Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

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 […]

Unusual challenges on the platform

Posted by Susan Tomes on 26 November 2013 under Concerts, Musings, Teaching  •  5 Comments

I was doing some teaching at Oxford University the other day, and we were discussing the challenges of making a good entrance on to the concert platform when giving a recital as part of your exams. I was discoursing on the need for calm or confidence, and trying to recommend various thoughts and mind-games that […]

Piano practice and neighbours

Posted by Susan Tomes on 16 November 2013 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings  •  11 Comments

Several people including a lawyer have sent me a link to yesterday’s BBC news story about a pianist in Spain whose neighbour took her to court over her piano practising, alleging ‘psychological harm’ from having to listen to it. Spanish prosecutors had initially sought a jail term of over seven years, and now they are […]

Messages out of the blue

Posted by Susan Tomes on 9 November 2013 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings, Teaching, Travel  •  1 Comment

Here I am talking with a talented young pianist at the very enjoyable masterclass I gave at Bowdoin College in Maine a few days ago. It was enjoyable partly because of the students and partly because of the audience, which included some townsfolk not used to coming to such events. One of them said to […]

Outsider Art

Posted by Susan Tomes on 3 November 2013 under Concerts, Musings, Travel  •  10 Comments

Here I am in conversation yesterday with Professor Mary Hunter in the Studzinski Recital Hall during the Klavierfest at Bowdoin College, Maine. We were billed to talk to the audience about various issues to do with performing, but as many conversations do these days, it turned into a kind of ‘Whither classical music?’ discussion. It […]