American Masters http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters A series examining the lives, works, and creative processes of outstanding artists. Wed, 25 Mar 2015 20:31:46 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.4 en hourly 1 Jascha Heifetz: Biography and Timeline http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/jascha-heifetz/biography-and-timeline/3731/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/jascha-heifetz/biography-and-timeline/3731/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 20:31:46 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3731 Jascha Heifetz, circa 1969-1970. Photo: RCA

Jascha Heifetz, circa 1969-1970. Photo: RCA


Jascha Heifetz Biography

From the Jascha Heifetz Biography at www.JaschaHeifetz.com, © 2010 John and John Anthony Maltese

More than a century after his public debut, the name Jascha Heifetz (1901 – 1987) continues to evoke awe and excitement among fellow musicians. In a performing career that spanned 65 years, he established an unparalleled standard of violin playing to which violinists around the world still aspire.

The day after the 19-year-old Heifetz’s London debut, George Bernard Shaw wrote him a now legendary letter. “If you provoke a jealous God by playing with such superhuman perfection,” Shaw warned, “you will die young. I earnestly advise you to play something badly every night before going to bed, instead of saying your prayers. No mortal should presume to play so faultlessly.”

Heifetz is widely considered to be one of the most profoundly influential performing artists of all time. Born in Vilnius, Lithuania — then occupied by Russia — on February 2, 1901, he became a U.S. citizen in 1925. Fiercely patriotic to his adopted country, he gave hundreds of concerts for Allied service men and women during World War II, including tours of Central and South America, North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany, often playing from the back of a flatbed truck in dangerous conditions.

In 1928, he published the first of dozens of acclaimed violin transcriptions. Many, including his arrangements of selections from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, are now part of the standard repertoire. Using the pseudonym Jim Hoyl, he even wrote a pop song that became a hit in 1946.

In his later years, Heifetz became a dedicated teacher and a champion of causes he believed in. He led efforts to establish “911” as an emergency phone number, and crusaded for clean air. He and his students at the University of Southern California protested smog by wearing gas masks, and in 1967 he converted his Renault passenger car into an electric vehicle.

As a result of his vast recorded legacy, Heifetz’s violin playing is no less influential today than it was in his lifetime. To legions of violinists he remains, quite simply, “The King.”

Jascha Heifetz Timeline

 Jascha Heifetz at home in his native Vilnius, Lithuania. Photo: Library of Congress

Jascha Heifetz at home in his native Vilnius, Lithuania. Photo: Library of Congress

Compiled by John and John Anthony Maltese, © John and John Anthony Maltese.

1901: Born in Vilnius, Lithuania (then a part of Russia) on February 2 to Ruvin Heifetz and Anna Sharfstein.

1904: Completed Book I of Charles de Bériot’s Method after preliminary violin studies with his father.

1906: Admitted to the Vilnius Music School in the Fall where he studied with Ilya Davidovitch Malkin; first public performance at a student recital in December.

1909: Played the Mendelssohn concerto and Sarasate’s “Faust Fantasy” in his professional debut at Kaunas (Kovno), Lithuania in May; graduated from the Vilnius Music School that spring.

1910: Entered the violin class of Ionnes Nalbandian at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in January; took part in student recitals there in November and December.

1911: First full recital at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in April; made first recordings for Zvukopis in Saint Petersburg in May; his outdoor concerts in Odessa in August drew thousands of people; entered the violin class of Leopold Auer in the fall.

1912: Gave first concerts in Warsaw, Poland, including three appearances with the Warsaw Philharmonic in January; recital debut in Berlin, Germany on May 19; Berlin Philharmonic debut under Arthur Nikisch on October 28; toured Germany, gave first concerts in Prague, and returned to Warsaw (October-December).

Poster for Jascha Heifetz first recording, circa 1917. Photo: Library of Congress

Poster for first recording of Jascha Heifetz, circa 1917. Photo: Library of Congress

1913: Continued his studies with Leopold Auer in Saint Petersburg and at Auer’s summer colony in Loschwitz, Germany; gave concerts in Berlin, Warsaw, Vilnius, and Kiev (October-December).

1914: Performed the Glazunov concerto under the baton of the composer in February; toured Germany, Austria, and Hungary, including an appearance with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (becoming the youngest violinist to appear with the orchestra since Joseph Joachim); temporarily stranded in Germany at the outset of World War I.

1916: Toured Scandinavia after summer studies with Auer at Christiana (Oslo), Norway.

1917: U.S. debut at Carnegie Hall on October 27 with pianist André Benoist; made his first acoustic recordings for the Victor Talking Machine Company in November; Canadian debut on December 13 in Montreal.

1919: Samuel Chotzinoff became his accompanist.

1920: First concerts in England, Scotland, and France.

1921: First concerts in Australia and New Zealand.

