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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.
Blink-182 was an American pop punk In 1998, midway through a U.S. tour, drummer Travis Barker replaced Raynor. DeLonge left the group in early 2005, with the band portraying it as an "indefinite hiatus". DeLonge went on to play alternative rock in a band called Angels & Airwaves, while Hoppus and Barker continued in a similar genre with their band +44.
Blink-182 were known for their catchy, simple melodies, teen angst and lyrical toilet humor. DeLonge cites punk rock bands The Descendents and Screeching Weasel as influences, although the band's songwriting and production were driven by a pop sensibility. The band was primarily known for popular hits such as "Dammit", "What's My Age Again?", "All the Small Things", "Adam's Song", "The Rock Show", "First Date", "Stay Together for the Kids", "Feeling This" and "I Miss You".
Alanis Nadine Morissette (born June 1, 1974) is a Canadian-born singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress. She has won 12 Juno Awards and seven Grammy Awards, and has sold over 55 million albums worldwide. Morissette began her career in Canada, and as a teenager recorded two dance-pop albums, Alanis and Now Is the Time, under MCA Records. Her international debut album was the rock-influenced Jagged Little Pill, which remains the best-selling debut album by a female artist in the U.S., and the highest selling debut album worldwide in music history, selling 30 million records worlwide. According to RIAA and United World Charts, Alanis is the biggest selling female rock artist in music. Her following album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, was released in 1998 and was a success as well. Morissette took up producing duties for her subsequent albums, which include Under Rug Swept, So-Called Chaos and latest release Flavors of Entanglement. In February 2005, Morissette became a naturalized citizen of the United States while maintaining her Canadian citizenship.
Sean Combs (born November 4, 1969), known by his stage names Puff Daddy, Diddy, P. Diddy and Puffy, is an American rapper, record producer, actor, men's fashion designer, entrepreneur and dancer. He won three Grammy Awards and two MTV Video Music Awards.
He was originally known as Puff Daddy and then as P. Diddy (Puff and Puffy being often used as a nickname, but never as recording names). In August 2005, he changed his stage name to simply "Diddy". He continues to use the name P. Diddy in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, the latter after a legal battle with another artist, Richard "Diddy" Dearlove. In June 2008 Combs' representative denied rumors of another name change.
His business interests include Bad Boy Records, the clothing lines Sean John and Sean by Sean Combs, a movie production company, and two restaurants. He has taken the roles of recording executive, performer, producer of MTV's Making the Band, writer, arranger, clothing designer, and Broadway actor. Combs is one of the richest hip-hop performers, having a net worth estimated at US $346 million in 2006.
The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles by vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore, and guitarist Robby Krieger. They were considered a controversial band, due mostly to Morrison's cryptic lyrics and unpredictable stage persona. The band dissolved in March 1973, short of two years after Morrison's death in July 1971. According to the RIAA, they have sold over 32 million albums in the US alone.
The Doors' music during the 1965-68 era was a fusion of hard rock, blues-rock, and acid rock. The origins of The Doors lay in a chance meeting between acquaintances and fellow UCLA film school alumni Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek on Venice Beach California in July 1965. Morrison told Manzarek he had been writing songs (Morrison said "I was taking notes at a fantasic rock-n-roll concert going on in my head") and, at Manzarek's encouragement, sang "Moonlight Drive". Impressed by Morrison's lyrics, Manzarek suggested they form a band.
Friedrich Gulda (16 May 1930 – 27 January 2000) was an Austrian pianist who performed in both the classical and jazz fields.
Born in Vienna as the son of a teacher, Gulda began learning to play the piano from Felix Pazofsky at the Wiener Volkskonservatorium, aged 7; in 1942, he entered the Vienna Music Academy, where he studied piano and musical theory under Bruno Seidlhofer and Joseph Marx.
