Joyce DiDonato, one of the world’s greatest opera singers, is inspiring maximum-security prison inmates with her voice. Sing Sing is one of the most notorious prisons in the world, and it’s there that DiDonato has broken stereotypes and created a bond with prisoners using classical music theory. [video]
Just heard the very sad news that Weston Noble has passed away today. I sang under him in the Nordic Choir at Luther college from 1978-1980. My dad even played trombone under him in the Luther Band from 1951-1953. I can’t imagine how many young musicians this man influenced and mentored. The number must be in the tens of thousands. At the very least, the heavenly choir has a new conductor. RIP Dr. Noble, you will be greatly missed.
Leonard Cohen, the Canadian poet and novelist who abandoned a promising literary career to become one of the foremost songwriters of the contemporary era, has died, according to an announcement Thursday night on his Facebook page. He was 82. [Read more.]
Half a century ago, Bob Dylan shocked the music world by plugging in an electric guitar and alienating folk purists. For decades he continued to confound expectations, selling millions of records with dense, enigmatic songwriting.
Now, Mr. Dylan, the poet laureate of the rock era, has been rewarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature, an honor that elevates him into the company of T. S. Eliot, Gabriel García Márquez, Toni Morrison and Samuel Beckett. [Read more.]
If one thinks of American choral legends, Weston Noble surely has to be fairly high up on the list. Born in 1922 in Riceville, Iowa, Noble discovered a passion for music at age 5 when he began piano lessons. [More here.]
The tenor Johan Botha, who performed for more than two decades at the world’s major opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House in London and the Vienna State Opera, died Thursday morning in Vienna. He was 51. [More]
Singer Marni Nixon, whose work as a voice double was heard in such classic movie musicals as ”The King and I,” “West Side Story” and “My Fair Lady,” has died. She was 86. . . . Nixon became the most famous example of a common Hollywood practice: “ghosting,” or replacing the singing voice of an actress whose gifts did not extend to music. Nixon was the voice double of such stars as Deborah Kerr, Natalie Wood, and Audrey Hepburn. [More]