1923: Isidor Achron became his accompanist; first concerts in China and Japan.

1925: Became a naturalized U.S. citizen in May; made his first electric recordings for Victor in December.

Jascha Heifetz, circa 1920. Photo: Library of Congress

Jascha Heifetz, circa 1920. Photo: Library of Congress

1926: Embarked on a world tour in January that took him to the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Monaco, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Egypt, Palestine, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Latvia before returning to the United States in December; awarded the Cross of the French Legion of Honor (becoming the youngest person on the civil list to hold that distinction).

1927: Continued on a world tour in January that took him to Spain, Egypt, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, the United States, and Mexico; wrote the first of many violin transcriptions (Ponce’s “Estrellita”).

1928: Married the silent screen star Florence Vidor and adopted her daughter Suzanne; first concerts in Switzerland, Turkey, Romania, and Greece.

1929: Transcribed Dinicu’s “Hora Staccato.”

1930: Daughter Josefa was born; gave world premiere of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s “The Lark” (which Heifetz commissioned); made his first radio broadcast; performed at the White House for President Herbert Hoover.

1931: Toured China and Japan and gave concerts in the Philippines and Java.

1932: Son Robert was born; world tour took him to Sumatra, India, Egypt, Palestine, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, South Africa, the United States, and Canada; made experimental long play recordings for the Bell Telephone Laboratory.

1933: Gave the world premiere of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s second violin concerto (“I Profeti”) with Arturo Toscanini and the New York Philharmonic; Arpad Sándòr became his accompanist; gave last tour of Germany (just as Adolf Hitler became Chancellor).

1934: Recorded his first complete sonata (by Richard Strauss) and concerto (Mozart’s No. 5, K. 219); gave concerts in the Soviet Union for the first and only time since leaving Russia in 1917; Emanuel Bay became his accompanist in May; gave first South American tour with concerts in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, and Uruguay, and returned to Mexico and the United States; performed at the White House for President Franklin Roosevelt.

1936: Helped to found the American Guild of Musical Artists and served as its first vice president.

1937: Gave the U.S. premiere of Prokofiev’s second violin concerto with Serge Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

1939: Starred in the MGM movie, They Shall Have Music; gave the world premiere of the Walton violin concerto with Artur Rodzinski and the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra.

Jascha Heifetz, circa 1943. Photo: Library of Congress

Jascha Heifetz, circa 1943. Photo: Library of Congress

1940: Gave first concerts in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, the British West Indies, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama, and toured South America, Mexico, and the United States.

1941: Gave benefit concerts for British War Relief and Russian War Relief, and participated in a radio broadcast sponsored by the U.S. Treasury to support the sale of Defense Bonds.

1942: Gave USO concerts at military camps throughout the United States; made the first of 54 appearances (through 1958) on the NBC radio program “The Telephone Hour.”

1943: Toured Central and South America for the USO and gave concerts at military bases and hospitals throughout the United States.

Jascha Heifetz on a USO tour, circa 1946. Photo: Library of Congress

Jascha Heifetz on a USO tour, circa 1946. Photo: Library of Congress

1944: Toured North Africa, Sardinia, Sicily, and Italy for the USO with pianist Milton Kaye; gave world premiere of the Louis Gruenberg violin concerto with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra; transcribed selections from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

1945: Toured England, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and occupied Germany for the USO with pianist Seymour Lipkin, including a VE-Day concert in Beckum, Germany on May 8; filed for divorce from Florence Vidor in December.

1946: Divorce from Florence Vidor granted in January; toured United States, Mexico, and Cuba; published two popular songs under the pseudonym Jim Hoyl with the lyricist Marjorie Goetschius: one, “When You Make Love To Me (Don’t Make Believe”), became a hit (recorded by the likes of Bing Crosby, Helen Ward, and Margaret Whiting).

1947: Married Frances Spiegelberg; gave world premiere of the Korngold violin concerto with Vladimir Golschmann at the Saint Louis Symphony; toured United States and gave concerts in England, France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Cuba.

1948: Son Jay was born; took a sabbatical from the concert stage but gave four nationwide radio performances on NBC’s “The Telephone Hour.”

Jascha Heifetz (right) rehearses with Arturo Toscanini (left), circa 1950. Photo: Library of Congress

Jascha Heifetz (right) rehearses with Arturo Toscanini (left), circa 1950. Photo: Library of Congress

1949: Resumed touring with concerts in the United States, Canada, England, France, and Cuba; gave a series of trio concerts with pianist Arthur Rubinstein and cellist Gregor Piatigorsky at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago; patent granted for the Heifetz Mute (developed with Henryk Kaston); made first television appearance on NBC’s “The Telephone Hour.”

1950: Toured Israel and the United States; worked with Benjamin Britten on revisions to his violin concerto, but never publicly performed the work.

