The splendid Biographical Dictionary of Musicians was begun in
1900 by Theodore Baker. Nicolas Slonimsky undertook the fifth
through eighth editions, infusing them with inimitable, irrepressible
Slonimsky style. This edition contains more than 3.5 million words,
all of them delightful, all penned by Slonimsky, making it one
of the world's known treasures. From Aaltonen, Erkki (Finnish
composer, born 1910) to Zylis-Gara, Teresa (Polish soprano, born
1935), the work exudes factual accuracy, critical (and opinionated)
insights, fine humor, and a human touch. Though associated with
classical music, Slonimsky has always embraced the new, and in
this edition, hundreds of popular musicians (jazz, rock, blues,
and more) join the traditional ranks.
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