"Rhapsody in Red: How Western Classical Music Became Chinese"
Sheila Melvin and Jindong Cai
(Algora Publishing, $33 paperback),
"Music to their ears"
"In the Republic of China, 38 million boys and girls are studying the piano, learning their Chopin, Mozart and Beethoven. Shanghai and Beijing boast at least a dozen symphony orchestras, and concert halls are filled with young yuppie couples, because classical music is not only much-loved, but trendy.
"Why is all this happening? How did European art music -- in danger of withering on the vine in this hemisphere -- grow such deep roots in China, which is now exporting superstar soloists and a fresh crop of composers to the West in one of the great cultural bounce-backs of our time?
"Sheila Melvin, a writer, and Jindong Cai, Stanford University's new director of orchestral studies, have some answers. Their new book, "Rhapsody in Red: How Western Classical Music Became Chinese"
(Algora Publishing, $33 paperback), tells the unlikely story of European music's 400-year journey into the Chinese heart. It's filled with tales of missionaries, emperors and idealistic musicians, some driven to suicide during the Cultural Revolution, some hanging on as heroes in the service of art."