Sir Alfred Jules Ayer (29 October 1910 – 27 June 1989), better known as A. J. Ayer or "Freddie" to friends, was a British philosopher known for his promotion of logical positivism, particularly in his books Language, Truth and Logic (1936) and The Problem of Knowledge (1956). Ayer was the Grote Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic at University College London from 1946 until 1959, when he became Wykeham Professor of Logic at the University of Oxford.
Saul Bellow (June 10, 1915 – April 5, 2005) was a Canadian-born American writer. For his literary contributions, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the National Medal of Arts. He is the only writer to have won the National Book Award three times, and the only writer to have been nominated for it six times. In the words of the Swedish Nobel Committee, his writing exhibited "exuberant ideas, flashing irony, hilarious comedy and burning compassion...
Ralph Waldo Ellison (March 1, 1914 – April 16, 1994) was a novelist, literary critic, scholar and writer. He was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Ellison is best known for his novel Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953. He also wrote Shadow and Act, a collection of political, social and critical essays, and Going to the Territory.
John Ashbery (born July 28, 1927) is an American poet. He has won nearly every major American award for poetry and is recognized as one of America's most important, though still controversial, poets. In an article on Elizabeth Bishop in his Selected Prose, he characterizes himself as having been described as "a harebrained, homegrown surrealist whose poetry defies even the rules and logic of Surrealism.
Chinua Achebe, born Albert Chinụalụmọgụ Achebe on 16 November 1930, is a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor at Brown University and critic. He is best known for his first novel, Things Fall Apart (1958), which is the most widely read book in modern African literature. Raised by Christian parents in the Igbo village of Ogidi in southeastern Nigeria, Achebe excelled at school and won a scholarship for undergraduate studies.
Kyle Eugene Gann (born November 21, 1955) is an American professor of music, critic and composer born in Dallas, Texas. As a critic for The Village Voice (from November 1986 to December 2005) and other publications he has been a supporter of progressive music including such Downtown movements as postminimalism and totalism.
Joan Tower (born September 6, 1938 in New Rochelle, New York) is a Grammy-winning contemporary American composer, pianist and conductor. Lauded by the New Yorker as "one of the most successful woman composers of all time", her bold and energetic compositions have been performed in concert halls around the world.
Mark David Danner (born November 10, 1958) is a prominent American journalist, writer, and educator. He is a former staff writer for The New Yorker and frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. Danner specializes in U.S. foreign affairs and has written extensively on Haiti, Central America, the former Yugoslavia, and the Middle East. In 1999, he received a MacArthur Fellowship.
Ferit Orhan Pamuk (born on 7 June 1952 in Istanbul) generally known simply as Orhan Pamuk, is a Turkish novelist. He is also the Robert Yik-Fong Tam Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, where he teaches comparative literature and writing. One of Turkey's most prominent novelists, his work has sold over seven million books in more than fifty languages, making him the country's best-selling writer.
Benjamin Boretz (3 October 1934) is a 20th- and 21st-century American composer and music theorist. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and studied composition at Brandeis University with Arthur Berger, at the Aspen Music School with Darius Milhaud, at UCLA with Lukas Foss, and at Princeton with Milton Babbitt and Roger Sessions. He was one of the early composers to work with computer-synthesized sound (Group Variations II, 1970-72).
Caleb Carr (born August 2, 1955) is an American novelist and military historian. The son of Lucien Carr, a former UPI editor and a key Beat generation figure, he was born in Manhattan and lived for much of his life on the Lower East Side. He attended Kenyon College and New York University, earning a B.A. in military and diplomatic history. He writes frequently on military and political affair and was a contributing editor of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History until 2008.
Heinrich Blücher (29 January 1899 – 30 October 1970) was a German poet and philosopher. He was the second husband of Hannah Arendt. Blücher was born in Berlin. He was a member of the Communist Party of Germany until 1928, but soon rejected Stalinism and left the party in protest of its Stalinist policies. He since became a member of a small anti-Stalinist group called the Communist Party Opposition.
Richard Teitelbaum (born May 19, 1939) is an American composer, keyboardist, and improvisor. Born in New York, he is a former student of Allen Forte, Mel Powell, and Luigi Nono. He is best known for his live electronic music and synthesizer performance. For example, he brought the first moog synthesizer to Europe. He is also involved with world music and uses Japanese, Indian, and western classical instruments and notation. He studied in Italy with Luigi Nono and Goffredo Petrassi.
Dawn Upshaw is a world-renowned American soprano described as "one of the most consequential performers of our time" by the Los Angeles Times. The recipient of several Grammy Awards and Edison Prize-winning discs, Upshaw is at home both in opera and art song, and in repertoire from Baroque to contemporary. Many composers, including Osvaldo Golijov, John Harbison, Esa-Pekka Salonen, John Adams, and Kaija Saariaho, have written for her, and her artistic achievements are extensive.
Friedrich Wilhelm Sollmann (1881-1951) was a German journalist, politician, and interior minister of the Weimar Republic. In 1919 he was a member of the German delegation to the Treaty of Versailles. In 1933 he was beaten by Nazi stormtroopers and later emigrated to the United States where he became an advocate for the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
Adolfas Mekas (born 1925 in Lithuania) is a Lithuanian film director, and brother of Jonas Mekas. Prior to the World War II, Mekas and his brother Jonas Mekas had set up a theatre. Later, in a camp for displaced persons, they studied with a teacher of the Stanislavsky System. The brothers emigrated to the United States in 1949. They studied with Hans Richter before establishing Film Culture magazine in 1955.
Anthony Evan Hecht (January 16, 1923 – October 20, 2004) was an American poet. His work combined a deep interest in form with a passionate desire to confront the horrors of 20th century history, with the Second World War, in which he fought, and the Holocaust being recurrent themes in his work.
Ian Buruma (born December 28, 1951) is a British-Dutch writer and academic. Much of his work focuses on Asian culture, particularly that of 20th-century Japan. He was born in The Hague, the Netherlands, to a Dutch father and British mother. He studied Chinese literature at Leiden University, and then Japanese film at Nihon University in Tokyo. He has held a number of editorial and academic positions, and has contributed numerous articles to the New York Review of Books.