Slater, Harrison Gradwell

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SLATER, Harrison Gradwell


Male. Education: Boston University, B.A., 1972, M.A., 1977; Harvard University, C.A.S., 1987; Brandeis University, Ph.D., 1995.


Home—192 Commonwealth Ave., Apartment 4, Boston, MA 02116; 39 Devon Road, Mount Holly, NJ 08060.


Concert pianist, musicologist, and author. Guest on numerous radio and television programs


In Mozart's Footsteps, Paragon House (New York, NY), 1991.

NightMusic, Harcourt (New York, NY), 2002.

Contributor of numerous articles to books and periodicals. Recorded music CD, 2003.


Harrison Gradwell Slater has a Ph.D. in musicology and is internationally known as a concert pianist. His scholarly writings include the book In Mozart's Footsteps, about the travels of the young composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with his father. He has also discovered previously unpublished Mozart documents. When Slater wrote his first novel, the murder mystery NightMusic, these accomplishments helped him create a convincing picture of the classical music world, dramatically beautiful European settings, and a detailed understanding of the life of Mozart.

In NightMusic, penniless American musicologist Dr. Matthew Pierce finds an eighteenth-century manuscript that may be the diary of a young Mozart. In the process of trying to authenticate the document, he is invited to meet with the Fondation de l'Art eternal, a wealthy and enigmatic organization that gives financial support to musicians and scholars. Pierce finds himself in a sumptuous French palace surrounded by a volatile mix of performers, musicologists, nobility, and businessmen. Personal and professional jealousies abound, as he proceeds to travel across Europe with the group. A series of murders takes place and the young musicologist fears for his life. Pierce's adventures are presented in six sections, which mirrors Mozart's own travels in Europe.

In reviewing NightMusic, Library Journal's Barbara Conaty wrote, "Resounding with light echoes of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey … reader[s] … will relish this oratorio of crime and commerce." Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe remarked, "Slater gets as close as anyone can to reproducing in prose the sound and effect of some of Mozart's music, which provides a soundtrack to the action." A Publishers Weekly reviewer recommended the work as "a treat" for Mozart lovers, given the author's "exquisite" use of historical detail.



Booklist October 15, 2002, Bill Ott, review of Night-Music, p. 392.

Boston Globe, April 1, 2003, Richard Dyer, review of NightMusic.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2002, review of NightMusic, p. 1180.

Library Journal November 15, 2002, Barbara Conaty, review of NightMusic, p. 103.

Publishers Weekly, September 23, 2002, review of NightMusic, p. 53.


Denver Post, (January 5, 2003), Tom and Enid Schantz, review of NightMusic.