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Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – 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 Peterson
Oscar Peterson
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.
Paul Hindemith
Paul Hindemith
Paul Hindemith (16 November 1895 – 28 December 1963) was a German composer, violist, violinist, teacher, music theorist and conductor.
Nicola Vaccai
Nicola Vaccai
Nicola Vaccai (15 March 1790 - 5 or 6 August 1848) was an Italian composer, particularly of operas, and a singing teacher.
Coldplay
Coldplay
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
ABBA
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.
Debussy
Debussy
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.
Styx
Styx
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.

Current line-up:
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
G S Monks
Bill Evans
Bill Evans
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 Bareilles
Sara Bareilles
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!
That Thing You Do!
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".
a-ha
a-ha
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
Harold Faltermeyer
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.
Chopin
Chopin
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
Gackt
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
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."
Saint Saens
Saint Saens
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).
Yann Tiersen
Yann Tiersen
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.
Pink
Pink
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
Stanisław Moniuszko
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
Yanni
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
Klaus Badelt
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.
Tom Kitt
Tom Kitt
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.
Chicago
Chicago
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
The Beatles
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 McKennitt
Loreena McKennitt
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 Bourgeois
Derek Bourgeois
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.
Rihanna
Rihanna
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
George Winston
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.
Rachmaninoff
Rachmaninoff
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."
Beethoven
Beethoven
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.
Billy Joel
Billy Joel
William Martin Joel (born May 9, 1949) is an American pianist and singer-songwriter. He released his first hit song, "Piano Man", in 1973. According to the RIAA, he is the sixth best-selling recording artist in the United States.

Joel had Top 10 hits in the '70s, '80s, and '90s; is a six-time Grammy Award winner, and has sold in excess of 150 million albums worldwide. He was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame (Class of 1992), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Class of 1999), and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (Class of 2006). Joel "retired" from recording pop music in 1993 but continued to tour (sometimes with Elton John). In 2001 he subsequently released Fantasies & Delusions, a CD of classical compositions for piano. In 2007 he returned to recording with a single entitled "All My Life," followed by an extensive "World Tour" from 2006-2008, covering many of the major world cities.
Moulin Rouge!
Moulin Rouge!
Moulin Rouge! is a 2001 musical film directed by Baz Luhrmann, based largely on the Giuseppe Verdi opera La Traviata. It tells the story of a young British poet/writer, Christian, who falls in love with the star of the Moulin Rouge, cabaret actress and courtesan Satine, played by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, respectively. It uses the musical setting of the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France. The film was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture, and won two: for art direction and costume design. It was shot at Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia.

In 2006, Moulin Rouge! ranked twenty-fifth on the American Film Institute's list of best musicals.
Jamie Cullum
Jamie Cullum
Jamie Cullum (born 20 August 1979) is an English pop and jazz-pop singer, songwriter, pianist, guitarist, and drummer.

Cullum was born at Romford Hospital in Essex, and educated at the independent fee-paying Grittleton House School and the sixth form at Sheldon School. Both are near Chippenham in Wiltshire. His mother, Yvonne, is a secretary of Anglo-Burmese origin, whose family settled in Wales after Burma's independence; his father, John Cullum, worked in finance. His paternal grandfather was a British Army officer, while his paternal grandmother was a Jewish refugee from Prussia who sang in Berlin nightclubs; Cullum has said that he sees her as his "cultural icon". He was brought up in Hullavington, Wiltshire but currently lives in North West London.
Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys
Alicia J. Augello-Cook (born January 25, 1981), and has won numerous awards, including eleven Grammy Awards, seventeen Billboard Music Awards, three American Music Awards.

Her debut album Songs in A Minor was a worldwide success, selling nearly 11 millions albums, and received five Grammy Awards in 2002, with Alicia winning Best New Artist and also Song of the Year for "Fallin'".
Aziza Mustafa Zadeh
Aziza Mustafa Zadeh
Aziza Mustafa Zadeh (Azeri: Əzizə Mustafazadə; born December 19, 1969) also known as The Princess of Jazz, or Die Prinzessin des Jazz or as Jazziza is an Azerbaijani singer, pianist and composer who plays a fusion of jazz and mugam (a traditional improvisational style of Azerbaijan) with classical and Avant-garde influences. Reviewers have said that her style also shows some influence from Keith Jarrett. She currently resides in Mainz, Germany with her mother, Eliza Mustafa Zadeh, who is also her manager. Her two favorite leisure activities, she says, are painting and sleeping. She is a vegetarian. Since 1991, Aziza sold around 15 million albums worldwide.
The Fray
The Fray
The Fray is a Grammy Award-nominated four-piece piano rock American band from Denver, Colorado. Formed in 2002 by schoolmates Isaac Slade and Joe King, the band released their debut album How to Save a Life in 2005. The band is best known for the song "How to Save a Life", which charted in the top three of the Billboard Hot 100 and was also a top 5 single in Canada, Australia, Ireland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The Fray also found national success with the song "Over My Head (Cable Car)", which became a top ten hit in the United States and Canada. How to Save a Life was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and was also certified platinum in Australia and New Zealand.

