cover image To Play Again: A Memoir of Musical Survival

To Play Again: A Memoir of Musical Survival

Carol Rosenberger. She Writes Press, $16.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-163152-326-7

Concert pianist Rosenberger shares the powerful story of her struggle to perform despite her physical disability. In 1955, at age 21, Rosenberger developed paralytic polio just as she was about to begin her life as a professional stage musician. Until that moment, the Detroit-born musician had been driven by a consuming passion for the piano; thereafter she faced the possibility that agonizing pain and dead nerves would end her career before it started. Rosenberger tells of spending nearly a decade in intensive recovery, getting treatment in Europe and then in the U.S. Polio had wrecked her confidence and left her unmoored in the music world. She began teaching students and playing for friends and family, and slowly built up her strength and confidence. With tremendous effort and practice, Rosenberger came up with adaptive techniques that enabled her to perform; in 1970 she made her debut tour, performing throughout the U.S. and Europe. She hid her disabilities so well that the managers who sent her on her first tour had no idea that she’d had polio. Rosenberger has written a moving and at times heartbreaking chronicle of her achievements, offering inspiration and hope to those confronted with the seemingly insurmountable. [em](Apr.) [/em]