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Leonard Bernstein: American Original
SKU: 7476
By Burton Bernstein and Barbara Haws
Hardcover, 240 pages.

One of the most gifted, celebrated, scrutinized, and criticized musicians in the second half of the twentieth century, Leonard Bernstein made his legendary conducting debut at the New York Philharmonic in 1943, at age 25. A year later, he became a sensation on Broadway with the premiere of On the Town. Throughout the 1950s, his Broadway fame only grew with Wonderful Town, Candide, and West Side Story. And in 1958, the Philharmonic appointed him the first American Music Director of a major symphony orchestra—a signal historical event. He was adored as a quintessential celebrity but one who could do it all—embracing both popular and classical music, a natural with the new medium of television, a born teacher, writer, and speaker, as well as a political and social activist. In 1976, having conducted the Philharmonic for more than one thousand concerts, he took his orchestra on tour to Europe for the last time.

All of this played out against the backdrop of post-Second World War New York City as it rose to become the cultural capital of the world—the center of wealth, entertainment, communications, and art—and continued through the chaotic and galvanizing movements of the 1960s that led to its precipitous decline by the mid 1970s.

The essays within this book do not simply retell the Bernstein story; instead, Leonard Bernstein's brother, Burton Bernstein, and current New York Philharmonic archivist and historian, Barbara B. Haws, have brought together a distinguished group of contributors to examine Leonard Bernstein's historic relationship with New York City and its celebrated orchestra. Composer John Adams, American historians Paul Boyer and Jonathan Rosenberg, music historians James Keller and Joseph Horowitz, conductor and radio commentator Bill McGlaughlin, musicologist Carol Oja, and music critics Tim Page and Alan Rich have written incisive essays, which are enhanced by personal reminiscences from Burton Bernstein. The result is a telling portrait of Leonard Bernstein, the musician and the man.

Our price: $29.95
Music for a City, Music for the World: 100 Years with the San Francisco Symphony
Sale: 50% Off - $45.00 $22.50
The book the San Francisco Chronicle calls "superb" and the Wall Street Journal calls "engrossing."
"Music lovers, life-long fans of the SFS, and American history buffs will find Rothe's remarkable accomplishment irresistible."
-Philip Campbell, The Bay Area Reporter
When the San Francisco Symphony presented its first concert just five years after the 1906 earthquake, its founders intended it to revitalize Bay Area cultural life. Little did they know what they’d started. In Music for a City, Music for the World, Larry Rothe tells the story of the people behind the scenes in an orchestra’s century-long journey through hard times and good times. Published to celebrate the San Francisco Symphony’s 100th anniversary, this comprehensive history, filled with hundreds of archival photos and images, gives readers a glimpse into the inner workings of one of the world’s foremost orchestras, and in doing so it illuminates the cultural life of a city.
Our price: $22.50
For the Love of Music: Invitations to Listening
SKU: 8065
The power of music, the way it works on the mind and heart, remains an enticing mystery. Now two noted writers on classical music, former SFS program annotator Michael Steinberg and SFS publications editor Larry Rothe, explore the allure of this melodious art--not in the clinical terms of social scientists, but through stories drawn from their own experience.

In For the Love of Music, Steinberg and Rothe draw on a lifetime of listening to, living with, and writing about music, sharing the delights and revelatory encounters they have had with Mozart, Brahms, Stravinsky, and a host of other great (and almost-great) composers. At once highly personal and immediately accessible, their writings shed light on those who make music and those who listen to it--drawing readers into the beautiful and dangerous terrain that has meant so much to the authors.

