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Vincent La Selva (September 17, 1929 – October 9, 2017) Founder of a People's Opera Troupe, Dies at 88

Vincent La Selva died October 9, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. He was an American conductor. Born in Cleveland, who began performing at the age of 8, and by the age of 12, he was conducting student performances. He received his bachelor's degree from the Juilliard School, where he has served on the faculty since 1969. After his graduation from Juilliard, he served in the United States Army, where he conducted the First Army band at Fort Jay on Governor's Island. His idea of presenting free productions began in 1954, when he founded the Xavier Symphony Society, made up of volunteer performers. Gian-Carlo Menotti was so taken by La Selva's performance of The Saint of Bleecker Street, that Menotti had La Selva perform the piece at New York's City Opera. This led to his being hired to conduct the City Opera's orchestra full-time. WIKIPEDIA

Zuzana Růžičková

Zuzana Růžičková (Czech pronunciation: [ˈzuzana ˈruːʒɪt͡ʃkovaː]) (14 January 1927 – 27 September 2017) was an award-winning harpsichordist, whose work garnered acclaim around the world. Born in Czechoslovakia, where she lived her entire life, Růžičková was an interpreter of classical and baroque music. Růžičková was the wife of Czech composer Viktor Kalabis. She was the first harpsichordist to record J. S. Bach's complete works for keyboard. These recordings were made over ten years in the 1960s and 1970s for Erato Records, and were remastered and newly released in 2016 by Warner Records/Erato.As a teenager, Růžičková was imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camps of Terezin and Auschwitz, and was then transported to the Bergen-Belsen death camp. She was liberated in April 1945 and returned to Plzeň later that year. Růžičková and Kalabis both refused to join the Communist regime of Czechoslovakia which held power from 1948-89 and were consistently harassed as a result. Růžičková performed across the world for 50 years; she made over 100 records; and taught such prominent musicians as Christopher Hogwood, Ketil Haugsand, Jaroslav Tůma, Monika Knoblochová, Vaclav Luks, and Mahan Esfahani. (WIKIPEDIA)

Caesar Giovannini (February 26, 1925 – September 23, 2017) was an American pianist

He was also a band arranger and composer. Born in Chicago Illinois, Giovannini began piano studies as a child. He attended the Alfred Nobel Grammar School in Chicago and the Lane Technical High School. He graduated from the Chicago Conservatory of Music in 1948 with a Bachelor of Music and a master's degree in composition. During World War II he was appointed pianist for the US Navy Band in Washington, DC. From 1949 to 1956 he joined NBC in Chicago and gained fame through appearances on the Dave Garroway and Ransom Sherman shows. During 1956 and 1957 he was music director for the Kukla, Fran and Ollie television show. In 1958 he joined ABC Chicago. His instrumental compositions for Concert Band include Alla Barocco, El Torero, Overture in B-Flat, Overture to a New Era, and Chorale and Capriccio (with orchestrations by Wayne Robinson). From 1961 to 1976, he played piano on many movie soundtracks including The World of Henry Orient (1964), Wait Until Dark (1967), The Fox (1967), The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968), Shaft's Big Score (1972) and Raid on Entebbe (1976). WIKIPEDIA

Opera star...to Hollywood stardom... Anne Jeffreys, Is Dead at 94

Anne Jeffreys became a member of the New York Municipal Opera Company on a scholarship and sang the lead at Carnegie Hall in such things as La bohème, Traviata, and Pagliacci. Her plans for an operatic career were sidelined when she was cast in a staged musical review, Fun for the Money. Her appearance in that revue led to her being cast in her first movie role, in I Married an Angel (1942), starring Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. Anne Jeffreys (born Anne Carmichael; January 26, 1923 – September 27, 2017) was an American actress and singer.

