The Music Column with William Price King – Interviewing Mark Bradley Composer #ClassicalMusic

This week with a new feature for the music column,  William Price King is interviewing American composer Mark Bradley. Please note that some videos are audio only.

About Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley, composer, was born in Lansing, MI (16/10/1957). He studied composition at the Eastman School of Music and before college years, studied music with family members and his extended family. He attended college while still in high school, studying theory, piano and composition. His father’s cousin, Harold Laudenslager, studied composition in post-war Paris with Arthur Honegger and Paul Hindemith, and at Yale with Quincy Porter. Laudenslager is the author of a treatise entitled “Introduction to the Twelve-tone Harmony” which describes the 350 combinations of two to twelve notes of a scale of twelve tones; thus adding a harmonic basis to the work previously done by Schoenberg. In decades of discussion about composition, Ruth Laudenslager (“Aunt Ruth”) taught Bradley Harold’s theory and work, which served as a basis for Bradley’s harmonic language.

There were many musicians with whom he was in contact in his youth and who had a great influence on his development. Yehudi Menuhin, Samuel Adler, Andrzej Panufnik, Vaclav Nelhybel, William Walton and Joan Sutherland all had a great influence in guiding his studies.
Bradley’s compositions have been played in concert in Canada, the United States and Europe.

Welcome to the music column Mark and perhaps you can tell us about your introduction to music and where you studied?

I studied piano and composition with my mother (age 5-14), studied violin starting at 13, and attended college early (age 15-18 Lansing Community College) studying theory, piano, composition. After high school, attended Eastman School of Music, Yehudi Menuhin Music Academy, and Michigan State University for my aggregate Undergraduate music/liberal arts degree.

Who were the musicians who inspired you?

As a small child, I was most inspired by Beethoven and Brahms. As a pre-teen and teenager, Stravinsky, Bartok and Ives. In college years, Barber and Copeland (both were still alive at that point). In post college years, Ravel, Britten, Schoenberg and Webern and many others.

I love Schumann, he and Debussy are by far my favorite composers. The lieder “Ich bin ein lustiger Geselle,” from “Der Knabe mit dem Wunderhorn” (The Lad with the Wonder Horn) Op.30/1, was originally written for voice and piano. You did a wonderful arrangement of this lieder which is remarkably performed by Richard Lalli, Jim Ross, and Sara Laimon.

Were you nervous about purposefully changing some parts of the original piano score to accommodate the horn part that you created yourself? Did you consider the possibility that purists might be unhappy with this? Or, do composers today feel that they can modify the masters’ works, in the pursuit of a personal arrangement, as is done in literature and classic theater?

(William – sorry if this part sounds like a sermon..but I feel strongly about creativity and the way the classical work tends to discourage anyone from going out of the box. I wish classical was more like jazz…).

I don’t know if other composers feel they can/should be able to modify past composers’ works these days. No, I wasn’t nervous. But almost 30 years ago, modification wasn’t ‘allowed’ or thought to be a good idea. It was basically forbidden, unless one decided to change everything, then put just their own name on it.

When I was young, when someone told me I ‘shouldn’t’ do something musically – the idea became much more attractive! In past years, there was a negative reaction to my working with Schumann’s music, but only by musicians. Do we really need a Trio made up of plotting various discontinuous notes on a page stolen from a piano score? This could only result in a worse form of the original and have nothing to do with Schumann at all.

I don’t think one piece by Schumann can be turned into another piece by Schumann if it changes form. Schumann’s work is still available just the way it was available before. Schumann is a soul and a mind. Schumann music is its own being. Lieder and Trio are two different things.

Every time a piece is performed it is an arrangement. The only Urtext version of anything is on the page, and we can’t hear that. Music performers create an arrangement. In jazz and pop music, this is understood – but classical is a little strange. Folks fighting about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. What’s the use in that?

The artistic message of the Schumann Trio is the encouragement of ongoing creation. For those who are brave enough to do it, look at Schumann scores (or any scores by past composers) with new eyes and allow the mind to show you things you’ve never seen before. Run with the ball and create something new.