In recounting how they themselves came to love music, Steinberg and Rothe offer keys for listening. You will meet the man who created the sound of Hollywood's Golden Age. You will learn how composers have addressed issues as comtemporary as AIDS and the terrorist attacks of September 11. You will sit in on strange and enlightening listening sessions with one of America's quirkiest music critics. And you will enter a world of mind- and soul-nourishing pleasures.
"During a time when it seems that American publishing has become the Wal-Mart of words it is a consolation and a gift to come upon a durable book. For the Love of Music is simply enough a fabulous work. As an avid listener of classical music for fifty years, it was splendid indeed to have so many doors to the world of musical genius opened for me." --Jim Harrison, author of The Summer he Didn't Die

"This is a graceful book by two music critics and fanatics that addresses the great question, Why do we love what we love? and leads us back to first causes, Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, the music that enthralled us sitting in the mystical fellowship of the concert hall. Their reminiscence of American composers of the 20th Century is not to be missed." --Garrison Keillor

"This kaleidoscopic book by Michael Steinberg & Larry Rothe is rich with autobiographical scenes, provocative viewpoints, and heartfelt appreciations--all centering around music and the artistic passion these authors share with and convey to the reader. It will long be treasured by professionals, novices, and all lovers of classical music." --Andre Watts

"The miracle of Michael Steinberg and Larry Rothe's new book is that music--perhaps the most difficult of the arts to describe and to write about well--is evoked with such eloquence and wit. This collection of essays presents its body of knowledge without pedantry, and as its authors take us on a tour of both major and minor works, using enlightening anecdotes and analyses, we are charmed and instructed, as the authors' love of their subject--announced in the title--makes itself clear." --Charles Baxter, author of The Feast of Love

"This is a delightful book--witty, fervent, and wide-ranging. The authors wear their erudition lightly, are unabashedly personal and celebratory, and manage the difficult feat of being both serious and entertaining. I enjoyed it immensely." --Richard Goode, Pianist

251 pages
5 3/5" x 8 3/5"

Our price: $17.95
Children's Musical Book Collection (3 Hardcover Books with CDs)
SKU: 10503
10% off the 3 Hardcover Books with CDs total. 
Price: $50.93 $44.99 (3 Hardcover Books with CDs)
Set includes:
A delightfully colorful introduction to classical music, aimed to fire the imagination of young children. Readers are asked to think about the different places in which we might hear music, whether it is in a concert hall, or just on television. They are then introduced to a selection of famous composers including Mozart and Beethoven, and learn about each of the musical instrument families, from woodwind to percussion.
Throughout the book children are referred to the accompanying CD so that they can hear examples as they read. Music on the CD includes Magic Flute (Mozart), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Williams), Carnival of the Animals (Saint-Saëns), The Planets (Holst), Petrushka (Stravinsky), and Peter and the Wolf (Prokofiev).
A little spooky, a little sad, and a lot of musical fun - that's what's in store for you with Lemony Snicket's The Composer is Dead.
The San Francisco Symphony asked composer Nathaniel Stookey to write the music and the great storyteller Lemony Snicket to create the story. Edwin Outwater conducted the world premiere performance and recording of The Composer Is Dead with the SFS in July 2006.
by Lemony Snicket (Author), Carson Ellis (Illustrator)
With CD of music composed by Nathaniel Stookey, narrated by Lemony Snicket.
Orchestra Bob Takes You on a Fun and Exciting Journey Through the World of Classical Music.

ALONG THE WAY YOU'LL LISTEN to the greatest works in classical music and HEAR each instrument of the orchestra and LEARN fun facts about the music, composers and musicians, including:

-Bach wasn't famous until 100 years after he died
-Some people think that years of playing the oboe can make you crazy
-Beethoven was totally deaf by the time he wrote the famous 9th Symphony
-The contrabassoon would be 16 feet tall if unwound
-Copland composed at night and on weekends and had a day job as an insurance agent

Illustrated in exquisite and colorful detail with over 100 original drawings and photographs, engaging text and delightful musical selections on the accompanying 70-minute CD lead children ages 8 to 12 (and parents, too!) on an exciting and educational tour through the instruments and music of the orchestra. The engaging text is broken into three sections: an introduction to each instrument of the orchestra from the cello to the timpani, the stories of famous composers from Bach to Stravinsky and an explanation of different musical styles from Baroque to Modern. Each step of the way, children can listen to actual musical examples of what they are learning about. Young readers will hear the sound of an actual violin as they study the instrument and enjoy the playful tune of a Mozart minuet as they read about the composer's precocious exploits as a child.

