Britten's spring awakening

Neither symphony nor song-cycle, Benjamin Britten's most idiosyncratic achievement is a major landmark.

Obituary: Bill Servaes

FOR NEARLY 10 years Bill Servaes was general manager of the Aldeburgh Festival. When Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears interviewed him for the job, he confessed he was more used to running ships than music festivals but, as it turned out, he was particularly well suited to this new venture in his career. The years from 1971, when Servaes took up the position, to 1976, when Britten died, were among the most fruitful in the somewhat chequered history of the festival.

The Critics: The greatest love story ever told

The week in radio

Classical Sight Readings: Hold my hand while I listen...

Here's a marketing wheeze: classics sold in supermarkets, with famous fans to make them user-friendly

Sight Readings: Let's hear it for Monsieur Poulenc!

A NEW year: time for a new look at the chronically underrated composer whose centenary falls this week. Francis Poulenc may have a big fan club in Japan, but in the West he is looked at askance, while his own country remains impervious to his music's acidulated charm. Since fashionability was in his view an artistic calamity, he would doubtless be proud of his standing in France today.

Arts: Lieder of the pack

It's just three years since Ian Bostridge gave up his day job for a career as a singer. But the star of Sadler's Wells' new production of The Bartered Bride could be one of the best finds in years.

Theatre: The mother of all dramas

Racine, Euripides, Benjamin Britten, Stevie Smith and Sarah Kane have all fallen for Phaedra,

Proms: Youth movements


Classical music: Even Britten could be a brute


Obituary: Professor Boris Ford

BORIS FORD was one of that remarkable generation of writers, poets, educators, administrators and musicians who attended Gresham's School, Holt in the 1920s and 1930s. Two of the most prominent among them were W.H. Auden and Benjamin Britten. It was Ford's ability to combine very many of those talents, interests and activities within the confines of his own and, it must be said, unique personality that marked him out as an exceptional and highly influential figure. He was a kind of walking, talking and teaching intellectual collective in his own right.

Obituary: Alan G. Melville

ALAN G. MELVILLE's career as a conductor and chorus master stretched for over 60 years, and he played an important part in launching Benjamin Britten's opera Peter Grimes in 1945.

Reviews: Lights, smoke, action

Dance: Yolande Snaith and Richard Alston

The proof is in the potion

In opera, everyone from Wagner to Gilbert & Sullivan has resorted to drink to drown their sorrows. As ENO prepares to dispense a new `Elixir

Tribute to Tippett: So long a life, so many notes

Sir Michael Tippett, unarguably one of this country's very greatest composers, died last week at the age of 93. Tonight, BBC Radio 3 is dedicating its entire evening schedule to his memory. Here, Andrew Green canvasses the recollections of a few of the composer's many friends and colleagues.

Reviews: Classical: A good Job, well done

Max, Britten and Tippett
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona from £629pp
South Africa
Prices correct as of 12 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas