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B o o k s



A compelling trilogy of memoirs by

Paul Cassidy and Jacqueline Thomas

A trilogy of hugely entertaining memoirs, recounting the fascinating fifty-year history of the Brodsky Quartet,

is available to buy through Troubador Publishing.

In the industrial heartland of England’s north-east a string quartet is formed by four kids, including ten-year-old Jacqueline Thomas.

Her book Jacksons, Monk & Rowe and the Brodsky Quartet paints a vivid picture of the passion and drive behind the early years. 

Meanwhile, Paul Cassidy is growing up in war-torn Northern Ireland. “Get Beethoven!” and its sequel, Got Beethoven, recount his turbulent early years, his escape through music to London – joining the quartet as they embarked on professional life – and the story of the next forty astonishing years in the group’s long history.

Go to for a fun picture gallery to accompany Paul's books.

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"Get Beethoven!" 

a memoir 

by Paul Cassidy

A comic book character is born, the youngest of sixteen, into a war torn country. Facing extreme brutality at school and on the streets, not to mention the oppression of the Catholic Church, he finds music. Armed with a violin and a burning passion, he escapes the madness and sets off to pursue his dreams.


“Get Beethoven!” is the inspirational story of Paul Cassidy’s life. Overcoming adversity in his younger years, Paul recounts tragedy, joy, horror and humour. Informative and entertaining, the book charts his journey up to joining the Brodsky Quartet in 1982.

 Readers' comments on

"Get Beethoven!":

"Candid, funny, inspiring... A brilliant read, had me in stitches."

"I was in tears one minute and laughing out loud the next."

"COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!! It's like a juicier, more complex Billy Elliot! Just buy it and thank me later."

"A wildly funny, searingly honest, beautifully told memoir." 

Sara Mohr-Pietsch

Broadcaster BBC, writer, curator.

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Got Beethoven 

My First 40 Years with the Brodsky Quartet

by Paul Cassidy

Plenty of teenagers dream about becoming a rock star but how many 10yr olds dream about becoming a world-beating string quartet, and then go ahead and do it? Following on from Paul Cassidy's popular prequel, "Get Beethoven!", Got Beethoven is a brutally honest and relentlessly entertaining account of what it’s like to be in a band. All the fun, angst, rewards and toil are brought to life and given the authority that can only come from actually living the life.

The quartet’s unique fifty year history and ground-breaking musical journey means that on the same page we can enjoy tales involving such diverse artists as, Sting, Anne Sophie von Otter, Bjork or Maria Joao Pires. Their global travels release strikingly diverse adventures from Kings College Cambridge to Roskilde, Montreux to St. James’ Palace.

With something for everyone, Paul Cassidy’s highly personal story manages to be factual and informative whilst remaining infectiously entertaining. Suitable for all readers, from the autobiography lovers to those who just love a great story!

""Derry Girls" meets "Composer of the Week" by way of "Young Werther" in this candid, funny, inspiring story. Give your Netflix and Prime a rest for a few hours - get a vibrant slice of life in this memoir of one enterprising, open-eyed man's youthful adventures on the way to a lifetime in music ... you'll not regret the investment."

by Dermot McCauley

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Jacksons, Monk & Rowe 

and the Brodsky Quartet

'the formative years'

by Jacqueline Thomas

How many ten-year-olds form a string quartet which goes on to world renown and lasts for half a century (and counting)?

In the industrial heartland of the North East, Middlesbrough is frequently dubbed the arsehole of England, the least-desirable place to live. Yet there, in the seventies, was a thriving classical music scene out of which emerged the world-famous Brodsky Quartet who, now approaching their 50th anniversary, have built a starlit reputation for their live performances and over 70 acclaimed recordings.

Jacqueline Thomas is the little girl who began this quartet and she remains its cellist to this day. Her memoir tells the story of the first ten formative years, with insight into the passion and fervour surrounding music-making on all levels, many amusing and sometimes hilarious extracts from her teen diaries, the single-minded obsession with their Art and the ambition to make it a success. With a distinct flavour of the 1970s, her teen-self also grapples with the gender inequalities endemic in the music world back then.

The quirky title, from the author’s childhood nickname, is finally explained - a bonus for fans of The Juliet Letters, the album they co-wrote with Elvis Costello.

"I'm not sure someone who plays the cello so beautifully should also be able to write so well. It just seems unfair."

Andrew Ford

Composer, writer, Broadcaster ABC

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