Shinichi Suzuki, of the eponymous Suzuki Method, debunked Western stereotypes about "authentic" classical performance while transforming music education globally. Yet as Eri Hotta shows, his movement was about much more than developing music skills. A committed humanist, he aspired to nurture the potential, musical or otherwise, in every child.
Tokyo-born historian Eri Hotta takes on the life story of the man who made the mini-masters. But, as often happens with books pointing to big questions, the most interesting stuff points back at smaller or, anyway, more particular ones ... A fascinating study.
Hotta begins Suzuki midway through her subject’s life ... Hotta is an unobtrusive narrator whose personal anecdotes are like grace notes on the larger score of Suzuki’s life ... In Ms. Hotta’s experience we can descry the origins of the fearsome stereotype.
[Hotta's] story of Shinichi Suzuki is clearly and well written, a great life story and, though her subject lived almost a century and she seems to have left out nothing important, is no longer than it needed to be ... Notwithstanding her admiration for Suzuki’s character, ideas, and methods, Hotta is clear-eyed about what she sees as an unrealism, perhaps even naivete, in his approach.