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Stephen Lawrence Schwartz (born March 6, 1948) is an American musical theater lyricist and composer. In a career already spanning over four decades, Schwartz has written such hit musicals as Godspell (1971), Pippin (1972) and Wicked (2003). He has also contributed lyrics for a number of successful films, including Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), The Prince of Egypt (1998; music and lyrics) and Enchanted (2007). Schwartz has won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics, three Grammy Awards, and three Academy Awards and has been nominated for six Tony Awards.
Gabriel Urbain Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. He was the foremost French composer of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th century composers. His harmonic and melodic language affected how harmony was later taught.
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky (May 7 1840 â November 6 1893) was a Russian composer of the Romantic era. While not part of the nationalistic music group known as "The Five", Tchaikovsky wrote music which, in the opinion of Harold Schonberg, was distinctly Russian: plangent, introspective, with modally-inflected melody and harmony.
Aesthetically, Tchaikovsky remained open to all aspects of Saint Petersburg musical life. He was impressed by Serov and Balakirev as well as the classical values upheld by the conservatory. Both the progressive and conservative camps in Russian music at the time attempted to win him over. Tchaikovsky charted his compositional course between these two factions, retaining his individuality as a composer as well as his Russian identity. In this he was influenced by the ideals of his teacher Nikolai Rubinstein and Nikolai's brother Anton.
Tchaikovsky's musical cosmopolitanism led him to be favored by many Russian music-lovers over the "Russian" harmonies and styles of Mussorgsky, Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov.
Nonetheless he frequently adapted Russian traditional melodies and dance forms in his music, which enhanced his success in his home country. The success in St. Petersburg at the premiere of his Third Orchestral Suite may have been due in large part to his concluding the work with a polonaise. He also used a polonaise for the final movement of his Third Symphony.
James Sylvester Scott (February 12, 1885 – August 30, 1938) was an African-American ragtime composer, regarded as one of the three most important composers of classic ragtime, along with Scott Joplin and Joseph Lamb.
He was born in Neosho, Missouri to James Scott Sr. and Molly Thomas Scott, both former slaves. In 1901 his family moved to Carthage, Missouri, where he attended Lincoln High School. In 1902 he began working at the music store of Charles L. Dumars, first at menial labor, but before long demonstrating music at the piano, including his own pieces. Demand for his music convinced Dumars to print the first of Scott's published compositions, "A Summer Breeze", in 1903.
In 1906 he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where Scott Joplin introduced him to publisher John Stillwell Stark. The first Scott rag that Stark published, 'Frog Legs Rag', became a hit, and Scott became a regular contributor to the Stark catalogue. In 1914 Scott moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where he married Nora Johnson, taught music, and accompanied silent movies.
Achille-Claude Debussy (August 22, 1862 – March 25, 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he is considered one of the most prominent figures working within the field of Impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions. Debussy was not only among the most important of all French composers but also was a central figure in all European music at the turn of the twentieth century.
Debussy's music virtually defines the transition from late-Romantic music to twentieth century modernist music. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as Symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant.
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born, and generally known in English-speaking countries, as Felix Mendelssohn (February 3, 1809 – November 4, 1847) was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.
The grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, he was born into a notable Jewish family, although he himself was brought up initially without religion, and later as a Lutheran. He was recognized early as a musical prodigy, but his parents were cautious and did not seek to capitalise on his abilities. Indeed his father was disinclined to allow Felix to follow a musical career until it became clear that he intended to seriously dedicate himself to it.
Early success in Germany was followed by travel throughout Europe; Mendelssohn was particularly well received in England as a composer, conductor and soloist, and his ten visits there, during which many of his major works were premiered, form an important part of his adult career. His essentially conservative musical tastes however set him apart from many of his more adventurous musical contemporaries such as Liszt, Wagner and Berlioz. The Conservatory he founded at Leipzig became a bastion of this anti-radical outlook.
Mendelssohn's work includes symphonies, concerti, oratorios, piano and chamber music. He also had an important role in the revival of interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. After a long period of relative denigration due to changing musical tastes and antisemitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, his creative originality is now being recognized and re-evaluated. He is now among the most popular composers of the Romantic era.
Zdeněk Fibich (Czech pronunciation: , 21 December 1850 – 15 October 1900) was a Czech composer of classical music. Among his compositions are chamber works (including two string quartets, a piano trio, piano quartet and a quintet for piano, strings and winds), symphonic poems, three symphonies, at least seven operas (the most famous probably Šárka and The Bride of Messina), melodramas including the substantial trilogy Hippodamia, liturgical music including a mass – a missa brevis; and a large cycle (almost 400 pieces, from the 1890s) of piano works called Moods, Impressions, and Reminiscences. The piano cycle served as a diary of sorts of his love for a piano pupil. He was born in Všebořice (Šebořice) near Čáslav.
