Ralph Vaughan Williams


Birth Name: Ralph Vaughan Williams
Date of Birth: 12 October 1872
Date of Death: 26 August 1958
Discipline/Occupation(s): Composer
Nationality: English
Period/Era/Style: Romantic
Contribution(s): Vaughan Williams was an English composer. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over sixty years. Strongly influenced by Tudor music and English folk-song, his output marked a decisive break in British music from its German-dominated style of the 19th century.

Vaughan Williams was born to a well-to-do family with strong moral views and a progressive social outlook. Throughout his life he sought to be of service to his fellow citizens, and believed in making music as available as possible to everybody. He wrote many works for amateur and student performance. He was musically a late developer, not finding his true voice until his late thirties; his studies in 1907–1908 with the French composer Maurice Ravel helped him clarify the textures of his music and free it from Teutonic influences.

Vaughan Williams is among the best-known British symphonists, noted for his very wide range of moods, from stormy and impassioned to tranquil, from mysterious to exuberant. Among the most familiar of his other concert works are Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) and The Lark Ascending (1914). His vocal works include hymns, folk-song arrangements and large-scale choral pieces. He wrote eight works for stage performance between 1919 and 1951. Although none of his operas became popular repertoire pieces, his ballet Job: A Masque for Dancing (1930) was successful and has been frequently staged.

Two episodes made notably deep impressions in Vaughan Williams’s personal life. The First World War, in which he served in the army, had a lasting emotional effect. Twenty years later, though in his sixties and devotedly married, he was reinvigorated by a love affair with a much younger woman, who later became his second wife. He went on composing through his seventies and eighties, producing his last symphony months before his death at the age of eighty-five. His works have continued to be a staple of the British concert repertoire, and all his major compositions and many of the minor ones have been recorded.

Biography: Life and career   |   Early years   |   Royal College of Music and Trinity College, Cambridge   |   Early career   |   Ravel; rising fame; First World War   |   Inter-war years   |    1939–1952   |   Second marriage and last years


Playlists

Symphonies 1-9
Concerti & Concertante
Other Orchestral Works
Choral & Vocal Works
Chamber Works
Piano Works
Organ Works
Film Scores and Music 1
Film Scores and Music 2
Film Scores and Music 3 

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Ralph Vaughan Williams (Oct. 12, 1872 – Aug. 26, 1958)
English; Romantic; Composer
Vaughan Williams’ works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over sixty years. Strongly influenced by Tudor music and English folk-song, his output marked a decisive break in British music from its German-dominated style of the 19th century. One of his most popular works is Fantasia on Greensleeves.
Link: https://wp.me/p9cLhb-xk
#ralphvaughanwilliams #vaughanwilliams #englishcomposer #romanticcomposer #fantasiaongreensleeves #maestro68dotcom

Giuseppe Verdi*


Birth Name: Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi
Date of Birth: 9 or 10 October 1813
Date of Death: 27 January 1901
Discipline/Occupation(s): Composer
Nationality: Italian
Period/Era/Style: Romantic
Contribution(s):Verdi was an Italian opera composer. He was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, and developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioachino Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him. By his 30s, he had become one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history.

In his early operas, Verdi demonstrated a sympathy with the Risorgimento movement which sought the unification of Italy. He also participated briefly as an elected politician. The chorus “Va, pensiero” from his early opera Nabucco (1842), and similar choruses in later operas, were much in the spirit of the unification movement, and the composer himself became esteemed as a representative of these ideals. An intensely private person, Verdi, however, did not seek to ingratiate himself with popular movements and as he became professionally successful was able to reduce his operatic workload and sought to establish himself as a landowner in his native region. He surprised the musical world by returning, after his success with the opera Aida (1871), with three late masterpieces: his Requiem (1874), and the operas Otello (1887) and Falstaff (1893).

His operas remain extremely popular, especially the three peaks of his ‘middle period’: Rigoletto, Il trovatore and La traviata, and the 2013 bicentenary of his birth was widely celebrated in broadcasts and performances.

