Helena Attlee & Sophy Roberts: writing the lives of musical instruments



Helena Attlee and Sophy Roberts have both written "biographies" of musical instruments. Sophy Roberts’s book, The Lost Pianos of Siberia, sees her track down these instruments in remote landscapes all across Russia, tracing the unique importance of pianos to Tsarist and USSR history, and the poignant stories of the individuals who used them. Helena Attlee’s book, Lev’s Violin, follows the story of one particular violin across Italy and beyond, describing the wider history of European luthiers, and exploring how we ascribe monetary value to these emotionally charged objects. They talk to Kate Kennedy (herself a cellist) about what it means to write the story of an instrument.

Donate to restore Lev’s Violin: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-levs-violin


Find out more about

Sophy Roberts:

Helena Attlee:


Artwork by Una.

Edited by Charles Pidgeon.


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