May 4, 2010
May 4, 2010
A portrait of gifted violinist Nathaniel Ayers traces his education at Juilliard, his struggles with schizophrenia, the factors that led to his homelessness in Los Angeles, his friendship with the author, and the author's efforts to improve the musician's life.
Beginning in 2005, Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez began chronicling the genius and hardships of Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless schizophrenic classical musician he discovered on skid row playing virtuoso music on a battered violin with only two strings. Over the years, Lopez became intimately involved with Ayers, a gifted musician, who was one of the few African-Americans to attend Juilliard but ultimately dropped out due to the increasing chaos of his mental illness. Through Lopez and other members of the community, Ayers received numerous second chances, playing in local downtown music venues, receiving housing and a beautiful cello, and finally performing at the lavish Disney Hall. However, his remarkable journey was marked by many bumps and setbacks, including a disheartening manic outburst during a performance. In this bracing, fascinating, heartbreaking, and redemptive biography/memoir, Lopez describes his complicated relationship with Ayers--frankly examining the self-serving sides of his own charity--and paints a vivid portrait of a man who lost everything except his love for music. In 2009, the book was made into a major motion picture starring Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx as Ayers.
- Genre: Social Science, Biography + Autobiography
- Subgenre: Poverty, Composers + Musicians
- Edition: Reprint
- Language: English
- Author: Steve Lopez
- Online Item #: 12359493
- Store Item Number (DPCI): 248-45-0384
- ISBN: 9780425238363
- Item can be gift wrapped.
- Made in the USA or Imported