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Marta Eggerth, 'the Callas of Operetta,' Dies at 101

Marta Eggerth, an operetta star in Europe and the United States who was almost certainly the last living link to the grand musical confections of Franz Lehar and Emmerich Kalman, died on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at her home in Rye, N.Y. Marta Eggerth was a Hungarian-born singer/actress from "The Silver Age of Operetta". Many of the 20th century's most famous operetta composers, including Franz Lehár, Fritz Kreisler, Robert Stolz...She was 101....NYTimes Obit
A coloratura soprano, Miss Eggerth was often called “the Maria Callas of operetta” for her vocal facility, great charm and sheer ubiquity — in opera houses, on the concert stage, in the movies and on Broadway — in the 1930s and long afterward. Wikipedia



Jazz flutist-Sax player Yusef Lateef, dies...93.

Grammy-winning musician and composer Yusef Lateef, one of the first to incorporate world music into traditional jazz, has died Monday 23 DEC 2013 at his home in Shutesbury in western Massachusetts. He was 93. Lateef, a tenor saxophonist known for his impressive technique, also became a top flutist. He was a jazz soloist on the oboe and played bassoon. He introduced different types of flutes and other woodwind instruments from many countries into his music and is credited with playing world music before it was officially named. From Wikipedia Bio: Yusef Abdul Lateef (born William Emanuel Huddleston, October 9, 1920 – December 23, 2013) was an American jazz multi-instrumentalist, composer and educator for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community after his conversion to the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam in 1950. Although Lateef's main instruments were the tenor saxophone and flute, he also played oboe and bassoon, both rare in jazz, and also used a number of non-western instruments such as the bamboo flute, shanai, shofar, xun, arghul and koto. He is known for having been an innovator in the blending of jazz with "Eastern" music. Peter Keepnews, in his New York Times obituary of Lateef, wrote that the musician "played world music before world music had a name."

Herman "Trigger" Alpert passed away on Sunday, December 22, 2013.

Herman "Trigger" Alpert (born September 3, 1916) was an American jazz double-bassist. He was born in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Alpert attended Indiana University in the late 1930s and moved to New York City, where he played with Alvino Rey in 1940 and with Glenn Miller soon after. Over the course of the 1940s he played with Tex Beneke, Benny Goodman, Bud Freeman, Ella Fitzgerald, Muggsy Spanier, Roy Eldridge, Louis Armstrong, Ray McKinley, Bernie Leighton (1945–46), Frank Sinatra, Woody Herman, and Jerry Jerome. In the 1950s he worked with Artie Shaw, Coleman Hawkins, the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, Mundell Lowe, Don Elliott, Gene Krupa, and Buddy Rich. He released one album as a bandleader on Riverside Records in 1956, entitled Trigger Happy!. Tony Scott, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Joe Wilder, Urbie Green, and Ed Shaughnessy all appear on the album. In 1970 he left music and took up photography. - Wikipedia

Chico Hamilton (born Foreststorn Hamilton, September 20, 1921 – November 25, 2013)

Great musician was an American jazz drummer and bandleader.


Chico Hamilton recorded his first album as leader in 1955 with George Duvivier (double-bass) and Howard Roberts (jazz guitar) for Pacific Jazz. In same year Hamilton formed an unusual quintet in L.A. featuring cellofluteguitarbass and drums. The quintet has been described as one of the last important West Coast Jazz bands. The original personnel included flutist Buddy Collette, guitarist Jim Hall [who died December 10, 2013], cellist Fred Katz [whi died September 7, 2013] and bassist Jim Aton, who was later replaced by Carson Smith. Hamilton continued to tour, using different personnel, from 1957 to 1960. The group including flutist Paul Horn and John Pisano was featured in the filmSweet Smell of Success in 1957. The same group, this time including Eric Dolphy appeared in the film Jazz on a Summer's Day in 1960.  Wikipedia Bio

Jim Hall, Master Jazz Guitarist Who Played With the Greats, Dies at 83


James Stanley Hall (December 4, 1930 – December 10, 2013) was an American jazz guitarist, composer and arranger.

