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"Charlie Christian had no more impact on my playing than Django Reinhardt or Lonnie Johnson. I just wanted to play like him. I wanted to play like all of them. All of these people were important to me. I couldn't play like any of them, though ..." B.B. King - The King of the Blues

Bill Evans
Bill Evans
William John Evans, known as Bill Evans (August 16, 1929 – September 15, 1980) was an American jazz pianist. His use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, and trademark rhythmically independent, "singing" melodic lines influenced a generation of pianists, including Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, John Taylor, Steve Kuhn, Don Friedman, Denny Zeitlin, Bobo Stenson and Keith Jarrett, as well as guitarists Lenny Breau and Pat Metheny. The music of Bill Evans continues to inspire younger pianists like Marcin Wasilewski, Fred Hersch, Ray Reach, Bill Charlap, Lyle Mays, Eliane Elias and arguably Brad Mehldau, early in his career.

Evans is an inductee of the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.
Moby
Moby
Richard Melville Hall, also known as Moby (born September 11, 1965 in Harlem, New York) is an American DJ, singer-songwriter and musician.

He plays keyboard, guitar, bass guitar and drums. After eight top 40 singles in the UK in the 1990s he released the album Play, in 1999, which sold 9 million copies worldwide. His follow up albums, 18, Hotel, and Last Night sold 6 million copies and have achieved gold and platinum status in over 30 countries.
Jerome Kern
Jerome Kern
Jerome David Kern (January 27, 1885 – November 11, 1945) was an American composer of musical theatre and popular music. One of the most important American theatre composers of the early 20th century, he wrote more than 700 songs, used in over 100 stage works, including such classics as "Ol' Man River", "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man", "A Fine Romance", "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", "All the Things You Are", "The Way You Look Tonight", "Long Ago (and Far Away)" and "Who?". He collaborated with many of the leading librettists and lyricists of his era, including George Grossmith Jr., Guy Bolton, P. G. Wodehouse, Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II, Dorothy Fields, Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin and E. Y. Harburg.
A native New Yorker, Kern created dozens of Broadway musicals and Hollywood films in a career that lasted for more than four decades. His musical innovations, such as 4/4 dance rhythms and the employment of syncopation and jazz progressions, built on, rather than rejected, earlier musical theatre tradition. He and his collaborators also employed his melodies to further the action or develop characterization to a greater extent than in the other musicals of his day, creating the model for later musicals. Although dozens of Kern's musicals and musical films were hits, only Show Boat is now regularly revived. Songs from his other shows, however, are still frequently performed and adapted. Although Kern detested jazz arrangements of his songs, many have been adopted by jazz musicians to become standard tunes.
Chopin
Chopin
Frédéric Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period. He is widely regarded as the greatest Polish composer, and ranks as one of music's greatest tone poets.

He was born in the village of Żelazowa Wola, in the Duchy of Warsaw, to a Polish mother and French-expatriate father, and in his early life was regarded as a child-prodigy pianist. In November 1830, at the age of 20, Chopin went abroad; following the suppression of the Polish November Uprising of 1830–31, he became one of many expatriates of the Polish "Great Emigration."

In Paris, he made a comfortable living as a composer and piano teacher, while giving few public performances. A Polish patriot,

Chopin's extant compositions were written primarily for the piano as a solo instrument. Though technically demanding, Chopin's style emphasizes nuance and expressive depth rather than virtuosity. Chopin invented musical forms such as the ballade and was responsible for major innovations in forms such as the piano sonata, waltz, nocturne, étude, impromptu and prelude. His works are mainstays of Romanticism in 19th-century classical music.
Brahms
Brahms
Johannes Brahms (May 7, 1833 – April 3, 1897) was a German composer of the Romantic period. He was born in Hamburg and in his later years he settled in Vienna, Austria.

Brahms maintained a Classical sense of form and order in his works – in contrast to the opulence of the music of many of his contemporaries. Thus many admirers (though not necessarily Brahms himself) saw him as the champion of traditional forms and "pure music," as opposed to the New German embrace of program music.

Brahms venerated Beethoven: in the composer's home, a marble bust of Beethoven looked down on the spot where he composed, and some passages in his works are reminiscent of Beethoven's style. The main theme of the finale of Brahms's First Symphony is reminiscent of the main theme of the finale of Beethoven's Ninth, and when this resemblance was pointed out to Brahms he replied that any ass – jeder Esel – could see that.

Ein deutsches Requiem was partially inspired by his mother's death in 1865, but also incorporates material from a Symphony he started in 1854, but abandoned following Schumann's suicide attempt. He once wrote that the Requiem "belonged to Schumann". The first movement of this abandoned Symphony was re-worked as the first movement of the First Piano Concerto.

