Edward Cahill Biography Completed

Eddie Cahill and his Ridgeback bitch 'Noni' in Somerset West, South Africa 1952.  

When she felt she had heard enough of his practicing, she would place her paws on the keys as above to indicate 'Enough!"

Photography by the distinguished English travel writer H.V.Morton, a friend of Edward Cahill.

Just to say briefly to the 'happy few' who may be following this blog that the first draft of my biography of my great-uncle the brilliant Australian concert pianist Edward Cahill (1885-1975) announced in June this year has now been fully edited and completely revised. The work has been recast from being a straight biography to the far more entertaining form of a 'family quest', the subject of the search being my great-uncle. 

The story is so similar  to that of Billy Elliot. An artist emerges from a humble working class background full of prejudice but with extraordinary artistic perseverance and courage triumphs. The difference is that the experience of his formative years takes place in another country (Australia) and in different art (music). This the story of a man wanting to play the piano as a career in outback Australia, a macho, unapologetically masculine late nineteenth century Australia and the prejudices he battled against in the family, in his home town but culminating in adulation in aristocratic circles in Europe. 

The quest into the background of this relation of mine certainly turned up some unexpected treasures and unsettling insights into myself! This journey of discovery - planetary travel, researching, writing and reading has taken me 5 years.

Now I must attempt to traverse the treacherous cliff face of publication in 2015, a year of unprecedented transition in the publishing industry. I have managed to find an Australian publisher who seems ideal to me given the nature of this work and he is sympathetic to the cause of making a forgotten pianist known once again. Still the beginning of a long road...

I feel that today in publishing we are experiencing a change at least as revolutionary as that from monastic  illuminated manuscripts painted on vellum to the numberless reproductions of text possible on the Gutenberg Press.

The extraordinary private recordings from 1955 of Cahill's playing that miraculously survived the war  are performed on a Grotrian Steinweg instrument (especially commissioned by him from the Braunschweig factory) can be heard here:

Edward Cahill plays Chopin and Liszt :

Edward Cahill in Montreux 1940

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