Sibelius’s Second Symphony

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Isn’t this an awesome picture of Sibelius? Just go and do an google image search for him and you’ll see so many images that show so much personality. This picture doesn’t really have anything to do with the Second Symphony but I liked it so much that I had to share it. Continue reading

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Sibelius’s Violin Concerto

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My orchestra was lucky enough to be accompanying a stellar violinist in our concert. Sibelius’s Violin Concerto is one of the most popular concertos in the repertoire, and it was lovely to play (even if it takes alot of careful counting!) Here’s the note I wrote for the programme (for a concert with Scene with Cranes and the Second Symphony). Continue reading

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam

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I recently returned from a trip to Amsterdam, where I decided I was going to take the opportunity as a solo traveller to be completely selfish and just do things I wanted to do. Usually one of the great things about travelling is doing things with other people, sometimes things you wouldn’t have chosen to do yourself (here’s looking at you, glacier heli-hike). But this time, as a response to some nonsense in day-to-day life, I decided to be completely selfish and do what I wanted. Which obviously meant visiting the Concertgebouw three times in three days…. Continue reading

A battle between music and anxiety

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The orchestra are tuning up and I’m settling in to my seat. It’s been a busy week, a busy month, but I’ve finally found time to take a break. I don’t really hear the first piece but maybe that’s just because I’ve not calmed down from the day. I’m here for the second piece anyway. The music begins but it’s hard to listen and I’m starting to feel hot. I’m trying to pay attention and focus in on the music, but I’m sure I’m going to be sick. I need to cool down but it feels like I can’t control my arms to take off my jumper, and the room is starting to spin. I manage to pull myself together enough to run outside. I have no idea if the door slammed on my way out. All I know is that music usually helped me to relax, but now my body felt like I was under attack. Continue reading

Mariinsky, music college, music street

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There’s been a lot of Russian connections this summer. Some fun – football, playing some Rachmaninoff at my latest concert. Some not so fun – basically everything else. With everyone jetting off on holiday and the news looking particularly scary, I’ve been trying to remember some of the cultural and musical moments from my trip to Russia last year. During our stay in St Petersburg I, of course, wanted to visit as many musical spots as possible, and luckily a whole bunch of them are collected together in one handy place! Continue reading