He won first prize at the International Competition in Geneva in 1946. Initially the jury preferred the Belgian pianist Lode Backx (b. 1922), but when the final vote was taken, Gulda was the winner. One of the jurors, Eileen Joyce, who favoured Backx, stormed out and created a minor international incident by claiming the other jurors were "nobbled" by Gulda's supporters. Gulda began going on concert tours throughout the world. Together with Jörg Demus and Paul Badura-Skoda, Gulda formed what became known as the "Viennese troika".
Although most famous for his Mozart and Beethoven interpretations, Gulda also performed the music of J. S. Bach (often on clavichord), Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Debussy and Ravel.
From the 1950s on he cultivated an interest in jazz, performing with many Viennese musicians like Alexander Jenner, writing several songs and instrumental pieces himself and combining jazz and classical music in his concerts at times. Gulda wrote a Prelude and Fugue with a theme suggesting swing. Keith Emerson performed it on Emerson, Lake & Palmer's The Return of the Manticore. In addition, Gulda composed "Variations on The Doors' 'Light My Fire'". Another version can be found on As You Like It (1970), an album with standards such as "'Round Midnight" and "What Is This Thing Called Love?"
In 1982, Gulda teamed up with jazz pianist Chick Corea, who found himself in between the breakup of Return to Forever and the formation of his Elektric Band. Issued on The Meeting (Philips, 1984), Gulda and Corea communicate in lengthy improvisations mixing jazz ("Some Day My Prince Will Come" and the lesser known Miles Davis song "Put Your Foot Out") and classical music (Brahms' "Wiegenlied" ). In the late 1990s, Gulda organised rave parties, where he performed with the support of several DJs and Go-Go dancers.
It was this unorthodox practice that, among other things like his refusal to follow clothing conventions or scheduled concert programmes, earned him the nickname "terrorist pianist"; Gulda had a strong dislike of authorities like his alma mater, the Vienna Music Academy, the Beethoven Ring of which he was offered in recognition of his performances but which he refused. He even faked his own death followed by a resurrection party at the Vienna Konzerthaus in 1999, cementing his status as the enfant terrible among pianists. Nevertheless, Gulda is widely regarded as one of the most outstanding piano players of the 20th century. His piano students included Martha Argerich and the conductor Claudio Abbado.
Douglas "Doug" Hopkins (April 11, 1961 – December 5, 1993) was an American musician and songwriter from Tempe, Arizona. He co-founded the Gin Blossoms, a popular modern rock band of the early 1990s, with Richard Taylor. He was the band's lead guitarist and a principal songwriter.
Hopkins' writing credits included the hits "Hey Jealousy", "Found Out About You", "Hold Me Down," and "Lost Horizons." His penchant for somber lyrics, matched with catchy guitar hooks and notable melodies, underscored his memorable style. He committed suicide, shooting himself while in the early stages of mental health treatment for alcoholism, which occurred shortly after getting a gold disc for Hey Jealousy.
Mamma Mia! is a stage musical with a book by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on the songs of ABBA, composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. It is an example of a jukebox musical, and is notable for popularising the genre. The plot is adapted from the 1968 film Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell starring Gina Lollobrigida.
Although the title of the musical is taken from the group's 1975 chart-topper "Mamma Mia", the musical's plot has nothing to do with the story of the group itself.
Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, who composed the original music for ABBA, have been involved in the development of the show from the beginning. Anni-Frid Lyngstad has been involved financially in the production, while Agnetha Fältskog has not, though she was present at the Swedish premiere and final show.
The musical includes such hits as "Super Trouper", "Dancing Queen", "Knowing Me, Knowing You", "Thank You for the Music", "Money, Money, Money", "The Winner Takes It All", "Voulez Vous", "I Have a Dream" and "SOS". It had been seen by over ten million people worldwide as of July 2003. Estimates of 2007, is that 30 million have now seen Mamma Mia!. Since its opening in 1999, the production has grossed US$2.0 billion in earnings.
A film version of Mamma Mia!, starring Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski and Julie Walters began shooting in June 2007 and premiered in July 2008.
Kenneth Gorelick (born June 5, 1956), better known by his stage name Kenny G, is an American saxophonist whose fourth album, Duotones, brought him "breakthrough success" in 1986. Kenny's main instrument is the soprano saxophone, but he also plays the alto and tenor saxophone and the flute on occasion.
