Cover image for The Penguin dictionary of musical performers
The Penguin dictionary of musical performers
Jacobs, Arthur, 1922-1996.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : Viking, [1990]

Physical Description:
250 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML385 .J17 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
ML385 .J17 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Reference-Music

On Order

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Covering performers from the late 16th century on, this dictionary contains over 25,000 entries for singers, instrumentalists, conductors, significant orchestras, and string quartets. An index to composers whose works are associated with a specific performer is included, as well as notes regarding first performances. As one might expect, there is a degree of overlap with other standard sources, e.g., 29 of 50 randomly chosen individuals also appeared in Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (LJ 4/15/85). However, the universal, up-to-date coverage of Jacobs's work makes it not only suitable but essential for all but the smallest libraries.-- William J. Waters, Pensacola Jr. Coll., Fla. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This dictionary of singers, solo instrumentalists, conductors, major orchestras, and string quartets is designed to be a companion to Jacobs's The New Penguin Dictionary of Music (4th ed., 1977). Excluded from this volume are composers and chamber groups other than string quartets; an exception is made for composers who are also prominent performers. Each personal entry gives name (including alternate forms), dates, and nationality together with a brief biography and major works premiered. For orchestras and quartets, founding dates are included as well as resident locale, major personnel (conductors for orchestras), and a brief history. Coverage is from the 17th century through 1989, with emphasis on the last two centuries. An index of composers mentioned within the entries concludes the dictionary. One curiosity is the inconsistent designation of the performers' nationalities. John McCormack is listed as an Irish-born naturalized American, but Yo-Yo Ma is called a Chinese cellist and Seiji Ozawa a Japanese conductor; there is no mention that the last two artists are actually Asian Americans living in the US. This volume is a good reference guide for amateurs, community college and up. -J. Tsou, University of California, Berkeley