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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.
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom which was created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. It is a satirical parody of the middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its titular family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield, and it lampoons many aspects of the human condition, as well as American culture, society as a whole, and television itself.
The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with the producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show and was an early hit for Fox, becoming the first Fox series to land in the Top 30 ratings in a season (1992-1993).
Since its debut on December 17, 1989, the show has broadcast 420 episodes and the twentieth season will commence airing in on September 28, 2008. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 26 and July 27, 2007, and has grossed approximately US$526.2 million worldwide to date.
The Simpsons has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series, including 24 Emmy Awards, 26 Annie Awards and a Peabody Award. Time magazine's December 31, 1999 issue named it the 20th century's best television series, and on January 14, 2000 it was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Simpsons is the longest-running American sitcom and the longest-running American animated program. Homer's annoyed grunt "D'oh!" has been adopted into the English lexicon, while The Simpsons has influenced many adult-oriented animated sitcoms.
The series' distinctive theme song was composed by musician Danny Elfman in 1989, after Groening approached him requesting a retro style piece. This piece, which took two days to create, has been noted by Elfman as the most popular of his career.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a musical film released in 1954. It was directed by Stanley Donen, with music by Saul Chaplin and Gene de Paul, and lyrics by Johnny Mercer. The script (by Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich, and Dorothy Kingsley) is based on the short story The Sobbin' Women, by Stephen Vincent Benét, which was based in turn on the Ancient Roman legend of The Rape of the Sabine Women. The film was a 1954 Oscar nominee for Best Picture.
The film is particularly known for the unusual choreography by Michael Kidd, which makes dance numbers out of such mundane frontier pursuits as chopping wood and (most famously) raising a barn.
Michelle Jacquet Branch-Landau (born July 2, 1983) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. She made her debut in 2000, and released the platinum-selling albums The Spirit Room and Hotel Paper in August 2001 and June 2003 respectively. During this period, she collaborated with Santana on the single "The Game of Love", which won a Grammy Award. In 2004, she formed the musical duo The Wreckers with fellow musician Jessica Harp. Michelle Branch will release her first solo album with Warner Bros. Nashville, Everything Comes and Goes, in February 2009.
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (April 29, 1899 â May 24, 1974) was an American composer, pianist, and bandleader.
Recognized during his life as one of the most influential figures in jazz, if not in all American music, Ellington's reputation has increased since his death, including a special award citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board.
Ellington called his style and sound "American Music" rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond category", including many of the musicians who served with his orchestra, some of whom were themselves considered among the giants of jazz and remained with Ellington's orchestra for decades. While many were noteworthy in their own right, it was Ellington that melded them into one of the most well-known orchestral units in the history of jazz. He often composed specifically for the style and skills of these individuals, such as "Jeep's Blues" for Johnny Hodges, "Concerto for Cootie" ("Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me") for Cootie Williams and "The Mooche" for Tricky Sam Nanton. He also recorded songs written by his bandsmen, such as Juan Tizol's "Caravan" and "Perdido" which brought the "Spanish Tinge" to big-band jazz. After 1941, he frequently collaborated with composer-arranger Billy Strayhorn, who he called his alter-ego.
One of the twentieth century's best-known African-American celebrities, Ellington recorded for many American record companies, and appeared in several films. Ellington and his orchestra toured the United States and Europe regularly before and after World War II. Ellington led his band from 1923 until his death in 1974. His son Mercer Ellington took over the band until his death from cancer in 1996. Paul Ellington, Mercer's youngest son, took over the Orchestra from there and after his mother's passing took over the Estate of Duke and Mercer Ellington.
Thomas Alan Waits (born 7 December 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car." With this trademark growl, his incorporation of pre-rock styles such as blues, jazz, and vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music, Waits has built up a distinctive musical persona. He has worked as a composer for movies and musical plays and as a supporting actor in films, including The Fisher King, Coffee & Cigarettes, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Short Cuts. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his soundtrack work on One from the Heart.
