Out of Silence

Out of Silence

A Pianist's Yearbook

Susan Tomes

eBook for Handhelds
The author of Beyond the Notes demonstrates how a working musician draws energy from the events of daily life, and sometimes seeks a refuge from them in music.
Out of Silence is a diary of a year in Susan Tomes's life as a performer. Taking as its inspiration Schumann's remark that 'I am affected by everything that goes on in the world, and I think it all over in my own way', it aims to show how a working musician mulls over and draws energy from the events of everyday life.

We follow this internationally renowned pianist as she prepares for concerts and performs, both as a soloist and as part of a chamber ensemble; we experience the highs and lows of practising and the challenges of live performance, we see her planning masterclasses and interacting with both musicians and audiences. She casts her mind back to her childhood - practicing before school on cold Edinburgh mornings, playing 'Danny Boy' for a relative - and reflects on paintings, dance, books, sport and gardening.

'A delight and a revelation...She writes with Schubertian intimacy, modesty and grace,' said the Independent of her first book, Beyond the Notes. Here Susan Tomes strives to unlock the secrets of great music and to understand its place in the wider world.

SUSAN TOMES has won a number of awards for her recordings of chamber music. For fifteen years she was the pianist of Domus, and for another fifteen she has been the pianist of the Florestan Trio, one of the world's leading piano trios. She is the author of Beyond the Notes and A Musician's Alphabet. She writes occasionally for the Guardian and on a blog on her own website, www.susantomes.com.
Keywords: Music


The Japanese translation of Out of Silence has been chosen as one of the best books of 2012 by Chopin magazine, Japan.

With a sure literary touch, that outstanding pianist and educator Susan Tomes [takes] us inside the world of the over-worked, under-valued classical player in 'Out of Silence'. I wish idiots who bleat about the 'elitism' of the classical tradition could at least pick up this generous, friendly, revealing diary of a year's hard slog. THE INDEPENDENT, Best Books for Christmas 2010 feature
A distinguished performer who writes with penetration, fluency and charm...Tomes has the unique gift of answering questions about the musical life that every other literary register seems to overlook. A supreme chamber performer, she writes with all the qualities of her chosen field: intimate, exact, conversational; a style of mutual respect...Open this insightful and delightful book on any page, and learn with pleasure. INDEPENDENT
Susan Tomes has contributed two remarkably probing books, Beyond the Notes and Out of Silence, to the literature [of performers writing about their craft]. GUARDIAN [Simon Callow]
There have been books about the experience of playing...but none by so naturally gifted a writer as Tomes...[who] has a particular understanding of humanity rare in writing about music. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
Packed full of fascinating material reflecting upon the difficult and sometimes intangible issues that face a busy professional pianist...what emerges from these pages is Tomes's strong sense of humility, her quirky humour, and above all her tremendous love and driving enthusiasm for her work...a compelling read. BBC MUSIC
Tomes joins that small band of musicians whose literary skill runs parallel to their musical talent...[she] extracts on almost every page a life lesson for the rest of us, whether or not we are musicians. CLASSIC FM MAGAZINE
This is an essentially practical volume that encapsulates what it is to be a jobbing professional who is sensitive to the interconnectivity of the world at large...by the end, I felt I not only knew more about the author, but also about myself. Highly recommended. INTERNATIONAL PIANO
For a parent with a musically gifted child the collection is essential reading. OLDIE

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