Format Hardcover
Publication Date 12/03/24
ISBN 9781639367504
Trim Size / Pages 6 x 9 in / 352

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A Journey Through Silence to Sound

Kate Kennedy

A cello has no language, yet it possesses a vocabulary wide enough to tell, bear witness, and make connections across time and continents—a feat brought to life in this brilliant new book.

In this luminous narrative, Kate Kennedy, a writer and cellist herself, weaves together the story of four cellists who suffered various forms of persecution, injury, and misfortune. The stories are those of the forgotten Jewish cellist Pál Hermann, who is likely to have been murdered by the Nazis in Lithuania during the Holocaust; Lise Cristiani, another forgotten performer, who is considered to be the first female professional cello soloist and who embarked on an epic concert tour of Siberia in the 1850s taking with her a Stradivarius cello that can be seen to this day in a museum in Cremona in northern Italy; Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, who played in the orchestra at Auschwitz and survived spells in both that camp and in Bergen-Belsen; and Amedeo Baldovino of the Trieste piano trio, whose 'Mara' Stradivarius was lost in a shipwreck in the River Plate between Buenos Aires and Uruguay but later recovered from the water and repaired.

Interwoven with these remarkable and often moving stories are a series of 'detours' that offer a foil to these remarkable lives. Cello examines the themes explored in the narratives from different perspectives, drawing together historical research, personal experience, and interviews and encounters with contemporary cellists in this unique book that will resonate long after the final page.

Kate Kennedy is one of the foremost critics of twentieth century music of her generation and is frequently heard on Radio 3. She is an Associate of the English Faculty at Oxford, where she lectures on twentieth century literature and biography. She is the author of Dweller in Shadows: A Life of Ivor Gurney. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Supernumerary Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, Co-Director of the Oxford Centre for Life-writing, and Director of the Centre for the Study of Women Composers.

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