Hall of Fame 2013 Inductees
Born in Syracuse, New York, Vincent Falcone began studying classical piano at the age of three. During high school, Mr. Falcone was introduced to jazz and was so taken with this music, that even though he was engaged in classical training at Syracuse University, he decided to pursue jazz and pop music as a career. After extensive traveling throughout Europe with various jazz groups, he returned to the United States in 1964 and spent several years furthering his musical studies as well as performing in the upstate New York area. In 1970 Mr. Falcone relocated to Las Vegas, where he still resides. He became house pianist at Caesar’s palace where he was heard by Frank Sinatra who eventually employed him as his musical director and pianist. This association lasted from 1976 until 1982 with a reprise in 1985 -1986. In 1980, Mr. Falcone was music director for the inaugural gala for president Ronald Reagan. Mr. Falcone has, at one time or another, been pianist/ conductor for many of the country’s top singers including Robert Goulet, Andy Williams, Connie Francis, Paul Anka, Diahann Carroll, Sylvia Syms, The McGuire Sisters, Frankie Randall, Joe Piscopo, the great French singer-composer Charles Aznavour, Jack Jones, Al Martino, Eddie Fisher, James Darren, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Jerry Lewis, Julius LaRosa, and Tony Bennett. Mr. Falcone was musical director and pianist for Pia Zadora from 1983 to 1993. As such, he along with Robert Farnon, the acclaimed British composer / arranger, recorded three albums featuring Pia Zadora with the London Philharmonic, and Royal Philharmonic orchestras, and one album recorded in Los Angeles, with the brilliant arranger Sammy Nestico. He is also featured on a new cd by Steve Lawrence entitled "Steve Lawrence Sings Sinatra."
He has appeared with such jazz artists as Steve Gadd, Joe LaBarbara, Bobby Shew, The Condoli Brothers, Scott Hamilton, Terry Gibbs, Sonny Stitt, Jack Sheldon, Carl Fontana, Mark Murphy and many others. He has extensive experience as conductor of all size orchestras, including symphony orchestras, and has been musical director for the stage musical "Too Short To Be A Rockette.” He can be heard on several recordings with Frank Sinatra, Pia Zadora, Sylvia Syms, and others as well as his own jazz piano trio album and a cd with his jazz organ trio. The group, "The Jazz Organization," was recorded live at the Sahara hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. His most recent cd entitled "Warm Heart Cool Hands" was recorded in 2008. His latest composition with lyricist Joe Cocuzzo entitled "The Singer,'' was recorded by Rosemary Clooney and Marlene Verplank. In 2005, Mr. Falcone had his first book published by Hal Leonard Publishing co. entitled "Frankly - Just Between Us." The book tells of his many experiences with Frank Sinatra and many of the other artists with whom he has worked.
Joel D. Bergman is a celebrated architect and the Co-Founder and Chairman of Bergman, Walls & Associates in Las Vegas. He is recognized worldwide as a leader in entertainment and casino resort design. For more than 48 years he has been intimately involved in the design, planning and programming of projects throughout Nevada, the U.S. and internationally. He has brought exciting, innovative design to all forms of entertainment architecture ranging from boutique retail venues to large-scale mixed-use resorts. Mr. Bergman is particularly well known for themed projects including Paris Las Vegas and Caesar's Palace Las Vegas. He and his projects have won numerous awards and he received the prestigious Sarno Lifetime Achievement Award for Casino Design in 2006.
Prior to founding BWA in 1994, Mr. Bergman worked 16 years exclusively for The Mirage Resorts. Before that, he worked with Martin Stern and Associates for 10 years. Mr. Bergman is currently mentoring colleagues, as he stays involved in design, programming and planning of current BWA projects.
A patron of the arts and our community, Mr. Bergman and BWA have long supported Nevada Ballet Theatre, Keep Memory Alive, American Heart Association, UNLV Foundation, Boystown, Golden Rainbow, Shade Tree Shelter and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Mr. Bergman received his Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture Cum Laude from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, in 1965 and was nominated to Tau Sigma Delta National Honor Society in Architecture. His early work included over a dozen churches in Southern California, where he was born and raised.
Mr. Bergman has appeared on television and radio, been quoted in the print media and spoken before architectural, engineering and academic groups, as well as participating in gaming symposiums.
A lifetime of experiences is being memorialized as Mr. Bergman is writing his memoirs; with an emphasis on the fantastic 44 years he has spent designing entertainment and casino venues.
Jeanette Farmer’s career spans more than three decades of professional theatre technical support, show production, concert/theatre lighting design, theatre consulting and themed entertainment project management. She has contributed to many Las Vegas production shows, headliner acts, and has designed lighting for Cher, Disney on Ice, and supported Cirque du Soleil’s Las Vegas productions for 18 years as a theatre consultant, lighting director, production electrician and lighting designer.
Ms. Farmer began her professional career at age 16 working as a stagehand in the city’s civic theatres. She began her education in theatre at Bonanza High School and continued her technical theatre and theatrical design education at UNLV while also taking trade classes in welding, industrial electricity, electronics and computer-aided drafting at the College of Southern Nevada.
Ms. Farmer worked on many old Vegas-style productions in the 1980s for shows such as Playboys "Girls of Rock and Roll Show" at the Marina Hotel and Casino and the “Hot Lips” show at the Paddlewheel before landing a position as lighting design assistant for "Siegfried and Roy at the Mirage". Through her work at S&R she was introduced to Cirque du Soleil’s “Nouvelle Experience” production team and produced lighting for Cirque du Soleil’s "Mystere" (1993), "O" (1998), "Zumanity" (2003), "KA" (2004), "Love" (2006), and "ZED" (2008).
After achieving an appointment as a creator for Cirque du Soleil as a lighting designer for Criss Angel’s "BeLIEve"(2008), Ms. Farmer took a break from the world of theatrical lighting to immerse herself in the complex world of theatrical automation. She joined Fisher Technical Services (FTSI) in 2009. Her FTSI projects included “Spiderman - Turn Off The Dark” on Broadway, the "Batman Live" tour, West End’s production of "Shrek, the Musical", and the award-winning kinetic sculpture for the Shanghai World Expo. Ms. Farmer is currently the consulting expert for lighting systems for the Franco Dragone Entertainment Group and their groundbreaking theatre project in Wuhan, China.
Ms. Farmer has volunteered her time in support of the education of young theatre designers and technicians through her work with the International Thespian Society/Educational Theatre Association, Lighting Dimensions Conference Advisory Board, United States Institute for Theatre Technology, UNLV’s Entertainment Engineering and Design program, the Clark County School District and as a founding advisor for Cirque du Soleil’s college internship program.
Ms. Farmer has been recognized by the USITT Architecture Awards, Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and Entertainment Design Awards for her contributions to theatre design, live production work and themed entertainment support.
Robin and Danny Greenspun
Daniel A. Greenspun is founder and a director of VEGAS.COM, a site providing information and products for travelers to Las Vegas. Currently, Mr. Greenspun is involved with MRP, Mortgage Resolution Partners, a community advisory firm working to stabilize local housing markets and economies by keeping as many homeowners with underwater mortgages in their homes as possible.
Robin Greenspun served as an assistant director for Trans American Video and other production companies in the 1970s and early 1980s, and has worked on projects that ranged from variety shows to prize fights. She left television production to run her own advertising and public relations firm, as well as owning and running a dance studio, Movements West, before taking time off to raise her now grown children, James, 31, and Moira, 28.
In the late 1980s, Mr. and Mrs. Greenspun owned the Culture Dog Bookstore and Moira James Gallery. They also own the internationally recognized CineVegas Film Festival where Mrs. Greenspun served as President until the festival’s hiatus in 2010. In addition, Mr. and Mrs. Greenspun were partners in Stone Village Pictures, a production company specializing in adapting literary works into motion pictures, including Love in the Time of Cholera, Empire Falls, Penelope, and The Lincoln Lawyer.
In the early 1990s, Mrs. Greenspun was an instructor in communication studies at UNLV and produced video projects for non-profit agencies.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Greenspun are extremely active in the community. Mr. Greenspun was awarded the 2001 Governor’s Award for Public Service in the Arts & Humanities.
As a director of the Greenspun Family Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the family, he has a longtime active involvement in support of community organizations and charitable causes.
Mrs. Greenspun is a longtime community and arts advocate and has concentrated her volunteer efforts primarily with cultural and youth organizations.
Eric Whitacre, '95
Eric Whitacre, a 1995 graduate of UNLV, is one of the more popular and performed composers of our time, as well as a distinguished conductor, broadcaster and public speaker. His first album as both composer and conductor on Decca/Universal, Light & Gold, won a Grammy® in 2012, reaped unanimous five-star reviews and became the number one classical album in the US and UK charts within a week of release. His second album, Water Night, was released on Decca in April 2012 and debuted atop the iTunes and Billboard classical chart. It features seven world-premiere recordings and includes performances from his professional choir, the Eric Whitacre Singers, the London Symphony Orchestra, Julian Lloyd Webber and Hila Plitmann.
His ground-breaking Virtual Choir, Lux Aurumque, received more than a million views on YouTube in just 2 months (now 3 million), featuring 185 singers from 12 different countries. Virtual Choir 2.0, Sleep, was released in April 2011 and involved more than 2,000 voices from 58 countries. Virtual Choir 3, Water Night, received 3,746 submissions from 73 counties and launched at Lincoln Center, New York and revealed online in April 2012.
Mr. Whitacre has written for the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Chanticleer, Julian Lloyd Webber and the Philharmonia Orchestra, Berlin Rundfunkchor and The King’s Singers, among others. His musical, Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings, won both the ASCAP Harold Arlen award and the Richard Rodgers Award, and earned 10 nominations at the Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Awards.
His latest initiative, Soaring Leap, is a series of workshops and festivals. Guest speakers, composers and artists, make regular appearances at Soaring Leap events around the world.
An exceptional orator, he was honored to address the U.N. Leaders programme and give a TEDTalk in March 2011 in which he earned the first full standing ovation of the conference.
Many of Mr. Whitacre's works have entered the standard choral and symphonic repertories and have become the subject of scholarly works and doctoral dissertations. Inspired to compose, his first piece Go, Lovely Rose, was completed at the age of 21. He went on to the Juilliard School (New York), and earned his Master of Music degree studying with Pulitzer Prize and Oscar-winning composer, John Corigliano.
Mr. Whitacre is currently Composer in Residence at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University, UK.