Our price: $44.99
Gary Bukovnik: Watercolors
SKU: 9721
Gary Bukovnik: Watercolors is a beautiful coffee table book celebrating gorgeous paintings of Gary Bukovnik and his contribution to the San Francisco Symphony.

Bukovnik has created and generously donated art to the San Francisco Symphony for use since the 1981-82 season. This wonderful partnership continues today.

"The opportunity to work with the San Francisco Symphony these last 30 years has been both a privilege and life long dream come true." -Gary Bukovnik

Bukovnik’s collaboration with the Symphony first began with his depiction of Easter lilies on the poster announcing performances of Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion. In Bukovnik’s floral subjects, he captures a vibrant yet fleeting beauty that mirrors music itself.

Beautifully printed 144 pages with over eighty Gary Bukovnik paintings, including:
- A selection of the San Francisco Symphony annual fine art watercolor poster images
- Available only through the San Francisco Symphony
Our price: $35.00
Pocket Dictionary of Foreign Musical Terms
SKU: 8917
This handy guide features: more than 4,000 foreign musical terms; terms in Italian, French and German; more than 160 musical examples; and comprehensive sections for percussion and strings.
Our price: $9.95
Pocket Manual of Musical Terms
SKU: 2712
Schirmer Trade Books presents the fifth edition of their must-have handbook. If you or anyone you know is involved--or wants to be involved--in music in any way, shape or form they need this book. It has been the musician's standard since 1905, direct from the San Francisco Symphony to you.

The first and best pocket dictionary of musical terms is now better!

  • Gives over 5,000 definitions of key musical terms, styles, forms and musical instruments.
  • Provides brief biographies of over 1,000 composers and performers in all musical styles.
  • Covers classical, jazz, pop, and world musics.
  • Easily fits into the pocket, purse, or musical instrument case.
  • In print continuously since 1905... now in its fifth revision.

Paperback: 341 pages
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 3.9 x 0.8 inches

Our price: $9.95
The John Adams Reader (Hardcover Book)
SKU: 5975
The John Adams Reader: Essential Writings on an American Composer gathers a colorful and wide-ranging selection of pieces from leading musical commentators and critics. Included are revealing interviews with the composer as well as eloquent essays by Ingram Marshall, Michael Steinberg, Alex Ross, Sarah Cahill, Alan Rich, and many others. Editor Thomas May has grouped this collection into four sections: profiles of the artist (including a fascinating memory piece from Ingram Marshall on Adams's early San Francisco years), detailed essays on the major works, interviews with some leading collaborators and interpreters, and critical reception. This reader should be of use both as an introduction for the general reader to a preeminently significant American artist and as a reference for the more serious student or scholar.

Hardcover: 352 pages

Our price: $27.95
Choral Masterworks: A Listener's Guide
SKU: 8064
Steinberg's Choral Masterworks: A Listener's Guide is a collection of more than 50 illuminating essays on classic choral masterworks. (Paperback, 321 Pages)

From Oxford University Press: Michael Steinberg's highly successful listener's guides--The Symphony and The Concerto--have been universally praised for their blend of captivating biography, crystal clear musical analysis, and delightful humor. Now Steinberg follows these two greatly admired volumes with Choral Masterworks: A Listener's Guide, the only such guide available to this most popular of musical forms. Here are more than fifty illuminating essays on the classic choral masterworks, ranging from Handel's Messiah, Bach's Mass in B Minor, and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, to works by Haydn, Brahms, Mendelssohn, and many others. Steinberg spans the entire history of classical music, from such giants of the Romantic era as Verdi and Berlioz, to leading modern composers such as Elgar, Rachmaninoff, Vaughan Williams, and Stravinsky, to contemporary masters such as John Adams and Charles Wuorinen. For each piece, Steinberg includes a fascinating biographical account of the work's genesis, often spiced with wonderful asides, such as the true story of Mozart's Requiem--Salieri had nothing to do with the composition of it, nor did he poison Mozart, who most likely died of rheumatic fever. The author also includes an astute musical analysis of each piece, one that casual music lovers can easily appreciate and that musicians and more serious fans will find invaluable. The book also includes basic information such as the various movements of the work, the organization of the chorus and orchestra, and brief historical notes on early performances. More than twenty million Americans perform regularly in choirs or choruses. Choral Masterworks will appeal not only to concert goers and CD collectors, but also to this vast multitude of choral performers, an especially engaged and active community.

