John  Suchet


John's new book "Tchaikovsky: The Man Revealed", is the latest in his collection of great music masters - Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss, Verdi and now Tchaikovsky.

Tchaikovsky: The Man Revealed

A tortured genius, a sensitive soul, a great composer burdened by the weight of his private desires.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s life – and premature death – has long been mythologised and misunderstood. John Suchet draws back the curtain to show us the real man behind the music.

A shy, emotional child, Tchaikovsky came late to composing as a career. Doubting himself at every turn and keenly wounded by criticism, he went on to become one of the world’s best-loved composers. Yet behind the success lay sadness: the death of his mother haunted him all his life, while his incessant attempts to suppress his homosexuality took a huge toll.

From his disastrous marriage to his extraordinary relationship with his female patron, his many amorous liaisons and his devotion to friends and family, Suchet shows us how the complexity of Tchaikovsky’s emotional life plays out in his music. Long hidden behind sanitised depictions by his brother and the Russian authorities, Tchaikovsky: The Man Revealed examines the complex and contradictory character of this great artist, and how he came to take his rightful place among the world’s greatest composers.

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Tchaikovsky - by John Suchet

Verdi: The Man Revealed

Giuseppe Verdi remains the greatest operatic composer that Italy, the home of opera, has ever produced. Yet throughout his lifetime he claimed to detest composing and repeatedly rejected it. He was a landowner, a farmer, a politician and symbol of Italian independence; but his music tells a different story.

An obsessive perfectionist, Verdi drove collaborators to despair but his works were rightly lauded from the start as dazzling feats of composition and characterisation. From Rigoletto to Otello, La Traviatato to Aida, Verdi's canon encompassed the full range of human emotion. His private life was no less complex: he suffered great loss, and went out of his way to antagonise many erstwhile supporters, including his own family. An outspoken advocate of Italian independence and a sharp critic of the church, he was at odds with nineteenth-century society and paid the price.

In Verdi: The Man Revealed, John Suchet attempts to get under the skin of perhaps the most private composer who ever lived. Unpicking his protestations, his deliberate embellishments and disingenuous disavowals, he reveals the contradictory and sometimes curmudgeonly character of this great artist, convicted throughout much of his life but ultimately unable to walk away from the art for which he will be forever known.

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Verdi - by John Suchet

Motzart, the Man Revealed

The musical genius who died young, depriving the world of future glories. In this revelatory biography John examines the myths and misunderstandings surrounding the world's best-loved composer.

Through trials and tribulations, success and setback, John reveals the real Mozart - blessed with an abundance of talent yet sometimes struggling to earn a living. His mischievous nature and earthy sense of humour, his ease and confidence in his own incredible abilities; these were traits that never left him.

Mozart's music has brought comfort to countless generations. His life, though brief, is no less fascinating.

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Mozart - by John Suchet

The Last Waltz -
The Strauss Dynasty and Vienna

Amidst family drama, tension and triumphs, The Last Waltz tells the intriguing story of two generations of the Viennese family that produced some of the best known and loved music of the 19th century. The two 'Waltz Kings', along with the rest of the family, composed hundreds of instantly recognisable and enduring melodies, including The Blue Danube Waltz, Tales from the Vienna Woods, Voices of Spring and The Radetzky March. As the 20th century dawned, an emperor ill-equipped for leadership struggled to maintain the exalted place of the Austro-Hungarian empire on the European stage, while enduring more personal tragedy than any man should have to bear.

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The Last Waltz - by John Suchet
The Sunday Times

Beethoven - The Man Revealed

In Beethoven - The Man Revealed, John Suchet brings to life the complex nature of one of the greatest musicians this world has ever known. He reveals how Beethoven struggled to continue his great work amidst a backdrop of war against France, his increasing deafness and the extremes of his personality which confused and alienated those closest to him. True genius comes at a price and in this full length biography, John sensitively portrays the man behind the music.

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Beethoven - The Man Revealed - by John Suchet

My Bonnie

John's revelation that his beautiful wife Bonnie, the love of his
life, was suffering from Dementia brought an outpouring of sympathy and concern. His book My Bonnie is a moving
and honest account of one man's love, loneliness and despair.

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My Bonnie by John Suchet

Treasures of Beethoven

In August 2008 John published his fifth book on Beethoven, Treasures of Beethoven, commissioned by Carlton Books/André Deutsch. This is a unique look into Beethoven’s life. The book contains facsimiles of original documents, such as the Heiligenstadt Testament, the Letter to the Immortal Beloved, as well as other letters, manuscripts and musical sketches. These can be removed from the page, unfolded and studied. The book also contains several hundred portraits, drawings, landscapes, and pictures of artefacts.

