The Piano Player of Budapest

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Author: Roxanne de Bastion

Category: Biography & True Stories

Book Format: Hardback

Publisher: Robinson

ISBN: 9781472147844

RRP: $55.00


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This is a story about a piano and its most prodigious player – how it, along with him, survived.

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, 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 By piecing together his cassette recordings, unpublished memoirs, letters and documents, Roxanne sings out her grandfather’s story of music and hope, lost and found, and explores the power of what can echo down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 Pop and Steve Lamacq. Her music has garnered praise in the Observer, NME, Record Collector and Rolling Stone Germany, and her pioneering DYI artistry and activism have been featured in the Metro, Huffington Post, LBC and Sky News. Roxanne has toured opening for Katie Melua, Howard Jones, Lambchop and Martha Wainwright and has performed at Latitude, Glastonbury and Cambridge Folk Festival. In 2018, she self-published her tour diaries Tales from the Rails and in 2021, she was the first artist to embark on a virtual UK tour when the pandemic hit. Roxanne sits on the board of the Featured Artist Coalition (alongside artists such as Dave Rowntree of Blur and Imogen Heap) and the PPL Performer Board, where she represents artists’ rights. She is the founder of the independent artist conference FM2U (From Me to You). Roxanne has held talks at Brunel University, Reeperbahn Festival and re:publica on topics such as ‘Designing your Own Future’ and ‘Female is not a Genre’ and has been invited to speak on panel discussions at international music industry conferences such as The Great Escape, Folk Alliance and the English Folk Expo. Roxanne also hosts a radio show on North London’s Boogaloo Radio. The Piano Player of Budapest is her first book.

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