Brahms also loved the Classical composers Mozart and Haydn. He collected first editions and autographs of their works, and edited performing editions. He also studied the music of pre-classical composers, including Giovanni Gabrieli, Johann Adolph Hasse, Heinrich Schütz and especially Johann Sebastian Bach. His friends included leading musicologists, and with Friedrich Chrysander he edited an edition of the works of François Couperin. He looked to older music for inspiration in the arts of strict counterpoint; the themes of some of his works are modelled on Baroque sources, such as Bach's The Art of Fugue in the fugal finale of Cello Sonata No. 1, or the same composer's Cantata No. 150 in the passacaglia theme of the Fourth Symphony's finale.
Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky (May 7 1840 – 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.
Howard Shore
Howard Shore
Howard Leslie Shore (born October 18, 1946) is a Canadian composer, notable for his film scores. He has composed the scores for over 40 films, most notably the scores for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, for which he won three Academy Awards. He is also a consistent collaborator with director David Cronenberg, having scored all but one of his films since 1979. Shore has also worked with Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, David Fincher and many other filmakers.
He has also composed a few concert works including one opera, The Fly, based on the plot (though not his score) of Cronenberg's 1986 film premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris on 2 July 2008., a short piece Fanfare for the Wanamaker Organ and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and a short overture for the Swiss 21st Century Symphony Orchestra.
Shore is a three-time winner of the Academy Award, and has also won two Golden Globe Awards and four Grammy Awards. He is the uncle of film composer Ryan Shore.
Jamey Aebersold
Jamey Aebersold
Jamey Aebersold (born July 21, 1939 in New Albany, Indiana) is an American jazz saxophonist and music educator. His "Play-A-Long" series of instructional book and CD collections, using the chord-scale system, the first of which was released in 1967, are an internationally renowned resource for jazz education. As of 2009, 126 of these collections have been published by Aebersold, who currently teaches musical improvisation at the University of Louisville. He is also an adept pianist, bassist, and banjoist.
Gabriel Faure
Gabriel Faure
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.
John Williams
John Williams
John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. In a career that spans six decades, Williams has composed many of the most famous film scores in Hollywood history, including Star Wars, Superman, Home Alone, the first three Harry Potter movies and all but two of Steven Spielberg's feature films including the Indiana Jones series, Schindler's List, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and Jaws. He also composed the soundtrack for the hit 1960s television series Lost in Space as well as the fanfare of the DreamWorks Pictures' logo.

Williams has composed theme music for four Olympic Games, the NBC Nightly News, the rededication of the Statue of Liberty, and numerous television series and concert pieces. He served as the principal conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra from 1980 to 1993, and is now the orchestra's laureate conductor.
Williams is a five-time winner of the Academy Award. He has also won four Golden Globe Awards, seven BAFTA Awards and 21 Grammy Awards. With 45 Academy Award nominations, Williams is, together with composer Alfred Newman, the second most nominated person after Walt Disney. He was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004.
Bach
Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and organist 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 introduced no new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organisation in composition for diverse musical forces, and the adaptation of rhythms and textures from abroad, particularly Italy and France.

Revered for their intellectual depth and technical and artistic beauty, Bach's works include the Brandenburg concertos; the Goldberg Variations; the English Suites, French Suites, Partitas, and Well-Tempered Clavier; the Mass in B Minor; the St. Matthew Passion; the St. John Passion; The Musical Offering; The Art of Fugue; the Sonatas and Partitas for violin solo; the Cello Suites; more than 200 surviving cantatas; and a similar number of organ works, including the celebrated Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

While Bach's fame as an organist was great during his lifetime, he was not particularly well-known as a composer. His adherence to Baroque forms and contrapuntal style was considered "old-fashioned" by his contemporaries, especially late in his career when the musical fashion tended towards Rococo and later Classical styles. A revival of interest and performances of his music began early in the 19th century, and he is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.
A Fine Frenzy
A Fine Frenzy
Alison Sudol (born December 23, 1985), known professionally as A Fine Frenzy (formerly Alison Monro She has also been very successful in the charts in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and France - amongst other countries. Her music has also been featured on numerous television shows as well as having a song on the drama movie Sleepwalking, starring Charlize Theron, Nick Stahl and child actress AnnaSophia Robb.
Norah Jones
Norah Jones
Norah Jones (born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar on March 30, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, keyboardist, guitarist, and occasional actress of Anglo-American and Bengali descent. She is the daughter of famed sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar and half-sister of sitarist Anoushka Shankar.