Lyrically, Waits' songs contain atmospheric portrayals of bizarre, seedy characters and places, although he has also shown a penchant for more conventional ballads. He has a cult following and has influenced subsequent songwriters despite having little radio or music video support. His songs are best-known to the general public in the form of cover versions by more visible artistsâfor example, "Jersey Girl," performed by Bruce Springsteen; "Downtown Train" and "Tom Traubert's Blues" performed by Rod Stewart; and "Ol' '55," performed by the Eagles. Although Waits' albums have met with mixed commercial success in his native United States, they have occasionally achieved gold album sales status in other countries. He has been nominated for a number of major music awards and has won Grammy Awards for two albums, Bone Machine and Mule Variations.
Waits currently lives in Sonoma County, California with his wife and their three children.
Britney Jean Spears (born 2 December 1981) is an American singer and entertainer. Born in McComb, Mississippi and raised in Kentwood, Louisiana, Spears first appeared on national television as a contestant on the Star Search program in 1992 and went on to star on the television series The New Mickey Mouse Club from 1993–1994. After a brief membership with the pop musical group Innosense, Spears signed a recording contract with Jive Records, releasing her debut album ...Baby One More Time in 1999 which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.
The title-track of Spears's debut album and its accompanying music video also established her as an international sex symbol, garnering controversy over the influence of her public image on teenage girls.
Spears is ranked as the eighth best-selling female recording artist in the United States according to the Recording Industry Association of America with 31 million certified albums and one of the world's best-selling music artists having sold an estimated 83 million records worldwide.
Les Misérables, colloquially known as Les Mis or Les Miz, is a musical composed in 1980 by the French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg with a libretto by Alain Boublil. Sung through, it is perhaps the most famous of all French musicals and one of the most performed musicals worldwide. On October 8, 2006, the show celebrated its 21st anniversary and became the longest-running West End musical in history and is still running (though it has changed venues).
Among the most famous songs of this Tony award-winning musical are "I Dreamed a Dream", "One Day More", "A Heart Full of Love", "Stars", "Bring Him Home", "Do You Hear the People Sing?", "Master of the House", and "On My Own."
The musical is based on the 1862 novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. Set in early 19th century France, it follows the intertwining stories of a cast of characters as they struggle for redemption and revolution. The characters include a paroled convict named Jean Valjean who, failing attempts to find work as an honest man with his yellow ticket of leave, breaks his parole and conceals his identity; the police inspector Javert who becomes obsessed with finding Valjean; Fantine, the single mother who is forced to become a prostitute to support her daughter; Cosette, who eventually falls in love with a French student named Marius Pontmercy. After Fantine dies, Cosette becomes Jean Valjean's adopted daughter; the Thénardiers, the unscrupulous innkeepers who thrive on cheating and stealing; Éponine, their young daughter who is hopelessly in love with Marius; Gavroche, a young beggar boy; and student leader Enjolras who plans the revolt to free the oppressed lower classes of France. The main characters are joined by an ensemble that includes prostitutes, student revolutionaries, factory workers, and others.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is the second musical theatre show written by the team of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, and their first performed, as its predecessor, The Likes of Us, was not performed until 2005.
Based on the "Coat of many colors" story of Joseph from the Bible, this light-hearted show was first presented as a fifteen-minute pop cantata at Colet Court school in London on March 1, 1968.
It was released as a film (starring Donny Osmond) in 1999.
Richard Clayderman (born Philippe Pagès on December 28, 1953, Paris) is a French pianist who has released numerous albums including the original compositions by Paul de Senneville and Olivier Toussaint, and instrumental renditions of popular music, rearrangements of movie sound tracks, ethnic music, and easy-listening arrangements of most popular works of classical music.
In 1976 he was invited from Olivier Toussaint a French record producer and his partner Paul de Senneville to record a gentle piano ballad. Paul de Senneville had composed this ballad as a tribute to his new born daughter “Adeline”. The 23 year old Philippe Pagès was auditioned along with 20 other pianists. They liked his special and soft touch on the keyboards combined with his good looks and fine personality, and finally he got the job.
