Finally a readable memoir about becoming and being a professional musician! I learned so much about the passion, determination, talent and hard work of these remarkable people. This book clearly "paints" rather than describes, music theory and interpretation and makes astonishing points about the fluidity of music, music teachers, composers and instruments. Impressive, enjoyable and very enlightening. — Karen Frank
A rapturous, witty, and passionate memoir ... Violin Dreams is not only the story of a man becoming an artist, it’s a history of twentieth-century music.” John Guare, Tony Awardwinning playwright
Arnold Steinhardt, for more than forty years an international soloist and the first violinist of the Guarneri String Quartet, brings warmth, wit, and fascinating insider details to the story of his lifelong obsession with the violin, that most seductive and stunningly beautiful instrument. His story is rich with vivid scenes: the terror inflicted by his early violin teachers, the sensual pleasure involved in the pursuit of the perfect violin, the charged atmosphere of high-level competitions. Steinhardt describes Bach’s Chaconne as the holy grail for the solo violin, and he illuminates, from the perspective of an ardent owner of a great Storioni violin, the history and mysteries of the renowned Italian violinmakers.
Violin Dreams includes a remarkable CD recording of Steinhardt performing Bach’s Partita in D Minor as a young violinist forty years ago and playing the same piece especially for this book. A conversation between the author and Alan Alda on the differences between the two performances is included in the liner notes.