Her penetrating intelligence is refreshing in a discourse often reduced to cliché and lazy generalisation. Her thoughts on musical memory and interpretation draw us into a largely hidden world and she asks the hard questions: what is a performer actually doing? How do you play ‘the contents, not the container’ of music? The concept of ‘listening in’ to a score is illuminating, capturing the complex relationship between a performer’s imaginative understanding and a composer’s attempt to codify their work.
BBC Music magazine, December 2014
Susan Tomes is a classical pianist well-known for her work in chamber music and for her CDs, many of which have become benchmark recordings. She is the author of four books about performance, which aim to give a detailed insight into the world of the serious classical musician.
Her latest, ‘Sleeping in Temples’, is a collection of personal essays about the issues involved in performing classical music and being a musician.
Susan will be at Central Library on Tuesday 20th January to talk to music historian Robert Philip about the book. She will also perform on the library’s digital piano.