Philippe Pagès' name was changed to Richard Clayderman (he adopted his great-grandmother's last name to avoid mispronunciation of his real name outside France), and the single took off, selling an astonishing 22 million copies in 38 countries. It was called Ballade pour Adeline.
Johann Sebastian Bach (21 March 1685, O.S.31 March 1685, N.S. – 28 July 1750, N.S.) was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity. Although he did not introduce new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France.
Revered for their intellectual depth, technical command and artistic beauty, Bach's works include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Partitas, The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Mass in B minor, the St Matthew Passion, the St John Passion, the Magnificat, A Musical Offering, The Art of Fugue, the English and French Suites, the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, the Cello Suites, more than 200 surviving cantatas, and a similar number of organ works, including the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor and Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, as well as the Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes and Organ Mass.
Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the main composers of the Baroque style, and as one of the greatest composers of all time.
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an influential American songwriter, singer and guitarist. He has recorded and toured with the E Street Band. Springsteen is widely known for his brand of heartland rock infused with pop hooks, poetic lyrics, and Americana sentiments centered around his native New Jersey. His eloquence in expressing ordinary, everyday problems has earned him numerous awards, including eighteen Grammy Awards and an Academy Award, along with a notoriously dedicated and devoted global fan base. His most famous albums, Born to Run and Born in the U.S.A., epitomize his penchant for finding grandeur in the struggles of daily life. He has sold over 65 million albums in the U.S.
Springsteen's lyrics often concern men and women struggling to make ends meet. He has gradually become identified with progressive politics. Springsteen is also noted for his support of various relief and rebuilding efforts in New Jersey and elsewhere, and for his response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, on which his album The Rising reflects.
Springsteen's recordings have tended to alternate between commercially accessible rock albums and somber folk-oriented works. Much of his iconic status stems from the concerts and marathon shows in which he and the E Street Band present intense ballads, rousing anthems, and party rock and roll songs, amongst which Springsteen intersperses long, whimsical or deeply emotional stories.
Springsteen has long had the nickname "The Boss", a term which he was initially reported to hate but now seems to have come to terms with, as he sometimes jokingly refers to himself as such on stage. The nickname originated when a young Springsteen, playing club gigs with a band in the 1960s, took on the task of collecting the band's nightly pay and distributing it amongst his bandmates.
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.
Corinne Bailey Rae (born Corinne Jacqueline Bailey on 26 February 1979) is an English singer-songwriter and guitarist who released her eponymous debut album Corinne Bailey Rae in February 2006. Rae was named the number-one predicted breakthrough act of 2006 in an annual BBC poll of music critics, Sound of 2006. The poll's predictions subsequently came true, as she became only the fourth female British act in history to have her first album debut at number one. She has been nominated for a BRIT Awards and has won two MOBO Awards
New Zealand singer/songwriter Katie Thompson clearly has a following. Her sophomore album “Impossible” was funded by fans from all over the world. Produced in the UK at Modern World Studios by renowned British producer Greg Haver, the album is a treasure-trove of rare and beautiful songs which blend elements of pop, folk and country.
Katie recently opened for Elton John at his only New Zealand concert. Katie is a nominee for Female Artist of the Year at the New Zealand Country Music Awards '12.
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.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, full name Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 â 5 December 1791) was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. His over 600 compositions include works widely acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. Mozart is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers, and many of his works are part of the standard concert repertoire.
Mozart's music, like Haydn's, stands as an archetypal example of the Classical style. His works spanned the period during which that style transformed from one exemplified by the style galant to one that began to incorporate some of the contrapuntal complexities of the late Baroque, complexities against which the galant style had been a reaction. Mozart's own stylistic development closely paralleled the development of the classical style as a whole. In addition, he was a versatile composer and wrote in almost every major genre, including symphony, opera, the solo concerto, chamber music including string quartet and string quintet, and the piano sonata. While none of these genres were new, the piano concerto was almost single-handedly developed and popularized by Mozart. He also wrote a great deal of religious music, including masses; and he composed many dances, divertimenti, serenades, and other forms of light entertainment.