  WIKIPEDIA | New Yok Times Obit


People's Artist of the USSR , Soprano Tsisana Tatishvili dies

23 September 2017, 79-year old famous opera singer, People's Artist of the USSR, Tsisana Tatishvili, died in Georgia, The Georgian National Opera and Ballet Theater of Tbilisi reports. "The Georgian National Opera and Ballet Theater of Tbilisi expresses deep sorrow and condoles to the family of the singer and the whole musical world," the message reads....http://vestnikkavkaza.net BIOGRAPHY

 VIDEO: Tsisana Tatishvili - Vissi d'arte - Tosca - Puccini

Brenda Lewis, Versatile American Soprano, Is Dead at 96

Brenda Lewis (born 2 March 1921, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - died 17 September 2017, Westport , Conn.) was an American operatic soprano, musical theatre actress, opera director, and music educator. She enjoyed a 20-year-long collaboration with the New York City Opera (NYCO) with whom she notably created roles in several world premieres by American composers; including the title role in Jack Beeson's Lizzie Borden in 1965. She also performed with frequency at the Metropolitan Opera from 1952-1965, and was active as a guest artist with notable opera companies both nationally and internationally. Although she is mainly remembered as an exponent of American operas and musicals, she performed a broad repertoire of works and was particularly celebrated for her portrayals of Marie in Wozzeck, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, and the title roles of Carmen and Salome; the latter of which she performed for the inauguration of Houston Grand Opera in 1956. Lewis was also a familiar face to Broadway audiences in operettas, operas, and musicals; appearing in eight productions between 1944 and 1964. Her most successful appearance on Broadway was in the role of Birdie Hubbard in the world premiere of Marc Blitzstein's Regina in 1949. She later became closely associated with the title role in that work which she performed and recorded on disc with the NYCO in 1958. After retiring from the stage, she worked as a voice teacher and opera director at the Hartt School of Music. She also directed and produced operas for the New Haven Opera Theater from 1963-1973. (Wikipedia)
 

Conductor Siegfried Köhler is dead

Siegfried Köhler (30 July 1923 – 12 September 2017) was a German conductor and composer of classical music, who worked as general music director of opera houses such as Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden and the Royal Swedish Opera. He conducted premieres of works by Hans Werner Henze and Volker David Kirchner, among others, and revived rarely performed operas. He also composed music for the stage and taught at universities of music in Cologne and Saarbrücken.

WIKIPEDIA

Derek David Bourgeois (16 October 1941–6 September 2017) was an English composer.

Derek Bourgeois was born in Kingston upon Thames in 1941. After receiving his university education at Magdalene College, Cambridge(honours degree and doctorate), Bourgeois spent two years at the Royal College of Music, studying composition with Herbert Howells and conducting with Sir Adrian Boult. From 1971 to 1984, Bourgeois was a lecturer in music at Bristol University, and director of the National Youth Orchestra from 1984 to 1993. In 1980 he began conducting the Sun Life Band (now the Stanshawe Band of Bristol), which was his introduction to brass bands. In 1994 Bourgeois was appointed Director of Music at St Paul's Girls School, London, a position previously held by a number of noted composers, including Gustav Holst and Herbert Howells. After retiring from this post in 2002 he and his wife settled in Mallorca.

WIKIPEDIA

RIP: Pianist Aloys Kontarsky (1931 - 2017)

Aloys (14 May 1931 – 22 August 2017) [right] and Alfons (9 October 1932 – 5 May 2010) Kontarsky. They were German duo-pianist brothers who were associated with a number of important world premieres of contemporary works. They had an international reputation for performing modern music for two pianists, although they also performed the standard repertoire and they sometimes played separately. They were occasionally joined by their younger brother Bernhard in performances of pieces for three pianos. After suffering a stroke in 1983, Aloys retired from performing. WIKIPEDIA

Patrick Thomas AM MBE (1 June 1932 – 1 August 2017) was an Australian conductor.

For a period of almost 35 years he conducted hundreds of performances across Australia in just about every centre where the various state symphony orchestras ventured, and introduced music to virtually a whole generation of young Australians through his popular and distinctive schools concerts. He held a succession of important posts with four of Australia's major ABC orchestras and the specially created position of ABC Federal Conductor-in-Residence as well as conducting the Australian Opera and the Australian Ballet. He also conducted the ABC's radio chorus, the Adelaide Singers. Overseas, he appeared in 12 countries as Guest Conductor of such orchestras as the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Polish National Radio and Television Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, CBC Symphony Orchestra, Prague Radio Orchestra, and many others in New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and South Africa. Other facets of his diverse career included those of concert, radio and television presenter and interviewer....Wikipedia.