The Last Protégée, A Memoir of Uncertain Verisimilitude a Spellbinding New Book by Writer Nancy Deeds Resler

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A young protégée’s dreams of a career as a classical pianist are eroded and wither through her relationship with her famous and forceful teacher, Antonia Brico.

Writer and creative writing teacher Nancy Deeds Resler has released a spellbinding memoir “The Last Protégée” about her years as a classical pianist and her relationship with her famous and forceful teacher Antonia Brico. Benicia Herald calls the recently released book a "captivating memoir" and a "disturbing and beautiful read".

The famous musical maestro scanned the prairie and mountains around Denver for potential protégés and found one in a small dust bowl farm town. The Last Protégée is the story of this 60-year relationship. Antonio Brico was the famous woman conductor and musician who had guest conducted the Berlin Symphony before the war and later the first woman to conduct the New York Philharmonic before moving to Denver in 1942. Nancy Deeds was an eleven-year old with four years of piano lessons from local teachers behind her. An auspicious audition with the great woman changed Nancy’s life forever – summer solo recitals, two West Coast tours with her teacher, and her piano debut at age 14 with the Denver Businessmen’s Symphony. The mystery is why Nancy walked away from her dreams at the age of eighteen – a short year before she was scheduled to debut with the Brussels Symphony and the start of an extensive European tour. Told through a mosaic of fact and imagination, The Last Protégée reveals the extraordinary power and emotional depth of Dr. Brico’s influence on over half a century of Nancy’s life.

The Last Protégée is an eloquent coming of age story as well as a post modern memoir-detective story . . . After being “specially selected for great things,” “hitched to a star”, the young girl resists self-annihilation, resists turning over her soul to the great teacher, the domineering conductor, Antonia Brico. With an eye of a visual artist and the voice of a poet, Resler creates a provocative and powerful image of the unshakeable Antonia Brico and her “last protégée”.
Barbara Henning, A Swift Passage

About the Author:
Nancy Deeds Resler grew up in Colorado where she began piano lessons from local teachers at the age of seven. She moved to California in 1969. After graduating from San Francisco State, she wrote product and restaurant reviews and edited copy for Bay Food and Wine magazine. After moving from the Bay Area to the Sacramento Valley, Ms. Resler initiated UC Davis, Extensions’ online Humanities creative writing classes which she taught for ten years. Currently she writes essays for artists’ exhibition catalogs and privately coaches and teaches creative writing courses online (

For booking presentations, media appearances, interviews, or book-signings, or to request a review copy of The Last Protégée, please email the author at nlresler(at)gmail(dot)com.

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