Brookline Man Publishes Children's Book On Beethoven Written 51 Years Ago

Photo: Suzanne Sausville / WBZ NewsRadio

BROOKLINE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A Brookline man has found a publisher for a children's book on the famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven that he and his wife wrote more than half a century ago.

91-year-old Michael Gruenbaum says he was rummaging through an old box when he came across half a dozen of stories that he and late wife, Thelma, had written for their three sons in 1970. Upon the rediscovery, Gruenbaum took he and his partner's lost works and pitched them as one book, named Tell Me About Beethoven, to 230 literary agents and publishers across the globe.

Finally, in the new millennium, Great Britain-based publisher Austin Macauley said 'yes' to the idea, and Tell Me About Beethoven was released earlier this spring.

Gruenbaum, a Holocaust survivor and Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, told WBZ's Suzanne Sausville that the book's publication was a feat of persistence akin to Beethoven's own career.

"I had completely forgotten about it, I thought 'I have to do something with it.' There was no sense in having it sit in a box, so I wanted to see if I could share this with other people around the world," Gruenbaum said.

He says the effort was motivated to teach children more about the composer, but also in part by Thelma's excellent skill as a writer, something to be celebrated as her words hit print for the first time.

"Hooray! She finally got published," Gruenbaum said.

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Tell Me About Beethoven features the couple's original work alongside colorful illustrations provided by the independent publisher, Austin Macauley.

"They have a team of illustrators that provided for the text, I think the illustrations are fabulous- I'm very happy about it," Gruenbaum said.

The inspiration for the piece, the co-author says, was to highlight the German musician's accomplishments despite being deaf.

"It's amazing to me how Beethoven could compose the Symphony No. 9, you know, that's the final piece at Tanglewood every season they play the ninth symphony," Gruenbaum said.

WBZ's Suzanne Sausville (@wbzSausville) reports.

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