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    Wagner

    Richard WagnerRichard Wagner lived between 1813 and 1883. He is considered to be a romantic composer. Wagner was born in Leipzig, Germany. For three years he lived in Paris and in 1842 he moved to Dresden where he was appointed Kapellmeister. After the revolution in 1848 he had to flee from Germany, moving to Paris and Zurich. After his return he won the backing of the eccentric King of Bavaria, Ludwig II, who became a fanatical admirer of his work.

    Richard Wagner became the creator of the German music drama, that could bind all life reality and illusion into one symbiotic union. He achieved this result with a new musical technique whereby the leading motives recur, often modified by the needs of the drama, and provide a kind of unity to the entire work. His best known work 'Ring of the Nibelungen' is a four- evening cycle of music dramas. To fulfil his ambition to give a complete performance of the 'Ring' (Walkure, Siegfried, Gotterdammerung, with Rheingold as introduction), he started the now famous theatre at Bayreuth, which opened in 1876. 'Parsifal', his last opera, was staged in 1882, a year before his sudden death from a heart attack, in Venice.

         Wagner's birthday



         anniversary of Wagner's death



         Read quotes by and about Wagner

         Listen to Wagner's music

         Read Amazon.com's Get Started in Classical feature

    University offers opera instead of traditional discipline

         Read Fun Facts About Wagner

         About Wagner's opera The Ring.

         Wagner MIDI Section


         Richard Wagner

         Wagner on the Web
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    Walton

    Sir William Walton

         Walton's birthday

         Walton's works were played in an Grammy Winning performance, Forty-Second Annual Awards

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    Waller

    The pianist Thomas Wright (Fats) Waller was a brilliant pupil of James Price Johnson, one of the inventor of stride music. At his time, he was rather regarded a comic singer from the show-business, but he surely was the best 'strider' ever. Fats Waller was known as a blues musician, pianist, organist and song writer SOme of his most famous works are Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Honeysuckle Rose. He led a led sextet which performed It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie, Smarty, All My Life and Two Sleepy People. He was also an actor in King of Burlesque, Hooray for Love, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Stormy Weather.

         Waller's birthday

         anniversary of Waller's death

         Listen to Waller's music



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    von Weber



    Carl Maria von Weber was born in Eutin, Oldenburg on November 18, 1786 and died in London on June 5, 1826. lived from 1786 until 1826. He was a German composer credited as the founder of the German romantic opera (the most popular Der Freischutz).

    Weber figures prominently in history as the composer who established a German opera in his native land and successfully broke the chains of Italian traditions. He accomplished this in a variety of ways: the use of spoken dialogue in place of the Italian recitative; the use of German myths and folklore, with an emphasis on nature, for the subjects of his operas; and his remarkable use of the instruments of the orchestra, rather than just the voices, to tell the story. The overtures to Weber's operas are dramatic renderings through music of the stories that are about to unfold, as in the overture to his most famous opera, Der Freischütz. The opera is about a hunter who, in order to marry the girl he loves, becomes a pawn in a bargain with the devil so that he may win a marksman's shooting contest.

    Taking Weber's ideas and musical idioms, composer Richard Wagner later evolved his ideas of a German Music Drama into the art from that would forever change the course of music.

         von Weber's birthday

         Anniversary of von Weber's death

         von Weber MIDI Section


         von Weber's works were played in an Grammy Winning performance, Forty-Second Annual Awards



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    Webern

    Anton Webern Anton (Friedrich Ernst von) Webern was a composer who was born in Vienna in 1883. He died in 1945. He studied under Schoenberg, and became one of his first musical disciples, making wide use of 12-tone techniques, which led to several hostile demonstrations when his works were first performed. For a while he worked as a conductor and tutor in various cities, before settling in Mödling in 1918. His works, which include a symphony, cantatas, several short orchestral pieces, chamber music, a concerto for nine instruments, and songs, have profoundly influenced many later composers. The Nazis banned his music, and he worked as a proofreader during World War 2. He was accidentally shot dead by a US soldier near Salzburg in 1945.

         Webern's birthday

         Read quotes by and about Webern

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    Weill

    Kurt Weill (1900 - 1950) was an important figure in German musical life during the period of the Weimar Republic. He left Germany in 1933 and later became a citizen of the United States of America, turning his musical attention to compositions for Broadway.

    Weill collaborated with Bertold Brecht in Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera), a topical derivative of The Beggar's Opera set in contemporary Germany, with music strongly influenced by the jazz of the period. Other collaborations with Brecht included Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny). His work for Broadway is now attracting revived attention. Mack the Knife, from The Threepenny Opera, is a well-known work.

    Weill arranged an instrumental suite from Die Dreigroschenopfer, the Kleine Dreigroschenmusik.

         Weill's birthday

         Los Angeles Philharmonic's 2000-01 seasonal repertory

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    Welk

    Lawrence Welk lived from 1903 until 1992. He was a bndleader, born in Strasburg, North Dakota. In the 1920s he developed what he called a sweet-sounding "champagne music' with his orchestra. He toured and appeared on radio in the 1930s and 1940s and in 1951 began hosting his own television show. Carried on network television until 1971, the show featured such traditional forms as tap and ballroom dancing, ragtime piano, and a variety of singing. He was a major publisher of music and the author of several books.