Hall's musical style develops with every new album and collaboration he engages in. His approach to music is unique - he views music as a way to break all barriers, not limited to music, as well as to share his discoveries with others. Music is a vehicle of peace for Hall and he therefore makes it a goal to reach out to others and communicate his music, teaching seminars all over the world. He is innovative and always interested in new modes of musical expression to further his ability...from Wikipedia Bio

Conrad Susa, 78, Composer and Teacher, Dies

Conrad Susa, a composer for the voice, for the theater and for the operatic stage, where voice and theater converge, died on Nov. 21 2013, at his home in San Francisco. He was 78. NYTimes 

Conrad Stephen Susa (April 26, 1935 – November 21, 2013) was an American composer, particularly known for his operas. His 1973 chamber opera, Transformations, set to texts from the poems of Anne Sexton, is one of the most frequently performed operas by an American composer and was one of the featured operas of the 2006 Wexford Opera Festival. His other compositions include choral works and incidental music for various plays. His music is published by the E.C. Schirmer Music Company.
Susa was born in Springdale, Pennsylvania and educated at Carnegie Institute of Technology and the Juilliard School, where his teachers included William Bergsma, Vincent Persichetti and, by his own claim, P. D. Q. Bach, a character created by American composer Peter Schickele. In 1988 he joined the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he served as Chair of the Composition Department....from Wikipedia Bio

John Tavener dead at 69

John Tavener, a British composer known for his meditative, sometimes passionate sacred works and colorfully scored orchestral pieces — including the popular cello concerto “The Protecting Veil,” and the haunting “Song for Athene,” which was performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales — died on Tuesday, 12 November 2013,  at his home in Child Okeford, in southern England. He was 69.
The British composer John Tavener in 2007 at his home in Dorset, in southern England. Mr. Tavener, a composer informed by Orthodox Christianity, was heard throughout the world in his elegy, performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales...NYTimes Obit | Home Page

Sir John Kenneth Tavener (28 January 1944 – 12 November 2013) was a British composer, known for his extensive output of religious works, including The Whale, "The Protecting Veil" and "Song for Athene". He began as a prodigy; in 1968, at the age of 24, he was described by The Guardian as "the musical discovery of the year", while The Times said he was "among the very best creative talents of his generation." During his career he became one of the best known and popular composers of his generation. Tavener was knighted in 2000 for his services to music and won an Ivor Novello Award...Wikipedia

Oscar Castro-Neves dies at 73

Famous bossa nova guitarist and orchestrator was well known from age 16, Oscar Castro-Neves toured with Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz and orchestrated music for films and TV. Oscar Castro-Neves, was a Brazilian guitarist, arranger, and composer who is considered a founding figure in Bossa nova. He was born in Rio de Janeiro as one of triplets and formed a band with his brothers in his youth. 

Wikipedia Bio

Fred Katz dies at 94; musician, composer

brought cello to jazz Pianist and cellist Fred Katz, who studied under Pablo Casals, was a high school dropout who scored Roger Corman films, backed Lena Horne and Tony Bennett, and taught college anthropology...LATimes | Wikipedia

Marian McPartland, Jazz Pianist and NPR Radio Staple, Dies at 95

Ms. McPartland, an articulate spokeswoman for music, was on the radio for more than 30 years. She recorded for labels like Savoy and Capitol. 
Margaret Marian McPartland, OBE (20 March 1918 – 20 August 2013), was an English-born jazz pianist, composer, and writer. She was the host of Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz on National Public Radio from 1978 until she stepped down at the end of 2011.




Traditional POP singer Eydie Gorme has died

Eydie Gorme, a popular nightclub and television singer as a solo act and as a team with her husband, Steve Lawrence, has died. She was 84. Gorme, who also had a huge solo hit in 1963 with "Blame it on the Bossa Nova," died Saturday, August 10, 2013, at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas following a brief, undisclosed illness. Gorme was a successful band singer and nightclub entertainer before joining Steve Allen's local New York television show in 1953. 

