Glen Roven, four-time Emmy Award winner, is a composer, lyricist, conductor, pianist, translator and CD Producer. He wrote the music and lyrics to Dr. Suess’s The 5,000 Fingers of Doctor T which opens on Broadway next season. He made his third Carnegie Hall appearance this March appearing with Bass-Baritone Daniel Okulitch who sang his concert music. The concert was also reprised in Santa Fe at the Opera. Roven made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting his Violin Concerto based on The Runaway Bunny, with Glenn Close and the American Symphony Orchestra and Catherine Zeta-Jones just recorded the Piano Trio Version. He also recorded the piece with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Brooke Shields for Sony/BMG
As Founding Partner and Artistic Director of GPRrecords, he conceived and produced Poetic License/ 100 Poems 100 Performers where performers including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Patti LuPone, Jason Alexander, Cynthia Nixon, Florence Henderson, among others, read their favorite poem; this album has become the best selling Poetry album of all time. Current and future GPRreords project include the afore mentioned Runaway Bunny (with Michael Douglas narrating Poulenc’s Babar) and solo albums for Patricia Racette, Charles Castronovo, Alan Cumming, Luca Pisaroni, Paulo Szot, Ramon Vargos, Lauren Flanigan, Daniel Okulitch, Jonathan Beyer, Talise Trevigne (the last four all include Roven’s art songs), the Five Boroughs Song Book, an album of Opera Arias by William Bolcolm and Jake Heggie and many other.
He began his Broadway career as a rehearsal pianist for Pippin while still in high school, and at nineteen was the musical director of Sugar Babies on Broadway. He also wrote the scores for John Guare’s, Lydie Breeze and Gardenia, Christopher Isherwood’s A Meeting By the River and Larry Gelbart’s Mastergate, plus was a contributing composer to A…My Name is Alice.
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Chris Needs MBE
Chris Needs – M.B.E. Radio Presenter and actor, stage performer and piano teacher, compere and figurehead of a registered charity, school music teacher and accomplished classical pianist, raconteur and award-winning show business personality.
Among his friends he numbers both world-renowned stars and the ordinary person alike, and is a real friend to the thousands of his BBC Radio Wales listeners who tune in to his show every week.
Since first getting a lift in Richard Burton’s car while a youngster (Chris lived in Cwmafan, the next village to Burton’s birthplace of Pontrhydyfen near Port Talbot), he took the plunge himself and entered show business as a keyboard player – at one time accompanying Bonnie Tyler (who’s also a regular listener to Chris’ shows).
When Welsh Language TV Soap ‘Pobol y Cwm’ needed an actor to play the part of a hairdresser, Chris decided he fitted the bill and was invited to audition. In a 1995 interview, he told ‘The Western Mail’ newspaper, “I went up thinking I was well in for the part of the hairdresser and camped it up – but for some strange reason I ended up with the part of a detective sergeant!”
He entered the world of radio broadcasting when he heard on the grapevine that the then newly-formed Touch AM Radio Station needed new presenters. Having made a demo tape in his front room, using a ghetto blaster with “disgusting sound quality”, he sent it in to the station.
The rest is history – he became Touch AM’s most popular presenter and moved to BBC Radio Wales. Chris won a Sony Radio Award which is equivalent to an Oscar. Having hosted an immensely popular afternoon show, he has now moved to present the late show, and has single-handedly taken his slot to the top.
In the 2005 New Years Honours List, he was announced as M.B.E. for his services to broadcasting and Charity in Wales, and he was invested into the Order by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on June 22nd, 2005.
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