House of Anansi Press

The Cello Suites

Written by Eric Siblin

Published March 22, 2009 | ISBN 9780887842221
MUSIC / History & Criticism

Cover of The Cello Suites

Regular price $29.95 CAD

320 pages | 8.380 in × 5.630 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

The Cello Suites

Eric Siblin

One autumn evening, shortly after ending a ten-year stint as a pop-music columnist for the Montreal Gazette, Eric Siblin attended a concert at Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music. There, something unlikely happened: he fell in love with a piece of classical music -- Bach's cello suites. Part biography, part music history, and part literary mystery, The Cello Suites weaves together three dramatic stories: The first features Johann Sebastian Bach and the missing manuscript of his suites from the eighteenth century; the second is that of Pablo Casals and his incredible discovery of the manuscript in Spain in the early twentieth century; and the third is Eric Siblin's own infatuation with the suites in the twenty-first century.

This love affair leads Siblin to the back streets of Barcelona, a Belgian mansion, and a bombed out German palace; to interviews with cellists Mischa Maisky, Anner Bylsma, and Pieter Wispelwey; to archives, festivals, conferences, and cemeteries; and even to cello lessons -- all in pursuit of answers to the mysteries that continue to haunt this piece of music more than 250 years after its composer's death.

The Cello Suites is an incomparable, beautifully written, true-life journey of passion, imagination, and discovery, fuelled by the transcendent power of a musical masterpiece.

About the Author

Eric Siblin

Eric Siblin is the bestselling author of The Cello Suites, which won the QWF Mavis Gallant Nonfiction Prize and the McAuslan First Book Award, and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize, and the BC National Award for Canadian Nonfiction. So far, the work has been published in thirteen territories and in nine languages. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Awards and Praise
  • Short-listed Writers' Trust of Canada Non-Fiction Prize, 2009
  • Winner QWF McAuslan First Book Prize, 2009
  • Short-listed Governor General's Award: Nonfiction, 2009
  • Short-listed British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, 2010
  • Winner Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-fiction, 2009