Jones' career was launched with her 2002 debut album Come Away with Me, an adult contemporary pop/vocal jazz album with a sensual, plaintive soul/folk/country tinge, that sold over twenty million copies worldwide and received five Grammy Awards, with Jones winning "Best New Artist". Her second album, Feels like Home, was released in 2004, clocking more than a million sales in the first week of U.S. release. In 2007, she released her third album, Not Too Late, which debuted at number one on the world charts. She has become one of the most successful recording artists of the decade, racking up sales of more than 16 million records in the US and 39 million records worldwide.
Guiseppe Verdi
Guiseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (Italian pronunciation: ; 10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901) was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture - such as "La donna è mobile" from Rigoletto, "Va, pensiero" (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco, "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" (The Drinking Song) from La traviata and the "Grand March" from Aida. Although his work was sometimes criticized for using a generally diatonic rather than a chromatic musical idiom and having a tendency toward melodrama, Verdi’s masterworks dominate the standard repertoire a century and a half after their composition.

Verdi's predecessors who influenced his music were Rossini, Bellini, Giacomo Meyerbeer and, most notably, Gaetano Donizetti and Saverio Mercadante. With the exception of Otello and Aida, he was free of Wagner's influence. Although respectful of Gounod, Verdi was careful not to learn anything from the Frenchman whom many of Verdi's contemporaries regarded as the greatest living composer. Some strains in Aida suggest at least a superficial familiarity with the works of the Russian composer Mikhail Glinka, whom Franz Liszt, after his tour of the Russian Empire as a pianist, popularized in Western Europe.
Throughout his career, Verdi rarely utilised the high C in his tenor arias, citing the fact that the opportunity to sing that particular note in front of an audience distracts the performer before and after the note appears. However, he did provide high Cs to Duprez in Jérusalem and to Tamberlick in the original version of La forza del destino. The high C often heard in the aria Di quella pira does not appear in Verdi's score.
Mozart
Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, full name Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 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.
Debussy
Debussy
Achille-Claude Debussy (August 22, 1862 – March 25, 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he is considered one of the most prominent figures working within the field of Impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions. Debussy was not only among the most important of all French composers but also was a central figure in all European music at the turn of the twentieth century.

Debussy's music virtually defines the transition from late-Romantic music to twentieth century modernist music. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as Symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant.
Marco Beltrami
Marco Beltrami
Marco Edward Jonathan Beltrami (born October 7, 1966) is an American composer and conductor of film and television scores. A prolific musician, he has worked in a number of genres, including horror (Mimic, The Faculty, Resident Evil, The Woman in Black, A Quiet Place), action (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Live Free or Die Hard, World War Z), science-fiction (I, Robot, Snowpiercer), Western (3:10 to Yuma, Jonah Hex, The Homesman), and superhero (Hellboy, The Wolverine, Logan).
Gino Paoli
Gino Paoli
Gino Paoli (Italian pronunciation: ; born 23 September 1934 in Monfalcone) is an Italian singer-songwriter. He is a seminal figure who has written a number of songs widely regarded as classics in Italian popular music, including: "Il cielo in una stanza", "Che cosa c'è", "Senza fine" and "Sapore di sale".
Big Bang
Big Bang
Big Bang (Korean: 빅뱅), commonly stylized as BIGBANG, is a Korean boyband made up of five Korean singers. Although their debut was somewhat successful, it was not until the release of "거짓말" ("Lies") that the group gained mainstream success.

Big Bang's music style can be classified for the most part as hip pop music (as seen with the songs "La, La, La" and "Goodbye Baby"), with a little vibe of R&B (as seen with the songs "We Belong Together" and "Forever With You"), dance ("Shake It") and mainstream ("This Love") music. Rock with "Oh My Friend". Finally, becoming the greatest hit songs of 2007, (as seen with the songs "Lies", "Last Farewell", and "Haru Haru (Day By Day)") electronica is seemingly becoming the new music trend in Korea. However, the members have branched out into different genres in their solo work, including singing ballads and mainstream pop music. Big Bang even once mentioned in an interview that if they want to, they might do trot someday. Daesung's first digital single, "Look at Me, GwiSun" ("날 봐, 귀순"), was a trot song, which had been somewhat controversial considering Big Bang's primary focus on hip-hop.

The members of Big Bang often contribute to writing lyrics for their own music as well as composing despite only debuting in 2006. The most notable from the group to compose and write is leader G-Dragon, as he has composed and written numerous songs for the group, including "Lies" and "Last Farewell." Aside from G-Dragon, the others members have contributed to writing lyrics as well. T.O.P has also written a song for their third mini album Stand up, called "Good Man". On a whole, Big Bang has received praises from critics, fans, and other singers alike for contributions to their own materials.
Kate Bush
Kate Bush
Kate Bush (born 30 July 1958) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer. Her eclectic musical style and idiosyncratic lyrics have made her one of England's most successful solo female performers of the past 30 years. Bush was signed by EMI at the age of 16 after being recommended by Pink Floyd's David Gilmour. In 1978, aged 19, she topped the UK charts for four weeks with her debut song "Wuthering Heights", becoming the first woman to have a UK number one with a self-written song.

