World-renowned conductor, alumnus John Mauceri, visits Yale Library for Book Talk

  • Man with white hair and wire-rim glasses, in black tuxedo with white shirt and cravatte, holds conductor's baton, leaning back with eyes closed and mouth open as if singing
February 4, 2023

John Mauceri ’67—conductor, scholar, and award-winning recording artist—will visit Yale Library on March 8 to discuss his new book, The War on Music: Reclaiming the Twentieth Century.

Composer John Williams has described the book as “dazzling.” In his book review in The American Scholar, Mark N. Grant called it a “bracing joyride,” with a “novel, iconoclastic thesis.”

The War on Music explores the links between politics and the repression of musical innovation in Germany, Italy, and Russia during World War II; the rise of experimental music in the West during the Cold War; and the subsequent repression of nonexperimental music.

Mauceri, conductor of many of the world’s greatest orchestras, opera companies, and Broadway and Hollywood productions, taught at Yale from 1968 to 1984 and directed the Yale Symphony Orchestra from 1968 to 1975. Most recently, he served as musical advisor to the 2022 film Tár, which has been nominated for six Academy Awards.

Mauceri has also received Emmy, Grammy, Tony, and Olivier awards in recognition of his work. In 2015, Columbia University awarded him its prestigious Ditson Conductor’s Award for his commitment to restoring lost and repressed music.

Ruthann McTyre, director of the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, will introduce Mauceri at the Book Talk. “I’m thrilled to welcome John home to Yale for this event,” McTyre said. “He is a longtime friend of Gilmore Music Library and is a lover of libraries, who relishes digging into collections-based research. His writing is as musical, enlightening, and well informed as his performances from the world’s great orchestral podiums.”

Mauceri’s several other books include For the Love of Music: A Conductor’s Guide to the Art of Listening (2019) and Maestros and Their Music: The Art and Alchemy of Conducting (2018).

The event, which is open to the public, will be held on March 8, at 4 pm in Sterling Memorial Library. After the presentation, the author will be available to sign copies of books that participants have purchased in advance. Books will not be sold at the event.

This Yale Library Book Talk is part of this season’s series and is open to the public. Subscribe to Yale Library Book Talk mailing list to learn about future events. Suggestions for book and authors for future talks are welcome.

—Deborah Cannarella