Archive for the ‘Inspirations’ Category

Malcolm Bowie Memorial Lecture on Saturday

Posted by Susan Tomes on 23 January 2014 under Books, Inspirations  •  3 Comments

On Saturday I’m giving this year’s Malcolm Bowie Memorial Lecture for the British Comparative Literature Association. My subject is ‘Music and memory – a musician’s perspective’. The lecture is free and open to the public. It takes place at 3pm in Deptford Town Hall in London on 25 January and will last for around an [...]

A mention in the New York Times

Posted by Susan Tomes on 1 January 2014 under Daily Life, Inspirations  •  2 Comments

Friends in America have alerted me to an interesting article in the New York Times of 31 December 2013: ‘Maestro at Work: Hold That Cough’. Written by NY Times music critic Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, it’s about the tickly – sorry, tricky – issue of coughing in concerts. In the fourth paragraph she quotes from one [...]

Vocabulary

Posted by Susan Tomes on 13 December 2013 under Daily Life, Inspirations  •  1 Comment

The BBC2 series ‘Masterchef‘ has come to an end with Steven Edwards winning the title. One of the competitors’ final tasks was to cook for a roomful of distinguished chefs, well known from Michelin-starred restaurants around the UK. This is always a fascinating event, partly because of the way these leading chefs talk about food. [...]

Butterflies

Posted by Susan Tomes on 5 December 2013 under Concerts, Inspirations, Musings  •  Leave a comment

I’ve been practising Schumann’s ‘Papillons’, a cycle of piano pieces containing various motifs and references which reappear in his later piano music. It seems that for Schumann, butterflies were associated with the novels of Jean Paul, one of his favourite authors, who often wrote about the soul’s struggle to resolve its identity. In fact, the [...]

Cognitive advantage

Posted by Susan Tomes on 21 September 2013 under Concerts, Daily Life, Inspirations  •  1 Comment

A doctor friend has sent me an excerpt from the current edition of the British Medical Journal in which their writer ‘Minerva’ reports: ‘Great composers have tended to die young, but great performing musicians often carry on getting better as they get older. An article in PLOS One (2013 doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071630) asks whether older professional [...]