Moments of Inspiration

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.

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

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"