Biography: 

Life: Childhood and education   |   1834–1842: First operas   |   1842–49   |   1849–53: Fame   |   1853–60: Consolidation   |   Politics   |   1860–87: from La forza to Otello   |   1887–1901: Falstaff and last years

Personality 

Music and form: Spirit   |   Periods   |   Early period   |   Middle period   |   Late period   |    Final works

Legacy:  Reception   |   Memorials and film and stage portrayals   |   Verdi today   |   Debate on operas being political


Playlist

  • Opera
  • Choral
    • Requiem
  • Piano
    • Romanza senza parole
    • Valzer in F major (original version for piano)
  • Orchestral
    • Valzer (Nino Rota adapted it for orchestra in his score for Luchino Visconti’s film ‘The Leopard’)
    • Sinfonia in C major
    • Canto di Virginia Con Variazioni per Oboe Composte con accomp.to d’Orchestra quintetto
    • Variazioni for piano & orchestra on “Caro Suono Lusinghiero” from “Tebaldo ed Isoline” by Morlacchi
    • Adagio For Trumpet & Orchestra
    • Capriccio for bassoon & orchestra
  • Chamber
    • String Quartet in E minor

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Summery:

Giuseppe Verdi (Oct. 9/10, 1813 – Jan. 27, 1901)
Romantic; Italian; Composer
Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioachino Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him. By his 30s, he had become one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history.
Link: https://wp.me/p9cLhb-wk
#giuseppeverdi #verdi #romanticcomposer #italiancomposer #opera #maestro68dotcom


Camille Saint-Saëns*


Birth Name: Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns
Date of Birth: 09 October 1835
Date of Death: 16 December 1921
Discipline/Occupation(s): composer, organist, conductor and pianist
Nationality: French
Period/Era/Style: Romantic
Contribution(s): Saint-Saëns’ best-known works include Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (1863), the Second Piano Concerto (1868), the First Cello Concerto (1872), Danse macabre (1874), the opera Samson and Delilah(1877), the Third Violin Concerto (1880), the Third (“Organ”) Symphony (1886) and The Carnival of the Animals (1886).

Saint-Saëns was a musical prodigy. He made his concert debut at the age of ten. After studying at the Paris Conservatoire he followed a conventional career as a church organist, first at Saint-Merri, Paris and, from 1858, La Madeleine, the official church of the French Empire. After leaving the post twenty years later, he was a successful freelance pianist and composer, in demand in Europe and the Americas.

As a young man, Saint-Saëns was enthusiastic for the most modern music of the day, particularly that of Schumann, Liszt and Wagner, although his own compositions were generally within a conventional classical tradition. He was a scholar of musical history, and remained committed to the structures worked out by earlier French composers. This brought him into conflict in his later years with composers of the impressionist and dodecaphonic schools of music; although there were neoclassical elements in his music, foreshadowing works by Stravinsky and Les Six, he was often regarded as a reactionary in the decades around the time of his death.

Saint-Saëns held only one teaching post, at the École de Musique Classique et Religieuse in Paris, and remained there for less than five years. It was nevertheless important in the development of French music: his students included Gabriel Fauré, among whose own later pupils was Maurice Ravel. Both of them were strongly influenced by Saint-Saëns, whom they revered as a genius.

Biography: Life and career: Early life   |   Early career   |   1860s: Teacher and growing fame   |   1870s: War, marriage and operatic success   |   1880s: International figure   |   1890s: Marking time   |   1900–21: Last years


Playlist

  • Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor, Op. 28
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22
  • Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33
  • Danse macabre, Symphonic Poem in G minor, Op. 40
  •  Samson and Delilah, Op. 47
  • Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor, Op. 61
  • Symphony No. 3 “Organ Symphony” in C minor, Op. 78
  • The Carnival of the Animals, Op. 125

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Camille Saint-Saëns (Oct. 09, 1835 – Dec. 16, 1921)
Romantic era; French composer, organist, conductor and pianist
Saint-Saëns’ best-known works include Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (1863), the Second Piano Concerto (1868), the First Cello Concerto (1872), Danse macabre (1874), the opera Samson and Delilah (1877), the Third Violin Concerto (1880), the Third (“Organ”) Symphony (1886) and The Carnival of the Animals (1886).
Link: https://wp.me/p9cLhb-wh
#camillesaintsaens #saintsaens #frenchcomposer #romanticcomposer #thegreatcomposers #carnivaloftheanimals #dansemacabre #samsonanddelilah #maestro68dotcom

Louis Vierne


Birth Name: Louis Victor Jules Vierne
Date of Birth: 08 October 1870
Date of Death: 02 June 1937
Discipline/Occupation(s): Organist; Composer
Nationality: French
Period/Era/Style: Romantic/20th century
Contribution(s): Vierne was a French composer and organist closely associated with the late Romantic tradition of Franck and Widor.

