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January 14, 2013

Alan Rusbridger writes new book on his passion for the piano

By William Turvill

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger will have a new book describing his passion for the piano published this week.

Play it Again, which comes out on Thursday, describes how Rusbridger managed to fit in 20 minutes of practice every day over a busy news year.

He was inspired to learn Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 after hearing a fellow amateur’s rendition at a ‘piano camp’ in the summer of 2010.

Rusbridger then set himself the challenge of learning the piece over the space of a year that saw the Arab Spring, Wikileaks, the phone-hacking scandal and the English riots.

The editor describes in his book how he received assistance from famous pianists, theorists, historians and neuroscientists.

One section of the book, published here in The Guardian, describes a trip to Libya during the civil war when Rusbridger was attempting to secure the release of one of his reporters.

During the visit he negotiated with Colonel Gaddafi’s ministers, was trailed by “spooks” and practiced piano in a deserted hotel.

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