Vincent Millie Youmans (September 27, 1898 – April 5, 1946) was an American Broadway composer and Broadway producer.
A leading Broadway composer of his day, Youmans collaborated with virtually all the greatest lyricists on Broadway: Ira Gershwin, Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II, Irving Caesar, Anne Caldwell, Leo Robin, Howard Dietz, Clifford Grey, Billy Rose, Edward Eliscu, Edward Heyman, Harold Adamson, Buddy De Sylva and Gus Kahn. Youmans' early songs are remarkable for their economy of melodic material: two-, three- or four-note phrases are constantly repeated and varied by subtle harmonic or rhythmic changes. In later years, however, apparently influenced by Jerome Kern, he turned to longer musical sentences and more free-flowing melodic lines. Youmans published fewer than 100 songs, but 18 of these were considered standards by ASCAP, a remarkably high percentage.
Carrie: The Musical is a musical with a book by Lawrence D. Cohen, lyrics by Dean Pitchford, and music by Michael Gore. Adapted from Stephen King's novel Carrie, it focuses on an awkward teenage girl with telekinetic powers whose lonely life is dominated by an oppressive religious fanatic mother. When she is humiliated by her classmates at the high school prom, she wreaks havoc on everyone and everything in her path.
It is considered one of the most legendary flop musicals ever produced.
Victor August Herbert (February 1, 1859 – May 26, 1924) was an Irish-born, German-raised American composer, cellist and conductor. Although Herbert enjoyed important careers as a cello soloist and conductor, he is best known for composing many successful operettas that premiered on Broadway from the 1890s to World War I. He was also prominent among the tin pan alley composers and was later a founder of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). A prolific composer, Herbert produced two operas, a cantata, 43 operettas, incidental music to 10 plays, 31 compositions for orchestra, nine band compositions, nine cello compositions, five violin compositions with piano or orchestra, 22 piano compositions and numerous songs, choral compositions and orchestrations of works by other composers, among other music.
In the early 1880s, Herbert began a career as a cellist in Vienna, Austria, and Stuttgart, Germany, during which he began to compose orchestral music. Herbert and his opera singer wife, Therese Förster, moved to the U.S. in 1886 when both were engaged by the Metropolitan Opera. In the U.S., Herbert continued his performing career, while also teaching at the National Conservatory of Music, conducting and composing. His most notable instrumental compositions were his Cello Concerto No. 2 in E minor, Op. 30 (1894), which entered the standard repertoire, and his Auditorium Festival March (1901). He led the Pittsburgh Symphony from 1898 to 1904 and then founded the Victor Herbert Orchestra, which he conducted throughout the rest of his life.
Herbert began to compose operettas in 1894, producing several successes, including The Serenade (1897) and The Fortune Teller (1898). Even more successful were some of the operettas that he wrote after the turn of the 20th century: Babes in Toyland (1903), Mlle. Modiste (1905), The Red Mill (1906), Naughty Marietta (1910), Sweethearts (1913) and Eileen (1917). After World War I, with the change of popular musical tastes, Herbert began to compose musicals and contributed music to other composers' shows. While some of these were well-received, he never again achieved the level of success that he had enjoyed with his most popular operettas.
Franz Liszt (Hungarian: Ferencz Liszt, in modern usage Ferenc Liszt, from 1859 to 1865 officially Franz Ritter von Liszt) (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist and teacher. He was also the father-in-law of Richard Wagner. In 1865 he became abbot in the Roman Catholic Church.
Liszt became renowned throughout Europe during the 19th century for his great skill as a performer. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age and perhaps the greatest pianist of all time. He was also an important and influential composer, a notable piano teacher, a conductor who contributed significantly to the modern development of the art, and a benefactor to other composers and performers, notably Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns, Edvard Grieg and Alexander Borodin.
As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the "Neudeutsche Schule" ("New German School"). He left behind a huge and diverse body of work, in which he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated some 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form and making radical departures in harmony.
Richie Wermerlingrw blue straight on came to the forefront of the British music scene as lead singer, song writer and sometime producer of the successful 90s band Let Loose, and more recently as songwriter, producer, singer and keyboardist for the band Bottlefly. Richie is also an accomplished and respected writer and producer. Signed to Warner Chappell from 1990 -2004 Richie wrote and performed the massive summer hit Crazy For You which ran up impressive sales of 600,000. Let Loose had formed following an advert in Melody Maker and the line up consisted of Richie, Lee Murray and Rob Jeffrey. The first three singles notched up sales of nearly a million.
Keith Jarrett (born May 8, 1945 in Allentown, Pennsylvania) is an American pianist and composer.
