Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (March 4, 1678 – July 28, 1941) was an Italian composer, violinist, and priest whose compositions earned him recognition as one of the greatest composers of Baroque music of his time. Vivaldi composed much of his work for the female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for orphaned children where Vivaldi had worked for several years. He composed concertos, sacred choral works, and over forty operas. He is best remembered for his violin concertos, The Four Seasons.

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Adrian Adolph Greenberg (March 3, 1903 — September 13, 1959), known as Adrian, was an American costume designer whose costumes were featured in The Wizard of Oz, for which he custom-designed Dorothy's ruby slippers, and other MGM productions. Adrian only designed for women, and his assistants created costumes for male actors. Adrian often worked in period films, and his clothing appears in Marie Antoinette (1938), Anna Karenina (1935), Romeo and Juliet (1936) and Pride and Prejudice (1940). He was credited in films as "Gowns by Adrian".

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"I don't use folklore, I am the folklore"

Happy Birthday, Heitor Villa-Lobos!


Heitor Villa-Lobos was a Brazilian composer and arguably the most significant Latin American musician to date. Villa-Lobos drew from the style of classical European composers but also focused on developing a new, Brazilian musical culture. Villa-Lobos was a pioneer in Brazilian music and a patriot of his country. He wrote many orchestral, chamber and vocal pieces as well as composing for instruments including the piano, cello, classical guitar, harp and harmonica.

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Happy birthday Fritz Kreisler!

Fritz Kreisler (February 2, 1875 – January 29, 1962) was an Austrian violinist and composer who is known for his expressive phrasing and characteristically sweet tone. Although he briefly gave up his music to study medicine and then join the army, he returned to the violin in his early twenties.

Kreisler wrote a number of pieces for the violin, including several acclaimed. compositions which were originally attributed to earlier composers like Giuseppe Tartini and Antonio Vivaldi. When Kreisler revealed later that he was the original composer, critics tried to attack the work. Kreisler responded, "The name changes, the value remains."

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Photo-of-Django-Reinhardt-001Happy Birthday Django Reinhardt!

Jean "Django" Reinhardt (January 23, 1910 – May 16, 1953) was a pioneering jazz guitarist and composer who is often credited as the first European jazz musician who significantly influenced the genre. Reinhardt developed a new technique, sometimes known as 'hot' jazz guitar, that has since become a living musical tradition within French gypsy culture. His most popular compositions which have since become jazz standards, include "Minor Swing", "Daphne", "Belleville", "Djangology", "Swing '42", and "Nuages". (Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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Happy Birthday Alfred Brendel,  Maurizio Pollini, and Arturo Benedetti Michangeli!


Take note, musical parents: January 5 seems to be a good day for the birth of prolific pianists! Today is the birthday of three: Alfred Brendel, Maurizio Pollini, and Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli.

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puccini1Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (December 22, 1858 - November 29, 1924) is remembered as one of the greatest composers of Italian opera to have ever lived. Puccini is known for being one of the leading composers to have worked in the 'realistic' verismo style of opera, and his music remains among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire. His most notable operas include Madame Butterfly, La bohème, and Tosca.

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sibeliusHappy Birthday, Jean Sibelius!

Johan Julius Christian Sibelius (December 8, 1865 – September 20, 1957) was a Finnish composer is remembered for his tremendous contributions to music of the later Romantic period. Sibelius contributed so much to Finnish national identity that until it was taken out of circulation in 2002, he was featured in the Finnish 100 mark bill. In Finland, the composer's birthday is known as the 'Day of Finnish Music'. His best known work includes a set of seven symphonies, as well as Finlandia, Valse Triste, The Swan of Tuonela, and several other compositions.

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"What he had was endless curiosity combined with stubbornness. His work list is astonishing, including oratorios, musicals and concertos, as well as hundreds of jazz compositions. This quiet man of jazz was truly a marvel." –Music journalist Ivan Hewett, on Dave Brubeck.

Today in music, we celebrate Dave Brubeck, who passed away this week on Wednesday morning, a day before his 92nd birthday. Dave was an American jazz musician who is remembered for his influence on progressive jazz and heavily improvisational style. His mother Elizabeth was a pianist, whose classically–trained roots also left their signature on Dave's music. Brubeck also composed orchestral ad sacred music, and wrote soundtracks for the animated show, This is America, Charlie Brown. His most remembered compositions include "Take Five", "Time Out", and "Unsquare Dance."

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Motoi Yamamoto is a Japanese artist, born in Hiroshima. Yamamoto is best known for his salt installations, which he views as meditations on impermanence: the impermanence of his sister's life; the impermanence of his memories of her. 

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