British film composer Richard Rodney Bennett dies at 76

Richard Rodney Bennett, a British-born composer for film, ballet, opera and the concert hall, died Christmas Eve, 24 DEC 2012, in New York. He was 76. Bennett, who had made his home in New York for the past 20 years, moved between the jazz and classical worlds throughout his career, but was best known for his film scores. More | Wikipedia Bio

Galina Vishnevskaya, Soprano and Dissident, Dies at 86

Galina Vishnevskaya, an electrifying soprano who endured repression and exile as one of the postwar Soviet Union’s most prominent political dissidents, died on Monday, 10 December 2012,  in Moscow. She was 86. NYTimes Obit
Vishnevskaya was born in Leningrad. She made her professional stage debut in 1944 singing operetta. After a year studying with Vera Nikolayevna Garina, she won a competition held by the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (with Rachmaninoff's song "O, Do Not Grieve" and Verdi's aria "O patria mia" from Aida) in 1952. The next year, she became a member of the Bolshoi Theatre. On 9 May 1960, she made her first appearance in Sarajevo at the National Theatre, as Aida. In 1961, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Aida; the following year she made her debut at the Royal Opera House with the same role. For her La Scala debut in 1964, she sang Liù in Turandot, opposite Birgit Nilsson and Franco Corelli. Wikipedia Bio

Lisa Della Casa, Opera Singer, Dies at 93

Lisa Della Casa, the Swiss soprano who combined an outstanding voice, stunning beauty and exceptional stage presence to become one of the foremost interpreters of Richard Strauss, died on Monday, 10 December 2012. in Muensterlingen, Switzerland. She was 93. NYTimes Obit
Born in Burgdorf, Switzerland to an Italian-Swiss father Francesco Della Casa and a Bavarian-born mother Margarete Mueller, she began studying singing at age 15 at the Zurich Conservatory, and made her operatic debut as the title role in Puccini's Madama Butterfly at Solothurn-Biel Municipal Theater in 1940. She joined the ensemble of Zurich Municipal Opera House in 1943 (staying there until 1950) and sang various parts, from the Queen of the Night in Mozart's The Magic Flute to Dorabella in Così fan tutte. Later she sang Fiordiligi. In 1949, she married Yugoslavian-born journalist and violinist Dragan Debeljevic, with whom she had a daughter, Vesna. Wikipedia Bio

Charles Rosen dies at 85; pianist

Pianist, classical music scholar and thinker Charles Rosen died in New York Sunday at age 85 following a battle with cancer. A prolific author, essayist and Guggenheim Award winner, Rosen published two staple books on classical music, 1971's The Classical Style and 1995's The Romantic Generation.
LATimes Obit

Charles Welles Rosen (May 5, 1927 – December 9, 2012) was an American pianist and writer on music.More form Wikipedia

Ravi Shankar, Sitarist Who Introduced Indian Music to the West, Dies at 92

Ravi Shankar, the Indian sitarist and composer whose collaborations with Western classical musicians as well as rock stars helped foster a worldwide appreciation of India’s traditional music, died Tuesday, December 11, 2012, in a hospital near his home in Southern California. He was 92.
NYTimes Obit
Ravi Shankar (Bengali: রবি শংকর; born Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury, 7 April 1920 – 11 December 2012), often referred to by the title Pandit, was an Indian musician and composer who played the plucked-string instrument sitar. He was described as the best-known contemporary Indian musician.

Jazz great DAVE BRUBECK has died

Jazz composer and pianist Dave Brubeck, whose pioneering style in pieces such as "Take Five" caught listeners' ears with exotic, challenging rhythms, has died. He was 91. On line source David Warren "Dave" Brubeck (December 6, 1920 – December 5, 2012) was an American jazz pianist. He wrote a number of jazz standards, including "In Your Own Sweet Way" and "The Duke". Brubeck's style ranged from refined to bombastic, reflecting his mother's attempts at classical training and his improvisational skills. His music was known for employing unusual time signatures, and superimposing contrasting rhythms, meters, and tonalities. More Wikipedia Bio