Does spirituality play a role in your way of composing? Some composers feel that they are guided by a divine force (whatever that is). Do you?

Yes. We (soul and mind) are energy and are always conscious.

Unconsciousness is impossible. Death does not exist for the soul, and stasis does not exist for musical creation. Minds are linked together. We never do anything alone. Being a solo act is an illusion. Creation continues.

What do you appreciate in the world of “art” today and who are the artists that you admire, if any?

I appreciate many many artists and musicians! When I was able to walk, I loved going to art museums. I loved modern art as much as great artists work from the past. I love listening to the video and audio clips on! Have recently listened to, and greatly enjoyed Eric Artz, Barbara Hannigan, Laurianne Cornielle, Paul Gaugler. There are many contemporary musicians that I love.

What would you like to explore in the future?

I am hoping with the help of my friends to be able to finish editing more old scores. What did music teach you?

Music taught me to be open to change. What has music taught you?

Music taught me that minds are linked, that music is a joint venture. Strictly individual participation is impossible.

What do you believe were the defining moments in your career that have brought you to where you are today?

In school years – Sam Adler / Eastman School of Music. One day we were going over one of my scores. Sam walked over to the piano and played middle C. “What’s that?” he said. “Oh, that’s just middle C” I said, a little confused. “That’s not just middle C” he said, and by the way, he continued “My response was the same as yours when Copeland gave me the same lesson years ago.” That lesson has stayed with me all my life.

I don’t think I have any defining moments in my career yet – probably in the years after school.

I think you said that “Souvenirs de Bienne “ was inspired by French writing in the early 20th century. This period is considered as “La Belle Epoque.” Who were the writers and/or composers who inspired you and why?

Ravel and Debussy – because I can feel France, and the profound gentle sensitivity there that I love so much. Ravel especially because he takes me to another world that I can’t describe with words.

Ives – Individualism. The inspiration to stick to my ideas, and never to give up.

Bartok – harmonic invention.

Britten – inspiration regarding the synthesis and polishing of ideas. A great example of how to put it all together.

Schoenberg – harmonic structure, sense of humor in music, broad view of music. The next step after Wagner. How romanticism extended to chromatism and 12-tone writing.

Copeland – his “American sound”.

Do you plan your compositions? If so, how?

No😊 Most compositions came about because of a request or commission from someone. In general; that person would say what he/she wanted, which would include musical style. As for form – that would come about as a response to the words (if a song), or as a result of the libretto, or as a response to the compositional material. The music writes itself – I just go for the ride, but I have to show up and work hard.

Has the way you compose changed over time?

Yes. When I was younger, while working and going to school, I didn’t generally have enough time to get a composition completely finished. There was always a deadline of a performance. I would sketch something out, complete as much as possible, then just throw notes at about half the score just to get it submitted. Although pieces weren’t finished, they managed to get performed anyway – I was always surprised about this. Not at all surprised if I didn’t hear anything back.

What advice, if any, would you give to young musicians interested in composing today?

Write for yourself. Make yourself happy. Write a lot. When you think you have something good, put it away for a while and look again in a few weeks. Use your intuition. Try not to judge yourself, or what you’re writing. If you find yourself getting negative about something you’re working on; stop and do dishes or walk around the block. Analyze what you’ve written to see how it works or doesn’t.

To finish another of Mark Bradley’s compositions.

“Performed/recorded by pianist Casey Robards Souvenirs de Bienne – In the summer of 1991, Jim Ross took me to meet Violette Bangerter at her home in Bienne, Switzerland. During the week or so we were there, Violette celebrated her 70th birthday party with dozens of well-known musicians who came to play a massive concert which was held in a beautiful church overlooking the lake in Bienne. I don’t remember whether Jim suggested I write a birthday present for Violette, of whether I got the idea myself. There are four movements to the little piece: Looking at Bienne from Magglingen, Violette, Jacqueline and Loukoum. The piece is short – about five and a half minutes.”

