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    Johann Pachelbel lived from 1653 until 1706 and was the German composer of Italian-influenced organ compositions. He was one of the great organ masters before Bach.

         Pachelbel's birthday

         Anniversary of Pachelbel's death

         Listen to Pachelbel's music

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    Ignace Paderewski, a fine pianist, interupted his career to become Poland's head of state.

         Paderewski's birthday

         Anniversary of Paderewski's death

         Read quotes by and about Paderewski

         Paderewski's Piano

         News Item about Paderewski

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    Niccolò Paganini lived from 1782 until 1840. He was an Italian composer who was considered to be the greatest violin virtuoso of all time. His compositions include 24 caprices for violin, and two concertos for violin and orchestra. Paganini published his Caprice Number 24 in 1820, at the height of his fame. In 1934, Rachmaninoff Composed his "Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini".

         Paganini's birthday

         anniversary of Paganini's death

         Read quotes by and about Paganini

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         Palestrina's birthday

         anniversary of Palestrina's death

         Books and CD's by Palestrina

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         Books and CD's by Pandolfi

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         Parker's birthday

         Anniversary of Parker's death

         Read quotes by and about Parker

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    Hubert Parry lived from 1848 until 1918. Parry's academic records from Oxford were not so outstanding that anyone would have believed the he would become a known and respected composer and music teacher.

    Parry began composing chants and hymns at the age of eight and was publishing church music, piano pieces and songs during his teens. Eventually, he taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music and became its director in 1894. In 1900, Parry began teaching at Oxford. His most famous piece is "Jerusalem", set to a poem by William Blake.
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    Arvo Pärt

         Pärt's birthday

         Read Amazon.com's Get Started in Classical feature

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    Sir Peter (Neville Luard) Pears lived from 1910 until 1986. He was a British operatic tenor who was born in Farnham, Surrey, SE England, UK. He was organ scholar at Oxford, then studied singing at the Royal College of Music (1933 until 1934). He toured the USA and Europe with Benjamin Britten, and in 1943 joined Sadler's Wells. After the success of Peter Grimes (1945), he joined Britten in the English Opera Group, and was co-founder with him of the Aldeburgh Festival (1948). Knighted in 1978, he was noted for his understanding of modern works.

         Pear's birthday

         Anniversary of Pear's death

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    Krzysztof Penderecki was born in 1933 in Poland. He occupies an important position in the music of his native Poland, while establishing an international reputation with music that had a wide effect. His earlier more experimental musical language was later subtly modified by his return to earlier traditions as a source of inspiration.

    The best known composition by Penderecki is his St. Luke Passion, the Passio et mors domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Lucam, completed in 1965. This was followed in 1971 by Utrenia, a choral work that deals with the events following the Crucifixion, drawing inspiration from the Orthodox liturgy.

         Penderecki's birthday

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    Giovanni Battista Pergolesi lived from 1710 until 1736. He was a composer, born in Jesi, Italy. Pergolesi attended the Conservatorio dei Poveri di Ges? Cristo at Naples, became a violinist, and in 1732 was appointed maestro di cappella to the Prince of Naples. His comic intermezzo La serva padrona (1732) was highly popular, and influenced the development of opera buffa. He wrote much church music, and in 1736 left Naples for a Capuchin monastery at Pozzuoli, where he composed his great Stabat Mater.

         Pergolesi's birthday

         Anniversary of Pergolesi's death

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    Jacopo Peri lived from 1561 until 1633. He was a Florentine singer and composer who aspired to restore the true principles of Greek tragedy. He experimented with instrumentally accompanied declamatory style. His opera, "Dafne" (c. 1594), is believed to be the first genuine opera.

         Peri's birthday

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    Gregor Piatigorsky was a Russian-born cellist who performed worldwide and was a teacher at the University of Southern California. He lived from 1903 until 1976.

         Piatigorsky's birthday

         anniversary of Piatigorsky's death

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    Astor Piazzolla was born in 1921 in Mar de Plata, Argentina and lived until 1992. An immensely innovative player of the Argentinian bandonean (a close relation of the accordion), Piazzolla has successfully taken the instrument - and tango music in general - on to the international concert stage, without diluting its roots in the working-class dancehalls and dockland nightclubs of Buenos Aires. He moved to New York as a child, and at the age of 13 he was hired by Carlos Gard?l (the undisputed king of classical tango) to play in the film, El Did Que Me Quieras. He then returned to Argentina to play in the band led by Anibal Tr?ila. When Tr?ila died, Piazzolla began his solo career, achieving massive success throughout the 50s and 60s. By this time he had won a government scholarship to study under Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Boulanger encouraged him to discover the possibilities of his own, native music, and he duly turned his attention to the tango. Updating it for new generations, his vivacious style ('nuevo tango') soon attracted a massive South American audience (and opposition from tango traditionalists). In the 70s he was forced to leave Argentina for Paris, because of the volatile political climate, but his influence continued to spread. His international breakthrough came in the early 80s with his Quinteto Tango Nuevo (formed in 1976) featuring Fernando Suarez Paz (violin), Pablo Ziegler (piano), Horacio Malvicino (guitar) and Hector Console (bass) - and two albums recorded with the American producer Kip Hanrahan: Tango Zero Hour and The Rough Dancer And The Cyclical Night. Both are essential parts of any representative world music collection, as is the harder to find but outstanding live album Concert A Vienne.

