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Piano Lessons a memoir

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message 1: by Anna (new)

Anna | 14 comments Piano Lessons

Piano Lessons by Anna Goldsworthy

Dear Classical Music lovers,

Given the name of this group I thought you might be interested to know about my upcoming book 'Piano Lessons: a memoir' which will be released by Macmillan on Oct 12.

To introduce myself, my name is Anna Goldsworthy, I'm an Australian classical pianist and writer. 'Piano Lessons' won for me the title of Newcomer of the Year at the 2010 Australian Book Industry Awards. Here is the blurb from Macmillan about 'Piano Lessons':

Anna Goldsworthy was nine years old when she met Eleanora Sivan, the charismatic Russian émigré and world-class pianist who became her piano teacher. Piano Lessons is the story of what Mrs. Sivan brought to Anna’s lessons: a love of music, a respect for life, a generous spirit, and the courage to embrace a musical life. Beautifully written and strikingly honest, Piano Lessons takes the reader on a journey into the heart and meaning of music. As Anna discovers passion and ambition, confronts doubt and disappointment, and learns about much more than tone and technique, Mrs. Sivan’s wisdom guides her:

"We are not teaching piano playing. We are teaching philosophy and life and music digested.”

“I tell you a secret about Chopin, piano is his best friend. More. He tells piano all his secrets.”

“Never demonstrate. Never beautify Mozart. He is beautiful enough already. He does not need your make-up.”

Piano Lessons reminds us all how an extraordinary teacher can change a life completely. A work that will appeal to all music lovers and anyone who has ever taken a music lesson, Piano Lessons will also touch the heart of anyone who has ever loved a teacher.

As mentioned it will be available in stores on October 12 or is available now for pre-order on Amazon (hardcover and Kindle versions are available).

Here are some links that might be of interest

Macmillan's site:

Official website:



I've pasted some of the American reviews received so far at the bottom of this email.

I hope that 'Piano Lessons' might be of interest to you.

All best,

Anna Goldsworthy


US Reviews of 'Piano Lessons'

Australian pianist Goldsworthy was nine years old when she began instruction with the renowned Russian pianist Eleonora Sivan, now relocated to Adelaide. Their pupil-master relationship grew and deepened over the next decade, rendered here in serene, clear, elegant prose, as Goldsworthy, the child of two doctors and musicians, blossomed into a stunning stage force and a vessel of Sivan’s deeply intuitive music instruction. Over her meticulous stages of instruction, Sivan took on each composer in turn–Bach was like God, she noted, offering “peace, of course, and bells,” while Mozart was like Midas, “every sound he touches turns into song”–and Goldsworthy tidily arranges her memoir according to their embarking on these composers’ works, from Shostakovich to Liszt. At first Sivan did not believe that Goldsworthy had the “emotional freedom” to be a concert pianist. However, the youth proved her wrong by incorporating her teacher’s radiant artistry and coming to feel the joy of playing. Moreover, after earning top prizes and attaining her dream of playing a Beethoven concerto with a full orchestra, Goldsworthy returned the gift of music by teaching, as per Sivan’s ministrations, and composing to her teacher this rich, heartfelt tribute.
Publishers Weekly

“Deeply felt and elegantly written—like a melody by Mozart: joyous and heartbreaking in a single exquisite line. Anna Goldsworthy has written a loving, generous homage, not only to music, but far more to the magical, inexhaustible arts of teaching and learning. She allows us into the intimate, demanding relationship between teacher and student, and shows how skill and insight pass invisibly from one to the other, becoming understanding, freedom, and finally wisdom. Goldsworthy conveys the process of development, from beginner to artist, with a light touch, beautifully capturing her schoolgirl’s doubts and dreams. But at the heart of the story is always Mrs. Sivan, her teacher, speaking broken English, giving herself uncompromisingly to the belief that music is a way of living, of breathing, of acceptance. In her passionate, poignant portrait of Mrs. Sivan, Goldsworthy demonstrates how fully she has learned those lessons. It is a book of great warmth, sensitivity, and love.
Glenn Kurtz, author of Practicing: A Musician’s Return to Music

“Anna Goldsworthy has let us in on her arduous journey to become a concert pianist with flair and refreshing honesty. The other star in this book, her piano teacher Eleanora Sivan, is a woman who despite her fractured English (or perhaps because of it?) is somehow able to express the deepest truths about music and musicians. I found Piano Lessons hard to put down.”
Arnold Steinhardt, author of Violin Dreams and first violinist of the Guarneri String Quartet

message 2: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments I love what Mrs. Sivan said about Chopin and I've added it to "My Favorite Quotes" on my profile.

message 3: by Barbara H (new)

Barbara H (barbhh) | 66 comments Anna, thank you for the info regarding your book. It sounds wonderful! I look forward to reading it. Good luck!!

message 4: by Anna (new)

Anna | 14 comments Thanks Barbara - I hope you enjoy

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