Declassified: A Low-Key Guide to the High-Strung World of Classical Music (Hardcover)
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“A refreshingly fun guide” that reads “as if you’re a fly on the wall in conservatory auditions, cutthroat competitions and the obsessive practice routines of professional musicians.” (The New York Times)
Arianna Warsaw-Fan Rauch’s life-long fascination with classical music has taken her through Juilliard and into the shiny world of symphony halls and international concert tours. She’s loved classical music her whole life. But she’s also hated classical music her whole life. After all, if you can like Beyoncé without liking Bieber, you can certainly like Brahms without liking Bach—especially since they were born 148 years apart and the thing we call “classical music” is really just centuries of compositions shoved into one hodge-podge of a genre.
In Declassified, Warsaw-Fan Rauch blows through the cobwebs of elitism and exclusion and invites everyone to love and hate this music as much as she does. She offers a backstage tour of the industry and equips you for every listening scenario, covering: the 7 main compositional periods (even the soul-crushingly depressing Medieval period), a breakdown of the instruments and their associated personality types (apologies to violists and conductors), what it’s like to be a musician at the highest level (it’s hard), how to steal a Stradivarius (and make no money in the process), and when to clap during a live performance (also: when not to). Declassified cheekily demystifies the world of High Art while making the case that classical music matters, perhaps now more than ever.
About the Author
Arianna Warsaw-Fan Rauch earned a Bachelor degree and Master of Music from the Juilliard School and has performed as a classical violinist in top venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, and the Ravinia, Verbier, La Jolla Summerfest, and Aspen Music festivals. She has toured with such legendary artists as jazz trumpeter Chris Botti and Sir James Galway. Declassified is her first book.
“A refreshingly fun guide to the intimidating world of sonatas, symphonies and Schumann.” —The New York Times
“[A] refreshingly quick and actually fun study guide to the intimidating world of sonatas, symphonies and Schumann…Warsaw-Fan Rauch [narrates] the book with the easy nature of a best friend…Some of the most entertaining sections of Declassified make you feel as if you're a fly on the wall in conservatory auditions, cutthroat competitions and the obsessive practice routines of professional musicians.” —New York Times Book Review
“Cue vigorous applause and a standing ovation because Declassified is an enchanting and exhilarating tour de force.” —Booklist (starred review
“[An] informed, funny, delightfully unjaded music-appreciation survey."—Wall Street Journal
“This insider’s look at a rarefied world is sure to intrigue music lovers.” —Publishers Weekly
“There’s nothing quite like the just-released Declassified by Arianna Warsaw-Fan Rauch…[Rauch] takes the mold for music appreciation and breaks it in a fit of irreverent humor and desperate soul-searching…Hilarious and heartrending.” —The Objective Standard
“A breezy, entertaining, youthful guide to classical music for the newbie or classical-curious, with a darker side story about the cost of pursuing one’s passion.” —Jeremy Denk, author of Every Good Boy Does Fine and MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant-winning pianist
“This is a fantastic no-nonsense read for anyone interested in an introduction to the beautiful—and sometimes daunting—world of classical music.” —Kevin Olusola, The Pentatonix
“Arianna Warsaw-Fan Rauch has written a marvelously irreverent guide to classical music, which everyone, including musicians, must read. While pulling back the curtain on music throughout the centuries, she feathers in her own story of struggle and success as a professional violinist at the top of her game, and with plenty of laugh out loud anecdotes along the way. Declassified is a delight—an honest exploration into how to listen intelligently to music so as to glean its mystery and genius. It both educates and entertains. I loved this book.” —Marcia Butler, author of The Skin Above My Knee and Oslo, Maine
“Arianna combines authenticity and a wicked sense of humor to shed light on a culture rarely discussed in mainstream culture. Having lived this world myself, it is not only truthful but an extremely fun and accessible read that illuminates the most resilient and influential artistic form in modern history.” —James Shin, James Shin, Executive Vice President, SB Projects
“I expected Declassified to be this brilliant, but not this funny. Essential reading for anyone who’s ever turned on or turned off classical music. I wish I’d had something like it growing up.” —Chris Botti, Grammy-Award-winning trumpeter