An Obsession with Music

416pp ILLUS 2011 LIST PRICE: £17.99 (P) B794



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Thomas Beecham was one of Britain's greatest conductors of orchestral music and opera as well as an entrepreneur and impresario of exceptional energy and brilliant wit. This acclaimed biography places him – musically, politically and socially – in the troubled times in which he lived and corrects the stories and myths, many of Beecham's own making, that have grown up around this uniquely gifted and controversial figure. Lucas presents new material on his early years, his complicated private life, his father's catastrophic attempt to buy a large part of Covent Garden, and the orchestras and opera companies that Beecham founded. New light is shed on his visits to Nazi Germany and his view of its leaders, as well as the much misunderstood and previously unchronicled years of the Second World War, which he spent in Australia and America.

This is the best biography of a musician I have read for a very long time . . . one which all genuine music lovers should possess. INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW