Saturday, February 27, 2010

Quiet, Please!

The topic of intrusive audience noise is everywhere at present, and it's not just the classical die-hards making the fuss: the same applies to rock gigs and, hooray, the cinema! Read on...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Rachmaninov plays Chopin

Friday historical treat: Sergei Rachmaninov plays Frederic Chopin - the Nocturne in E flat major, Op.9 No.2. Pianism of genius. Enjoy.

We Want Music Lessons!

A YouGov poll commissioned by the Incorporated Society of Musicians shows overwhelming support among all social grades and age groups for music lessons in schools:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Close Harmony?

I have a piece in the March print edition of Standpoint about two vital books concerning music cognition and philosophy and asking why it is that such matters are so much in the spotlight right now...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Drinks in Concerts: Poll says NO

The results of our poll, and why I've changed my mind about "relaxed" atmospheres in concerts. We want to listen to the music...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, dear Fred!

It's Chopin's 200th birthday today. Well, probably. Update on the latest concerts: Murray Perahia takes Barbican by storm, Piers Lane is aided and abetted by some cats, and Krystian Zimerman has been stuck in the Chunnel but is now safely in London. And Abbey Road Studios isn't for sale after all.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A propos d'embezzlement

Very pissed off with Private Eye tonight, as they've written BOLLOCKS. I know that's what they're there for, but it is inaccurate, misleading and rather stupid. I mean, why do they think the orchestra would tell me off via my husband?! They can ring me up themselves if they want to. They have my number.

Meeting Asrael...

Preview of Suk's mighty Asrael Symphony, on tomorrow at the RFH, plus some video of Suk's fabulous violinist grandson in great-grandpa Dvorak's concerto.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

For Sale: a nation's musical memories

EMI is reported to be putting Abbey Road Studios up for sale. Lateral thinking: if we turn it into a musical museum, it would be the ideal new home for the V&A's musical instrument collection! What are the chances of that, though...?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chopin Bicentenary: Pitch Your Tents Now

A dazzling bonanza of piano-playing is about to get underway to mark the Chopin bicentenary (and some of it already has), so here's my pick of the bunch, plus film of Zimerman in Chopin's Ballade No.1. Prepare to surrender to the flow and pitch camp...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Kirkland & Dowell in R&J

A Valentine's Day Friday 'Historical' treat from two legendary ballet dancers and good old Prokofiev. And some funny stuff about my ballet class....

Thursday, February 11, 2010


...sat on the wall of a newly built Millennium arts project venue and wondered where all the people were.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Meet Huseyin Sermet

My latest interviewee for International Piano Magazine makes his South Bank recital debut tonight. He's one of Turkey's top musicians, composer as well as pianist - though, he says, not composer-pianist - and we should have heard much more about him much sooner. Come and hear him at the QEH later! Meanwhile, a taster of the interview and some film of him playing Mussorgsky:

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Enescu & Lipatti... Enescu's Sonata No.3. Amazing recording - enjoy. And a few words in praise of Enescu and the ICR's Enescu Society.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

V&A Musical Instrument Collection to close

Some thoughts on the projected closure of the V&A's world famous collection of musical instruments, and what great violins should really be doing...

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Should audiences be allowed to take drinks into classical concerts? Please vote in the poll at the top of the sidebar to the left. You can only vote once and polling closes at 1am on 11 February. Thanks for your feedback, and I look forward to the results with interest!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jascha and Fritz!

Today is Kreisler's birthday & Heifetz's too. Spooky. Don't miss this totally incredible film of Heifetz:

Monday, February 01, 2010

Stolen: another half a million or so...

This time, it's from the Salzburg Easter Festival. And where else, we wonder? I turn revolutionary in Standpoint with a little help from Michael Moore.