Composer Elliott Carter dies. Age 103

Elliott Carter, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer who fused European and American modernist traditions in seminal but formidable works, and who lived to hear ovations for music that was once thought to be anything but listener-friendly, died Nov. 5 at his home in New York City. He was 103. More Washington Post |
Elliott Cook Carter Jr. (December 11, 1908 – November 5, 2012) was a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer. He studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris in the 1930s, and then returned to the United States. After a neoclassical phase, he went on to write atonal, rhythmically complex music. His compositions, which have been performed all over the world, include orchestral and chamber music as well as solo instrumental and vocal works. He was extremely productive in his later years, publishing more than 40 works between the ages of 90 and 100,[1] and over 14 more after he turned 100 in 2008. His last work, 12 Short Epigrams for piano, was completed on August 13, 2012. More Wikipedia

Hans Werner Henze,Serious music Composer, Dies at 86

Hans Werner Henze, a prolific German composer who came of age in the Nazi era and grew estranged from his country while gaining renown for richly imaginative operas and orchestral works, died on Saturday, 27 October 2012, in Dresden, Germany, where he was due to attend the premiere that evening of a ballet set to one of his scores. He was 86. NYTimes | Wikipedia Hans Werner Henze (1 July 1926 – 27 October 2012) was a German composer of prodigious output best known for "his consistent cultivation of music for the theatre throughout his life".His music is extremely varied in style, having been influenced by serialism, atonality, Stravinsky, Italian music, Arabic music and jazz, as well as traditional schools of German composition.

Andy Williams, Crooner of ‘Moon River,’ Dies at 84

Andy Williams, the affable, boyishly handsome crooner who defined both easy listening and wholesome, easygoing charm for many American pop music fans in the 1960s, most notably with his signature song, “Moon River,” died on Tuesday night, September 25, 2012, at his home in Branson, Mo. He was 84 and also had a home in La Quinta, Calif.
NYTimes Obit | Wikipedia

"Hal" David (May 25, 1921 – September 1, 2012)

Harold Lane "Hal" David (May 25, 1921 – September 1, 2012) was an American lyricist. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He was best known for his collaborations with composer Burt Bacharach. Wikipedia Bio Bacharach and David hits included "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head", "This Guy's in Love with You", "I'll Never Fall in Love Again", "Do You Know the Way to San Jose", "Walk On By", "What the World Needs Now Is Love", "I Say a Little Prayer", "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me", "One Less Bell to Answer", and "Anyone Who Had a Heart". The duo's film work includes the Oscar-nominated title songs for "What's New Pussycat?" and "Alfie"; "The Look of Love", from Casino Royale; and the Oscar-winning "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head", from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In addition, "Don't Make Me Over", "(They Long to Be) Close to You", and "Walk On By" have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Ruggiero Ricci Dies at 94; Prodigy Violin Master

Ruggiero Ricci, a virtuoso violinist who first awed audiences at age 10 with his mastery of Mendelssohn and later remade himself into a mature musician whose range reached from the 19th-century acrobatics of Paganini’s Caprices to premiere performances of contemporary works, died on Sunday 5 August 2012,  at his home in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 94.NYTimes Obit | Wikipedia

Composer Marvin Hamlisch Dies; He Was 68

Marvin Frederick Hamlisch (June 2, 1944 – August 6, 2012) was an American composer. He is one of only eleven people to have been awarded Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, and a Tony. He is also one of only two people to have won those four prizes and also a Pulitzer Prize (the other is Richard Rodgers). Hamlisch also won two Golden Globes. 
He was married to news broadcaster Terre Blair

Marguerite Piazza, Popular Singer of Opera, Dies at 86

Marguerite Piazza had a voice that could pack a concert hall and a figure that transfixed television audiences. She was sought out for ribbon cuttings and commercial endorsements and once performed as part of a Super Bowl halftime show. Ms. Piazza, who at the pinnacle of her career in the 1950s performed with the Metropolitan Opera, died of congestive heart failure on Thursday at her home in Memphis, her daughter Marguerite Bonnett said. She was 86. NYTimes | Wikipedia

Mihaela Ursuleasa, Classical Pianist, Dies at 33

Ms. Ursuleasa, a Romanian-born pianist renowned for her prodigious technique and often idiosyncratic interpretations, was performing internationally by the time she was a teenager.

