BBC Young Musicians 2014 is building up to its grand competition finale. It's a wonderful chance to hear some of the UK's most gifted young classical performers. But the contest is always controversial, and this year is no exception. The trouble is that making formula TV seems antithetical to the notion of making good music – and there is no doubt about which is taking priority.
It’s fourteen years since Roberto Alagna sang the doomed hero Cavaradossi at Covent Garden, and if his voice has lost some of its original lustre it still rings out with bright clarity as he proclaims his love from the top of his painter’s scaffold.
As summer approaches, prepare to put on the glad rags and raid the bank account. Glyndebourne, the most famous rural opera house in the UK, is ready to welcome ticket-holders to its sheep-surrounded home near Lewes, East Sussex, for its 2014 festival. Picnic in exquisitely landscaped grounds and enjoy a world-class performance: it's the ultimate summer night out – at quite a price.
As a schoolboy, Julian Anderson dreamed of making the characters in Sophocles’ Theban trilogy sing.
Bringing back David McVicar’s durably enjoyable production of Le nozze di Figaro for its sixth revival, Covent Garden is treating it yet again as an ensemble work, with no superstar to upset the balance: the fine cast all interact harmoniously, enhanced this time by the sensitive conducting of David Syrus. Started the way he means to go on with a threatening ‘Si vuol balare’, the Italian bass Alex Esposito makes a boyishly confrontational Figaro, his well-rounded sound making a good foil to Gerald Finley’s rolling baritone as the Count.
Acclaimed cellist Julian Lloyd Webber has revealed his “devastation” after a slipped disc has forced him to retire from playing the instrument for good.
When violinist Tasmin Little steps out in front of the BBC Proms audience one week into the season of concerts just unveiled, she will do so for the 20th time since her first appearance at the Royal Albert Hall in 1990. A Proms favourite, both for her dedication to the British music championed by the two-month-long festival and for her generous on-stage personality, on 25 July she will reach this landmark, one of only a handful of artists ever to do so, not with a crowd-pleasing Brahms or Bruch concerto, but with the relatively unknown violin concerto by E J Moeran.
The Pet Shop Boys are set for a star turn at this year’s Proms with the world premiere of a work about the life of Second World War code-breaker and father of computer science Alan Turing.
Whenever Italy throws up a brilliant young pianist, hopeful comparisons are made.
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