James Bartlett – Discoverer and Founder, Melodykraaft
I was born Maxim “Max” Linhardt in New York City to European Calvinist immigrants. At two years of age my name was legally changed to James Bartlett in order to avoid confusion with the German painter Maximilian Linhardt.
I received Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Music Theory/Composition from Webster University, Saint Louis, Missouri. The curriculum included studies in counterpoint, orchestration, microtonal music, and conducting. At Webster I was privileged to study with the prominent American composers Robert Charles Howard, Kendall Stallings and Robert Chamberlin. In addition to writing original pieces for orchestra and various chamber ensembles, I was involved in projects with other composers and songwriters. I scored and conducted Vincent Rhomberg’s musical “Rendezvous” in the last year of my graduate studies.
My large-scale work “Transistors, Resistors and Percussion” for audio tape, electronic devices and traditional instruments was performed in various venues around Saint Louis. The composition featured improvised virtuoso performances by John Kasica, percussionist with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
After graduation from Webster, I pursued private study on several instruments. My piano teachers included Lloyd Bartlett, Herb Drury, Carolbeth True, Ruth Slenczynska and Kurt Pavitt. I studied jazz guitar with Gary Czevry, Jimmy Russell and Frank Wahl.
I served as organist for Church of the Living Word — a full gospel church in South Saint Louis, Missouri — from 1983 to 2005 and more recently I led P&W songs for an EPC church in South Saint Louis.
I have the pleasure of working with a host of local dance bands including the Russ David Orchestra, Bob Kuban, and the Music Mainstream band.
In my spare time I enjoy playing tennis, biking, competition motocross, and flying my restored WWII-era Curtiss SB2C Helldiver.
I live at Cambridge Haus in the Virginia Heights neighborhood, Roanoke, VA with my wonderful wife Lola, and wunderhunds Shmuel and Emma Sue.
James T. Bartlett
December 19, 2018