Connect to Mark Bradley

Opera Musica:
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About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.

In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.

William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION

Connect with William

Regular Venue 

You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory:

Thank you for dropping in and hope you will tune in again next week for another post in the series Jazz instrumentalists.

Classical Music with William Price King – Leontyne Price – Part Two – Star on the Rise.

classical music

Welcome to part two of the life and music of American Soprano Leontyne Price. Last week we looked at her early life and the artists who inspired her. This week we cover the rest of the 1950s and the rising star of this talented singer. It was not alway easy as there was still a great deal of bigotry against African American opera singers but as you will see Leontyne Price did not allow this to stand in her way.  William Price King now picks up the story.


In 1955  the world of opera had opened its doors to Leontyne Price who was still only 28 years old. In the February she was invited to sing Puccini’s Tosca for the NBC Opera Theatre under music director Peter Herman Adler, and was the first African American to appear in a leading role in a televised opera. This did not avoid controversy as a number of the NBC affiliates, both in the southern and northern states, cancelled the broadcast in protest. However, despite what must have been a very difficult time for Leontyne, she returned for thee more NBC Opera broadcasts in 1956, 1957 and 1960.

This was not to be the only incident of bigotry in her career, and in fact when she was touring with Herbert von Karajan in Salzburg in 1960, a stone was thrown through her window. In 1964 her perfomance of Donna Anna in Atlanta was marred by protests from certain factions.

Her collaboration with the Austrian conductor Herbert von Karajan began in 1955 when he was on tour with the Berlin Philharmonic. He reportedly leapt on stage to accompany her himself during her audition as she performed Pace, pace, mio Dio from Verdi’s Forza del Destino.

This is a slightly later recording in 1963.

In the last act of “La Forza del Destino” Price sings “Pace, Pace, mio Dio,” a powerfully dramatic moment where she prays for peace on her tortured soul and expresses her love for God and for Alvaro. Verdi arias were made for Price’s voice. Her “Pace, Pace mio Dio” is like no one else’s, a real treasure. Her rich, warm, pure voice is stunning and she spins her golden sound beautifully and freely.

The next three years were to be very busy for this rising star in the classical music world.  Leontyne performed in recitals with her accompanist David Garvey, and she also appeared with a number of orchestras across the United States. Her star was also on the rise internationally and she toured India in 1956, Australia in 1957 under the U.S. State Department banner. In May 1957 Leontyne made her first public appearance in the concert version of Aida, at the May Festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

That September she performed for the first time on the grand opera stage in San Francisco singing Madame Lidoine in the U.S premiere of the Dialogues of the Carmelites.

Dialogues des Carmélites is a French Opera in three acts divided into twelve scenes, with linking orchestral interludes with music and libretto by Francis Poulenc and was completed in 1956. The libretto was written after a book of the same name by French author Georges Bernanos who had died in 1948.The story is based on the 1794 history of the Martyrs of Compiègne who were guillotined during the French Revolution.

The world premiere of the opera was in January 1957 in La Scala in Milan in Italian, in its original French in the June and then in English in San Franciso in the September.

A few weeks after her debut in this new opera, Leontyne sang her first on-stage Aida, stepping in for Italian soprano Antoinetta Stella who fell ill. And in May of 1958 she made her European debut, as Aida, at the Vienna Staatsoper at the invitation of Herbert von Karajan.

Leontyne Price sings “O Patria Mia” from Aida (Verdi)

In Act III, on the eve of Amneris’ wedding to Radames, Aida, overcome with nostalgia on the banks of the Nile, mourns her homeland which she will never see again in the aria “O Patria Mia.” Price’s “Aida” is phenomenal, and pure perfection. It is considered a testament to her career. Her clear diction, lustrous tone, and flawless legato stand out in this aria.

After this wonderful European debut invitations flooded in and Leontyne performed at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Arena di Verona in Italy as Aida. The following year she returned to Vienna in the role as well as Pamina in The Magic Flute. Leontyne made her debut at the prestigious Salzburg Festival in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Karajan.