1953: Returned to Israel for another tour and was attacked by a man wielding a metal pipe for playing the violin sonata by Richard Strauss (whose music was then banned in Israel); also gave concerts in England, Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Cuba, and the United States.

1954: Toured Japan and the United States, and gave concerts in Canada, England, and France; Brooks Smith became his accompanist.

1955: Gave the premiere of the revised version of Ernest Bloch’s Violin Sonata No. 2 (“Poème Mystique”) which he worked on with the composer; toured North, South, and Central America.

1956: Gave world premiere of the Rózsa violin concerto with Walter Hendl and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; gave last extensive concert tour, which took him through the United States, Canada, England, France, Holland, Italy, and Switzerland.

1957: Named a Commander of the French Legion of Honor.

1958: Taught first experimental master class at UCLA; gave his last radio broadcast on “The Telephone Hour.”

1959: Appointed Regent’s Professor of Music at UCLA; slipped on the floor at Nate ‘n Al’s Delicatessen in Beverly Hills and fractured his hip; a subsequent infection nearly killed him, but he accepted an invitation from Dag Hammarskjöld, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to play at the Human Rights Day Concert in the UN General Assembly Hall in December.

1960: Returned to the Hollywood Bowl with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic.

1961: Won the first of three Grammy Awards (the others came in 1962 and 1964) from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; gave a series of “Heifetz-Piatigorsky” chamber music concerts in Hollywood, California with violist William Primrose and other guest musicians.

1962: Appointed Professor of Music at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Special Musical Studies where a series of his master classes were filmed; performed at the Paris Opera in a benefit for old musicians and made recordings in England; divorced Frances Spiegelberg; gave a series of Heifetz-Piatigorsky concerts in San Francisco with the pianist Leon Fleisher and other guest musicians.

1963: Public Television aired the master class films; performed the Brahms double concerto at the Hollywood Bowl with Piatigorsky and the New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein; gave a series of Heifetz-Piatigorsky concerts at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Los Angeles.

1964: Returned to Carnegie Hall for the first time since 1956 for a series of Heifetz-Piatigorsky concerts; played the Beethoven concerto at the opening of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles with Zubin Mehta and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

1965: Gave a series of sonata recitals with Lillian Steuber at USC.

1966: Gave his last concerts at Carnegie Hall, including a recital, an evening of chamber music, and concertos (the Conus violin concerto and the Brahms double with Piatigorsky).

1967: Converted his Renault passenger car to an electric vehicle as part of an effort to combat air pollution; performed with the Israel Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.

1968: Gave a recital with Brooks Smith at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and also performed there with orchestra (playing the Prokofiev second violin concerto and the Brahms double with Piatigorsky).

1970: Returned to Israel where he gave recitals and appeared with Piatigorsky; filmed performances in Paris with Brooks Smith and the French National Orchestra for an NBC television broadcast that aired in 1971.

1972: Chamber music concert at USC with Piatigorsky and students; gave his final recital with Brooks Smith at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, which was recorded and issued by Columbia Records.

1974: Last two public performances at USC with Piatigorsky and students.

1975: A shoulder injury ended his public performing career, but he continued to play chamber music with students and friends for the rest of his life.

1977: Agreed to serve as an Honorary Vice President of the International Castelnuovo-Tedesco Society.

1978: Transcribed two excerpts from Prokofiev’s Music for Children, Op. 65 which he published in memory of Gregor Piatigorsky.

1983: Stopped teaching at USC, but continued to teach privately.

1987: Died December 10 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

1989: Posthumously received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

John Maltese is Professor Emeritus of Music, Jacksonville State University, Alabama; his son, John Anthony Maltese, is the Albert B. Saye Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Georgia. They are currently writing the authorized biography of Jascha Heifetz.

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American Ballet Theatre: About American Ballet Theatre: A History http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/american-ballet-theatre/about-american-ballet-theatre-a-history/3638/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/american-ballet-theatre/about-american-ballet-theatre-a-history/3638/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 21:20:19 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3638 ABT_AM

American Masters teams up with Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Ric Burns to co-produce a new documentary about American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in honor of the ballet company’s 75th anniversary.

American Masters: American Ballet Theatre: A History premieres nationwide Friday, May 15, 2015, at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).

Delving into the rich history of one of the world’s preeminent ballet companies, Burns combines intimate rehearsal footage, virtuoso performances and interviews with American Ballet Theatre’s key figures: artists pivotal to the company’s formation, including Alicia Alonso and the late Donald Saddler and Frederic Franklin; contemporary luminaries, including dancers Susan Jaffe and Julie Kent, choreographer Alexei Ratmansky and artistic director Kevin McKenzie; past and present stars Misty Copeland, Gillian Murphy, Marcelo Gomes and Hee Seo; dance historian and author Jennifer Homans; and prominent dance critics Anna Kisselgoff and the late Clive Barnes.

