Cultural life: Nicola Benedetti, violinist
'Barbra Streisand is always a joy to watch'
Friday 26 July 2013
Most recent was Ravel's arrangement of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, a suite in ten movements originally written for piano solo, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Although Ravel's arrangement perhaps loses some subtleties of the original, it is a fascinating combination of Russian material and French orchestration. Another recent performance I attended was Blood on the Fields, written by Wynton Marsalis, and performed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in New York in their Rose Theatre. This piece is an epic jazz oratorio on slavery and freedom.
Trance, a truly fascinating film, with a beautiful performance by Rosario Dawson. And The Guilt Trip with Barbra Streisand. She is always a joy to watch.
I was particularly stirred by Good Italy, Bad Italy on BBC4 and its artistic and varied presentation of Italy's economic and moral decline within the last two decades.
Zadie Smith's NW is a great novel. Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett's The Spirit Level: Why Equality Is Better for All of Us, presents solid evidence that societies fare better when they are equal.
Nicola Benedetti performs a one-off concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London W8 (www.royalalberthall.com) on 25 September
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
After Sam Smith’s Mobo success, is the help of a pushy parent the surest route to stardom?
Pottermore: JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story featuring 'greying' 33-year-old wizard
JK Rowling to publish new Harry Potter story online for Halloween
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts