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Praise for "A Natural History of the Piano"

"In Stuart Isacoff's A Natural History of the Piano, never before have I learned and enjoyed so much about the instrument and its most distinctive practitioners — transcending so many categories of music. Whether the subject is jazz or classical music, the writing is unfailingly engaging and revealing."
— Nat Hentoff


"Supremely informative as well as fascinating and entertaining — highly recommended."
— Vladimir Ashkenazy


"Anybody who cares about the piano — past, present and future — will find this book irresistible reading. I always learn so much from Stuart Isacoff and have a good time in the process."
— Tim Page


"Stuart Isacoff's great meditation on all piano-related matters is a delight, both informative and entertaining. To borrow the author's categories, I find the writing both melodic and combustible."
— Dick Hyman

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Photo: MICHAEL LIONSTAR

BIOGRAPHY

Stuart Isacoff is active across North America and Europe as a writer, pianist, composer and lecturer. His ongoing presence in the cultural landscape has included presentations at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and Lincoln Center, as well as at festivals around the world and regular contributions on music and art to The Wall Street Journal. Until 2014, he was on the faculty of the Purchase College Conservatory of Music and the Purchase College Conservatory of Dance (SUNY).

Mr. Isacoff is the author of A Natural History of the Piano: The Instrument, the Music, the Musicians—From Mozart to Modern Jazz and Everything in Between (Knopf), and of the highly acclaimed Temperament: How Music Became a Battleground for the Great Minds of Western Civilization (Knopf/Vintage). He is a winner of the prestigious ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for excellence in writing about music.

Stuart Isacoff has given lectures and piano performances both here and abroad, at such venues as The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Verbier Festival and Academy (Switzerland), Music@Menlo, the Portland Piano Festival, the Miami Piano Festival, the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the September Music Festival (Torino), the Gina Bachauer Foundation, the Van Cliburn Piano Institute and others, as well as at such scientific institutions as the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Bradbury Science Museum and the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics.

His compositions, arrangements, editions, and instructional texts have been published by G. Schirmer, Boosey & Hawkes (London), Carl Fischer, Music Sales Corp., Warner Bros. Music, and Ekay Music, Inc. He was the founding editor of the magazine Piano Today, a position he held for nearly three decades.

Stuart Isacoff's piano recitals combine classical repertoire with jazz improvisation, demonstrating the threads that connect musical works created centuries and continents apart. Of his playing, pianist André Watts has said: "Stuart Isacoff's music-making is original and revelatory. Subtle, brilliant use of the instrument combined with a unique musical perspective, create performances of uncommon depth. Isacoff reveals his beautiful interior world with every performance."