Edward Seckerson

Writer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson is Chief Classical Music and Opera Critic for The Independent. He wrote and presented the long-running BBC Radio 3 series Stage & Screen, in which he interviewed many of the most prominent writers and stars of musical theatre. He appears regularly on BBC Radio 3 and 4. On television, he has commentated a number of times at the Cardiff Singer of the World competition. He has published books on Mahler and the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, and has been on Gramophone Magazine's review panel for many years. Edward presented the 2007 series of the Radio 4 music quiz Counterpoint. He has interviewed everyone from Leonard Bernstein to Liza Minelli; from Paul McCartney to Pavarotti: from Julie Andrews to Jessye Norman.

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St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra / Temirkanov, Barbican Hall, London

When you are arguably the greatest violinist in the world a four-year “time out” from the public arena can seem like an eternity.

Miss Fortune, Royal Opera House

Miss Fortune in name and deed. Sad to say but Judith Weir’s sixth opera is an embarrassment.

Britten Sinfonia & Britten Sinfonia Voices/ Delfs, Barbican Hall

The Victorians have a lot to answer for.

Dvorak Rusalka, Royal Opera House

It’s on occasions like this that the star-rating system runs into irreconcilable difficulties. I honestly cannot remember a time when musical and theatrical values were in such total divergence.

Adams, The Death of Klinghoffer, English National Opera

The defining moment in John Adams’ opera - and Tom Morris’ staging of it - comes right at the top of a long and not unproblematic evening.

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/ Elder, Royal Festival Hall

Such is Berlioz’ persuasive theatricality that even when he is rearranging Shakespeare one is inclined to ask not what the Bard is doing for him but rather what he is doing for the Bard.

New York Philharmonic Orchestra/ Gilbert, Barbican Hall

For the New York Philharmonic to have embarked upon a London residency without Mahler in their portfolio would have been unconscionable.

Marc-André Hamelin, Wigmore Hall

There is really very little that Marc-André Hamelin can’t or won’t do on or with a piano and he did most of it in this characteristically supersonic recital - including one wholesale assault on the Wigmore Steinway’s bottom octave with his fists.

London Philharmonic Orchestra / Nézet-Séguin, Royal Festival Hall, London

Bruckner’s unfinished final symphony - the 9th - poses many questions, none more perplexing than what might have been in terms of its absent finale.

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