Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Practising in the dark, 1812

Posted by Susan Tomes on 15 January 2015 under Books, Musings  •  1 Comment

I’ve been reading the wonderful ‘Memoirs of a Highland Lady’, written by Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchus. What a series of unforgettable pictures she paints of her life in the Highlands of Scotland in the early years of the 19th century! As a teenager, I used to get up early to practise the piano, feeling sorry for myself on […]

Ex Libris

Posted by Susan Tomes on 7 January 2015 under Books, Musings  •  2 Comments

At New Year we played a game we hadn’t played for ages – Ex Libris. It’s a game where all the players have to write the opening or closing sentence of a book which already exists. Each player in turn selects a book from the shelves (obviously you have to have lots of books to hand […]

Freedom to add, change and take away

Posted by Susan Tomes on 30 December 2014 under Concerts, Musings  •  5 Comments

I’ve been listening to recordings of pieces I’m currently working on. One is a Moment Musical by Schubert, represented by many different performances, including a YouTube clip of Horowitz playing it in front of a rapt audience in, I think, Carnegie Hall. Horowitz’s touch is wonderful, and he clearly had the audience in the palm of his […]

Dame Fanny’s observations

Posted by Susan Tomes on 23 December 2014 under Concerts, Musings  •  7 Comments

Dame Fanny Waterman, who is standing down from the Leeds Piano Competition she co-founded in 1961, has caused quite a storm with her remarks about the decline of piano-playing in the UK. She attributes this partly to the growing popularity of electric pianos (‘a waste of time’) and partly to the late start of piano pupils […]


Posted by Susan Tomes on 20 December 2014 under Concerts, Musings  •  2 Comments

There’s been a lot in the press recently about coughing in classical concerts, and whether it’s acceptable or not. We classical musicians (and listeners) tend to get upset about performances being marred by loud coughing. However, compared with some musicians, I realise we are very lucky when it comes to the kind of background noise […]