Ignaz Friedman Bio – Famous Polish Composer & Pianist

 

Ignaz Friedman was an accomplished and well-renowned pianist and composer during the early to mid 20th century. He actually began his career as a child during the late 19th century as a prodigy, studying with some of the greats.

Friedman left and fled to Australia during World War II, at first to perform, and overall to move there to live for the rest of his life. While he is famous for his compositions, there aren’t as many recordings of him playing as you might think due to the timing of his career. As you can imagine, these recordings that do exist are revered and have been made into digital recordings.

Not only was Ignaz Friedman a composer and pianist, but he was also a respected teacher. He taught some famous pianists, and so its his planting of seeds that he is also remembered for. His compositions were influenced by some of his favorite composers, like Chopin and J. S. Bach.

His concert in Vienna in 1904 was a big moment for him. After being a child prodigy and moving up, he had officially debuted his own live music to the world, concert style. There was a certain rhythmic suaveness to his style, and he has established himself within a unique niche, which unfortunately has not found itself as prominent on the current market.

Still, his music is very well-respected. And, it should be mentioned that while his few recordings was attributed to the time at which his career was launched, it is also due to many of his recordings being lost. Although, this isn’t uncommon, again due to the ‘timing’ of his career in regards to technology, which is again goes full circle to the same reason mentioned before. Ultimately, he is remembered as a great composer during an era in which there were many greats.

Victor Borge Biography – The Innovative Comedic Musician

Victor Borge was not only a personality on television but also on the radio before that, as well as a star on two continents, Europe and North America. The Great Dane, as he was called as one of his nicknames, was known for being a comedian and using his music as part of his act. Of course, this was just how things were at his peak, as years before, he was a concert classical pianist.

He used his talents in many ways throughout the years and had a career that spanned decades. His nickname ‘The Great Dane’ comes from him being a Danish-born and raised superstar, having moved to America later in the 1940’s. This is where his career continued to take off.

One signature move he was known for was when he would announce that he’s going to perform a song, but he would keep being distracted. He was a comedian, that’s for sure. He was a performer for life, having learned to play the piano and performed for the first time at only eight years old.

Victor Borges was also well-known for his anti-Nazi jokes during his comedy tour. He had to escape his home country of Denmark during World War II. Another thing Borges was popular for was switching types of music mid-song. It was part of how he used music to parlay his comedy routine and mesh the two together.

Borges was truly innovative, and that is what made his career continue to flourish. Want another example of how Borges was innovative? He used literary techniques mixed with a comedic and repetitive recitation of each punctuation symbol of each sentence, including commas, as part of a story-telling routine that really flew over well with the audience. It was his personality that would have to take charge in a situation like that, a situation Victor Borges made into a career.

Billy Joel – The Artist

Billy Joel is an American singer, songwriter and pianist who grew up in the Bronx and is the sixth best selling recording artist and the third best selling solo artist in the United States.

He has had Top 40 hits in the 70s, 80s and 90s and he has 23 Grammy awards to his credit.

Born in 1949 to Jewish parents who had immigrated to the US to escape Nazi Germany, Joel had early piano training at his mother’s insistence. He did not have enough credits to graduate from high school, as he was playing late nights in a local bar to help his mother with expenses, and missed a critical English exam.

Joel said that since he was not going to be able to go to Columbia University, he would go to Columbia Records, where he did not need a high school diploma.

When Joel saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show, he said it changed his life, because here were four guys who looked like nothing special, and they were on the Ed Sullivan show. So this is when he decided to get into music for real.

Thus began a few years of mucking around with several bands, groups and session music for up and coming stars including the Beach Boys and others. He moved to California where he played in a piano bar and composed his hit, “Piano Man.”

Joel began to attract attention, and his songs of “The Stranger,” “Only The Good Die Young.” and “Movin’ Out.”

Joel’s music personified how many Americans felt, as it “told it like it is” as he parodied himself at the piano, and everyone else at their day to day existence, working and playing through their lives.

Joel still performs in concerts and benefits, regaling his hits and honoring his friends and music that is epic of our times.