Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Novelty and unusual locations

Posted by Susan Tomes on 25 February 2016 under Concerts, Musings  •  6 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 […]




Who owns ‘perfection’ now?

Posted by Susan Tomes on 5 January 2016 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings  •  4 Comments

It’s hard to keep up with changing perceptions in the world of music. We classical musicians are used to being the butt of complaints that our concerts are off-putting because of their focus on accuracy and daunting accomplishment. Unfortunately there’s no way round it, because you can’t do justice to this complex music without a high degree […]




Celebrity Silence

Posted by Susan Tomes on 14 December 2015 under Concerts, Musings  •  3 Comments

I have been haunted this week by articles about the New York collaboration between ‘performance artist’ Marina Abramovic and pianist Igor Levit. You can read all about it here. Basically, Marina Abramovic seeks to ‘get the audience into a different state of mind’ in preparation for a performance by Igor Levit of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. She […]