WQXR's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide

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There’s still time to get the perfect present for the classical music lover on your list.

Under $25


Alfred’s Music Playing Cards

This deck helps you study up on your composers while examining your hand. The four suits, each containing 13 musical figures, correspond to the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical or Romantic eras and include facts about each composer. $7 (Available at the Juilliard Store)


The Liszt Sonata app

The same company that produced the revolutionary The Orchestra iPad app with Esa-Pekka Salonen, has collaborated with Stephen Hough on a similar multimedia app, investigating Liszt’s virtuosic piece for solo piano. Pianophiles can listen to Hough’s performance while reading the score, and watching a bird’s eye view of Hough’s hands on the keyboard, as well as learn about the composer, the piece, and Hough’s thoughts on both.  $14 (Available at iTunes)


RCA Discwasher Vinyl Record Care System

This microfiber pad and cleaning solution will help any record collector keep his or her LPs in tip-top shape. $15 (Available at Amazon)


Moleskine Notebook

The maker of the favored notebook of Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway has expanded its line of journals to offer models geared toward music lovers. This notebook has pages for both writing about music, as well as staff paper for writing your own. $20 (Available at Moleskine)



The Leonard Bernstein Letters

This anthology of Bernstein’s correspondence, assembled by Nigel Simeone, shines a light on the famous conductor and composer’s private thoughts. It’s also landed on many of the year’s top book lists. $25 (Available at Amazon).

Atys DVD

It took more than 22 years for the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Les Arts Florissants to reprise the groundbreaking performance of this Lully opera. Should it take another two decades before its next staging, this DVD can help tide over the production’s most ardent fans. $44 (Available at Greenlight Bookstore)


Collectible Poster from Lincoln Center

Since its founding, Lincoln Center has commissioned renowned contemporary artists to create posters for its programming. The limited editions, promoting the Lincoln Center Festival, Mostly Mozart and other programs, are then sold on its website. 

From $80 (Available at Lincoln Center)


Major Scale Musical Wine Glasses

You’d need to buy four sets of these glasses to complete a scale, but even with a pair you can be certain that your toasts are in tune.

$65 (Available at Uncommon Goods)


Deluxe Chromatic Watch

Music geeks can enjoy telling time by the chromatic scale, the circle of fourths or the circle of fifths on these otherwise traditional-looking timepieces. $90 (Available at Chromatic Watch)



Leonard Bernstein: Young People’s Concerts Volume 2

Unlike Lenny’s letters, these popular TV broadcasts capture the maestro’s public and much beloved persona. The DVDs can help introduce a younger generation to classical music or entertain a nostalgic adult. $109 (Available at Arkiv Music)


Gift Membership to Carnegie Hall

A basic membership to the venerable venue includes tickets to behind-the-scenes rehearsals, invitations to cocktail parties, priority seating, discount tickets, deals at neighboring restaurants, and more. From $100 (Available at Carnegie Hall)


Grand Piano Cutting and Serving Board

A former Suzuki violinist hand crafts these piano-shaped Black Walnut and Curly Maple boards, which might be better suited to serving than cutting (lest you nick the polished wood surface). $148 (Available at the Metropolitan Opera Shop)


Chicago Lyric Opera Scarf

Architectural details from the Lyric’s Civic Opera House provide the basis of the design of this silk scarf made in France. $198 (Available at the Lyric Opera Shop)


Over $200

Benjamin Britten: The Complete Works

The centennial of Britten’s birth this year provided the impetus for gathering all his compositions together in one box. Decca answered the call, released this comprehensive set with 65 CDs and one DVD. From $278 (Available at Amazon or Arkivmusic)


Continuing Education Courses at Mannes

From classes in ear training to scoring your own works for orchestra, The New School for Music Extension Program offers adults the opportunity to further their music education.  From $480 (Available at The New School)


Spoleto Festival Vacation Package

The 2014 Spoleto Festival has partnered with a number of Charleston, South Carolina hotels to offer discounted rates on rooms and tickets to the annual spring festival. Among this year’s offerings are John Adam’s opera El Niño, Janacek’s Kat’a Kabanova, and the Westminster Choir, as well as rooms at local institutions such as the Charleston Place Hotel and the Meeting Street Inn. From $169 per night, not including tickets (Available at SpoletoUSA.org)