Martin Bookspan

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Martin Bookspan (born 30 July 1926) is an announcer, commentator and author. He was the announcer on the PBS series Live from Lincoln Center from its beginnings in 1976 until 2006, when he retired and was replaced by Fred Child.[1] For years he was also announcer for the Live from the Met series on PBS (which eventually became The Metropolitan Opera Presents).

He attended Harvard University majoring in German literature and in 1944, at the age of 18, first broadcast on the college's radio station, WHRB.[1] He graduated from Harvard in 1947.[2]

Bookspan also served as the new announcer for the VHS and DVD editions of legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini's television concerts. Originally telecast on NBC between 1948 and 1952, the original announcements on the restored kinescopes were deemed sonically unsuitable for modern tastes, and so were supplanted by Bookspan's announcements in hi-fi.

He spent eleven years (1956 to 1967) at radio station WQXR in New York, where he was music director and program director. He is also the author of several books. He wrote the Basic Repertoire column for Stereo Review, evaluating recordings of the standard orchestral repertoire.

In the early 1970s Bookspan was the host of an NPR program "Composers Forum", in which he interviewed contemporary composers and played recordings of their music.


  1. ^ a b Shattuck, Kathryn, "Martin Bookspan Is to Leave 'Live From Lincoln Center' After 30 Years", The New York Times, May 24, 2006
  2. ^ "Bookspan Made Head Of Crimson Network", The Harvard Crimson, Friday, September 28, 1945

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