Arts and Entertainment

Avi Avital "Between Worlds" (Deutsche Grammophon)

Fascinating: Janina Fialkowska

Janina Fialkowska, Royal Philharmonic, Gabel
Cadogan Hall, London

Since the Polish-Canadian pianist Janina Fialkowska returned to the stage three years ago after a long time out, her story has earned her legendary status.

Charlotte Barbour-Condini, London Octave
St Martin in the Fields

To ‘record’ derives from the Latin recordari, ‘to remember’, and that’s what medieval English minstrels did with the instrument to which they gave this name.

Album: Various Artists Sacred Baroque Masterpieces (Naïve)

For once, the apparent hyperbole is simple statement of fact: the four albums compiled together here are all indeed masterpieces of baroque music, delivered with grace and majesty by outstanding performers.

Denis Matsuev, Kavakos, LSO, Valery Gergiev, Barbican, London

Unveiling plans for his new Mariinsky theatre, vociferously backing Putin over Pussy Riot, and popping up as an improbable Father Christmas on Radio 3, Valery Gergiev has been hard to ignore this week. But his current exploration with the London Symphony Orchestra continues.

Album: Karlheinz Stockhausen, Michaels Reise um die Erde (Wergo)

In his later years, Stockhausen gave himself more and more to monumental works, such as the 29-hour operatic cycle Licht, a grand mythopoeic fable based around the days of the week, from whose Donnerstag (Thursday) opera derives Michaels Reise um die Erde (Michael's Journey Around The World).

The Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House, London

It’s twenty years since the death of Kenneth MacMillan, one of The Royal Ballet’s defining choreographers. His ballets, particularly his story ballets, are still at the heart of the company’s repertory, adored by dancers and audiences alike.

'Viscera' by Liam Scarlett, abstract ballet that would rather be an action movie

IoS dance review: Royal Ballet Triple Bill, Royal Opera House, London

Recycling is for rubbish. Thrilling new ballet like this is a great leap forward

Celebrating with a knees-up in 'A Village Romeo and Juliet'

Wexford Festival Opera, Wexford Opera House, Co Wexford, Republic of Ireland

Four operas at the ever resourceful Wexford keep the company and soloists on their toes

Album: Michael Tilson Thomas, American Mavericks: Cowell, Harrison, Varèse SFS (Media)

Michael Tilson Thomas's time at the helm of the San Francisco Symphony has been marked by a courageous dedication to modernist American outsiders, and American Mavericks bears out the orchestra's experience with such outré material.

Album: Antonio Pappano, Dvorák: Symphony No. 9 'From The New World'; Cello Concerto (EMI Classics)

Partnered here with the following year's "Cello Concerto" , Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 has a broad-brush scope and panache that lends itself perfectly to the detailed, focused approach of Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Their interpretation raises new questions: Dvorák may have claimed negro and Native American influences on the work, but reflecting the tendentious ascription of "New World", here it's more the pioneer spirit that infuses the symphony, with its widescreen strings anticipating a century of Western movie vistas, and its can-do bustle suggestive more of colonising settlers than natives. And isn't that the cavalry summoned by those horns?

Here, in case it's, our hero is in a fountain, adding 'blue steel' to an already string-heavy bow

Doing the 50: (Please don't) come dine with me

Sheffield third-year James Ashford is determined to do all 50 things The Independent once foolishly suggested all students should do before they leave uni. The results are... churlish and asinine.

Scholarship Sheffield style. He isn't even carrying any books!

Doing the 50: 'I don't like to talk about my charity work...'

Sheffield third-year James Ashford is bored of the student existence. His Philosophy degree unfulfilling, he was tired of doing nothing. Then, he discovered The Independent's ultimate list of 50 things to do before leaving uni. Now he's a man with purpose, and today he's five steps closer to 50.

Colin Horsley: Pioneering pianist

Colin Horsley, the New Zealand pianist who made his home in Britain, was first noticed at an end-of-term concert at the Royal College of Music in 1941 when he displayed "almost alarming virtuosity" in a performance of the Saint-Saëns G minor piano concerto. A reviewer wrote: "he can do everything and does it with ease".

Album: Nicola Benedetti The Silver Violin (Decca)

Nicola Benedetti believes that film music is the primary contemporary conduit for classical or orchestral music.

Album: Armonico Consort, Let The Bright Seraphim (Signum Classics)

The Armonico Consort follow up their dazzling second volume of Naked Byrd acappella pieces with this programme of baroque works for trumpet, soprano and chamber ensemble.

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