 Eydie Gormé August 16, 1928 – August 10, 2013 She was an American singer, specializing, with her husband, Steve Lawrence, in traditional pop music, in the form of ballads and breezy swing. She earned numerous awards, including the Grammy and the Emmy. She retired in 2009 and died in 2013; Steve Lawrence continues to perform as a solo act. Wikipedia

Regina Resnik, Metropolitan Opera Star, Dies at 90

Regina Resnik (August 30, 1922 – August 8, 2013) was an American mezzo-soprano operatic singer
NYTimes Obit
She started a dramatic career ten months after earning her B.A. in Music at Hunter College. The role was Lady Macbeth under Fritz Busch in December, 1942 with the New Opera Company. A few months later, she sang Fidelio and Micaela under Erich Kleiber in Mexico City. In between she sang Santuzza with the fledgling New York City Opera and, performing "Ernani, involami", won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air and her contract with that company for the 1944-45 season. More from Wikipedia

Bruno Bartoletti, Maestro Who Shaped Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dies at 86

Bartoletti was considered a superb interpreter of the 19th- and early-20th-century music of Italian masters. NYTimes Obit Bruno Bartoletti (Sesto Fiorentino, 10 June 1926 – Florence, 9 June 2013) was an Italian operatic conductor, particularly associated with the Italian repertory and contemporary works. He studied at the Cherubini Conservatory in Florence, and made his debut in that city conducting Rigoletto in 1953. After conducting throughout Italy, he would become in turn artistic director of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (1957–64) and the Rome Opera (1965–73). He became permanent conductor at the Copenhagen Opera (1957–60), and at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1956, becoming its artistic director in 1964. He is invited at the Glyndebourne Festival, the Salzburg Festival, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, also appearing at the Royal Opera House in London, the Paris Opera, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. His career was exclusively dedicated to opera, and he conducted several world premieres of works by composers such as Lodovico Rocca, Gian Francesco Malipiero, Alberto Ginastera and Krzysztof Penderecki, and took part in several opera recordings. He also devoted himself to teaching at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. Wikipedia

Composer, conductor pop music BOB THOMPSON (1924-2013)

Bob Thompson (born Robert Lamar Thompson, August 24, 1924, San Jose, California - died May 21, 2013, in Los Angeles He was a composer, arranger, and orchestra leader from the 1950s through the 1980s. Active in Los Angeles, Thompson was a recording artist for RCA Victor, scored film and television soundtracks, and wrote commercial jingles. He composed, arranged, and conducted orchestra for such artists as Rosemary Clooney, Mae West, Julie London, Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, Duane Eddy, Judy Garland, Jerry Lewis, Van Dyke Parks, Phil Ochs, and many others. Wikipedia Thompson is considered a prime exponent of what has belatedly been termed "space age pop," or "space age bachelor pad music." This style of breezy, experimental orchestral music became popular in the 1950s and 1960s following the introduction of the long-playing microgroove record and the advent of high-fidelity and stereo home audio systems, which allowed enhanced sonic reproduction. The writer and arranger provided the hi-fi soundtrack for a swinging-bachelor lifestyle. ON THE ROCKS | OFFICIAL SITE Thompson was one of the foremost composers and arrangers of what came to be known as "Space Age bachelor pad" music – tunes that allowed hi-fi buffs to turn the lights down low, mix the perfect martini and show off their tweeters and woofers. With cascading strings, upbeat rhythms and – as in his piece "Mmm Nice!" – breathy female singers, Thompson's music set a mood, but was more than mood music. Thompson, 88, who also wrote and arranged radio and TV commercials, died May 21, 2013 in a Los Angeles nursing home, family members said. He had Alzheimer's disease. In the late 1950s, he signed with RCA Victor to create such albums as "On the Rocks," with a cover featuring a bikini-clad model lolling in a giant cocktail glass. They were designed to appeal to swinging young guys who wanted to test their stereos and, if they were lucky, their testosterone. Born Aug. 22, 1924 in San Jose, Robert Lamar Thompson grew up in rural Auburn, Calif., a town his parents thought healthier for a boy with asthma. He started learning piano at 10, teaching himself at a fairground on one he found under a tarp. Thompson studied music for a year at UC Berkeley but later said he learned more at KGO, a San Francisco radio station where he worked his way up from pageboy to arranger for the house orchestra. He tried composing during a brief stint in Paris but, looking for steadier work, he headed back to California and wound up playing at a piano bar in Los Angeles. He held a variety of odd musical jobs, accompanying Mae West on tour and writing the 1955 "Criswell Predicts," a swinging tribute to the busty vamp's favorite psychic. Thompson also arranged several albums for Rosemary Clooney and worked with Bing Crosby. But Thompson drew his inspiration from Maurice Ravel, Duke Ellington, and George Gershwin, said his son, who, until he was in his 20s, never heard his father discuss his pop albums.

