CELLIST by Gregor Piatigorsky


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Cellist Piatigorsky's memoirs reflect a witty, cultured musician, simple in speech yet shining with the inner delight of his art. Though known today as a virtuoso, Piatigorsky's professional background was quite varied. He began as a child prodigy (though not recognized as such), playing at movies in Ekaterinoslav, in orchestras, operas, operettas, chamber groups, teaching, playing in restaurants and at weddings. He has an enormous repertoire of anecdotes about famous musicians and composers he has played with, though he seldom tells a story at another's expense. Several stories are real howlers. At one time he became famous among his colleagues for leaving his music home. To cure him, his two fellow musicians jestingly substituted the cello part of Die Meistersinger for his part in a Schubert trio. The piece started and Piatigorsky sat there shocked. But he played perfectly from memory. His career reached its present fame when he, Horowitz and Milstein formed a ""million dollar"" trio that toured the world. His memoir takes him through the October Revolution to age 35. He is now 61 and promises to write a second volume. It will be worth waiting for.

Publisher: Doubleday