Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sydney Writers' Festival 2009

Alex Ross, winner of the Guardian First Book Award in conversation with Ramona Koval - 21 May - at the Sydney Theatre

Alex Ross' the Rest is Noise - Listening to the Twentieth Century, winner of the Guardian First Book Award, is a sweeping musical history that goes from the salons of pre-war Vienna to New York lofts of the sixties and seventies, by way of Stalin's Soviet Union, Hitler's Germany, and Cold War America. He spoke to Ramona Koval this evening (21 may) at the event - Listening to the Twentieth Century of the Sydney Writers' Festival 2009 at the Sydney Theatre. Ross said the main story of the Rest is Noise is the volatile, ever changing relationship between composers and the society around them.

Alex Ross has been the music critic of The New Yorker since 1996. From 1992 to 1996 he wrote for the New York Times. His first book, The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, published in 2007, was awarded The Guardian First Book Award and was shortlisted for the Pulitzer and Samuel Johnson prizes. In 2008 he became a MacArthur Fellow. A native of Washington, DC, he now lives in Manhattan.

Ramona Koval has a regular program, The Book Show, on ABC Radio National each weekday and on Sundays. She has also written several books including the novel Samovar.

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