Arts and Entertainment

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Wojciech Kilar: Award-winning writer of film score for 'The Pianist' who had a gift for creating visual images in sound

Wojciech Kilar was a prolific classical composer who was best known outside his native Poland for his work on scores for more than 130 films, including Roman Polanski's The Pianist (2002) and Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992).

John Tavener at Bridgewater Hall as part of Manchester International Festival

Blurred lines: John Tavener was an odd mix of minimalist, royalist and mystic – so why listen up?

More establishment than experimental, classifying the late composer is no easy task

Robin Ticciati and Stephen Hough rehearse for Prom 49

Classical review: Prom 49 - Bad parenting has rarely been portrayed with such delicacy or such pummelling power

A fleet performance of the German master’s Third Symphony offers a reminder of its revolutionary impact, two centuries on

Google Doodle celebrates influential composer Claude Debussy with Clair de lune sequence

The works of Achille-Claude Debussy were considered a seminal force in the classical music of the 20th Century

Written on Skin, Royal Opera House, London

The rate at which a George Benjamin opera gestates is glacially slow, and his long-awaited Written on Skin, triumphantly premiered at Aix last summer, has now reached London. And though a 100-minute, interval-free symbolic drama set to post-tonal music might sound rebarbative, it actually makes a riveting evening.

Krystian Zimerman, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Royal Festival Hall, London

Given that they’ve slapped their ‘Rest Is Noise’ logo on half the coming year’s output, it’s strange the Southbank Centre should have left it off their series celebrating the centenary of Witold Lutoslawski.

Karita Mattila

Karita Mattila, Thomas Hampson, LPO, Vladimir Jurowski/ Karim Said, Southbank Centre

Alex Ross’s The Rest Is Noise has shining virtues, but it offers no startling insights, and as a social-political study of 20th century music it follows a well-established tradition.

Reverie, Lucy Parham, Henry Goodman, Wigmore Hall, London

Pianist Lucy Parham is practiced at presenting composers’ lives in words and music with the aid of actors, and Debussy is her latest. Not such an easy nut to crack as Schumann – no equivalent of the Robert-and-Clara household diaries – but as a letter-writer Debussy held forth with an engaging blend of pride and prejudice, hedonism and misanthropy.

Album: Pascal Dusapin, Etudes pour Piano (Musicales Actes Sud)

In the photograph album that accompanies Vanessa Wagner's interpretations of his piano "Etudes", Pascal Dusapin's apprehensions of the world are stricken with shadowplay, quizzical compositions rendering reality abstract, 3D reduced not just to 2D, but drained of moment.

Francesco Piemontesi,***** / Connolly, Guimaraes, OAE, Cohen, ****

Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Wexford Opera Festival, Ireland

For 61 years Wexford has been the emerald of opera festivals, refreshing the repertoire by trawling up underrated gems. This year marks the 150th anniversary of Delius’s birth – and his opera A Village Romeo and Juliet remains rare enough to qualify.

Album: Hélène Grimaud & Sol Gabetta, Duo (Deutsche Grammophon)

Cellist Sol Gabetta's playing, according to pianist Hélène Grimaud, is characterised by the “light and warmth and vitality” indicated by her first name, qualities not often associated with the instrument.

Prom 56: NLCC, BBCNCW, BBCSO, Knussen, Royal Albert Hall

With Oliver Knussen conducting a programme of his own devising, including his own third symphony and a 60th birthday tribute to him composed by a young admirer, this was very much his Prom - indeed it’s turning out to be his year, with his small but special oeuvre at last being brought into the mainstream.

Guy/Bavouzet/Armstrong/Chamayou, Wigmore Hall, London

‘In a park, at twilight, a tennis ball has got lost; a young man and two girls come looking for it. They start to play hide and seek, chase each other, quarrel and sulk...’

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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain