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Facing the Critics.

It’s always really hard when a critic didn’t think much of your CD… They didn’t seem to understand your music-making, comparing you to 'the greats' and you are left feeling really flat. On the CD is music that I’ve poured every ounce of myself into, the hours of hard work, the practice, th

A Decade of Duos!

How is it 10 years already! It all began with a Christmas present that Louisa gave me, a Henle edition of the Cesar Franck Sonata, back in 2006. I had played the work a few times already (but only with a cellist) and I was very keen to play it with Louisa. So, after a few months preparing, that

Rush!

Moving at a hundred miles an hour seems to be the theme of my life at the moment. I don't necessarily mind it but there are occasions when I feel like if I were take my eye off a single moving object, I may very well come tumbling down and turn into jelly (or rather jello!) that hasn't quite set yet

Everything New!

We have arrived in the big ol' US of A and it has been a whirlwind of adventures and emotions so far.. I am not the same person that stood on stage at The Royal Albert Hall a few weeks ago about to perform to thousands. I couldn't possibly know or imagine that my life was about to change so dramatic

~Four Walls~

8am sharp and they're here.. Boxes, tape and working like dogs It's been such a long time coming And yet I can't believe it's today.. ~ They're only four walls ~ A person is only a collection of memories Things, stuff, baggage and emotions. What really matters is what you carry inside. ~ They're onl

Moving across the pond!

Change is on the cards for us and as creatures of habit we all know how scary that can sometimes feel. I have the feeling of uncertainty, unease, anxiety and a need to look into the future to see what will happen next. I was totally surprised by the EU referendum result as I quite simply thought tha

Love makes the world go round..

    With our 1901 Arts Club concert just around the corner, I've been spending quite a bit of time recently thinking about this tiny four letter word that is at the centre of our themed programme celebrating St Valentne's Day. L.O.V.E. It gets used so freely in my world, I hear it, fe

Three is the magic number!

It's a very odd feeling when suddenly the ground is moving beneath your feet and you're in the middle of doing the washing up! Or when you feel sick to your stomach at the prospect of eating when your whole body is crying out to lie down right now, next to the washing machine, curl up and sleep beca

Reviews for our Elgar & Sawyers CD…

Here are the critics' thoughts on our first CD release: Edward Greenfield, Gramophone Magazine, December 2013  Andrew Schartmann, mvdaily.com (USA), 24 February 2014, click here to read the full review Music und Theater (Switzerland), January 2014 ENSEMBLE-Magazin für Kammermusik (Germany), Januar

To Evaluate or Procrastinate?

Now in full swing of Malaysian life, we have been loving our time here. Nick has been working hard examining hundreds of nervous little souls and I have been beavering away at my much neglected 'List'. I did bring my violin, however it's collecting dust at the back of the cupboard after my poorly vi

Notes of a different kind

Over the last 8 weeks we have been editing our recording, listening and re-listening, trying the hifi, headphones, even the car to see how our performances come across over a wide range of devices. Over those three days in Banff we were absolutely determined to find the magic take of every bar and n

World Premiere Pressure!

This week we are giving the world premiere of a beautiful set of Lullabies by contemporary Czech composer Pavel (Zemek) Novak at the 1901 Arts Club on London's Southbank. Performing any piece for the first time is always slightly unnerving, but giving a work its premiere is an altogether more daunti

Under the microscope

Many, many apologies for the silence over the last two weeks, perhaps inevitably once the recording drew near, our heads went down and we focused entirely on our playing. We are now back at home after an incredible four weeks and we of course want to bring you up to date on the rest of our stay at t

Joining the dots…

As performers we spend hours worrying about perfecting the notes & rhythms, clarifying articulation and refining dynamic shading, diligently slaving away our practice hours in the hope of improving our capacity to realise the dots and symbols representing the composer's elusive intentions.  Te

Climbing the Sleeping Buffalo Mountain…

We arrived last Saturday at the stunning Banff Centre and while it's safe to say it's amazing to be back, (deer nibbling at the trees outside, snow falling all around so that it really does feel like Narnia!) something definitely feels very different this year. We have a serious and important job to

A few thoughts on nerves…

Over the last few weeks we have hosted two concerts for our pupils, one for school-age learners and the other for adults. I have also been travelling around the UK, examining for ABRSM, and watching these hoards of relatively inexperienced, budding musicians perform has got me thinking about nerves.

Behind the scenes…

Musicians' biographies are a quirky type of prose, written deliberately as they are to present us performers in the very best possible light. How often do we read that the person on stage is one of the finest artists of their generation and yet by the end of the paragraph we have absolutely no sense

Ode to a Puppeteer

We saw the most amazing display of Puppets tonight presented by a group that have been working here together over the last 2 weeks. Some of the puppets were completely enchanting and the skill involved in the craftsmanship of these miniature paper maché people really made me believe their emotions

Raring to go!

An enforced day off, woo hoo I hear you say but I am gagging to get my skates on and get stuck into some playing! We unfortunately don't get the key to our hut until tomorrow and so I take my jet-lagged body back to bed in the morning as I try desperately to adjust to the 7 hours I have gained. Feel

Feeling So Welcome!

It is 5:20am and although I realise this is silly o'clock, there is no way I can go back to bed and sleep. A bad combo of jet lag and being like a little girl on Christmas morning desperately wanting to open pressies and being far too excited! I AM IN BANFF!! There is snow all around me outside and