The string sections plays during the first night of the Proms, 2014

Prom 16, 17 and 18, Royal Albert Hall - review

‘One hundred years away… the trenches at night’ run the words Gabriel Prokofiev has written on the score of his Violin Concerto ‘1914’. And the programme for this work is indeed specific, including savagery, shell-shock, and sardonic imperial marches: the rationale is pure Shostakovich, though more literal.

Prom 15 performed at the Royal Albert Hall

Prom 15, review: Ingrid Fliter suffers temporary memory lapse

The BBC Symphony Orchestra helped her recover with consummate professionalism

The string sections plays during the first night of the Proms, 2014

Prom 10, Prom 12 - review: Tasmin Little unearths a violin concerto as Roger Norrington travesties the St John Passion

Every year the Proms bring out forgotten works by mid-twentieth-century British composers, and one is often forced to ask why. The official justification is always the same – ‘we felt it deserved a hearing’ – but with some music the expensive road-test of a Prom is pointless, because everyone who can read a score – or judge by an archive recording - knows in advance that it will fail.

The string sections plays during the first night of the Proms, 2014

Prom 7 and Prom 9, review: John Tavener's Gnosis has perfect vocal-instrumental balance

In Gnosis, John Tavener has left a posthumous mystical love-letter which, though small in scale, carves out a large space in the mind. Mezzo Sarah Connolly and alto flautist Michael cox were the soloists, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Jiri Belohlavek laying down a carpet of strings and percussion beneath them; the vocal-instrumental balance was perfect throughout.

A scene from the first Prom, 2014

Prom 1: The Kingdom, Prom 2: China Philharmonic - review

The beginning of the 2014 BBC Proms season was also the end of an era, as Roger Wright officially ended his time in charge. Rather than go out with fanfares however, Wright’s final night was all muted glow and quiet nostalgia.

La Traviata performed at Glyndebourne

La traviata, Glyndebourne, review: Fresh and thrillingly unfamiliar

A Traviata that glances to the past while stepping resolutely into opera’s emotional and dramatic future

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Proms 2014: Tasmin Little is preparing for her 20th Proms - but busking is her real passion

The chart-topping violinist tells Jessica Duchen that her real passion is for performing for people who never set foot in a concert hall
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Medea: How Goldfrapp scored the Greek tragedy

The National Theatre's production of the Greek tragedy 'Medea' addresses itself to the modern condition, helped by music from the art-pop duo. Holly Williams goes backstage

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ENO's Cosi Fan Tutte opera is the new circus

Showman Gerry Cottle was dragged to see the latest production of ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’ and had an epiphany

Maria Stuarda at the Royal Opera House

Maria Stuarda, Royal Opera House, review: Joyce DiDonato is transcendent

One always expects high style from the directing duo Leiser and Caurier, and the opening moments of their new Maria Stuarda are both arresting and puzzling.

Proms 2014: Why the Proms are losing their director Roger Wright

This year’s concerts will feature the starriest names in classical music. But in the background is the sudden departure of director Roger Wright. We reveal the real reasons for his exit

English National Opera the biggest loser in Arts Council funding shake-up

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La Finta Giardiniera, Glyndebourne, opera review: 'Emerges with irresistible charm'

The action is allowed to float free of time and place

Ariadne auf Naxos, Royal Opera House, review: 'An assured take on Strauss’s teasing amalgam of high-flown tragedy and ribald comedy'

Christoph Loy’s serenely assured take on Strauss’s teasing amalgam of high-flown tragedy and ribald comedy is proving one of the most enduringly enjoyable productions in the Covent Garden repertory; the razzmatazz of the Prologue, with its grand to-and-fro between upstairs and downstairs, gives way to an operatic staging whose elegance perfectly matches the restrained beauty of the score.

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