King Sister Yvonne Burch dies at 89

Yvonne King Burch, who gained early fame as one of the singing King Sisters during the big band era before launching her entire extended musical clan into show business as the King Family, has died. She was 89.


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Leon Kirchner, serious composer (1919-2009)

Leon Kirchner (January 24, 1919 – September 17, 2009) was an American composer of contemporary classical music. G. Schirmer, Inc./Associated Music Publishers and the Music Sales Group are saddened to announce the passing of Leon Kirchner.

Leon Kirchner has made an indelible mark on contemporary music through his own remarkable style — in his words, "an artist must create a personal cosmos, a verdant world...powered by conviction and necessity." Like Arnold Schoenberg, his mentor, Kirchner weaved the past and the present, creating music that masterfully conveys our contemporary world.

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The Four Aces, Al Alberts, dies at 87

Al Alberts, a founding member of the singing group, The Four Aces, and a longtime TV talent show host in Philadelphia, has died. He was 87.
Chris Alberts says his father died Friday at home in Arcadia, Fla. He says the apparent cause of death was complications from kidney failure.
Alberts featured child singers and dancers on his "Al Alberts Showcase" for more than three decades in Philadelphia.
He was a founding member of The Four Aces, which recorded such hits as "Three Coins in the Fountain," and "Love is a Many Splendored Thing."

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  • Haydn expert H.C. Robbins Landon dies at 83

    LONDON - H.C. Robbins Landon, a musicologist noted for his pioneering research on Franz Joseph Haydn and for writing popular works on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, has died at age 83. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts and studied music at Swarthmore College and Boston University. He subsequently moved to Europe where he worked as a music critic. From 1947 he undertook research in Vienna on Joseph Haydn, a composer on whom he became an authority. His book Symphonies of Joseph Haydn was published in 1955, and the five volume Haydn: Chronicle and Works followed at the end of the 1970s. He also edited a number of Haydn's works.
    Robbins Landon published work on other 18th century composers, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Antonio Vivaldi. He coined the term barococo. In 1994 a controversy erupted over the appearance of various piano sonatas which Robbins Landon at first declared to be newly discovered Haydn works, but then concluded were fakes. He died on November 20, 2009 in Rabastens, France....wikipedia.

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    Elisabeth Soderstrom

    Swedish soprano Elisabeth Soderstrom, an international opera star, has died in Stockholm early Friday 20 NOV 2009 of complications from a stroke.
    Soderstrom was 82. She made her debut in 1947 at the Drottningholm Palace Theatre, singing in one of Mozart's lesser-known works.
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    Al Martino, Godfather singer who had first British No 1, dies aged 82

    Al Martino, the singer who played the Frank Sinatra-type role of Johnny Fontane in the film The Godfather, has died at the age of 82. The Italian-American crooner was known for his hit songs Here in My Heart, Spanish Eyes, Can’t Help Falling in Love and Volare, in a career that spanned more than five decades. Martino was born in South Philadelphia as Alfred Cini, and worked as a bricklayer in his parents' masonry business as a young man. He served in the US Marines during the Second World War, and was wounded during the invasion of Iwo Jima. A longtime resident of Beverly Hills, California, Martino died at his childhood home in the Philadelphia suburb of Springfield, in Delaware County.


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    Alicia de Larrocha dies at age 86

    Alicia de Larrocha, a diminutive Spanish pianist esteemed for her elegant Mozart performances and regarded as an incomparable interpreter of Albéniz, Granados, Mompou and other Spanish composers, died on Sept. 25, 2009. She was 86. Alicia de Larrocha y de la Calle was born in Barcelona on May 23, 1923, to Eduardo de Larrocha and Maria Teresa de la Calle. Although her mother gave up any ambition of a performing career when she married, Ms. de Larrocha's aunt was a piano teacher at the Academia Marshall, a school founded by the pianist Frank Marshall, who was also a Granados student.
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    Arthur Ferrante Dies at 88

    Arthur Ferrante, of the superb twin-piano team of Ferrante and Teicher, has passed away at the age of 88. Lou Teicher, you'll recall, died in August of 2008. The Los Angeles Times obituary can be read here: Arthur Ferrante Dies at 88.
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    Fred Mills, 70

