Janos Starker, one of the greatest cellists of all time, died in Bloomington, Indiana, USA where he had been a professor at the Indiana University Jacobs Memorial School of Music since 1958. He was a distinguished teacher and prolific recording artist, who played principal cello in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for five seasons during the 1950s.
Richie Havens – American folk singer and guitarist died 22 April 2013 aged 72. He is best remembered for his intense and rhythmic guitar style and for his opening performance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. He was the festival’s first performer and as many of the other artists were held up in traffic jams on the roads approaching the festival site he had to entertain the crowd for nearly three hours and was called back again and again for encores. When he finally ran out of tunes he improvised a song based on the spiritual Motherless Child that became Freedom. The release of the Woodstock movie after this performance helped him reach a wider audience.
American writer Tom Reiss was awarded the prize for Biography for his book The Black Count on the life of Generale Alexandre Dumas, French-Caribbean military hero and father of novelist Alexandre Dumas père.
Adam Johnson was awarded the prize for Fiction for his North Korean-set novel The Orphan Master’s Son.
Photographs by Miriam Berkley (from National Book Critics Circles Readings and Awards, February 2013)
Rise Stevens studied at the Juilliard School working with Anna Schoen-René and in Vienna with legendary soprano Marie Gutheil-Schoder and stage director Herbert Graf. She worked with the Met in New York and one of her famous roles was as Carmen in Bizet’s opera.
Rise Stevens, in photo of her appearing in the film ‘Carnegie Hall’ made in 1947. Born in New York 11 June 1913 and died on 20 March 2013 aged 99.
Obituary photos for Harvey Lavan van Cliburn – the first American pianist to win the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, under the Soviet Union. He won the competition aged 23 in 1958 at the height of the Cold War.
Maria Callas – outstanding unpublished photos from Lebrecht photographer Brian Seed to celebrate the 90th birth anniversary of Maria Callas, the great opera diva, on 2nd December 1923.
Download at www.lebrecht.co.uk
Maria Callas and Ferrucio Tagliavini during a playback session of a recording they were making of Donizetti’s opera Lucia di Lammermoor, the second time they had recorded this opera together. EMI were recording the opera in 1959 at the Kingsway Hall, London.
Soprano Maria Callas during a rehearsal of the Donizetti opera Lucie di Lammermoor, Kingsway Hall, London, 1959.
Soprano Maria Callas listening and singing back to recording she had just made of Donizetti’s opera, Lucia di Lammermoor.
The tenth death anniversary of Nina Simone, the black American singer, songwriter, pianist and civil rights activist, falls on 21st February 2013. She was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon, the sixth child of a preacher’s family in North Carolina. She was a classically trained pianist, who made her name in the world of jazz and blues. Her famous songs are legion but include ‘Don’t Let Me be Misunderstood’, ‘Sinnerman’, ‘I Put a Spell on You’.