Friday, February 5, 2010

Resources for Children: Composer Biographies

I’ve been holding out on you. Last summer I started working on a bibliography of music resources for children: composer biographies, books about opera, ballet, orchestra, jazz, etc. I’m focusing mainly on picture books, with some CDs thrown in. But the project has sort of exploded on me. I figured if I’m going to make a bibliography, it really should be annotated, and if it’s going to be annotated, I have to read all the books. That involves both getting my hands on them and thinking coherently about them. I’ve read quite a few books, but the list keeps growing. And research time is time when everybody else is asleep and I’m foggy at best.
I’m going to give you lists of what I’ve got so far—no notes because they are incomplete and unedited—because it’s part of the reason I started this blog. There are so many fantastic resources out there, they need to be shared. One note:  not all of these books are in print anymore.  However, I've found a number of them at my local library and/or online, so even if you can't find them new, they should still be accessible.  I’ll start with composer biographies (some are straight biographies, others are fictionalized stories with information about the composer):

J. S. Bach:
Bach (Famous Children Series)Bach (Famous Children Series), by Ann Rachlin, illustrated by Susan Hellard








Bach's Big AdventureBach’s Big Adventure, by Sallie Ketcham, illustrated by Timothy Bush








Bach's Goldberg VariationsBach’s Goldberg Variations, by Anna Harwell Celenza, illus. by JoAnn E. Kitchel








Johann Sebastian Bach (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)Johann Sebastian Bach, (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers), by Mike Venezia







Sebastian: A Book about BachSebastian: A Book About Bach, by Jeanette Winter, Silver Whistle (a trademark of Harcourt, Inc.), 1999







Sebastian Bach, The Boy from Thuringia (Great MusicianS Series)Sebastian Bach, the Boy from Thuringia (Great Musician Series) by Opal Wheeler & Sybil Deucher







Irving Berlin:
Say It With Music: A Story About Irving Berlin (Creative Minds Biographies)Say it With Music: A Story about Irving Berlin, (Creative Minds Biographies), by Thomas Streissguth, illustrated by Jennifer Hagerman







Ludwig van Beethoven:
Beethoven (Famous Children Series)Beethoven (Famous Children Series), by Ann Rachlin, illustrated by Susan Hellard







Beethoven Lives Upstairs (Orchard Paperbacks)Beethoven Lives Upstairs, by Barbara Nichol, illustrated by Scott Cameron








Bold Composer: A Story About Ludwig Van Beethoven (Creative Minds Biographies)Bold Composer: A Story about Ludwig van Beethoven, (Creative Minds Biographies), by Judith Pinkerton, illustrated by Barbara Kiwak







The Heroic SymphonyThe Heroic Symphony, by Anna Harwell Celenza








Ludwig Beethoven and the Chiming Tower Bells (Great Musicians Series)Ludwig Beethoven and the Chiming Tower Bells (Great Musicians Series) by Opal Wheeler & Mary Greenwalt







Ludwig Van Beethoven (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)Ludwig van Beethoven, (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers), by Mike Venezia







The 39 Apartments of Ludwig Van BeethovenThe 39 Apartments of Ludwig van Beethoven, by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Barry Blitt







Leonard Bernstein:
Leonard Bernstein (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)Leonard Bernstein, (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers), by Mike Venezia







Hildegard von Bingen:
Secret World Of HildegardThe Secret World of Hildegard¸ by Jonah Winter









Johannes Brahms:
Brahms (Famous Children)Brahms, (Famous Children Series), by Ann Rachlin, illustrated by Susan Hellard







Johannes Brahms (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)Johannes Brahms, (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers), by Mike Venezia







The Young Brahms (Great Musicians Series)The Young Brahms, (Great Musicians Series) by Opal Wheeler & Sybil Deucher









Frederic Chopin:

Chopin (Famous Children)Chopin, (Famous Children Series), by Ann Rachlin, illustrated by Susan Hellard







Frederic Chopin (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)Frederic Chopin, (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers), by Mike Venezia







Frederic Chopin, Son of Poland, Early Years (Great Musicians Series)Frederic Chopin, Son of Poland, Early Years (Great Musicians Series)¸ by Opal Wheeler & Christine Price







Frederic Chopin: Son of Poland, Later Years.Frederic Chopin, Son of Poland, Later Years (Great Musicians Series)¸ by Opal Wheeler & Christine Price


Aaron Copland:
Aaron Copland (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)Aaron Copland (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers) by Mike Venezia








Duke Ellington:
Duke Ellington (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)Duke Ellington (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers) by Mike Venezia







Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His OrchestraDuke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra¸ by Andrea Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney, Hyperion Books for Children, 1998








Stephen Foster:
Stephen Foster and His Little Dog Tray Study GuideStephen Foster and His Little Dog Tray (Great Musicians Series), by Opal Wheeler









George Gershwin:
George Gershwin (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)George Gershwin (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers), by Mike Venezia








Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue W /CDGershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, by Anna Harwell Celenza









Franz Gruber:
Silent Night: The Song and Its StorySilent Night: The Song and Its Story, by Margaret Hodges, illustrated by Tim Ladwig, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 1997









George Frederick Handel:
George Handel (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)George Handel (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers) by Mike Venezia







