A Musician Divided

November 2013
77 black and white illustrations
440 pages
24x16 cm
Musicians on Music
ISBN: 9780907689881
Format: Hardback
Toccata Press
BISAC MUS006000, MUS050000, MUS023030

A Musician Divided

André Tchaikowsky in his Own Words

André Tchaikowsky

Edited by Anastasia Belina-Johnson

The Polish-born, British-based pianist André Tchaikowsky (1935-82) saw himself principally as a composer- one of several conflicting elements in his personality, charted by the diaries he kept between 1974 and 1982.
André Tchaikowsky was only 46 when he died, internationally renowned as a pianist - and he made the headlines after his death when he left his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company for use in performances of Hamlet. Yet for all his facility at the keyboard Tchaikowsky's real passion was composition. The internal conflict between pianist and composer compounded an already complex character. A Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor, Tchaikowsky was also a homosexual. The diaries he kept between 1974 and his death chronicle the struggles that ran through his life. Debt kept driving him back to the concert platform when his true wish was to find the time to compose. His spirited writing details the joys and vicissitudes of his life with striking candour. The diaries are introduced and annotated by Anastasia Belina-Johnson, who also provides a chronology of Tchaikowsky's life and a survey of his music. Includes a CD of the pianist in recital.

Anastasia Belina-Johnson is Head of Classical Music at the Leeds College of Music.


An absorbing read and a significant step in Tchaikowsky studies. MUSIC & LETTERS

A valuable book in rediscovering a vital talent undeservedly overlooked for too long. CLASSICAL MUSIC

This is a very well-researched 'biography'. The edited diaries [are] especially revealing, and I came away from them feeling I had really got under the skin of this fascinating character ... If [Belina-Johnson's] intentions were to reawaken an interest in this almost forgotten musician, she has truly succeeded. MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL, January 2014

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