Piano Variations by Fred Kronacher

Piano Variations

A Musical Odyssey of Self Discovery

KIRKUS REVIEW

A longtime Seattle piano teacher offers a collection of music-themed autobiographical essays relating his profound love and gratitude for his students, his teachers and the works of the great masters.

Debut author Kronacher writes that “it has repeatedly been my great, good fortune to have bumped up against some wonderful souls, and music has almost always been a conduit in bringing us together.” In these essays, his respectful approach clearly depicts each individual as a fully realized person, even if his encounters with them were brief. The author’s warmth, even in stories about his youngest students, never results in saccharine storytelling or platitudes. He brings the same spirit to his profiles of places, describing the vibrancy of New York City’s ethnic neighborhoods when he was a student and the beauty and difficulty of modern Vienna—the city of Mozart and Schubert and also the place where his mother and aunt experienced a lovingly remembered childhood and a terrible wartime escape. He’s more sentimental about pieces of music and the quirks of the various pianos he’s had the opportunity to own and play—but even then, he realizes that they only matter because of the people who bring them to life. This educator, committed to appreciating music (through his organization, Musical Experiences), seems just as committed to appreciating life; his observations are complex and nuanced without ever relying on harsh criticism. No wonder his students asked to see themselves profiled in this book. He’s no Pollyanna, but his essays showcase a deep understanding of the beauty manifest in every person—exactly what the best teachers need to find in their students.

An inspiring collection of essays and an affirmation for music teachers everywhere.

Pub Date: March 28th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1481192446
Page count: 248pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2013




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