New Book Release: “Eight Symphonic Masterworks of the Twentieth Century”

New Book Release: “Eight Symphonic Masterworks of the Twentieth Century”
March 5, 2024 leonard slatkin

March 5, 2024

Leonard’s fourth book was released today by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. This study guide to eight twentieth-century orchestral masterpieces is aimed at conductors and anyone interested in learning how to navigate orchestral scores. Use promo code RLFANDF30 for a 30% discount on your order from

The essays in Eight Symphonic Masterworks of the Twentieth Century: A Study Guide for Conductors provide an almost bar-by-bar analysis of the scores, detailing the decisions the conductor must make prior to stepping onto the podium, during rehearsals, and in performance to bring these works to life.

Slatkin intends to open the world of score study to those interested in expanding their knowledge of these masterworks and learning more about the complexities of the conductor’s craft. This volume is the first in a series; a second book focused on nineteenth-century works will be released later in 2024.

• Claude Debussy’s La Mer
• Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5
• Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra
• Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring)
• George Gershwin’s An American in Paris
• Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring Suite
• Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings
• Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

“Reading this book is akin to watching a basketball game with Shaquille O’Neal. Gold-plated insights from a master of the field are delivered with charm and wit. Leonard Slatkin’s brilliant observations make this book essential reading.”

—Mason Bates, GRAMMY® Award-winning composer

“This book is a treasure for conductors, but anyone with a deep interest in these works will find this fascinating. Every serious conductor should read this and benefit from Slatkin’s tremendous experience and knowledge.”

—Gerard Schwarz, music director laureate, Seattle Symphony Orchestra

“Indispensable, lucid, detailed, thorough, and persuasive, this book is not so much a masterclass as an entire curriculum in the art of orchestral conducting.”

—Mark Adamo, composer-librettist