It’s cover reveal day for Tina Davidson’s stunning memoir, Let Your Heart Be Broken: Life and Music from a Classical Composer.
Tina Davidson is three-and-a-half when she is adopted from her foster home in Sweden by a visiting American professor. Soon she is the oldest of five children, living with her mother and stepfather in Turkey, Germany, and Israel. She studies music and becomes a prolific pianist and composer. But something about her birth remains unnamed and hidden. When she returns to Sweden, she contacts the Swedish adoption agency. “Come,” says the voice on the phone, “I have information for you.”
In Let Your Heart Be Broken, Tina Davidson juxtaposes memories, journal entries, and insight into the life of an artist and a mother-at work. Along the way, Davidson meets Ernest Hemingway and Carl Sandburg, survives an attack by nomads in Turkey, and learns her birth father is a world-famous scientist. And throughout, there is the thread of music, an ebb and a crescendo of a journey out of the past and into the present, through darkness and into the light.
TINA DAVIDSON, a highly regarded American composer, creates music that stands out for its emotional depth and lyrical dignity. Lauded for her authentic voice, the New York Times praised her “vivid ear for harmony and colors.” Philadelphia Inquirer writes that she composes “real music, with structure, mood, novelty and harmonic sophistication – with haunting melodies that grow out of complex, repetitive rhythms.”
Over her forty-five-year career, she has been commissioned and performed by well-known ensembles such as National Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, OperaDelaware, VocalEssence, Kronos Quartet, Cassatt Quartet and Grammy award winner, Hilary Hahn.
Long-term residencies play a major role in Davidson’s career. She was composer-in-residence as part of the innovative Meet The Composer “New Residencies” and with the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia. Championing composing in public schools, she created the city-wide Young Composers program to children how to write music through instrument building, improvisation, and graphic notation.
Tina Davidson was born in Stockholm, Sweden and grew up in Oneonta, NY and Pittsburgh, PA. She currently resides in Lancaster PA.
Praise for Let Your Heart Be Broken
“Rarely does a composer tie together life events and inner creative propulsion in a narrative that speaks directly to their audience. Ms. Davidson’s music is lyrical and vulnerable, as is her voice in words. Her book will allow listeners and musicians alike to build their own connections to Ms. Davidson’s work in all of its forms.” –Hilary Hahn, violinist and Grammy winner
“Let Your Heart Be Broken is a poignant telling of a life inextricably entwined in the art of making music. It is a rare peek into the inner workings of the mind and its desires, joys, and fears, and how that affects the process of wrestling notes onto a page; a memoir filled with the twists and turns of the soul, it is a rewarding read.” –Jennifer Higdon, Pulitzer Prize composer
“Whether she is writing about the hauntings of childhood or the day-to-day practical work of a leading American composer, Tina Davidson writes with precision and poetry, bringing us into her remarkable life.” –Tim Page, author and former New York Times music critic