June 1941: Nazi troops surround the city of Leningrad, planning to shell and starve the people into submission. Most of the cultural elite is evacuated, but the famous composer Shostakovich stays behind to defend his city. That winter, the bleakest in Russian history, the Party orders Karl Eliasberg, the shy, difficult conductor of a second-rate orchestra, to prepare for the task of a lifetime. He is to conduct a performance of Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony - a haunting, defiant new piece, which will be relayed by loudspeakers to the front lines. Eliasberg's musicians are starving, and scarcely have the strength to carry their instruments. But for five freezing months the conductor stubbornly drives on his musicians, depriving those who falter of their bread rations. Slowly the music begins to dissolve the nagging hunger, the exploding streets, the slow deaths ... but at what cost? Eliasberg's relationships are strained, obsession takes hold, and his orchestra is growing weaker. Now, it's a struggle not just to perform but to stay alive.

Genre: Thriller

Praise for this book

"A superb book - an extraordinary period of history brought to life by a daring novelist." - Lloyd Jones


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Used availability for Sarah Quigley's The Conductor

Hardback Editions

July 2012 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Conductor
Author(s): Sarah Quigley
ISBN: 1-908800-02-X / 978-1-908800-02-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Head of Zeus
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January 2011 : New Zealand Hardback
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Title: The Conductor
Author(s): Sarah Quigley
ISBN: 1-86979-506-7 / 978-1-86979-506-1 (New Zealand edition)
Publisher: Vintage Books
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Paperback Editions

June 2014 : Canada Paperback
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Title: The Conductor
Author(s): Sarah Quigley
ISBN: 1-4434-1310-0 / 978-1-4434-1310-7 (Canada edition)
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


1827 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Conductor
Author(s): Sarah Quigley
ISBN: 1-908800-42-9 / 978-1-908800-42-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Head of Zeus
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December 2012 : Canada Paperback
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Title: The Conductor
Author(s): Sarah Quigley
ISBN: 1-4434-1309-7 / 978-1-4434-1309-1 (Canada edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


July 2012 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Conductor
Author(s): Sarah Quigley
ISBN: 1-908800-03-8 / 978-1-908800-03-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

September 2012 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Conductor
Author(s): Sarah Quigley
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon   


September 2012 : UK Audio edition
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Title: The Conductor
Author(s): Sarah Quigley
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

December 2012 : Canada Kindle edition
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Title: The Conductor
Author(s): Sarah Quigley
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Availability: Amazon CA   


July 2012 : UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Conductor
Author(s): Sarah Quigley
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Availability: Amazon UK   


August 2011 : Australia Kindle edition
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Title: The Conductor
Author(s): Sarah Quigley
Publisher: Random House New Zealand
Availability: Amazon AU