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The Voice: A Memoir

by Thomas Quasthoff Kirsten Stoldt Wittenborn

The Voice is the profoundly inspiring memoir of one of the most sought after and admired classical singers in the world--a man who has arrived at the summit of his artistry by overcoming extraordinarily daunting odds. Thomas Quasthoff, the German bass baritone, stands a shade over four feet tall, his severely underdeveloped arms and hands the result of thalidomide poisoning while he was in his mother's womb. But through stunning determination enlivened by an impish sense of human, Quasthoff has overcome his physical limitations and Dickensian childhood, cultivating his musical genius and thrilling classical music lovers with his sublime voice. What shines through Quasthoff's astonishing story is his staunch refusal to wallow in self-pity, to see himself as a victim. Whether he is evoking a harrowing childhood marked by multiple agonizing surgeries, relating folksy family anecdotes, expressing his devotion to his students as a professor of voice, expounding on his love of jazz and American popular music (he is a great admirer of Stevie Wonder), or unburdening himself of his wickedly outspoken views on art and disability, Quasthoff's unerring sense of humanity, boisterous conviviality, and fierce honesty are always on display. The Voice is utterly winning--a memoir to both marvel at and enjoy.

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