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

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Consecrating Coventry Cathedral

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Coventry Cathedral – photo from Association of British Cathedrals

The first time I heard Britten’s War Requiem in concert (at Symphony Hall in Birmingham), I went home and was violently ill. Ok, it may have been food poisoning, but I prefer to think I was so struck by the power of the music that I had a strong physical reaction to the emotions it drew out of me. That’s the angle I’d go for in my biography anyway. Continue reading