The Mozart Effect

Posted on 26th June 2018 by Svend McEwan-Brown

Monday 4 September 2017 was a sunny, homey kind of a day; I did a little work, baked teacakes, gardened, watched some telly. Around 4.30, my left arm suddenly fell heavy and stiff. I could not lift my left foot … Continue reading

Where did Schubert listen to music?

Posted on 14th June 2017 by Svend McEwan-Brown

In his 1816 diary, Schubert writes passionately and movingly of his reflections on hearing a Mozart Quintet. His words are inspiring, but what piqued my curiosity on reading them was perhaps more mundane: where would he have heard it? At … Continue reading

Schubert’s Diary 1: WALKING

Posted on 23rd February 2017 by Svend McEwan-Brown

14 June 1816 “After a few months’ lapse, I took an evening walk once again. After a hot summer’s day, there can hardly be anything more delightful than to stroll about on the green grass of an evening: the meadows … Continue reading


Posted on 3rd February 2017 by Svend McEwan-Brown

Mostly, 1816 comes over as a bit ‘morning after’. Since 1789, the whole of Europe was torn up over and over again, first in the aftermath of the French Revolution and then as Napoleon rose, triumphed and fell. In this … Continue reading

Whether the weather be fine…

Posted on 3rd July 2015 by Svend McEwan-Brown

I’ve discovered that as director of a medium-sized Festival you spend a surprising amount of your time online. ENF is not a big enough team to have someone dedicated to social media so I’ve been blogging, tweeting and posting all … Continue reading

Would you trust an 11-year old?

Posted on 2nd July 2015 by Svend McEwan-Brown

ENF is a young festival (we turn 11 this year: old enough to be trusted with a hot iron?), so it makes sense that all through our history we’ve spotlighted and nurtured young artists alongside the big names that come … Continue reading

Magic Music

Posted on 30th June 2015 by Svend McEwan-Brown

Picture yourself in the gorgeous interior of Dunino Church (Don’t know it? Picture a tiny Arts & Crafts church deep in the woods, with only a track to reach it by and nothing but birds to be heard) with 100 … Continue reading

Today I saw a piece of music come to life

Posted on 29th June 2015 by Svend McEwan-Brown

“We’re here for a very short time and while we’re here we should pay attention.” So far this week, I saw a new piece of music come to life and a drawing of a violin emerge and then wash away … Continue reading

Life Writing

Posted on 26th June 2015 by Svend McEwan-Brown

One of the most magical sentences I have read all year: “When the ice-paws crisped round the stones in the burns and the ice-carrots that hang from the ledges, are loosened, and the freed ice floats down the river, it … Continue reading

Long Pregnancy

Posted on by Svend McEwan-Brown

What living creature has the longest pregnancy? Any primary school class can probably tell you that it’s the elephant: 23 months. Well, the East Neuk Retreat is an idea that has had a gestation of at least twice that, and … Continue reading