Paul Olefsky, a Cellist and Educator, Dies at 87

Paul Olefsky, a cellist celebrated for his rich tone, impeccable musicianship and commitment to the work of contemporary composers, died on Saturday,1 June 2013, in Austin, Texas. He was 87. MORE, NYTimes | University of Texas, Austin | Legacy.com Obit

Henri Dutilleux, Modernist Composer, Dies at 97



NYTimes Obit
Henri Dutilleux (French: [ɑ̃ʁi dytijø]; 22 January 1916 – 22 May 2013) was a French composer active mainly in the second half of the 20th century. His work, which has garnered international acclaim, follows in the tradition of Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, and Albert Roussel, but in an idiosyncratic style. Wikipedia

Janos Starker, A Master Of The Cello, Dies At 88


Cellist Janos Starker has died at 88, ending a life and career that saw him renowned for his skills as a soloist, his prodigious work with orchestras, and his commitment to teaching. Starker was born in Budapest in 1924; his path to becoming an international star included surviving life in a Nazi labor camp. NPR | Wikipedia

Don Shirley, Pianist With His Own Genre, Dies at 86

Donald Shirley, a pianist and composer who gathered classical music with jazz and other forms of popular music under a singular umbrella after being discouraged from pursuing a classical career because he was black, died on April 6 at his home in Manhattan. He was 86. Don Shirley (born January 29, 1927)was an American-Jamaican jazz pianist and composer. Shirley's prodigious piano skills were recognized early and Shirley began his career as a composer and virtuoso performer at a young age. Don Shirley's music is hard to categorize. It is possible to say that as an arranger-composer he treats each piece of music as a new composition, not just an arrangement. Don plays Standards in a non-standard way. He is a virtuoso, playing everything from show tunes, to ballads, to his personal arrangements of Negro spirituals, to jazz, and always with the overtone of a classically-trained musician who has utmost respect for the music he is playing. NYTimes Obit | Wikipedia

George Beverly Shea, Billy Graham’s Singer, Dies at 104

Bev Shea, left with Billy Graham
George Beverly Shea, who escaped a life of toil in an insurance office to become a Grammy-winning gospel singer — and who was known in particular for his long association with the Rev. Billy Graham — 
died on Tuesday [16 APR 2013] in Asheville, N.C. 
He was 104.


David Burge, an American pianist and composer known as an indefatigable champion of 20th-century music, died on April 1 in Warwick, R.I. He was 83.

A longtime faculty member of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, Mr. Burge (his surname rhymes with “verge”) performed from the 1950s onward on some of the world’s most renowned concert stages. From his earliest appearances, his recital programs — novel, ambitious and technically rigorous — consisted almost entirely of contemporary works. 


London Symphony conductor Colin Davis dies at 85


 Colin Davis, the former principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and one of Britain's elder statesmen of classical music, has died at 85.
The orchestra said Davis died Sunday after a short illness.
One of the best-known figures in British music, Davis worked with the London symphony for more than half a century.
He first conducted for the LSO in 1959 and took the principal conductor post in 1995, serving until 2006 before becoming president.
The orchestra said Davis had been "at the head of the LSO family for many years."
Wikipedia

Maria Tallchief, Who Dazzled at the Ballet, Dies at 88

Maria Tallchief, a daughter of an Oklahoma oil family who grew up on an Indian reservation, found her way to New York and became one of the most brilliant American ballerinas of the 20th century, died on Thursday in Chicago. She was 88. NYTimes Obit

Elizabeth Maria Tallchief (January 24, 1925 - April 11, 2013) was the first Native American to become prima ballerina of a major company. From 1942 to 1947 she danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, but she is even better known for her time with the New York City Ballet, from its founding in 1947 through 1965. Known professionally as Maria Tallchief, her family called her Betty Marie. Betty learned the Osage traditions from her grandmother, Eliza Bigheart Tallchief. Maria was the sister of notable ballerina Marjorie Tallchief. We support Wikipedia.

