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Paul Robertson

An extraordinary and poignant memoir for all musicians, spiritual thinkers and musical laymen by Paul Robertson, first violinist of the Medici String Quartet.

Date Published
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In 2008, the renowned violinist Paul Robertson suffered a ruptured aorta. After dying momentarily on the operating table, he remained in a coma for many weeks. During this time, he experienced visions which afforded him a profound insight into the relationship between music and the mind. When he awoke, he found his understanding of the world – and beyond – fundamentally altered.

This surprising and rewarding memoir offers a singular perspective on creative endeavour: the rigours of learning, the challenges of performance and the spiritual nourishment that drives us on. It is a poignant and wise book that draws on a lifetime’s experiences, in both life and death.

Critic Reviews

Absolutely remarkable ... an incredible gift to leave the world.

Tom Service
Critic Reviews

A fascinating, honest and moving book.

Ivan Hewett, Sunday Telegraph
Critic Reviews

Robertson, who died in July, was the founder and leader of the Medici Quartet, having come from an unconventional wrong-side-of-the-tracks background for a classical musician. Like Dusinberre he focuses on Beethoven, but this is also an extremely personal book, in which a near-death experience as the result of a stroke leads to an idiosyncratic but absorbing meditation on the relationship between music and mysticism.

Adam Lively, Sunday Times
Critic Reviews

In 2008, during an operation to repair a torn aorta, Robertson spent a lengthy period clinically dead. From his out-of-body experiences grows a new understanding. The leader of the Medici String Quartet, who died in August, tells of becoming a musician, his mentors, his life with the string quartet, and how music can aspire to a higher state of consciousness.

Richard Fairman, Financial Times
Critic Reviews

Soundscapes isn't just a book for violinists, quartet players or those fascinated by the interface between mind and music ... a timely memoir following Robertson's all-too-early death.'

BBC Music Magazine
Critic Reviews

[A] delightful memoir full of bizarre anecdotes, intriguing thoughts and, most of all, amusing stories. ?What begins as an alarming attempt to explain the nature of our place in the universe - after a welcome death, we unite in harmony with the cosmos - turns into an extraordinary man's life and its deep links to the music that has always been his guide ... [an] engaging, guileless book.

Jewish Chronicle
Paul Robertson

Paul Robertson was born in 1952 and grew up in a caravan in Oxford. His father was a radical Marxist and his mother the daughter of Russian–Romanian Jewish immigrants. His lifelong passion for the violin began when he was eight years old, and he went on to lead the Medici String Quartet, of which he was a founder member. He…

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Paul Robertson