“The story of American Ballet Theatre, and the breathtaking rise of dance in the U.S. over the last three-quarters of a century, is one of the most inspiring stories in the cultural world,” says Burns. “Ballet is the most poignantly ephemeral and expressive of all the arts, both earthbound and transcendent. And ABT, indisputably one of the greatest dance companies in the world, has torn down an incredible number of barriers, welcoming choreographers of every kind and dancers from around the world.”

“As we approach our 75th year, it is a tremendous honor to have Ric Burns and American Masters illuminate ABT’s history in such a rich and meaningful way,” said Rachel Moore, CEO of American Ballet Theatre. “I am certain the expertise and care Ric and his team have devoted to this film will offer a fresh perspective on our art form and serve as a fitting testament to this cultural institution.”

American Masters – American Ballet Theatre: A History chronicles the rise of the company from its earliest days as a small, financially struggling collective, to its pinnacle as one of the most respected and revered dance companies in the world. Beginning film production in 2006, Burns was given unprecedented access to the company and shot hundreds of hours of original footage, including dramatic live performances in Paris and Havana, grueling rehearsals at ABT’s flagship studio in New York City and slow-motion captures at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, N.Y.

The footage from Kaatsbaan features iconic dances by nine ABT dancers, including Copeland, Murphy, Seo, Gomes, Isabella Boylston, Herman Cornejo, Daniil Simkin, Joseph Gorak and Cory Stearns, chosen by McKenzie for their diversity and breadth of talent to illustrate the ABT dancers’ formidable technicality, intricate artistry and nuanced emotion. Shot by Emmy-winning cinematographer Buddy Squires and a 30-person crew using Phantom Flex cameras — which capture up to 2,500 frames per second and brings to life even the smallest of movements — the footage brings a new dimension to the understanding of the extraordinary efforts made in the perfection of form: from the delicate placement of a fingertip to the perfectly executed jeté.

Combined with hundreds of carefully curated stills from archives across the country and rare footage of ballet icons Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Twyla Tharp and Mikhail Baryshnikov, American Masters – American Ballet Theatre: A History provides a comprehensive inside look at American Ballet Theatre and the world of professional ballet.

“Ric has created an entertaining film that will touch and transform both seasoned aficionados and those who never have seen a ballet,” says Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters.

Launched in 1986, American Masters has earned 28 Emmy Awards — including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series since 1999 and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 12 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards and many other honors. Now in its 29th season on PBS, the series is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and also seen on the WORLD channel.

American Masters: American Ballet Theatre is a production of Steeplechase Films, Inc. and THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC’s American Masters for WNET. For Steeplechase Films: Ric Burns is director. Bonnie Lafave and Katie O’Rourke are producers. Mikaela Shwer and Emily Williams are editors. Chih Hsuan Liang is assistant editor. For American Masters: Susan Lacy and Michael Kantor are executive producers.

Funding for American Masters: American Ballet Theatre is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Rosalind P. Walter, Lewis Ranieri, Madeline Eckett Oden, and Ruth and Harold Newman and Jody and John Arnhold, Kitty Hawks and Larry Lederman, and The Lewis “Sonny” Turner Fund for Dance. American Masters is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Rhoda Herrick, Vital Projects Fund, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, Rolf and Elizabeth Rosenthal, Jack Rudin, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation and public television viewers.

About WNET

As New York’s flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore App where users can stream PBS content for free.

About Ric Burns & Steeplechase Films

Steeplechase Films is the award-winning production company founded by Ric Burns in 1989. Over the past two decades, it has become one of PBS’ most trusted and honored collaborators, making a mainstay of bringing quality programming to public television and redefining the way audiences engage with American history. Director, writer and producer Ric Burns began his career co-writing and producing the celebrated PBS series The Civil War and has since directed over 30 hours of award-winning films, including Coney Island, The Donner Party, New York: A Documentary Film, Ansel Adams, Eugene O’Neill, Andy Warhol, Into the Deep: America, Whaling and the World and Death and the Civil War.

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Jascha Heifetz: Passion in Heifetz’ Playing http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/jascha-heifetz/passion-in-heifetz-playing/3763/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/jascha-heifetz/passion-in-heifetz-playing/3763/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:13:33 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3763 View full post to see video)

Jascha Heifetz, a child prodigy violin player, was taught by his father to present himself passively to better focus attention on the music. This does not mean the music played by one of the world’s greatest violinists didn’t resonate with passion, as experts and fellow musicians attest to in this excerpt from American Masters – Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler. Watch archival footage of Heifetz playing.

