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.

Playing along with someone else’s recording

Playing along with someone else’s recording

On Saturday, I shall be playing Mozart's last piano concerto  - the B flat major, K595 - with the Meadows Chamber Orchestra in Edinburgh. Since I don't have an in-house orchestra, I have been preparing by playing along with a recording. We have three CDs in the house...

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Presto Music Award arrives

Presto Music Award arrives

I have got so used to everything being online-only that I was very surprised when an Actual Thing turned up in the post to commemorate the Presto Music Award 2021 for my book The Piano. It's a nice little sculpture of the blue Presto Music 'arrows' logo. I knew about...

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Good wishes for Hogmanay

Good wishes for Hogmanay

At the end of December, I usually reflect on my favourite concerts of the year. This year however, as you will know all too well, we spent the entire year in a pandemic. Concert life is still badly impacted, and freelance musicians have been more impacted than most....

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Salzburg in the Snow

I've just been to Salzburg to play a concert in the Mozarteum with the Gaudier Ensemble. Leaving London in spring weather, it was startling to find ourselves walking through the Mirabell Gardens a few hours later in heavy snow. How strange travel is! One minute you're...

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Musicians’ Collective

Went to a jazz gig performed by a group called ‘Way Out West', a collective of about twenty jazz musicians who live in this part of London. Seven of them were there on the night, plus two singers out of the three who were advertised. They explained that ‘Way Out West'...

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Splinter groups

I went to the Linbury Studio at the Royal Opera House recently to hear a double bill of contemporary operas. Looking around the audience of several hundred, it struck me that I didn't recognise a single person, even though I've been going to concerts and playing...

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Costume drama

Every year I feel I have to update my wardrobe of concert clothes, which is a pain because each season I have less and less of a clear idea of how I should look. But what I wear has always been noticed by people in the audience, who comment on it enough to make me...

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Where are the best reviews?

My trio's latest record came out recently. Friends were soon sending us reviews they'd found, in newspapers and magazines as well as on the web. I read them all and I started to realise something interesting: the best writing was often found in amateur publications,...

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The joy of cake

It's a funny thing, but when you spend hours of every day on something as intangible as music, you become very conscious that there's nothing to show for it at the end of the day. You may have twisted your brain into wild unruly shapes (shapes resembling Beethoven)...

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Things of note

Things of note

Welcome to my blog. I thought I wanted a static website, but my website designer had other ideas. As I'm old enough to be his mother I tried to tell him not to be silly, but somehow I found myself agreeing to try a blog. I hope to give an insight into the world of a...

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