Author of the Month: Janet White
Janet White is the May Author of the Month. She will speak about her new book, Beethoven’s String Quartet Opus 74 ‘The Harp. Janet White was born and educated in the United Kingdom. She began playing the cello at the age of ten years old and remains an enthusiastic amateur musician, playing chamber music, including string quartets, in her spare time. She has studied Beethoven’s ‘Harp’ Quartet with the Manhattan String Quartet and enjoys playing all of Beethoven’s string quartets as well as those by other composers. She is an active member and former Board Chair of Associated Chamber Music Players, an international network of musicians who like to play purely for pleasure. Janet White lives in San Diego, California, with her husband and three dogs.
BEETHOVEN’S STRING QUARTET OPUS 74 ‘THE HARP’ - The story traces the history of Beethoven’s autograph manuscript of his Tenth String Quartet, Opus 74 which is nicknamed ‘‘The Harp”. Starting from the time of its composition in besieged Vienna in 1809, we follow the manuscript through its concealment in Poland during World War Two to the present day where it is held hostage in the Jagiellonian Library in Kraków, Poland until adequate war reparations are paid by Germany. Gunther Erdogan, second violinist of the London String Quartet, learns of the priceless manuscript and plans to steal it from the library to settle his debts. For the last fifteen years since the London Quartet was formed, Gunther has lived in the shadow of the group’s overweening first violinist Gordon James. The arrival of Juilliard graduate Jennifer Rose as the group’s new cellist rocks the boat, and Gordon and Gunther compete to win her affection. Gunther is fed up with playing second fiddle all his life – as well as fortune, he hopes the manuscript will bring him fame – and win Jennifer’s affections.