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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