JDCMB is a English-speaking blog specialized in the field of classical music and opera. As such, JDCMB is a qualified source of soclassiq, like Iron Tongue of Midnight or Alex Ross - Unquiet Thoughts and many others. The oldest article indexed by soclassiq is dated 2017-11-07. Since then, a total of 310 articles have been written and published by JDCMB.
JDCMB blog activity
With 9 articles published in the last 90 days, JDCMB is currently a not very active news source. "Not very active" does not mean that JDCMB is less interesting than another more prolific source. Each blog follows a specific editorial line, publishing according to its own rhythm.
This editorial activity is no different from that recorded for the previous period.
The last article in JDCMB, "Commonplace books", is dated 2021-01-21. By 2020, this source had published 57 articles.
JDCMB in the last 36 months
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Moved beyond measure by President Biden's inaugural ceremony yesterday, I've entered the last lines of Amanda Gorman's poem The Hill That We Climb into my "commonplace book". "When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light. If only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it." I've kept a so-called commonplace book since 1986, when my sister gave me a sleek blank notebook with thin ivory-light pages and a black leather cover that looked ever so sophisticated. A "commonplace book" is somewhere to copy out pieces of text that you don't want to lose: perhaps they appeal to you by ringing emotional bells, putting words together like music, or reflecting what you feel, think or hope. Amanda Gorman's poem uses the 110th page and after 35 years the […]
Yesterday in the UK 1,564 people lost their lives to Covid-19. Against the horror of mass death and a health service teetering on the brink of collapse, it feels wrong to mourn the passing of a small (if quite large at the time) musical dream. Still, put together with the prospects for British musicians post-Brexit, the news that Sir Simon Rattle is leaving the sinking ship couldn't feel much more emblematic if it tried. That ship is not the LSO, but the UK. I don't doubt that no conductor in the world could resist the invitation to head the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the German twin peak alongside the Berlin Philharmonic. Besides, Rattle has lived in Berlin for years and his family home is there. On the other hand, this is a musician noted for the all-too-rare practice of staying with one orchestra for a long period - first the […]
Late last night the tragic news reached me that the great Chinese pianist Fou Ts'ong has died, aged 86, of Covid-19. This phenomenal artist was part of my childhood, as from the age of 10 to 17 I studied piano with his wife, Patsy Toh. He would flit by occasionally, a somewhat shy and shadowy figure in a doorway or in the hall, and my small self was rather terrified of him. I knew little of his story then, nothing about the horrific fate of his family in the Chinese Cultural Revolution or his dramatic escape via Poland after the Chopin Competition - though I did know he was friendly with Richter, because I once turned up for a lesson to find that Richter was there in the house, practising Schubert. Finally, as editor of what was then Classical Piano Magazine in the 1990s, I had the chance to interview […]
It's 21 December! Welcome back to our cyberposhplace, with a difference. Nowadays we are all living permanently in cyberplaces. Paradoxically, I considered holding this year's JDCMB Chocolate Silver Awards ceremony in the flesh for the first time, because now a real cybermeetingplace exists called Zoom and we'd be able to invite readers to join in from all over the world. This time last year nobody would even have thought of such a thing. That's just one way that Covid-19 has changed our world. The others are worse. One thing I've learned in 2020, though, is that presenting an event online is still real. It takes, in fact, a lot of organisation, forward planning and slick technical support. And you know something? I'm tired. Many of us are. Unable to see our friends and family, deprived of the concerts and theatres on which our imaginative and social life centres and watching […]
What did we do in 2020? The world did a pandemic. The UK did Brexit. I did Beethoven. I finished writing a book about Beethoven. I wrote a bunch of articles about Beethoven and I wrote a bunch of articles about writing a book about Beethoven. I made a video with a musician, the fabulous Mishka Rushdie Momen, at the Wigmore Hall where I read from my book about Beethoven and she played some Beethoven on the piano. I played some Beethoven on the piano - I learned Op. 31 No. 3 and the 'Waldstein' and I wrote an article about learning the 'Waldstein'. My big new piece with Roxanna Panufnik about Beethoven for the Berlin Philharmonie had to be cancelled (hopefully back in 2022). My Beethoven concerts with Viv McLean and others had to be cancelled. My trip to do Beethoven in Australia had to be cancelled. I reviewed […]
"O friends, not those tones!" That particular dog has had its day: soon a new day will dawn. Congratulations to our friends over the Pond for electing President Biden and Vice-President Harris! I've been out in the park this morning and everyone is smiling, despite lockdown. America's big moment can bring hope to us all: change is possible. Meanwhile... All the book events I had lined up for November have had to be cancelled/postponed due to the new lockdown (details in the sidebar, which I'll update as necessary). So we're having an online celebration instead. It's on Tuesday 10 November at 6pm UK time for round about an hour, and there'll be an interview, a reading, Q&A and hopefully even some music. If you'd like to join in, please register here to receive an email containing the Zoom link, and then just show up in cyberspace with a glass of […]
It's publication day for Immortal. I am overjoyed to say that we are sending it out into the world with a digital launch presentation from the stage of the Wigmore Hall, thanks to the unbelievably kind invitation of John Gilhooly. I'm joined in a unique words&music presentation by the rising star pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen, who plays the Beethoven Piano Sonata in F, Op. 10 No. 2. It was a memorable day: both of us were back in the hall for the first time since lockdown and I certainly felt a little strange performing to the empty auditorium, where I've enjoyed so many unforgettable concerts in better times. I hope you enjoy hearing the readings from the early part of the book when Josephine and Therese meet Beethoven for the first time, become his pupils and hear him improvise; and Mishka's playing is out of this world. My profound thanks to […]
It's been a hectic few weeks and a bout of tonsillitis didn't help. So from the tranquility of a plane-less Monday morning, in company with a snoring cat and a violinist practising Paganini downstairs, here's a quick update and some links for a catch-up. First of all, because of a sudden, belated and unexpected lockdown (thanks, Boris...) everyone's carefully laid plans for distancing audiences at concerts went up in smoke and everything for November got cancelled. There's been a scramble to rethink, reimagine and reschedule. The Up Close and Musical festival at the Fidelio Orchestra Cafe has been moved to May, my 'Immortal' concert with Piers Lane for the Barnes Music Society has been rescheduled for 16 January, and the Nordern Farm performance has unfortunately had to bite the dust. There are a few other dates in the diary for June, but let's cross that bridge when we come to […]
Eugene Birman has sent me a fascinating piece about how a university research project that he initiated pre-pandemic has been reimagined for the Covid-19 era - using holograms. Is this the future? Who knows - I can hardly see more than a few days ahead at the moment and I am sure I'm not the only one - but what's certain is that it is emblematic of the creativity, originality and sheer determination with which so many people in the arts world are responding to the situation in which we find ourselves. I hope that we can take heart, build on the positives and find a way forward, possibly one that will break down boundaries in all kinds of new ways. I am not the planet's most optimistic person at the best of times, but I do have hope. Which is different. Over now to Eugene's guest post. JD […]