As of 2003, Kenny G was named the 25th-highest selling artist in America by the RIAA, with 48 million albums sold in the USA as of July 31, 2006. In 1994, Kenny G won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for Forever in Love.
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.
Train is a Grammy Award winning rock band formed in San Francisco, California. To date, three of their albums have peaked in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 and have sold a total of over 4 million albums in the US. Three of their songs have been top 20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 including their biggest hit "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)". Train has found success on modern adult contemporary radio stations, where they have had eight songs in the top 20 of the Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks chart.
Hans Florian Zimmer (born September 12, 1957) is a German film score composer and music producer. He has composed music for over 100 films, including Hollywood blockbusters such as the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Gladiator, The Lion King, The Da Vinci Code and The Dark Knight.
Zimmer spent the early part of his career in the United Kingdom before moving to the United States. He is the head of the film music division at DreamWorks studios, and works with other composers through the company which he founded, Remote Control Productions. His work is notable for integrating electronic music sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements.
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.
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (March 4, 1678 â July 28, 1741), nicknamed il Prete Rosso ("The Red Priest"), was a Venetian priest and Baroque music composer, as well as a famous virtuoso violinist; he was born and raised in the Republic of Venice. The Four Seasons, a series of four violin concerti, is his best-known work and a highly popular Baroque piece.
Many of Vivaldi's compositions reflect a flamboyant, almost playful, exuberance. Most of Vivaldi's repertoire was rediscovered only in the first half of the 20th century in Turin and Genoa and was published in the second half. Vivaldi's music is innovative, breaking a consolidated tradition in schemes; he gave brightness to the formal and the rhythmic structure of the concerto, repeatedly looking for harmonic contrasts and innovative melodies and themes. Moreover, Vivaldi was able to compose nonacademic music, particularly meant to be appreciated by the wide public and not only by an intellectual minority. The joyful appearance of his music reveals in this regard a transmissible joy of composing; these are among the causes of the vast popularity of his music. This popularity soon made him famous in other countries such as France which was, at the time, very independent concerning its musical taste.
Vivaldi is considered one of the composers who brought Baroque music (with its typical contrast among heavy sonorities) to evolve into a classical style. Johann Sebastian Bach was deeply influenced by Vivaldi's concertos and arias (recalled in his Johannes Passion, MatthÃ¤uspassion, and cantatas). Bach transcribed a number of Vivaldi's concerti for solo keyboard, along with a number for orchestra, including the famous Concerto for Four Violins and Violoncello, Strings and Continuo (RV 580).
Éric Alfred Leslie Satie (Honfleur, 17 May 1866 – Paris, 1 July 1925) was a French composer and pianist. Starting with his first composition in 1884, he signed his name as Erik Satie.
Satie was introduced as a "gymnopedist" in 1887, shortly before writing his most famous compositions, the Gymnopédies. Later, he also referred to himself as a "phonometrician" (meaning "someone who measures sounds") preferring this designation to that of "musician", after having been called "a clumsy but subtle technician" in a book on contemporary French composers published in 1911.
In addition to his body of music, Satie also left a remarkable set of writings, having contributed work for a range of publications, from the dadaist 391 to the American Vanity Fair. Although in later life he prided himself on always publishing his work under his own name, in the late nineteenth century he appears to have used pseudonyms such as Virginie Lebeau and François de Paule in some of his published writings.
Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde. He was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, repetitive music, and the Theatre of the Absurd.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a 2005 fantasy film directed by Andrew Adamson based on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first published novel in C. S. Lewis's children's fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia. It was produced by Walden Media and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. Four British children are evacuated during the Blitz to the countryside, and find a wardrobe that leads to the fantasy world of Narnia, where they ally with the Lion Aslan against the forces of the White Witch.
It was released on December 9, 2005 in both Europe and North America to positive reviews and was highly successful at the box office. It won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Make Up and various other awards, and is the first of what will be a series of films based on the books. An Extended Edition was released on December 12, 2006 and was only made available on DVD until January 31, 2007. It was the best selling DVD in North America in 2006.
