Seeking the Spotlight and Shut Out from the Stage: Composers in Fiction

Like any creative field, the world of music composition can be cut-throat. In Brendan Slocumb’s new thriller, “Symphony of Secrets,” the author once again takes his real life experience as a music teacher and professional musician to craft a suspenseful story within the world of classical music. This time he creates a fictional composer, Frederic Delaney, who was famous for his infectious and technically impressive popular songs, and then infamous for losing the score of his last opera in a cycle and rewriting it only to face critical failure.  

The foundation Delaney founded makes a discovery of the original opera’s score and, under great secrecy, contracts with a professor to have it prepared for performance. However, Ben Hendricks, the professor in question, uncovers a bombshell about the true origin of Delaney’s genius and becomes the target of the foundation’s considerable power and influence when he threatens to reveal it. 

But Slocumb is not the only author to get inside the head of those who practice the alchemy that is musical composition. Elisa Alberts describes the way one indie musician competes against her own expectations of success and fame, and integrity as a writer. Minnie Darke weaves romance and connection from a song abandoned by a life cut short. Mary Sharratt imagines the life of a real historical figure – a woman who must choose between creative independence and the patronage of a powerful lover. Stephanie Clifford inhabits the thoughts of a woman at the end of a long career as a musician and her possible regrets for the choices she has made. 

Check out one of these titles to explore how musical manifestations bring deeply personal expressions into the public sphere, and the effect that choice has on their creators. 

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Life as a muse for the most famous artistic men in Vienna gives Alma Schindler a sort of power, but she yearns for respect and recognition for her own creative output – the music she composes. This title is also available for checkout as an eBook on Hoopla and in eAudio on Hoopla. 

The Farewell Tour

Lillian Waters looks back on her life in the music business and the struggles it took to get her to success as a woman in country music. 

Human Blues

Aviva Rosner’s fourth album contains all her worries, hopes, and frustrations with her journey to becoming a mother. She feels guided by the spirit of Amy Winehouse as she searches for the right home for her new work, and the answer to her fluctuating desire for a baby. 

The Lost Love Song

A tragic and unexpected death cuts short a concert pianist’s life – and her work on a song for her fiancée. Oceans away, fate sets things in motion for another woman to bring the song to fruition and heal the fiancée’s heart. This title is also available for checkout as an eBook on OverDrive/Libby. 

Symphony of Secrets

Tapped to prepare a newly discovered copy of a famously lost opera for the Frederic Delaney foundation, music professor Ben Hendricks comes to realize there’s even more to the story, and that the foundation is covering up the contributions of a Black composer to Delaney’s legacy. This title is also available for checkout as an eBook on OverDrive/Libby and in eAudio on OverDrive/Libby