The Sunday Times:
'Characters rise and fall to McVeigh’s superbly controlled conductor's baton. The orchestra becomes a universe in microcosm; all human life is here . . . McVeigh succeeds in harmonising a supremely comic tone with much darker notes.' (review of While the Music Lasts)
The Sunday Telegraph:
'McVeigh is a professional cellist and is thus able to describe with wry authority the extraordinary life of a London orchestra. This is a very enjoyable novel, and not quite as light as it pretends to be.' (review of While the Music Lasts)
Prof. Lisa Jardine (on BBC Radio 3):
'This is an intense and intriguing novel that gives a sense of the throbbing heart of an orchestra. For Radio 3 listeners, it is unmissable.'
The Good Book Guide:
'The author is a professional cellist and a highly intelligent novelist. In the hothouse atmosphere of a group welded together but battered by individual stresses, relationships blossom and painfully disintegrate. Almost as enraptured by the sensuous sound of words as by music itself, McVeigh spins her sentences across the page, carrying the reader with them.' (McVeigh's While the Music Lasts)
'McVeigh's captivating, witty debut offers uncanny insights into music, love, and the human heart. Her portrayal sings with lyrical intensity and eloquent feeling.' (McVeigh's While the Music Lasts)
'Ever wondered what goes on in the backstage life of a symphony orchestra? This racy novel was written by someone who knows.'
(review of McVeigh's Ghost Music)
The Yorkshire Post:
'McVeigh holds nothing back in her account of the backstage life of an orchestra. Although there is no overriding voice, orchestra manager Pete Hegal emerges as the reader's friend. A disillusioned violinist, Pete speaks with McVeigh's wry perception. The story takes a while to reach its crescendo, hindered perhaps by the introduction of many disparate characters, each deserving the depth they are afforded. But the tempo certainly rises on the Royal Sinfonia's Greek tour: a musical world that many see as staid and disciplined is turned upside down by McVeigh. The Last Night of the Proms will never seem the same again.' (review of McVeigh's Ghost Music)
Western Morning News:
'Aspiring authors are advised to write about a subject they know, but few will match Alice McVeigh's accomplishment here. She is a freelance cellist playing with numerous orchestras, including the BBC Symphony. Orchestral life must have been an obvious choice for her, but who would guess the backstage life of a symphony orchestra would provide such a gem of a book? . . . McVeigh writes amusingly but with authority about the chaotic life of a London orchestra. Even for readers with no interest in music, she entertainingly reveals all aspects of life.' (review of McVeigh's While the Music Lasts)
'Wonderful!--even better than your first novel. And even more true!' (letter to Alice McVeigh)
Miles Kington: (The Oldie magazine)
'Alice McVeigh knows her orchestras and conductors from close to, and knows about sex and love -- and she can write.' (review of McVeigh's While the Music Lasts)
David Owen Norris (BBC Radio 3):
'Brilliant! This is a book everyone interested in orchestras should read.' (McVeigh's While the Music Lasts)
Libby Purves (The Times):
'Sharp, wise and perfectly in tune. A consolation for the put-upon musician and highly instructive for us in the audience too.' (McVeigh’s All Risks Musical)
Ken Ward, Editor (The Bruckner Journal) March 2013:
There was no shortage of excellent introductory material at this concert. The programme notes by principal cellist Alice McVeigh were written with such a refreshing mixture of liveliness and informed individual response that they seem to me to be a model of how such writing should be. They had an infectious enthusiasm that could not do other than give the work a good start on its journey towards those in the audience unfamiliar with Bruckner’s music.