James Rhodes: The concert pianist on mental illness and opening up about sexual abuse

Somewhere along the line, classical music has been appropriated A guy walks on in a monkey suit and perpetuates the "amazing scowling genius shrouded in my own artistry" thing. Instead, why not introduce this guy Bach, who was surrounded by death – 11 of his children died in infancy, and then the love of his life dies – then play a piece he wrote in her memory. People will get more from it than by reading an Oxford don's programme notes.

Daniel Barenboim conducts Prom 46

Prom 46: Daniel Barenboim, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra - review

The symbolism of Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra has never been more potent or necessary

Prom 41 at London's Royal Albert Hall

Prom 41/Prom 42, Royal Albert Hall, London, review: 'From quietly devastating to outright heartbreak'

Frederick Kelly's Elegy for Strings really hits the mark

Rufus Wainwright performs at Town Hall on April 15, 2014 in New York City

Rufus Wainwright funds his opera recording by selling the shirt off his back

He had the piece, the players, the tour dates, but not the cash. Call wardrobe...

BBC Proms: Prom 36/Prom 37, review: 'Symphonic scope'

Musical responses to conflict recurred throughout the evening

La traviata, Opera Up Close, Soho Theatre, review: 'Could speak louder with a little less volume'

Can what is gained in intimacy ever make up for what is lost in scope?

Rinaldo, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Lewes, review: Glorious preposterousness'

None of the directorial liberties are at the expense of the music

De Staat, Multi-Story Orchestra, review: Extremely and unremittingly loud

Performed in a multi-storey car park in Peckham

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

Prom 23, 25 and 26 - review

In death John Tavener casts a long shadow: the hall was impressively full for the premiere of his posthumous Requiem Fragments given by the Tallis Scholars under Peter Phillips, the Heath Quartet, trombonists Barry Clements and Roger Harvey, and soprano Carolyn Sampson.

Dido and Aeneas at the Bristol Old Vic

Dido and Aeneas, Bristol Old Vic, review: Wonderfully zesty and fresh

The vibrant singing of the youthful Erebus Ensemble made the evening

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

Prom 19 and Prom 20, review

Vasily Petrenko and the Liverpool Philharmonic opened Prom 19 with two Richard Strauss rarities, the first of which, his Festival Prelude, was pure bombast.

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.

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