Risë Stevens, 99, Stalwart at the Met for Decades in Carmen Role, Is Dead




NYTimes Obit 
Risë Stevens (June 11, 1913 – March 20, 2013) was an American operatic mezzo-soprano.
Wikipedia


Fran Warren, Singer in Big-Band Era, Dies at 87

Fran Warren, one of the last surviving singing stars of the big-band era, died at her home in Brookfield, Conn., on March 4, 2013...her 87th birthday.
NYTimes Obit 
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Frances Wolfe (March 4, 1926 – March 4, 2013), known by her stage name, Fran Warren, was an American popular singer....Wikipedia

Rafael Puyana, Famed Harpsichordist, Dies at 81

Rafael Puyana, an internationally acclaimed Colombian harpsichordist who was among the last disciples of Wanda Landowska, died on March 1 in Paris. He was 81.
NYTimes | Wikipedia

Marie-Claire Alain, Master of the Organ, Dies at 86

Marie-Claire Alain (August 10, 1926 – February 26, 2013) Marie-Claire Alain was a French organist and organ teacher best known for her prolific recording career. She was particularly known for her ability to perform substantial works entirely from memory. Wikipedia | NYTimes

Pianist Van Cliburn dies, bone cancer, 78 years old


Van Cliburn, the American pianist whose first-place award at the 1958 Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow made him an overnight sensation and propelled him to a phenomenally successful and lucrative career, though a short-lived one, died Wednesday morning,February 27, 2013, in Fort Worth. He was 78.

NYTimes Obit | Wikipedia

Wolfgang Sawallisch, Conductor, Dies at 89

German conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch died Friday evening 22 February 2013, at age 89 at home in Grassau, Germany, near Munich. His death was announced by the Bavarian State Opera, a company with which he was long associated. The pinnacle of his long career came not in his native country, however, but with a surprising decade-long tenure as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra that began when he was 70 years old. NPR


Sawallisch, a conductor steeped in German tradition, gained a new lease on life at the Philadelphia Orchestra.NYTimes ObitWolfgang Sawallisch (German: [ˈvɔlfɡaŋ zaˈvalɪʃ]; 26 August 1923 – 22 February 2013) was a German conductor and pianist. Wikipedia

Remembering Pioneering American Conductor, Poet And Anime Inspiration James DePreist

James Anderson DePreist (November 21, 1936 – February 8, 2013) was an American conductor. DePreist was one of the first African-Americanconductors on the world stage. He was the Director Emeritus of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School and Laureate Music Director of the Oregon Symphony at the time of his death. James DePreist, 76, the distinguished conductor and educator, died Friday, Feb. 9, at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., of complications from a heart attack last spring, his agent said. Born in Philadelphia, the nephew of the famed contralto Marian Anderson, Mr. DePreist became early in his career something that is still a rarity today: an African American conductor leading top-tier orchestras. More | Wikipedia

Stephen Simon, Conductor Who Led a Handel Revival, Dies at 75

Stephen Simon, a conductor who in the 1970s and afterward helped spirit the Handel revival into being in the United States, died on January 20, 2013, in Manhattan. He was 75 and lived in Manhattan.


More NYTimes Obit
Official Web Site
Handel Society




Patty Andrews, Singer With Her Sisters, Is Dead at 94



Patty Andrews, the last of the Andrews Sisters, the jaunty vocal trio whose immensely popular music became part of the patriotic fabric of World War II America, died on Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 94. NYTimes
The Andrews Sisters were a highly successful close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie-woogie eras. The group consisted of three sisters: contralto LaVerne Sophia Andrews (July 6, 1911 – May 8, 1967), soprano Maxene Angelyn Andrews (January 3, 1916 – October 21, 1995), and mezzo-soprano Patricia Marie "Patty" Andrews (February 16, 1918 – January 30, 2013). Throughout their long career, the sisters sold well over 75 million records (the last official count released by MCA Records in the mid-1970s). Their 1941 hit "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" can be considered an early example of rhythm and blues or jump blues. The Andrews Sisters' harmonies and songs are still influential today, and have been covered by entertainers such as Bette Midler, The Puppini Sisters, Christina Aguilera and The Three Belles. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. Wikipedia

Death of Patti Page, the singin' rage

Clara Ann Fowler (November 8, 1927 – January 1, 2013), known by her professional name Patti Page, was an American singer, one of the best-known female artists in traditional pop music. She was the best-selling female artist of the 1950s, and sold over 100 million records. Her nickname was The Singin' Rage (a phrase commonly followed by "Miss Patti Page").





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