Harvey Sachs

Photo: Alexander Lewis, New York

Welcome

Harvey Sachs, writer and music historian, has published nine books, of which there are now nearly seventy editions in seventeen languages. His most recent, The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824, was published in 2010 by Random House in the US and Faber & Faber in the UK; four translations and US and UK paperback editions have since become available. Other books include what have long been the standard biographies of Arturo Toscanini (1978) and Arthur Rubinstein (1995); a history (Music in Fascist Italy, 1988); two collections of essays on musical subjects (Virtuoso, 1982, and Reflections on Toscanini, 1991); The Letters of Arturo Toscanini (2002), which he compiled, translated, and edited; and, as co-author, the memoirs of Plácido Domingo (My First Forty Years, 1983) and Sir Georg Solti (Memoirs, 1997). Sachs has written for the New Yorker, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Times Literary Supplement (London), La Stampa, and dozens of other newspapers, magazines, literary journals, and record companies (his published items now number over 700), as well as for the BBC, Arte, PBS, CBC (Canada), RAI (Italy), RSI (Switzerland), and other radio and television networks. In the fall of 2013 he was named music critic of The Hudson Review, and he is a frequent contributor to the Sunday cultural supplement of Il Sole-24 Ore, one of Italy's most important national newspapers.

Sachs is on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He was the New York Philharmonic's Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence throughout the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, and he continues to give many talks each year for the Philharmonic as well as for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and other musical organizations. He has lectured at many North American and European universities and cultural institutions, including Harvard University, University of Chicago, Juilliard School, University of California at Los Angeles, Boston University, Loyola University in Baltimore, McGill University in Montreal, University of Toronto, Freie Universität Berlin, University of Warsaw, Universitŕ di Siena, Université de Fribourg (Switzerland), Smithsonian Institution, British Institute of Recorded Sound, Aldeburgh Festival, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and the Italian Cultural Institutes of New York, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, London, Budapest, Warsaw, Copenhagen, and Tel Aviv. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow of the New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and he was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship for 2010-11 in order to produce a completely new biography of Toscanini (scheduled for completion in 2015) that will make use of all the information that has emerged since the 1978 biography was published.

Harvey Sachs was born on June 8, 1946, in Cleveland, Ohio. He received much of his musical training in his home town and he holds an honorary doctorate from the Cleveland Institute of Music, but he has lived all of his adult life elsewhere, including substantial periods in Toronto, London, Milan, Tuscany, Lugano, and New York (his home since 2006). He holds United States, Canadian, and Swiss citizenship. He was active as a conductor from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s but gave up conducting to devote himself entirely to writing and other music-related pursuits. From 2004 to 2006 he was Artistic Director of Italy’s most prestigious concert organization, the Societŕ del Quartetto di Milano. In 1991, in Loro Ciuffenna (Arezzo), Italy, he founded the annual Festival del Quartetto d'archi, the only festival in Italy dedicated to the string quartet; it still exists. His son, Julian Sachs, is Program Coordinator for New York University's Casa Italiana and works on other cultural projects in New York City, and his daughter, Lyuba Sachs, is a high school student in Lugano, Switzerland.

Selected Works

Nonfiction
A personal interpretation of Beethoven's last symphony and its cultural and political surroundings and impact.
Correspondence
Hundreds of fascinating letters, written between 1885 and 1956, by the most famous conductor in history.
e.g. Fiction, History, Magazine Articles, etc. goes here
Very brief description goes here

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