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Lynn Anderson, singer of 'Rose Garden,' dies in Nashville



Lynn Anderson, whose 'Rose Garden' album was one of the best-selling country LPs of all time, has died at 67. Lynn Rene Anderson (September 26, 1947 – July 30, 2015) was a multi-award-winning American country music singer known for a string of hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s, most notably her 1970 country-pop, worldwide megahit "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden". Anderson's crossover appeal and regular exposure on national television helped her to become one of the most popular and successful country singers of the 1970s. WIKIPEDIA



Van Alexander, Composer, arranger and studio conductor Dies at 100


Van Alexander (born Alexander Van Vliet Feldman, May 2, 1915 – July 19, 2015) was an American bandleader, arranger and composer. Alexander led bands and arranged from high school, and studied composition in college. He landed a job selling arrangements to Chick Webb in the middle of the 1930s. One of these, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket", became a hit for Webb and Ella Fitzgerald, and subsequently became one of her signature tunes. Alexander later arranged other nursery rhymes for jazz performance, such as "Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?" and "Got a Pebble in My Shoe" The composer and arranger, whose adaptation of a nursery rhyme became Ella Fitzgerald’s breakout hit, also wrote for movies and television. He arranged and conducted for variety shows starring Mickey Rooney, Gordon MacRae, Dean Martin and James Stewart. Additionally, he was involved in recording sessions with Kay Starr, Dakota Staton, Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman, Dinah Shore, Doris Day and Peggy Lee. Alexander won several Emmy Awards for his television scores, and was presented with the Henry Mancini Award for Lifetime achievement from ASCAP.

WIKIPEDIA...|...NYTimes Obit

VIDEO: Here are a few excerpts from a two hour in-depth interview with the distinguished film & television composer and arranger: Van Alexander for the Film Music Foundation. Here he discusses working with Chick Webb, Ella Fitzgerald & Dean Martin.

Ivan Moravec (9 November 1930 ‒ 27 July 2015)



The Czech pianist Ivan Moravec has died at the age of 84. Moravec began piano lessons at age seven, continuing his studies at Prague Conservatory and Prague Academy of the Arts. In 1957, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli invited Moravec to attend his masterclasses in Arezzo. He made his first recording with the Connoisseur Society in 1962, and his New York debut two years later, appearing with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra. The success of this concert placed Moravec in the international spotlight, launching his career.

                   WIKIPEDIA                               

VIDEO: Masterful Czech pianist Ivan Moravec recording Chopin, discusses his recording philosophy and his deep understanding of the piano as an instrument. Includes rare footage of his artistry. 

Theodore Bikel, created the role of Baron von Trapp in the original Broadway production of “The Sound of Music” Dies at 91



NYTimes Obit
 Theodore Meir Bikel (May 2, 1924 – July 21, 2015) was an Austrian-American Jewish actor, folk singer, musician, and composer. He made his film debut in The African Queen (1951) and was nominated for an Academy Award for his supporting role as Sheriff Max Muller in The Defiant Ones (1958). Bikel is President of the Associated Actors and Artistes of America and was president of Actors' Equity in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Partners for Progressive Israel,where he also lectures. His autobiography, Theo, first published in 1995, has been reprinted and updated three times. On Broadway he originated the role of Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music in 1959, for which he received his second Tony nomination. Bikel did not like his role in The Sound of Music because his ability to sing was limited in the play, and he did not like to perform repeatedly the same role of the Captain. The song "Edelweiss" was created spontaneously, during the final try-outs off-Broadway, when it was realized that Bikel, an experienced folk singer, acting as Captain von Trapp, had no song of his own. Later, many people in theatre audiences claimed they remembered hearing "Edelweiss" as a traditional folk song.

                                 WIKIPEDIA                                     

ETTORE STRATTA Conductor, arranger, recording producer


Mr. Stratta conducted and produced albums devoted to symphonic adaptations of different musical forms, including “Symphonic Tango” and “Symphonic Boleros.” His “Symphonic Elvis” was recorded, appropriately, by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra in 1996. Stratta has recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Fantasy Strings, among other groups, and showed no signs of slowing down following the turn of the millennium. Ettore Stratta, who produced records by stars like Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett and conducted symphonic arrangements of everything from bossa nova to the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, died on July 9, 2015 in Manhattan. He was 82.

                              NYTimes Bio                                  

Jon Vickers, Opera Star Known for His Raw Power and Intensity, Dies at 88

NYTimes Obit 

Jonathan Stewart Vickers, CC (October 29, 1926 – July 10, 2015), known professionally as Jon Vickers, was a Canadian heldentenor. Born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, he was the sixth in a family of eight children. In 1950, he was awarded a scholarship to study opera at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. In 1957 Vickers joined London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden company. In 1960 he joined the Metropolitan Opera. He became world famous for a wide range of German, French and Italian roles. Vickers' huge, powerful voice and solid technique met the demands of many French, German and Italian roles. He was also highly regarded for his powerful stage presence and thoughtful characterizations. In 1968 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. Vickers received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, Canada's highest honour in the performing arts, in 1998.

           WIKIPEDIA                                   



VIDEO: Jon Vickers - 'Vesti la giubba' (Karajan) 

James Holesovsky, 72 cellist

He was one of Philadelphia's ultimate behind-the-scenes musicians... James Holesovsky, 72, died Saturday, June 27, 2015. Passed after an extended illness, was a cellist who could have had the personal glory to which many aspire. Instead, through his personal musical standards and networking skills, he helped maintain the quality of classical music in Philadelphia. Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/arts