Franz Liszt (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist and teacher.
Liszt became renowned throughout Europe for his great skill as a performer; to this day, many consider him to have been the greatest pianist in history. 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 and Hector Berlioz.
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 oeuvre, 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.
Liszt has most frequently been credited to have been the first pianist who gave concerts with programs consisting only of solo pieces. An example is a concert he gave on March 9, 1839, at the Palazzo Poli in Rome. Since Liszt could not find singers who — following the usual habit of the time — should have completed the program, he played four numbers all alone.
Liszt was a prolific composer. Most of his music is for the piano and much of it requires formidable technique.In his most famous and virtuosic works, he is the archetypal Romantic composer. Liszt pioneered the technique of thematic transformation, a method of development which was related to both the existing variation technique and to the new use of the Leitmotif by Richard Wagner. Liszt's piano works are usually divided into two classes. On the one hand, there are "original works", and on the other hand "transcriptions", "paraphrases" or "fantasies" on works by other composers.
Franz Peter Schubert (January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828) was an Austrian composer. He wrote some 600 lieder, nine symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), liturgical music, operas, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. He is particularly noted for his original melodic and harmonic writing.
While Schubert had a close circle of friends and associates who admired his work (including his teacher Antonio Salieri, and the prominent singer Johann Michael Vogl), wider appreciation of his music during his lifetime was limited at best. He was never able to secure adequate permanent employment, and for most of his career he relied on the support of friends and family. Interest in Schubert's work increased dramatically in the decades following his death and he is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.
While he was clearly influenced by the Classical sonata forms of Beethoven and Mozart (his early works, among them notably the 5th Symphony, are particularly Mozartean), his formal structures and his developments tend to give the impression more of melodic development than of harmonic drama. This combination of Classical form and long-breathed Romantic melody sometimes lends them a discursive style: his 9th Symphony was described by Robert Schumann as running to "heavenly lengths". His harmonic innovations include movements in which the first section ends in the key of the subdominant rather than the dominant (as in the last movement of the Trout Quintet). Schubert's practice here was a forerunner of the common Romantic technique of relaxing, rather than raising, tension in the middle of a movement, with final resolution postponed to the very end.
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.
Bryan Adams (born Bryan Guy Adams on November 5, 1959) is Grammy Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter. As of 2008, Adams has released eleven studio albums and 16 albums overall. He has been nominated for 3 Academy Awards and 5 Golden Globes for song writing in motion pictures.
Adams is a Grammy Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter. Adams' career was launched with his 1980 debut album Bryan Adams, a rock album that garned limited success. His fourth album Reckless was released in 1984 with sales more then five million copies sold in the United States. In 1991, he released Waking Up the Neighbours which debuted at number one on several national music charts. The album reached sales of more than 10 million units worldwide, which 3 million copies was sold in the United States.
The Little Mermaid is a 1989 animated feature produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation with pencil test began on September 23, 1988 and first released on November 17, 1989 by Walt Disney Pictures with the first Wallace and Gromit short film, A Grand Day Out. The twenty-eighth animated feature in the Disney animated features canon, the film is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale "The Little Mermaid." During its initial release, it grossed over $84 million in the United States and an additional $99 million internationally.
The film is given credit for breathing life back into the animated feature film genre after a string of critical and commercial failures that had dated to the early 1980s. It also marked the start of the era known as Disney Renaissance.
A stage adaptation of the film with a book by Doug Wright and additional songs by Alan Menken and new lyricist Glenn Slater opened in Denver in July 2007 and began performances on Broadway.
The Little Mermaid: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack is the soundtrack to Disney's 1989 animated feature The Little Mermaid. It contains the songs from the film written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as the film's score composed by Alan Menken. The album received the Academy Award for Best Original Score and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.