Leontyne Price and Herbert von Karajan’s dynamic collaboration was to be instrumental in her early successes in both the opera house, concert hall and recording studio where they produced complete recordings of Tosca and Carmen as well as a bestselling holidy music album, A Christmas Offering.

On May 21, 1960, Price made her first appearance at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, again as Aida, becoming the first African American to sing a leading role in Italy’s greatest opera house. (In 1958, Mattiwilda Dobbs, from Atlanta, had sung Elvira, the secondary lead soprano role in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri.)

In 1959, after hearing her in Il Trovatore that August at Verona with tenor Franco Corelli, Met General Manager Rudolf Bing invited her to join the Met company in the 1960–61 season. On January 27, 1961, she made a triumphant debut in Il Trovatore.

Tacea La Notte Placida” from Giuseppe Verdi’s “Il Trovatore.

In Act I of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” Leonora tells her servant, Ines, that she heard someone serenading her in the garden, a knight in black armor who she had once crowned as the champion of a tournament. She confesses her love for him in this *cavatina “Tacea La Notte Placida,” which she sings with an entrancing blend of lyricism and expressivity. Her control is amazing and her diction is excellent.

*cavatina – In opera the cavatina is an aria, generally of brilliant character, sung in one or two sections without repeats.

The final ovation lasted at least 35 minutes, one of the longest in Met history. Price’s debut at the New York City’s Metropolitan Opera House was such a success, it marked the beginning of her residency as one of the opera’s principal sopranos. She flourished as a prima donna at the Met, starring in such roles such as Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, Minnie in La Fanciulla del West and, perhaps most notably, as Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra.

In recognition of this extraordinary run, Time magazine put her on its cover on March . That fall, American music critics named her “Musician of the Year” and she was put on the cover of “Musical America.”

In his review, The New York Times critic Harold C. Schonberg wrote that Price’s “voice, warm and luscious, has enough volume to fill the house with ease, and she has a good technique to back up the voice itself. She even took the trills as written, and nothing in the part as Verdi wrote it gave her the least bit of trouble. She moves well and is a competent actress. But no soprano makes a career of acting. Voice is what counts, and voice is what Miss Price has.

The career of Leontyne Price was well and truly launched.

Additional sources:

Buy the music of Leontyne Price:

William and his music

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect to William

Website –
Facebook –
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue –

You will find the previous artists..  Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Kiri Te Kanawa in this directory.

Thank you so much for stopping by and your feedback is always very welcome. Sally

Classical Music with William Price King – Dame Kiri Te Kanawa – The Early Years

classical music

Welcome to the new series of Classical Music with William Price King. We are delighted to feature Kiri Te Kanawa, the renowned soprano from New Zealand who took the world by storm in the 1960s, and continues to inspire and delight audiences with rare but outstanding performances.


Kiri Te Kanawa has a stunning voice and has received critical acclaim from her work in Opera and also in popular music. I asked William Price King if we could include Kiri in this series, not just because she is an opera singer, but because when I was a teenager and first heard her voice, it was the first time that I really started to appreciate classical music. Probably because she was only a few year’s older than I was and made the world of opera more accessible to our generation.

I will hand over to William to share her early life and career and also to hear some of her first public performances.

Kiri Te Kanawa had a challenging start in life in 1944 when she was born into a family who were unable to financially support another child. Her birth name is Claire Mary Rawstron and she originates from the town of Gisborne on the coast of New Zealand. Her father was a native Maori and her mother from European extraction and she was adopted at only a month old by Tom and Nell Te Kanawa who were of similar backgrounds. Her new parents named her Kiri which is the Maori word for ‘bell’.

