People Whose Work I Admire (unordered list)
Sorry, no politicians, social workers, or freedom fighters in this list, because I don't understand these forms of art enough to be able to appreciate individual contributions.
While Pink Floyd is my favorite classic rock band, I especially admire guitarist/singer/saxophonist David Gilmour. Here is one reason why [video link]. He has been named the "Best Fender Guitar Player Ever" by the Guitarist magazine. He is able to produce very clean sounds with his guitar, and always appears (in live performances) to be doing so effortlessly. His solo piece in Comfortable Numb [video link] was voted as the #1 guiar solo of all time. Incidentally, he also closely resembles my late grandfather (mother's father).
Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel
I am also a big fan of the Simon & Garfunkel duo, for having entertained me for years with great tunes (such as this [video link]), and absolutely fabulous lyrics (such as this one). There is yet another reason for being a fan - some of their songs are easy to pick up on an acoustic and hum alongside. It corroborates with my rather obvious "theory" that one enjoys most what one is good at.
The difficult conditions under which this recipient of the 1992 Oscar for Lifetime Achievement directed films is probably unconceivable for today's film-makers. Satyajit Ray was only the second movie personality to receive an honorary doctorate from Oxford University, after Charles Chaplin. I personally am most amazed by his mastery over varied movie themes, from socio-economic, political, all the way to murder mysteries, comedy, and films for children. His personal music compositions and collaborations with sitarist Ravi Shankar have also done wonders for his films.
Here goes my gratitude to Tolkein for giving us possibly the most high-impact modern fantasy story ever told, The Lord of the Rings. Written mostly while Tolkein was a professor at Oxford University, the LOTR, and its precursor The Hobbit are both among the highest selling books in history. Not stopping at just writing stories, he went on to create detailed maps of the middle earth, and even new alphabets and languages. Its movie adaptations by Peter Jackson are each among the highest grossing films of all time. We hear that The Hobbit will have its movie adaptation, produced by Jackson and directed by Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro.