Byron Janis: Passion, Perseverance and Virtuosity featured in a New Book and Documentary
New York, New York, October 1, 2010 - By any measure, Byron Janis has an extraordinary musical career. His discovery of four long-lost Chopin manuscripts made headlines around the world, and he has been honored countless times for his breathtaking performances of some of the most exciting and challenging works in the standard classical piano repertoire.
As one of the world’s greatest concert pianists, he reveals how the “other world” transformed his life and career. Now for the first time, Janis retraces this remarkable journey in CHOPIN AND BEYOND: My Extraordinary Life in Music and the Paranormal (Wiley, ISBN: 978-0-470-60444-1; December 2010; $26.95 / Cloth). He shares something even more extraordinary; the otherworldly experiences that have shaped his life and music in surprising and profound ways.
In CHOPIN AND BEYOND, Janis includes lively anecdotes of famous performing artists and notable outstanding figures from Vladimir Horowitz to Greta Garbo and Pablo Picasso. He recounts the paranormal experiences that deepened so many of his personal and musical associations, amongst them Chopin; how they seem to affect his miraculous survival under potentially life threatening circumstances, and much more.
Like the best music, CHOPIN AND BEYOND will open your mind to explore the wonder and possibilities of a different world.
In addition to this book, PBS will air a Peter Rosen documentary The Byron Janis Story beginning in October, National Disabilities Month, “dedicated to all those who have overcome adversity.” A DVD of this is available on Amazon for $19.99. In conjunction with this program, Byron has released a CD that includes remastered pieces, never before released recordings and two recordings from the 1960 cultural exchange he never knew existed.
More than a music documentary, it is about the passion and perseverance of overcoming physical challenges to his hands that, for a pianist, could have ended a career before it even began.
The film traces the stormy career of Janis, who despite battling arthritis and other physical impediments, is recognized as one of the “greatest pianists of the 20th century.” The fact that he was able to perform on the world stage at such a high artistic level for so many years is called “ a miracle” by some of the doctors interviewed in the film.
Byron Janis’ life is one of inspiration, not only in the world of music, but as a cultural ambassador for the USA. He is a national spokesperson for the Arthritis Foundation since 1985 when Nancy Reagan made the announcement after a White House performance. This film presents an intimate portrait of the courage of a man with a great gift, the determination to honor and build on the gift “in spite of,” and to give back to others the indomitable spirit of music.
About the Author(s):
Byron Janis is a living legend of the classical music world that went from child piano prodigy at 4, overcoming a rigid and numbed finger due to an accident at the age of 11, becoming the first student of Vladimir Horowitz at 16, debuting at Carnegie Hall at 20. Today he gives lectures and performances, along with teaching master classes and composing, and writes regularly for the Wall Street Journal. His wife Maria Cooper Janis, the daughter of actor Gary Cooper, is a talented painter, a researcher in parapsychology and has collaborated on three television specials. They live in New York City.
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