His career started with Art Blakey, Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis. Since the early 1970s he has enjoyed a great deal of success in both classical music and jazz, as a group leader and a solo performer. His improvisation technique combines not only jazz, but also other forms of music, especially classical, gospel, blues and ethnic folk music.
In 2003 he received the Polar Music Prize, being the first (and to this day only) recipient not sharing the prize with anyone else.
Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), professionally known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz musician and singer-songwriter with a career spanning nearly thirty years. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. Holiday was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills, which made up for her limited range and lack of formal music education. While there were other jazz singers with equal talent, Billie Holiday had a voice that captured the attention of her audience.
After a turbulent childhood, Holiday began singing in nightclubs around Harlem. After being heard by producer John Hammond, who commended her voice, Holiday was signed to Brunswick Records in 1935. Collaborations with Teddy Wilson yielded the hit "What a Little Moonlight Can Do", which would later become a jazz standard. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Holiday booked mainstream success with labels such as Columbia Records and Decca Records. By the late 1940s, however, Holiday was beset with legal troubles and drug abuse. After a short prison sentence, Holiday performed a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall. However, due to her drug and alcohol problems, her reputation deteriorated.
Il Divo, Italian for "divine male performer", is a multinational operatic pop vocal group created by pop impresario Simon Cowell, and signed to the Sony BMG music label. Il Divo is formed by singers Carlos Marín, Urs Bühler, David Miller, and Sébastien Izambard.
The idea behind Il Divo's creation came to Cowell after listening to Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman's rendition of Con te partirò. Aware of this new appreciation for lyrical voices and classical music, he decided to form a multinational quartet (the members hail from Spain, Switzerland, France, and the United States) that tried to sound like The Three Tenors.
Simon Cowell conducted a worldwide search for young singers who were willing to embark on the Il Divo project which lasted two years , from 2001 until December 2003, when the fourth member of Il Divo, American tenor David Miller, was signed. The well-established formation of Il Divo comprises a renowned Spanish opera and Spanish baritone, Carlos Marín; two classically trained tenors, Swiss Urs Bühler and American David Miller; and a French pop singer, Sébastien Izambard.
Earle Harry Hagen (July 9, 1919 – May 26, 2008) was an American composer who created music for movies and television. His best-known TV themes include those for Make Room For Daddy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Spy, That Girl and The Mod Squad. He is also remembered for co-writing and whistling "The Fishin' Hole", the melody of the main theme to The Andy Griffith Show; writing the instrumental classic "Harlem Nocturne" used as the theme to television's Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer; and co-writing the theme song to Tim Conway's Western comedy Rango.
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (December 12, 1915 â May 14, 1998) was an American singer and actor.
Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became a solo artist with great success in the early to mid-1940s, being the idol of the "bobby soxers". His professional career had stalled by the 1950s, but it was reborn in 1954 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
He signed with Capitol Records and released several critically lauded albums (such as In the Wee Small Hours, Songs for Swingin' Lovers, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely and Nice 'n' Easy). Sinatra left Capitol to found his own record label, Reprise Records (finding success with albums such as Ring-A-Ding-Ding, Sinatra at the Sands and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim), toured internationally, and fraternized with the Rat Pack and President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s. Sinatra turned 50 in 1965, recorded the retrospective September of My Years, starred in the Emmy-winning television special Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music, and scored hits with "Strangers in the Night" and "My Way".
Sinatra attempted to weather the changing tastes in popular music, but with dwindling album sales and after appearing in several poorly received films, he retired in 1971. Coming out of retirement in 1973, he recorded several albums, scoring a hit with "(Theme From) New York, New York" in 1980, and toured both within the United States and internationally until a few years before his death in 1998.
Sinatra also forged a career as a dramatic actor, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity, and he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for The Man with the Golden Arm. His also starred in such musicals as High Society, Pal Joey, Guys and Dolls and On the Town. Sinatra was honored with the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, CC, CQ, O.Ont. (August 15, 1925 – December 23, 2007) was a Canadian jazz pianist and composer. He was called the "Maharaja of the keyboard" by Duke Ellington, "O.P." by his friends, and was a member of jazz royalty. He released over 200 recordings, won seven Grammy Awards, and received other numerous awards and honours over the course of his career. He is considered to have been one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time, who played thousands of live concerts to audiences worldwide in a career lasting more than 65 years.
Coldplay are a rock band formed in London, England in 1997. The group comprises vocalist/pianist/guitarist Chris Martin, lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Will Champion. Coldplay have sold 34.6 million albums, and are also known for their hit singles, such as "Yellow", "The Scientist", "Speed of Sound", "Fix You", "Viva la Vida" and the Grammy Award-winning "Clocks".
