Frank Sinatra: Born December 12, 1915

Francis Albert Sinatra [was born] in Hoboken, New Jersey. Although his mother had hoped that he would be the first person in the family to attend college and was disappointed that he did not finish high school, she encouraged his ambition to be a singer. His father, on the other hand, was opposed and insisted that he should find a job. The young Sinatra worked briefly as a truck driver for a newspaper, a riveter in a Hoboken shipyard, and a fruit hauler. By 1932, he had decided that he wanted to be a professional singer.
http://www.anb.org/view/10.1093/anb/9780198606697.001.0001/anb-9780198606697-e-1803570

His break came in 1937, when he and three instrumentalists, billed as the Hoboken Four, won on the Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour. After some touring, the group disbanded. Harry James signed Sinatra to sing with his orchestra, and on July 13, 1939, two weeks after his debut as a big-band vocalist at the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore, Sinatra cut his first disc, “From the Bottom of My Heart,” with the orchestra.
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/frank-sinatra/biography

James graciously freed Sinatra from his contract when the singer received a more lucrative offer from bandleader Tommy Dorsey in December 1939. By 1942 Sinatra’s fame had eclipsed that of Dorsey, and the singer yearned for a solo career.
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Frank-Sinatra

Between 1943 and 1946, Sinatra’s solo career blossomed as the singer charted a slew of hit singles. Sinatra made his movie acting debut in 1943. In 1945, he won a special Academy Award for The House I Live In, a 10-minute short made to promote racial and religious tolerance on the home front. Sinatra’s popularity began to slide in the postwar years (but) in 1953, he made a triumphant comeback, winning a supporting actor Oscar for From Here to Eternity.
https://www.biography.com/people/frank-sinatra-9484810

In the mid-’70s Sinatra’s career slowed down, but in mid-1980, after a five-year recording hiatus, he released Trilogy which included a version of “Theme From New York, New York” that the city fervently adopted. In 1985, he was accorded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. Frank Sinatra died of a heart attack on May 14, 1998, in L.A.
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/frank-sinatra/biography

https://schristywolfe.com/2015/12/12/frank-sinatra-born-december-12-1915/

Maria Callas: Born December 2, 1923

colorCallasMaria made her first professional appearance in von Suppe’s Boccacio in 1939 and sang the leading part in Tosca in 1942. After a series of disappointments and resenting envy by her colleagues, she returned to the American land of her birth. She lived there for two years (1945-1947), met the bass Nicola Rossi – Lemeni and through him came to know the tenor Giovanni Zenatello, artistic director of the Arena of Verona. Maria Kalogeropoulos left for Italy, met the industrialist Giovanni Batista Meneghini, married him, became Maria Callas and experienced her artistic life’s curtain raiser without suspecting that she was about to emerge as the lyric theatre’s most brilliant personality. Her first appearance in Italy as La Gioconda was directed by Tulio Serafin. Her acquaintance with him would lead her to new forms of expression.   http://www.hri.org/MFA/thesis/autumn97/callas.html

Callas’ ability to sing such a wide range of roles was one of the things that led to her meteoric rise. But criticcallasPiano Conrad Osborne says it also contained the seeds of her vocal decline. Callas’ voice was already starting to fail her by the time she was in her 40s — quite young for an opera singer. A number of factors, including a rapid loss of weight, may explain why. But Osborne, who also teaches voice, says Callas lacked the proper technique to sustain her ambitious repertoire.But for Callas fans like James Jorden, the diva more than made up for her vocal flaws with her talent for bringing the music to life. Her imperfections set her apart, and her ability to find the emotional meaning in a role was unsurpassed.  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123612228

callasPosingBy the time of her retirement, she had performed more than 40 different roles and had recorded more than 20 complete operas. Callas’s personality and philosophy of performance are powerfully depicted in Terrence McNally’s play Master Class (first performed and published 1995), based on her classes at Juilliard.   http://www.britannica.com/biography/Maria-Callas

Daniel Barenboim: Born November 15, 1942

Official website~ http://danielbarenboim.com/

YoungBarenboim’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.
http://www.britannica.com/biography/Daniel-Barenboim

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 uponPortrait 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.
http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/us/artist/barenboim/biography

Barenboim Piano~
http://www.classicfm.com/artists/daniel-barenboim/news/new-piano-steinway/#TbfiilhDE6RcYGIi.97

John Lennon: Born October 9, 1940


Topper

NigelHe was born John Winston Lennon on October 9, 1940. Like the other three Beatles, Lennon grew up in a working-class family in Liverpool. His parents, Julia and Fred, separated before he was two (Lennon saw his father only twice in the next 20 years), and Lennon went to live with his mother’s sister Mimi Smith; when Lennon was 17 his mother was killed by a bus. He attendedwCynthia Liverpool’s Dovedale Primary School and later the Quarry Bank High School, which supplied the name for his first band, a skiffle group called the Quarrymen, which he started in 1955.
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/john-lennon/biography
BedPeaceJohn Lennon didn’t invent rock and roll, nor did he embody it as toweringly as figures like Elvis Presley and Little Richard, but he did more than anyone else to shake it up, move it forward and instill it with a conscience. As the most daring and outspoken of the four Beatles, he helped shape the agenda of the Sixties – socially and politically, no less than musically. As a solo artist, he made musicjandy that alternately disturbed and soothed, provoked and sought community. As a human being, he served as an exemplar of honesty in his art and life.
https://rockhall.com/inductees/john-lennon/bio/

John Lennon’s first Rolling Stone interview~ http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/john-lennon-1970-jann-wenner-rolling-stone-interview-w481395
John Lennon’s final interview~
http://www.openculture.com/2015/03/hear-john-lennons-final-interview-taped-on-the-day-of-his-death.html
Transcript~ http://www.beatlesarchive.net/john-lennons-last-interview-december-8-1980.html

JohnandYokoBottom

Henry Purcell: Born September 10, 1659

Purcell wrote only one full opera, a short work supposedly designed for a girls’ school. The tragic story of Dido and Aeneas, with a libretto by Nahum Tate, has a perfection of its own. Dido’s final lament, before she kills herself, follows the model for such compositions established by Monteverdi eighty years before. Other stage works by Purcell are in the hybrid form now known as semi-opera, combining spoken drama and a musical element that in the concert-hall may be performed apart from its wider dramatic context.
Biography~ http://www.fabermusic.com/composers/henry-purcell/biography

BBC artist page for Henry Purcell~ http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/ddea5540-2c7d-4266-8507-b367c2635d35