    Fred Mills, a trumpeter who played for 24 years with the Canadian Brass, has died in an automobile accident. He was 70.
    CBC Arts
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    Conductor ERICH KUNZEL dies at age 74

    Erich Kunzel, Jr. (March 21, 1935 – September 1, 2009) was an American conductor and long time conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. Kunzel was born in New York City. He was a timpanist and music arranger at his high school in Greenwich, Connecticut and received his first music degree from Dartmouth College. He also studied at Harvard and Brown universities. From 1960 to 1965 he conducted the Rhode Island Philharmonic. From 1965 to 1977 he was associate conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
    When the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra board of trustees created the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (CPO) in 1977, Kunzel was named conductor.
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    CHRIS CONNOR, vocalist was 81

    Chris Connor, a Kansas City native and prominent big-band jazz singer of the 1940s, ‘50s and beyond, died on Saturday 29 August 2009, of cancer. She was 81.
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    Hildegard Behrens dies, 72

    Soprano Hildegard Behrens, one of the finest Wagnerian performers of her generation, has died while traveling in Japan. She was 72.
    Jonathan Friend, artistic administrator of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, said Tuesday in an e-mail to opera officials that Behrens felt unwell while traveling to a festival near Tokyo. She went to a Tokyo hospital, where she died of an apparent aneurism.
    Friend's e-mail was shared with The Associated Press by Jack Mastroianni, director of IMG Artists.
    Her funeral was planned in Vienna.
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    Guitarist/inventor Les Paul dead at 94

    Les Paul, who pioneered the solid-body electric guitar later wielded by a legion of rock 'n' roll greats, died Thursday of complications from pneumonia. He was 94.
    According to Gibson Guitar, Paul died at White Plains Hospital. His family and friends were by his side...MORE - SHOP Les Paul

    Conductor Sir Edward Downes was 85

    Renowned British conductor Sir Edward Thomas Downes, CBE, has died at the age of 85, after travelling to right-to-die clinic Dignitas with his wife.
    He and his wife Joan, 74, both chose to end their lives at the Swiss clinic, their family said in a statement.
    According to the statement, the couple "died peacefully, and under circumstances of their own choosing".
    The Birmingham-born conductor enjoyed a 40-year relationship with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
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  • Harve Presnell dies of cancer, age 75

    Harve Presnell (September 14, 1933 - June 30, 2009) was a Golden Globe-winning American film, musical theatre and television actor and singer.
    His height, booming voice, and operatic training landed him the role of Johnnie Brown in Meredith Willson's musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown on stage which premiered on Broadway in 1960. He later reprised the role in the 1964 film version. He appeared as a cavalry scout in The Glory Guys (1965) and sang the stirring "They Call the Wind Maria" in the 1969 film Paint Your Wagon. Presnell did some other film and television work in the 1960s and early 1970s, but for the next couple of decades concentrated primarily on stage work, playing Rhett Butler in the West End production of Scarlett and touring the United States as Daddy Warbucks in Annie and its sequel, Annie Warbucks, among other productions.
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  • Pop singer-actress Gale Storm dies

    Josephine Owaissa Cottle (April 5, 1922 - June 27, 2009), better known as Gale Storm, was an American actress and singer, who starred in two popular television programs of the 1950s, My Little Margie and The Gale Storm Show and had a few modest pop recording hits of the day.
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    Kenny Rankin

    Kenny Rankin's record label says the veteran singer-songwriter has died of lung cancer. He was 67. Rankin died Sunday, 7 JUNE 2009, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The cause of death was lung cancer. In a career spanning 50 years, Rankin worked with such artists as Bob Dylan, wrote songs for Peggy Lee and Mel Torme and released his own acclaimed recordings, including "The Kenny Rankin Album" in 1976.
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  • Composer, Maw, dead at 73