After her 1979 tour, which is the only tour of her career, Bush released the 1980 album Never for Ever, which made her the first solo female British singer to top the UK album charts. In 1987, she won a BRIT Award for Best British Female Solo Artist. She has released eight albums, three of which topped the UK album charts, and has had UK top ten hit singles with "Running Up That Hill", "King of the Mountain", "Babooshka", "The Man with the Child in His Eyes", and "Don't Give Up".

In 2002, her songwriting ability was recognised with an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. In 2005, Bush released Aerial, her first album in 12 years. The album was a UK success and earned her a BRIT Award nomination for Best Album and another for Best Solo Female Artist. She has also been nominated for three Grammy Awards.
Astor Piazzolla
Astor Piazzolla
Ástor Pantaleón Piazzolla (March 11, 1921 – July 4, 1992) was an Argentine tango composer and bandoneón player. His oeuvre revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. An excellent bandoneonist, he regularly performed his own compositions with different ensembles.

Piazzolla's nuevo tango was distinct from the traditional tango in its incorporation of elements of jazz, its use of extended harmonies and dissonance, its use of counterpoint, and its ventures into extended compositional forms. As Argentine psychoanalyst Carlos Kuri has pointed out, Piazzolla's fusion of tango with this wide range of other recognizable Western musical elements was so successful that it produced a new individual style transcending these influences. It is precisely this success, and individuality, that makes it hard to pin down where particular influences reside in his compositions, but some aspects are clear. The use of the passacaglia technique of a circulating bass line and harmonic sequence, invented and much used in 17th and 18th century baroque music but also central to the idea of jazz "changes", predominates in most of Piazzolla's mature compositions. Another clear reference to the baroque is the often complex and virtuosic counterpoint that sometimes follows strict fugal behavior but more often simply allows each performer in the group to assert his voice. A further technique that emphasises this sense of democracy and freedom among the musicians is improvisation that is borrowed from jazz in concept, but in practice involves a different vocabulary of scales and rhythms that stay within the parameters of the established tango sound-world. Pablo Ziegler has been particularly responsible for developing this aspect of the style both within Piazzolla's groups and since the composer's death.
Carlos Gardel
Carlos Gardel
Carlos Gardel (11 December 1890 – 24 June 1935) was a singer, songwriter and actor, and is perhaps the most prominent figure in the history of tango. The unerring musicality of Gardel's baritone voice and the dramatic phrasing of his lyrics made miniature masterpieces of his hundreds of three-minute tango recordings. Together with lyricist and long-time collaborator Alfredo Le Pera, Gardel wrote several classic tangos, most notably "Mi Buenos Aires querido", "Por una cabeza" and "El día que me quieras".
Gardel died in an airplane crash at the height of his career, becoming an archetypal tragic hero mourned throughout Latin America. For many, Gardel embodies the soul of the tango style. He is commonly referred to as "Carlitos", "El Zorzal" (The Song Thrush), "The King of Tango", "El Mago" (The Magician) and "El Mudo" (The Mute).
Dave Grusin
Dave Grusin
Robert David Grusin is an American composer, arranger, producer, and pianist. He has composed many scores for feature films and television, and has won numerous awards for his soundtrack and record work, including an Academy Award and ten Grammy Awards.
Georgy Sviridov
Georgy Sviridov
Georgy Vasilyevich Sviridov was a Russian neoromantic composer, active in the Soviet era. He is most widely known for his choral music, strongly influenced by the traditional chant of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as his orchestral works which often celebrate elements of Russian culture.
Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin (May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989) was a Russian-born American composer and lyricist, and one of the most prolific American songwriters in history. Berlin was one of the few Tin Pan Alley/Broadway songwriters who wrote both lyrics and music for his songs. Although he never learned to read music beyond a rudimentary level, with the help of various uncredited musical assistants or collaborators, he eventually composed over 3,000 songs, many of which (e.g. "God Bless America", "White Christmas", "Anything You Can Do", "There's No Business Like Show Business") left an indelible mark on music and culture worldwide. He composed seventeen film scores and twenty-one Broadway scores.
Scott Alan
Scott Alan
cott Alan is an American songwriter who has released eight albums, beginning with his debut album Dreaming Wide Awake.[2
Isaac Albeniz
Isaac Albeniz
Isaac Albéniz i Pascual (Spanish pronunciation: ) (May 29, 1860 – May 18, 1909) was a Spanish pianist and composer best known for his piano works based on folk music.

