Outreach near Bath

I feel like outreach is something often talked of critically, but when it works well (as it did here) it is one of the most rewarding things. The aim here was a humble, noble one - simply to help those of primary/secondary school age become better listeners to works of classical music. The works I [...]

Apollo Music London

I had an amazing time yesterday visiting two primary schools in North London for Apollo Music Projects. It was pretty rewarding to hear the kids respond with "this is my FAVOURITE BIT!" when they were asked to use their imagination in describing how a piece made them feel. I think that this skill is actually [...]

Brutally Early Club

I feel like I moved to London, in part, because I there was a single day where I realised that most of my friends had moved South. But, as Ai Weiwei points out, in the larger cities things today, things are decided weeks in advance and it's difficult to pin people down: I actually don't [...]

Today I was working on alternate fingerings for the second song in Tippett's Songs of Achilles and it was raining outside. it is the rain and it smells of christening; it is the rain and it tastes of silver Transported in an instant to the first time working on these songs in humidity and the [...]

Achilles’ blank slate

I realised that it's been nearly a year since I was at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont... Working there last Summer was, as ever, an inspirational experience, and a highlight was surely working with Spencer lang on Tippett's Songs for Achilles. I'm returning to these songs with tenor Robert Murray when I arrive at [...]

Rodrigo’s Aranjuez with The Little Orchestra

This last week I've had the pleasure of working on Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez with The Little Orchestra, a work that gets the reputation for being a classical guitarist's warhorse concerto, but curiously, that I've performed RELATIVELY seldom over my career so far. It's been really cool to rediscover forgotten secrets, unearth some new ones, [...]

3 programmes, 3 countries

I really need to start booking UK train travel well in advance - a month ago I grabbed the cheapest unreserved ticket for Scotland-bound trains on 24/03, not quite clocking on to the fact that yeah, that'd be the day of the Easter break beginning... Needless to say standing for 3 hours with two suitcases [...]

Concerts near London this week

I'll be taking the train down to Faversham in Kent (19/11, 1930) and up to Stansted (22/11, 1500) this week, performing works by Dowland, Bach, Britten, Rodrigo and Ginastera. Check the diary page for details. The above image is the view I had over the course of last week's journey on the Inverness - Thurso [...]