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Alan Rusbridger

September 25, 2013

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Alan Rusbridger in 7 Words:*
Amateur musician and professional journalist, both essential.

* Great people in 7 Words: http://goo.gl/bl6HcF

 

Alan Rusbridger, Editor-in-Chief of the Guardian, will discuss his quest to learn Chopin's Ballade No. 1 during a year bookended by Wikileaks and the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. He will also describe the Guardian's recent publication of Edward Snowden's NSA leaks.

As a boy, he was a cathedral chorister, a reasonable orchestral clarinetist and a very mediocre pianist. He failed to be a world-class conductor, abandoned the organ and put his clarinets in the attic. In his mid 40s he restarted piano lessons and tried to make up for more than 30 years of missing technique. Since then, he has moved from ‘very mediocre’ to ‘mediocre’. In the summer of 2010, he was able to make his annual escape to 'piano camp'. Here, inspired by another amateur's rendition, he set himself an almost impossible task: to learn, in the space of a year, Chopin's Ballade No.1, arguably the most challenging one-movement piece ever composed, with passages that demand outstanding feats of dexterity, control, memory and power. Not to mention musicianship. 

Play It Again is Alan Rusbridger's account of an extraordinary challenge and an extraordinary year.

Alan Rusbridger is Editor-in-Chief of the Guardian and a keen amateur musician.  After reading English at Cambridge he started on a local newspaper and tried his hand at a range of journalistic jobs – including reporter, columnist, critic, foreign correspondent, magazine editor and features editor. He became editor of the Guardian in 1995 and oversaw the integration of the paper and digital operations. During his time editing the Guardian the paper has won numerous awards and has grown to be the third largest English-speaking newspaper website in the world.  He led the paper's coverage of the secret WikiLeaks cables and the Guardian's campaign to get at the truth about phone hacking, which led to numerous resignations, the closure of the News of the World and the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the British press. The Guardian has recently broken world exclusive stories by publishing NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden. Rusbridger was awarded the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism by Harvard's Joan Shorenstein Centre and received the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in the cause of press freedom from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Find out more about Alan and the Ballade at www.alanrusbridger.com

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