Albéniz’ Suite Española Op.47 is comprised mainly of pieces written in 1886, and grouped together in 1887 in honor of the Queen of Spain. Like many of Albéniz' piano pieces, these works are miniature tone pictures of different geographical regions and musical idioms of Spain. The eight original titles are Granada, Cataluna, Sevilla, Cadiz, Asturias, Aragon, Castilla and Cuba but only the first three titles and Cuba appeared in the original collection. The other pieces were published in later collections, often with different titles. The publisher Hofmeister published all eight titles of Suite Espanola in 1911 after Albéniz’ death, appropriating other pieces for the other four titles so those pieces do not always accurately reflect the geographic designation of the titles, most obviously in the case of Asturias (Leyenda) whose Andalusian flamenco rhythms bear little resemblance to the music of the northern province Asturias. The opus number 47 assigned by Hofmeister has no relation to any chronological order in Albéniz’ oeuvre, in which opus numbers were randomly given by publishers or by Albéniz himself, with some pieces appearing in more than one collection.
The Spitfire Grill
Oscar Hammerstein
Oscar Hammerstein
Oscar Greeley Clendenning Ritter von Hammerstein II (/ˈhæmərstaɪn/; July 12, 1895 – August 23, 1960) was an American librettist, theatrical producer, and (usually uncredited) theatre director of musicals for almost 40 years. He won eight Tony Awards and two Academy Awards for Best Original Song. Many of his songs are standard repertoire for vocalists and jazz musicians. He co-wrote 850 songs.

Hammerstein was the lyricist and playwright in his partnerships; his collaborators wrote the music. Hammerstein collaborated with numerous composers, such as Jerome Kern, with whom he wrote Show Boat, Vincent Youmans, Rudolf Friml, Richard A. Whiting, and Sigmund Romberg, but he is best known for his collaborations with Richard Rodgers, as the duo Rodgers and Hammerstein, whose collaborations include Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music.
Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, dancer and entertainer. Referred to as the King of Pop, he is the most commercially successful entertainer of all time, and one of the most influential. His contributions to music, dance and fashion, along with a much publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

Alongside his brothers, he made his debut as lead singer and youngest member of The Jackson 5 in 1964. He began his solo career in 1971. His 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album ever, with Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995) also among the world's best-selling albums. He is widely credited with having transformed the music video from a promotional tool into an art form with videos for his songs such as "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Thriller" making him the first African American artist to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound, vocal style, and choreography, is credited with stretching across and breaking down cultural, racial, economic, generational, and global barriers that has inspired countless pop, rock, R&B and hip hop artists.

One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements feature multiple Guinness World Records—including the "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—15 Grammy Awards (including the "Living Legend Award" and the "Lifetime Achievement Award"), 26 American Music Awards (24 only as a solo artist, including one for "Artist of the Century")—more than any artist—, 17 number one singles in the US (including the four as a member of the Jackson 5), and estimated sales of up to 750 million records worldwide making him the world's best selling artist in history.

Jackson's personal relationships and life generated controversy for years. His changing appearance was noticed from the late 1970s onwards, with changes to his nose and to the color of his skin drawing media publicity. He was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993 though no charges were brought, and in 2005 he was tried and acquitted when the jury ruled him not guilty on all charges. He married twice, first in 1994 and again in 1996, and brought up three children, one born to a surrogate mother. While preparing for the This Is It concert tour in 2009, Jackson died at the age of 50 after suffering from cardiac arrest. He reportedly had been administered drugs such as propofol and lorazepam, and his death was ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County coroner. His death triggered an outpouring of grief from around the world with his globally live broadcast memorial service attracting an audience of up to one billion people; as well as a huge surge in his album sales, resulting in him becoming the best selling artist of 2009 with sales in excess of 8.2 million in the United States where he became the first artist ever to have 4 of the top 20 best-selling albums in a single year, and 29 million albums globally, where he had an unprecedented 8 of the top 25 best-selling albums worldwide.
Genesis
Genesis
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.
Pocahontas
Pocahontas
Pocahontas is the thirty-third animated feature in the Disney animated features canon. It was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation in April 15, 1994 and was originally released to selected theaters on June 16, 1995 by Buena Vista Pictures. The film is the first Disney film to be based on a real historic character. The film is based on the known historical story of Pocahontas but also on the folklore and legend that surround it. In particular, it presents an emotionally charged and highly dramatic account of the meeting between Pocahontas and John Smith. Pocahontas is one of the very few Disney films to feature an interracial romance (though not to the point of marriage),and is part of the Disney Renaissance that began in 1989 with The Little Mermaid.