In October 2006, a new two-disc special edition version of the soundtrack was released to correspond with the two-disc Platinum Edition DVD release of The Little Mermaid. The first disc remains identical to the original release, yet with remastered audio, while the newly added second disc is composed of various newly recorded version of the film's songs by different artists, such as Ashley Tisdale, Raven-Symoné, The Jonas Brothers, and Jessica Simpson. It also includeds two videos, as well as new cover art.
Legally Blonde is a musical based on the Amanda Brown novel and the 2001 film of the same name. The musical features a book by Heather Hach, music and lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin, with direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell.
After a pre-Broadway tryout in San Francisco, California, the musical opened on Broadway on April 29, 2007 to mostly positive reviews. The musical was recorded for MTV in September 2007 and aired in October 2007.
A United States first national touring production is currently in production.
Legally Blonde played its final performance on Broadway on October 19, 2008.
The Bukas Palad Music Ministry (Filipino for Generous, literally translated as Open Palm in English) is a Roman Catholic community of young people who compose, record, and perform original Filipino religious music. Since 1986, Bukas Palad has recorded over a dozen albums with the Jesuit Music Ministry of Jesuit Communications Foundation, a ministry of the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus, based in the Ateneo de Manila University campus. and has performed in over a hundred solo concerts across the Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong, and the United States.
Evanescence is an American rock band founded in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995 by singer/pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody.
After recording two private EPs and a demo CD named Origin, with the help of Bigwig Enterprises in 2000, the band released their first full-length album, Fallen, on Wind-up Records in 2003. Fallen sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and helped the band win two Grammy Awards. A year later, Evanescence released their first live album, Anywhere but Home, which sold more than one million copies worldwide. In 2006, the band released their second studio album, The Open Door, which has sold more than four million copies.
The band has suffered several line-up changes, including co-founder Moody leaving in 2003, followed by guitarist John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray in 2007. Lee is now the only original member of Evanescence remaining in the band.
Enya (born Eithne Patricia NÃ BhraonÃ¡inon May 17, 1961, Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal, Ireland), sometimes presented in the media as Enya Brennan, is an Irish singer, instrumentalist and composer. She is Ireland's best-selling solo artist and is officially the country's second biggest musical export (after U2). Her works have earned her four Grammy Awards and an Academy Award nomination, and she is also famous for performing in 10 different languages during her lengthy career. Enya is an approximate transcription of how Eithne is pronounced in her native Irish, in the Donegal dialect.
The Carpenters were a vocal and instrumental duo, consisting of siblings Karen and Richard Carpenter. Though often referred to by the public as "The Carpenters", the duo's official name on authorized recordings and press materials is simply "Carpenters", without the definite article. During a period in the 1970s when louder and wilder rock was in great demand, Richard and Karen produced a distinctively soft musical style that made them one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
The Carpenters' melodic pop charted a record-breaking score of hit recordings on the American Top 40 and Adult Contemporary charts, becoming leading sellers in the soft rock, easy listening and adult contemporary genres. The Carpenters had three #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and fifteen #1 hits on the Adult Contemporary Chart (see The Carpenters discography). In addition, they had twelve top 10 singles (including their #1 hits). To date, The Carpenters' album and single sales total more than 100 million units.
During their fourteen-year career, The Carpenters recorded eleven albums, five of which contained top 10 singles (Close to You, Carpenters, A Song for You, Now & Then and Horizon), thirty-one singles, five television specials, and one short-lived television series. They toured in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, the Netherlands and Belgium. Their recording career ended with Karen's death on February 4, 1983. Karen passed away due to a cardiac arrest due to complications of anorexia nervosa. Extensive news coverage of the circumstances surrounding her death increased public awareness of the consequences of eating disorders.
Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi (May 15, 1567 (baptized) â November 29, 1643), was an Italian composer, gambist, and singer.
Monteverdi's work, often regarded as revolutionary, marked the transition from the music of the Renaissance to that of the Baroque. Enjoying fame in his lifetime, he wrote one of the earliest operas, L'Orfeo, which is still regularly performed.
