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Pianist's Passions Span Music, America and Wolves

Oct 13, 2006 (All Things Considered)

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French-born musician Helene Grimaud describes playing the piano as a "reconciliation of opposites."

"You're both absent and incredibly aware at the same time," she says.

On her latest CD, Reflection, Grimaud explores the works of the composers Robert Schumann, his wife Clara, and Johannes Brahms. It's a thematic, organized work that looks at the love and inspiration the three composers shared.

At the same time, Grimaud's autobiography, Wild Harmonies, has been published in English. In the book, she examines two of her great loves: America and wolves.

The 36-year-old pianist says her connection to the United States, where she arrived at age 21 and now lives, is instinctive and powerful. And she describes how meeting a she-wolf named Alawa in Tallahassee, Fla., changed her life — and helped persuade her to found a wolf conservation center in New York.

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Grimaud on NPR

Robert Siegel shares his thoughts on Helene Grimaud in his column, From the Archives, where you can also hear his previous interviews with the pianist.

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