Synopses & Reviews
True tales of murder, riots, heartbreak, and great music.
With outrageous anecdotes about everyone from Gioachino Rossini (draft-dodging womanizer) to Johann Sebastian Bach (jailbird) to Richard Wagner (alleged cross-dresser), Secret Lives of Great Composers recounts the seamy, steamy, and gritty history behind the great masters of international music. You’ll learn that Edward Elgar dabbled with explosives; that John Cage was obsessed with fungus; that Berlioz plotted murder; and that Giacomo Puccini stole his church’s organ pipes and sold them as scrap metal so he could buy cigarettes. This is one music history lesson you’ll never forget!
Secret Lives of Great Authors revealed the dirty secrets of Hemingway, Kafka, and Tolstoy. Secret Lives of Great Artists explored the bizarre behavior of Picasso, Matisse, and Monet. Now you can discover the dirty laundry of Beethoven, Wagner, Puccini, and others in Secret Lives of Great Composers an uncensored biography of the world's greatest musical geniuses. You'll learn that
Hector Berlioz hatched a plan to kill his ex-fiancee, her lover, and her mother
Joseph Haydn had his head stolen by amateur phrenologists days after being buried
Richard Wagner dressed in pink women's lingerie
Arnold Schoenberg suffered from a debilitating case of triskaidekaphobia a fear of the number 13
And much more
With outrageous stories ranging from the ridiculous (Mozart loved fart jokes) to the even more ridiculous (the absentminded Mahler frequently stirred his tea with cigarettes), Secret Lives of Great Composers is a music lesson you'll never forget.
About the Author
Elizabeth Lunday is a journalist specializing in music, architecture, and culture. She writes the “Masterpieces” column for mental_floss magazine and lives in Fort Worth, Texas.