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Duke of Prunes
by conductor Michael Zearott, for Frank Zappa & The Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Orchestra
CATCH-UP: Michael Zearott (1937 to 2019) was an American conductor, composer and teacher. Michael Zearott was born on August 22nd 1937 in San Francisco, California, USA. He spent most of his early years living in the Los Angeles area, graduating from Westchester High School in 1955. As well as becoming a 'First Prize, Gold Medal' winner of the "Dimitri Mitropoulos International Conducting Competition" in 1969, he also conducted the New York Philharmonic at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, as well as being invited to guest conduct for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Symphony, California Chamber Symphony and San Diego Symphony (plus others - he also fulfilled many such engagements in Europe). Zearott was renowned as the first student to earn a Ph.D. in composition at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He later became an associate conductor of the Orchestre National de Monte Carlo for two years, performing for the likes of Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly, then was selected as the acting artistic director for the San Diego Symphony in 1970. In 1972, he served as musical director of the Ojai Music Festival, California, and was also guest conductor with the Glendale Symphony Orchestra. He notably conducted two of Frank Zappa's orchestral concerts at the UCLA Royce Hall in September 1975 - the album was released four years later by Zappa as "Orchestral Favorites", a track from which is featured here. During the 1980s, he served as music director for the Nova chamber music concerts in Southern California, and in 1981 made a statement that he had always been visually influenced by the works of the artist Vincent Van Gogh. Zearott appeared on the 1986 Keith Clark album "Copland: Appalachian Spring Suite" as a pianist, and appeared with the 'Los Angeles Master Chorale' at the Beethoven Festival in 1987 (also as pianist) alongside Mary Rawcliffe and Thomas Wilcox. He served as the conductor on a tour organised by Francis Ford Coppola in the early 1980s, and also conducted many of the original 'Radio City' performances of Abel Gance's "Napoleon" in 1997. Academically, he had been on the faculty of teaching facilities at UCLA, CSULA, CSULB and Loyola Marymount (plus more latterly at Lewis-Clark State College), and among his best-known compositions was the "Concerto Mariachi", which he wrote for the guitarist Pepe Romero in 1990. Michael Zearott died in Clarkston, Washington, on July 21st 2019, aged 81. http://www.afm47.org/press/final-note-dr-michael-zearott/
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Zearott
Posted: 21st September 2019
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† REST IN PEACE †
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away each year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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