Recommended Piano Books (Fiction, Non-Fiction & Academic)

Below is a small selection of newly published (mostly) piano-related books. In some instances, a more detailed account can be found in the main body of this site.

If you find yourself interested in purchasing any of these titles, please click through from the accompanying ‘Buy Now” link. If you do subsequently decide to make a purchase this may generate a small commission which hopefully will help fund this website.

Henry the Steinway and the Piano Recital
by Sally Coveleskie and Peter Goodrich, Illustrations by Laura Friedman

This is a charming children’s book featuring young Ana. She is about to give her first piano recital but is worried about it. But her piano (Henry the Steinway) is going to come to her rescue, and guide her through the trials and triumphs of that recital. Although the book is aimed at 5 to 9 year-olds, students of all ages identify with her experience, and take comfort from Henry’s wise words.

First published in 2002, this book has been reissued to celebrate its 20th anniversary. This may be the perfect storybook for introducing your child to the magical world of pianos… (view WPN article)


Erard — A Passion for Pianos
by Robert Adelson

The Erard story, told here, is an extremely interesting one. It largely takes place during the most active evolutionary period of the piano. It incorporates major political events such as the French Revolution and also features many of Europe’s greatest composers. This book chronicles the history of possibly the most innovative of piano houses … (view WPN article)


The Steinway Hunter — A Memoir
by Robert Friedman

Robert Friedman is “part treasure hunter, part problem solver and part keen observer of human nature”. Friedman tells of his life buying, restoring, and selling Steinway pianos. And, to anyone interested in “the king of instruments”, this is a fascinating, compelling, humourous, and at times emotional read. … (view WPN article)


Chopin’s Piano — A Journey Through Romanticism 
by Paul Kildea

In November 1838 Frédéric Chopin left Paris and sailed to Majorca for the winter. Chopin was ill and travelled south hoping for a more favourable climate. During his stay, he completed one of his finest works and did so using a small unrefined pianino built by a local craftsman. This book tells the story of that piano… (view WPN article)


The Lost Pianos of Siberia
by Sophy Roberts

Dotted throughout this remote and beautiful landscape are pianos created during the boom years of the nineteenth century. This is an absorbing story about a piano hunt – a quest through two centuries of Russian history and eight time zones. A Sunday Times Book of 2020… (view WPN article)


The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
by T E Carhart

This is a love story to the piano — a memoir, that traces the author’s friendship with a Parisian piano restorer, and in the process dissects both the piano industry and the workings of the instrument itself.

“…a charming companion: a cool, autumnal breeze of a book.” — The Guardian


Requiem for Pianos – The ArtBook
by Romain Thiery

Thiery, a classical photographer and pianist, has spent the past decade travelling around Europe capturing stunning images of pianos left to decay in all manner of derelict properties. He has now published these remarkable photographs, with explanatory text, in a sumptuous new hardback book… (view WPN article)

(from Publisher)

The Pierce Piano Atlas

This unique reference work is often referred to as the “Bible of the Piano Business”, and is not only an essential source of information for anyone in the piano industry but also a simply fascinating read.

If you have an instrument’s serial number and brand name, the chances are you can use the atlas to discover the production date, the location of the factory, and other pertinent information including, in some cases, a history of the manufacturer… (view WPN article)


The Weight of a Piano
by Chris Cander

In 1962, in the Soviet Union, an eight-year-old Katya is bequeathed what will become the love of her life — a Blüthner upright piano. In 2012 a 26-year-old Clara chooses to sell that same piano when she breaks her hand. This charming and addictive book tells the touching story of the two women and the piano that ties their lives together.

“This beautiful tale . . . is impossible to put down and impossible to forget.” — Library Journal.


Bartolomeo Cristofori and the Invention of the Piano
by Stewart Pollens

Here we have the first comprehensive study of this exceptional instrument maker. Pollens examines, in unprecedented technical detail, Cristofori’s working life from his arrival in Florence in 1688 to his death in 1732.

Cristofori is generally considered to be the inventor of the piano, but surprisingly the author tends to dispute this. He does, however, recognise that Cristofori’s many ideas and designs were fundamental to the evolution of the modern instrument… (view WPN article).