“Changing Lives” Gustavo Dudamel

“Changing Lives”  Gustavo Dudamel
Posted by on Feb 22, 2015

“Changing Lives” Gustavo Dudamel, is the story of this extraordinary conductor and the music education program, El Sistema, that led him to success.

When Gustavo Dudamel, at the age of twenty-eight, ascended the podium at the Hollywood Bowl for his inaugural concert as conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he immediately captivated the hearts of his audience, just as he had the minds of music critics who designated him a modern-day Leonard Bernstein.

In Changing Lives, the maestro’s story becomes the entry point to an equally captivating subject: El Sistema, the music education program that nurtured his musical talent, first as a young violinist and then as a budding conductor under the mentorship of its founder, José Antonio Abreu. What began in Venezuela has now reached children in Los Angeles, New York City, Baltimore, and cities around the world. No matter the location, the overarching goal of El Sistema is unwavering: to rescue children from the depredations of poverty through music. Part history, part reportage, this book reveals that arts education can indeed effect positive social change.

Find Changing Lives now on Amazon.








“Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven” John Eliot Gardiner

“Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven”   John Eliot Gardiner
Posted by on Nov 26, 2014

Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the most unfathomable composers in the history of music. How can such sublime work have been produced by a man who (when we can discern his personality at all) seems so ordinary, so opaque — and occasionally so intemperate?

John Eliot Gardiner grew up passing one of the only two authentic portraits of Bach every morning and evening on the stairs of his parents’ house, where it hung for safety during World War II. He has been studying and performing Bach ever since, and is now regarded as one of the composer’s greatest living interpreters. The fruits of this lifetime’s immersion are distilled in this remarkable book, grounded in the most recent Bach scholarship but moving far beyond it, and explaining in wonderful detail the ideas on which Bach drew, how he worked, how his music is constructed, how it achieves its effects — and what it can tell us about Bach the man.

Gardiner’s background as a historian has encouraged him to search for ways in which scholarship and performance can cooperate and fruitfully coalesce. This has entailed piecing together the few biographical shards, scrutinizing the music, and watching for those instances when Bach’s personality seems to penetrate the fabric of his notation. Gardiner’s aim is “to give the reader a sense of inhabiting the same experiences and sensations that Bach might have had in the act of music-making. This, I try to show, can help us arrive at a more human likeness discernible in the closely related processes of composing and performing his music.”

It is very rare that such an accomplished performer of music should also be a considerable writer and thinker about it. John Eliot Gardiner takes us as deeply into Bach’s works and mind as perhaps words can. The result is a unique book about one of the greatest of all creative artists.

Find Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven now on Amazon.








“Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life” John Adams

“Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life”   John Adams
Posted by on Nov 26, 2014

A book unlike anything ever written by a composer–part memoir, part description and explication of the creative process – Hallelujah Junction is an absorbing journey across the musical landscape of America and through the life and times of John Adams, one of today’s most admired and performed composers.

Find Hallelujah Junction now on Amazon.








“Creativity for Life”; Eric Maisel

“Creativity for Life”;  Eric Maisel
Posted by on Nov 26, 2014

“Creativity for Life” written by Eric Maisel. The author explores the challenges confronting an artist: deciding if you have talent (or if that’s even important); determining your level of commitment; pursuing stardom; honing your craft; overcoming blocks; taking care of the business end of your artistic life; finding your place in culture; coming out as an artist; finding love and friendship inside and out of your artistic community; and using your art to explore your inner life. A comprehensive approach to the much-misunderstood artist’s life, this book, contains both nuts-and-bolts ideas and exercises and inspiration to nurture growth as an artist and a person.








“From the Stage to the Studio: How Fine Musicians Become Great Teachers”

“From the Stage to the Studio:  How Fine Musicians Become Great Teachers”
Posted by on Nov 26, 2014

“From the Stage to the Studio: How Fine Musicians Become Great Teachers.” Drawing on over sixty years of combined experience, authors Cornelia Watkins and Laurie Scott provide the guidance and information necessary for any musician to translate his or her individual approach into productive and rewarding teacher-student interactions. Premised on the synergistic relationship between teaching and performing, this book provides a structure for clarifying the essential elements of musical artistry, and connects them to such tangible situations as setting up a studio, teaching a master class, interviewing for a job, judging competitions, and recruiting students. From the Stage to the Studio serves as an essential resource for university studio faculty, music pedagogy teachers, college music majors, and professionals looking to add effective teaching to their artistic repertoire.
>Find From the Stage to the Studio now on Amazon.








“Coaching the Artist Within” Eric Maisel

“Coaching the Artist Within”   Eric Maisel
Posted by on Nov 25, 2014

“Coaching the Artist Within” Eric Maisel shows people how to become more effective creators by guiding them through 12 self-coaching lessons.  Maisel, a leading creativity coach, writes each lesson with a novelist’s flair, as a narrative complete with examples, exercises, and questions to help readers explore and reflect on underlying issues that may be keeping them from pursuing their urge to create. Topics include committing, planning and doing, generating mental energy, achieving a centered presence, becoming an anxiety expert, upholding your dream, and maintaining a creative life. Maisel has worked extensively with creative people — poets, filmmakers, novelists, dancers — and he revisits some of them in coaching sessions in San Francisco, Paris, London, and New York. Typical are the rock musician who wants to pursue a solo career and the screenwriter anxious to become a poet. Their examples both entertain and instruct, outlining how to discover one’s personal muse — and the motivation to keep creating.

Find Coaching the Artist Within now on Amazon.