When Lesley is sent to Venice to interview world-renowned violinist Paulo Levi on his fiftieth birthday, she cannot believe her luck. She is told that she can ask him anything at all – except the Mozart question.
But it is Paulo himself who decides that it is time for the truth to be told. And so follows the story of his parents as Jewish prisoners of war, forced to play Mozart violin concertos for the enemy; how they watched fellow Jews being led off to their deaths and knew that they were playing for their lives.
As the story unfolds, the journalist begins to understand the full horror of war, and how one group of musicians survived using the only weapon they had – music.