Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Women composers on the A-level syllabus

Posted by Susan Tomes on 19 August 2015 under Daily Life, Musings  •  3 Comments

17-year-old Jessy McCabe’s petition for more women composers to be  on the A-level music syllabus has been in the news today. It has generated quite a lot of interest and discussion, too. Good for her. The Independent asked if I had any comments to add, and some of my observations are included in their article (to […]




The changing status of reviews

Posted by Susan Tomes on 5 August 2015 under Concerts, Musings, Reviews  •  4 Comments

The news that Alex Ross is now the only full-time classical music critic on an American magazine has got me thinking about the changing status of reviews. Gone are the days when an ‘important’ concert would routinely be reviewed by all the major papers. When I was a young professional I used to walk down to a […]




Pitch rolling

Posted by Susan Tomes on 21 July 2015 under Concerts, Musings  •  3 Comments

I went to a concert recently (I won’t say where or when). In the group was an older musician playing quite a prominent role on a string instrument. Unfortunately his control of pitch had become unreliable. He was smiling and concentrating, trying to play the right notes, but couldn’t manage it. The pitch wavered all over the place, sometimes horribly sharp, […]




25 years of the Cerne Abbas Festival

Posted by Susan Tomes on 14 July 2015 under Concerts, Musings, Travel  •  Leave a comment

Just back from the 25th anniversary festival run by the Gaudier Ensemble in the lovely old Dorset village of Cerne Abbas (in the photo I’m rehearsing a Mozart piano concerto with (from L to R) Marieke Blankestijn, Lesley Hatfield, Iris Juda, Steve Williams and Christoph Marks. I think I’m right in saying they are veterans of all 25 […]




Edward Greenfield: a word of appreciation

Posted by Susan Tomes on 2 July 2015 under Books, Musings, Reviews  •  1 Comment

Sad news that Edward Greenfield has died. He was senior music critic of The Guardian for many years, and a longstanding contributor to Gramophone magazine. Although ‘Ted’ was a professional critic, it always seemed to me that he was determined to accentuate the positive, which marked him out from many of his peers. I had particular reason to be grateful to Ted […]