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Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac are a British-American rock band, formed in London in 1967. They have sold more than 120 million records worldwide, making them one of the world's best-selling bands. In 1998, select members of Fleetwood Mac were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. Fleetwood Mac was founded by guitarist Peter Green, drummer Mick Fleetwood and guitarist Jeremy Spencer. Bassist John McVie completed the lineup for their self-titled debut album. Danny Kirwan joined as a third guitarist in 1968. Keyboardist Christine Perfect, who contributed as a session musician from the second album, married McVie and joined in 1970. At this time it was a British blues band, scoring a UK number one with "Albatross", had other hits such as the singles "Oh Well" and "Man of the World". All three guitarists left in succession during the early 1970s, to be replaced by guitarists Bob Welch and Bob Weston and vocalist Dave Walker. By 1974, all three had either departed or been dismissed, leaving the band without a male lead vocalist or guitarist.

In late 1974, while Fleetwood was scouting studios in Los Angeles, he was introduced to folk-rock duo Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Fleetwood Mac soon asked Buckingham to be their new lead guitarist, Buckingham agreed on condition that Nicks would join the band; the addition of Buckingham and Nicks gave the band a more pop rock sound, their 1975 self-titled album, Fleetwood Mac, reached No. 1 in the United States. Rumours, Fleetwood Mac's second album after the arrival of Buckingham and Nicks, produced four U. S. Top 10 remained at number one on the American albums chart for 31 weeks, it reached the top spot in various countries around the world and won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1978. Rumours has sold over 40 million copies worldwide, making it the eighth-highest-selling album in history; the band went through personal turmoil while recording the album, as both the romantic partnerships in the band separated while continuing to make music together. The band's personnel remained stable through three more studio albums, but by the late 1980s began to disintegrate.

After Buckingham and Nicks each left the band, they were replaced by a number of other guitarists and vocalists. A 1993 one-off performance for the first inauguration of Bill Clinton featured the lineup of Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie and Buckingham back together for the first time in six years. A full reunion occurred four years and the group released their fourth U. S. No. 1 album, The Dance, a live compilation of their work. Christine McVie continued to work with the band in a session capacity. Meanwhile, the group remained together as a four-piece, releasing their most recent studio album, Say You Will, in 2003. Christine McVie rejoined the band full-time in 2014. In 2018, Buckingham was fired from the band and was replaced by Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Neil Finn of Split Enz and Crowded House. Fleetwood Mac were formed in July 1967 in London, when Peter Green left the British blues band John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Green had replaced guitarist Eric Clapton in the Bluesbreakers and had received critical acclaim for his work on their album A Hard Road.

Green had been in two bands with Mick Fleetwood, Peter B's Looners and the subsequent Shotgun Express, suggested Fleetwood as a replacement for drummer Aynsley Dunbar when Dunbar left the Bluesbreakers to join the new Jeff Beck/Rod Stewart band. John Mayall agreed and Fleetwood joined the Bluesbreakers; the Bluesbreakers consisted of Green, John McVie and Mayall. Mayall gave Green free recording time as a gift, in which Fleetwood, McVie and Green recorded five songs; the fifth song was an instrumental that Green named after the rhythm section, "Fleetwood Mac". Soon after this, Green suggested to Fleetwood; the pair wanted McVie on bass guitar and named the band'Fleetwood Mac' to entice him, but McVie opted to keep his steady income with Mayall rather than take a risk with a new band. In the meantime Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood had teamed up with slide guitarist Jeremy Spencer and bassist Bob Brunning. Brunning was in the band on the understanding; the Green, Spencer, Brunning version of the band made its debut on 13 August 1967 at the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival as'Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac featuring Jeremy Spencer'.

Brunning played only a few gigs with Fleetwood Mac. Within weeks of this show, John McVie agreed to join the band as permanent bassist. Fleetwood Mac's self-titled debut album was a no-frills blues album and was released by the Blue Horizon label in February 1968. There were no other players on the album; the album reached no. 4, although it did not have any singles on it. The band soon released two singles: Green's "Black Magic Woman" and "Need Your Love So Bad"; the band's second studio album, Mr. Wonderful, was released in August 1968. Like their first album, it was all blues; the album was recorded live in the studio with miked amplifiers and a PA system, rather than being plugged into the board. They added horns and featured a friend of the band on keyboards, Christine Perfect of Chicken Shack. Shortly after the release of their second album, Fleetwood Mac added 18-year-old guitarist Danny Kirwan to their line-up, he was recruited from the South London blues trio Boilerhou

Irène Joachim

Irène Joachim was a French soprano, a vocal teacher. Daughter of German officer Herman Joachim and French violinist Suzanne Chaigneau, granddaughter of the violinist Joseph Joachim, she learnt violin and piano as a child, she was bilingual in French. Just before the outbreak of the First World War she and her parents left Paris for Berlin, staying in a pension in the Lutherstrasse for the remainder of the war, her father died of tuberculosis in 1917, due to the hardships of life in the German capital Joachim was sent back to France in the autumn of 1918, living with an aunt before her mother returned in 1920. Due to health problems and her mother’s professional life-style, Joachim was educated firstly by Jeanne Favart. Afternoons were devoted to music studies: violin and solfège; as a child she heard musicians such as Emanuel Feuermann, Claire Croiza, Germaine Lubin, Marya Freund and the Capet Quartet. Through the social circle of Jean Gehret the 12-year-old Joachim went to plays and attended the last seasons of the Diaghilev Ballet.

