This month I intensified my piano-learning (I have finally finished all the piano method books I once started and jumped on Duvernoy, Schytte and Lemoine’s studies) and listened to a lot of piano music (Godowsky’s Java Suite ), so I have also decided to share a couple of piano-related books I have been reading recently: Lang Lang’s memoir and a book on Van Cliburn.
Journey of a Thousand Miles: My Story  by Lang Lang – ★★★★1/2
Chinese pianist Lang Lang is considered one of the leading figures of today’s classical music world and one of the most accomplished pianists of our modern time. This is his memoir in which he tells his story, from his birth in 1982 in China’s north-eastern city of Shenyang, his early musical education and upbringing, to his hard-work and his family sacrificing everything to see him become “the world’s no. 1”. It is a moving autobiography of a child once living in near-poverty, but always working hard and dreaming “big”, and then of a young man, not always believing in himself, but always being clear in his mind what he wants to achieve next, overcoming his tricky family life and the Chinese competitive system. There are no “self-indulgent” paragraphs in this memoir. It is clear and to the point, with very short chapters, in which Lang Lang, first and foremost, pays tribute to his family and his teachers, who always believed in him and enabled him to become what he is now – an immensely popular classical pianist.Continue reading ““The Great Pianists” Non-Fiction: Lang Lang’s Memoir & Van Cliburn’s Biography”