Absolutely on Music


Publisher: Bond Street Books
A deeply personal, intimate conversation about music and writing between the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author and his close friend, the former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Haruki Murakami's passion for music runs deep. Before turning his hand to writing, he ran a jazz club in Tokyo, and from The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" to Franz Liszt's "Years of Pilgrimage," the aesthetic and emotional power of music permeates every one of his much-loved books.
     Now, in Absolutely on Music, Murakami fulfills a personal dream, sitting down with his friend, acclaimed conductor Seiji Ozawa, to talk, over a period of two years, about their shared interest. Transcribed from lengthy conversations about the nature of music and writing, here they discuss everything from Brahms to Beethoven, from Leonard Bernstein to Glenn Gould, from record collecting to pop-up orchestras, and much more. Ultimately this book gives readers an unprecedented glimpse into the minds of the two maestros.
     It is essential reading for book and music lovers everywhere.


"Readable, accessible, highly entertaining, educational. Ozawa provides all the deep knowledge of a storied classical career, while Murakami supplies his trademark down-to-earth metaphors and a layperson's curiosity." —San Francisco Chronicle 

"Fascinating." —The Wall Street Journal

"Absolutely on Music is an unprecedented treasure. . . . Talking about music is like dancing about architecture, it's often said, but what joy to watch these two friends dance." —The Guardian (UK)

"A work that general readers will enjoy and the musical cognoscenti will devour." —Kirkus Reviews

"Intriguing insights about the nature of music. . . . Deliberate and contemplative. In some ways, these conversations are High Fidelity for classical music fans." —Publishers Weekly

"[Absolutely on Music] shows Murakami's gift for writing about a subject unpretentiously, but in detail, betraying its enthusiasm only through the act of writing. . . . [It] makes for a useful guide to the nitty-gritty of concert music for the uninitiated." —The A.V. Club 

Praise for Haruki Murakami:

 • "Hardly a soul writes of the listening and playing of music with such insight and tenderness." --Patti Smith, The New York Times Book Review
 • "Murakami is Japan's greatest living writer." --The Washington Post
 • "It's hard to think of another writer who is as popular, as strange, and as lionized as Haruki Murakami is." --Meg Wolitzer, NPR
 • "Murakami is a genius." --Chicago Tribune