Chopin and Beyond: My Extraordinary Life in Music and the Paranormal

Overview

One of the world's greatest classical pianists reveals how the "other world" transformed his life and career

By any measure, Byron Janis has had an extraordinary musical career. His discovery of two long-lost Chopin scores made headlines around the world, and he has been honored many times for his breathtaking performances of some of the most exciting and challenging works in the standard classical piano repertoire. As he retraces this remarkable journey in Chopin and Beyond, he...

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Overview

One of the world's greatest classical pianists reveals how the "other world" transformed his life and career

By any measure, Byron Janis has had an extraordinary musical career. His discovery of two long-lost Chopin scores made headlines around the world, and he has been honored many times for his breathtaking performances of some of the most exciting and challenging works in the standard classical piano repertoire. As he retraces this remarkable journey in Chopin and Beyond, he shares something even more extraordinary: the other-worldly experiences that have shaped his life and music in surprising and profound ways.

  • Shares milestones and memories from the life and musical career of one of the world's greatest pianists
  • Includes lively anecdotes of famous classical musicians and other notable figures, including Vladimir Horowitz and Pablo Picasso
  • Describes his long-secret but ultimately triumphant battle with arthritis
  • Recounts the paranormal experiences that deepened his personal association with Chopin, effected near miraculous recoveries from serious accidents, and more

Like the best music, Chopin and Beyond will open your mind to explore the wonder and possibility of a different world.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Classical pianist Janis discusses more than just music in this intriguing autobiography. Born in Pennsylvania in 1928, Janis, a musical child prodigy, portrays himself as an attentive diamond in the rough refined by remarkable family sacrifices and influential patrons, including his mentor Vladimir Horowitz. A Carnegie Hall debut at 20 marks the prelude to a glamorous life of meeting celebrities and royalty while performing, recording, and touring Europe, Israel, and the Soviet Union. Only when arthritis slows his busy pace and threatens his career does Janis allow self-doubt to cloud an otherwise inspirational narrative. Throughout, Janis balances daily living against his developing inner consciousness. Each milestone--musical, personal, or romantic--exacts its emotional toll and pushes Janis to explore the affinities between his artistic sensitivity and the paranormal. As retold here, those experiences encompass the superstitious (Janis often bows to an imagined co-performer after playing a concert), the spooky (a closed piano plays on its own), and the mysterious (a death mask of Chopin sheds tears), among others. Janis and his wife, coauthor Cooper Janis, are not effusive about these incidents. References to synchronicity and Jung, experiences with Janis's friend psychic Uri Geller, and recommended readings at book's end allow readers to appreciate Janis's conviction while coming to their own conclusions. (Dec.)
From the Publisher
* Classical pianist Janis discusses more than just music in this intriguing autobiography. Born in Pennsylvania in 1928, Janis, a musical child prodigy, portrays himself as an attentive diamond in the rough refined by remarkable family sacrifices and influential patrons, including his mentor Vladimir Horowitz. A Carnegie Hall debut at 20 marks the prelude to a glamorous life of meeting celebrities and royalty while performing, recording, and touring Europe, Israel, and the Soviet Union. Only when arthritis slows his busy pace and threatens his career does Janis allow self-doubt to cloud an otherwise inspirational narrative. Throughout, Janis balances daily living against his developing inner consciousness. Each milestone—musical, personal, or romantic—exacts its emotional toll and pushes Janis to explore the affinities between his artistic sensitivity and the paranormal. As retold here, those experiences encompass the superstitious (Janis often bows to an imagined co-performer after playing a concert), the spooky (a closed piano plays on its own), and the mysterious (a death mask of Chopin sheds tears), among others. Janis and his wife, coauthor Cooper Janis, are not effusive about these incidents. References to synchronicity and Jung, experiences with Janis's friend psychic Uri Geller, and recommended readings at book's end allow readers to appreciate Janis's conviction while coming to their own conclusions. (Dec.) (Publishers Weekly, October 18, 2010)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470604441
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 11/23/2010
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 960,140
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

BYRON JANIS is a living legend of the classical music world and is renowned for both the power and the sensitivity of his interpretations. After hiding the painful arthritis that had plagued him for twelve years, he accepted the role of artistic spokesman for the Arthritis Foundation in the 1980s. Today, he gives lectures and performances, teaches master classes, composes, and writes regularly for the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Janis's life is also the subject of the public television documentary "The Byron Janis Story," released nationally in late October 2010.

His wife, MARIA COOPER JANIS, the daughter of actor Gary Cooper, is a talented painter, has collaborated on three television specials, has been a parapsychology researcher for many years, and is an active board member of the American Society for Psychical Research. The Janises live in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Maria Cooper Janis.

1 CHOPIN WALTZES.

2 BEGINNINGS.

3 DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS.

4 WORKING WITH HOROWITZ.

5 SOUTH AMERICA.

6 CARNEGIE HALL.

7 WANDA.

8 A FEW MORE TURNS OF THE WHEEL.

9 COMING TO TERMS WITH THE PARANORMAL.

10 NOHANT.

11 SOVIET UNION, 1960–1962.

12 A RIVIERA DREAMSCAPE.

13 ADIEU À LA BELLE FRANCE.

14 MEETING MARIA.

15 SYNCHRONICITY.

16 AT LAST.

17 THE ABBEY OF REGINA LAUDIS.

18 A POWER TRIP.

19 ARTHRITIS.

20 MEETING URI GELLER.

21 PÈRE-LACHAISE AND MARIE D’AGOULT.

22 A PATH TO SPONTANEITY?

23 PARANORMAL HIGH JINKS.

24 SAND DRAWING.

25 CAPE COD MYSTERIES.

26 COMPLETING THE CIRCLE.

27 A PICASSO DREAM.

28 MEETING CHAGALL.

29 ANDREW BOREY.

30 ISRAEL.

31 REINCARNATION.

32 THE UMBRELLA.

33 UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS.

34 THE BELLS.

EPILOGUE.

Acknowledgments.

Recommended Reading.

Index.

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