Limelight magazine interview for Girls at the Piano now online

Limelight magazine interview for Girls at the Piano now online

I’m pleased to report that this link is now available to the interview I conducted with Limelight magazine’s Angus McPherson for its May issue. The upside is that the first paragraph is terrific. The downside is that it’s all you can see without a subscription to the magazine.

The print edition was a sumptuous spread featuring images of piano-playing girls including a reproduction of Jane Austen, who practised the piano every morning before making breakfast for her household (sentimentally reimagined for the CD cover illustrating this post); another of the young piano prodigy Clara Wieck, before she married the composer Robert Schumann (to her father’s enduring dismay); and, almost inevitably, a painting from Renoir’s famous series of the early 1890s,¬†Jeunes filles au piano.

I am intrigued to keep reading, in this article and in this review, that I took my title from Renoir, because it’s an assumption that is quite incorrect. I have kept a list of all the titles I considered for my Girls at the Piano during the zigzag course of its writing; this one did not emerge until very late in the day, and was a singular Girl until, reflecting on all the young women I write about in the book, I wanted the title to be inclusive. The Renoir series was of course a happy coincidence but not prescriptive.

Most interviewees fear being misquoted. My experience was that I was quoted all too literally, so that all my slips, pauses and stumbles have been documented for all Limelight readers to see.

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