The central traits of the classical style can be identified in Mozart's music. Clarity, balance, and transparency are hallmarks of his work.
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.
Five for Fighting is the stage name of American singer-songwriter John Ondrasik. His 2000 album America Town went platinum in the U.S. largely due to the success of the song "Superman (It's Not Easy)" following the September 11 attacks in 2001. The 2004 album The Battle for Everything has also enjoyed chart success in the United States. Ondrasik has also released a DualDisc of his 2004 album which has one side containing The Battle for Everything in its entirety and the other side being a DVD containing bonus footage and the "100 Years" music video. Five for Fighting's fourth album, Two Lights, was released on August 1, 2006.
Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrong (born 25 December 1971), is an English BRIT Award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated singer and songwriter.
Dido's mother, Claire (born Collins), is a French poet and her father, William O'Malley Armstrong (9 November 1938 – 22 December 2006) was an Irish publisher and former managing director of Sidgwick & Jackson.
Informally named after the mythical Carthaginian queen, Dido was educated at Thornhill Primary, City of London Girls' and Westminster School. Because she was born on Christmas Day, in childhood she celebrated, rather in the manner of the British monarch, an "official" birthday on 25 June.
After she stole a recorder from school at age five, her parents enrolled her at the Guildhall School of Music in London, England. By the time she reached her teens Dido had learned to play the piano, recorder and the violin. After her teens and whilst working as a literary agent, Dido studied law at Birkbeck, University of London, however, she never completed this course, deciding instead to take up music full-time. After learning the guitar, she showcased her skills to audiences during her 2004 Life for Rent tour.
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (4 January 1710 – 16 to 17 March 1736) was an Italian composer, violinist and organist.
Born at Jesi, Pergolesi studied music there under a local musician, Francesco Santini, before going to Naples in 1725, where he studied under Gaetano Greco and Francesco Feo among others. He spent most of his brief life working for aristocratic patrons like the Colonna principe di Stigliano, and duca Marzio IV Maddaloni Carafa.
Pergolesi was one of the most important early composers of opera buffa (comic opera). His opera seria, Il prigionier superbo, contained the two act buffa intermezzo, La Serva Padrona (The Servant Mistress, August 28, 1733), which became a very popular work in its own right. When it was performed in Paris in 1752, it prompted the so-called Querelle des Bouffons ("quarrel of the comedians") between supporters of serious French opera by the likes of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Jean-Philippe Rameau and supporters of new Italian comic opera. Pergolesi was held up as a model of the Italian style during this quarrel, which divided Paris's musical community for two years.
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.
Edges (sometimes produced as Edges: A Song Cycle) is a work of musical theatre by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. It is a song cycle about coming of age, growth and self-discovery of people mostly in their 20s. Its most famous song, "Be My Friend", has come to be commonly known as the "Facebook song".
Hercules is a 1997 American animated musical feature film, produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures on June 27, 1997. The thirty-fifth animated feature in the Disney animated features canon, the film was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. This movie was based on the legendary Greek mythology hero Heracles (known in the film by his Roman name, Hercules), the son of Zeus, in Greek mythology. The storyline also draws inspiration from The Karate Kid, Rocky, Superman: The Movie, and Superman II.
Though Hercules did not match the financial success of Disney's early-1990s releases, the film made $99 million in revenue in the United States during its theatrical release and $252,700,000 worldwide. The film is part of the Disney Renaissance that started in 1989 and ended in 1999. Hercules was later followed by the direct-to-video prequel Hercules: Zero to Hero, which served as a prequel to Hercules: The Animated Series, a syndicated Disney TV series focusing on Hercules during his time at the Prometheus academy.