Biography: Born on October 8th 1870, French organist and composer Louis Vierne was born blind with a congenital cataract condition. At the age of six his sight imporved enough that he could recognise people, see objects at short range and read large type at close range. Aged six, he began to study solfège and piano. In 1881 he started attending the Institution Nationale des Jeunes Aveugles where he studied a plan of solfège, harmony, piano and violin. Cesar Franck often adjudicated for the school and after seeing Vierne, advised that he should study the organ. He began lessons with Louis Lebel in the autumn of 1886. In 1888 he began studying harmony with Franck privately and attending his organ class at Paris Conservatory, of which he became a full-time attendee in 1890. After Franck died in November 1880, Widor replaced him and Vierne eventually became Widor’s assistant before winning a first prize in the organ class in 1894. He held this post for 19 years, working unpaid, before he was appointed titular organist at Notre Dame on May 21st 1900, the first person to be given this title since the death of Louis-Claude Daquin in 1772.

After working for the Paris Conservatory for 19 years unpaid and since he was now holding the most prestigious organ post in the French capital, Vierne was expecting to be named professor of organ there. This was not the case however. In 1911 when Guilmant, successor to Widor, passed away, the then director of the Conservatory, Fauré appointed his old friend, Eugène Gigout to the post. Gigout was also the senior organist in Paris and extremely qualified which is most likely why he was appointed over Vierne, but nonetheless, the appointment emotionally damaged Vierne and he never quite recovered from it. This was compounded by his being pass up for the appointment again in 1926, being beaten by his former student Marcel Dupré. This along with his personal relationships, which were not particularly free from betrayal, caused Vierne to enter into depression alongside his near-blindeness, ill-health, bereavement of losing his son and brother in the First World War and constant financial problems. It is suspected that these emotional setbacks were the cause for a noticeable decline in his playing ability and in his improvisational ability – something for which he had previously been an eminent name. On June 2nd 1937, Vierne suffered a fatal heart attack whilst playing the organ in a concert in Notre Dame.

More Info: Life   |   Music   |   Works   |   Media   |   Discography   |   Bibliography


Playlists

Piano Works
Chamber Works
Organ Symphonies
Vocal Works 1
Vocal Works 2

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Summery:

Louis Vierne (Oct. 08, 1870 – Jun. 02, 1937)
Romantic/20th century; French; Organist & Composer
Vierne was a French composer and organist closely associated with the late Romantic tradition of Franck and Widor.
Link: https://wp.me/p9cLhb-wj
#louisvierne #vierne #frenchcomposer #20thcenturycomposer #romanticcomposer #maestro68dotcom

Karol Szymanowski


Birth Name: Karol Maciej Szymanowski
Date of Birth: 03 October 1882
Date of Death: 29 March 1937
Occupation(s): composer, pianist
Nationality: Polish
Period/Era/Style: 20th Century
Contribution(s): Szymanowski was a Polish composer and pianist, the most celebrated Polish composer of the early 20th century. He is considered a member of the late 19th-/early 20th-century modernist movement Young Poland and widely viewed as one of the greatest Polish composers.

The early works show the influence of the late Romantic German school as well as the early works of Alexander Scriabin, as exemplified by his Étude Op. 4 No. 3 and his first two symphonies. Later, he developed an impressionistic and partially atonalstyle, represented by such works as the Third Symphony and his Violin Concerto No. 1. His third period was influenced by the folk music of the Polish Górale people, including the ballet Harnasie, the Fourth Symphony, and his sets of Mazurkas for piano. King Roger, composed between 1918-1924, remains the most popular opera by Szymanowski. His other significant works include opera HagithSymphony No. 2The Love Songs of Hafiz, and Stabat Mater.

He was awarded the highest national honors, including the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and other distinctions, both Polish and foreign.

