Review: Carol Rosenberger’s To Play Again


Rosenberger contracted polio in 1955, in her early 20’s, in the days leading up to a competition. For 10 years, living life, much less playing the piano, was a struggle, all the while other pianists of her generation competed and began their professional careers. To Play Again is the story of Rosenberger’s comeback and entry into the professional piano world, aided by her parents, friends, former teachers, mentors and most particularly Amelia Haygood, a psychologist with a unique gift of enabling even the most reticent of individuals to open up and seek help and then to act on the help provided.

To Play Again is also a story about the world of classical music, composers, musicians, orchestras and recording studios including the Delos label that Haygood founded to promote and encourage American musicians in their quest for advancement and a little slice of immortality. Rosenberger first recorded with Delos and then over time became an active partner with Haygood and continues to manage Delos after Haygood’s death. The book ends in November 2015. More information on Rosenberger can be found on her website.

Because of the nature of To Play Again, the many composers and musicians mentioned in the book is not unusual. To Play Again is sort of an extended curriculum vitae and is not that much different in style than the bios included in concert programs about soloists and composers. What would make To Play Again more accessible to readers who are not classical music or opera aficionados would be a glossary of musical terms.