Classical 101 Reads

Rare Bird Books /

Beethoven changed the course of music with his mighty nine symphonies. What would happen to music — and to the world — if the manuscript of a 10th symphony by Beethoven suddenly emerged from oblivion?

Kemberly Groue / U.S. Air Force

It's been a few years since my first list of "10 Great Children’s Books About Classical Music." Just in time for the new school year, here's a list of 10 more engaging illustrated children’s books about classical music.

Tracey Nolan / Wikimedia Commons

When I was young and obnoxious, I had very little use for any music that approached large commercial success.

HarperCollins Publishers

Leonard Bernstein and his wife, Chilean-born actress Felicia Montealegre, had three children: Jamie, Alexander and Nina. Montealegre died in 1978. Bernstein died in 1990, at the age of 72. 

Simon & Schuster

I knew of Eugene Drucker as a formidable violinist, and as a member of the acclaimed Emerson String Quartet. The Emersons have been established internationally for years. And they've long had a home on Classical 101.

HarperCollins Publishers

Think of your favorite page-turner. Think of the novel you get lost in, whether on the beach or on the bus — The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough comes to mind for me.

Then add to that a dash of love for music and musicians, and you get Lauren Belfer's And After the Fire. / Oxford University Press

If you go through life with a name like John Latouche, you'd better be talented.

Luckily, John Treville Latouche (1914-1956) was immensely talented. He made his name as the go-to guy for witty, biting lyrics, inspiring Duke Ellington, Jerome Moross, Vernon Duke and Leonard Bernstein.

Google Books

There are perhaps no two men more qualified to talk about their pursuit of music and literature than Haruki Murakami and Seiji Ozawa. So when I discovered that the two had sat down at various intervals over the course of a few years to discuss music and transcribe their conversations, I knew I had to read Absolutely on Music.

Last May, I wrote a post about “10 Great Children’s Books about Classical Music.” Even now, months later, you, the readers of this blog, continue to show overwhelming interest in that post, so I decided to expand upon it with another annotated list of great children’s books about music and, this time, also dance, but with an even greater focus.

Opera Columbus

The way to a kid's heart maybe less through music at first, but more through stories. Here's a list of some of my favorite books about opera, suitable for kids. This is by no means exhaustive, just a sampling. Feel free to send in your own favorite titles:

Sing Me a Story, the Metropolitan Opera Book of Opera Stories for Children by Jane Rosenberg

Suitable for grades 3-6; and beautifully illustrated. Breaks down the intricacies (impossibilities!) of some opera plots.

color photo of eleven children playing glockenspiel-like instruments beore a black and blue backdrop
Jodi Miller / WOSU Public Media

This Mother's Day, why not put a little music in your life at Classical 101's Youth & Family Day?

Sunday, May 10, WOSU Public Media and the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus present the second-annual Youth & Family Day, starting at 12:30 pm at WOSU@COSI. It's a free event celebrating children and music with hands-on musical activities, crafts and a 3 pm concert by ProMusica.