As an only child, Kiri enjoyed the attention of both her parents. She accompanied her father on his fishing trips, and on one occasion nearly drowned, when the boat overturned and she was trapped underneath. Thankfully her father was able to dive down and rescue her. Her mother, who played piano, provided the entertainment in the household as there was no television. Kiri recalls that she was singing from a very early age with performances on the purpose built mini stage, complete with curtains. Her mother heard something very special in Kiri’s voice and told her that she had a vision of her performing at the London’s Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

It became Nell Te Kanawa’s mission to turn that vision into a reality, and over the next few years there were to be many changes in the family’s circumstances. It was a monumental challenge to take this young girl with raw talent to the stages of the most famous opera houses in the world.. Kiri Te Kanawa is quoted as saying, “the reasons that I’m here today is because of the sacrifice of my parents.”

As we have discovered in the previous posts on classical artists, music in the home has played a vital role in developing an initial talent and love of music.. But, the second most important element of a successful career, is in the commitment of teachers in the early days at school, to take that talent further.

After a course in business school where Kiri learned shorthand and typing she took a job as a receptionist. This left her evenings free to perform and to study singing with Dame Sister Mary Leo who had tutored her at St Mary’s College in Auckland. She began to sing in the popular musicals of the day such as The Sound of Music that were being staged in Auckland as well as performing in local cabarets. It is clear that this following song in particular held a place in her heart.

Kiri te Kanawa gives a fantastic rendition of “Climb Every Mountain” (Rogers and Hammerstein) in this 1994 performance with the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Stephen Barlow. She embodies the grace and style for which she became famous.

At age sixteen and with several recordings released, it appeared that Kiri Te Kanawa was destined to a career as a popular singer. This however was not what her mother had envisaged for her talented daughter, who persuaded The Maori Trust Foundation to support Kiri while she studied further.

With her living expenses covered it offered Kiri the freedom to continue to study classical music with Sister Mary Leo with more focus and to enter the singing competitions locally. At sixteen she won the Auckland Competition and in 1962 she was runner up in the more prestigious Mobile Song quest winning the competition in 1965 aged twenty-one.

It was time to expand her audience and in 1965 Kiri Te Kanawa entered aria competitions of both the Sydney and Melbourne Suns, two of the most important events in Australia at the time. She came second in the Sydney competition but won the Melbourne event singing “Leise, leise” (sung in English as “Softly Singing”) from Weber’s Der Freischützwon.

This was to be a pivotal time in Kiri’s career and at age only 21, with her prize money and a scholarship from the New Zealand government, she set off to England where she would sing in her first opera.

In 1966 Kiri enrolled at the London Opera Centre and would study under renowned vocal coach Vera Rozsa.

Vera Rozsa was a Hungarian opera singer and vocal coach who had enjoyed a successful career in her Budapest until the tragic years of the holocaust. Tragically her first husband was interned and died as di many of her family and friends. She herself was in hiding until the end of the war, narrowly escaping capture by the Nazis. Following the war she was soloist for the Budepest Opera and later the Vienna State Opera. Unfortunately, due to her years in hiding during the war, part of one lung had to be removed which was to severely impact her ability to perform in operas. She visited a specialist in Brussels, who told her that she would never be able to sing more than nine or ten minutes at a time: as a result, she developed expertise in a breathing technique, that not only enabled her to continue singing, although not in demanding opera roles, but to make singing easier for many future students.

Vera married a former British army intelligence officer in 1954 and came to the UK to live. She continued to perform for a period of time before achieving acclaim as an outstanding vocal coach, teaching first at the Royal Manchester School of Music for ten years before moving to London. She held master classes around the world and also was a judge at many of the most important competitions globally.

It was after a master class at the centre by Australian conductor, Richard Bonynge that he identified that Kiri Te Kanawa, who was considered to be a mezzo soprano was a soprano. The basic division of female voices is Contralto (low) Mezzo-soprano (middle) and Soprano (high) and this can influence the roles within an opera. The tendency is for the mezzo sopranos to play a secondary role to a soprano and this was therefore quite an impactful development.

The time that Kiri Te Kanawa spent being taught by Vera Rozsa led to an improvement in not just her intonation, diction, interpretation and acting, but also allowed for her naturally lighter voice to be developed.

