An exuberant, uniquely accessible look inside the enigmatic art and craft of conducting, from a celebrated conductor whose international career has spanned half a century.
John Mauceri brings a lifetime of experience to bear in an unprecedented, hugely informative, consistently entertaining exploration of his profession, rich with anecdotes from decades of working alongside the greatest names of the music world. With candor and humor, Mauceri makes clear that conducting is itself a composition: of legacy and tradition, techniques handed down from master to apprentice - and more than a trace of ineffable magic.
He reveals how conductors approach a piece of music (a calculated combination of personal interpretation, imagination, and insight into the composer's intent); what it takes to communicate solely through gesture, with sometimes hundreds of performers at once; and the occasionally glamorous, often challenging life of the itinerant maestro. Mauceri, who worked closely with Leonard Bernstein for 18 years, studied with Leopold Stokowski, and was on the faculty of Yale University for 15 years, is the perfect guide to the allure and theater, passion and drudgery, rivalries and relationships of the conducting life.
“Informative and entertaining…[Mauceri] has an insider’s grasp of the vagaries of the music business... [Maestros and Their Music] will appeal to both musicians and others seeking a broad base of information about conducting and conductors.” (Library Journal)
"Frank and informative about many aspects of the job of maestro...few authors have expressed so vividly the huge role of the score itself in a maestro’s daily work, or the non-glamorous status of the guest conductor.” (Opera News)