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Through the middle years of this century, a formidable stream of Russian pianists - Gilels, Richter, Berman, Ashkenazy - took the musical world by storm, revealing by their virtuosity and musicianship the continuation of a great pianistic tradition. The Central School of Music and the Moscow Conservatory were the shrines where this tradition was passed on by dedicated and gifted teachers. Dmitry Paperno, himself a brilliant pianist, was a witness to this golden age of the piano. His memoirs, translated for the first time into English, take us into the halls of these celebrated schools, where the reader encounters not only the great pianists of the period but other legendary names: Oistrakh, Kogan, Rostropovich. Towering above all is his beloved teacher, Alexander Borisovich Goldenweiser. The rich musical life of Moscow and the tensions of international competition are vividly described along with the brutal repression of the Stalin years. The author recalls his performing career and gives an account of his years teaching in America since his emigration, rounding out this reminiscence.