Caroline, or Change is a through-composed Broadway musical with book and lyrics by Tony Kushner and score by Jeanine Tesori that combines negro spirituals, blues, Motown, classical music, and Jewish Klezmer and folk music.
The musical was first workshopped in May 1999 at New York's Public Theater. Director George C. Wolfe continued to workshop the musical at the Public Theater through 2003, when the show finally opened. After a successful run Off-Broadway, it transferred to the Eugene O'Neill Theatre and ran from May 2, 2004 to August 29, 2004 for a total of 136 performances, starring Tonya Pinkins in the title role. Despite its relatively short run, it was critically acclaimed and nominated for several Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Opening in October 2006, a London production at the National Theatre on the Lyttelton stage, also directed by Wolfe, ran in rep with Marianne Elliot's production of Therese Raquin to January 2007. The production did not transfer to the West End but did win the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. The production also starred Pinkins in the title role.
Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 film starring John Travolta as Tony Manero, a troubled Brooklyn youth whose weekend activities are dominated by visits to a local discothèque. While in the disco, Tony is the king, and the visits help him to temporarily forget the reality of his life: a dead-end job, clashes with his unsupportive and squabbling parents, tensions in the local community, and his associations with a gang of dead-beat friends.
A huge commercial success, the movie significantly helped to popularize disco music around the world and made Travolta a household name. The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, featuring disco songs by the Bee Gees, became the best selling soundtrack at that time and held the record until 1999 when soundtrack to The Bodyguard overtook it. The film is also notable for being one of the first instances of cross-media marketing, with the tie-in soundtrack's single being used to help promote the film before its release and the film popularizing the entire soundtrack after its release.
The story is based upon a 1976 New York magazine article by British writer Nik Cohn, "Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night." In the late-1990s, Cohn acknowledged that the article had been fabricated. A newcomer to the United States and a stranger to the disco lifestyle, Cohn was unable to make any sense of the subculture he had been assigned to write about. The characters who were to become Tony Manero and his friends sprang almost completely from his imagination. The film also showcased aspects of the music, the dancing, and the subculture surrounding the disco era: symphony-orchestrated melodies, haute-couture styles of clothing, sexual promiscuity, and graceful choreography.
John Stephens (born December 28, 1978) better known by his stage name John Legend, is an American soul singer, songwriter, and pianist. His debut studio album, the multiplatinum-selling Get Lifted, was released in late 2004, and features collaborations with rapper and producer Kanye West as well as Snoop Dogg. Get Lifted produced two singles: "Used to Love U" (US top 100, UK top 30) and "Ordinary People" (US and UK top 30). Legend has won five Grammy Awards. Prior to the release of his debut album, Legend's career gained momentum through a series of successful collaborations with multiple established artists. Notably, Legend sang the hooks for hits by Slum Village ("Selfish", also featuring Kanye West), Jay-Z ("Encore"), and Dilated Peoples ("This Way", also featuring Kanye West); played piano on Lauryn Hill's "Everything is Everything"; and sang background vocals on Alicia Keys' "You Don't Know My Name" and Fort Minor's "High Road."
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.
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.
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.
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (December 22, 1858 – November 29, 1924) was an Italian composer whose operas, including La Bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly, are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire. Some of his arias, such as "O Mio Babbino Caro" from Gianni Schicchi, "Che gelida manina" from La Bohème, and "Nessun Dorma" from Turandot, have become part of popular culture.
The subject of Puccini's style is one that has been long avoided by musicologists; this avoidance can perhaps be attributed to the perception that his work, with its emphasis on melody and evident popular appeal, lacked "seriousness" (a similar prejudice beset Rachmaninoff during his lifetime). Despite the place Puccini clearly occupies in the popular tradition of Verdi, his style of orchestration also shows the strong influence of Wagner, matching specific orchestral configurations and timbres to different dramatic moments. His operas contain an unparalleled manipulation of orchestral colors, with the orchestra often creating the scene’s atmosphere.
