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What is the Catholic response to the natural beauty of music?

Award-winning classical composer writes book on music in layman’s terms, invites Catholics to integrate music into everyday lives

SAN FRANCISCO — In a groundbreaking book that puts the more complicated aspects of music in terms anyone can understand and appreciate, award-wining classical composer Michael Kurek’s new book, THE SOUND OF BEAUTY, draws on decades of experience to deliver a must-read for Catholics, regardless of their musical knowledge.

Kurek’s classical compositions have been performed on six continents. His numerous awards include the prestigious Academy Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His 2017 album, The Sea Knows, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Traditional Classical chart. Holding his doctorate in composition from the University of Michigan, he serves on the faculty of Vanderbilt University.

Beginning with easy-to-understand descriptions of what music is, how it comes to be and the science behind it, Kurek moves into fascinating explanations of some theories of the psychology of perception of music and how music speaks to the mind, emotions and spirit. Some of these concepts have rarely been addressed outside the ivory tower and even more rarely been seen through the lens of Catholic theology.

THE SOUND OF BEAUTY takes readers on a journey through the mysteries of musical composition, origin and development from the perspective of a seasoned composer who has successfully woven faith into his music while living and teaching in the secular world.

“Even the most devoted atheist recognizes the spiritual component in music,” said Maggie Gallagher, executive director of the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship. “Here at least we have the professor, the composer and the man of faith together looking at how music can reveal God’s immanence and his transcendence together. Kurek’s journey to the Catholic faith is fascinating and revealing in its own right.”

For more information, to request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Michael Kurek, please contact Kevin Wandra (404-788-1276 or [email protected]) of Carmel Communications.


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