Three women writers on music

5th December 2009 | Books, Concerts, Daily Life | 0 comments

I’m looking forward to taking part in a literature event at the South Bank on Monday evening at 7.45pm. The novelist Eva Hoffman has invited fellow novelist Janice Galloway and me to join her in a discussion of what it’s like to write about music. I don’t really know either of them except through their work, but our meeting should be interesting. We’re all women, so is that likely to mean that we share a certain approach to our subject, or not?

Writing about music is famously difficult, and we’ve all approached it in different ways. Eva herself nearly became a concert pianist, and her novel ‘Illuminations’ is about a fictional concert pianist who experiences a crisis in her personal and artistic life when she becomes romantically involved with a political terrorist. Janice’s novel ‘Clara’ is a fictionalised biography of Clara Schumann, the 19th century virtuoso pianist who was married to the composer Robert Schumann. And I’m a real-life pianist who writes about my experience of performance. It will be intriguing to see what comes out of our discussion, which will be punctuated by bits of relevant piano music played by me. There are still tickets left …


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