9 June 2005
Published by Atlantic Books
It’s autumn 1989 and the Berlin Wall is about to fall. Cooper Barrow is an American who has come to Europe to make his mark as an orchestral conductor. He is apprenticed to legendary maestro Karlheinz Ziegler, a man whose lessons are notoriously incendiary. Between Ziegler’s bruising tutorials Cooper is befriended by Petra, a flirtatious oboist from East Germany, and the inexperienced American is instantly smitten.But despite the intensity of their passion, Petra’s past remains utterly closed to him and her connection to Ziegler unexplained. Then, in the dead of winter, as Germany struggles to reunite, Cooper’s world is torn apart in a shock of understanding.