The Next Beethoven
Is classical music a dying art? If so, can it be revitalized? How come there hasn’t been a classical composer in recent decades whose music appeals to a wide audience, as did Mozart’s and Beethoven’s music? Are there aspects of contemporary society preventing great accomplishment in music composition, or more generally in the arts? The Next Beethoven explores these questions in a story about a fictional young composer with great potential.
David Green is a millennial virtuoso pianist and composer, who aspires to become a great composer. He also has the more ambitious goal of starting a Second Renaissance, and organizes a group of like-minded New York City artists who want to restore art to its European glory days. Clinical psychologist Bill Leornig is David’s girlfriend’s faculty advisor at NYU. As the Second Renaissance group unravels, and David becomes depressed, Leornig must decide whether to help David. The book includes the novel and four short stories.
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"The Next Beethoven strikes a deep and distinct chord with the reader. The topic of mental illness is explored in all complexity and emotion. David is not always an easy person to like, yet the reader sympathizes with his plight. The author writes his characters deftly and compassionately. This is an emotional roller coaster of a read. A-plus work."—San Francisco Book Review [Warning—this review has plot spoilers]
"Characters grapple with the meaning of art and the weight of their choices in this debut collection of the title novel and four short stories. … Magnet’s best moments come as he shows how ideas crystalize into harmful dogmas. A character’s obsession with Objectivism turns him into an egoist ready to toss aside anything 'irrational,' including relationships and schoolwork. … [Readers] will see intriguing questions being asked about the unquestioned dominance of styles now a century old, the ability of any single artist to shake norms, and the connections between creativity and mental illness."—Booklife Reviews [Warning—this review has plot spoilers]
"A debut novel takes on the academic and cultural establishment, especially in New York City. Young David Green is a lavishly talented pianist and composer. He is also a rebel, disgusted with modernism and postmodernism in music (and the other arts). His self-appointed mission is to turn back the clock and revive the classical music—Romantic, most of all—that he loves. … Readers who share the protagonist’s cultural passion—his crusade, really—may enjoy this tale."—Kirkus Reviews [Warning—this review has plot spoilers]
"As the title suggests, the novel has a heavy musical component; one that is close to my heart. It explores what made classical music great against its seeming demise at the hand of modern mediocrity; the beautiful melodic compositions of the past against the acceptance of atonal and unmelodic works under the rubric of modernism. … I loved this novel, and I love Harry Magnet’s technically perfect writing style. I think you would too. Five stars!"—Dan Santos, Amazon
"I sincerely hope that this gets the traction that it deserves because this book went above and beyond. It's dark, it's thoughtful, and it's utterly unapologetic. David, our protagonist, is an ambitious youth with his heart set on bringing classical music back to relevance. This book is about the struggle of what is vs. what was and how the two can intersect."—Jacob Hobbs, Amazon
"The author beautifully portreys a musical virtuoso who worries there is no longer a place for him in this modern world. It is beautifully written, at times dark but always optimistic and inspiring."—Julia Clem, Amazon
"This is a wonderfully powerful read full of nostalgic melancholy which carries you through darkness to the light!"—Sunshine Ink, Amazon