Terence Blanchard is an award-winning (six Grammys) composer from New Orleans and is having his opera performed in New York City by the Metropolitan Opera company! This is a very big deal. He is the first African-American to have an opera produced by "The Met"
Without a doubt John Williams is one of America's best known composers. He was born in 1932 to a musical family- his father was a percussionist (instruments that you strike or hit like drums). He studied music in college and played in the US Air Force band. He started writing music for movies in the nineteen fifties. When he was 29 years old he won his first academy award ( one of many) for the movie "Fiddler on the Roof". He then wrote the music for "Jaws" winning another academy award. His most well known work is the music for "Star Wars" - this is music that is known around the world! He also wrote the music for the Harry Potter movies! Here are some examples: Indiana Jones Jurassic Park The Fiddler on the Roof
During her lifetime (1819-1896), Clara Schumann was known as a concert pianist--in fact, she was considered one of the greatest pianists of her day! As a child, she gave her first public performance at age eight, and at the age of eleven, she toured all over Europe. Since she performed the music of other composers, her own compositions were not often performed during her lifetime. Today, Schumann's music is very well known, and now you know her music too! Here are a few examples: Scherzo in C minor Trio (music for violin, cello, and piano) Piano Concerto in A minor (this is a lengthy selection- the first few minutes will give you a taste)
Though she lives in Berlin, Germany Unsuk Chin is originally from Korea (born in 1961). She taught herself how to play piano and started writing music at a very young age. She says this about the music she creates : "My music is a reflection of my dreams. I try to render into music the visions of immense light and of an incredible magnificence of colours that I see in all my dreams" — Unsuk Chin, 2003 She is a very successful composer and has won many awards: 2004 Grawemeyer Award for her Violin Concerto , the 2005 Arnold Schoenberg Prize, the 2010 Prince Pierre Foundation Music Award, and the 2017 Wihuri Sibelius Prize. In October of 2018, she won $200,000.00 and a commission to write new music for the New York Philharmonic orchestra! Listen to the following examples: Toccata Gougalon (this is almost 24 minutes long -- you don't need to listen to all of it, but it is very interesting!) Violin Concerto (this is only part of the first section,