A little summer break from the blog

21st August 2013 | Books | 3 comments

I’m having a little summer break from writing this blog. This is a good moment for me to crack on with the book I’ve been writing at every peaceful opportunity this year. It’s over 80,000 words now, and the end is in sight (unless it turns out to be one of those things like climbing a mountain, where ‘the summit’ is always over the next horizon). I find that if I’m thinking ‘long-form’ thoughts, it’s quite difficult to come up with ‘short-form’ thoughts for the blog at the same time, so I think I’ll slip away and concentrate on the book while I have the chance.

My book is another collection of chapters on life as a performing musician. I’ve got my own list of things I want to write about, naturally, but I’m always interested to know what aspects of life as a classical musician would be interesting to readers. I don’t mean facetious or gossipy things, which are off the agenda. But if there are things you’ve wondered about, and would like to see an explanation of, or just a glimpse into, please let me know. I might still be able to include the topic in the book.


  1. peter

    Susan — Something that intrigues me about life as a chamber musician: How do you all agree a single interpretation of the music you are playing? Indeed, how do you agree what repertoire you should play together? Is there much argument? I played in an orchestra as a student and always chafed at the conductor imposing his or her own interpretation on us all, so always thought that a chamber ensemble would be more congenial to reaching a consensus.

    • Susan Tomes

      Very good questions – thank you – and I’ve already written on that topic in the book, so I hope I can answer some of your questions.

  2. Ruth

    Susan, if you find yourself – for whatever reason – in the position of playing music that you find it hard to ‘like’ how do you bring yourself to performance standard? If you have answered in a previous book let me know and I’ll dig it out. I use ‘like’ as I am not sure one has to like a piece to get something from it. As a listener I want to be comfortable with music in my own home but at a live performance I often choose to watch as well as listen to challenging pieces.


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