Coldplay achieved worldwide fame with the release of their single "Yellow", followed by their debut album, Parachutes (2000), which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Its follow-up, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) won multiple awards such as NME's Album of the Year and was later included on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, ranking at #473. Their next release, X&Y (2005), received a slightly less enthusiastic yet still generally positive reception. The band's fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), was produced by Brian Eno and released again to largely favourable reviews. All of Coldplay's albums have enjoyed great commercial success.
Coldplay's early material was compared to acts such as Jeff Buckley, U2, and Travis. Coldplay have been an active supporter of various social and political causes, such as Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign and Amnesty International. The group have also performed at various charity projects such as Band Aid 20, Live 8, and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
ABBA was a Swedish Eurovision Song Contest-winning pop music group active between 1972 and 1982. Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad (Frida), Agnetha Fältskog are in ABBA. They topped the charts worldwide from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. The name "ABBA" is an acronym formed from the first letters of each of the group member's given name (Agnetha, Björn, Benny, Anni-Frid).
ABBA gained immense international popularity employing catchy song hooks, simple lyrics, and a Wall of Sound achieved by overdubbing the female singers' voices in multiple harmonies. As their popularity grew, they were sought-after to tour Europe, Australia, and North America, drawing crowds of near-hysterical fans ("ABBAholics"), notably in Australia. Touring became a contentious issue, being particularly unpopular with Agnetha, but they continued to release studio albums to great commercial success. At the height of their popularity, however, both marriages of the band members (Benny with Frida, and Björn with Agnetha) failed, and the relationship changes were reflected in their music, as they produced more thoughtful lyrics with different compositions.
They remain a fixture of radio playlists and are one of the world's best selling bands, having sold around 400 million records world wide; The music of ABBA has been re-arranged into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that has toured worldwide and a movie version was released in July 2008. All four of the former members of ABBA were present at the Stockholm premieres of both the musical (2005) and the film (2008). The film première took place at the Benny Andersson-owned Rival theatre at Mariatorget, Stockholm on 4 July 2008.
Styx is an American rock band. Their hit songs have included "Come Sail Away", "Babe", "Lady", "Mr. Roboto", and "Renegade." Styx is the first band to have four consecutive albums certified multi-platinum by the RIAA.
From 1977 to 1981, Styx released four consecutive albums that have been certified Multi-Platinum (signifying at least 2 million units sold) by the RIAA: The Grand Illusion, Pieces of Eight, Cornerstone, and Paradise Theatre. They were the first band recognized to have achieved this feat when the RIAA began certifying Multi-Platinum albums in 1984.
A longstanding, oft-repeated claim in the music industry and the mainstream press is that Styx were the first band to release four consecutive triple-platinum albums, signifying at least 3 million units sold.
James "J.Y." Young – Vocals, guitar, keyboards
Tommy Shaw – Vocals, guitars, mandolin, autoharp, talkbox
Todd Sucherman – Drums, percussion, vocals
Lawrence Gowan – Vocals, keyboards, guitar
Ricky Phillips – Bass guitar, vocals
Chuck Panozzo – Bass guitar, vocals
The Cranberries are an Irish rock band who formed in Limerick in 1989. The band consists of vocalist Dolores O'Riordan, guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan and drummer Fergal Lawler. Although widely associated with alternative rock, the band's sound also incorporates indie pop, post-punk, Irish folk and pop rock elements.
The Cranberries rose to international fame in the 1990s with their debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?, which became a commercial success. The group was one of the most successful rock acts of the '90s and sold over 40 million albums worldwide. The band has achieved four top 20 albums on the Billboard 200 chart (Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?; No Need to Argue; To the Faithful Departed and Bury the Hatchet) and eight top 20 singles on the Modern Rock Tracks chart ("Linger", "Dreams", "Zombie", "Ode to My Family", "Ridiculous Thoughts", "Salvation", "Free to Decide" and "Promises").
In early 2010, after a six-year hiatus, The Cranberries reunited and began a North American tour, followed by shows in Latin America and Europe. The band recorded their sixth album Roses in May 2011, and released it on 27 February 2012.
William John Evans, known as Bill Evans (August 16, 1929 – September 15, 1980) was an American jazz pianist. His use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, and trademark rhythmically independent, "singing" melodic lines influenced a generation of pianists, including Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, John Taylor, Steve Kuhn, Don Friedman, Denny Zeitlin, Bobo Stenson and Keith Jarrett, as well as guitarists Lenny Breau and Pat Metheny. The music of Bill Evans continues to inspire younger pianists like Marcin Wasilewski, Fred Hersch, Ray Reach, Bill Charlap, Lyle Mays, Eliane Elias and arguably Brad Mehldau, early in his career.
Evans is an inductee of the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.
