To classical music lovers of a certain age, the words “BBC Northern Orchestra, conducted by John Hopkins”, spoken by the veteran BBC North Region announcer Tom Naisby, remain a vivid memory of 1950s wireless listening.
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Sunday 01 December 2013
Josie Long is an award-winning comedian and writer. She will perform with Robin Ince in Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People at London’s Bloomsbury Theatre (10-22 Dec) and also on tour in Robin and Josie’s Shambles.
Tuesday 05 November 2013
The Berlin Phil, the Gewandhaus, and the CBSO have long done it, and now the Mariinsky are doing it too: sending a posse of top instrumentalists as chamber-music outriders to their main orchestral push. Making their British debut under Valery Gergiev in the Guildhall's new Milton Court auditorium, the Stradivarius Ensemble went through their paces with three works which showcased their instruments as much as their talent. For these were no ordinary instruments: Strads and Guarneris, Guandinis and Amatis, all from the golden age of string manufacture.
Saturday 13 July 2013
Chosen as the soundtrack for the exhibition ECM – A Cultural Archeology at Munich’s Haus der Kunst, the music on these six CDs is austere even by the label’s own standards, but no less beautiful.
Saturday 06 July 2013
An unusual recital in a haunted former mission hall supplies Shostakovich and Bach with a mop and bucket
Classical review: James Ehnes, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Kirill Karabits; Britten & Shostakovich (Onyx)
Friday 10 May 2013
The haunting Spanish lilt of its first movement betrays the composer's anti-war sympathies in Britten's Violin Concerto Op 15, written in the late 1930s; the looming shadow of a larger war is then discernible in the tuba lurking behind the gay violin and piccolo of the second movement. But it's the way that James Ehnes closes the opening movement that most impresses, essaying a gossamer thread of such subtlety it becomes almost transparent.
Wednesday 17 April 2013
See the Ivor Novello nominations in full, below
Friday 01 March 2013
Ballet Black, the award-winning company founded to provide role models for black and Asian ballet dancers, is now 12 years old. It has established its own identity, which is as much about new work as it is about the colour of the dancers’ skin. It’s a small, sparky company with plenty of ambition and swagger.
Friday 15 February 2013
A Sistema offshoot comprising principals of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, the SBSQ bring a vibrant Latin American flavour to the three quartet pieces on this debut album.
Sunday 03 February 2013
Royal Festival Hall, London
Saturday 12 January 2013
How often does it need to be said that a self-laudatory programme-note is a hostage to fortune? As a preamble to her new orchestral work ‘Night Ferry’, Anna Clyne pre-empted what critics might say by providing her own review.
Monday 31 December 2012
Violinist Isabelle van Keulen is one of Holland’s most gifted chamber players, while the Dutch pianist Ronald Brautigam is world-famed for his mastery of the fortepiano, and their joint recital aroused great expectations.
Saturday 22 December 2012
Stile Antico enchant with Tallis and Byrd, while Strelchenko delivers Chopin's piano concertos as chamber music
Friday 30 November 2012
Devoting a series of concerts to the works of that celebrated mutual-admiration society Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich, conductor Kiril Karabits, violinist James Ehnes, and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra are onto a good thing.
IoS dance review: Royal Ballet Triple Bill, Royal Opera House, London
The Lock In, The Brook Theatre, Chatham
Sunday 25 November 2012
Three works by Kenneth MacMillan are a welcome reminder of what ballet can do. In another dance universe, folk and hip-hop unite to stunning effect
Monday 19 November 2012
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.
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