor. The family moved from Argentina to Salzburg, Austria, when Daniel was nine and then on to Israel in 1952. Barenboim had already debuted as a pianist at age seven, and in Europe he became known as something of a child prodigy. He made his debut in London (with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) in 1956 and in the United States (at Carnegie Hall) in 1957…
Barenboim started conducting professionally in 1962, first in Israel and then in Australia with the Melbourne and Sydney symphony orchestras. He thereafter was guest conductor in several cities in European countries as well as in Israel and the United States. He served as music director of the Orchestre de Paris from 1975 to 1989. In 1987 he signed to become musical and artistic director of the new Bastille Opera in Paris, but he fell into disputes with representatives of the socialist government in Paris and was dismissed (in January 1989) before the first season was to commence, in 1990. Almost immediately, in January 1989, he accepted the post of music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in succession to Sir Georg Solti.
In 1999, together with the late Palestinian-born writer and Columbia University professor Edward Said, Barenboim founded the West-Eastern Divan workshop and orchestra, bringing together talented young musicians from the Arab countries of the Middle East, Israel and Spain to make music under the guidance of some of the world’s finest musicians, enabling dialogue between the various cultures of the Middle East. Musicians of the Berlin Staatskapelle have participated as teachers in the project since its inception. In summer 2005, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra presented a concert of historic significance in the Palestinian city of Ramallah, which was telecast and recorded for DVD. Since then, Barenboim and the orchestra have toured extensively, including appearances at the festivals in Lucerne and Salzburg, the BBC Proms in London and making a debut in the United Arab Emirates. In June 2015 Barenboim celebrated the imminent opening of the future home of the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin, an educational institution that will expand upon the vision of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Barenboim also initiated a project for music education in the Palestinian territories, which includes a music kindergarten as well as a youth orchestra.
William Grant Still (1895-1978)
African American Composer, Arranger, Conductor & Oboist
Dean of African American Composers
On this date in 1895, William Grant Still was born. He was an African American musician and composer.
Still was the first African American to conduct a major symphony orchestra, the first African-American to have an opera, “Troubled Island” (1949) performed by a major opera company, and the first to have an opera, “A Bayou Legend,” performed on national television (1981).
The period from 1926 to the early 1940s was Still’s most prolific. During this time he wrote “Levee Land” (1925), a suite for orchestra and soprano that combines traditional western musical elements with jazz; “From the Black Belt” (1926), a work for chamber orchestra based on seven short character sketches; “Sahdji” (1930), a choral ballet based on an African story, and “Afro-American Symphony.”
Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
Alberta Hunter (1895-1984)
1978 SPECIAL CITATION for distinguished service to the arts (Posthumous)~
NAXOS: George Szell~ http://www.naxos.com/person/George_Szell_38224/38224.htm
“Szell stories”—tales of his irascibility, hauteur and genius—are still popular when musicians gather to drink and dish after concerts. Pianist Glenn Gould referred to Szell’s “Dr. Cyclops” reputation and nearly walked out of his one and only collaboration with the conductor. (“That nut’s a genius” was Szell’s personal appraisal of Gould.) In 1946, his first year as music director of the Cleveland Orchestra, Szell fired 22 of the 94 musicians in the group, and he later dismissed his brilliant principal oboist of almost two decades for a single insubordinate comment at a rehearsal. Most of his players were terrified of him; some frankly despised him. After Szell’s death, one Cleveland violinist refused to cut his hair, letting it grow down to his waist in posthumous rebuke to the martinet who could no longer object.
And yet Szell’s accomplishments in Cleveland cannot be overstated. He summed up his approach succinctly three years before his death. “My aim in developing the Cleveland Orchestra has been to combine the finest virtues of the great European orchestras of pre-World War II times with the most distinguished qualities of our leading American orchestras,” Szell wrote. “We put the American orchestra’s technical perfection, beauty of sound, and adaptability to the styles of various national schools of composers into the service of warmhearted, spontaneous music-making in the best European tradition.” And indeed, such was his legacy.
This great conductor was born on 18 April 1882 and died on 13 September 1977…Stokowski began his conducting career at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1909, at the young age of 27….After a few years in Cincinnati, however, Stokowski moved on to the Philadelphia Orchestra and molded it into one of the finest orchestras in the world. In fact, Rachmaninoff claimed that the Philadelphia WAS the finest orchestra in the world.
Stokowski arrived in Los Angeles January 2, 1938 to record the Sorcerer’s Apprentice with a hand-picked orchestra of 85 Hollywood session musicians…Disney had decided that The Sorcerer’s Apprentice short film needed to be expanded to a full-length movie, in order to be financially viable. Fantasia was issued in 1941 and 1942, and was released again many times over the years, and continues even today to play in some theaters.
Stokowski sought to combat Nazi propaganda touting the wonders of Hitler youth
with an artistic statement from young emissaries of the free world.
But his goal was not entirely selfless, as he seized the opportunity to vent his frustration with RCA, his record company, which had refused to sponsor a Stokowski tour but then launched one with Toscanini, its other star conductor. While his Philadelphia Orchestra remained under exclusive contract to RCA, Stokowski would face no such constraints with an entirely new ensemble. And so he created one, arranged a contract with rival Columbia and then proceeded to cut with his new orchestra many of the works that RCA had wanted him to record.
Leopold Stokowski was a frequent visitor to the [New York] Philharmonic over the years, appearing with the Orchestra on nearly 200 occasions…In his last appearance with the Philharmonic, on February 8, 1969, he led a program of music by Bach and two modern works inspired by him: Lukas Foss’s Phorion, and Rock Variations and Fantasy on a Brandenburg Concerto, written and performed by the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble.
Perhaps the most internationally famous conductor ever, Toscanini rose to instant stardom when he put down his cello and jumped up to the podium to fill in for the conductor during a performance of Verdi’s opera Aida. It was 1886; he was 19, and it was the first time he’d ever conducted.
The last time he’d conduct a live performance was in 1954, 68 years later. By then, he was the first conductor to have appeared regularly on television, and was certainly considered the first true media star of the conducting world.