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Turning the Pages: Recollections of a Musical Page Turner and Autograph Collector at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw
"Can you read music too?" This question, addressed by the singer Lili Kraus in 1936 to the 15 year-old Robert Brouwer, then a regular autograph collector haunting the artist's entrance of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, was the start of his short but memorable years as a page-turner to many of the great musicians who performed there before 1940. The author's...
"Can you read music too?" This question, addressed by the singer Lili Kraus in 1936 to the 15 year-old Robert Brouwer, then a regular autograph collector haunting the artist's entrance of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, was the start of his short but memorable years as a page-turner to many of the great musicians who performed there before 1940. The author's passion for music, starting with his time at the Concertgebouw and continuing throughout his life in many parts of the world, shines vividly in the pages of this book. Here, enlivened with photographs and with some of the gems from the author's youthful collection of autographs, we meet many of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. But there is more than that. From his discussion of Willem Mengelberg, the conductor who made the Concertgebouw Orchestra great but ended his life in eclipse, to his account of Nigel Kennedy taking time off to jam in a "hole-in-the-wall" night club in Kowloon, it is the authors' gift to relate, on a personal level to the musicians he met, that serves to make these recollections of what they did and said, and of the opinions they expressed, both fascinating and endearing.
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