Why I’d love to See More Classical Musicians in Romance Books


We’ve all read rock star romances, right? I love them. Heck, I’ve written one as well. Rock stars make perfect characters. They can be arrogant, passionate and are driven to create.

I’ve often wondered why we don’t see more of the world of classical music in romance books. After all, it’s the same dynamic in a different setting.

Full disclosure: it’s a world I know and love. I studied vocal performance at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music and worked as a classical soprano in a Toronto chamber ensemble for a while before I had my family. Beautiful music was my reason for living, and I recall some of those experiences in my own writing. I burrowed for hours at a time in musty rooms, practicing the same passages over and over. I experienced all the excitement and insecurities in working with talented people. I got to meet brilliant conductors and composers. There were incredible highs and devastating lows.

In short, lots of potential for conflict.

One only need watch a few episodes of Mozart in the Jungle to appreciate this world of ego and ambition. It perfectly encapsulates everything I know about classical musicians. Bonus: you can drool over Gael Garcia Bernal with me.

I’ve heard some say classical music is elitist, even inaccessible. However, the works of many great classical composers were the pop songs of their day, and today’s music owes much to them.  

Let’s return to the idea of ego and personality. Most classical musicians have studied their craft for years, if not decades. They attend numerous auditions in which their talents are analyzed and judged. They devote countless hours to honing their skills. And, if all goes well, they get to hear adoring crowds burst into applause. So, yes, ego is involved. If you take the average orchestra, you will find a wonderful microcosm of society, the good and the bad. You will encounter hard work, fear, triumph, backstabbing, excess and passion.

Isn’t it delicious?

There are some wonderful romance books out there that explore this intriguing world. Here’s the fun part, where I get to share them with you!

Kate McMurray’s The Stars that Tremble features an opera legend whose career is cut short by a vocal injury.

In Graphite and Glitter by Shae Connor, the love interest is an orchestra violinist.

Lauren E. Rico’s Reverie makes beautiful music with a romance between a cellist and a French horn player.

Stacey Agdern’s novella Crossing the Lines (in Icing the Puck) blends the worlds of hockey and classical violin.

I hope you enjoy these stories! As for me, I’ll be right over here with Gael Garcia Bernal, binge-watching another few episodes of Mozart in the Jungle. Bravo!

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1 thought on “Why I’d love to See More Classical Musicians in Romance Books”

  1. Kathleen Swayze

    I’m working on one, it’s a NA romance about a violinist, called Mary Anne’s Rhapsody! And my friend, Claire Handscombe just published a YA romance about a violist, called Girl, Unstrung!! Thank you for posting the above list! Looks like I have some reading to do!

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