    Nicholas Maw, one of Britain's leading composers, has died at the age of 73.
    The composer, whose works include Odyssey and the opera Sophie's Choice, died in Washington DC where he had lived for 24 years.
    He had been ill for some time and died of heart failure on Tuesday, his spokeswoman told the BBC.
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  • Sax man Bud Shank dies at 82

    Bud Shank, an alto saxophonist and flutist whose career spanned more than a half century, died April 2 at his home in Tucson, Ariz. The cause pulmonary failure. A day earlier Shank had been in San Diego recording a new album. Shank was 82. Born May 27, 1926 in Dayton, Ohio, Clifford Everett “Bud” Shank tried his hand at a variety of woodwinds before settling on the saxophone. He attended college in North Carolina and worked with saxophonist Charlie Barnet before moving to California in the late 1940s, where he played with trumpeter Shorty Rogers and then pianist Stan Kenton. Working with guitarist Laurindo Almeida, Shank was also one of the first jazz musicians to explore Brazilian music. Shank cut a number of albums for the world music label World Pacific from the ’50s to the ’70s.

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    Film composer Maurice Jarre dies

    French composer Maurice Jarre, best known for his music for Hollywood films, has died in Los Angeles at 84, after suffering from cancer. Jarre, father of the composer Jean-Michel Jarre, rose to prominence relatively late in life. His breakthrough came in 1962 when he wrote the score for Lawrence of Arabia, for which he was awarded an Oscar. He won two further Oscars for Doctor Zhivago and A Passage to India, and composed music for more than 150 films.

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    Songwriter JACK LAWRENCE 96 years.

    Songwriter Jack Lawrence, whose "Tenderly" launched the career of Rosemary Clooney and put Bobby Darin on the map with English lyrics to "Beyond the Sea," has died at the age of 96. Lawrence fell Saturday in his Redding home, fracturing his pelvic bone. He died Sunday at Danbury Hospital from complications of the injury. Lawrence's name may not be as widely known as those of his contemporaries Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and George Gershwin, but his melodies and lyrics launched the careers of at least a dozen top stars. In addition to Clooney and Darin, Frank Sinatra had his first solo hit with "All or Nothing at All" and "If I Didn't Care" launched The Ink Spots.
    MORE - WEB - INTERVIEW - SHOP Jack Lawrence They All Sang My Songs: The Life and Times of Jack Lawrence by Jack Lawrence (Hardcover - Oct 25, 2004) - Illustrated

    Death of American Song composer Sunny Skylar

    Sunny Skylar (October 11, 1913 – February 2, 2009) was an American composer, singer, lyricist, and music publisher. He was born Selig Shaftel in Brooklyn, New York. As a singer, he appeared with a number of big bands, including those led by Ben Bernie, Paul Whiteman, Abe Lyman, and Vincent Lopez. After the end of the big band era, he continued to sing in nightclubs and theaters until 1952. Among the songs he wrote (either music or lyrics) are:
    And So to Sleep Again
    Bésame Mucho Traduction of the original Mexican song
    Gotta Be This or That
    Hair of Gold, Eyes of Blue
    Love Me with All Your Heart
    Where There's Smoke, There's Fire
    You're Breaking My Heart

    Swedish composer Erland von Koch dead, 98 years old

    Erland von Koch received his diploma as an organist and cantor from the Music Conservatory in Stockholm in 1935. He spent the following years studying composition, conducting, and piano in Germany and France. After a couple of years at the Swedish Radio, he worked as a teacher of music theory at the conservatory in Stockholm from 1953-1975. He became a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 1957, and was named a Professor in 1968. Among his awards were the Royal Swedish Academy of Music's medal for contributions to music in 2000. He was a versatile composer and wrote five symphonies, 12 Scandinavian dances, the Impusli and Oxberg trilogies, 12 concerti for solo instruments, numerous solo works, string quartets, the children's opera Pelle Svanslos, five ballets, songs, psalms, and film music.(among other things, he wrote the music for one of Ingmar Bergman's early films). "I strive for a simple, clear melodic style, preferably associated with folk music, and with a clear-cut rhythmic profile. I want my harmony to be uncomplicated," he said about his own composing. Erland von Koch passed away at the end of January, three months before his 99th birthday.

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