The Piano Player of Budapest: A True Story of Survival, Hope, and Music (Hardcover)

The Piano Player of Budapest: A True Story of Survival, Hope, and Music By Roxanne de Bastion Cover Image

The Piano Player of Budapest: A True Story of Survival, Hope, and Music (Hardcover)


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A story about a piano and its most prodigious player—and how they both survived one of the darkest periods in history.

When her father died, singer-songwriter Roxanne de Bastion inherited a piano she knew had been in her family for over a hundred years. But it is only when she finds a cassette recording of her grandfather, Stephen, playing one of his compositions, that the true and almost unbelievable history of the piano, this man, and her family begins to unravel.

Stephen was a man who enjoyed great fame, a man who suffered the horrors of concentration camps in WWII, a man who ultimately survives—along with his piano. By piecing together his cassette recordings, unpublished memoirs, letters, and documents, Roxanne sings out her grandfather's story of music and hope, lost and found, and explores the power of what can echo down through generations.
Roxanne de Bastion  is a singer songwriter and artist advocate. She has released two critically acclaimed albums that have been championed by the likes of Iggy Popand has garnered praise in The Observer, NME and Rolling Stone Germany. Roxanne sits on the board of the Featured Artist Coalition (alongside artists such as Blur’s Dave Rowntree and Imogen Heap) and the PPL Performer Board, where she represents artists’ rights. Roxanne is also the founder of the independent artist conference FM2U (From Me To You),  which encourages artists to support and learn from one another. 
Product Details ISBN: 9781639366873
ISBN-10: 1639366873
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English
“A somber narrative derived from archival work left by a Holocaust survivor portrays an era in Budapest just before and during early World War II. De Bastion ably pieces together this poignant tale, offering a memorable account of family and resilience. A painfully moving story of how a family piano served as a cherished reminder of long-lost but not forgotten relationships.” 
Kirkus Reviews

“This is a gripping narrative of suffering, loss and survival, with music at its heart”
Fiona Maddocks, author of Goodbye Russia: Rachmaninoff in Exile

“A deeply moving new chapter in the history of pianos and violins as instruments of Holocaust survival. ‘The piano yearned for freedom too,’ de Bastion says of the baby grand piano key to the miraculous survival of her Hungarian family. ‘Our piano is not a sentient being,’ she writes of the dawning catastrophe, ‘but I believe it has a memory. It keeps an imprint of its players within it, wishing its earthly bodies well on their journey. It sings a quiet song of memory and will patiently await their return.’ The Piano Player of Budapest chronicles the triumphant fulfillment of that promise.”
Greg Dawson, author of Hiding in the Spotlight: A Musical Prodigy’s Story of Survival