Cover image for Orchestra

First edition.
Physical Description:
77 pages : color illustrations; 30 x 30 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
"From atmospheric movie soundtracks to exhilarating live performances, the dazzling sound of the orchestra is unmistakable. Meet the performers who bring the music to life, the instruments that take center stage, and discover the beauty behind each and every note." -- back cover.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book J 784.2 NUO 1 1

On Order

Stillwater Public Library1On Order



Before there were DJs, rock stars, pop groups, and jazz trios, there was the orchestra. Whether it takes center stage or brings performances and movies to life, the orchestra is the magnificent original voice of the western world.

Learn about all of the ingenious instruments that make up the orchestra and the luminary composers whose work has endured for centuries. Travel from the stunning Wiener Musikverein in Vienna to the world's greatest recording studios, all illuminated by David Doran's stylish and immersive artwork.

A beautifully illustrated coffee table guide to everything you could ever want to know about the orchestra.

Author Notes

Avalon Nuovo is an illustrator and writer from Los Angeles who graduated with a BFA from ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. She has worked for clients such as The New York Times and Natur Och Kultur and was featured in American Illustration archive in 2016, 2017 and 2018. She currently lives in Cambridge.

David Doran is a freelance illustrator who has worked on editorial and publishing projects for numerous international clients such as Penguin Random House, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and Apple, among many others. He currently lives and works in Falmouth.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Crisply paced and clearly written, this engaging introduction to the western orchestra is appealingly substantive. The first half covers the symphony orchestra's history and composition, exploring its sections (strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, guests) and investigating how representative instruments from each category make sound: "When the player blows into the , it is the reed's vibration against the mouthpiece that makes the sound." Nuovo elegantly builds concepts as the text proceeds: "You may have started to see a pattern in how instruments work. Some use air, some are plucked or bowed, but all of them are doing the same thing to make sound: vibrating." In the second half, narrative focus expands to include "The Music and Its Makers" (refreshingly, Nuovo chooses to feature Hildegard of Bingen, Amy Beach, and Duke Ellington, among others) and orchestral music "Beyond the Concert Hall." Doran's coolly stylized illustrations use smoky shades of rust, ochre, and blue to enliven the pages. Ages 7--10. (Nov.)