Biography:   Life   |   Influences   |   Works   Recognition


Playlist

  • Preludes (9), Op. 1
  • Violin sonata in D minor, Op. 9
  • Concerto Overture in E major, Op. 12
  • Fantasy for Piano in C mjaor, Op. 14
  • Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 15
  • String Quartet No. 1 in C major, Op. 37
  • Stabat Mater, Op. 54
  • Masques (Masks), 3 Pieces for Piano, Op. 34
  • Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 35
  • Symphony No. 4 “Symphonie concertante”, Op. 60
  • Symphony No. 3 (Song of the Night), Op. 27
  • Violin Concerto No. 2, Op. 61
  • Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 21
  • Harnasie, Op. 55 for tenor, mixed chorus and orchestra

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Summery:

Karol Szymanowski (Oct. 03, 1882 – Mar. 29, 1937)
🇵🇱 Polish; 20th Century; Composer, Pianist
Szymanowski was a Polish composer and pianist, the most celebrated Polish composer of the early 20th century. He is considered a member of the late 19th-/early 20th-century modernist movement Young Poland and widely viewed as one of the greatest Polish composers.
Link: https://wp.me/p9cLhb-wT
#szymanowski #karolszymanowski #polishcomposer #20thcenturycomposer #maestro68dotcom


 

Paul Dukas


Birth Name: Paul Abraham Dukas
Date of Birth: 01 October 1865
Date of Death: 17 May 1935
Occupation(s): composer, critic, scholar and teacher
Nationality: French
Period/Era/Style: Romantic/20th Century transition
Contribution(s): Dukas was a French composer, critic, scholar and teacher. A studious man, of retiring personality, he was intensely self-critical, and he abandoned and destroyed many of his compositions. His best known work is the orchestral piece The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (L’apprenti sorcier), the fame of which has eclipsed that of his other surviving works. Among these are the opera Ariane et Barbe-bleue, a symphony, two substantial works for solo piano, and a ballet, La Péri.

At a time when French musicians were divided into conservative and progressive factions, Dukas adhered to neither but retained the admiration of both. His compositions were influenced by composers including Beethoven, Berlioz, Franck, d’Indy and Debussy.

In tandem with his composing career, Dukas worked as a music critic, contributing regular reviews to at least five French journals. Later in his life he was appointed professor of composition at the Conservatoire de Paris and the École Normale de Musique; his pupils included Maurice Duruflé, Olivier Messiaen, Manuel Ponce, and Joaquín Rodrigo.

Biography: Life and career: Early years   |   1890s   |   20th century works   |   Later years


Playlist

  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, for orchestra (1897)
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, arr. for organ by P.R. Conte)
  • Fanfare Pour Preceder ‘La Peri’
  • Symphony in C (1896)
  • Piano Sonata in E-flat minor
  • Variations, Interlude and Finale on a Theme by Rameau, for piano
  • Suite from ‘Ariane et Barbe-Bleue’
  • Villanelle, for horn and piano (1906)
  • Prélude élégiaque sur le nom de Haydn, for piano (1909)
  • Vocalise-étude (alla gitana), arr. for clarinet and piano (1909)
  • Goetz de Berlichingen, overture for orchestra
  • Les sirènes
  • Ariane et Barbe-bleue Suite
  • Allegro pour Monsieur S. Koussewitzky (1925 unpublished)

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Summery:

Paul Dukas
Oct. 01, 1865 – May 17, 1935
🇫🇷 French; Romantic/20th Century Transition
Composer, Music Critic, Scholar and Teacher
Dukas was a French composer, critic, scholar and teacher. A studious man, of retiring personality, he was intensely self-critical, and he abandoned and destroyed many of his compositions. His best known work is the orchestral piece The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (L’apprenti sorcier), the fame of which has eclipsed that of his other surviving works. Among these are the opera Ariane et Barbe-bleue, a symphony, two substantial works for solo piano, and a ballet, La Péri.

Link: https://wp.me/p9cLhb-vY

#dukas #pauldukas #frenchcomposer #romanticcomposer #20thcenturycomposer #thesorcerersapprentice #maestro68dotcom


 

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford


Name: Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
Date of Birth: 30 September 1852
Date of Death: 29 March 1924
Occupation(s): composer, music teacher, and conductor.
Nationality: Irish
Period/Era/Style: Romantic/20th Century
Contribution(s): Stanford was an Irish composer, music teacher, and conductor. Born to a well-off and highly musical family in Dublin, Stanford was educated at the University of Cambridge before studying music in Leipzig and Berlin. He was instrumental in raising the status of the Cambridge University Musical Society, attracting international stars to perform with it.

Biography: While still an undergraduate, Stanford was appointed organist of Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1882, aged 29, he was one of the founding professors of the Royal College of Music, where he taught composition for the rest of his life. From 1887 he was also Professor of Music at Cambridge. As a teacher, Stanford was sceptical about modernism, and based his instruction chiefly on classical principles as exemplified in the music of Brahms. Among his pupils were rising composers whose fame went on to surpass his own, such as Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams. As a conductor, Stanford held posts with the Bach Choirand the Leeds triennial music festival.