American Masters – Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler premieres nationwide Thursday, April 16 at 8 p.m. and Friday, April 17 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). Major market premieres include Thursday, April 16 at 8 p.m. on WTTW11 in Chicago and 10:30 p.m. on THIRTEEN in New York and Friday, April 17 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal in Los Angeles, on WGBH in Boston and on Houston Public Media.

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Judy Garland: Top Performers Pay Tribute to Judy Garland http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/judy-garland/top-performers-pay-tribute-to-judy-garland/3753/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/judy-garland/top-performers-pay-tribute-to-judy-garland/3753/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 21:11:51 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3753

Judy in Concert, Las Vegas 1962. Courtesy of The John Fricke Collection.

The artistry of singer and actress Judy Garland (1922 – 1969) is a living legacy upheld by the great singers of our time. American Masters asked performing artists who hold Garland’s work close to their hearts and in their own personal repertory what inspires them most about “the hardest working woman in Hollywood.”

The national encore of the Emmy Award-winning film Judy Garland: By Myself (2004) is March 20, 2015, 9-11 pm (ET) on PBS (check local listings).

Jim Bailey

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Jim Bailey’s fame as an actor and entertainer began in the late 1960s when he created the “illusions” of singers Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, and Peggy Lee by vocally mimicking them in his own operatically trained voice. Bailey has appeared on concert stages throughout the world, including headlining in Las Vegas, and regular performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall and The Palladium Theater in London.

Favorite Garland Quote: My favorite quote by Judy is what she said when she joined me onstage in my nightclub act in which I performed as Garland. She looked at me and said, “I never realized I was that pretty.” She was a great wit!

How Garland Inspires You? Judy still went out onstage the last few months of her life with hardly any voice left. She kept giving of herself.

Favorite Garland Song: It’s changed over the years, but at this point it’s Harold Arlen’s ”Last Night When We Were Young” (1935), which Judy recorded twice. “By Myself” (written in 1937) is another favorite.

Favorite Garland Film: I Could Go On Singing (1963)—apart from being a great stage performer, Garland’s acting was incredible in it. It was Garland’s last film.

In 1968, Jim Bailey’s nightclub act at the Redwood Room included Judy Garland in his repertoire. When Garland herself came to see Bailey’s show, she asked him to sing a song with her. Bailey agreed and the two sang a duet of “Bye Bye Blackbird”, which Bailey had intended on singing as himself. The two later became friends, and Garland became Bailey’s mentor. In 1970, Bailey was booked in Las Vegas and became an overnight sensation. He appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, which helped launch an international career. His performance as Judy Garland singing “The Man that Got Away” was such a phenomenon he was asked back a couple of months later to perform as Peggy Lee. He also performed as himself on both shows.

Also in 1973, Bailey teamed with Liza Minnelli, daughter of his mentor Judy Garland, in Las Vegas at The Flamingo. The two put together a concert recreating the performances by Minnelli and her late mother in London, with Bailey standing in as Garland. The “Judy and Liza Concert” met with great success, they opened the show with Jim as Judy singing “Well, Hello Liza” just as the mother and daughter had done at the Palladium years earlier. ​

See Jim Bailey’s tributes to Judy Garland on his YouTube channel.

Sarah Uriarte Berry

Berry_Sarah_068_ret3Sarah Uriarte Berry is currently writing a one-woman celebration of the music and artistry of the legendary Judy Garland, “For the Love of Judy,” to be performed this October with the Cape Symphony, under the direction of Maestro Jung-Ho Pak.

“At the age of five, I was entranced while viewing The Wizard of Oz on television, and from that moment, dreamed of being a performer like Judy Garland. Throughout my childhood and young adult life I trained as a musician, singer and actress, always keeping in mind Judy’s brilliant artistry.

I have always been amazed by, and tried to emulate, Judy’s ability to communicate the lyric in a song, and her total connection to her audience. She had a willingness to openly share herself, all the joys and sorrows, so completely. That was a space she lived in as a performer, and occasionally, when I’m at my best, I touch on it.”

Favorite Garland Quote: “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

How Garland Inspires You? I am inspired by Judy’s decision to produce A Star is Born, a monumental film, even after all the hardship she had endured both personally and professionally. What an amazingly brave and bold move, especially for a woman and a mother at that time in history.

Favorite Garland Film: My favorite Garland film is A Star is Born. My favorite television moment is when she slams her hands down on the trunk at the end of “As Long As He Needs Me”, Episode # 3, telecast on November 17, 1963.

Favorite Garland Song: I can’t choose ONE favorite song! I have three: “Over the Rainbow” (1939); “Get Happy” (1950); “The Man That Got Away,” (1954).