Sara Beth Bareilles (born December 7, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. She achieved mainstream success in 2007 with the hit single "Love Song", which brought her into the number one spot on the Billboard Pop 100 chart.
After graduating from college in 2002, Bareilles performed at local bars and clubs (such as the Hotel Cafe and Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles), building a following, before performing in larger venues. She issued two demos of mostly live tracks in 2003: The First One in April and The Summer Sessions in October. In 2004, she appeared as a singer in a bar in the indie film Girl Play, performing the song "Undertow".
In January 2004, Bareilles released her first studio album, Careful Confessions. She signed a contract with Epic Records' A&R executive Pete Giberga on April 15, 2005. The remainder of the year and early 2006 were spent writing and reworking songs for her upcoming album. Her song, "Gravity," appears briefly in the 2006 independent film Loving Annabelle. She also toured as the opening act in 2006 for Marc Broussard's "Carencro" tour.
In mid-2004 she opened for Rocco DeLuca and the Burden during their inaugural headline tour, supported Guster on their first UK tour and co-headlined a tour with Jon McLaughlin. In 2007, Bareilles toured as the opening act for Aqualung and Mika, and later that year opened for several shows on both Maroon 5 and Paolo Nutini's U.S. tours. She also opened for James Blunt on his U.S. Tour in association with VH1 You Oughta Know.
That Thing You Do! is a 1996 American musical comedy drama film written by, directed by, and co-starring Tom Hanks. Set in the summer of 1964, the movie tells the story of the rise and fall of a one-hit wonder pop band. The film also resulted in a musical hit with the song "That Thing You Do".
Five for Fighting is the stage name of American singer-songwriter John Ondrasik. His 2000 album America Town went platinum in the U.S. largely due to the success of the song "Superman (It's Not Easy)" following the September 11 attacks in 2001. The 2004 album The Battle for Everything has also enjoyed chart success in the United States. Ondrasik has also released a DualDisc of his 2004 album which has one side containing The Battle for Everything in its entirety and the other side being a DVD containing bonus footage and the "100 Years" music video. Five for Fighting's fourth album, Two Lights, was released on August 1, 2006.
a-ha is a band from Norway. They initially rose to fame during the 1980s and have had continued success in the 1990s and 2000s.
a-ha achieved their biggest success with their debut album and single in 1985. Hunting High and Low peaked at number fifteen on the Billboard charts and yielded an international number-one single, "Take on Me", earning the band a Grammy Award nomination as Best New Artist. Hunting High and Low was one of the best-selling albums of 1986. In 1994, the band went on a hiatus, the same year a-ha reached a sales number of 20 million albums sold worldwide. After a performance at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 1998, the band returned to the studio and recorded 2000's Minor Earth Major Sky, which resulted in a new tour. By 2000, they had reached 36 million albums sold wordwide plus a double figure million singles. In 2002 the band released their seventh studio album Lifelines. 2005's Analogue has been certified silver and is their most successful album in the UK since 1990's East of the Sun, West of the Moon. Their 9th album, Foot of the Mountain, was released on June 19, 2009 (release date different in some countries).
Harold Faltermeyer (born Harold Faltermeier; October 5, 1952) is a German musician, keyboardist, composer and record producer.
He is recognized as one of the composers/producers who best captured the zeitgeist of 1980s synth-pop in film scores. He is best known for the "Axel F" electronic theme for Beverly Hills Cop and the Top Gun Anthem from the soundtrack for Top Gun—both often imitated, highly influential instrumental hits that to some extent practically redefined action film scoring in the '80s.
As a session musician, arranger and producer, Faltermeyer has worked with several international pop stars including Donna Summer, Amanda Lear, Patti LaBelle, Barbra Streisand, Glenn Frey, Blondie, Laura Branigan, Billy Idol, Jennifer Rush, Alexis, Cheap Trick, Sparks, Bob Seger, Chris Thompson, Bonnie Tyler and the Pet Shop Boys.
He has won two Grammy Awards: the first in 1986 for Best Album of original score written for a motion picture or television special, as a co-writer of the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack; and the second in 1987 for Best Pop Instrumental Performance with guitarist Steve Stevens for Top Gun Anthem from the soundtrack.
Frédéric Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period. He is widely regarded as the greatest Polish composer, and ranks as one of music's greatest tone poets.
He was born in the village of Żelazowa Wola, in the Duchy of Warsaw, to a Polish mother and French-expatriate father, and in his early life was regarded as a child-prodigy pianist. In November 1830, at the age of 20, Chopin went abroad; following the suppression of the Polish November Uprising of 1830–31, he became one of many expatriates of the Polish "Great Emigration."
