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Splendid Encounters


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Abraham Kaplan’s memoir, Splendid Enouncters, recounts his experiences working with many of the most celebrated musicians of the twentieth century.


From world premieres with Leonard Bernstein to a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration with Frank Sinatra at Madison Square Garden, Splendid Encounters offers a glimpse into two of the century’s most exciting decades of classical music. These stories of great musicians, as told by a a great musician and storyteller, are both infectious and inspirational, demonstrating that less legendary musicians are indeed real human beings. This memoir revives the living, breathing experiences of a generation of musical legends.


Among the individuals about whom Kaplan regales are:

Composers: Leonard Bernstein, Ernest Bloch, Aaron Copland, Lukas Foss, Gershon Kingsley, Zoltán Kodály, Darius Milhaud, Vincent Persichetti, William Schuman, Robert Starer, Igor Stravinsky, Randall Thompson

Conductors: Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Carlo Maria Giulini, Shlomo Kaplan, Josef Krips, Raphael Kubelik, Erich Leinsdorf, Sir Neville Marriner, Zubin Mehta, Charles Munch, Seiji Ozawa, Thomas Schippers, Gerard Schwarz, Sir Georg Solti, William Steinberg, Leopold Stokowski, George Szell, Alfred Wallenstein

Singers: Marian Anderson, Martina Arroyo, Jan Peerce, Hans Rehfuss, Beverly Sills, Frank Sinatra

Others: opera administrator Kurt Adler, lutenist Suzanne Bloch, radio personality Karl Haas, bandleader Skitch Henderson, vocal coach Madeline Marshall, cellist Frank Miller, violinist Joseph Szigeti


Also includes Kaplan’s short essay, “What Does a Conductor (Maestro) Do... And Who the Hell Needs Him?”


Published in 2009 by iUniverse


Choral Conducting


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Abraham Kaplan incorporates into his textbook, Choral Conducting, a wealth of knowledge and experience from decades as the head of the choral program at the Juilliard School. He covers the basics of conducting, including patterns for various meters, dynamics, and tempo changes. But he also discusses matters that are often overlooked in conducting pedagogy, such as diction, concert programming, interacting with an orchestra, and ensemble discipline.


Published in 1985 by W. W. Norton

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