Sarah Uriarte Berry made her Broadway debut as Eponine in Les Miserables. She then went on to star as Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Sarah created the role of Nicola in the Rosie O’Donnell-produced Taboo and was nominated for a Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards as Outstanding Featured Actress in a musical for her role as “Franca” in The Light in the Piazza. She also starred in the title role in Cinderella at New York City Opera. Other Broadway credits include Next To Normal and End of the Rainbow. Ms. Berry has appeared in some of the finest regional theaters and has been a soloist with over a dozen orchestras across the country. On screen Sarah has appeared on PBS in the live broadcast of The Light in the Piazza! A busy mom as well as a busy actress, Sarah has twin boys and a spirited daughter with her actor and director husband Michael Berry.

Hilary Kole

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Hilary Kole is currently starring in Over The Rainbow, a tribute to the artistry of Judy Garland, which is on tour nationwide.

Favorite Garland Quote: “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

How Garland Inspires You? What drew me to Judy Garland as a little girl was the magic that she brought to her performances. I felt I could relate to her vulnerability. And I wanted to sing like that — so effortlessly and so powerfully. I think the thing that has drawn me to Judy now as a woman, was the fact that she never gave up. She willed her body to continue to perform and she gave everything to her audience, against the odds, against all she had to overcome. That strength and that power — that is what I look at now. That is the thing that most inspires me about her.

Favorite Garland TV Performance: The Judy Garland Show when she sang with Liza. I grew up singing on stage with my father, and when I was very young, we would watch videos of these shows together and he would say “watch and learn.” I would get swept away. Watching mother and daughter, both so exceptionally talented, made me want to dedicate my life to performing. These performances had so much to do with why I do what I do. I am forever grateful for the gifts Judy left all of us.

Favorite Garland Song: “It Never Was You” by Kurt Weill. She sang it in her last movie “I Could Go On Singing” –– done just with her and piano — everything stripped away except that voice and all those feelings. It gets me every time.

Hilary Kole co-wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed, Off-Broadway reviews, “Our Sinatra,” and “Singing Astaire.” She began her professional career at the legendary Rainbow Room as the youngest singer ever to grace the stage. From there, she debuted at the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, made her concert hall debut at Lincoln Center as part of the “American Songbook Series” and has appeared at Carnegie Hall in a Tribute to Oscar Peterson as well as at the Canadian Memorial to Dr. Peterson at Roy Thompson Hall alongside Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, and Nancy Wilson.

Additional major concert appearances include headlining in New York City at Town Hall, The Blue Note, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops. Kole currently travels the country performing her two orchestral shows with pops orchestras, as well as traveling with her quartet. She has recorded with music legends David Brubeck, Oscar Peterson, Michel LeGrand, Hank Jones, John Pizzarelli, David Frishberg, Monty Alexander, Kenny Barron, and Freddy Cole among others.

Kole’s sophomore recording, You Are There was named Record Of The Year in USA Today and won the 2010 Bistro Award for Record of the Year. Her newest CD, A Self- Portrait, has been named as a top ten in USA Today. For more information visit hilarykole.com.

Jane Monheit

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Jane Monheit’s Judy Garland tribute concert with her trio is called Hello Bluebird. “I want to get away from the drama, and celebrate what we all loved about Judy — the immense joy she brought through song, and her innate understanding of jazz. She did so much more than break hearts — she put them together again. And that’s what we’re going to be about with this show!”

Favorite Garland Quote: My favorite Garland quote is the perennial classic: “Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead a second-rate version of somebody else.”

Favorite Garland Film: That’s a hard one! Probably Meet Me In St. Louis.

How Garland Inspires You? My favorite thing about Garland was her ability to overcome all of her personal trials and tribulations to give the audience her all. No matter what was going on with her, when she sang, it was with a full heart. She uplifted her listeners even when she was low, and this had to have taken incredible strength.

Favorite Garland Song: “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” is my very favorite, followed closely by “For Me And My Gal” and “Easter Parade.”

Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Jane Monheit has been a leading light in the jazz and cabaret worlds since emerging as a finalist in the Thelonious Monk Institute’s 1998 vocal competition. The Heart Of The Matter is Monheit’s ninth studio album. In addition to her own recordings, Monheit has worked alongside the likes of Terence Blanchard, Tom Harrell, and Ivan Lins. Learn more on Jane Monheit’s website.

Karen Mason

Cover_300Actress and singer Karen Mason has starred on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and television and is a ten-time MAC Award winner and has won the MAC Award for Major Female Vocalist of the Year for six consecutive years. In 2012, she and the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra presented the Judy Garland 50th Anniversary Carnegie Hall Concert, a song-for-song recreation of Garland’s historic concert at Carnegie Hall on April 23, 1961. Mason has also won the 2006 Nightlife Award for Major Female Vocalist and has three Bistro Awards.

Favorite Garland Quote: “Behind every cloud…is another cloud!” Come on! That is funny and real!

How Garland Inspires You? I have always loved hearing the patter in one of her concerts when she talks about her experience with a hairdresser. She is funny and silly and has the feelings we all have going to a new hairdresser! It is just so relatable and made me love her and think somehow we could be friends.

What Judy Garland’s artistry meant to me was a depth of honesty and commitment to her music, and to her communication of the songs. She had the persona of a smart, funny, generous friend who somehow listened to your problems, and then could give you some help through music and songs.

I have always tried to be as honest as possible when singing. To me, the important part of my performance is to communicate my feelings, and to be as honest as possible in the moment of the song. The power of music is in making us all feel a little less isolated and alone! If it is in a song, and the singer is relating it with honesty, then I can be assured that I am not the only one going through this. Judy Garland always made me feel a little less alone.

Favorite Garland Song: When researching her music for a concert I was doing with The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra I watched over and over again a clip of “You Made Me Love You” (I think from her TV show). It is simple and totally full of all the love a woman could have. And yet there is nothing showy at all about the performance, she just tells the story. She was a master storyteller. (Garland first sang this song in Broadway Melody of 1938.)

Favorite Garland Show: The CBS television show Garland hosted had some of the most powerful moments for those of us not fortunate enough to have seen her “live” in concert. You get to see the true artistry of a brilliant actress.

Karen Mason most recently garnered rave reviews starring as “The Queen of Hearts” in Wonderland on Broadway. She originated the role of “Tanya” on Broadway in Abba’s MAMMA MIA!, and was awarded a 2002 Drama Desk nomination as Best Actress. Her other leading roles include “Norma Desmond” in Sunset Boulevard, which she performed to critical acclaim and standing ovations on Broadway and in Los Angeles for three years.

Karen has headlined Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Feinstein’s at The Regency, Rainbow & Stars, the Algonquin, Arci’ Place, The Supper Club and The Ballroom in NYC; The Cinegrill and the UCLA/ASCAP Concert Series in Los Angeles; The Plush Room in San Francisco; and Davenport’s in Chicago. Learn more on Karen Mason’s website.

Your Turn!

Share one, share them all in the comments section, below: What is your favorite Judy Garland quote, song, and film or television performance? What moment in her career, or aspect of her character inspires you most? The national encore of the Emmy Award-winning film Judy Garland: By Myself (2004) is March 20, 2015, 9-11 pm (ET) on PBS (check local listings).

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Jascha Heifetz: About the Film – Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/jascha-heifetz/about-the-film-jascha-heifetz-god%e2%80%99s-fiddler/3740/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/jascha-heifetz/about-the-film-jascha-heifetz-god%e2%80%99s-fiddler/3740/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 19:16:31 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3740 View full post to see video)

Emmy- and Peabody-winning filmmaker Peter Rosen (American Masters — Garrison Keillor: The Man on the Radio in the Red Shoes, The Cliburn: Playing on the Edge) uncovers the story of legendary musician Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987), the first truly modern violin virtuoso, for THIRTEEN’s American Masters series.

The one-hour documentary American Masters — Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler premieres nationwide Thursday, April 16 at 8 p.m. and Friday, April 17 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). Major market premieres include Thursday, April 16 at 8 p.m. on WTTW11 in Chicago and 10:30 p.m. on THIRTEEN in New York and Friday, April 17 at 9 p.m. on PBS SoCal in Los Angeles, on WGBH in Boston and on Houston Public Media.

Jascha Heifetz.

Jascha Heifetz

Setting the standard in violin playing for nearly a century, Heifetz’ name became shorthand for excellence for everyone from Jack Benny to The Muppets to Woody Allen. Through vintage performances and master classes, God’s Fiddler portrays an artist for whom only perfection would do. New interviews include other great violinists influenced by Heifetz, including Itzhak Perlman, Ivry Gitlis and Ida Haendel, former student, accompanist and longtime companion Ayke Agus, former student and master assistant in charge of his world-renowned violin class at the University of Southern California Sherry Kloss, and biographers John Anthony Maltese and Arthur Vered. They reveal how Heifetz was a mysterious, idiosyncratic, solitary figure who embodied the paradox of artistic genius: a dedication to his craft at all costs, including two failed marriages, estrangement from his children and very few friends. Characterized as serious and intense while performing and teaching, his students describe him as generous and playful when socializing.

Filmed in Heifetz’ native Vilnius, Lithuania; Saint Petersburg, Russia, where he studied with the influential Leopold Auer; and in his rebuilt studio in Los Angeles, Calif., American Masters — Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler also features Heifetz’ previously unseen 16mm footage from 1917-1985, which Rosen discovered at the Colburn Music School in Los Angeles. A self-professed “camera fiend,” Heifetz’ home movies show scenes from his apartment in Saint Petersburg just months before the Russian Revolution, his immigration to America, his early social life in New York City, his family life, his travels through Europe, the Middle East and Japan, and his later years in Los Angeles. Tony-nominated actor Danny Burstein (Boardwalk Empire, Cabaret, Follies) narrates, reading from Heifetz’ personal letters.