Pocahontas: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack is the soundtrack to Disney's 1995, thirty-third animated feature Pocahontas. It contains songs from the film written by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, conducted by David Friedman, and performed by Judy Kuhn, Mel Gibson, Linda Hunt, Jim Cummings and David Ogden Stiers among others, and singles by Jon Secada and Shanice, and Vanessa L. Williams, along with the film's score composed by Alan Menken. It was released on May 30, 1995 on CD and audio cassette.

The film's sountrack is probably best known for the track that serves as the film's anthem, "Colors of the Wind", which went on to win an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Grammy Award. As a single, "Colors of the Wind" went on to reach #4 on the U.S. pop charts in 1995, and was one of Williams' biggest hits.

The soundtrack also won The Academy Award for Best Original Score, sold 2.3 million copies in the remaining two months of 1995 alone, and went on to reach #1 on the Billboard 200.
Ludovico Einaudi
Ludovico Einaudi
Ludovico Einaudi (born 23 November 1955) is an Italian contemporary classical music composer and pianist.

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

Einaudi's own words on the matter reflect this viewpoint, with Einaudi referring to Minimalism as "elegance and openness", despite its more formal definition as a musical movement to which he arguably does not belong.
Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye
Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr., better known as Marvin Gaye (April 2, 1939 - April 1, 1984) was an American singer-songwriter, drummer, pianist and instrumentalist. Starting his career as a member of the successful doo-wop group The Moonglows in the late fifties, he ventured into a solo career shortly after the group disbanded in 1960 signing with the Tamla subsidiary of Motown Records. After a year as a session drummer, Marvin quickly ranked as the label's top-selling solo artist during the sixties. Due to numerous solo hits including "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)", "Ain't That Peculiar", "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and his duet singles with singers such as Mary Wells and Tammi Terrell, he was crowned "The Prince of Motown"and "The Prince of Soul".

Notable for fighting the hit-making, but creatively restrictive, Motown record-making process, in which performers and songwriters and record producers were generally kept in separate camps, Marvin was able to prove with albums like his groundbreaking 1971 album, What's Going On and his 1973 album, Let's Get It On, that he was able to produce his own form of musical expression without relying on the Motown system inspiring fellow Motown artists such as Stevie Wonder nd Michael Jackson to do the same.

His mid-1970s work including the Let's Get It On and I Want You albums helped to influence the quiet storm, urban adult contemporary and slow jam genres. After a self-imposed European exile in the late seventies, Marvin returned to prominence briefly on the 1982 Grammy-winning hit, "Sexual Healing" and the Midnight Love album before his tragic death at the hands of his clergyman father on April 1, 1984. He was posthumously inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer and actor.

Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became a solo artist with great success in the early to mid-1940s, being the idol of the "bobby soxers". His professional career had stalled by the 1950s, but it was reborn in 1954 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He signed with Capitol Records and released several critically lauded albums (such as In the Wee Small Hours, Songs for Swingin' Lovers, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely and Nice 'n' Easy). Sinatra left Capitol to found his own record label, Reprise Records (finding success with albums such as Ring-A-Ding-Ding, Sinatra at the Sands and Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim), toured internationally, and fraternized with the Rat Pack and President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s. Sinatra turned 50 in 1965, recorded the retrospective September of My Years, starred in the Emmy-winning television special Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music, and scored hits with "Strangers in the Night" and "My Way".

Sinatra attempted to weather the changing tastes in popular music, but with dwindling album sales and after appearing in several poorly received films, he retired in 1971. Coming out of retirement in 1973, he recorded several albums, scoring a hit with "(Theme From) New York, New York" in 1980, and toured both within the United States and internationally until a few years before his death in 1998.

Sinatra also forged a career as a dramatic actor, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in From Here to Eternity, and he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for The Man with the Golden Arm. His also starred in such musicals as High Society, Pal Joey, Guys and Dolls and On the Town. Sinatra was honored with the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 and awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
George Gershwin
George Gershwin
George Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer. He wrote most of his vocal and theatrical works in collaboration with his elder brother, lyricist Ira Gershwin. George Gershwin composed songs both for Broadway and for the classical concert hall. He also wrote popular songs with success.

