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    Spivakowsky, Michael (1919-1983)

    Arranger, composer, orchestrator, and violinist who penned the first major work for harmonica and orchestra in 1951, simply titled Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra, for Tommy Reilly.  A recording is available on the 1993 CD, Tommy Reilly Plays Harmonica Concertos.  In case any budding harmonica players out there aren't privy to an orchestra, a piano reduction is available in sheet music form online.  Other works by Michael include Memoir, Tango of Violins, Valse Burlesque, and a series of variations on the timeless classic, "Happy Birthday to You".  Around the same time he wrote his groundbreaking harmonica concerto, Michael was also busy with The Stradivari Orchestra, which he conducted and for which he wrote arrangements of famous classical works such as Antonin Dvorak's Humoresque.  He also directed the Moskow Virtuosi for a series of recordings of modern composers, including Bela Bartok, Arnold Schoenberg, and Anton Webern.  In 1965, he orchestrated the music for the Broadway musical, The Zulu and the Zayda, which enjoyed a six-month run.  His track record as a violinist is equally impressive:  He has recorded with Harry Belafonte, Charles Brown, Ruth Brown, Perry Como, Barbara Cook, Deodato, Lotte Lenya, Humbert Lucarelli, the Marilyn Crispell Trio, Carmen McRae, Meco, Oliver Nelson, and Frank Sinatra.  He even appears on the soundtrack of The Wiz, and has made his contribution to Muppetdom on Sesame Disco!.  Other CDs on which he appears include The Complete Jerome Kern Songbooks and Original Music from the Man from U.N.C.L.E.

     

    Frank Sinatra recordings

    That's What God Looks Like To Me (Stan Irvin/Lan O'Kun)

    Reprise RPS 49233 (XNY2101S) (US 45)

     

    Theme from "New York, New York" (Fred Ebb/John Kander)

    Reprise RPS49233 (XNY 2103 S) (US 45)

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.ibdb.com/person.asp?ID=401449
    2. http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/music/artist/card/0,,541448,00.html
    3. http://www.showmehowtoplay.com/artist/Michael-Spivakowsky/?key=P000172770
    4. http://www.ksanti.net/free-reed/history/harmonica.html
    5. http://www.slba.se/slbaweb/slbadoc.jsp?search1_id=000081103&currdoc=1&doctype=KP
    6. http://www.muziekweb.nl/shared/cat/pica/uitvoerende.php?utml=M00000239517&rangestart=1
    7. http://www.alibris.com/search/classical/qwork/700008144/used/Tommy%20Reilly%20plays%20Harmonica%20Concertos
    8. http://www.musicweb-international.com/garlands/100.htm
    9. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0CE6D7173DF93BA35751C0A96E958260
    10. http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/nov03/jenkins.htm
    11. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Reilly
    12. http://www.dougpayne.com/ondtrib.htm
    13. http://www.starwars-collectibles.net/index.php?c=7&n=301668&k=John+Williams&s=pe&p=1

    14.                           

    15.                          Although not on this in person, here is Philip Achille performing his "Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra"....

    16.                           

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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