“I’ve made previous documentaries about great figures in the arts, and there’s always a debate on who was the greatest conductor, who was the greatest pianist, who was the greatest tenor or soprano. But in making this film, I found no debate in music circles on who was the greatest violinist: Jascha Heifetz,” says Rosen.

“Heifetz is thrilling to watch, even if you rarely listen to classical music,” says Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters. “His technique was just astounding and he was revered around the world. What makes Peter Rosen’s film so compelling is the way that it takes a deeply personal look at the struggle of an artist to realize greatness.”

Launched in 1986 by series creator Susan Lacy, American Masters has earned 28 Emmy Awards — including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series since 1999 and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 12 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards and many other honors. Now in its 29th season on PBS, the series is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET.

American Masters — Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler is a production of Peter Rosen Productions, Inc. Peter Rosen is producer and director. Sara Lukinson is co-producer. Josh Waletzky and Peter Rosen are editors. Peter Rosen is photographer. Barry Markowitz is photographer of The Heifetz Studio at The Colburn School. Michael Kantor is executive producer for American Masters.

Major funding for Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler is provided by the Colburn School. Additional funding for this program is provided by The National Endowment for the Arts, and Kitty Hawks and Larry Lederman. American Masters is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Rhoda Herrick, Vital Projects Fund, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, Rolf and Elizabeth Rosenthal, Jack Rudin, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation and public television viewers.

About WNET
As New York’s flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore App where users can stream PBS content for free.

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Quincy Jones: Trumpeter Clark Terry Performs: An In Memoriam Tribute http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/quincy-jones/trumpeter-clark-terry-performs-an-in-memoriam-tribute/3738/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/quincy-jones/trumpeter-clark-terry-performs-an-in-memoriam-tribute/3738/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:52:07 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3738 View full post to see video)

Celebrated jazz musician Clark Terry (Dec. 14, 1920 – Feb. 21, 2015 ) played trumpet and flugelhorn in a career that spanned more than seven decades and included performing with Count Basie and Duke Ellington in the late 1940s and 1950s, and with Quincy Jones. His many awards include a Jazz Master Award from the NEA (1991), 16 honorary doctorates and Trumpeter of the Year (2005) from the Jazz Journalist Association. Terry was filmed in interviews and performance for American Masters – Quincy Jones: In the Pocket (2001), written, directed and produced by Michael Kantor. This outtake from the film shows Terry in performance.

Kantor remembers, “Clark Terry was a giant. He played for the greatest bandleaders of all time, including Count Basie and Duke Ellington, and literally taught Quincy Jones how to play trumpet. Throughout his life he was a mentor to so many young talents. In fact, there is a recent documentary about Terry’s gift for inspiration, Keep on Keepin’ On. He was a pleasure to interview, generous with his time and talent.”

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Quincy Jones: Interviews with Terry Clark: Trumpeter, Composer, Mentor. In Memoriam. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/quincy-jones/interviews-with-terry-clark-trumpeter-composer-mentor-in-memoriam/3735/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/quincy-jones/interviews-with-terry-clark-trumpeter-composer-mentor-in-memoriam/3735/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:23:30 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3735 The career of celebrated jazz trumpeter Clark Terry (Dec. 14, 1920 – Feb. 21, 2015 ) spanned more than seven decades and included performing with Count Basie and Duke Ellington in the late 1940s and 1950s, and with Quincy Jones. His many awards include a Jazz Master Award from the NEA (1991), 16 honorary doctorates and Trumpeter of the Year (2005) from the Jazz Journalist Association. Terry served as an informal teacher and mentor to both Miles Davis and Jones and was interviewed for American Masters – Quincy Jones: In the Pocket (2001), written, directed and produced by Michael Kantor.

Kantor remembers, “Clark Terry was a giant. He played for the greatest bandleaders of all time, including Count Basie and Duke Ellington, and literally taught Quincy Jones how to play trumpet. Throughout his life he was a mentor to so many young talents. In fact, there is a recent documentary about Terry’s gift for inspiration, Keep on Keepin’ On. He was a pleasure to interview, generous with his time and talent.”

Count Basie’s Space and Time

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Clark Terry illustrates Count Basie’s utilization of space and time in music with stories of how Basie socialized at the Cherry Blossom Club in Kansas City, and of Basie’s change to the tempo of trumpeter/composer Neal Hefti’s classic, “Li’l Darlin’.”

Touring the South with All-Black Band

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Clark Terry describes an era when touring the South with an all-black big band was a “chore.” It was difficult to find a place to eat or lodge and price gouging was common, he says.

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