The Cello and the Nightingales

Beatrice Harrison


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Canongate Books
9 May 2024
ISBN: 9781805300182
192 pages

From the publisher

The memoirs of cello prodigy Beatrice Harrison, the woman who brought the music of the nightingale to millions worldwide - and created the first interspecies collaboration

In May 1924, the BBC broadcast a miracle to the world: a wild nightingale singing a duet with a remarkable young cellist called Beatrice Harrison. Over a million people tuned in to hear this live performance, which Beatrice repeated with a nightingale for the BBC every spring until 1942. These broadcasts transformed the public interest in nightingales - a species already in decline.

If Beatrice's duets with the nightingales touched a chord with the world, her own life proved to be as musical, free-spirited and inspiring. From her early years as a musical prodigy to recording with the most important composers of the day and playing for the wounded in the Second World War, this timely reissue of Patricia Cleveland-Peck's classic book recounts Beatrice's rich life vividly and features a new introduction by Maria Popova.