The music I'm thankful for
Bach. The alpha and omega.
Louis Armstrong. Thanks for everything, Pops.
Gabriel Fauré, Emmanuel Chabrier, Reynaldo Hahn, Francis Poulenc, and the other "French composers' French composers" who add such nice flavor to the classical menu.
Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, for creating one of my favorite works of popular art, "Fiddler on the Roof".
Franz Schubert, for expressing the gamut of human emotion in music of incomparable melodic and harmonic allure.
Percy Grainger, for enlivening music with his unique, eccentric genius.
Claudio Monteverdi, for the most beautiful work ever composed, the Vespers of the Blessed Virgin.
Annie (St. Vincent) Clark, Merrill (tUnE-yArDs) Garbus, Shara (My Brightest Diamond) Worden, Björk, and the other fabulous females of contemporary pop.
Charles Ives, who with typical Yankee thrift and vision, crafted transcendent art out of rustic materials, while maintaining a successful business career.
Those great ladies of American song, Audra McDonald, Bernadette Peters and the amazing Barbara Cook.
Arvo Pärt and Astor Piazzolla, two of the best additions to the classical scene over the course of my career.
Edward Elgar, for revealing the sensitive heart that beat behind the pomp, the circumstance, and the moustache.
Coleman Hawkins, for inventing the saxophone.
The great generation of gay (or bi-) American composers: Copland, Barber, Thomson, Bernstein, Diamond. Where would American music be without them?
Olivier Messiaen, for the sheer ecstasy of his music.
Paul Simon, Burt Bacharach, Lennon & McCartney, Jimmy Webb, and the other songwriters who created the soundtrack of my generation.
Brahms, especially for chamber music of symphonic richness.
Sufjan Stevens, for the keen perception, haunting melodies and deep devotion of his songs.
Stephen Sondheim, for the musical craft, emotional nuance and dramatic truth of his songs.
Bach, the alpha and omega.