Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

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 […]




Life with and without managers

Posted by Susan Tomes on 25 November 2015 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings  •  Leave a comment

While baking a cake this morning, I listened to an excellent BBC Radio 4 programme, ‘The Joy of 9 to 5’, about managers. Presenter Lucy Kellaway investigated what managers actually do, and introduced us to some new approaches to management, emanating in particular from the United States. Some American companies act on their belief that a happy and fulfilled person […]




Reaching out to new audiences

Posted by Susan Tomes on 13 November 2015 under Concerts, Musings  •  3 Comments

I’ve just finished reading James Rhodes’s book Instrumental. Nobody can put down the book without feeling intense sympathy for him and admiration for the way he’s turned his traumatic experiences into positive motivation for life as a concert pianist. No-one can doubt his love for the music he plays, or his skill in communicating his feelings about it. […]