Our price: $16.95
The Symphony: A Listener's Guide
SKU: 1382

Enriched by biographical detail, historical background, musical examples, and many finely nuanced observations, this volume is a treasury of insight and information. Readers will find illuminating discussion of the complete symphonies of Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Sibelius, and Mahler, as well as of the most loved symphonic works of Schubert, Bruckner, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and others. We learn how to listen more sharply for Haydn's humor, to Mozart's singular combination of pathos with grace, and to the evolution of Beethoven's musical ideas in his nine symphonies. This remarkable range and variety of composers are illuminated by Steinberg's deft, inviting, and intensely personal essays, which give such a vivid portrait of each composer's personality that the reader gets an immediate sense of how the work is a direct expression of the person from whose soul and brain it has sprung.

Our price: $34.95
Beethoven's Chamber Music: A Listener's Guide (Book with CD)
SKU: 11040
Ludwig van Beethoven's chamber works are some of his most revered compositions. Victor Lederer guides the serious nonprofessional listener through this oeuvre in his new book Beethoven's Chamber Music: A Listener's Guide.
Lederer shows how Beethoven's sonatas for violin and piano overflow with high energy and spirits, showing a creative force that transcended personal struggles. The “Kreutzer” sonata, Op. 47, displays all the power of the master's middle period, while the G Major sonata, Op. 96, foreshadows Beethoven's mellower late works. The author also considers the sonatas for cello and piano, which span Beethoven's early, middle, and late periods, and examines the piano trios, including the immense “Archduke” trio.
A highlight of the book is an exploration of the sixteen string quartets, which represent the pinnacle of Beethoven's achievement in chamber music. Lederer explains how the middle-period quartets, starting with the epic “Razumovsky” set, shatter molds and create new procedures, often on a stunning scale, and why the five late quartets and the Great Fugue are considered the peaks of the quartet literature and of Beethoven's own output. Lederer helps both new and experienced listeners grasp the strangeness and grandeur of these astonishing creations.
Written by Victor Lederer
192 pages
6" x 9"
Our price: $22.99
Beethoven's Piano Music: A Listener's Guide (Book with CD)
SKU: 11039
Beethoven's works for solo piano – the sonatas, variations, and bagatelles – and the five concertos for piano and orchestra stand at the heart of the repertory. Beethoven's Piano Music: A Listener's Guide, by Victor Lederer, will help the motivated reader understand this popular but often knotty music. The bulk of the text consists of a movement-by-movement analysis of the 32 sonatas, fascinating for their individuality and for the way they trace the master's development.
In addition to the sonatas, Lederer also takes the reader through the most significant of the variations. The greatest is the Diabelli, Beethoven's monumental takeoff on a trivial theme, but three more sets, the 32 Variations in C minor, the Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 34, and the “Eroica” Variations, Op. 35, are also of the highest quality. And the Bagatelles, Opp. 33, 119, and 126, are short but strong studies that display different aspects of Beethoven's musical personality. Finally, Lederer discusses the five piano concertos in detail, showing the influence of the sublime models of Mozart in the first three concertos, with Beethoven boldly finding his own voice with the beloved Fourth and Fifth Concertos. The book comes with a Naxos CD containing performances by pianist Jenö Jandó that illustrate the text.

Each book comes with a CD to enhance the reader's appreciation for the music and its composer, and to creatively link the music and text.
166 pages
6" x 9"
Our price: $22.99
Beethoven's Symphonies: A Guided Tour (Book with CD)
SKU: 11041
This book brings us the great German composer who bridged the classical and romantic eras. In Beethoven's Symphonies – A Guided Tour, readers are treated to a detailed nuts-and-bolts description in easy-to-understand English of each of the famous nine Beethoven symphonies. This book is perfect for anyone who wants to read, listen, and learn more about Beethoven (1770-1827), and discover how this musical genius changed the face of orchestral music forever.

