Guardian review of ‘Sleeping in Temples’

10th January 2015 | Books, Reviews | 2 comments

There’s a review of my new book in today’s Guardian. Here’s an excerpt:

‘Fascinating essays from the celebrated pianist … Susan Tomes has devoted her career largely to chamber music – a niche market within the niche market of classical music, and one in which she has achieved a singularly high reputation as an executive musician.

‘…Her professional focus has been the classical duo and chamber repertory, and she has been inspired by some remarkable people, among them the Hungarian violinist and teacher Sandor Vegh, whom she first encountered at the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove in Cornwall in the late 1970s, and whom she remembers with a mixture of humour and deep affection in “Old People”.

‘Her title refers to an ancient Greek practice whereby individuals would sleep in temples to incubate dreams and so help them to interpret life. For Tomes, it has been Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert who have provided the sacred texts whose “individual notes can feel like words of truth”, yet in this wide-ranging collection she considers in some depth not only matters of pianism and artistic interpretation but also the practical issues, large and small, that performing musicians grapple with every day of their working lives.’ Guardian, 10 Jan 2015


  1. Trevor Nicholas

    Dear Susan,

    As a Trustee of Berkhamsted Music Society I had the pleasure of listening to you several years ago when you played a marvellous concert for us. I have just finished reading “Sleeping in Temples” and what a wonderfully informative book it is. I feel embarrassed that we cannot pay a more realistic fee to those we hire to play for our members.Doubling or trebling your fee would still not reflect the hours and effort that you have spent to achieve such a high standard.I have read one of your previous books but I am now 78 and cannot remember which one so I have ordered all three from Amazon!

    Yours sincerely,

    Trevor Nicholas

    • Susan Tomes

      Dear Trevor

      What a lovely comment! Thank you for taking the trouble to write it. I’m delighted to know you remember the Berkhamsted concert positively, and also to know that you intend to read my other books. Best wishes, Susan


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