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Sérgio Assad

Coming from a family of musicians, Sérgio Assad is a living Brazilian composer and guitarist. He and his brother Odair make up the Duo Assad , while his sister Badi is also a professional guitar player. Assad began arranging and composing for guitar at the age of 14, studying guitar with Monina Tavora after the technique and style of Andrés Segovia.

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Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer who remains one of the most celebrated musicians of all time. He is known today for his nine symphonies and 16 string quartets, but he also composed a great number of choral works, song cycles, piano works and pieces for chamber ensembles. Beethoven began composing before his 12th birthday, and his influence helped to bridge the gap between the Classical and the Romantic eras of music composition. His work is often divided into three periods, as his technique changed with time and age.

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Leonard bernstein

Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein was the first American-born conductor to achieve a truly international status. Born to Russian-Jewish immigrants at the end of World War I, Bernstein lived the American Dream. He flourished at school, went on to Harvard and from there to the Curtis Institute. He spent summers at the Tanglewood festival as assistant to Serge Koussevitzky.

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Luiz Floriano Bonfá

Perhaps best known for the music he composed for the film Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus), Luiz Floriano Bonfá was a guitarist and composer from Brazil. He began to play the guitar at a young age, and studied under Isaías Sávio for most of his youth.

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Paul bowles

Paul Bowles

Novelist and composer Paul Bowles was man of the hour in New York musical circles of the 1940s. He was also man of the hour in American literary circles of the 1950s. Much of this has since been forgotten, however, and he has fallen into obscurity in both fields. As a friend and disciple of Aaron Copland, Bowles accompanied the older composer to Morocco for a while. The two then travelled to Paris, where they became acquainted with Virgil Thomson. Bowles remained in Paris for a short time, studying there with Copland, Thomson and Nadia Boulanger.

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Lord edward benjamin britten

Benjamin Britten

Perhaps the most prolific and recognised composer of the post-World War II generation, Benjamin Britten’s work has a sobriety and modernity that is instantly identifiable. Brought up by a typically austere English family, Britten was sent to boarding school and began to compose at a young age. From the age of twelve he spent his school holidays studying with composer Frank Bridge, going on to the Royal College of Music and studies with John Ireland and Arthur Benjamin. Britten became fascinated by the techniques of Mahler and Walton, though he shunned the music of Elgar and Vaughan Williams.

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João Teixeira Guimarães

João Teixeira Guimarães was known as “Pernambuco”, as that was the area of Brazil he represented musically. Born in Pernambuco, Guimarães relocated to Rio de Janeiro in 1891 when his mother remarried after his father’s death. He began composing in his late teens, finding inspiration in his working life as a blacksmith.

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Franz joseph haydn

Franz Joseph Haydn

Showing signs of musical capacity at an early age, Franz Joseph Haydn was sent to live with an educated relative in Hainburg. He learned singing, harpsichord and violin, and at the age of eight was recruited to the choir of St Stephen’s in Vienna (now known as the Vienna Choirboys.) There he received his rudimentary musical education, and he went on to teach himself music history and composition by studying Fux, C.P.E. bach and more. He started teaching harpsichord lessons, soon becoming teacher to a Countess.

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Antônio Carlos Jobim

Antônio Carlos Jobim was a 20th century Brazilian pianist, composer and guitarist. He began his professional career playing piano in beach bars in the Copacabana and Ipanema areas in the 1940s. He soon became an arranger for a recording label, which led to his appointment as artistic director of the Odeon label in 1956.

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Bryce kulak

Bryce Kulak

A young singer and composer from Edmonton, Bryce Kulak is enjoying critical acclaim in musical circles around North America. He has sung with the Edmonton Symphony and Quartetto Gelato.

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Friedrich August Kummer

Cellist Friedrich August Kummer began his musical career as an oboist. Following in his father’s footsteps, he took up a position as an orchestral oboist at the court in Dresden. Kummer was primarily a cellist, having been appointed to the Royal Opera House by Carl Maria von Weber. When the principal cello position in the court orchestra was vacated by the death of Karl Höckner, Kummer stepped in. A contemporary of Mendelssohn and Schubert, Kummer performed chamber music with Schubert’s son (also named Franz) and in string quartets with Mendelssohn.

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Celso Machado

Celso Machado is a composer and instrumentalist from Brazil who lives in Canada. Machado began to play guitar in street bands at the age of seven, and formed a guitar quartet with three of his five brothers in the early 1970s. He works widely with World-Music organisations here and abroad, having played with the Assad Brothers, Peter Finger and others.