Kiri first appeared on stage as the Second Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, as well as in performances of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in December 1968 at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre. She also sang the title role in Donizett’s Anna Bolena.

The period from 1969 to 1970 was a pivotal one in several respects. She left the London Opera Centre and began her new career, at first singing small travesti roles, as in Handel’s Alcina at Royal Festival Hall, before her major triumph of 1969 as Ellen in Rossini’s La donna del lago at the Camden Festival.

After her success at the Camden Festival as Ellen, she was offered the role of the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro after an audition of which the conductor, Colin Davis, said, “I couldn’t believe my ears. I’ve taken thousands of auditions, but it was such a fantastically beautiful voice.”

Praise for her Idamante in Mozart’s Idomeneo led to an offer of a three-year contract as junior principal at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden where she made her debut as Xenia in Boris Godunov and a Flower Maiden in Parsifal in 1970, fulfilling her mother’s dream.

The performance that began her stratospheric rise was as Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in December of 1971.

One of the best scenes from Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” comes in act three when the Countess, Kiri te Kanawa sits Susanna, Ileana Cotrubas down at her desk with pen in hand as they plot out a conspiracy against her husband in order to trick him. Kiri Te Kanawa is ravishing and her phrasing, perfect, in this duet, “Sull’aria,” (A little song on the breeze).

Buy the music of Kiri Te Kanawa:

Additional Sources

About William Price King.


William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.
His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect to William

Website –
Facebook –
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue –

We hope you have enjoyed the first in the new series and would be grateful if you could share on social media. thanks Sally

Classical Music with William Price King – Andrea Bocelli – My Christmas Album

classical music

Today William and I thought we might take a slight break in the series with the last part of Andrea Bocelli’s story (for now) next Wednesday. Nothing brings Christmas alive more than wonderful music and we are sharing three of the tracks Andrea’s 2009 Christmas Album which is filled with the most amazing songs you can wish for at this time of year.

christmasThe album was Andrea Bocelli’s 13th studio album and first Christmas release in November 2009. Apart from one original track, God Bless Us Everyone, which closed the 2009 film, A Christmas Carol, all the other songs are ones we all recognise and love.  I have had this album since 2009 when David bought it for me for Christmas. It is played every year and is much loved.

Over 2 million copies sold before Christmas that year in the United States alone with worldwide sales of over 5 million and it was one of the best-selling albums of 2009.

You can buy the album:

The first track I have chosen is Adeste Fideles by John Francis Wade and Jean Francois Borderies.

My second choice is a classic Christmas song that most of us will have listened to over our lifetime.  White Christmas by Irving Berlin live from the Kodak Theatre 2009.

My last choice is one that shows the showmanship, humour and universal appeal of Andrea Bocelli… Andre Bocelli with Jingle Bells with The Muppets..

You can buy the album:

William will continue the story of Anrea Bocelli next week, with the years 2010 to present day with more music from this wonderful performer.

williampricekingcover of Home by William Price King

William has two wonderful albums available and I am lucky enough to have both.. You can find them at the following link.


Connect to William.


You can find the other posts in the Bocelli series and the other artists that we have featured in this directory.

I hope you have enjoyed this Christmas music post and as always look forward to your feedback.  Thanks Sally



Classical Music with William Price King – Andrea Bocelli – The Early Years

classical music

Welcome to the first part in the Andrea Bocelli story. The multi-award winning cross over tenor has won not just critical acclaim for his beautiful voice, but the hearts of millions around the world. He is the perfect choice to take us into the festive season as his Christmas Album is packed with wonderful music to bring a sparkle to the occasion.  I will now hand you over to William Price King to take us through the early life and career of this wonderful artist.

51wcyjeld4l-_ss135_sl160_Andrea Bocelli was born to Alessandro and Edi Bocelli who lived on a farm in the village of La Sterza, a suburb of the town of Lajatico, 50 kilometres from Florence the capital of the Tuscany region of Italy. His parents made their living by selling farm machinery and making wine and his family continue to live there today.

