"The book of a lifetime. . . . A lyrical memoir-meditation.”—Newsday
In Practicing: A Musician’s Return to Music, Glenn Kurtz takes us on a journey of hope, loss, and surprising return. Telling the story of his career as a classical guitarist—from his first lessons at the age of eight to his acceptance at the elite New England Conservatory of Music—Kurtz lets the reader into the passionate, hidden world of making and performing music, revealing the elation, the self-doubt, and the intense determination that define the work of practicing.
A prodigy at age ten, by twenty-five, Kurtz realizes that his dream of being the next Segovia will not come true. Devastated by this realization, he quits music forever. Or so he thought. Ten years later, Kurtz returns to the guitar to discover what went wrong. No longer an aspiring artist, he is now a “former musician,” overcoming his earlier disappointment and learning a new and richer kind of love for music.
By examining his own return to music, Kurtz shows how learning to pick yourself up and continue may be the practice room’s most important lesson. In this way, Practicing speaks not just to musicians, but to everyone who has striven for an ideal—and learned from disappointment. Containing vivid portraits of his teachers, friends, and competitors, along with a fascinating history of the classical guitar, its players, and composers, Practicing is an inspiring, entertaining, and meditative memoir. A love affair with music.