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For Educators

No Vivaldi in the Garage
A Requiem for Classical Music in North America
Sheldon Morgenstern

Northeastern University Press
2001 • 208 pp. 6 x 9 1/4"
Music / Theater & Performing Arts

$22.95 Paperback, 978-1-55553-641-1

A memoir of a lifetime in the performing arts—and a forthright commentary on the rapidly deteriorating state of the performing arts in North America

In a work rich with colorful anecdotes about family, friends, and colleagues, Sheldon Morgenstern reflects on his childhood in Cleveland, Ohio, summers at the Brevard Music Festival, and years at Northwestern University. He recounts his experiences playing French horn in the Atlanta Symphony, studying conducting at the New England Conservatory, his long tenure as artistic director at the Eastern Music Festival at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and performances as guest conductor with dozens of orchestras around the world.

Morgenstern scrutinizes the reasons behind the increasing mediocrity of classical music and the precarious financial state of professional symphony orchestras, many of which have already declared bankruptcy. He sharply criticizes the NEA, the Canada Council, and other arts councils and political groups for the elimination of music education in nearly all public schools. He is also highly critical of Yo-Yo Ma, Shlomo Mintz, Daniel Barenboim, and other superstars who command extraordinary fees for sometimes second-rate performances but do little to teach young artists or to support struggling companies and festivals. He concludes by calling for strong actions that will ensure the economic survival of the arts without sacrificing excellence in performance.

Filled with vivid behind-the-scenes descriptions and highlighting such well-known figures as Leonard Bernstein, Glenn Gould, Wynton Marsalis, and others, No Vivaldi in the Garage offers a refreshingly candid insider’s perspective on the classical music scene.

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“Whether or not you agree with his words, Sheldon Morgenstern offers an entertaining view of his professional experience in classical music. He is not afraid to offer his provocative, seldom-heard perspective on the music world today.” —Wynton Marsalis

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SHELDON MORGENSTERN is Music Director Emeritus of the Eastern Music Festival, where he received two ASCAP programming awards. He was on the conducting staff at the New England Conservatory and was Principal Guest Conductor of orchestras in Budapest, Seville, and Warsaw, as well as Interim Music Director of the Mississippi State Symphony. He continues to pursue an active conducting and teaching career, and lives in France.

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 08:29:17 -0500