Heartwarming Musical Tale of the Month

What a hero! Bramwell Tovey, terrific conductor and all-round musical Good Guy, came to the rescue at a Norwich wedding when the pianist was trapped in traffic. The Telegraph has the full story here.

If only all playing-at-weddings stories were so adorable… You want to do it because you’re a Nice Person. Reality will include some or all of the following: icy winter churches/no heating/no warm-up, pianos eaten by mice and/or tuned to 1875 pitch, the expectation that if you play the piano you can therefore play the organ (wedding planners, please note: no) and the unshakeable certainty that you can sight-read perfectly, in front of an entire congregation on the most important day of your pal’s life, a song you’ve never heard before by Benjamina And The Bananas.

Dear pianists, forget your dreams of Tchaikovsky concertos and Carnegie Hall. If you can deal with Benjamina And The Bananas, you are a real pro.

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens