The life and legacy of a musical mastermind.
This award-winning book, now available in paperback, is the first solid appraisal of the legendary career of the eminent Hungarian-born conductor Fritz Reiner (1888-1963). Personally enigmatic and often described as difficult to work with, he was nevertheless renowned for the dynamic galvanization of the orchestras he led, a nearly unrivaled technical ability, and high professional standards. Reiner's influence in the United States began in the early 1920s and lasted until his death. Reiner was also deeply committed to serious music in American life, especially through the promotion of new scores. In Fritz Reiner: Maestro and Martinet, Kenneth Morgan paints a very real portrait of a man who was both his own worst enemy and one of the true titans of his profession.
Praise for Fritz Reiner: Maestro and Martinet
"Exhaustively reviewing Reiner's commentary on conducting and his interpretive choices in musical performance, Morgan analyzes and defines Reiner's musical legacy. The result is a much more complete portrait of this musical titan than we had before." - Opera News
"So full of documented facts that readers will be convinced upon finishing that there is nothing more to discover about Reiner's life or career." - Library Journal
"A lively, polished, and succinct writer and scholar of the first rank, Kenneth Morgan has filled a critical gap left by Reiner's previous biographer, focusing as he does on Fritz Reiner's musicianship. Through impeccable research and revealing interviews, Morgan offers unprecedented insights into those distinctive characteristics that made Reiner one of the greatest conductors of all time. Especially welcome is his detailed discussion of the famous legacy of recordings that keeps Reiner's memory alive, even to those too young to have heard him in concert." - Steven Hillyer, editor of Podium
"Kenneth Morgan's eminently readable Fritz Reiner is a highly provocative and well-researched biography of one of the most interesting musicians who worked in the United States. It will certainly be of great value to all those interested in this legendary conductor." - Leonard Slatkin, music director, National Symphony Orchestra
"In the galaxy of brilliant Chicago Symphony maestri including such giants as Theodore Thomas, Frederick Stock, Georg Solti, and the incumbent Daniel Barenboim, Fritz Reiner was a masterful conductor in the great tradition, modest in demeanor yet fierce on behalf of the highest musical standards." - Danny Newman, Lyric Opera Chicago
Kenneth Morgan is a professor of history at Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, in the United Kingdom.
Recipient of an ASCAP Deems Taylor award in the classical music category (2006).