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

NATIONAL YOUTH ORCHESTRA ROYAL ALBERT HALL

Classical music: Even Britten could be a brute

CARNIVAL NIGHT ALDEBURGH FESTIVAL

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
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War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert