Michael Steen OBE was born in Dublin. He was an organ scholar at Oxford, after the Royal College of Music and Eton. Since retirement from the City he has been chairman of the Royal College of Music Society and is chairman of the trustees of the Friends of the V&A Museum. He is the author of The Lives and Times of the Great Composers.
"'An absolute delight. For lovers of musical biography Michael Steen's compendious volume is required reading. Covering 350 years of European musical history, Steen sketches his canonical figures with Dickensian flair, providing a bona fide crossover title that is also a literary achievement in its own right.' Times Literary Supplement 'What a treat this is. This immense book is a labour of love and learning. Steen seems to know everything, not just about music but everything else.' The Age, Australia"