Many of his compositions have been used on television and in numerous films, and many became jazz standards. The jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald recorded many of the Gershwins' songs on her 1959 Gershwin Songbook (arranged by Nelson Riddle). Countless singers and musicians have recorded Gershwin songs, including Fred Astaire, Louis Armstrong, Al Jolson, Bobby Darin, Art Tatum, Bing Crosby, Janis Joplin, John Coltrane, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Sam Cooke, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Madonna, Judy Garland, Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand, Marni Nixon, Natalie Cole, Patti Austin, Nina Simone, Maureen McGovern, John Fahey, The Residents, Than & Sam, Sublime, and Sting. A residential building is named after him on the Stony Brook University campus.
Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell was born on November 7, 1943, in Fort Macleod, Canada. In 1968, she recorded her first, self-titled album. Other highly successful albums followed. Mitchell won her first Grammy Award (best folk performance) for her 1969 album, Clouds. She has won seven more Grammy Awards since then, in several different categories, including traditional pop, pop music and lifetime achievement.
Alan Menken
Alan Menken
Alan Menken (born July 22, 1949 in New Rochelle, New York) is an American Broadway and an eight-time Academy Award winning composer and pianist. Menken has collaborated with several renowned lyricists including Howard Ashman (1950-1991), Tim Rice and Stephen Schwartz.
Ayumi Hamasaki
Ayumi Hamasaki
Ayumi Hamasaki (born October 2, 1978), is a Japanese singer-songwriter and former actress. Also known as Ayu to her fans, Hamasaki has been dubbed the "Empress of pop" and "the Empress of J-Pop" due to her popularity and widespread influence in Japan. Born and raised in Fukuoka, she moved to Tokyo at fourteen to pursue a career in entertainment. In 1998, under the tutelage of Avex CEO Max Matsuura, she released a string of modestly selling singles that concluded with her 1999 debut album A Song for XX, which debuted atop the Oricon charts and stayed there for four weeks in a row, establishing her popularity in Japan.

Because of her constantly changing image and tight control over her artistry, Hamasaki has become a "trendsetter" and an "icon of fashion" in Asia; her popularity and influence in music and fashion extend to China, Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea. She has appeared in or lent her songs to many advertisements and television commercials. Though she originally supported this, a 2001 event in which Avex forced her to put her greatest hits album in direct competition with Hikaru Utada's Distance made Hamasaki reconsider and eventually oppose her status as an Avex "product".

Since her 1998 debut with the single "Poker Face", Hamasaki has sold around 50 million records, making her one of Japan's best-selling singers.
Bruno Coulais
Bruno Coulais
Bruno Coulais (born 13 January 1954) is a French composer, most widely known for his music on film soundtracks. Coulais was born in Paris; his father is from Vendée and his mother is an Iraqi Jew. Coulais recently performed the score for the stop-motion animated film, Coraline, released February 6, 2009.
Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is a Kander and Ebb musical set in prohibition era Chicago. The book is by Ebb and Bob Fosse. The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice, and the concept of the "celebrity criminal." The musical is based on a 1926 play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins about actual criminals and crimes she had reported on.

The original 1975 Broadway production ran for a total of 936 performances. Bob Fosse choreographed the original production, and his style is strongly identified with the show. Chicago's 1996 Broadway revival holds the record for the longest-running musical revival on Broadway (not counting the revue Oh! Calcutta!) and, as of March 2, 2008, it has played for more than 4,684 performances. The revival was followed by a production on London's West End and several tours and international productions. An Academy Award-winning film version of the musical was released in 2002.
Gustav Holst
Gustav Holst
Gustav Theodore Holst (21 September 1874 – 25 May 1934) was an English composer and was a music teacher for nearly 20 years. He is most famous for his orchestral suite The Planets. Having studied at the Royal College of Music in London, his early work was influenced by Ravel, Grieg, Richard Strauss, and fellow student Ralph Vaughan Williams, but most of his music is highly original, with influences from Hindu spiritualism and English folk tunes. Holst's music is well known for unconventional use of metre and haunting melodies.

Holst wrote almost 200 catalogued compositions, including orchestral suites, operas, ballets, concertos, choral hymns, and songs (see Selected works below).

Holst became music master at St Paul's Girls' School in 1905 and director of music at Morley College in 1907, continuing in both posts until retirement.

He was the brother of Hollywood actor Ernest Cossart and father of the composer and conductor Imogen Holst, who wrote a biography of him in 1938.
X Japan
X Japan
X Japan is a Japanese band founded in 1982 by Toshimitsu "Toshi" Deyama and Yoshiki Hayashi. Originally named X, the group achieved its breakthrough success in 1989 with the release of their second album Blue Blood. They started out as a power/speed metal band and later gravitated towards a progressive sound, at all times retaining an emphasis on ballads. After three more albums, X Japan disbanded in 1997.

Besides being one of the first Japanese acts to achieve mainstream success while on an independent label, the group is widely credited for pioneering the visual kei movement, though most of the group's members toned down their on-stage attire in later years. They were formerly known for their excessively large hairstyles resembling fountains. As of 2007, the band has sold over twenty million records and over two million home videos.

