Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Choosing to be a musician

Posted by Susan Tomes on 2 August 2011 under Daily Life, Musings, Travel  •  2 Comments

An interesting conversation at lunch today about choosing music as a career despite the misgivings of one’s parents. Everyone at the summer school had had some form of The Conversation about whether music was an acceptable profession. Many recalled that they were strongly encouraged in their musical endeavours right up to the point where they […]

‘Pianistes’

Posted by Susan Tomes on 31 July 2011 under Daily Life, Inspirations, Travel  •  5 Comments

I’m teaching on a lovely summer course for pianists in the south of France. As I write, people are practising in the rooms all around me – everything from Schumann’s Fantasy to Beethoven’s opus 110, Debussy Preludes and Liszt’s Vallée d’Obermann. Put together, we sound like Saint-Saens’s vision of ‘Pianistes’ in his Carnival of the Animals: […]

‘Better sharp than out of tune’

Posted by Susan Tomes on 12 July 2011 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings, Travel  •  8 Comments

At a Gaudier Ensemble rehearsal last week my colleagues, who come from various European countries, were discussing the unstoppable rise in pitch. Here in England we still tune to A=440 Hz, which has been ‘standard pitch’ since the mid-twentieth-century, though in the rest of Europe standard pitch has gradually become somewhat higher, at A=444 or […]

Children’s voices

Posted by Susan Tomes on 8 July 2011 under Concerts, Daily Life, Inspirations, Travel  •  3 Comments

This morning in the village church of Cerne Abbas, we invited the children of the local primary school to come and listen to a rehearsal of Aaron Copland’s attractive piece, Appalachian Spring (part of tonight’s concert programme). It lasts around 25 minutes, quite a long while for young children to sit quietly, which they did. […]

Summer music

Posted by Susan Tomes on 7 July 2011 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings, Travel  •  Leave a comment

I’m in rural Dorset to take part in one of those thriving summer music festivals never mentioned in the Guardian’s guide to same. This will be the 21st annual festival run by the Gaudier Ensemble; I’ve been ‘at the piano’ for eighteen of those years. Despite the silence of the music press, the festival continues […]