         Piazzolla's birthday

         anniversary of Piazzolla's death

         Books and CD's by Piazzolla

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    Walter Hamor Piston, Jr., was born in Rockland, Maine where he lived until he was ten and then moved to Boston. He lived from 1894 until 1976. He descended on his father's side from Antonio Pistone, his grandfather, who sailed from Italy and settled in Rockland. Here the family, to seem more American, dropped the final 'e' from their name. After serving the US Navy in World War I he entered Harvard University, graduating summa cum laude in 1924. He then spent two years in Europe from 1924-26 on a John Knowles Paine Traveling Fellowship, and studied composition with Paul Dukas at the Ecole normale de musique, and also took private lessons from Nadia Boulanger. From 1926 until his retirement in 1960 Walter Piston was a member of the faculty of Harvard University, where he was Walter W. Naumburg Professor of Music and he was one of the most significant musical educators of his time. He received the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 and in 1961, and was three-time winner of the New York Music Critics Circle Award.

    He wrote four books on the technical aspects of music which are considered to be classics in their fields - Principles of Harmonic Analysis (1933), Harmony (1944), Counterpoint (1947) and Orchestration (1955).
    studioAll these books are available for student or parent use at the studio.

    Few American composers have composed so extensively and yet with such uniform excellence. His work habits were remarkably methodical; he rarely altered or revised his music once it was put on paper, and his handwriting was calligraphic. He rarely wrote for voices.

    Piston died in Belmont, Massachusetts in 1976. Today, he is best known for his ballet The Incredible Flutist, his two violin concertos, eight symphonies, and numerous wonderful chamber works.

         Piston's birthday

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    Amilcare Ponchielli lived from 1834 until 1886. He was among the most important Italian opera composers of the 19th century, second only to Verdi in the third quarter of the century.

    The best known of the eleven operas written by Ponchielli is La Gioconda, with the famous Dance of the Hours from the opera a popular favourite.

    Amilcare Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours was featured in the Walt Disney movie Fantasia.

         Ponchielli's birthday
         anniversary of Ponchielli's death

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         Porter's birthday

         Anniversary of Porter's death

         Nominated for a Broadway Tony Award

         Read about Porter's Commerative Stamp

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    Francis Poulenc

         Poulenc's birthday

         Anniversary of Poulenc's death

         Anniversary of Poulenc's death

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    Michael Praetorius lived from 1571 until 1621. He was a German music theorist who is a principal source for knowledge of seventeenth century music. His compositions of Lutheran chorales exemplify the religious music of his time.

         Praetorius' birthday

         Anniversary of Praetorius' death

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    Elvis PresleyElvis Aron Presley (he later changed the spelling of his middle name to Aaron) was known as the King of Rock ?n? Roll. There is hardly a soul alive who hasn?t heard the name or the voice or seen the swiveling hips of the teen-age idol of millions! From Tupelo, Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee with stops in Hollywood and Las Vegas; Elvis gave those who grew up with him, the musical memories of a lifetime. Their parents were brought kicking and screaming into a new generation of music; and their children now sing and dance to music performed by those the ?King? inspired.

    From That?s All Right, Mama and Mystery Train, recorded for Sam Phillips in 1954, to Suspicious Minds, his last #1 hit under the control of Colonel Parker; Elvis Presley was an unequaled phenomenon. He became more than a singer to most of America; a symbol of changes in lifestyles, society and culture.

    Today, those of us who were there can still sing Heartbreak Hotel; the words to I Want You, I Need You, I Love You will never escape us; Love Me Tender will forever tear at our heartstrings; while Don?t Be Cruel turns us all into karaoke stars; and, of course, Hound Dog conjures up a vivid image of the sensuous eyes and trembling lips of a young Elvis.

    For those who had the good fortune to see Elvis, in person, in Las Vegas and at other venues; and for those who have visited Graceland; to an entire generation, the King still lives in music and memories.

    Relive those moments. Get out your Elvis records, tapes, cassettes, CDs and play some real rock ?n? roll. Play All Shook Up and watch a new generation twist their hips to his music.

    Long live the King!

         Presley's birthday

         Anniversary of Presley's death

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    Andr? Previn was a conductor and composer who was born in Berlin, Germany in 1929. After studying music in Berlin and Paris, he fled the Nazis with his Russian-Jewish family, who went to Los Angeles where his great-uncle was musical director at Universal Studios. He continued to study music, played jazz piano, and began to work as an orchestrator and composer for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. During his army service in 1950, he began to study conducting with Pierre Monteux and made his debut with the St. Louis Symphony in 1963. He went on to become conductor of various orchestras - Houston, London, Pittsburgh, the Royal Philharmonic, and, in 1986, the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In addition to Oscar-winning film scores, he composed musicals (such as Coco, (1969) and concert works; he also continued to play jazz and was an articulate promoter of all types of music.

