Here is a small selection of books, CDs and DVDs to recommend when asked: "What's the best way to introduce someone to Classical Music?"
Rock Me Amadeus
When Seb Hunter turned his back on his cherished rock record collection in search of more nourishing sounds, his simple aim was to try and feel passionate about classical music. What followed was a hilarious Euro-odyssey.
The Great Composers
Accessible and entertaining, but also informative and authoritative, this is the perfect introduction to the world of classical music for the general reader.
The History of Classical Music (4-CD AudioBook)
These four audio discs, written by Richard Fawkes and read by Robert Powell, chart the music of the western classical tradition, spanning the 14 centuries from the emergence of Gregorian chant to the sounds of the present day.
A to Z of Classical Music (Book + 2CDs)
A-Z of Classical Music is a remarkable 562-page, illustrated book, detailing the lives of all the great composers as well as many less known, but equally fascinating, musical masters. Two-and-a-half hours of the finest music from across the centuries are contained on the accompanying CDs.
Romantic Classics (2 CDs)
The most romantic music from all periods, ranging from Bach and Mozart to Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff.
The Classic FM Pocket Book of Music
Tiny enough to keep in your pocket but it's also stuffed full of facts you always wanted to know about music. It attacks 125 subjects ranging from Beethoven to film music, and answers some long overdue questions along the way, such as "why are conductors like support tights?"
And for the kids:
Why Beethoven Threw The Stew
Why Handel Waggled His Wig
Renowned cellist Steven Isserlis set out to pass on to children a wonderful gift given to him by his own cello teacher - the chance to people his own world with the great composers by getting to know them as friends.
The Story of Classical Music (3-CD AudioBook)
“A model of how to introduce children to classical music. With a script of humour and grace by Darren Henley - which neatly sets the musical examples in their historical context - the Story of Classical Music arrives complete with an interactive CD-ROM.”
Julian Lloyd Webber, Daily Telegraph