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.
Recycling is for rubbish. Thrilling new ballet like this is a great leap forward
The Military Wives' choirmaster described the group's prize win at the Classical Brits as “the candle on the icing of a very large cake”.
You wait for years for a helicopter and then... four come along at once, in Birmingham as in Edinburgh. What a whirl!
Eric Roseberry enriched the world of music in a variety of ways. He was a lecturer, writer, scholar, organist, broadcaster, teacher, pianist, conductor, editor and enthusiast, the sheer breadth of his intellect making him an inspirational guide for generations of aspiring musicians.
Piano trios by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich are meticulously played by the David Trio, a chamber ensemble of growing repute, each member a distinguished player in his own right.
Writers of film music are unjustly ignored, says Jessica Duchen, ahead of a Proms celebration of their work
It's a well-kept secret that the Bergen Philharmonic is one of the world's oldest orchestras - 246 years old and counting. Norway's most famous son, Edvard Grieg, was himself artistic director from 1880-1882. Now, and for the foreseeable future, an American is at the helm.
Completed – or so he thought - at the moment of his country’s greatest peril with Hitler’s forces camped in the Moscow suburbs, Sergei Prokofiev’s operatic adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace must have seemed a powerful and patriotic artistic response to the horrors of the conflict engulfing his homeland. But it didn’t work like that in Stalin’s world.
The charismatic St. Petersburg-born Vasily Petrenko has really been turning things around at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra since he took over as Principal Conductor in 2005.
How do you musically represent the explosion of an atom bomb? Last year John Adams showed us in his new opera Dr Atomic: a succession of shattering brass triads in G sharp minor, with an extra hyper-romantic chord thrown in. Alfred Schnittke's way, half a century ago, was to bombard his audience with everything in his orchestral armoury – string and trombone glissandi, cluster-chords, roars on percussion, and tremolandi all round. But the Nagasaki oratorio which Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra brought to the Proms didn't give us Schnittke the mature and playful "polystylist": this was Schnittke the student, and it showed.
Decades later and we've grown to love Birtwistle's rich and strange sound world. A concert to celebrate the composer's 75th birthday is met with shock and awe – as well as affection
Another night, another student orchestra. If you want to learn the secret of classical music's perennial good health, look no further; the conservatoires are bristling with talent. The Orion draws its players from all four London conservatoires, and the Sonitus Chamber Choir, which joined it for this event, does likewise. One purpose of this orchestra is to promote "unjustly forgotten masterpieces"; another is to give the players experience of working under real-world pressure.
It's a brave (or foolhardy) man who dares to make an opera of Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. Throughout the long first act of Alexander Smelkov and Yury Dimitrin's adaptation for the Mariinsky Theatre, the effect was a little like speed-reading it while under the influence. If you didn't know the novel at all, the seemingly reckless dash of the narrative, the dislocation of characters and ideas, will have left you feeling marooned in some grand farce. To some extent, Dostoyevsky's last novel is just that – the anatomy of a chaotic society and the human conditions driving it. But still I wonder if the composer and his librettist have got the balance right between the grimly ironic and the tragic?
It doesn't seem so very long ago (but it was) that André Previn crossed over from the darkside (aka Hollywood) and sought the classical limelight in London. He sported a Beatles haircut and a spring in his step, and Eric Morecambe called him Mr Preview.
Many have lost relatives, some no longer have homes, but they all put on their best evening dress and flocked to Tskhinvali's central square to see one of the world's most famous conductors lead an emotional concert in support of his people – and Russian military action.