glenn kurtz
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A Musician's Return to Music

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"'Practicing' is a fantastic example of what memoir as a literary form can best deliver: a person delving honestly, profoundly and fearlessly into... life's big questions."

—Samantha Dunn, The Los Angeles Times

"...a sensuous, evocative memoir about love lost and regained."

—Chuck Leddy, The San Francisco Chronicle

"The book of a lifetime. . . . A lyrical memoir-meditation."


"Practicing is elegant, methodical and deeply engaging. It is science and poetry in one book."

—Rosanne Cash

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Practicing: A Musician's Return to Music is Glenn Kurtz's journey of hope, loss, and surprising return. Telling the story of his career as a classical guitarist—from his first lessons at the age of eight to his acceptance at the elite New England Conservatory of Music—Kurtz lets the reader into the passionate, hidden world of making and performing music, revealing the elation, the self-doubt, and the intense determination that define the work of practicing.

A prodigy at age ten, by twenty-five, Kurtz realizes that his dream of being the next Segovia will not come true. Devastated, he quits music forever. Or so he thought. Ten years later, Kurtz returns to the guitar, overcoming his earlier disappointment and learning a new and richer kind of love for music.

Examining his own return to music, Kurtz shows how learning to continue may be the practice room's most important lesson. In this way, Practicing speaks not just to musicians, but to everyone who has striven for an ideal—and learned from disappointment. Practicing is an entertaining, meditative, and inspiring memoir.