Andre Tchaikowsky was only 46 when he died, internationally renowned as a pianist - and he made the headlines after his death when he left his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company for use in performances of Hamlet. Yet for all his facility at the keyboard Tchaikowsky's real passion was composition. The internal conflict between pianist and composer compounded an already complex character. A Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor, Tchaikowsky was also a homosexual. The diaries he kept between 1974 and his death chronicle the struggles that ran through his life. Debt kept driving him back to the concert platform when his true wish was to find the time to compose. His spirited writing details the joys and vicissitudes of his life with striking candour. The diaries are introduced and annotated by Anastasia Belina-Johnson, who also provides a chronology of Tchaikowsky's life and a survey of his music. Includes a CD of the pianist in recital.Anastasia Belina-Johnson is Head of Classical Music at the Leeds College of Music.