         Welk's birthday

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    Wieck, Clara

    Clara Wieck SchumannClara Wieck was married to married Robert Schumann and was a fine pianist and composer in her own right


         Clara Wieck's birthday

         History of the Piano

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    Wieniawski

    Henryk Wieniawski lived from 1835 until 1880. He was a pupil of Massart at the Paris Conservatoire, the Polish violinist. Henryk Wieniawski began his career as a virtuoso in earnest in 1851, spending some three years in Russia giving concerts and writing music for his own use. After further concert tours he accepted an invitation from Anton Rubinstein to join the staff of the St Petersburg Conservatory, where he served from 1860 until 1872. Exhausting concert tours of the United States of America were followed by appointment as successor to Vieuxtemps at Brussels Conservatory, where he taught until 1877. At the same time he continued his concert tours, brought to an end only by ill-health and his death in Moscow in 1880.

    Violin Music Wieniawski's compositions were principally for his own use. They include two important violin concertos as well as a number of pieces designed to display his technical and romantic musical accomplishments. His Souvenir de Moscou, Souvenir de Posen and Le carnaval russe may be considered a concession to Russian audiences, while the Reminiscences of San Francisco were no doubt designed as a compliment to the audiences of that city.

         Wieniawski's birthday

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    Wigglesworth

    Mark Wigglesworth has been Music Director of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales since January 1996. He is also Music Director of The Premiere Ensemble and Principal Guest Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Since winning the Kondrashin Competition in 1989, Mark Wigglesworth has worked with many of the world's leading orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Philadelphia, Chicago Symphony, Minnesota, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Santa Cecilia of Rome, Israel Philharmonic, London Symphony and the London Philharmonic.

    His future plans feature debuts with the Toronto and Sydney Symphony orchestras, as well as the Cleveland Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. Mark Wigglesworth's festival appearances include the BBC Proms, Salzburg, the 1995 Concertgebouw Mahlerfest and the Hollywood Bowl. For the Welsh National Opera he has performed Elektra and The Rake's Progress and for Opera Factory the three Mozart/da Ponte operas and Birtwistle's Yan Tan Tethera. He will make his debut at Glyndebourne Festival Opera with a production of Peter Grimes in 2000 and at English National Opera conducting Lady Macbeth in 2001. He has recorded Schoenberg's arrangement of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde for BMG Records with The Premiere Ensemble and is currently recording all the Shostakovich Symphonies with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

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    Williams

    John Williams is an American Academy Award-winning composer and conductor of the Boston Pops who was born in 1932. His film scores include Schindler’s List (1993), E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Star Wars (1977), Fiddler on the Roof (1971), Jurassic Park, Home Alone series, JFK, Indiana Jones series, Born on the Fourth of July, The Accidental Tourist, Superman series, Jaws series, The Deer Hunter, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Black Sunday, Midway, The Towering Inferno, Earthquake, The Paper Chase and The Poseidon Adventure. His score to Angela's Ashes earned an Oscar in 2000.

         John Williams' birthday

         John Williams in the news

         Williams' work won a Grammy Award, Forty-Second Annual Awards

    And the Winner Is...    Williams' score won an Oscar, Seventy-Second Annual Awards

         Listen to Williams' music

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    Willson

    Meredith Willson (Reiniger) was a composer and lyricist who was born in Mason City, Iowa in 1902. He studied in New York City for a career in serious music and after touring with the John Philip Sousa band (1921 until 1923), he became the principal flutist of the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra (1924 until 1929). In the 1930s and 1940s he was music director of several radio programs including The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. He also composed film scores (including Chaplin's The Great Dictator, 1940) and both words and music for popular songs; his biggest hit would be "May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You" (1950). Even this was eclipsed by the success of his musical, The Music Man (1957), for which he wrote the book as well as lyrics and music. His other successful musical was The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1960), for which he wrote lyrics and music. He also composed some concert music. He died in 1984.

         Willson's birthday

         anniversary of Willson's death

         Nominated for a Broadway Tony Award



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    Wolf

    Hugo Philipp Jakob Wolf was born in 1860 and died in 1903. He was a composer who was born in Windischgraz, Austria. He studied at the Vienna Conservatory, then earned a living by teaching, conducting, and music criticism. From 1888 he composed about 300 songs, settings of poems by Goethe and others, the opera Der Corregidor (1895), and other works. Having lived most of his life in poverty, he became insane in 1897, and died in the asylum at Steinhof, near Vienna. He is best known for his books of songs, notably Spanish Song Book and Goethe Song Book.

         Wolf's birthday

         Read quotes by and about Wolf

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    Wonder

    Stevie Wonder (Stevland Morris) was born prematurely on May 13, 1950. Too much oxygen in the incubator caused the baby to become permanently blind. However, this did not prove to be any kind of handicap to Stevland’s musical talents as a singer, songwriter and multiinstrumentalist.

    At the tender age of ten, Little Stevie Wonder, as he was called by Berry Gordy at Motown, was discovered singing and playing the harmonica. The child prodigy got a little bigger and in his teen years recorded Fingertips (his first hit) and My Cherie Amour; co-wrote I was Made to Love Her, For Once in My Life and Tears of a Clown. If You Really Love Me was a #1 hit and Stevie was just 20 years old.

    Stevie Wonder won an Oscar in 1984 (I Just Called to Say I Love You); induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989; and sixteen Grammy Awards. He has stood up for civil rights, campaigns against cancer, AIDS, drunk driving and the plight of Ethiopians.

         Wonder's birthday



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    A line of music

    Many thanks to Dearest for everything!


 
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