Philip Kennicott, the senior art and architecture Critic of the Washington Post and a former contributing editor for the New Republic, won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2013. He lives in Washington, D.C.
An approachable, uniquely thoughtful rumination on a range of musical topics, from the unrelenting demands of musical practice and performance to the mysterious and fraught dynamic between parent and child....Recommended for anyone with an ear for classical music and an interest in biography. -- Booklist (starred review) An absorbing meditation on grief....Elegant prose graces a deeply thoughtful memoir. -- Kirkus (starred review) A story as complex and poignant as the great musical work at its heart, Bach's Goldberg Variations. -- Paul Kildea, author of Chopin's Piano A wise, haunted, and beautiful book. I found myself reading paragraph after paragraph aloud, marveling at Kennicott's ability to create a full musical resonance with his words alone. Counterpoint is not only an intimate examination of a masterpiece-Bach's Goldberg Variations-but an unflinching and humane meditation on the lifelong process of growing up. -- Tim Page, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California A piano teacher once told me, 'We can be sitting here and play a phrase and suddenly there's beauty.' You can touch a page of this book for beauty, along with sadness and wonder and certainly joy. -- Noah Adams, contributing correspondent, National Public Radio, and author of Piano Lessons Offers deep and pleasurable ruminations on how our obsessions-musical and artistic-can contribute to an inner life that is both satisfying and difficult so share....But it is Kennicott's intimate insights into the towering music of Bach, and to the way music speaks to all our lives as we approach our inevitable deaths, that make this book an unforgettable triumph. -- BookPage (starred review) Heart-wrenching....This book, marvelous as it is, might be merely another contribution to the subgenre of grief literature, were it not for Kennicott's extraordinary gift for writing about morning alongside music....By the end of Counterpoint, Kennicott has somehow managed not only to meditate on loss, but to say something, without resorting to cliche, about what it means to be alive and do meaningful work. -- Adrienne Davich - Van A thought-provoking and accomplished memoir, meeting Kennicott's own criterion that 'every good book or great piece of music carries with it the possibility of redemption.' -- Martha Anne Toll - NPR Immensely moving....With gorgeous prose and granular inspection, Kennicott has created a subtle and profound portrait of love, loss and the human condition. -- Marcia Butler - Washington Post Full of arresting insights about the way music permeates our lives, as well as heartbreaking reflections on the wounds a parent can inflict on a child. -- Michael O'Donnell - Wall Street Journal