The acclaimed author of The Paris Diary, Pulitzer Prize–winning American composer Ned Rorem offers readers a mellow, thoughtful, and candid chronicle of his life, work, and contemporaries
One of our most revered contemporary musical artists—winner of the Pulitzer Prize and declared “the world’s best composer of art songs” by Time magazine—Ned Rorem writes that he is “a composer who writes, not a writer who composes.” Despite this claim, Rorem’s published diaries, memoirs, essay collections, and other nonfiction works have all received resounding acclaim for their lyricism, bold honesty, and insightful social commentary.
His Nantucket Diary, covering the years 1973 through 1985, reveals a more mature and graceful Ned Rorem, a man who has experienced great loss and serious illness yet has lost none of his acute observational skills and keenly opinionated nature. His wit remains bracing and his candor refreshing as he offers sharp critiques on the state of modern classical music and its creators. His accounts of times shared with luminaries and legends, musical and otherwise (including Leonard Bernstein, Edward Albee, Virgil Thomson, and Stephen Sondheim) are consistently enthralling and delightful. The outspoken hedonist of The Paris Diary may be older and more subdued now, but his incisive observations and unique outlook on life, both personal and creative, remain an unforgettable reading experience.