In Paris, he made a comfortable living as a composer and piano teacher, while giving few public performances. A Polish patriot,
Chopin's extant compositions were written primarily for the piano as a solo instrument. Though technically demanding, Chopin's style emphasizes nuance and expressive depth rather than virtuosity. Chopin invented musical forms such as the ballade and was responsible for major innovations in forms such as the piano sonata, waltz, nocturne, étude, impromptu and prelude. His works are mainstays of Romanticism in 19th-century classical music.
Gackt Camui (神威 楽斗 Kamui Gakuto?, born July 4, 1973), better known by his stage name Gackt, is a Japanese musician, singer, songwriter and actor. He has been active since 1993, first as the frontman of the short-lived independent band Cains:Feel, and then for the now defunct visual kei rock band Malice Mizer, before starting his solo career in 1999. He has released nine studio albums and, with forty-six singles released, holds the male soloist record for most top ten consecutive singles in Japanese music history. His single "Returner (Yami no Shūen)", released on June 20, 2007, was his first single to reach the number one spot on the Oricon charts. He became the first Japanese artist to release his music catalog on iTunes in October 2007.
Besides being established in the modern entertainment industry, his music has been used as theme songs for video games (Final Fantasy VII), anime films (Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam) and television series. In addition to his music career Gackt has acted in a few films, including a film he wrote, Moon Child, and his international debut Bunraku, and TV series such as the NHK drama Fūrin Kazan. He also performed live in theatre stage plays, one of which was written, composed and directed by him: Moon Saga - Mysteries of Yoshitsune I&II.
Mark James (born Francis Rodney Zambon, 1940) is an American songwriter who wrote hits for singers B.J. Thomas, Brenda Lee, and Elvis Presley, most notably Presley's last U.S. number one hit single, "Suspicious Minds."
Vanessa Lee Carlton (born August 16, 1980) is an American soft rock/Piano pop singer, songwriter, and pianist best known for the Billboard top five, Grammy-nominated single "A Thousand Miles" from her debut album, Be Not Nobody which was released April 30, 2002, and certified platinum in the U.S.
Her music, along with that of her contemporary Michelle Branch to whom she is sometimes compared, has had an influence on female solo pop singer-songwriters in the 21st century, including Kate Voegele, Lights, Sara Bareilles (another piano pop artist), Colbie Caillat and Tristan Prettyman.
Carlton's second album, Harmonium (released November 9, 2004), debuted at number 33 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and had sold 179,000 copies as of February 2006, with the single "White Houses," peaking at 86 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. She subsequently parted company from her record label A&M, though she still holds a dedicated fanbase.
Her third album, Heroes and Thieves, was released on October 9, 2007 by the The Inc./Universal Motown record labels.
Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (9 October 1835 – 16 December 1921) was a French composer, organist, conductor, and pianist, known especially for The Carnival of the Animals, Danse Macabre, Samson and Delilah, Havanaise, Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, and his Symphony No. 3 (Organ Symphony).
Guillaume Yann Tiersen (born 23 June 1970) is a French musician and composer known internationally for composing the score to the Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie Amélie. His music is recognized by its use of a large variety of instruments in relatively minimalist compositions, often with a touch of either European classical music or French folk music, using primarily the piano, accordion or violin together with instruments like the melodica, xylophone, toy piano, ondes martenot, harpsichord and typewriter. His musical style is reminiscent of Frédéric Chopin, Erik Satie, Philip Glass and Michael Nyman.
Alecia Beth Moore (born on September 8, 1979), known professionally as Pink (often stylized as P!nk), is a two-time Grammy-winning American singer-songwriter who gained prominence in 2000.
Pink released her first record, the R&B-oriented Can't Take Me Home, in 2000 via LaFace Records. Her pop rock-based second studio album, M!ssundaztood, was released in 2001 and is her biggest seller to date. Her third album, 2003's Try This, failed to match the success of M!ssundaztood. After taking a break, Pink released her fourth studio album, I'm Not Dead (2006), which was successful worldwide. Pink has so far sold over 25 million albums worldwide. Her upcoming album, Funhouse, will be released in October 2008.
Stanisław Moniuszko (May 5, 1819, Ubiel, Minsk Governorate – June 4, 1872, Warsaw, Congress Poland) was a Polish composer, conductor and teacher. He wrote many popular art songs and operas, and his music is filled with patriotic folk themes of the peoples of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (predominantly the Poles, Lithuanians and Belarusians).
He is generally referred to as the father of Polish national opera.
Yanni (born Yiannis Hrysomallis (pronounced Chrysomallis), (Greek: Γιάννης Χρυσομάλλης, classical transcription Giannis Chrysomallis), on November 14, 1954 in Kalamata, Greece) is a self-taught pianist, keyboardist, and composer. After receiving a B.A. in psychology, he would instead seek a life in music though he had no formal training and could not read a note.
