Archive for the ‘Inspirations’ Category

The joy of Mendelssohn

Posted by Susan Tomes on 31 May 2011 under Concerts, Inspirations, Musings  •  9 Comments

The July issue of Classic FM magazine, just out, is devoted to ‘discovering the genius of Mendelssohn’. They asked me to write a little ‘artist’s view’ of playing Mendelssohn’s piano music, and my article is on p48. For those who don’t have the chance to buy the magazine, here’s what I wrote: ‘The other day, I was […]

Fame’s feathery crowbar

Posted by Susan Tomes on 27 May 2011 under Daily Life, Inspirations  •  4 Comments

My days of being able to be knocked down by a feather are past, but you could have knocked me down with a full-grown marrow, or possibly a crusty baguette, when I discovered that my birthday was the featured one in The Times’ birthday column on Thursday, at the bottom of the  letters page, with a wee photo […]

Remembering Jacob

Posted by Susan Tomes on 5 May 2011 under Concerts, Daily Life, Inspirations  •  8 Comments

A few weeks ago I attended an astonishing concert given by the pianist Jacob Barnes and three of his friends from the Royal Academy of Music. Jacob had been suffering from a rare kind of leukaemia for two years. His presence on the platform was a source of wonder and trepidation to everyone who had […]


Posted by Susan Tomes on 21 April 2011 under Daily Life, Inspirations  •  Leave a comment

The azaleas, camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons are nearly all out now in Richmond Park. Although most of the park is just green, there’s an enclosed park-within-a-park called the Isabella Plantation. Why is it called Isabella? It seems that ‘Isabel’ is an word from the Middle Ages meaning ‘dingy yellow’, possibly a reference to the colour […]

Jane Austen’s house

Posted by Susan Tomes on 30 March 2011 under Daily Life, Inspirations  •  Leave a comment

Here I am standing outside Jane Austen’s house in Chawton, Hampshire. It was touching to see the quiet village in which Jane lived with her sister Cassandra and her mother, and to read about the circumstances which left the three of them dependent on the kindness of male relatives. It was also, of course, infuriating […]