Blog

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.

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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Classical Top Five podcast episode on trios

Classical Top Five podcast episode on trios

This week I was the guest on a podcast called The Classical Top Five. During lockdown, a group of critics and broadcasters have been making their way through various 'top five' categories ranging from the serious to the light-hearted, and this week they turned their...

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My new book: The Piano – a History in 100 Pieces

My new book: The Piano – a History in 100 Pieces

I haven’t said much about my new book during the past year. In the midst of such upheaval it seemed unwise to count on things going as planned. But happily it’s not long now until The Piano - a History in 100 Pieces is published by Yale University Press on July 13th....

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Piano tuning on the horizon

Piano tuning on the horizon

My poor old piano has not been tuned for almost a year because of the lockdown. As the tuning became less delightful, I have practised 'mind over matter'  - a kind of 'fingers in ears, la la la! I don't hear anything wrong' approach. In fact, my piano has held up...

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The street is just the street … as time goes by

The street is just the street … as time goes by

A year ago, when lockdown happened and all my work was cancelled, I spent a lot of time walking around the streets of my neighbourhood - partly for exercise, partly to pass the time, and partly because we were not supposed to be taking the bus so there was no other...

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Felix Wurman’s 1982 video about Domus

Felix Wurman’s 1982 video about Domus

This week I came across the video made by cellist Felix Wurman about  Domus at the beginning of the group's career. We were trying to publicise our concerts in our portable concert hall, a large geodesic dome which the players assembled out of aluminium tubes, putting...

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Reviews of SCO piano quartets/streaming

In the past year there have been almost no live concerts, and therefore no reviews of the traditional kind. But sometimes there are reviews of streamed concerts, and the piano quartets I performed earlier this month with the excellent Scottish Chamber Orchestra...

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What would Mozart make of our spaced-out concert formations?

What would Mozart make of our spaced-out concert formations?

Yesterday I was in Perth, recording Mozart and Beethoven quintets for piano and wind instruments with principal players of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra - Adrian Wilson, Timothy Orpen, David Hubbard and Chris Gough. The performance will be relayed as a Radio 3...

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Nice messages

Nice messages

Thank you to everyone who sent me a nice message after last night's streaming of the latest concert in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra's digital series - on this occasion, a programme curated by their principal cellist Philip Higham and presenting two piano quartets by...

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This time last year

This time last year

It's now a whole year since concerts started being cancelled in anticipation of the pandemic. I remember very well that I had been to a birthday coffee party where the extended family sat around a big circular glass-topped table while our reflections ate scones and...

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Mozart and Fauré piano quartets – 11 March, 7.30pm

Mozart and Fauré piano quartets – 11 March, 7.30pm

After a long winter in the deep freeze (in more ways than one) - at last! - a concert to tell you about. It won't be performed in front of a live audience - that long-awaited moment is probably still months away-  but it will be broadcast on YouTube and Facebook on...

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A taste of elsewhere

In a cheese shop the other day, conversation turned to exotic cheeses and someone mentioned Gjetost, the Norwegian goat's milk cheese which looks like a block of fudge and has a distinctive, caramel element to its taste. It's a cooked cheese made with whey and cream,...

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Larks ascending

Larks ascending

One of our regular walks in the nearby hills takes us past a cornfield, which we discovered in the first lockdown. It was Spring then, and the field was softly green. We were thrilled to see larks emerging from their hiding-places among the rows of corn, rising up...

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