Piano Lessons (book)

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Piano Lessons
Author Goldsworthy, Anna
Country Australia & United States
Language English
Subject Classical music
Genre Autobiography, Music
Publisher Black Inc
Publication date
Media type Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, E-Book
ISBN 978-0-312-64628-8
786.2 GOL

Piano Lessons is a 2009 award-winning[1] non-fiction book by Australian classical pianist Anna Goldsworthy, Artist in Residence of Janet Clarke Hall (University of Melbourne),[2] and Artistic Director of the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival.[3]

In Piano Lessons, Goldsworthy documents her piano study from a young age under the Russian emigre Eleanora Sivan.[4]

Originally published in Australia in October 2009 by Black Inc., the US rights were sold to American publisher St. Martin's Press[5]

The film rights to the book have been sold to director Ana Kokkinos.[6]


Goldsworthy was nine years old when she met Eleanora Sivan, a charismatic Russian émigré and world-class pianist who became her piano teacher. Piano Lessons documents what Mrs. Sivan brought to Goldsworthy’s lessons: a love of music, a respect for life, a generous spirit, and the courage to embrace a musical life. Piano Lessons takes the reader on a journey into the heart and meaning of music.

Critical reception[edit]

US Poet Laureate Philip Levine said of Piano Lessons "I have never read a better depiction of a great mentor and of how true learning takes place. Every teacher of anything should read this book. Twice."

The book was received positively by Australian critics.[7]

The Australian Literary Review called Piano Lessons a "wonderful story, elegantly told",[8] broadsheet The Age said Piano Lessons was "multi-layered, rich with meditations on identity, creativity, ambition and achievement; deeply felt without a hint of sentimentality. This impressive debut will surely mark Anna Goldsworthy's arrival as an Australian writer to be reckoned with."[9]


Piano Lessons was shortlisted for a number of awards including Best Non-Fiction at the NSW Premier's Literary Awards as well as Best Non-Fiction at the 2010 Australian Book Industry Awards. Goldsworthy won Newcomer of the Year at the 2010 Australian Book Industry Awards.


  1. ^ "Australian Book Industry Awards: 2010 Winners" (PDF). publishers.asn.au. Retrieved 2010-08-14. 
  2. ^ "ABC Classic FM The Morning Interview: Anna Goldsworthy". abc.net.au. Retrieved 2010-08-14. 
  3. ^ "Port Fairy Spring Music Festival". portfairyspringfest.com.au. Retrieved 2010-08-14. 
  4. ^ "Anna Goldsworthy Interview". readings.com.au. Retrieved 2010-08-14. 
  5. ^ "Macmillan: Piano Lessons". macmillan.com. Retrieved 2010-08-14. 
  6. ^ "Piano Lessons the Film". pianolessonsthebook.com. Retrieved 2010-08-14. 
  7. ^ "Reviews". annagoldsworthy.com. Retrieved 2010-08-14. [dead link]
  8. ^ Kenny, James (October 2009). "Anna Goldsworthy's Piano Lessons". Literary reviews 82 (03): 81–82. 
  9. ^ Case, Jo (6 November 2009). "Piano Lessons". The Age: 49. 


External links[edit]