He earned Grammy nominations for his 1992 album, Dare to Dream, and the 1993 follow-up, In My Time. His breakthrough success came with the 1994 release of Yanni Live at the Acropolis, deemed to be the second best-selling music video of all time, (behind Michael Jackson's video for Thriller with nine million units). Yanni has since performed live in concert before in excess of two million people in more than 20 countries around the world. He has accumulated more than 35 platinum and gold albums globally, with sales totaling over 20 million copies. Yanni is considered to be one of the top fundraisers of all time for public television. His compositions have been included in all Olympic Games television broadcasts since 1988, and his music has been used extensively in television and televised sporting events. His music is frequently described as "new age", though he prefers the term "contemporary instrumental". The regents of the University of Minnesota conferred upon Yanni the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
Klaus Badelt (born 1968) is a German composer, best known for composing film scores.
Badelt was born in Frankfurt, Germany. He started his musical career composing for many successful movies and commercials in his homeland. In 1998, Oscar-winning film composer Hans Zimmer invited Badelt to work at Media Ventures in Santa Monica, his studio co-owned by Jay Rifkin. Since then, Badelt has been working on a number of his own film and television projects such as The Time Machine and K-19: The Widowmaker. He has also collaborated with other Media Ventures composers, such as Harry Gregson-Williams, John Powell, and Zimmer.
While collaborating with Zimmer, Badelt has contributed to the Oscar-nominated scores for The Thin Red Line and The Prince of Egypt, as well as writing music for many well known directors including Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Terrence Mallick, John Woo, Kathryn Bigelow, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Tom Cruise, Sean Penn, Gore Verbinski, and Steven Spielberg.
Badelt co-produced the score to Hollywood box office hit Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott, as well as writing portions of the score with singer/composer Lisa Gerrard. Having contributed music to Gladiator, Mission: Impossible 2 and Michael Kamen's score for X-Men, Badelt was involved in the three most successful movies in 2000. Badelt also collaborated with Zimmer on other successful films, such as The Pledge, and 2001 blockbusters Hannibal and Pearl Harbor. One of his more famous - and more popular - scores is the score to the 2003 film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
Among Badelt's most critically celebrated scores are the Chinese fantasy film The Promise and Dreamworks' remake of The Time Machine, the latter which earned him the Discovery of the Year Award at the World Soundtrack Awards 2003.
Thomas Robert "Tom" Kitt (born 1974) is an American composer, conductor, orchestrator and musician. For his score for the musical Next to Normal, he shared the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama with Brian Yorkey. He also won the Tony Award and 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award, and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for American Idiot and Everyday Rapture.
Lady Antebellum is an American country music group formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 2006. The group is composed of Hillary Scott (lead and background vocals), Charles Kelley (lead and background vocals, guitar), and Dave Haywood (background vocals, guitar, piano, mandolin). Scott is the daughter of country music singer Linda Davis, and Kelley is the brother of pop singer Josh Kelley.
Chicago is a Kander and Ebb musical set in prohibition era Chicago. The book is by Ebb and Bob Fosse. The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice, and the concept of the "celebrity criminal." The musical is based on a 1926 play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins about actual criminals and crimes she had reported on.
The original 1975 Broadway production ran for a total of 936 performances. Bob Fosse choreographed the original production, and his style is strongly identified with the show. Chicago's 1996 Broadway revival holds the record for the longest-running musical revival on Broadway (not counting the revue Oh! Calcutta!) and, as of March 2, 2008, it has played for more than 4,684 performances. The revival was followed by a production on London's West End and several tours and international productions. An Academy Award-winning film version of the musical was released in 2002.
The Beatles were a pop and rock group from Liverpool, England formed in 1960. Primarily consisting of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals) throughout their career, The Beatles are recognised for leading the mid-1960s musical "British Invasion" into the United States. Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll and homegrown skiffle, the group explored genres ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, styles, and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. After the band broke up in 1970, all four members embarked upon solo careers.
The Beatles are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music, selling over a billion records internationally. In the United Kingdom, The Beatles released more than 40 different singles, albums, and EPs that reached number one, earning more number one albums (15) than any other group in UK chart history. This commercial success was repeated in many other countries; their record company, EMI, estimated that by 1985 they had sold over one billion records worldwide. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States than any other band. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked The Beatles number one on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. According to that same magazine, The Beatles' innovative music and cultural impact helped define the 1960s, and their influence on pop culture is still evident today. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of top-selling Hot 100 artists to celebrate the chart's fiftieth anniversary; The Beatles reached #1 again.
Loreena Isabel Irene McKennitt, CM, OM, (born February 17, 1957) is a Canadian singer, composer, harpist, accordionist and pianist who writes, records and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes. McKennitt is known for her refined, warbling soprano vocals. She has sold more than 14 million records worldwide.
