'Concerts' Blog Post Archive
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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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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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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The Gaudier Ensemble’s festival

The Gaudier Ensemble’s festival

Last week I took part in the Cerne Abbas Music Festival, held by the Gaudier Ensemble in rural Dorset. For the past thirty-two years, the same group of musicians has been gathering in Cerne for a week in the summer, to present a series of chamber music concerts in the...

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‘Fifty Portraits’ at King’s College Cambridge

‘Fifty Portraits’ at King’s College Cambridge

I was in Cambridge at the weekend to give a piano recital as part of the events marking fifty years of women as undergraduates at King's College, Cambridge. As well as playing a concert, I was also there to see the opening of a special exhibition: Fifty Portraits, a...

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Playing a historical piano

Playing a historical piano

This week I'm giving a recital of music by historical women pianist-composers. I'll be playing an Erard grand piano made at the end of the 19th century by the firm of Sebastien Erard in Paris. (Officially the piano is dated around 1900, but a technician told me he...

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Music at the Coronation

Music at the Coronation

The Coronation of King Charles III came in the same week that we heard the organisation Psappha, which promotes new music, had been forced to close because of funding problems. This in itself followed hard on the heels of threats to close the BBC Singers and reduce...

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Posing on the steps of the Opera

Posing on the steps of the Opera

Last week I was in Vienna for a few days of Easter holiday.  We managed to pack in lots of music-related things: a concert at the Musikverein, an evening at the State Opera, a visit to one of Mozart's apartments, a visit to Haydn's house in what was the village of...

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Mozart piano and violin sonatas download

Mozart piano and violin sonatas download

This week I've been trying to find out what happened to the album of Mozart piano and violin sonatas that the wonderful Viennese violinist Erich Höbarth and I made in 2012. (That's us in the photo.) It was compiled from live recordings of a concert series we performed...

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Kettle’s Yard recital in Cambridge this month

Kettle’s Yard recital in Cambridge this month

I'm preparing for a solo recital at Kettle's Yard museum in Cambridge on November 24th. Kettle's Yard is a beautiful little museum which began in the 1950s as a personal art collection by Jim Ede, who used his own house as the display venue. It was the first gallery I...

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BBC Young Musician – tonight’s Final

BBC Young Musician – tonight’s Final

BBC Young Musician 2022 reaches its climax tonight when the winners of five categories - strings, wind, brass, percussion and piano - compete to be crowned 'BBC Young Musician of the Year'. The competition is on BBC4 at 7pm. I think if it were up to me, I'd stop at...

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At the Wigtown Book Festival

At the Wigtown Book Festival

On Saturday, I appeared at the Wigtown Book Festival in Dumfries and Galloway in the west of Scotland (see photo of me being interviewed by Stuart Kelly). Wigtown is Scotland's 'national book town', boasting an astonishing number of bookshops for a small town which is...

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Traditions of music-making can’t be allowed to fade away

Traditions of music-making can’t be allowed to fade away

I often tweet about music and related matters. Usually the response is small - I'm thrilled if my tweets reach a couple of hundred people. So my experience yesterday was exceptional. I was watching The Queen's funeral which, as you'll know, had a variety of music in...

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Lili Boulanger’s Cantata ‘Faust et Hélène’

Lili Boulanger’s Cantata ‘Faust et Hélène’

At the Edinburgh Festival this week we went to the Usher Hall to hear the French orchestra Les Siècles performing Stravinsky's Rite of Spring on instruments of the period. (The difference in those instruments was not immediately apparent, though there was a soft grain...

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