During the summer of 1926 and for several months in 1927 Irène accompanied her mother who undertook two visits as a teacher with the Yanker family in Chicago. This again brought the young Joachim into close contact with leading musicians, such as Thibaud, Tansman and Ravel. Back in France she continued with the piano, she married firstly Roger Weber on 29 July 1929 and on 3 July 1930 her son Alain was born. However, she divorced Weber soon after, suffered a period of depression and uncertainty about the direction of her life, she married secondly Jean Gehret and thirdly Jean-Louis Lévi Alvarès film producer, in November 1955. At the instigation of Jean Gehret, in 1933 Joachim began singing lessons, with Germaine Chevalet. During her Conservatoire years Joachim supported herself by singing in choirs, sang at the Concerts du Societe du Conservatoire. In her final months at the Conservatoire in 1938 Joachim made her first audio recordings, of lieder by Brahms and Mozart, she would follow these during the Second World War with not only the first complete recording of Pelléas et Mélisande, but vocal music by Yves Nat and excerpts from Les Indes galantes.

Joachim made her debut at the Opéra-Comique on 2 February 1939 as Nanthilde in Le Bon Roi Dagobert by Samuel-Rousseau. She sang Micaela, Hélène, the Countess, Mélisande, the wife and Sophie, she created Léda, Ginèvra, Madeleine and Azénor. At the German invasion in 1940, along with many other Parisians she fled the city, but returned to the capital after the armistice. Joachim is remembered for her interpretation of Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande which she first sang at the Opéra-Comique on 12 September 1940, reprising it in France and abroad up to 1952, she had studied Mélisande with Georges Viseur, who had worked alongside André Messager during the opera's premiere run, she had several meetings in Paris with Mary Garden, who created Mélisande and who helped Joachim with stage deportment for the role. Her first performance alongside Jacques Jansen as Pelléas took place at the Opéra-Comique on 20 April 1941. Joachim's fame in Pelléas et Mélisande brought about an invitation from the Propagandastaffel to sing in Berlin, which she refused.

During the war years from 1942 she joined other artists in the Front National. She sang Rozenn at both the Salle Favart and the Salle Garnier, as well as Mélisande in Ariane et Barbe-bleue at the Opéra. While her operatic career continued, the post-war years saw Joachim develop a fruitful relationship in recital with Jane Bathori, she participated in the premiere of Le Soleil des eaux by Pierre Boulez as well as of works by Henri Dutilleux and Nigg. She was renowned for her impeccable diction. Irène Joachim sang German lieder such as Schubert, Berg: she won a'Grand Prix du Disque' in 1959 for her recording of lieder by Carl Maria von Weber. In 1956 Joachim’s contract at the Opera-Comique concluded, but she went on to be active in broadcasting and recitals. From 1954 to 1962 Joachim taught singing at the Schola Cantorum; as well as the classic recording of Pelléas et Mélisande, Joachim’s commercial discography includes excerpts from Ginèvra by Delannoy, lieder by Berg, Brahms and Weber with Hélène Boschi at the piano, art songs by Debussy and Nat, as well as anthologies of songs by Les Six, traditional French and German songs.

Radio broadcasts covered another Opéra-Comique performance of Pelléas et Mélisande with Jansen, conducted by Jean Fournet, plus many songs and recitals of 20th century repertoire. Joachim’s first films date from her time at the Conservatoire, she appeared and sang

Donald Gordon (South African businessman)

Sir Donald Gordon was a South African - British businessman and philanthropist. He founded Liberty Life Association of Africa in 1957, now Liberty International. Educated at King Edward VII School in Johannesburg before doing his articles to be a Chartered Accountant at the firm Kessel Feinstein, he founded the Liberty Life Association of Africa in 1957 out of which he formed Transatlantic Insurance Holdings, now Liberty International, in 1980. He was behind the development of Sandton City, one of the most successful shopping centres in the world. Gordon was a director of the Guardian Royal Exchange Group for 24 years and chaired their South African subsidiary, Guardian National Insurance Company; the Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg, South Africa was established in January 2000 following a substantial contribution by Donald Gordon and a major investment by the University of Pretoria. In 2004, Gordon gave the Royal Opera House and Wales Millennium Centre a collective donation of £20 million payable over five years.

This is believed to be one of the largest single private donations made to the arts in the UK. Sir Donald has had the Grand Tier at the Royal Opera House as well as the main auditorium of the Wales Millennium Centre named after him. At the 2000 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in London, Gordon received the "Entrepreneur of the Year Special Award for Lifetime Achievement", he received an honorary doctorate of economic science from the University of the Witwatersrand and an honorary doctorate in commerce from the University of Pretoria. In 1968, he was named "Businessman of the Year" by the South African Sunday Times. In 1999, he was named as "The Achiever of the Century in South African Financial Services" by South African Financial Mail. In 2005 Birthday Honours List, he was awarded a knighthood in recognition of his services to arts and business. Official website