Derek David Bourgeois (born 16 October 1941) is an English composer.
Derek Bourgeois was born in Kingston upon Thames in 1941. After receiving his education from Magdalene College, Cambridge University (honours degree and doctorate), Bourgeois spent two years at the Royal College of Music studying composition with Herbert Howells and conducting with Sir Adrian Boult.
Muse are a British rock band formed in Teignmouth, Devon, United Kingdom in 1994 under the alias of Rocket Baby Dolls. The band comprises Matthew Bellamy (vocals, guitar and piano), Christopher Wolstenholme (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Dominic Howard (drums and percussion). Muse's style can be considered as a mixture of many musical genres, most notably alternative rock, classical music and electronica. Muse are known best for their energetic and visually dazzling live performances and on June 16th & 17th, 2007 became the first band to sell out the newly built Wembley Stadium in London. Muse have released four studio albums with their first, Showbiz, released in 1999, followed by Origin of Symmetry in 2001 and Absolution in 2003. The most recent, Black Holes & Revelations (2006), was also the most critically acclaimed, garnering the band a Mercury Prize nomination and a third place finish in the NME Albums of the Year list for 2006. Muse have won various awards throughout their career including 5 MTV Europe Music Awards, 5 Q Awards, 4 NME Awards and 2 Brit awards.
Rihanna (born Robyn Rihanna Fenty; February 20, 1988) is a Barbadian singer, model and fashion designer. She is the second artist, and first female, from Barbados to have received a Grammy Award (the first being Jimmy Senya Haynes). Rihanna is currently signed to the Def Jam Recordings label. She has attained four Billboard Hot 100 number ones thus far ("SOS", "Umbrella", "Take a Bow", and "Disturbia"), tying her with Mariah Carey and Beyoncé as the female solo artist with the most number ones this decade.
Rihanna came to fame in 2005 with the release of her debut album Music of the Sun, which featured her breakthrough single "Pon de Replay". Less than a year later, Rihanna released A Girl Like Me and gave her first number one single, "SOS". In 2007, Rihanna released her third studio album, Good Girl Gone Bad. The album has yielded six hit singles including five worldwide number one singles "Umbrella", "Don't Stop the Music" and "Take A Bow". Since the release of her debut album, Rihanna has amassed eleven top 40 hit singles in the U.S.
George Winston (born 1949) is an American pianist who was born in Michigan, and grew up in Miles City, Montana, and Mississippi. He is a graduate of Stetson University in Deland, Florida and lives in Santa Monica, California. Many of his pieces, self-described as "Rural Folk Piano", evoke the essence of a season and reflect natural landscapes. He performs in the new age genre. He also is known for his tribute album of Vince Guaraldi's compositions for the Peanuts animations.
Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (1 April 1873 - 28 March 1943) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. He was one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, the last great representative of Russian late Romanticism in classical music. Early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and other Russian composers gave way to a thoroughly personal idiom which included a pronounced lyricism, expressive breadth, structural ingenuity and a tonal palette of rich, distinctive orchestral colors.
Understandably, the piano figures prominently in Rachmaninoff's compositional output, either as a solo instrument or as part of an ensemble. He made it a point, however, to use his own skills as a performer to explore fully the expressive possibilities of the instrument. Even in his earliest works, he revealed a sure grasp of idiomatic piano writing and a striking gift for melody. In some of his early orchestral pieces he showed the first signs of a talent for tone painting, which he would perfect in The Isle of the Dead, and he began to show a similar penchant for vocal writing in two early sets of songs, Opp. 4 and 8. Rachmaninoff's masterpiece, however, is his choral symphony The Bells, in which all of his talents are fused and unified.
Rachmaninoff sometimes felt threatened by the success of modernists such as Scriabin and Prokofiev and wondered whether to cease composing even before he left Russia. His musical philosophy was rooted in the Russian spiritual tradition, where the role of the artist was to create beauty and to speak the truth from the depths of his heart. In his last major interview, in 1941, he admitted his music, like Russian music, was a product of his temperament. He said, on another occasion, "The new kind of music seems to create not from the heart but from the head. Its composers think rather than feel. They have not the capacity to make their works exalt—they meditate, protest, analyze, reason, calculate and brood, but they do not exalt."
Ludwig van Beethoven (16 December 1770 - 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. He was a crucial figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music, and remains one of the most respected and influential composers of all time.
Born in Bonn, then in the Electorate of Cologne (now in modern-day Germany), he moved to Vienna in his early twenties and settled there, studying with Joseph Haydn and quickly gaining a reputation as a virtuoso pianist. Beethoven's hearing gradually deteriorated beginning in his twenties, yet he continued to compose masterpieces, and to conduct and perform, even after he was completely deaf.
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