1. Here is an astonishing true story about the healing power of music, from Artsjournal blog Creative Destruction, written by John Thomas Dodson: how pianist Andre Watts and the music of Liszt brought joy and help to a disabled girl and her family. Avail yourself of a cup of strong tea and a large hanky before reading. http://www.artsjournal.com/creatived/2009/11/public-concert-private-music.html
2. Words of wisdom from author Lionel Shriver at the Standpoint/Forum for European Philosophy discussion at the LSE yesterday. "I'm writing about things that aren't going to go away anytime soon, like death..."
Q from audience: "What's the most important quality for a great novelist?" LS: "Compassion."
3. Yesterday too, at Wilton's Music Hall, the Dilettante Music Digital Composer-in-Residence Competition final took place. At time of writing, the results aren't up yet, so they must have had a fantastic night! More soon.
4. Tonight at English National Opera, the double bill of Duke Bluebeard's Castle and a newly choreographed The Rite of Spring opens. I can't wait to see how Daniel Kramer has approached Bartok's early masterpiece, & am rather wondering what on earth the dance company Fabulous Beast has done with Rite...
Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.
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