On 4 June 2007 it was announced the band would reunite with a new song released via digital download in January 2008 and live performances scheduled for March and May.
Adele
Adele
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins (born 5 May 1988 in Enfield, North London), She is the first recipient of the Brit Awards Critics' Choice, which was given to artists who, at the time, had yet to release an album. She debuted at number one with her Mercury Prize nominated debut album 19 in the UK album chart and has since then been certified platinum with sales over 500,000 copies.
The Prince of Egypt
The Prince of Egypt
The Prince of Egypt is a 1998 American animated film, the first traditionally animated film produced and released by DreamWorks. The story follows the life of Moses from his birth, through his childhood as a prince of Egypt, and finally to his ultimate destiny to lead the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, which is based on the Biblical story of Exodus.

Directed by Brenda Chapman, Simon Wells and Steve Hickner, the film featured songs written by Stephen Schwartz and a score composed by Hans Zimmer. The voice cast featured a number of major Hollywood actors in the speaking roles, while professional singers replaced them for the songs. The exceptions were Michelle Pfeiffer, Ralph Fiennes, Steve Martin, and Martin Short, who sang their own parts.

Three soundtracks were released simultaneously for The Prince of Egypt, each of them aimed towards a different target audience. While the other two accompanying records, the country-themed "Nashville" soundtrack and the gospel-based "Inspirational" soundtrack, functioned merely as movie tributes, the official Prince of Egypt soundtrack was the only album to contain tracks from the movie. This album combines elements from the score composed by Hans Zimmer, and movie songs by Stephen Schwartz. The songs were either voiced over by professional singers (such as Salisbury Cathedral Choir), or sung by the movie's voice actors, such as Michelle Pfeiffer and Ofra Haza. Various tracks by contemporary artists such as K-Ci & Jo-Jo and Boyz II Men were added, including the Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston duet "When You Believe", a Babyface rewrite of the original Schwartz composition, sung by Michelle Pfeiffer and Sally Dworsky in the movie.

The film was nominated for best score and won for Best Original Song at the 1999 Academy Awards for "When You Believe". The pop version of the song was performed at the ceremonies by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. The song, co-written by Stephen Schwartz, Hans Zimmer and with additional production by Babyface, was nominated for the Best Original Song (Motion Picture) at the 1999 Golden Globes, and was also nominated for Outstanding Performance of a Song for a Feature Film at the ALMA Awards.
Don McLean
Don McLean
Donald McLean (born October 2, 1945 in New Rochelle, New York) is an American singer-songwriter. He is most famous for his 1971 album American Pie, containing the renowned songs American Pie and Vincent.

The McLean clan traces its roots to the Isle of Iona in the Scottish Hebrides. Both Don’s grandfather and father were named Donald McLean which sometimes led to confusion as Don was also christened Donald McLean. Don’s mother’s family, the Buccis, came from Abruzzi in southern Italy. They left Italy and settled in Port Chester, N.Y. at the end of the 19th century.
Green Day
Green Day
Green Day is an American rock trio formed in 1987. The band has consisted of Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals, guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass guitar, vocals), and Tré Cool (drums, percussion) for the majority of its existence.

Green Day was originally part of the punk rock scene at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley, California. Its early releases for independent record label Lookout! Records earned them a grassroots fanbase, some of whom felt alienated when the band signed to a major label.

The band has sold over 65 million records worldwide, They also have three Grammy Awards, Best Alternative Album for Dookie, Best Rock Album for American Idiot, and Record of the Year for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams".
Apocalyptica
Apocalyptica
Apocalyptica is a Finnish cello metal band, composed of classically trained cellists and, since 2005, a drummer. Three of the cellists are graduates of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. Their music features elements from classical music, neo-classical metal, thrash metal, and symphonic metal.
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American country-pop singer-songwriter. In 2006, she released her debut single "Tim McGraw", which peaked at number six on the Billboard country charts. Later in October 2006, she released her self-titled debut album, which produced five hit singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts and was certified 3× Multi-Platinum by the RIAA. The New York Times described Swift as "one of pop's finest songwriters, country’s foremost pragmatist and more in touch with her inner life than most adults".

According to Nielsen SoundScan, Swift was the biggest selling artist of 2008 in America with combined sales of more than four million albums. Swift's Fearless and her self-titled album finished 2008 at number three and number six respectively, with sales of 2.1 and 1.5 million. She was the first artist in the history of Nielsen SoundScan to have two different albums in the Top 10 on the year end album chart. Fearless has topped the Billboard 200 in 11 non-consecutive weeks. No album has spent more time at number one since 1999-2000. It also was the first album by a female artist in country music history to log eight weeks at #1 on The Billboard 200. In mid-January 2009, Swift became the first country artist to top the 2 million mark in paid downloads with three different songs. As of the week ending February 8, 2009, Swift's single "Love Story" became the country song with most paid downloads in history and the first country song to top the Mainstream Top 40 chart. According to the 2009 issue of Forbes, Swift is ranked as the 69th most powerful celebrity with over $18 million dollars in earnings this year.
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