When people spoke of ‘the great Bach’ in the late 18th century, it was not to Johann Sebastian but to his second son Carl Philipp Emanuel that they were referring, because JS’s rugged contrapuntalism was seen as passé.
An internationally renowned British chamber orchestra has been taken over by its players after the withdrawal of council funding pushed it to the brink of bankruptcy.
At the Wigmore Hall in 2007, the Ukrainian pianist Valentina Lisitsa delivered a dazzling recital of Beethoven and Liszt. The rest is history: Yellow Lounge stardom, YouTube fame through 70 million clicks, and, this month, a (rather depressing) Cd of Nyman piano arrangements.
Composer Michael Nyman hopes his new symphony commemorating the Hillsborough disaster, to be first performed this summer, will make a “small but significant contribution” to the healing process for the families.
Modern violins have beaten Stradivarius-made instruments worth millions in a blind test involving 10 world-class soloists.
ENO’s urge to experiment has led it to put Thomas Ades’s Powder Her Face into a concrete bunker with a novice opera director, Joe Hill-Gibbins, in command.
The story of Prince Igor is suddenly topical, dealing with medieval Russia’s centredness in the Ukraine: how apt that this should be the first production which the Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow brings to London.
Jocelyn Pook finds music in unexpected places. The bright yellow bird carolling in a cage by the window of her north London home was handed to her by a neighbour, who found it on the front doorstep. Lemon Drop’s constant song (Pook says it is a budgerigar, but surely only a canary is this tuneful?) is an appropriate soundtrack for this most musical of homes, born of both serendipity and solid technique. That is also the formula for Pook, a composer and performer who has taken absolutely no notice of musical barriers in a career that bestrides a spell with pop group the Communards, an opera, theatre, including an Olivier for Saint Joan at the National, and film scores, notably for Stanley Kubrick’s swansong Eyes Wide Shut.
Having broken new ground by coming into existence, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse has broken more ground by hosting the first collaboration between the Globe and the Royal Opera in a production of Cavalli’s rarely-performed L’Ormindo.
Schumann wrote his Violin Concerto in D minor at the instigation of the virtuoso Joseph Joachim, who urged him to draw out a treasure from his ‘deep quarry’.
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