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Tony Martin (December 25, 1913 – July 27, 2012) American Pop singer


He was a featured vocalist on the George Burns and Gracie Allen radio program. On the show Allen playfully flirted with Tony, often threatening to fire him. She'd say things like "Oh Tony you look so tired, why don't you rest your lips on mine." In films, he was first cast in a number of bit parts, including a role as a sailor in the movie Follow the Fleet (1936), starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. He eventually signed with 20th Century-Fox and then Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in which he starred in a number of musicals. Between 1938 and 1942, he made a number of hit records for Decca. Martin was featured in the 1941 Marx Brothers film The Big Store, in which he played a singer and performed Tenement Symphony, which was written by Hal Borne who became his long-time musical director. He appeared in film musicals in the 1940s and 1950s. His rendition of "Lover Come Back To Me" with Joan Weldon in Deep in My Heart - based on the music of Sigmund Romberg and starring José Ferrer - was one of the highlights of that film.

He also starred as Gaylord Ravenal in the Showboat segment from the 1946 film Till the Clouds Roll By.
NYTImes Obit Martin died on the evening of July 27, 2012, of "natural causes" at the age of 97.


British arranger Roland Shaw has died aged 91...

Roland Shaw, born May 26 1920, died May 11 2012...was one of Britain’s most popular and successful arrangers of popular music, working with artists such as Vera Lynn and Mantovani; he also recorded cover versions of music from the James Bond films in the 1960s, when “Bond mania” was at its height. He became an arranger and record producer for Decca Records with his orchestra recording for that label and Phase 4 Stereo. His orchestra performed on the albums Mexico and Westward Ho. In December 1964 his orchestra released an album of cover versions of Themes from the James Bond Thrillers to coincide with the American release of Goldfinger. More | Wikipedia

Celeste Holm (April 29, 1917 – July 15, 2012)

Academy Award winner and Broadway star Celeste Holm died from heart problems and other ailments, according to New York's news station NY1. She was 95. The role that got her the most recognition from critics and audiences was Ado Annie in the flagship Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! in 1943. Wikipedia

Maria Cole, Singer and Wife of Nat King Cole, Dies at 89

Maria Cole, a jazz singer who performed with Count Basie and Duke Ellington in the 1940s and who was married to Nat King Cole for 17 years until his death in 1965, died on Tuesday July 10, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. She was 89. NYTimes 
Mrs. Cole was also the mother of the Grammy-winning singer Natalie Cole

Evelyn Lear, Versatile Soprano, Dies at 86

Evelyn Lear, an American soprano who became a star in Europe in the 1950s and later won acclaim in the United States for singing some of the most difficult roles in contemporary opera, died on Sunday in Sandy Spring, Md. She was 86. NYTimes 

Evelyn Lear (January 8, 1926 – July 1, 2012) was an American operatic soprano. Between 1959 and 1992, she appeared in more than forty operatic roles, appeared with every major opera company in the US and won a Grammy Award in 1966. She was well known for her musical versatility, having sung all three main female roles in Der Rosenkavalier. Lear was also known for her work on 20th century pieces by Robert Ward, Alban Berg, Marvin David Levy, Rudolf Kelterborn and Giselher Klebe. She was married to the American bass-baritone Thomas Stewart until his death in 2006.  Wikipedia

Brigitte Engerer, Concert Pianist, Dies at 59

Brigitte Engerer, a Russian-trained French pianist known for her immense sound, prodigious technique and probing musicality, died on June 23 in Paris. She was 59.


Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Bountiful German Baritone, Dies at 86

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, the German baritone whose beautiful voice and mastery of technique made him the 20th century’s pre-eminent interpreter of art songs, died on Friday, May 18, 2012, at his home in Bavaria. He was 86. NYTimes | Wikipedia

Roman Totenberg, Violinist and Teacher, Dies at 101

Roman Totenberg, a Polish-born violin prodigy who came of age in the era of expressive players like Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz, shared their virtuosity and influenced generations of musicians as a teacher, died on Tuesday 8 May 2012, at his home in Newton, Mass. He was 101. Roman Totenberg (1 January 1911 – 8 May 2012) Roman Totenberg was the father of National Public Radio journalist Nina Totenberg NYTimes Obit | Wikipedia

Mort Lindsey, TV Bandleader and Accompanist to Stars, Dies at 89

Mort Lindsey, who led Merv Griffin’s television orchestra, accompanied Barbra Streisand on the piano in Central Park and played with Judy Garland in her celebrated comeback concert at Carnegie Hall, died on Friday May 4, 2012 at his home in Malibu, Calif. He was 89. 

Mort Lindsey, (March 21, 1923, Newark, New Jersey – May 4, 2012)

Zvi Zeitlin, Violinist Who Championed Modernist Composers, Dies at 90

Mr. Zeitlin was an internationally renowned violinist who was closely associated with the work of modernist composers like Aaron Copland and Lukas Foss. Wikipedia

Hugo Fiorato, Conductor at City Ballet, Dies at 98

Hugo Fiorato, a former child prodigy who became the conductor of the New York City Ballet and one of its most enduring influences, died on Monday [23 APR 2012] in Boston. He was 98. NYTimes

Bert Weedon, Guitarist and teacher, dies at 91

Bert Weedon, a British guitarist and recording artist whose popular instructional manual “Play in a Day” taught the instrument to a generation of young hopefuls such as  Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, John Lennon and Paul McCartney — died on Friday 20 April 2012, at his home in Beaconsfield, in the English county of Buckinghamshire. He was 91.      Wikipedia

Lili Chookasian, 90, Contralto

Lili Chookasian (August 1, 1921 – April 10, 2012) was an American contralto who appeared with many of the world's major symphony orchestras and opera houses. She began her career in the 1940s as a concert singer but did not draw wider acclaim until she began singing opera in her late thirties. She arose as one of the world's leading contraltos during the 1960s and 1970s, and notably had a long and celebrated career at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City from 1962 through 1986. She was admired for her sonorous, focused tone as well as her excellent musicianship. She often chose, against tradition, to sing oratorios from memory.

NYTimes Obit | Wikipedia

Jane Taylor, Bassoonist of Dorian Quintet, Dies at 79

Jane Taylor, the founding bassoonist of the Dorian Wind Quintet, one of the premier ensembles to involve that uneasy alliance of flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn and bassoon, died on Sunday, April 8, 2012 in Manhattan. She was 79.

Retires | NYTimes Obit

Maurice André, Trumpeter, Dies at 78

Maurice André (May 21, 1933 – February 25, 2012) was a French trumpeter, active in the classical music field. He died in Bayonne, in southwest France. He was 78. His family confirmed the death to the news agency Agence France-Presse, declining to specify the cause. Mr. André, was esteemed as a trumpeter for his warm, robust tone; lightning technique; and clarion high notes, whose stratospheric reaches could prompt waves of applause from audiences.

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Charles Anthony Dies at 82; Sang 2,928 Times at Met

Charles Anthony Caruso (né Calogero Antonio Caruso, on July 15, 1929 - February 15, 2012), better known by his stage name of Charles Anthony, was an American tenor noted for his portrayal of comprimario characters in opera. Anthony had the distinction of appearing in more performances at the Metropolitan Opera than any other performer. He celebrated his fiftieth anniversary with the company in 2004, and gave his farewell in the role of the aged Emperor Altoum in Turandot, at the Met, on January 28, 2010.


