The Pianist

Front Cover
Orion, Dec 8, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 224 pages
9 Reviews

The bestselling memoir of a Jewish pianist who survived the war in Warsaw against all odds.

'We are drawn in to share his surprise and then disbelief at the horrifying progress of events, all conveyed with an understated intimacy and dailiness that render them painfully close... riveting' OBSERVER

On September 23, 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played Chopin's Nocturne in C-sharp minor live on the radio as shells exploded outside - so loudly that he couldn't hear his piano. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw: That day, a German bomb hit the station, and Polish Radio went off the air.

Though he lost his entire family, Szpilman survived in hiding. In the end, his life was saved by a German officer who heard him play the same Chopin Nocturne on a piano found among the rubble. Written immediately after the war and suppressed for decades, THE PIANIST is a stunning testament to human endurance and the redemptive power of fellow feeling.

'The images drawn are unusually sharp and clear... but its moral tone is even more striking: Szpilman refuses to make a hero or a demon out of anyone' LITERARY REVIEW

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
8
4 stars
0
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - messpots - LibraryThing

This is a far more special book than even its admirers give it credit for. Accounts by Jews in wartime are of course "survivors' accounts," but this book is a good deal more. Szpilman was a very ... Read full review

THE PIANIST: The Extrapordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-45

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A striking Holocaust memoir that conveys with exceptional immediacy and cool reportage the author's desperate fight for survival and the German who came to his aid. When WWII broke out, Szpilman was a ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2011)

Wladyslaw Szpilman was born in 1911. He studied the piano at the Warsaw Conservatory and at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. From 1945 to 1963 he was Director of Music at Polish Radio, and for many years he also pursued a career as a concert pianist and composer. He lived in Warsaw until his death in 2000.