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Gustav mahler

Gustav Mahler

Raised in a small German-Jewish town in what is now the Czech Republic, Gustav Mahler’s music is heavily influenced by the First Viennese School of composition. Mahler became interested in music at a young age, and though his family was Jewish, he joined the choir at a local Catholic church, receiving instruction from the choir director. His musical talent was discovered by a rich patron when he was a teenager, and he was brought to the Vienna Conservatory to study Julius Epstein, a friend of Johannes Brahms.

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Rudolf Matz

Rudolf Matz was a 20th century Croatian composer, cellist and teacher. A very active conductor and member of the musical community of Zagreb, Matz also composed over 500 pieces in his lifetime. His works for cello were often meant to instruct or to demonstrate technique, and his unconventional quartet for four cellos is unique in its treatment of the first cello.

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Colin mcphee

Colin McPhee

Born in Canada and raised in the United States, Colin McPhee was a composer who explored the world in his life and music. He studied piano and composition in Canada, the United States and Europe. His first piano concerto was premiered by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 1924. When he settled briefly in New York, he produced a Sea Chanty Suite and some music for experimental moving pictures. It was at this point that McPhee heard a recording of the gamelan (a Balinese melodic percussion instrument) and decided to continue his musical exploration in that country.

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Felix Mendelssohn

Felix Mendelssohn was born in Hamburg to a well-educated family. His paternal grandfather was a Jewish philosopher and contemporary of Immanuel Kant, while his maternal grandfather was a Court Jew in the court of Friedrich the Great of Prussia. Felix and his siblings were secretly baptised into the Protestant Christian faith in 1816, and in 1822 they were advised to start using the name Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (after a family farm) in order to distance themselves from the Jewish surname Mendelssohn.

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Ernesto Nazareth

Ernesto Nazareth was a Brazilian composer who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He began his career working at cafes and parties, playing his way through every piano piece available. Nazareth’s early compositions were influenced by his great love of the music of Frédéric Chopin, but by the end of the 19th century he was composing only in the local popular dance forms of Brazil.

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Joseph maurice ravel

Maurice Ravel

Considered to be one of the founders of musical impressionism, Maurice Ravel was raised in Paris at the turn of the 20th century. He was considered an intelligent and capable musician at a young age, but his laziness in practising piano caused his father to find incentive for him to continue his studies. After receiving one franc for every thirty minutes of practice, Ravel was convinced to advance in his field. He began to take harmony lessons and his tastes were refined over the years.

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Franz Schubert

Franz Schubert was a native of Vienna, and composer of over six hundred lieder, as well as symphonies, operas, chamber music and more. He began to compose as an adolescent, but following the death of his mother, he trained as a schoolteacher in order to make ends meet. The early compositions of Schubert displayed the influence of fellow Austrian composers Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose canon was integral to the development of the young composer’s technique.

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Robert Schumann

German composer Robert Schumann was introduced to the public at the age of eleven, when he and his brother Karl began performing as pianists and actors at the Zwickau Gymnasium.

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Richard strauss

Richard Strauss

Richard Strauss enjoyed a long life and a prolific career as a representative of the end of the Romantic era. Coming from a musical family, Strauss quickly rose in the ranks of musical Munich after composing his first works at the age of six. Richard Strauss was raised on the music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, and though he began his career writing lieder and chamber music, he soon became interested in orchestral works.

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Jan kYtitel (johann baptist) vanhal-wanhal

Jan Křtitel Vanhal

One of the Bohemian composers who thrived in Austria, Vanhal is often ignored in the annals of Classical music. He was an autodidact as a teenager, teaching himself organ, violin and cello. When he reached adulthood, a rich noblewoman from his village near Prague sent him to Vienna to study with Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf.

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Villa lobos

Heitor Villa-Lobos

Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos is the most renowned composer from his country. Born in 1887 in Rio de Janeiro, Villa-Lobos was raised by a librarian and strict educator. The composer split his time between his two favourite instruments – the cello and the guitar. After formal schooling in Western art music and in the popular music of Brazil, Villa-Lobos taught himself to compose music for the piano. He married Lucília Guimarães, a pianist of some fame, who premiered his pieces throughout the 1910s and 20s.

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Kurt julian weill

Kurt Weill

Kurt Weill is perhaps best known for his satirical work and collaborations with the like of Ira Gershwin, Langston Hughes and Ogden Nash, but his story began long before those illustrious projects. Weill was the son of a synagogue cantor in Germany in the early 20th century. As you might imagine, that was not an easy time to be a Jewish artist. His father was a minor composer in his own right, and he encouraged Weill’s musical education.

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