Treasures of Beethoven by John Suchet

The book is handsomely produced and comes in an elegant slipcase.

As with all John’s books, it is available from and, as well as in bookshops.

Classic FM Friendly Guide to Beethoven

In January 2006 Classic FM radio, to which John is a frequent contributor, commissioned him to write their Classic FM Friendly Guide to Beethoven. The book, with contributions from Classic FM’s Station Manager, was published in August 2006.

The Classic FM Friendly Guide differs from all the many thousands of books on Beethoven, in that it concentrates primarily on Beethoven’s life. This is a book for every lover of Beethoven’s music. It will tell you whether Beethoven was in love when he wrote a particular piece, or where he was living. What was the inspiration? What effect did his deafness have on his life and music? Who were his friends and loves? Did he drink too much?

This book brings you Beethoven the man. The Friendly Guide is available from bookshops, as well as from and

Classic FM Friendly Guide to Beethoven by John Suchet

The Last Master

John’s trilogy The Last Master, a three-part biographical novel of Beethoven, was published to great acclaim in the late 1990’s.

The three books, written as a series of novels but sticking scrupulously to the known facts, bring Beethoven’s personality to life, set against the turbulent backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars.

The three novels in The Last Master series are available from, and as a special order from bookshops. Tell your local bookshop to order them from publishers Time Warner. Sadly the boxed set is no longer available.

Passion and Anger
Volume 1

The Last Master is a magnificent fictional biography of Ludwig van Beethoven, arguably the greatest composer of all time. Beginning before his birth and ending with the famous Heiligenstadt Testament of 1802, Beethoven's acknowledgement that his deafness was incurable, the opening volume follows the prodigy as he emerges from the shadow of his father's thwarted ambitions to cultivate his own unique place in the musical life of Vienna, Europe's musical capital but a city caught up in the war against Napoleon.

John Suchet brilliantly re-creates the defining experiences on Beethoven's path to greatness. His first public performance at the age of seven; how he dazzled Mozart on their one and only meeting; his father's descent into alcoholism and his mother's tragic early death; and, as if mourning a brother, the devastation Mozart's death effected on the 22-year-old Beethoven's personality and developing musical vision.

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Passion and Anger - Vol 1 of The Last Master by John Suchet

Passion and Pain
Volume 2

Passion and Pain, the second volume, depicts the composer at the height of his powers - yet all the time beset by his deafness, the greatest tragedy of his life. Famous throughout Europe, championed by wealthy patrons, sought out by other musicians, Beethoven's triumphs and frustrations are shared with the reader as he composes and performs the towering works of the 'heroic period' - the 'Eroica' Symphony, the 'Emperor' Concerto, the Fifth and the 'Appassionata' Sonata - and as he struggles alone in the middle of the night to hear the great music he is creating.

We learn of the great love of his life, his 'Eternally Beloved', meet the loyal friends who eased the suffering of the genius among them, encounter Johanna, the sister-in-law he despises, and witness the invasion of Vienna by French forces, as Beethoven seeks shelter from the shells in his brother's cellar. Written as a novel, though strictly in accordance with the known facts, Passion and Pain is a monumental narrative.

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Passion and Pain, vol 2 Last Master by John Suchet

Passion and Glory
Volume 3

In Passion and Glory, the concluding volume, the reader witnesses the great dramas of the composer's last years. This is the era of the 'Battle' Symphony, the Seventh, and the 'Ode To Joy', of monumental pieces composed in solitude and performed with ferocious energy. After his love for his 'Eternally Beloved' is consigned to the past, we witness Beethoven's return to Vienna in 1812, a period of glorious creativity amid a city celebrating the defeat of Napoleon. But we also see a genius, divinely blessed, being unjustly punished as disease ravages Ludwig's body and he becomes increasingly deaf.

Through a vivid narrative culminating in the remarkable moment of his death on 26 March 1827, the 'raging at the fates' epiphany, John Suchet invests Beethoven with a tragic grandeur missing from conventional biographies and brings to stunning life the extraordinary story of the Last Master's personal anguish and artistic triumph.

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Passion and Glory, vol 3 of The Last Master by John Suchet

John Suchet and his latest book 'Tchaikovsky'
'Tchaikovsky: The Man Revealed'
John Suchet

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