In the past week, an exciting piece of news for music lovers in Scotland has come my way.
Let me pass it on to you by way of a welcome home to the renowned and internationally acclaimed pianist and chamber music specialist Susan Tomes, who has decided to return to Scotland and take up permanent residence in her native Edinburgh. She moved back this week.
Her name will be instantly familiar to music lovers, CD collectors and those who generally follow the UK and international music scenes. She is very famous, but her name might chime more generally with the public, for reasons I will mention.
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She's had a remarkable career. She was the first woman to break through the glass ceiling of King's College Cambridge and study there. Once in the profession, and establishing a reputation for her acuity in chamber music performance, she was at the heart of three major chamber music ensembles: Domus, the Gaudier Ensemble and, most famously, the Florestan Trio, acclaimed for their performances of French music in particular. They were the winners of a Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2000. They made over 50 CDs and reaped many awards, including the Gramophone Award.
But Tomes is more than just a fine pianist. She is a pluralist. She's given many radio talks and contributed to specialist and non-specialist magazines as well as being a guest columnist on a newspaper. She's a prolific blogger, providing insights into her tours and travels. She is also the author of three books on musical matters: Beyond The Notes, A Musician's Alphabet and Out Of Silence. A fourth is under way, to be published later this year by Boydell Press. She is the pianist on the RSNO/Creative Scotland "baby disc", a copy of which was provided to every child born in Scotland in 2012. Just last year she was awarded the Wilson Cobbett Medal by the Worshipful Company of Musicians. We look forward to her presence on the Scottish music circuit. Catch up with her on www.susantomes.com