Monteverdi composed at least eighteen operas, but only L'Orfeo, L'incoronazione di Poppea, Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria and the famous aria, Lamento, from his second opera L'Arianna have survived. From monody (with melodic lines, intelligible text and placid accompanying music), it was a logical step for Monteverdi to begin composing opera, especially for a dramatically inclined composer who loved grand effect. In 1607, the premiere of his first opera, L'Orfeo, took place in Mantua. It was normal at that time for composers to create works on demand for special occasions, and this piece was part of the ducal celebrations of carnival. (Monteverdi was later to write for the first opera houses supported by ticket sales which opened in Venice). L'Orfeo has dramatic power and lively orchestration and is arguably the first example of a composer assigning specific instruments to parts in operas. It is also one of the first large compositions in which the exact instrumentation of the premiere has come down to us.
Fort Minor is a hip hop music side project of Mike Shinoda, vocalist of the rock band Linkin Park. Shinoda's first solo album as Fort Minor, The Rising Tied, was released in 2005 with the singles "Where'd You Go" featuring Holly Brook and Jonah Matranga and "Remember the Name". Jay-Z, the hip-hop artist who previously collaborated with Linkin Park on the 2004 album Collision Course, was the executive producer for The Rising Tied. Fort Minor Militia is the official fan club of the project, similar to Linkin Park Underground.
Kelly Brianne Clarkson (born April 24, 1982) is an American pop rock singer, songwriter, and occasional actress. Clarkson made her debut under RCA Records after she won the highly-publicized first season of the television series American Idol in 2002. She was originally marketed as a pop musician with her debut album Thankful (2003). With the release of her multi-platinum second album Breakaway (2004), Clarkson moved to a more pop rock-oriented style of music. Clarkson's third album, entitled My December, was released on June 26, 2007. Her fourth album is due in fall 2008. Clarkson has sold over 19 million albums worldwide. Clarkson is the most successful American Idol alumna, with eight of her singles becoming Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2008, she joined Vh1's list of 10 sexiest women of the new millennium at #8. She also hit #28 on Vh1's Top 30 Hottest Rock Front women.
Genesis are an English rock band that formed in 1967. The band currently comprises the longest-tenured members Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks. Past members Peter Gabriel, Anthony Phillips and Steve Hackett also played major roles in the band in its early years. Genesis are among the top 30 highest-selling recording artists of all time with approximately 150 million albums sold worldwide.
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.
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.
The Hush Sound is an indie quartet originating in Chicago, Illinois. Initially named "The Hush," the band later changed their name to "The Hush Sound" due to the discovery of a rapper with the same name. The band consists of Bob Morris on vocals and guitar, Chris Faller on bass and vocals, Darren Wilson on drums and vocals, and Greta Salpeter on vocals and piano.
In 2005, the band released their first studio album So Sudden. Their second studio album, Like Vines, was released in 2006 under the independent record label, Fueled by Ramen. Their third album, Goodbye Blues, was recorded in October and November 2007 in Los Angeles and was released March 18, 2008.
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.
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.
The King and I is a musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Its script is based on the book Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon. The plot comes from the story written by Anna Leonowens, who became school teacher to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the early 1860s. Leonowens' story, The English Governess at the Siamese Court, was autobiographical, although its objective accuracy is questionable; in Thailand, the possession of anything related to Anna and the King of Siam or The King and I is illegal, because of the historical inaccuracies about the King of Siam.
The musical opened on Broadway in 1951 and was the sixth collaboration for the team of Rodgers and Hammerstein. It ran for 1,246 performances, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical, among other awards. It spawned numerous revivals and a popular 1956 film version.
The best-known songs from the musical are probably "I Whistle a Happy Tune," "Getting to Know You," "Hello, Young Lovers," and "Shall We Dance?" The most colorful number in the musical, visually (to Western audiences), is the ballet "Small House of Uncle Thomas," choreographed by Jerome Robbins.
Rodgers and Hammerstein knew they were writing for stars — Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner, the original Broadway leads — who were primarily actors rather than singers. Therefore, they reserved the sweeping, more challenging melodies for the characters of Tuptim and Lun Tha and kept the songs sung by the other leads simple.
