Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

A visit to Basel

Posted by Susan Tomes on 17 January 2014 under Musings, Teaching, Travel  •  2 Comments

I’m getting ready for a trip to the Hochschule fuer Musik in Basel, where I’m giving three days of chamber music masterclasses on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. If you should be reading this in Basel, the classes are open to the public and take place from 10am-6pm each day. After all the rain here recently, […]




The man in the street

Posted by Susan Tomes on 24 December 2013 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings  •  Leave a comment

Yesterday I listened to a BBC Radio 4 programme about Henry Cole, the founder of the splendid V&A Museum in South Kensington. They were talking to a curator of the David Bowie exhibition, one of the most successful of the V&A’s recent exhibitions. The curator was asked why they had chosen to focus on David […]




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  •  14 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 […]