Stanford composed a substantial number of concert works, including seven symphonies, but his best-remembered pieces are his choral works for church performance, chiefly composed in the Anglican tradition. He was a dedicated composer of opera, but none of his nine completed operas has endured in the general repertory. Some critics regarded Stanford, together with Hubert Parry and Alexander Mackenzie, as responsible for a renaissance in music from the British Isles. However, after his conspicuous success as a composer in the last two decades of the 19th century, his music was eclipsed in the 20th century by that of Edward Elgar as well as former pupils.


Playlist

  • Symphony No. 1 in B flat major (1876)
  • Symphony No. 2 in D minor, “Elegiac” (1882)
  • Symphony No. 3 in F minor, “Irish”, Op. 28 (1887)
  • Symphony No. 4 in F major, Op. 31 (1888)
  • Symphony No. 5 in D major, “L’Allegro ed il Pensieroso”, Op. 56 (1894)
  • Symphony No. 6 in E flat major, “In Memoriam G. F. Watts”, Op. 94 (1905) 
  • Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 124 (1911)
  • Cello Concerto in D minor, WoO
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 126
  • Piano Concerto No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 171
  • Violin Concerto in D major, WoO
  • Irish Rhapsody for orchestra No. 1 in D minor, Op. 78
  • Irish Rhapsody for orchestra No. 2 in F minor, Op. 84 (“The Lament for the Son of Ossian”)
  • Irish Rhapsody for cello and orchestra No. 3, Op. 137
  • Irish Rhapsody for orchestra No. 4 in A minor, Op. 141 (“The Fisherman of Loch Neagh and what he saw”)
  • Irish Rhapsody for orchestra No. 5 in G minor, Op. 147
  • Irish Rhapsody for violin and orchestra No. 6, Op. 191

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Summery:

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (Sep. 30, 1852 – Mar. 29, 1924)
🇮🇪 Irish; Romantic/20th Century
Composer, Music Teacher, and Conductor.
Stanford was an Irish composer, music teacher, and conductor. Born to a well-off and highly musical family in Dublin, Stanford was educated at the University of Cambridge before studying music in Leipzig and Berlin. He was instrumental in raising the status of the Cambridge University Musical Society, attracting international stars to perform with it.

#charlesvilliersstanford #irishcomposer #romanticcomposer #20thcenturycomposer #maestro68dotcom

Antonio Cartellieri


Name: Antonio Casimir Cartellieri
Date of Birth: 27 September 1772
Date of Death: 02 September 1807
Occupation(s): Composer; Violinist; Conductor, Voice Teacher
Nationality: Polish-Austrian
Period/Era/Style: Classical/Romantic Transition
Contribution(s): Cartellieri was a Polish-Austrian composer, violinist, conductor, and voice teacher. His reputation dissipated after his death, not to be resurrected until the late 20th century. One son was the spa physician Paul Cartellieri. Another, Josef Cartellieri, compiled some largely second-hand biographical notes about the father he scarcely knew.

Biography: Cartellieri was born in Danzig. His father, Antonio Maria Gaetano Cartellieri, was Italian, and his mother, Elisabeth Böhm, was Latvian. Both of his parents were opera singers and he received his earliest musical education from them. When he was 13, his parents divorced, at which time Cartellieri moved with his mother to Berlin. In that city he began studying music composition.

In 1791, at the age of 18, Cartellieri became court composer and music director for Micał Kazimierz Ogiński in Poland. In 1793, he returned to Berlin with his employer where his first opera premiered successfully. He then went with the Count to Vienna, where he continued with further musical studies in music theory and composition under Johann Georg Albrechtsberger and possibly Antonio Salieri.

On 29–30 March 1795, the première of his oratorio Gioas re di Giuda took place in Wiener Burgtheater. (In the interval, Beethoven played his piano concerto which became Beethoven’s debut as a composer.) In 1796, Cartellieri was engaged by Prince Joseph Franz Maximilian Lobkowicz (1772–1817) as the Kapellmeister, singing teacher, and violinist, roles he held until his death 11 years later. His other duties at court included directing operas and playing the violin in both concerts of chamber music and symphonic music. He notably performed in the world premières of several works by his friend Beethoven under the composer’s baton, including the Eroica Symphony and the Triple Concerto on 23 January 1805. He died in Liebhausen (Libčeves), Bohemia at the age of 34.