Mary Martin, who had starred in South Pacific by Rodgers and Hammerstein a few years previously, was an investor in The King and I. When Gertrude Lawrence wanted to have a song with the children, Martin suggested that Rodgers and Hammerstein write new lyrics for "Suddenly Lovely," which had been cut out from South Pacific. The song then became "Getting to Know You."
The Verve (originally Verve) are an English rock band formed in Wigan, Greater Manchester in 1989 at Winstanley Sixth Form College, by vocalist Richard Ashcroft, guitarist Nick McCabe, bassist Simon Jones, and drummer Peter Salisbury. Simon Tong later became a member. The band split in April 1999 due to inner conflicts which led to McCabe's departure. The band's original line-up reunited in June 2007. The band embarked on a tour in late 2007 and released Forth in August 2008.
Beginning with a psychedelic sound indebted to space rock and shoegazing, by the mid-1990s the band had released several EPs and two acclaimed records. They also endured name and lineup changes, breakups, health problems, drug abuse and various lawsuits. The band's commercial breakthrough was the album Urban Hymns and its single "Bitter Sweet Symphony", which became a massive worldwide hit. Soon after this commercial peak, the band broke up, citing creative struggles between band members. By then, The Verve had become one of the most influential British alternative rock acts of the decade.
Mike Gee of iZINE said, "...The Verve, as he (Richard Ashcroft) promised, had become the greatest band in the world. Most of the critics agreed with him. Most paid due homage. The Verve were no longer the question mark or the cliché. They were the statement and the definition."
Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1970) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. She made her recording debut in 1990 under the guidance of Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola, and became the first recording artist to have her first five singles top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Following her marriage to Mottola in 1993, a series of hit records established her position as Columbia's highest-selling act. According to Billboard magazine, she was the most successful artist of the 1990s in the United States.
Following her separation from Mottola in 1997, Carey introduced elements of hip hop into her album work, to much initial success, but her popularity was in decline when she left Columbia in 2001, and she was dropped by Virgin Records the following year after a highly publicized physical and emotional breakdown, as well as the poor reception given to Glitter, her film and soundtrack project. In 2002, Carey signed with Island Records, and after a relatively unsuccessful period, she returned to pop music in 2005.
Carey was named the best-selling female pop artist of the millennium at the 2000 World Music Awards. She has had the most number-one singles for a solo artist in the United States (eighteen; second artist overall behind The Beatles), where, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, she is the third best-selling female and sixteenth overall recording artist. In addition to her commercial accomplishments, Carey has earned five Grammy Awards, and is well-known for her vocal range, power, melismatic style, and use of the whistle register.
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.
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.
Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim (January 25, 1927 in Rio de Janeiro – December 8, 1994 in New York City), also known as Tom Jobim, was a Grammy Award-winning Brazilian songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, and pianist/guitarist. A primary force behind the creation of the bossa nova style, Jobim is acknowledged as one of the most influential popular composers of the 20th century. His songs have been performed by many singers and instrumentalists within Brazil and internationally.
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.
Avril Lavigne Whibley (born September 27, 1984), better known by her birth name of Avril Lavigne, is a Canadian Grammy award-nominated rock singer, musician, fashion designer and actress. In 2006, Canadian Business Magazine ranked her the seventh most powerful Canadian in Hollywood.
Lavigne's debut album, Let Go, was released in 2002. Over 16 million copies were sold worldwide and it was certified six times platinum in the United States. Her second and third albums, Under My Skin (2004) sold over 8 million copies and The Best Damn Thing (2007) currently over 6 million copies sold respectively, reached number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. Lavigne has scored six number one songs worldwide to date and a total of eleven top ten hits, including "Complicated", "Sk8er Boi", "I'm With You", "My Happy Ending", and "Girlfriend" which became #1 hits in the ARC Top 40. In December 2007, Lavigne was ranked at #7 in the Forbes "Top 20 Earners Under 25", with an annual earnings of $12 million. Currently, Avril Lavigne has sold about 30 million albums worldwide.
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