This book is a comprehensive filmography of biographical films featuring the lives of the great classical composers, including any figures whose music is likely to be performed in the concert hall or opera stage. A few of the performances analyzed are Richard Burton as Richard Wagner, Cornel Wilde as Frederic Chopin, Gary Oldman as Ludwig van Beethoven, Tom Hulce as Mozart, and Katharine Hepburn as Clara Schumann.
Arranged in alphabetical order by composer's name, each section begins with a brief evaluation of the individual and then analyzes the feature films portraying the composer. Emphasis is given to the factual accuracy of the screenplay, the validity of the portrayal, and the film's presentation of the composer's music. The work also includes full film credits and recommended documentaries about each composer. Two appendices support the text, one listing films about fictional composers and the other listing composers on series television. The work is illustrated with stills and posters and concludes with a full index.