         Previn's birthday

         Anniversary of Previn's death

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    Des Pr?z

    Best 100 Classical Pieces of the Millenium

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    Leontyne (Mary Violet) Price was born in 1927, in Laurel, Miss, and is a Soprano. Price studied at Juilliard in New York before finding success on Broadway in Four Saints in Three Acts in 1952 and the female lead in Porgy and Bess the same year. In 1954 she presented a recital in New York's Town Hall, where she premiered Samuel Barber's Hermit Songs.She went on to an outstanding international career on both operatic and concert stages, especially admired for her Italian opera roles; her Metropolitan Opera debut came in 1961. For a time she was married to baritone William Warfield.

         Price's birthday

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    Sergei Prokofiev (1891 to 1953) was a Russian composer whose musical imagination and dynamic rhythms made him important for the development of Russian and modern music. He performed as a pianist at age six, composed an opera at nine, and was only 30 when he conducted the opera premiere of Love for Three Oranges in 1921. The "March" from this opera was used as a theme for the show The FBI in Peace and War on radio and TV.

    Both Prokofiev and Stravinsky were students of Rimsky-Korsakov

    His "Peter and the Wolf" is one of the best selling gift albums for kids of all ages.

    Others of his well-known works are:
    • Opera
      • The Love for Three Oranges
      • The Fiery Angel
      • War and Peace
    • Ballet
      • Romeo and Juliet
      • Cinderella
    • Film scores
      • Alexander Nevsky
      • Ivan the Terrible
      • Lieutenant Kije
    • Symphonies
      • Classical Symphony
      • The Fifth Symphony
      • Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5

    Prokofiev died in 1853.

         Prokofiev's birthday

         anniversary of Prokofiev's death

         Information about Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf"

         Guess what my li'l Chopin played today

         Books and CD's by Prokofiev

             Prokofiev for Children

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    Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca, December 22, 1858 and died in Brussels, November 29, 1924. He was an Italian operatic composer known for his fluent melodic writing and bold dramatic harmonies. Continuing in the Italian operatic tradition of Verdi, Puccini is remembered for having composed several of the most popular operas in the standard repertoire. His works largely fall into the realm of verismo, or "realistic" opera, in which everyday characters live, love and suffer amidst contemporary settings. His works are noted for their gorgeous melodies, creative orchestration, and dramatic, even sentimental, plots. Puccini treats the orchestra as a continuous means of conveying the drama, with arias, duets and ensembles developing naturally out of the musical flow.

    He achieved fame when La Boh?me was conducted by Arturo Toscanini in Turin, followed by Tosca and Madama Butterfly. The love duet from Act I of La Boh?me is a fine example of Puccini's rich melodic style.

         Puccini's birthday

         Anniversary of Puccini's death

         More information about Puccini's opera La Bohème

         Yet more information about Puccini's opera La Bohème

    University offers opera instead of traditional discipline

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    Henry Purcell lived from 1659 until November 21, 1695. Purcell was the most important English composer of the early Baroque.

    Henry Purcell spent his entire career in various capacities as a musician in the English royal court. He began as a singer in the Chapel Royal as a boy. When his voice broke in 1673 he was named an assistant to John Hingeston, the keeper of the king's instruments. Ten years later he succeeded Hingeston in the position. In 1677, he was appointed a composer to the king. A series of other court appointments finally led to his taking the position of organist at Westminster Abbey in 1679, and in 1682 he was appointed organist to the Chapel Royal.

    Purcell is probably best known for his dramatic works, including songs and instrumental music for some forty plays. His one true opera (short as it is) was Dido and Aeneas, written for a girls' school in Chelsea. A larger work, The Fairy Queen, based loosely on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, was a royal entertainment with music. It, along with a number of his other works, is often described as a semi-opera. His most famous choral work is his Ode to St. Cecelia, but he also wrote more than fifty anthems and numerous other sacred pieces and songs. In these works, his response to the text can be quite moving and his settings of sorrowful texts often contain surprisingly harsh dissonances. Purcell's instrumental music, especially his fantasies, shows his mastery of contrapuntal technique.

    • Dramatic music, including Dido and Aeneas (1689) and The Fairy Queen (1692), incidental music for plays
    • Sacred vocal music, including a Magnificat, Te Deum and anthems
    • Secular vocal music, including court odes
    • Instrumental music, including fantasias, sonatas, marches, overtures, and harpsichord suites and dances

    Purcell composed the first important English opera Dido and Aeneas. "Dido's Lament" from this opera is one of the most beautiful operatic songs of sorrow.

         Read quotes by and about Purcell

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