The structures of Puccini's works are also noteworthy. While it is to an extent possible to divide his operas into arias or numbers (like Verdi's), his scores generally present a very strong sense of continuous flow and connectivity, perhaps another sign of Wagner’s influence. Like Wagner, Puccini used leitmotifs to connote characters (or combinations of characters). This is apparent in Tosca, where the three chords which signal the beginning of the opera are used throughout to announce Scarpia. Several motifs are also linked to Mimi and the Bohemians in La Bohème and to Cio-Cio-San's eventual suicide in Butterfly. Unlike Wagner, though, Puccini's motifs are static: where Wagner's motifs develop into more complicated figures as the characters develop, Puccini's remain more or less identical throughout the opera (in this respect anticipating the themes of modern musical theatre).
Glee is a musical comedy-drama television series that airs on Fox in the United States. It focuses on the high school glee club New Directions competing on the show choir competition circuit, while its members deal with relationships, sexuality and social issues. The initial main cast encompassed club director and Spanish teacher Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch), guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays), Will's wife Terri (Jessalyn Gilsig), and eight club members played by Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Amber Riley, Mark Salling and Jenna Ushkowitz. For the second season, formerly recurring cast members Mike O'Malley, Heather Morris and Naya Rivera were promoted to the main cast.
The series was created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, who first conceived Glee as a film. The pilot episode was broadcast on May 19, 2009, and the first season aired from September 9, 2009 to June 8, 2010. The second season began airing on September 21, 2010, and a third season has been commissioned. Glee features on-screen performance-based musical numbers that are selected by Murphy, who aims to maintain a balance between show tunes and chart hits. Songs covered in the show are released through the iTunes Store during the week of broadcast, and a series of Glee albums have been released by Columbia Records. The music of Glee has been a commercial success, with over thirteen million digital single sales and five million album sales. The series' merchandise also includes DVD and Blu-Ray releases, a young adult book series, an iPad application, and a karaoke game for the Wii.
During its first season, Glee received generally favorable reviews from critics, with Metacritic's weighted average based on the impression of 18 critical reviews of 77 percent. The season was nominated for nineteen Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, six Satellite Awards and fifty-seven other awards, with wins including the 2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series—Musical or Comedy, and Emmy awards for Lynch, guest-star Neil Patrick Harris and Murphy's direction of the pilot episode. The second season has currently been nominated for five Golden Globes including Best Television Series in a Comedy and as well as nominations for Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, Lea Michele and Chris Colfer.
Michael Lee Aday (born Marvin Lee Aday; September 27, 1947), better known by his stage name Meat Loaf, is an American rock musician and actor of stage and screen. He is noted for the Bat out of Hell album trilogy that he created consisting of Bat out of Hell, Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell, and Bat out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose and several famous songs from popular films. The Neverland Express is the name of the band he fronts as its lead singer. In 2001, he changed his first name to Michael. Despite setbacks (including multiple bankruptcies), Meat Loaf has had a successful music career, spawning some of the largest-selling albums, and breaking several records for chart duration. Bat out of Hell, the debut album which had been four years in the making, has sold over 37 million copies. After almost 30 years, it still sells an estimated 200,000 copies annually, and stayed on the charts for over 9 years. Each of the seven tracks on the album eventually charted as a hit single.
Although he enjoyed success with Bat out of Hell and Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell, Meat Loaf experienced some initial difficulty establishing a steady career within his native United States; however, he has retained iconic status and popularity in Europe, especially the UK, where he ranks 23rd for number of weeks overall spent on the charts, and is one of only two artists with an album never to have left the music charts. With the help of his New York collection of musicians — John Golden, Richard Raskin and Paul Jacobs — his European tours enjoyed immense popularity in the 1980s. In Germany, Meat Loaf became notably popular following the release of Bat out of Hell II but has enjoyed most of his success among pop/rock fans. He ranked 96th on VH1's '100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock'.
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