Each book comes with a CD to enhance the reader's appreciation for the music and its composer, and to creatively link the music and text.
Written by John Bell Young
224 pages
6" x 9"
Our price: $22.99
Beethoven: The Universal Composer
SKU: 12695
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris (The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Rex, Dutch) is one of America’s most distinguished biographers, known for his rich, compulsively readable prose style. His biography of Beethoven, one of the most admired composers in the history of music, is above all a study of genius in action, of one of the few giants of Western culture. Beethoven is another engaging entry in the HarperCollins’ “Eminent Lives” series of biographies by distinguished authors on canonical figures.
Written by Edmund Morris
256 pages
5" x 8"
Our price: $13.99
The Mahler Symphonies: An Owner's Manual (Book with CD)
SKU: 5976
Since Gustav Mahler was rediscovered in the early 1960s, his symphonies have become arguably the most popular works in the modern orchestral repertoire.

Mahler's Symphonies: An Owner's Manual is the first discussion of the ten completed symphonies (No. 1-9 plus The Song of the Earth) to offer music lovers and record collectors a comprehensive overview of the music itself, what it sounds like, how it is organized, its form, content, and meaning, as it strikes today's listeners.

The book caters to the novice as David Hurwitz describes what the listener will hear, section by section, using simple cues such as important instrumental solos, recognizable tunes, climaxes, and other easily audible musical facts. He explains how each work is arranged, how the various parts relate to each other, and how one work leads to the next. It describes the emotional extravagance that lies at the root of Mahler's popularity, the consistency of his symphonic thinking, the relationship of each work to its companions, and his dazzling and revolutionary use of orchestral instruments to create an expressive musical language that is varied in content and immediate in impact.

The accompanying CD contains recordings from Symphony No. 1, Third Movement; Symphony No. 2, First Movement; Symphony No. 5, Third Movement; and Symphony No. 7, Second Movement: Nachtmusik I.

Our price: $22.99
The Composer Is Dead (Hardcover Book with CD)
SKU: 7789
A little spooky, a little sad, and a lot of musical fun - that's what's in store for you with Lemony Snicket's The Composer is Dead.
The San Francisco Symphony asked composer Nathaniel Stookey to write the music and the great storyteller Lemony Snicket to create the story. Edwin Outwater conducted the world premiere performance and recording of The Composer Is Dead with the SFS in July 2006.
by Lemony Snicket (Author), Carson Ellis (Illustrator)
With CD of music composed by Nathaniel Stookey, narrated by Lemony Snicket.

Hardcover: 40 pages

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Our price: $17.99
Chamber Music: A Listener's Guide (Hardcover)
SKU: 9281
Oxford's highly successful listener's guides--The Symphony, The Concerto , and Choral Masterworks --have been widely praised for their blend of captivating biography, crystal clear musical analysis, and delightful humor. Now James Keller follows these greatly admired volumes with Chamber Music. Approaching the tradition of chamber music with knowledge and passion, Keller here serves as the often opinionated, always genial guide to 192 essential works by 56 composers, providing illuminating essays on what makes each piece distinctive and admirable. Keller spans the history of this intimate genre of music, from key works of the Baroque through the emotionally stirring "golden age" of the Classical and Romantic composers, to modern masterpieces rich in political, psychological, and sometimes comical overtones. For each piece, from Bach through to contemporary figures like George Crumb and Steve Reich, the author includes an astute musical analysis that casual music lovers can easily appreciate yet that more experienced listeners will find enriching. Keller shares the colorful, often surprising stories behind the compositions while revealing the delights of an art form once described by Goethe as the musical equivalent of "thoughtful people conversing."


  • Depth combined with accessibility. These are the program notes readers will wish they could look forward to in concert programs.
  • Practicality. The works define a canon based on real-life exposure. This is therefore a practical listener's guide.


