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Cowen was a British-Jewish pianist, conductor and composer. He was born in Kingston, Jamaica and grew up in… [More] England. Cowen’s career, both as composer and conductor, is now almost forgotten. Although he regarded himself primarily as a symphonist, he was most successful in lighter orchestral pieces when treating fantastic or fairy subjects, where his gifts for graceful melody and colorful orchestration are shown. Whether in his cantatas for female voices, his charming Sleeping Beauty, his Water Lily, or his pretty overture The Butterfly’s Ball (1901), he has a graceful expression. He died on October 6, 1935 and was buried at the Jewish Cemetery, Golders Green. [Less]
1860: Anton Chekhov
Chekhov, author of Uncle Vanya and The Cherry Orchard, was a Russian physician, dramatist and author who… [More] is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history. He is noted here for being a staunch critic of anti-Semitism and for being a supporter of Dreyfus — unlike many other Russian literary giants. His career as a dramatist produced four classics and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. He practiced as a doctor throughout most of his literary career: “Medicine is my lawful wife”, he once said, “and literature is my mistress.” [Less]
1923: Paddy Chayefsky
Born in The Bronx to Ukrainian, Jewish parents, Chayefsky was an American playwright, screenwriter and… [More] novelist. He is the only person to have won three solo Academy Awards for Best Screenplay (the other three-time winners, Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder, have all shared their awards with co-writers). As a screenwriter, he received three Academy Awards for Marty (1955), The Hospital (1971) and Network (1976). He was considered one of the most renowned dramatists of the so-called Golden Age of Television. His intimate, realistic scripts provided a naturalistic style of television drama for the 1950s, and he was regarded as the central figure in the “kitchen sink realism” movement of American television. [Less]