Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

How to listen to everything

Posted by Susan Tomes on 3 April 2016 under Musings  •  2 Comments

I’m reading Ben Ratliff’s ‘Every Song Ever’, an intriguing guide to how to get the most out of the huge range of recorded music now freely available. If I understand him correctly, he feels that there has been a shift from ‘the composer’ to ‘the listener’ at the top of the musical pyramid. Perhaps this is a […]




Status, yes/no

Posted by Susan Tomes on 19 March 2016 under Concerts, Musings, Teaching, Travel  •  5 Comments

In my travels as a guest tutor I come across post-grad and young professional musicians from lots of different countries. For some time now I’ve made it a habit to ask them how they’re getting on with making their way in the classical music profession – easy or difficult? Without exception they reply that they are finding […]




Novelty and unusual locations

Posted by Susan Tomes on 25 February 2016 under Concerts, Musings  •  4 Comments

A young musician announced to me recently that the problem of classical music’s dwindling audiences would be solved by moving concerts into exciting new locations not associated with classical performance. For example, she mentioned the MultiStory project, an orchestra which performs in a multi-storey car park in the London district of Peckham. Their car park concerts have […]




Playing at the Queen’s Hall

Posted by Susan Tomes on 17 February 2016 under Concerts, Musings  •  Leave a comment

A wonderful night on Monday at the Queen’s Hall playing Schubert with violinist Erich Höbarth (see photo). We were pleasantly surprised by the size of the audience and even more so by their warmth. After such a long build-up to this particular concert it felt very good to be on that stage, playing the lovely […]




Portraying isolation

Posted by Susan Tomes on 1 February 2016 under Daily Life, Musings  •  4 Comments

Today I went to the BP Portrait Exhibition, a favourite annual exhibition. As for some years now, the emphasis was on near-photographic realism, achieved with admirable technical skill but occasionally at the expense of ‘suggestiveness’ if I could put it like that. By which I mean that as I gazed at the portraits, my thoughts seemed […]




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