The Fray was formed in 2002, and currently consists of Isaac Slade (vocals and piano), Joe King (guitar and vocals), Dave Welsh (guitar) and Ben Wysocki (drums and percussion). While the band has no official bass guitarist, Dan Lavery of Tonic has been the touring bassist since March 2007. Prior to Dan joining the touring fold, Jimmy Stofer, also a member of the band Hello Kavita, was employed as the band's touring bassist from 2005 through February 2007.
Astor Piazzolla
Astor Piazzolla
Ástor Pantaleón Piazzolla (March 11, 1921 – July 4, 1992) was an Argentine tango composer and bandoneón player. His oeuvre revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. An excellent bandoneonist, he regularly performed his own compositions with different ensembles.

Piazzolla's nuevo tango was distinct from the traditional tango in its incorporation of elements of jazz, its use of extended harmonies and dissonance, its use of counterpoint, and its ventures into extended compositional forms. As Argentine psychoanalyst Carlos Kuri has pointed out, Piazzolla's fusion of tango with this wide range of other recognizable Western musical elements was so successful that it produced a new individual style transcending these influences. It is precisely this success, and individuality, that makes it hard to pin down where particular influences reside in his compositions, but some aspects are clear. The use of the passacaglia technique of a circulating bass line and harmonic sequence, invented and much used in 17th and 18th century baroque music but also central to the idea of jazz "changes", predominates in most of Piazzolla's mature compositions. Another clear reference to the baroque is the often complex and virtuosic counterpoint that sometimes follows strict fugal behavior but more often simply allows each performer in the group to assert his voice. A further technique that emphasises this sense of democracy and freedom among the musicians is improvisation that is borrowed from jazz in concept, but in practice involves a different vocabulary of scales and rhythms that stay within the parameters of the established tango sound-world. Pablo Ziegler has been particularly responsible for developing this aspect of the style both within Piazzolla's groups and since the composer's death.
Ludovico Einaudi
Ludovico Einaudi
Ludovico Einaudi (born 23 November 1955) is an Italian contemporary classical music composer and pianist.

Although Einaudi would prefer not to be labeled as any particular type of genre, he is sometimes referred to as Minimalist. This is despite his music not sharing the key musical properties associated with minimalism. This may be due to his music possessing sparse orchestration and simplistic melodies that some may wish to refer to as 'minimalist' despite not belonging to the musical movement of Minimalism.

Einaudi's own words on the matter reflect this viewpoint, with Einaudi referring to Minimalism as "elegance and openness", despite its more formal definition as a musical movement to which he arguably does not belong.
Felix Mendelssohn
Felix Mendelssohn
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.
High School Musical 3: Senior Year
High School Musical 3: Senior Year
High School Musical 3: Senior Year is a musical film released to cinemas in 2008. It is the third installment in Disney's High School Musical film franchise. Its theatrical release in the United States began on October 24, 2008. Kenny Ortega returned as director and choreographer, as did all six primary actors.

This latest sequel follows high school seniors Troy and Gabriella as they are faced with the challenging prospect of being separated after graduating from high school. Joined by the rest of their East High Wildcat friends, they stage an elaborate spring musical reflecting their experiences, hopes, and fears about the future.

In spite of receiving mixed reviews, in its first three days of release, High School Musical 3: Senior Year grossed $42 million in North America and an additional $40 million overseas, setting a new record for the largest opening weekend for a musical film.
Eugene Ysaye
Eugene Ysaye
Eugène Ysaÿe (French: ; 16 July 1858 – 12 May 1931) was a Belgian violinist, composer and conductor. He was regarded as "The King of the Violin", or, as Nathan Milstein put it, the "tsar".
Chibi Vampire
Chibi Vampire
Chibi Vampire, originally released in Japan as Karin (Japanese: かりん?), is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yuna Kagesaki. The story is about an unusual vampire girl, who instead of drinking blood must inject it into others because she produces too much. Chibi Vampire first premiered in the shōnen magazine Monthly Dragon Age in the October 2003 issue, and ran until February 2008. The individual chapters were published by Kadokawa Shoten into fourteen collected volumes.

In 2003, Tohru Kai began writing a series of light novels based on the manga, with Kagesaki providing the illustrations. The nine-volume series was published in Japan by Fujimi Shobo. Both the manga and light novel series are licensed for English language release by Tokyopop. Tokyopop renamed the manga series to Chibi Vampire and the novel series to Chibi Vampire: The Novel.

