Death and Transfiguration

Death and Transfiguration

Book - 2012
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"Vaclav Herza, the last of a dying breed of great but tyrannical conductors, has been music director of Harmonium for forty years. The world famous touring orchestra was created for him when he fled Czechoslovakia for America during the political turmoil in Eastern Europe in 1956. It is the eve of the opening of a dramatic new concert hall designed by Herza himself. It is also the eleventh hour of intense contract negotiations with the musicians that have strained relations within the organization. When the acting concertmaster, Scheherazade O'Brien, is summarily dismissed by the despotic Herza for the permanent concertmaster position, an audition she was poised to win, O'Brien slits her wrists and the orchestra becomes convulsed. Now, blind, cantankerous violin teacher Daniel Jacobus, who had shunned O'Brien's earlier plea for help against Herza's relentless harassment, investigates Herza's dark past not only in Prague, but in Tokyo and New York. With the help of his old friends Nathaniel Williams, Max Furukawa, and Martin Lilburn, he seeks not only revenge but redemption from the guilt of his own past."--Publisher's description.
Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, 2012
Description: x, 322 p. ; 25 cm
ISBN: 9780312678357
Branch Call Number: Elia


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Aug 17, 2014

This book is a culmination of a theme running through the previous books in this series. Daniel Jacobus has hinted, as a turning point in his life, that, as a boy, he was molested by one of the judges in a violin contest. In this book, he refuses to help a young woman who is competing with Yumi, his student, both auditioning for the first violin in the Harmonium orchestra. When she loses and commits suicide, his investigation reveals themes in her life that resonate deeply with his experiences. As Jacobus and friends reveal the history of the conductor and of the orchestra, he finds that he's working out his psychological problems as well as finding the reason for her suicide. Underlying the mystery is the political struggle of the musicians' union negotiating a contract.

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