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I’ve been writing this blog since 2009, but there still seem to be plenty of interesting topics to mull over. You can subscribe (it’s free) to follow the blog by email – each new post will pop into your inbox.

Scotsman magazine article about Women and the Piano

Scotsman magazine article about Women and the Piano

Today's Scotsman magazine (20 April 2024) has an article by music critic David Kettle about my book Women and the Piano. As the online version is behind a paywall on the The Scotsman website, I thought I'd quote it here: 'The irony is inescapable. I’m a middle-aged,...

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Signing books at Waterstones

Signing books at Waterstones

Yesterday I signed a few books at the big Waterstones in Princes Street. For anyone outside the UK, Waterstones is a popular bookstore with branches nationwide and (in this case) a popular coffee shop on the top floor, with great views of Edinburgh Castle. Several...

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Read reviews of my new book

Read reviews of my new book

Last night I gave a talk about Women and the Piano at the gorgeous Toppings Bookshop in Edinburgh. (Photo of me signing books before the talk.) The room was full and there were some expert questions from the audience. It felt like being at a little book festival. I...

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‘An important book’, says BBC Music

‘An important book’, says BBC Music

The April 2024 issue of BBC Music magazine carries a short but sweet review of my book Women and the Piano. As the text is too indistinct to read in the photo, this is what it says: 'Revealed within the pages of this elegantly written book by pianist and author Susan...

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My book on Radio 3’s ‘Music Matters’, 9th March

My book on Radio 3’s ‘Music Matters’, 9th March

On Saturday 9th March, my new book will be featured on BBC Radio 3's Music Matters programme, which begins at 11.45am and runs until 12.30. There's more than one feature in the programme, and I haven't been told exactly when my segment begins. I've recorded an...

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Getting ready to play at Wigmore Hall on March 12

Getting ready to play at Wigmore Hall on March 12

Two weeks today I'll be playing a recital at London's Wigmore Hall to mark the launch of my new book about the history of women playing the piano. My programme consists of music by some of the historical women featured in the book. I've been wondering how many of...

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First copy of my new book arrives

First copy of my new book arrives

The first 'author copy' of my new book arrived yesterday (see photo). After dealing with the virtual version for nearly three years, it is a huge relief to see it actually in print. When my first book came out in 2004, I felt this relief acutely. It had taken a long...

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Another report on the benefits of music

Another report on the benefits of music

On Monday there was a report in The Guardian about the benefits of being involved in music. This time it was, 'Playing a musical instrument or singing is linked to better memory in older age'. To my delight the next paragraph began, 'The piano was especially...

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Concertos from long ago

Concertos from long ago

I was looking through the list of candidates for a concerto competition recently and was struck by the list of pieces they were playing. Mozart (lots), Haydn (several), Beethoven (several), Mendelssohn (several), Schumann (several), Chopin, Brahms (several), Grieg,...

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‘So somewhere in my youth … or childhood’

‘So somewhere in my youth … or childhood’

During the Christmas holidays we watched The Sound of Music on television. Some parts of it will forever be charming, while other parts have not worn so well. No matter - it's still a feast of nostalgia for those of us who remember the film when it first came out. Bob...

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Best reads of the year

Best reads of the year

A reader has asked me to specify my favourite books of the year. I keep a note in my diary of the books I read, and this year I read 42 books in their entirety, plus a few more I didn't finish. Here are my top five favourites: 1. The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth....

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Why are most concerts performed just once?

Why are most concerts performed just once?

We were discussing the fact that there are so few concert reviews in the newspaper these days. Time was when most concerts in prestigious venues were reviewed the next day. But now there are few reviews. What gets covered? - the Proms, perhaps, and some special visits...

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Playing the piano to elephants

Playing the piano to elephants

On Saturday there was a lovely article in The Guardian about Paul Barton, a man who plays the piano to elephants at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand. The elephants have often been overworked or mistreated before they come to the sanctuary, but it seems that they...

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MAP concert at St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh

MAP concert at St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh

Welcome to my new website! If you’re a seasoned visitor, I hope you like the new look. Last night I went to a fundraising concert in aid of MAP, Medical Aid for Palestinians. It was arranged at short notice and held in St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh. As I bought...

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