Now here comes the Simon Bolivar bestseller
PR material arrives promoting Candace Allen's new book Soul Music about "the power classical music has over those from a non-white culture, particularly disadvantaged ones". Candace Allen is an African-American writer who was married to Simon Rattle, and in the course of the book she "visits Palestine, Venezuela, Scotland, the streets of London and Kinshasa". Independent endorsements of the new book come from Marshal Marcus, head of the Southbank Centre's El Sistema programme, from Martin Campbell White, ceo of agent Askonas Holt which represents the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Daniel Barenboim, the West Eastern Divan Orchestra and Simon Rattle, and from Simon Hewitt-Jones who plays in Barenboim's West Eastern Divan Orchestra. To add to the independent advocacy, a glowing New Statesman critique of Soul Music by Guy Dammann is quoted; you may remember that Dammann's Guardian review of a Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra BBC Prom featured here in a which asked 'Was the critic at the same concert as the rest of us?' I have requested a copy of Soul Music, so watch this space.
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In the publishing world, errors of this nature generally signify something.
Perhaps a little ironically, Tricia Tunstall's Changing Lives: Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema, and the Transformative Power should be a best-seller, for it is a wide-ranging yet also deep work on El Sistema and parallel projects world-wide. Tunstall is a pianist and teacher who has previously written Note by Note: A Celebration of the Piano Lesson. Marvellous book is that, and an indication that she does not write with an eye to the NY Times Bestseller List or to options from Hollywood.