Frances Wilson AKA The Cross-Eyed Pianist is interviewed by pianist and writer Rhonda Rizzo for her blog No Dead Guys.
It’s been an interesting and busy year, marked in May by my move from London, my home for 30+ years, to a quiet corner of Dorset – the isle of Portland on the striking Jurassic Coast. Leaving London and its vibrant culture, not least a wealth of classical music which I have much enjoyed, might have felt like a huge wrench, but in fact I don’t miss the big city, and I am already discovering plenty of music here in Dorset.
In addition to allowing me to muse on things musical, the blog keeps me in touch with a large community of people, some of whom have become good friends in real life, and this has undoubtedly prevented me from feeling at all lonely or isolated here in Portland. In a way, I enjoy the best of several worlds: we live in a light-filled modern house, far bigger than anything we could have afforded in London, with views over Chesil Beach and the sea, and fantastic Turner-esque sunsets in the evening. My son lives in a flat in SW London, which means I can still visit to see friends and enjoy concerts and other cultural highlights, before retreatng once again to a place whose quiet and slower pace of life are very conducive to writing and piano practise.
People regularly ask me how I continue to produce so much “content” (an on-trend word for articles/writing). The truth is that I love music and I love writing about music and sharing my passion. Articles are inspired by encounters and conversations with other musicians and writers, concerts I’ve enjoyed, things I’ve heard on the radio, and much, much more….and while that inspiration remains, so the blog will continue (it will celebrate its 10th birthday in July 2020).
A big thank you to all my readers, followers, guest contributors and wonderful Meet the Artist interviewees, all of whom make the blog so interesting and varied.
Wishing you a very happy and music-filled 2019
Wishing all my readers around the globe a very happy and musical 2017.
Forthcoming articles and features on The Cross-Eyed Pianist include:
- Meet the Artist interviews with BBC Young Musician 2016 finalist, the vibrant saxophonist Jess Gillam, composer Bernard Hughes, and pianist Danny Driver
- Following The Accidental Pianist, further articles on the myriad aspects of being a pianist, including The Patient Pianist, The Sensitive Pianist and The Doubting Pianist (feel free to suggest other topics for inclusion in this series)
- ‘Approaching the Concerto’ – reflections from a variety of soloists, including Stephen Hough, Dinara Klinton and Alissa Firsova, and conductor Tom Hammond ahead of a series of concerts featuring piano concerti by Beethoven, Grieg and Brahms, conducted by Tom Hammond.
- The continuing journey through Schubert’s Sonata in A, D959 (read more about this project here)
- Music into Words mini conference – following the successful launch of the Music into Words project in February 2016, Frances Wilson (The Cross-Eyed Pianist) and Simon Brackenborough (founder and editor of the Corymbus blog) host a half-day mini conference exploring the great variety of writing about classical music today. Guest speakers, audience discussion and Q&A, and plenty of opportunities for networking and socialising. Further information and tickets here
- An opportunity to hear acclaimed pianist, writer and teacher Graham Fitch perform the complete Goldberg Variations, plus a special post-concert talk and audience Q&A, hosted by The Cross-Eyed Pianist
And much more besides…..
Readers are welcome to suggest topics to be covered and guest posts are invited – feel free to contact me