Modest Mussorgsky

Name Modest Mussorgsky
Profession Composer
Date of Birth 1839-03-21
Place of Birth Toropets,
Russia
Age 42 yrs
Death Date 1881-03-28
Birth Sign Aries

About Modest Mussorgsky

Innovative Romantic composer known for “Night on Bald Mountain” and “Pictures at an Exhibition.” He was one of The Five.

Early Life of Modest Mussorgsky

He began to heavily drink while at military school after the school’s director General Sutgof encouraged such habits in his students. He would eventually struggle with severe alcoholism.

Trivia

His “Night on Bald Mountain,” while well-known, is rarely performed in its original form.

Family Life

He was born into the thirtieth generation following Rurik the Great, the first King of ancient Kiev Rus; his family was comprised of wealthy landowners and as a result, belonged to the Russian Landed Gentry.

Associated With

His musical abilities were so advanced that he was able to play a John Field concerto and works by Franz Liszt for family and friends when he was six.

Nikolai Rimsky-korsakov

Name Nikolai Rimsky-korsakov
Profession Composer
Date of Birth 1844-03-18
Place of Birth Russia
Age 64 yrs
Death Date 1908-06-21
Birth Sign Pisces

About Nikolai Rimsky-korsakov

Russian composer known for being a member of the group of composers known as The Five. His best-known compositions include Capriccio Espagnol.

Early Life of Nikolai Rimsky-korsakov

He enlisted in the Imperial Russian Navy at age twelve.

Trivia

He received the honor of Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg Conservatory, the oldest music school in Russia, being named after him.

Family Life

His brother Vion became a famous explorer.

Associated With

He and Modest Mussorgsky were part of the elite group of composers known as The Five.

Alexander Borodin

Name Alexander Borodin
Profession Composer
Date of Birth 1833-11-12
Place of Birth Russia
Age 53 yrs
Death Date 1887-02-27
Birth Sign Scorpio

About Alexander Borodin

Remembered for his symphonic poem In the Steppes of Central Asia; his Symphony No. 2 in B minor; his String Quartets no. 1 & 2; and his operatic work Prince Igor, this nineteenth-century Romantic composer belonged to a prominent circle of Russian nationalist composers known as “The Five.”

Early Life of Alexander Borodin

While writing music, he studied at St. Petersburg’s Medical–Surgical Academy. His early compositions include an 1850 piano trio and an 1852 vocal music piece titled “Why Did You Grow Pale Early?”

Trivia

A prominent chemist and women’s rights activist as well as a musician, Borodin discovered the Hunsdiecker and Aldol chemical reactions and helped establish Russia’s School of Medicine for Women.

Family Life

The illegitimate child of Evdokia Konstantinovna Antonova and Georgian aristocrat Luka Gedevanishvili, he spent his youth in St. Petersburg, Russia. His marriage to pianist Ekaterina Protopopova resulted in a daughter named Gania.

Associated With

After Borodin’s sudden death, his opera Prince Igor was completed by Alexander Glazunov and fellow The Five member Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Camille Saint-Saens

Name Camille Saint-Saens
Profession Composer
Date of Birth 1835-10-09
Place of Birth Paris,
France
Age 86 yrs
Death Date 1921-12-16
Birth Sign Libra

About Camille Saint-Saens

Romantic-era organist, conductor, and pianist who became known for his compositions “The Carnival of Animals,” “Samson and Delilah,” and “Danse macabre.” His Piano Concerto No. 2, Cello Concerto No. 1, and Symphony No. 3 also retained popularity long after his death.

Early Life of Camille Saint-Saens

His perfect pitch was discovered while he was still two. He made his public concert debut when he was five, accompanying a violin sonata by Beethoven.

Trivia

He became the first acclaimed composer to score a motion picture, “The Assassination of the Duke of Guise” from 1908.

Family Life

He never knew his father, a government clerk who passed away three months after he was born. He wed 19-year-old Marie Laure Emile Truffot in 1875 at age 40. He had two sons with her. Both sons died in 1878.

Associated With

He and Claude Debussy shared a mutual hatred for each other’s work.

Nico Muhly

212331
Name Nico Muhly
Profession Composer
Date of Birth 1981-08-26
Place of Birth Rhode Island
Age
Death Date
Birth Sign Virgo

About Nico Muhly

Contemporary classical music composer who was known for collaborating with rock musicians and fellow classical musicians alike. He worked for Philip Glass as an editor, conductor, and keyboardist.

Early Life of Nico Muhly

He received his Master’s degree in music from the Julliard School. His first album was “Speaks Volumes” from 2006.

Trivia

He collaborated with the band Grizzly Bear on their critically acclaimed album “Veckatimest” from 2009.

