Maestros in America: Conductors in the 21st Century

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					Book Reviews                                                                               491

search box, which appears on each Web             tive conductors throughout the United
page just above the title and contents of the     States. With 106 entries dedicated to both
catalog. This searches in the JSCM, not the       up-and-coming and more established con-
catalog, so it is entirely superfluous to the      ductors, this collection succeeds in offering
Chambonnières catalog. When searching             a convincing cross-section of the discipline,
in the PDF version of a section—the princi-       drawing from a range of orchestras to cre-
pal advantage of the PDF feature—the              ate a representative catalog of Maestros in
search pertains only to the PDF that is cur-      America.
rently open rather than to the entire cata-          While several collections of conductor bi-
log, making the search less convenient than       ographies exist, they are either out-dated,
it could be. These issues are minor and easy      too brief, or dedicated solely to a handful of
enough to work around once the user be-           “star” conductors who have already received
comes familiar with the catalog’s structure;      ample attention. This book serves not only
nevertheless, tackling such issues would im-      as an update and expansion of other stud-
prove usability.                                  ies, such as Philip Hart’s Conductors: A New
   For a variety of reasons some users will       Generation (New York: Charles Scribner’s
prefer to have a hard copy, whether to re-        Sons, 1983) and Hope Stoddard’s Symphony
fer back and forth between two or more            Conductors of the U.S.A. (New York: Thomas Y.
places in the catalog with greatest ease,         Crowell Company, 1957), but as a vital
or to have a copy to mark up. Printing            source of concise yet detailed essays con-
the eighty-six PDF pages (or forty-three if       cerning some of today’s most influential
double-sided) will provide a reasonably           musicians.
sized reference work. Each PDF document              The choice of whom to include in this
begins with the identical title page for the      volume was carefully decided, with the au-
catalog, but this page need not be repeat-        thors limiting potential entrants to those
edly printed out.                                 conductors who are either American-born,
   Because this new thematic catalog of a         foreign born with a permanent position in
pivotal baroque composer is available on-         the United States, or naturalized citizens.
line, scholars should be able to consult and      All candidates have been active at some
make use of it for generations. But that’s no     point between 2000 and 2006. These selec-
reason to wait; its value is already apparent.    tion factors were then applied to a survey
                            Stuart Cheney         administered and published by the League
                  Southern Methodist University   of American Orchestras (LAO) in which
                                                  member orchestras were ranked according
                                                  to budget size, with Sharpe and Stierman
                                                  primarily choosing resident conductors
Maestros in America: Conductors in the            from the top three tiers (orchestras with
21st Century. By Roderick L. Sharpe               budgets of at least $2.8 million). Several
and Jeanne Koekkoek Stierman. Lan-                eminent figures who only occasionally con-
ham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2008. [xxii,            duct in the United States, such as André
362 p. ISBN-13: 9780810860223. $85.]              Previn, are also included, along with
Bibliographic references, discogra-               maestros of less-
Description: The real value that this book offers can be found in its more than 100 subject entries, which are ordered alphabetically and include a bibliography for further reading (mostly articles and interviews) and selected recordings. Sharpe and Stierman pay particular attention to each conductor's dedication to music written by living composers, making the effort to distinguish between the variety and quantity of contemporary music being programmed, as well as audience reception.
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