Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Should we promote our own concerts?

Posted by Susan Tomes on 27 May 2015 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings  •  6 Comments

There’s been quite a lot written lately about the need for musicians to ‘be their own promoters’ and organise their own concerts. In the face of declining opportunities for classical music, many musicians have embraced the idea of putting on their own concerts and starting their own festivals. My own professional work has always been a […]




Competitions and boringness

Posted by Susan Tomes on 19 May 2015 under Concerts, Musings  •  2 Comments

Letter from a reader who mentions that he rarely goes to concerts these days because many performers are there as a result of winning competitions, and he finds that competition winners are usually, like Monty Python’s celebrated accountant, ‘too boring to be of interest’. He asks whether I feel comfortable with being on the jury of competitions which produce […]




Gathering round a new score

Posted by Susan Tomes on 4 May 2015 under Concerts, Musings  •  9 Comments

I’ve been rehearsing Judith Weir’s ‘Airs from Another Planet’, a superb sextet for piano and wind instruments (in this case, the wind players of the chamber group Daniel’s Beard). It’s for the opening concert of the Cottier Chamber Project in Glasgow on 5 June. Judith’s piece has the delightful (and typically witty) subtitle, ‘Traditional music from outer space’. We […]

The Highland Lady’s memories of practising

Posted by Susan Tomes on 6 April 2015 under Books, Daily Life, Musings  •  Leave a comment

I wrote a while ago about the memoirs of Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchus, ‘the Highland Lady’, whose memoirs of life in Scotland in the early 19th century were so popular. Now I’m reading her later volume of memoirs, written when she was married and helping to run an estate in Ireland. In her Scottish memoirs, she recalls with […]




Our new cat

Posted by Susan Tomes on 24 March 2015 under Daily Life, Musings  •  3 Comments

We have a new cat, Daisy, adopted from a cat rescue shelter. After a wobbly start, she’s settling down beautifully. Daisy is a very quiet cat who seems not to find it necessary to say anything. One of her few utterances was a moment after her arrival when she shot out of her cat box, leapt onto the fridge, gave a […]