Samantha Bennett violin
Books that Move Us
Rough Ideas Reflections on Music and MoreWritten by Stephen Hough
An illuminating look into the life and mind of one of our greatest musicians, Stephen Hough writes (both relatably, but also singularly) about all aspects of a performer's career, encompassing all manner of thoughts and reflections stemming from his time on the road.
Stephen Hough is one of the world’s leading pianists, winning global acclaim and numerous awards, both for his concerts and his recordings. He is also a writer, composer, and painter, and has been described by The Economist as one of “Twenty Living Polymaths.” Hough writes informally and engagingly about music and the life of a musician, from the broader aspects of what it is to walk out onto a stage or to make a recording, to specialist tips from deep inside the practice room: how to trill, how to pedal, how to practice. He also writes vividly about people he’s known, places he’s traveled to, books he’s read, paintings he’s seen; and he touches on more controversial subjects, such as assisted suicide and abortion. Even religion is there―the possibility of the existence of God, problems with some biblical texts, and the challenges involved in being a gay Catholic.
May 3, 2021
Nocturnes 5 Stories on Music and NightfallWritten by Kazuo Ishiguro
Magical little shorts, subtle and thought provoking. (PS I should say that these are 5 short stories, so 'short form fiction'.)
With the clarity and precision that have become his trademarks, Kazuo Ishiguro interlocks five short pieces of fiction to create a world that resonates with emotion, heartbreak, and humor. Here is a fragile, once famous singer, turning his back on the one thing he loves; a music junky with little else to offer his friends but opinion; a songwriter who inadvertently breaks up a marriage; a jazz musician who thinks the answer to his career lies in changing his physical appearance; and a young cellist whose tutor has devised a remarkable way to foster his talent. For each, music is a central part of their lives and, in one way or another, delivers them to an epiphany.
Bel CantoWritten by Ann Patchett
I read this book when I was much younger, having just begun my journey of becoming a professional musician. It made a great impression on me then, and remains for me a great classic in the world of contemporary fiction.
Ann Patchett’s award winning, bestselling novel that balances themes of love and crisis as disparate characters learn that music is their only common language—now a major motion picture starring Julianne Moore and Ken Watanabe. Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of the powerful businessman Mr. Hosokawa. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening—until a band of gun-wielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots, intimate friends, and lovers.