Being constantly criticized for excessive emotion and movement by her pia professors, Olga Bobrovnikova took inspiration and a new attitude to performance when she heard the recordings made in the 1890s of a forgotten pianist, Paul Pabst, who Tchaikovsky called a pianist blessed by God. Her diagsis of MS coincided with her discovery of Pabst and his music, and in her typically defiant way, she set out to record Pabst s exceptionally difficult pia paraphrases of Tchaikovsky operas, and to make the first-ever recording of Pabst s own pia concerto. Her immersion in this lost history of the Russian Pia School revealed major differences in and controversy regarding the style of pia performance as well as coinciding with a growing interest in the brain and music. A passion for pleasure in performance and a study of the neurology of her MS-damaged brain created this unique book, which is a fusion of fascinating musical history, a wide review of scientific research, and detail of a new performance method.
Olga Bobrovnikova is a Moscow Conservatory trained concert pianist with multiple sclerosis (MS). This disease could have destroyed her life and career; instead, it changed her life. Dedicating her career to MS, she taught, researched, and wrote about Russian musical history, questioned the decline of pleasure in modern piano performance and decided to unravel the secrets of pleasure and the performing brain.