Piano Lessons (book)

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Piano Lessons
AuthorAnna Goldsworthy
CountryAustralia, United States
SubjectClassical music
GenreAutobiography, music
PublisherBlack Inc
Publication date
Media typeHardcover, paperback, audiobook, e-book
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[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 Eleonora 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 Eleonora Sivan, a charismatic Russian émigré and world-class pianist who became her piano teacher. Piano Lessons documents what 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.

Critical reception[edit]

The 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."[citation needed]

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 that it 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 14 August 2010.
  2. ^ "ABC Classic FM The Morning Interview: Anna Goldsworthy". abc.net.au. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  3. ^ "Port Fairy Spring Music Festival". portfairyspringfest.com.au. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  4. ^ "Anna Goldsworthy Interview". readings.com.au. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  5. ^ "Macmillan: Piano Lessons". macmillan.com. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  6. ^ "Piano Lessons the Film". pianolessonsthebook.com. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  7. ^ "Reviews". annagoldsworthy.com. Archived from the original on 24 July 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  8. ^ Kenny, James (October 2009). "Anna Goldsworthy's Piano Lessons". Australian Literary Review. 82 (03): 81–82.
  9. ^ Case, Jo (6 November 2009). "Piano Lessons". The Age: 49.


External links[edit]