Writings

Beyond the Notes by Susan Tomes

Beyond the Notes

Hardback edition, The Boydell Press, 2004, 210 pages
ISBN-10: 1843830450, ISBN-13: 978-184383045
Paperback edition, The Boydell Press, 2005, 216 pages, £14.99 RRP
ISBN-10: 1843831600, ISBN-13: 978-1843831600

‘Beyond the Notes’ is a collection of writings which started as my private diary about the life of the chamber group Domus in the early 1980s. Domus was named after the portable concert hall, in the form of a geodesic dome, which a group of young idealistic musicians took around and put up in places where it was not usually possible to hear concerts. For several years we travelled with our dome to fields, hilltops, parks and city squares in Europe and Australia. Later we moved into the traditional concert hall, where we continued to develop our thoughts and expertise about the chamber music we loved. Part One of the book gives an insight into our difficulties and achievements when traveling with our dome. Part Two is a collection of my later essays about other aspects of performing and preparing for concerts.

A Musician's Alphabet by Susan Tomes

A Musician’s Alphabet

Hardback edition, Faber and Faber 2006, 149 pages, £12.99 RRP
ISBN-10: 0571228836, ISBN-13: 978-057122883

‘A Musician’s Alphabet’ is a series of 26 little meditations about performing. From ‘A is for Audience’ through ‘G is for Grace’, ‘J is for Job – not a proper’ and ‘U is for Unhelpful Thoughts’ to ‘Z is for Zen’, it introduces the arts-loving reader to some of the topics that preoccupy a performing musician. The book was inspired by some of the questions that people asked me after hearing concerts. They made me realize that the working life of a classical musician is a slightly closed book, even to concert-goers, and I wanted to try and throw some light on it.

Out of Silence – a pianist’s yearbook

Chosen by ‘Chopin’ magazine in Japan as one of the five best books of 2012 (in the translation by Noriko Ogawa)

Hardback edition, Boydell Press 2010, 276 pages, £19.99 RRP
ISBN-10: 1843835576, ISBN-13: 978-1843835578

‘Out of Silence’ is my diary of a year as a performer. It aims to show something of how everyday life provides ideas for the task of understanding music, and vice versa. You can read excerpts, listen to a sound clip of me playing the piano, look at pictures, connect to social networks, and order the book via this widget:

http://www.book2look.com/vBook.aspx?id=quS6JXni9Q

 

 

Japanese edition of ‘Out of Silence’

 

‘Out of Silence’ was translated into Japanese in 2012 by the distinguished pianist Noriko Ogawa and is published by Shunju-sha. It was chosen by ‘Chopin’ magazine as one of the five best books of 2012.

Read reviews of the Japanese edition

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpts from the book were published in the Guardian on Sat 20 March 2010.

Books to which I’ve contributed:

The Cambridge Companion to Recorded Music, Cambridge University Press 2009 (author of Personal Take:  ‘Learning to live with recording’): ISBN 978-0-521-86582-1 (hardback), ISBN 978-0-521-68461-3 (paperback)

Life in the Real World: how to make music graduates employable, edited by Dawn Bennett, with a foreword by Susan Tomes, published by The Arts in Society, Australia, 2013

Other writings

Archives of articles by Susan Tomes for The Guardian:

My reviews of other authors’ books:

Other publications for which I’ve written articles include:

  • Financial Times Arts page
  • Financial Times Economics page
  • Financial Times Weekend section
  • Financial Times Travel section
  • BBC Music Magazine
  • Gramophone Magazine
  • Piano Magazine
  • Pianist Magazine
  • CAM (Cambridge Alumni Magazine)
  • Cambridge (the magazine of the Cambridge Society)
  • The Scotsman