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Ettore Stratta, Music Producer and Conductor, Dies at 82

Mr. Stratta conducted and produced albums devoted to symphonic adaptations of different musical forms, including “Symphonic Tango” and “Symphonic Boleros.” His “Symphonic Elvis” was recorded, appropriately, by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra in 1996. Stratta has recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Fantasy Strings, among other groups, and showed no signs of slowing down following the turn of the millennium. Ettore Stratta, who produced records by stars like Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett and conducted symphonic arrangements of everything from bossa nova to the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, died on July 9 in Manhattan. He was 82. NYTimes Bio

RIP Omar Sharif: Dr Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia star dies aged 83

10 April 1932 – 10 July 2015

 

BBC ARTS   |   WIKIPEDIA Bio

Omar Sharif, also credited as Omar Cherif and Omar el-Sherif, was an Egyptian actor. His films included Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago. He was nominated for an Academy Award and won three Golden Globe Awards and a César Award. Maurice Jarre composed the music for these two memorable films.


 

James Last, Bandleader Dies at 86

James Last (also known as "Hansi", born Hans Last; 17 April 1929 – 9 June 2015) was a German composer and big band leader. His "happy music" made His numerous albums best-sellers in Germany and the United Kingdom. His composition "Happy Heart" became an international success in interpretations by Andy Williams and Petula Clark. According to British Hit Singles & Albums (2006), he is reported to have sold over 100 million albums worldwide. Last's trademark sound employed big band arrangements of well-known tunes with a jaunty dance beat, often heavy on bass and brass


VIDEO: James Last, his orchestra & singers perform live at the BBC TV Studios, London on 15th October 1976.

 

Harry Rabinowitz MBE (born March 26, 1916 in Johannesburg, South Africa) is a British conductor and composer of film and television music.

Harry Rabinowitz is the son of Israel Rabinowitz and Eva, née Kirkel. He was educated at the University of the Witwatersrand and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Rabinowitz' musical career began as a six-week stint playing sheet music for potential customers in a Johannesburg department store. His first job conducting an orchestra was for a show called “Strike a New Note” in 1945, using a rolled-up newspaper for a baton. Rabinowitz left Johannesburg for England in 1946 to study conducting. He was conductor of the BBC Revue Orchestra (1953–1960), music director for BBC Television Light Entertainment (1960–1968), and head of music for London Weekend Television (1968–1977). He has conducted at the Hollywood Bowl (1983-1984) and the Boston Pops Orchestra (1985-1992). He has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He was the conductor at the Orchestra of St. Luke's Ismail Merchant and James Ivory 35th anniversary celebration at Carnegie Hall on September 17, 1996. WIKIPEDIA

 VIDEO: Harry Rabinowitz - City Slicker (1956)

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Choral conductor and arranger Ray Charles has died

asmac bio
Ray Charles, an Emmy-winning choral director, lyricist and composer who worked with Perry Como for three decades, sang the theme song for the television sitcom "Three's Company" and didn't mind being known as "the other Ray Charles," died Monday 6 April 2015, at his Beverly Hills home. He was 96. Charles Raymond Offenberg (September 13, 1918 – April 6, 2015), better known as Ray Charles, was an American musician, singer, songwriter, vocal arranger and conductor who is best known as organizer and leader of the Ray Charles Singers. The Ray Charles Singers were featured on Perry Como's records, radio shows and television shows for 35 years. The Ray Charles Singers are also known for a series of 30 choral record albums produced in the 1950s and 1960s for the Essex, MGM, Decca and Command labels. As a vocalist, Charles, along with Julia Rinker Miller, is known for singing the theme song to the television series Three's Company ("Come and Knock on Our Door"). As a songwriter, Charles is best known for the choral anthem "Fifty Nifty United States," in which he set the names of the states to music in alphabetical order. It was originally written for The Perry Como Show. He is also known for "Letters, We Get Letters," also originally written for The Perry Como Show and later used on Late Show with David Letterman. In his later years, he continued to serve as a musical consultant to television programs, most notably for 31 years on the Kennedy Center Honors. Charles was acknowledged as an authority on American popular music.

WIKIPEDIA          

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