Family Life

His mother Bunny was a painter and teacher and his father Frank was a documentary filmmaker.

Associated With

He collaborated with Bjork on “Oceania,” the DVD single from 2004.

Henry Mancini

209453
Name Henry Mancini
Profession Composer
Date of Birth 1924-04-16
Place of Birth Cleveland, OH
Age 70 yrs
Death Date 1994-06-14
Birth Sign Aries

About Henry Mancini

Grammy Award winner who wrote many legendary film and TV scores, including “Moon River” and the theme of “The Pink Panther” film series. He was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously in 1995.

Early Life of Henry Mancini

He took a break from his studies at the Julliard School of Music after being drafted by the United States Army to fight in World War II.

Trivia

He won 20 Grammy Awards and was nominated for 72 throughout his lifetime. He wrote the scores for “The Thorn Birds,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Days of Wine and Roses,” and the themes for “Peter Gunn,” “Newhart,” “Hotel,” and “Remington Steel,” just to name a few.

Family Life

He married Virginia O’Connor on September 13, 1947, and the couple had three children together.

Associated With

He contributed the score to “Touch of Evil,” Orson Welles’ crime-thriller masterpiece from 1958.

Jean Michel Jarre

209109
Name Jean Michel Jarre
Profession Composer
Date of Birth 1948-08-24
Place of Birth Lyon,
France
Age
Death Date
Birth Sign Virgo

About Jean Michel Jarre

French composer and music producer who was widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of ambient and electronic music composition.

Early Life of Jean Michel Jarre

He often joined his mother at various nightclubs growing up, like The Fishing Cat in Paris, where he would eventually meet musicians like John Coltrane and Archie Shepp.

Trivia

His album sales exceeded 80,000,000 as of 2004. He was also the first artist selected to perform in the People’s Republic of China, an incredible honor.

Family Life

He was born and raised in Lyon, France. His mother was France Pejot, a member of the French Resistance and a concentration camp survivor.

Associated With

He and U2 frontman Bono played for crowds exceeding 50,000 on several occasions.

Jan Hammer

208901
Name Jan Hammer
Profession Composer
Date of Birth 1948-04-17
Place of Birth Czech Republic
Age
Death Date
Birth Sign Aries

About Jan Hammer

Composed the “Miami Vice Theme” and “Crockett’s Theme” for “Miami Vice,” the classic 1980s television show. He scored 90 episodes of the series and 20 episodes of “Chancer,” a hit British show.

Early Life of Jan Hammer

He attended the Prague Academy of Musical Arts and was given a scholarship to Boston’s Berklee College of Music. His time at the Prague Academy ended prematurely upon the invasion of the Warsaw Pact in 1968.

Trivia

His list of collaborators was a Who’s Who of music greats, including Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Elvin Jones, and Stanley Clarke.

Family Life

He was the son of the renowned Czech singer Vlasta Průchová. His father, although primarily a physician, was also skilled at the bass guitar and Vibraphone. He fathered two children with his wife Ivona.

Associated With

He recorded the keyboards on “She’s the Boss,” Mick Jagger’s album from 1985.

Violeta Parra

207871
Name Violeta Parra
Profession Composer
Date of Birth 1917-10-04
Place of Birth San Carlos,
Chile
Age 49 yrs
Death Date 1967-02-05
Birth Sign Libra

About Violeta Parra

Renowned Chilean folklorist, ethnomusicologist, and visual artist. She was a leading exponent of the Nueva canción chilena movement. Her life was the subject of the biopic “Violeta Went to Heaven” from 2011 that was directed by Andrés Wood.

Early Life of Violeta Parra

She was politically active and a member of the Communist Party of Chile.

Trivia

She was only 49 when she died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to her head.

Family Life

Her family was noted for their contributions to Chilean folk music, and her children also became folklorists.

Associated With

Her song “Gracias a la Vida” was made popular in the United States by Joan Baez.

Vijay Antony

207751
Name Vijay Antony
Profession Composer
Date of Birth 1975-07-24
Place of Birth Tiruchirappalli,
India
Age
Death Date
Birth Sign Leo

About Vijay Antony

Indian composer, playback singer and actor who shot to fame after the release of his 2008 song Naaka Mukka. He also runs a popular YouTube channel where his music is heard by over 600,000 subscribers.

Early Life of Vijay Antony

He earned his degree from Loyola College of Arts and Sciences.

Trivia

He made his lead acting debut in the 2012 feature Naan.

Family Life

His wife Fathima is a film producer.

Associated With

He was cast in the 2019 movie Kolaigaran alongside Ashima Narwal.