George Martin, the Beatles’ urbane producer who quietly guided the band’s swift, historic transformation from rowdy club act to musical and cultural revolutionaries, has died, his management said Wednesday. He was 90.
The tall, elegant Londoner produced some of the most popular and influential albums of modern times: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” ‘’Revolver,” ‘’Rubber Soul,” ‘’Abbey Road” — elevating rock LPs to art forms.
Martin won six Grammys and was inducted in 1999 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He also was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
Former Beatle Paul McCartney said Martin had been “a true gentleman and like a second father to me.”
“If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George,” McCartney said. “From the day that he gave the Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time I saw him, he was the most generous, intelligent and musical person I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.”
Martin witnessed and enabled the extraordinary metamorphosis of the Beatles and of the 1960s. From a raw first album in 1962 that took a day to make, to the months-long production of “Sgt. Pepper,” the Beatles advanced rapidly as songwriters and explorers.
“Once we got beyond the bubblegum stage, the early recordings, and they wanted to do something more adventurous, they were saying, ‘What can you give us?’” Martin told The Associated Press in 2002. “And I said, ‘I can give you anything you like.’”
BYE BYE BALLET
Silicon Valley Ballet has ceased operations after a 30-year-run as the primary Bay Area dance company south of San Francisco.
The troupe changed its name last year from Ballet San Jose and recapitalized in hopes of drawing more backers.
Following performances in February, 30 union dancers were let go and the remaining two programs of the season were canceled, board member Millicent Powers said.
The company’s annual budget was around $5.5 million. Powers said. But donations would decrease and when fundraising ceased, so did the company.
Silicon Valley Ballet was founded in 1986 by Dennis Nahat as San Jose Cleveland Ballet, a unique two-city troupe. In 2000, the Cleveland schedule was discontinued. Ballet San Jose went on to earn critical acclaim. Nahat left in 2012.
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