Handel (Famous Children Series) by Ann Rachlin, illustrated by Susan Hellard

Handel at the Court of Kings (Great Musicians Series)Handel at the Court of Kings by Opal Wheeler & Mary Greenwalt








Handel, Who Knew What He LikedHandel, Who Knew What He Liked by M.T. Anderson, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, Candlewick Press, 2001







Franz Joseph Haydn
Joseph Haydn The Merry Little Peasant (Great Musicians Series)Haydn, (Famous Children Series) by Ann Rachlin, illustrated by Susan Hellard








The Farewell Symphony
The Farewell Symphony, by Anna Harwell Celenza, illus. by JoAnn E. Kitchel








Joseph Haydn, the Merry Little Peasant¸ (Great Musicians Series) by Mary Greenwalt, Opal Wheeler & Sybil Deucher


Charles Ives:
What Charlie Heard: The Story of the American Composer Charles Ives by Mordecai Gerstein, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002

Scott Joplin:
Raggin': A Story About Scott Joplin (Carolrhoda Creative Minds Book)Raggin’: A Story about Scott Joplin, (Creative Minds Biographies) by Barbara Mitchell, illustrated by Hetty Mitchell








Edward MacDowell:
Edward MacDowell and His Cabin in the Pines (Great Musicians Series)Edward MacDowell and His Cabin in the Pines, by Opal Wheeler & Sybil Deucher








Darius Milhaud:
Music For The End Of TimeMusic for the End of Time, by Jen Bryant









Modest Mossorgsky:
Pictures at an ExhibitionPictures at an Exhibition, by Anna Harwell Celenza, illustrated by Joann Kitchel








Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Mozart (Famous Children Series)Mozart, (Famous Children Series), by Ann Rachlin, illustrated by Susan Hellard







Mozart Finds a MelodyMozart Finds a Melody, by Stephen Costanza, Henry Holt and Company, 2004








Mozart, The Wonder Boy (Great Musicians Series) Mozart, the Wonder Boy (Great Musicians Series), by Opal Wheeler & Sybil Deucher







Mozart: The Wonder Child: A Puppet Play in Three ActsMozart: the Wonder Child, A Puppet Play in Three Acts, by Diane Stanley, Harper Collins Children’s Books, 2009








Musical Genius: A Story About Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Creative Minds Biographies)Musical Genius: A Story about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Creative Minds
Biographies), by Barbara Allman, illustrated by Janet Hamlin







Play, Mozart, Play!Play, Mozart, Play! by Peter Sis, Greenwillow Books, Harper Collins Publishers, 2006







Who Was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? (Who Was...?)Who Was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? by Yona Zeddis McDonough








Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers), by Mike Venezia







Young Mozart (Picture Puffins)Young Mozart, Rachel Isadora









Erik Satie:
Strange Mr. Satie (Bccb Blue Ribbon Nonfiction Book Award (Awards))Strange Mr. Satie, by M.T. Anderson, illustrated by Petra Mathers









Franz Schubert:
Franz Schubert & His Merry Friends (Great Musicians Series)Franz Schubert and His Merry Friends (Great Musicians Series), by Opal Wheeler & Sybil Deucher









Schubert (Famous Children Series)Schubert, (Famous Children Series), by Ann Rachlin, illustrated by Susan Hellard








Clara Schumann:
Her Piano Sang: A Story About Clara Schumann (Creative Minds Biographies)Her Piano Sang: A Story about Clara Schumann, (Creative Minds Biographies), by Barbara Allman, illustrated by Shelly O. Haas








Robert Schumann:
                          Schumann, (Famous Children Series), by Ann Rachlin, illustrated by Susan                                   Hellard

Robert Schumann: And Mascot ZiffRobert Schumann and Mascott Ziff (Great Musician Series), by Opal Wheeler & Christine Price









John Philip Sousa:
John Philip Sousa (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)John Philip Sousa, (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers), by Mike Venezia








Igor Stravinsky:
Igor Stravinsky (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)Igor Stravinsky, (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers), by Mike Venezia








Pyotor Ilyich Tchaikovsky:
Peter Tchaikovsky (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)Peter Tchaikovsky, (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers), by Mike Venezia







Tchaikovsky (Famous Children)Tchaikovsky, (Famous Children Series), by Ann Rachlin, illustrated by Susan Hellard








Antonio Vivaldi:
I, VivaldiI, Vivaldi, by Janice Shefelman, illustrated by Tom Shefelman, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2008








Multiple composers:
Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought)Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times, by Kathleen Krull








Why Beethoven Threw the Stew: And Lots More Stories about the Lives of Great ComposersWhy Beethoven Threw the Stew and Lots More Stories about the Lives of Great Composers, by Stephen Isserlis, illustrated by Adam Stower








Why Handel Waggled His WigWhy Handel Waggled His Wig and Lots More Stories about the Lives of Great Composers, by Stephen Isserlis


3 comments:

  1. What a noble project! Do you have any idea what you're getting yourself into? This is just the tip of the iceberg! Bravo to you and your efforts! (this was not from Delaney. Had to use her google account to comment!!)

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  2. Thank you--I'm excited about it! As far as having any idea what I'm getting into, the answer would be yes and no. I'm sure I'm in over my head. But if I think it's interesting, somebody else must too, right? Hopefully this can be a useful resource.

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  3. This post is a gem!!! We've read a few of these--how wonderful to have a compilation to revisit! :)

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