The Podium Papers: A Full Frontal Look At The Man With His Back To The Audience (Paperback)
"The Podium Papers" is an honest and entertaining dispatch from the front lines of one of the world's most interesting and misunderstood professions. Like Anthony Bourdain in his "Kitchen Confidential," Martin Kessler takes the reader through the swinging doors and into the real 'kitchen' of the art of conducting. This non-linear memoir uses the informal essay to explore the life and work of a veteran mid-level artist, and it does so in a voice that excludes no one. It contains a surprising assortment of topics--from sex and drugs, to short-cuts taken and reputations deflated. It also offers elegant portraits of the author's colleagues and mentors, while celebrating the hard work and dedication that this unusual calling requires. Obviously, the book's strongest appeal will be for readers with an interest in classical music--from the casual listener to the seasoned professional. But like any well-written memoir, it is also a snapshot of the author's generational milieu--in this case, coming of age in the '60's and maturing in the 21st century. It should find an avid following in those locales that provide the backdrop for the arc of author's life: college at Harvard, post-graduate studies in London and Salzburg, and of course, in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, where Mr. Kessler spent the bulk of his conducting career.