When someone passes their 100th birthday, they gain entrance to a special human survivors' club; when they reach 110, they become elite members. But when living a half century past retirement age includes the survival of walking into freedom from the gates of the Terezin (or Theresienstadt) concentration camp, it almost seems like fiction – or a miracle.
The Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition in Austin, Texas, is about to reach its grand finale. It was founded in 1983 by Menuhin himself, is held every two years in a different city, and for three decades has helped to launch exciting soloists onto the international scene. One of the greatest violinists of his day, Menuhin lived for years in Britain. But this time not a single UK contestant treads his competition's boards.
There’s no stopping Huw Watkins, who complements his activities as a pianist and professor with a steady stream of new compositions: string quartets, song cycles, chamber operas, and this week a flute concerto.
Keeril Makan 'Afterglow' (Mode)
Andrei Serban’s production of Puccini’s last opera is thirty years old and in its sixteenth revival – enough to make one fear for its safety, since shows of this vintage are now an endangered species.
A hobby archaeologist with a metal detector has discovered a trove of gold and silver in a German forest dating back to late Roman times, fuelling speculation that it could be the legendary Nibelung treasure which inspired composer Richard Wagner’s operatic “Ring Cycle”.
Maurizio Pollini, 72, may be one of the all-time piano greats, but he’s also famously nervy, and for much of his Southbank recital – dedicated to Claudio Abbado - he communicated his nerves to us.
ETO has atoned for the baleful austerity of Tippett’s King Priam with a production of Britten’s ‘choral operetta’ Paul Bunyan whose homespun charm would melt a heart of stone.
There is much to applaud about ETO’s production of Tippett’s King Priam at the Linbury, not least that it’s there at all: good that the Royal Opera House should open its doors to this enterprising company.
What is Rigoletto about? For Victor Hugo, who wrote the play on which Verdi based his opera, the real subject of the drama was the curse placed upon the hunchbacked jester by the father whose sexual humiliation he had publicly mocked. Verdi’s opera has Shakespearean grandeur, and echoes of Lear and Cordelia resonate throughout.
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