Recollections: A Pianist’s Essays on Teaching, Performing, and Living

By Robert Weirich

Recollections: A Pianist’s Essays on Teaching, Performing, and Living gathers dozens of articles Robert Weirich wrote for various music journals, including Clavier, over the last four decades. The essays are linked by new writing that is both memoir and an exploration of the place of the arts in American society. There is much here to consider about how a musician makes a life and comes to terms with both success and failure. Ultimately it is about perseverance during a time of great change and the desire for relevance.

This book will appeal to the general reader who is curious about the arts. It will be of special interest to musicians young and old. The writing will certainly engage teachers, not only of the piano but anyone of a self-reflective bent. While the subject matter is music-centric, advanced knowledge of music is not required. The writing style is straightforward and personal. 

In these essays Weirich addresses many aspects of making a career in music—from getting started to the importance of teachers, competitions, and the question of sustainability. The final portion of the book speaks to finding societal relevance in a field as specialized as classical music and takes a stab at predicting its future. The author recognizes that the values of artistic pursuit are essentially timeless. Whether one ascends to the Carnegie stage or teaches little fingers to play, the underlying aspirations—at their purest—are the same.

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