Playlist:

  • Symphony No. 1 in C minor
  • Symphony No. 2 in Eb major
  • Symphony No. 3 in C major
  • Symphony No. 4 (no key indication)
  • Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in Bb major
  • Clarinet Concerto No. 2 (fragment) – Adagio pastorale
  • Clarinet Concerto No. 3 in Eb major
  • ‘Gioas re di Giuda’ – Overture
  • ‘Gioas re di Giuda’ – Aria di Atalia; ‘Ah l’aria d’intorno lampeggia’

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Summery:

Antonio Casimir Cartellieri
(Sep. 27, 1772 – Sep. 02, 1807)
Polish-Austrian; Classical/Romantic Transition Era
Link: https://wp.me/p9cLhb-vF
Cartellieri was a Polish-Austrian composer, violinist, conductor, and voice teacher. His reputation dissipated after his death, not to be resurrected until the late 20th century. One son was the spa physician Paul Cartellieri. Another, Josef Cartellieri, compiled some largely second-hand biographical notes about the father he scarcely knew.#cartellieri #classicalromantictransitionmusicera #classicalcomposer #romanticcomposer #polishcomposer #austriancomposer

George Gershwin


Full Name:
George Jacob Gershwin
Date of Birth: September 26, 1898
Date of Death: July 11, 1937
Nationality: 🇺🇸 American
Period/Era/Style: 20th Century
Contribution(s): Gershwin was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin’s compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928) as well as the opera Porgy and Bess (1935).

Gershwin studied piano under Charles Hambitzer and composition with Rubin Goldmark, Henry Cowell and Joseph Brody. He began his career as a song plugger, but soon started composing Broadway theatre works with his brother Ira Gershwin and Buddy DeSylva. He moved to Paris intending to study with Nadia Boulanger, who refused him, where he began to compose An American in Paris. After returning to New York City, he wrote Porgy and Bess with Ira and the author DuBose Heyward. Initially a commercial failure, Porgy and Bess is now considered one of the most important American operas of the twentieth century.

Gershwin moved to Hollywood and composed numerous film scores until his death in 1937 from glioblastoma multiforme, a malignant brain tumor.

Gershwin’s compositions have been adapted for use in many films and for television, and several became jazz standards recorded in many variations. Many celebrated singers and musicians have performed his songs.

Biography from Wikipedia: Ancestors   |   Early life   |   Tin Pan Alley, 1913-1931   |   Europe and classical music, 1924-1928   |   New York, 1929-1935   |   Last years, 1936-37   |   Illness and death


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Dmitriy Shostakovich*


Birth Name: Dmitriy Dmitrievich Shostakovich
Date of Birth: 25 September 1906
Date of Death: 09 August 1975
Occupation(s):
Nationality: Soviet/Russian
Period/Era/Style: 20th Century
Contribution(s): Shostakovich was a Russian composer and pianist. He is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century.
Biography: Shostakovich achieved fame in the Soviet Union under the patronage of Soviet chief of staff Mikhail Tukhachevsky, but later had a complex and difficult relationship with the government. Nevertheless, he received accolades and state awards and served in the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR (1947–1962) and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union (from 1962 until his death).

A polystylist, Shostakovich developed a hybrid voice, combining a variety of different musical techniques into his works. His music is characterized by sharp contrasts, elements of the grotesque, and ambivalent tonality; the composer was also heavily influenced by the neo-classical style pioneered by Igor Stravinsky, and (especially in his symphonies) by the late Romanticism associated with Gustav Mahler.

Shostakovich’s orchestral works include 15 symphonies and six concerti. His chamber output includes 15 string quartets, a piano quintet, two piano trios, and two pieces for string octet. His solo piano works include two sonatas, an early set of preludes, and a later set of 24 preludes and fugues. Other works include three operas, several song cycles, ballets, and a substantial quantity of film music; especially well known is The Second Waltz, Op. 99, music to the film The First Echelon (1955–1956), as well as the suites of music composed for The Gadfly.

Biography from Wikipedia: Early life   |   Early career   |   First denunciation   |   Withdrawal of the Fourth Symphony   |   Fifth Symphony and return to favour   |   Second World War   |   Second denunciation   |   Joining the Party   |    Later life


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  • Symphonies (15)
  • Piano Concertos (2)
  • Violin Concertos (2)
  • Cello Concertos (2)
  • Suites (15a, 22a, 27a, 30a, 32a, …

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