"Even after a career spent immersed in chamber music, I gained new and fascinating insights from James Keller's essays. This is a book that enlightens professionals as well as general music-lovers. I am happy we have it!" -- Menahem Pressler, Beaux Arts Trio

"Chamber music is beloved by all musicians, and a reference such as this is welcome and needed. James Keller has given us a beautifully written guide that in a single volume targets appropriate repertoire for musicians and music-lovers. He clearly adores chamber music and, in his writing, conveys that love with passion and authority in a way that will enrich any listener or performer." -- Renee Fleming

"James Keller's engaging essays do exactly what great program notes should: they transport us inside classical music's fascinating scenarios of creation. Choosing intelligently from myriad possible details, Keller weaves a story about each work that has the feeling of a suspense novel, where the thrilling final chapter will be our listening experience. When describing music he is the ideal tour guide, leading us on musical journeys with enthusiasm and authority. This will be a hard-to-put-down book for anyone, from the newly-curious to the seasoned expert. Keller has provided an essential volume that will take its rightful place among music's most authoritative sources." -- David Finckel and Wu Han, Artistic Directors, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

"A solid representation of musicians from a wide range of genres, time periods, and countries...Chamber Music: A Listener's Guide offers something to tempt even the most discriminating and academic individual." --New York Journal of Books

Product Details

520 pages; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4

ISBN13: 978-0-19-538253-2

ISBN10: 0-19-538253-6


About the Author(s)

James Keller , longtime Program Annotator of the New York Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony, was awarded the prestigious ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for feature writing about music in Chamber Music magazine, where he has been Contributing Editor for more than a decade.

Our price: $39.95
The Young Musician's Survival Guide
SKU: 13335
Learning to play an instrument can be fun and, at times, frustrating. This lively, accessible book helps young people cope with the difficulties involved in learning a new instrument and remaining dedicated to playing and practicing. Teens from renowned music programs - including the Juilliard School's Pre-College Program and Boston University's Tanglewood Institute - join pro musicians such as Wynton Marsalis, Paula Robison, and James Galway in offering practical answers to questions from what instrument to play to where the musical road may lead.
In this revised and expanded edition, Amy Nathan has updated the book to address today's more technologically-minded young musician. Expanded sections cover the various ways students can use technology to assist in mastering an instrument and in making practice time more productive, from using the Internet to download pieces to be learned and playing along with downloaded tunes to practicing with computer-based practice programs, CDs, and videos/DVDs of musical performances. She also addresses concerns of young composers and conductors, two groups not mentioned in the original edition. The book's updated Resource Guide suggests where to get additional help, both online and off.
Written by Amy Nathan
Age 12+
192 pages
6" x 9"
Our price: $13.95
Young People's Guide to Classical Music
SKU: 8862
Most parents and teachers appreciate the value and importance of classical music, and would like to be able to pass on their enjoyment to the next generation. Yet there is a dearth of comprehensive classical music literature available to the young adult reader. Young People's Guide to Classical Music covers all of the information needed for a thorough understanding of the elements that comprise classical music. Written primarily for people unfamiliar with these elements, this is a practical handbook as well as a reference. Included in the section on musical periods are segments that explain the general history and background of each era so that the changes in the music world are in context. This book is for the parents of music students, parents who want to nurture an interest in classical music in their children, young adults who already have an interest in this field, educational institutions that provide instruction in music, and adults who wish to increase their own familiarity with classical music and its composers.
Written by Helen Bauer
288 pages
6" x 9"
Our price: $18.99
Violin Virtuosos
SKU: 8921
An exceptional variety of dynamic violin soloists are making their mark on the world's stages at the dawn of this new century. Violin Virtuosos takes you into their world. In these compelling profiles, each musician reveals the personal, technical and psychological aspects of their lives in music: how they cope with isolation, how they approach and interpret their repertoire, and what kindles their passions and unites them with their audiences. This fascinating companion volume to 21st-Century Violinists includes profiles of Joshua Bell, Chee-Yun, Vadim Repin, Kyung-Wha Chung, Hilary Hahn, Viktoria Mullova, Leila Josefowicz, Christian Tetzlaff, Mark Kaplan, and other gifted performers.
Written by Joshua Bell, Vadim Repin, Hilary Hahn, and more
124 pages
6" x 9"
Our price: $12.99
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