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Einojuhani Rautavaara 9 October 1928 – 27 July 2016...was a Finnish composer

Einojuhani Rautavaara (About this sound pronunciation (help·info); 9 October 1928 – 27 July 2016) was a Finnish composer of classical music. He was one of the most notable Finnish composers after Jean Sibelius. Rautavaara wrote a great number of works spanning various styles. Having written early works using 12-tone serial techniques, his later music may be described as neo-romantic and mystical. Major works include Cantus Arcticus and Symphony No. 7 "Angel of Light". WIKIPEDIA

 VIDEO...Rautavaara is a prolific composer with a career spanning seven decades. So far he has created ten operas, of which Thomas (1982-1985), Vincent (1986-1987) and Aleksis Kivi (1995-1996) are the best known. He has also produced eight symphonies and many concertos including the popular Cantus Arcticus; concerto for birds & orchestra (1972) and the double bass concerto Angel of Dusk (1980). Rautavaara has also written reams of choral, chamber and vocal music and a small amount of electronic music. Through working directly from his emotions and not hewing to party line serialism, Einojuhani Rautavaara has emerged, in the autumn of his life, as one the major figures in contemporary music worldwide.Symphony No.8 was composed in 1999. Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Mikko Franck.

Marni Nixon, the Voice Behind the Screen, Dies at 86

Ms. Nixon was the ghost singer for actresses in many of Hollywood’s most famous musicals, from “The King and I” to “West Side Story” to “My Fair Lady.” Marni Nixon (born February 22, 1930, died July 24, 2016) was an American soprano and playback singer for featured actresses in movie musicals. She was most famous for dubbing the singing voices of the leading actresses in films, including The King and I, West Side Story, and My Fair Lady. Nixon's varied career included, besides her voice work in films, some film roles of her own, television, opera, concerts with major symphony orchestras around the world, musicals on stage throughout the United States and recordings. WIKIPEDIA NYTimes obit VIDEO

Gregg Smith (b. August 21, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois- D. July 12, 2016)


Gregg Smith, a choral conductor and composer whose ensemble, the Gregg Smith Singers, established new standards for professional choral singing and championed the work of contemporary American composers in performance and on recordings, died on Tuesday, 7 JUL 2016, in Bronxville, N.Y. He was 84. The cause was a heart attack, his wife, the soprano Rosalind Rees, said. Mr. Smith founded the Gregg Smith Singers in 1955. Gregg Smith, was one of the most prominent choral conductors in the United States. NYTimes obit GreggSmithSingers.com WIKIPEDIA VIDEO

Maralin Niska (November 16, 1926 – July 9, 2016) was an American operatic soprano, well known as a singing-actress.


Born in San Pedro, California, Niska studied under Louise Mansfield, Lotte Lehmann, and primarily Ernest St. John Metz. Niska sang extensively in southern California during the 1950s, including performances with the USC Opera, UCLA Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Redlands Bowl and other regional companies. Her extensive national and international career began at the opening of the Metropolitan Opera National Company as Susannah in the Carlisle Floyd work, in Indianapolis in 1965. After retiring from the stage, she lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and was married to William Mullen. WIKIPEDIA

VIDEO: Maralin Niska - Quando Men Vo, Live Metropolitan Opera (HQ) Opera; La Boheme Composer; Puccini Soprano; Maralin Niska Place & Date; Metropolitan Opera,1977.
 

Gladys Mercedes Nordenstrom (May 23, 1924 – July 5, 2016) was an American composer.


Gladys Nordenstrom was born in Mora, Minnesota. She studied music at the Institute of Fine Arts at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she received bachelor's and master's degrees. She studied under and then married Austrian composer Ernst Krenek there in 1950. After completing her studies, Nordenstrom worked as an elementary school teacher until she moved with Krenek to California. In the following years, she accompanied her husband to visiting professorships in various locations and sometimes collaborated on works. After his death in 1991, she founded the Ernst Krenek Institute in 1998 and the private foundation Krems die Ernst Krenek in 2004 in Vienna, Austria. In 2006 Gladys Nordenstrom was awarded the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria. She died on July 5, 2016 in Palm Springs, California.
 

Alirio Díaz (12 November 1923 – 5 July 2016) was a Venezuelan classical guitarist and composer

Alirio Díaz was one of the most prominent composer-guitarists of his country. A guitar competition named Concurso Internacional de Guitarra Alirio Díaz has been held in his honor in Caracas and other cities in Venezuela (the April 2006 contest was held in Carora). Many compositions have been dedicated to Díaz including Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo's Invocación y Danza. In 1961, Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo's piece Invocación y Danza, dedicated to Alirio Díaz, won the First Prize at the Coupe International de Guitare awarded by the Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (ORTF). In turn, Díaz obliged and the next year performed this very difficult solo piece. It has also been recorded by Díaz. This was the first of many compositions subsequently dedicated to Alirio Díaz. Alirio Díaz performed all over the world combining baroque music with the works of modern Latin American composers, such as Lauro, Sojo and Barrios Mangoré. He teached in Rome and performed in concert with his son Senio. During the European winter, he used to return to Venezuela to his native town, La Candelaria. WIKIPEDIA

Inocente José Carreño, 96 years


Inocente José Carreño (28 December 1919, Porlamar, Margarita Island, Venezuela – 29 June 2016) was a composer and academic. He won the Venezuelan National Prize for Music in 1989. Carreño died 29 June 2016, aged 96. WIKIPEDIA VIDEO: Margariteña (glosa sinfónica), for orchestra (1954) Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá Enrique Arturo Diemecke Venezuelan composer Inocente Carreno's music explores both the lush colors of musical Impressionism and the rich melodies and driving rhythms of his native popular music. Much of Carreno's music attempts to capture the spirit and feeling of folk music using compositional techniques from Europe, rather than incorporating folk material directly. "Margaritena," a work for orchestra dating from 1954, is an exception; it uses both famous popular tunes and spirited Venezuelan rhythms. It takes its title from the prinicpal song it uses, "Margarita es una lagrima" ("Margarita is a tear"). However, since the music of the island of Margarita, on which Carreno was born, made a particular impression on Carreno, the title "Margaritena" has nationalist implications as well. "Margaritena" is, in fact, a kind of Venezuelan rhapsody; besides "Margarita es una lagrima," it incorporates popular pieces like "Canto de Pulon," "Canto de Velorio," "Tiguitiguitos," among others, all luxuriantly orchestrated and given all the color and life Carreno can muster. But "Margaritena" is not simply a bunch of popular melodies strung together; Carreno cunningly unifies the work by repeating the "Margarita" theme in several guises and in unexpected places, from the soft, tentative beginning of the song played on solo horn at the work's opening to the rousing full-orchestra climax on the song at its end. Carreno also uses a little, explosive theme that immediately follows the first full statement of the "Margarita" theme throughout the work; at the beginning, it sounds savage and somewhat out of place, but by the work's end it is in full accord with the music around it. This repetition and metamorphosis keeps the music argument going, and connects the gorgeous melodies Carreno sets for the orchestra in a logical way, making "Margaritena" into a smooth, spirited musical celebration. [allmusic.com] Art by Adolfo Nigro

Anahid Ajemian, Violinist and New-Music Champion, Dies at 92

Anahid Marguerite Ajemian (January 26, 1924, New York - June 13, 2016, New York) was an American violinist of Armenian extraction. Ajemian's career in contemporary music got its impetus from the desire to help young composers of her generation have their compositions performed. Additionally, she enjoyed performing the music of established contemporary performers. She included these composers with the traditional repertoire.

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