Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Renowned Southern Author - Harper Lee

Samuel Brice Hall serves as director of investor relations at Piedmont Private Equity, LLC. Away from his professional responsibilities, Samuel Brice Hall is an avid reader. He regularly rereads To Kill a Mockingbird, the famed novel by Harper Lee.

Harper Lee, who experienced a difficult childhood, developed a liking for English literature in high school. At college, she avoided the traditional female pursuits of fashion and dating, preferring to write and to concentrate on her studies instead. Lee became the editor of the humor magazine of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. Her studies ultimately began to compete with her writing for her time. Eventually, once she had figured out where her true passion lay, Lee dropped out. She moved north to pursue her authorial ambitions.

Befriended by a Broadway composer who paid her living expenses for a year, Lee devoted herself to full-time writing. Her manuscript became known as To Kill a Mockingbird. While waiting for its publication, Lee helped her childhood friend, Truman Capote, with research and interviews for a New Yorker article. That article would ultimately grow into his non-fictional book, In Cold Blood.

After it came out, Mockingbird won the Pulitzer Prize and a number of other awards. The film adaptation won three Oscars. In later years, Lee retired from public life. She made anonymous donations to charities from her substantial wealth. 

In 2015, a pre-Mockingbird novel that a publisher had rejected came to light. It featured the characters from Mockingbird in a period later than that highlighted in the more famous book. After the publication of Go Set a Watchman, its depiction of the character, Atticus Finch, as a racist surprised readers. Nevertheless, Go Set a Watchman broke the pre-sale records of its publisher, HarperCollins. Lee died in her sleep in 2016, aged 89.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's Music Director Stepping Down in 2021

An experienced financial executive, Samuel Brice Hall has served as director of investor relations with Piedmont Private Equity since 2011. Outside of his professional endeavors, Samuel Brice Hall regularly supports the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO). 

The 2020-21 season will be the 20th year Robert Spano serves as the ASO's music director, and it will also be his last. In January, Spano announced plans to conclude his lengthy tenure at the Orchestra's helm in three years and assume the position of Conductor Laureate of the ASO. The ASO will celebrate its 75th anniversary during the 2019-20 season, and Spano is only one of four individuals to serve as its music director. 

Since joining the ASO, Spano has been responsible for hiring more than 40 percent of its current members and has mentored multiple assistant directors who have gone on to work as head music directors with organizations such as the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Reno Philharmonic, and Chicago Sinfonietta. He also played a significant role in alleviating the ASO's financial pressures following a pair of work stoppages in 2012 and 2014; along with ASO board member John White, he co-chaired the Musicians' Endowment Campaign, which raised over $27 million toward funding to restore 11 positions in the Orchestra. He also led efforts on six Grammy-Award-winning recordings and earned the American Composers Forum Champion of New Music Award.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Role in Anna Karenina Helped Launch Career of Alicia Vikander

The recipient of a master of science degree in accounting from the University of North Carolina, Samuel Brice Hall serves as director of investor relations with Piedmont Private Equity, where he manages the firm's tax mitigation and conservation strategy. Outside of his professional pursuits, Samuel Brice Hall is an avid reader who recently read several Russian classics, including Anna Karenina. 

A novel written by Leo Tolstoy and published in serial installments between 1873 to 1877, Anna Karenina was adapted for film in 2012 with Keira Knightley playing the titular role. The film also starred Jude Law, Matthew Macfadyen, and Alicia Vikander, who gained international acclaim through her role of Kitty. Prior to landing the breakthrough role, Vikander had appeared in films such as The Crown Jewels and a Royal Affair and starred in the Swedish TV series Second Avenue. 

Vikander’s career took off following Anna Karenina, as she was cast in films such as The Fifth Estate, Son of a Gun, and Testament of Youth. In 2014, her role in Ex Machina earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture. The following year, she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in The Danish Girl. Most recently, Vikander was cast to play Lara Croft in a 2018 Tomb Raider remake.