Andrea was born in September 1958 following what must have been a stressful time for the family. Doctors determined that the baby was likely to be born with disabilities and his parents were recommended to terminate the pregnancy. But Alessandro and Edi decided not to do so, and Andrea was born apparently healthy.  However, it soon became apparent that he did have sight problems and was diagnosed eventually with congenital glaucoma.

Throughout his early childhood his mother said that music was the only thing that brought this little boy comfort as he struggled with his condition, and by the age of six he had begun piano lessons. Over the next few years he went on to learn to play the flute, saxophone, trumpet, guitar and drums. He was still only a small boy when he was introduced to opera. His nanny gave him his first record of the internationally renowned tenor Franco Corelli.

Born in 1921 this artist was associated with the dramatic tenor roles of the Italian repertory including composers such as Rossini, Verdi and Puccini. Dubbed the Prince of Tenors, he was celebrated universally for his powerhouse voice, electrifying top notes, clear timbre, passionate singing and remarkable performances. Having listened to Franco Corelli, Andrea was now determined to follow a singing career.  Even at the age of seven he was able to recognise the foremost tenors of the time and within a few years he was performing their music in public.

Andrea gave his first concert in a small village near his home and I suspect that those in the audience, whilst marvelling at this young boy’s voice, would not have envisaged that one day he would be such an international star.  Here is Franco Corelli singing Torna a Surriento.

In a devastating blow in 1970, at the age of 12, Andrea lost his sight completely following an accident during a football game. He was hit in the eye playing goalkeeper during a match and suffered a brain hemorrhage.

Undeterred, at age 14 Andrea won his first competition, The Margherita d’Oro in Viareggio singing O Sole Mio.

Apart from his passion for music, Andrea did well at school and at age twenty, he began law studies at the University of Pisa. To earn money, Andrea performed in local piano bars in the evenings and after obtaining his degree, he spent a year as a court appointed lawyer.

However, singing was still a driving force in Andrea’s life and in 1992, the Italian rock star Zucchero held auditions for tenors to make a demo tape of his song Miserere, to send to Luciano Pavarotti.  His intention was to persuade the great tenor to duet with him on the song but initially, having heard Andrea Bocelli’s audition, Pavarotti suggested that Zucchero record with him instead.

However, eventually Pavarotti did record the original with Zucchero and it was a huge hit. But the following year during the rock star’s European concert tour, Andrea Bocelli accompanied him and as well as Miserere, Andrea performed solo sets singing Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s Turandot.

Andrea Bocelli gives an exquisite performance of Miserere. The emotion flows easily and his passion is evident. This is a remarkable cross-over duet with Zucchero in spite of the fact that they have two totally different *timbres.

Note:  timbre – the character and quality of a musical voice.

Later that year Bocelli signed with the Sugar Music label in Milan after the president of the label heard him sing both songs at Zucchero’s birthday party.  In the December he entered the preliminary round of the world famous Sanremo Music Festival, performing Miserere and won the newcomer category with the highest marks ever received.

This was followed by his debut in the classical world in a concert at the Teatro Romolo Valli in Reggio Emilia.

In February 1994, he entered the main Sanremo Festival competition with Il mare calmo della sera, and he won the newcomers section, again with a record score. Following his win, Bocelli released his debut album of the same name in April, and it entered the Italian Top Ten, being certified platinum within weeks.


With his distinctive *classical crossover sound, Bocelli delights us with a vocal contrast between the light, tenor quality of his voice and a cutting edge raspy tone filled with emotion. He is an impressive communicator, and in this song the emotion speaks for itself.

Note: classical crossover – a style that hovers between classical and popular music, targeted for fans of both genres and in this case for classically trained singers.

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Additional material


About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.
His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect to William

Links to website –
Facebook –
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue –

You will find the previous series on Luciano Pavarotti in this directory.

Thank you so much for joining us today.. We would be grateful if you could reblog or share the post to give this new series a great send off.. thanks Sally