The conductor by Sarah Quigley – 2011

ConductorSo much more than a novel about how art can help people triumph over, or at least survive through, adversity; The Conductor is a complex novel exploring the many and various drives and desires that keep us going. A disparate group of musicians, of various levels of competence, live in Leningrad during a bleak period of history – when the advancing Nazi army is creating appalling conditions in the city. Shostakovich is consumed with composing his new work, Nikolai, a music teacher and violinist, is grappling with grief, and Karl Eliasberg, the Conductor, is trying to negotiate his way through social and political barriers in his humble and confused way. The novel is beautifully structured and is a truly moving read.

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