Dory Previn...(October 22, 1925 – February 14, 2012), American lyricist, singer-songwriter and poet has died

Ms. Previn, the lyricist for three Oscar-nominated songs, became famous for her own confessional albums in the early 1970s. During the late 1950s and 1960s she was a lyricist on songs intended for motion pictures and, with her first husband, André Previn, received several Academy Award nominations. In the 1970s, after their divorce, she released six albums of original songs and an acclaimed live album. Previn's lyrics from this period are characterized by their originality, irony and honesty in dealing with her troubled personal life as well as more generally about relationships, sexuality, religion and psychology. She continued to work until her death as a writer of song lyrics and prose.

Pop Diva Whitney Houston dead at 48

Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. Houston was the most awarded female act of all time, according to Guinness World Records. Her list of awards includes 2 Emmy Awards, 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards as of 2010. Houston was also one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide. Inspired by prominent soul singers in her family, including her mother Cissy Houston, cousins Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick, and her godmother Aretha Franklin, Houston began singing with New Jersey church's junior gospel choir at age 11. After she began performing alongside her mother in night clubs in the New York City area, she was discovered by Arista Records label head Clive Davis. Houston released seven studio albums and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification. On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead in her guest room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, California. On February 13th in 1993, Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You'' from the soundtrack to "The Bodyguard'' topped Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart for the 13th week. That ties "End of the Road'' from Boyz II Men as the longest-running No. 1 song of the rock era.

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Camilla Williams, Barrier-Breaking Opera Star, Dies at 92

Camilla Ella Williams (October 18, 1919 – January 29, 2012) was an American operatic soprano, and the first African American to have received a contract with a major American opera company.

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Paavo Berglund, Finnish Conductor, Dies at 82

Paavo Berglund, a Finnish conductor renowned for his commanding interpretations of Sibelius’s symphonies and tone poems, died on Jan. 25 at his home in Helsinki. He was 82.
Paavo Allan Engelbert Berglund (April 14, 1929 – January 25, 2012) was a Finnish conductor.
Born in Helsinki, Berglund studied the violin as a child, and played an instrument made by his grandfather. By age 15, he had decided on music as his career, and by 18 was playing in restaurants. He joined the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Finnish RSO) in 1949, unique among the instrumentalists in being accommodated for seating to account for the fact that he was left-handed.

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Composer/arranger/ pianist Dr. Clare Fischer has died

Clare Fischer (October 22, 1928 – January 26, 2012) was an American keyboardist, composer, arranger, and bandleader. After graduating from Michigan State University, he became the pianist and arranger for the vocal group The Hi-Lo’s in the late 1950s. Fischer went on to work with Dizzy Gillespie and Donald Byrd, and became known for his Latin and bossa nova recordings in the 1960s. He composed the jazz standard, "Pensativa". Fischer was nominated for eleven Grammy Awards, winning two for his albums, Clare Fischer and Salsa Picante Present 2+2 (1981) and Free Fall (1986), where he merged Latin and vocal music. Fischer also became an in-demand arranger for pop albums, working with Prince, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, Robert Palmer, and many others.

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Gustav Leonhardt (30 May 1928 – 16 January 2012)

Gustav Leonhardt was a highly renowned Dutch keyboard player, conductor, musicologist, teacher and editor. Leonhardt was a leading figure in the movement to perform music on period instruments. He played professionally the harpsichord, pipe organ, claviorganum (a combination of a harpsichord and an organ), clavichord and fortepiano.

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Alexis Weissenberg, Pianist, Dies at 82

(July 26, 1929 – January 8, 2012) 

Born into a Jewish family in Bulgaria, Sofia, Weissenberg began taking piano lessons at the age of three from Pancho Vladigerov. He gave his first public performance at the age of eight. After emigrating to what was then Palestine in 1945, where he studied under Leo Kestenberg, he went to the Juilliard School in 1946 to study with Olga Samaroff. He also consulted Artur Schnabel and Wanda Landowska. In 1947 he made his New York debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of George Szell playing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3. Between 1957 and 1966 he took an extended sabbatical for the purpose of studying and teaching. He resumed his career in 1966 by giving a recital in Paris; later that year he played Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 in Berlin conducted by Herbert von Karajan, who praised him as "one of the best pianists of our time".

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