Wild Harmonies: A Life of Music and Wolves

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A celebrated French pianist's poignant story of her journey from her early days as a student in Paris to her life as the founder of a wolf conservation center in upstate New York.

A gifted pianist from a young age, H?l?ne Grimaud made her first recording at the age of fifteen and won the French equivalent of a Grammy at sixteen. She is a classical music star whose concerts continue to draw sellout crowds all over Europe and North America. But ...

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Overview

A celebrated French pianist's poignant story of her journey from her early days as a student in Paris to her life as the founder of a wolf conservation center in upstate New York.

A gifted pianist from a young age, Hélène Grimaud made her first recording at the age of fifteen and won the French equivalent of a Grammy at sixteen. She is a classical music star whose concerts continue to draw sellout crowds all over Europe and North America. But it wasn't until she met her first wolf that she discovered there was something missing in her life.

Late one night in 1991, Grimaud encountered a wolf-dog hybrid in Florida and felt an immediate, instinctual connection to the animal-one that the wolf also seemed to share. Determined to do what she could to protect this threatened species, she committed her time and resources to becoming certified to found her own wolf preserve on the grounds of her home in New York State. Today, the master pianist acts as a tireless advocate for wolves, a species she believes has been unfairly demonized throughout history. In turn, the animals have given her a sense of freedom that she has never before experienced, even as an artist.

In a beautifully rendered personal story that weaves the tale of a musical prodigy's rise to stardom with one of an animal lover learning to communicate on a level as primal as music, Hélène Grimaud touches, astonishes, and delights with her remarkable insight and passion.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The instant her Florida neighbor's she-wolf slid its magnificent head under her hand, celebrated French pianist Grimaud experienced a vibrant connection that lent a remarkable new direction to a life already lived remarkably. As she recounts in this lyric and original new work, the Provence-born Grimaud grew up an "Un" child-unmanageable, unsatisfied, unpredictable-who discovered early a passion for playing the piano. It will surprise no one familiar with her urgent and uncompromising performances that Grimaud has not written a straightforward account of her life. Instead, she blends deeply felt snatches of memory-relating not just the course of her training but how music has "structured" and freed her-with commentary on animals and particularly the wolf throughout history. (In northern Germany, for instance, one could not even utter the animal's name during the 12 darkest days of winter.) After her startling encounter with the she-wolf, Grimaud threw herself into a new endeavor, becoming certified to manage her own wolf conservatory in upstate New York. There, her four "ambassador" wolves serve to instruct visitors in the nature of this beautiful beast. Likewise, Grimaud's narrative deftly captures the temperament of a distinctive individual and will appeal not just to music and nature lovers but to anyone interested in intriguing memoir. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/06.]-Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786292028
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 1/9/2007
  • Series: Thorndike Biography Series
  • Edition description: 25897 Gale Large Print
  • Pages: 335
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in Aix-en-Provence, Hélène Grimaud was accepted into the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris at the age of thirteen. Her international concert career began in 1987, and she performs regularly worldwide. She lives with her husband and four wolves.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 3 of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 13, 2014

    This book will fill your heart with the beauty of music and wolv

    This book will fill your heart with the beauty of music and wolves. It should be required reading in every high school. On its deepest level it as about living deeply, living your potential completely. Like a wolf.

    Magnificent book!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

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    a reviewer

    WILD HARMONIES is an insightful delightful ¿Un¿ autobiography that breaks the rules of chronological order most books in that genre follow. Instead, the renowned French pianist is all over the place yet contains enough discipline so that the reader can follow her story. Most interesting is the combining of a love for music with a love for wolves. The music started as an unmanageable and unpredictable child in France while the love of wolves began as an adult in Florida when she met her neighbor¿s she-wolf. As she did with the piano Helene Grimaud became an obsessed fanatic who has opened up a wolverine conservatory in Upstate New York.---------------- Readers will appreciate the sidebar reflections as Ms. Grimaud relates her life with music freeing her from a dull un-life though she has always refused to perform anyway but her style. The isobar lateral entries on the history of wolves in Europe and America add to the feel of a deep zealous uncompromising autobiography that is not for everyone from an author who would say so what as long as Ms. Grimaud believes she has remained true to her essence. Not an easy memoir to read, but well written and worth the time to comprehend the odd passionate combination of a ¿Life of Music and Wolves¿.------------- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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