In 2005, an anime adaptation was produced by J.C.Staff and directed by Shinichiro Kimura. Spanning twenty-four episodes, the series aired in Japan on WOWOW from November 3, 2005 through May 11, 2006. It was licensed for an English release to Region 1 DVD, under the original name Karin, by Geneon USA. On July 3, 2008, Geneon Entertainment and Funimation Entertainment announced that Funimation had agreed to be the exclusive North American distributor of Geneon titles, including Karin.
William Finn
William Finn
William Alan Finn (born February 28, 1952) is an American composer and lyricist of musicals. His musical Falsettos received the 1992 Tony Awards for Best Music and Lyrics and for Best Book.
Ben Folds
Ben Folds
Benjamin Scott Folds (born September 12, 1966 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina) is an American singer and pianist. He originally gained fame as a member of the rock band, Ben Folds Five. Ben has released three solo albums: Fear of Pop: Volume 1, Rockin' the Suburbs, and Ben Folds Live. Fear of Pop was released while Ben Folds Five were still together; Suburbs and Live were released afterwards. Since Fear of Pop is highly experimental and Live is a collection of live solo recordings of mostly songs originally recorded with Ben Folds Five, Rockin' the Suburbs is Ben's first proper solo release. In late 2003 two solo EPs: Speed Graphic and Sunny 16 were released, with a third entitled Super D released in mid-2004. He currently resides in Adelaide, Australia with his wife, Frally Hynes, and two children, Louis and Grace. He tours Japan and the United States, as well as other parts of the world periodically.

Folds also produced and arranged the most recent William Shatner album, Has Been (2004); he previously worked with Shatner on the songs 'In Love' and 'Still in Love' for Fear of Pop.

Folds described his former band, Ben Folds Five, as 'punk rock for sissies,' and his oddball lyrics often contain nuances of depression, melancholy and self-conflict. While he was with the band Ben Folds Five and since his departure, Folds also provided a number of songs for films soundtrack. Some of these include 'Lonely Christmas Eve' for the film How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (2000) and a rendition of the Beatles' 'Golden Slumbers' for the film I Am Sam (2001).

On a planned tour of Australia, Folds teamed up with fellow namesakes Ben Kweller and Ben Lee to travel the country together as The Bens, at the suggestion of a fan on Ben Kweller's official website. The trio also went on to record an four-track EP together, entitled The Bens.

In summer of 2004, Folds co-headlined an American tour with fellow rockers Rufus Wainwright and Guster. His fourth solo album entitled 'Songs for Silverman' is slated for release on April 26, 2005.
Hanako Oku
Hanako Oku
Hanako Oku (奥 華子 Oku Hanako?, born March 20, 1978 in Funabashi, Chiba, Japan) is a J-Pop singer famous in her native Japan for her piano ballads. She rose to fame after performing the end-title track for the Madhouse film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time in 2006. She was signed to a major record label the preceding year.
Ray Charles
Ray Charles
Raymond Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), known by his stage name Ray Charles, was an American pianist and singer who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues. He brought a soulful sound to country music, pop standards, and a rendition of "America the Beautiful" that Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes called the "definitive version of the song, an American anthem — a classic, just as the man who sung it." Frank Sinatra called him "the only true genius in the business" and in 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Charles #10 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

During the late 1960s and into the 1970s, Charles' releases were hit-or-miss, with some big hits and critically acclaimed work. His version of "Georgia On My Mind" was proclaimed the state song of Georgia on April 24, 1979, with Charles performing it on the floor of the state legislature.

He died on June 10, 2004 of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) at his home in Beverly Hills, California, surrounded by family and friends. His body was interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California. His final album, Genius Loves Company, released two months after his death, consists of duets with various admirers and contemporaries: B.B. King, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, Gladys Knight, Michael McDonald, Natalie Cole, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Diana Krall, Norah Jones, and Johnny Mathis.
Frank Ticheli
Edith Piaf
Edith Piaf
Édith Piaf (19 December 1915—10 October 1963) was a French singer and cultural icon who "is almost universally regarded as France's greatest popular singer." Her singing reflected her life, with her specialty being the ballads. Among her famous songs are "La vie en rose" (1946), "Hymne à l'amour" (1949), "Milord" (1959), "Non, je ne regrette rien" (1960), and Padam Padam.

Edith Piaf's signature song "La vie en rose" was written in 1945 and was voted a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998.

The legendary Paris Olympia concert hall is where Piaf achieved lasting fame, giving several series of concerts at the hall, the most famous venue in Paris, between January 1955 and October 1962. Excerpts from five of these concerts (1955, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1962) were issued on record and CD and have never been out of print. The 1961 concerts were promised by Piaf in an effort to save the venue from bankruptcy and where she debuted her song "Non, je ne regrette rien". In April 1963, Piaf recorded her last song, "L'homme de Berlin".
Jamey Aebersold
Jamey Aebersold
Jamey Aebersold (born July 21, 1939 in New Albany, Indiana) is an American jazz saxophonist and music educator. His "Play-A-Long" series of instructional book and CD collections, using the chord-scale system, the first of which was released in 1967, are an internationally renowned resource for jazz education. As of 2009, 126 of these collections have been published by Aebersold, who currently teaches musical improvisation at the University of Louisville. He is also an adept pianist, bassist, and banjoist.
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