Arts and Entertainment

Tania Kross, "Krossover – Opera Revisited" (Challenge Classics)

Album review: Southern Tenant Folk Union, Hello Cold Goodbye Sun (Johnny Rock)

With Hello Cold Goodbye Sun, the Scottish folk group Southern Tenant Folk Union presents its most potent offering since 2010's excellent The New Farming Scene.

Corelli at Christmas, Avison Ensemble, Rebecca Bottone, Kings Place, London

Soprano Rebecca Bottone is one of the most versatile performers on the operatic stage today. She gets her charisma from her father, the tenor Bonaventura Bottone, but her chameleon ability is all her own.

Rising stars: Mandhira de Saram and Patrick Dawkins, half of the Ligeti Quartet

Mad Russian scientist throws boiling water over a balcony

"Oh those crazy Russians!" as Boney M once so astutely observed. It might be - 41 degrees outside but YouTube user lifehackertv is not sitting indoors under his slanket watching Homeland

Fortune smiles on Brodsky Quartet's Wheel of 4Tunes tour as stolen sheet music recovered

The classical group had music books stolen from the boot of a car while on tour

Elbow's Guy Garvey performs at the London 2012 Olympic closing ceremony

Elbow, Capital FM Arena, Nottingham

“We’re going to disappear from the public radar for about a year,” Guy Garvey announces to anyone in the crowd who hadn’t already heard.

IoS album review: Old Crow Medicine Show, Carry Me Back (ATO/Decca)

OCMS are some Virginian’s dream of a marketable bluegrass phenomenon.

Great Britain's men crashed out of team pursuit qualifying in the opening event of the Track World Cup in Glasgow.

Barker steps up in style to rouse British spirits in opening day at Glasgow's Sir Chris Hoy velodrome

Britain are up and running at Chris Hoy's place. Opening day in the velodrome named after Scotland's greatest Olympian did not all go according to plan but come the end of the first night of the Track World Cup meeting another healthy treasure chest of British bullion had been stocked.

“Under the Westway” single was first played by Damon Albarn (pictured) and guitarist Graham Coxon in February

BBC to mark 90 years of broadcasting with composition by Damon Albarn

A composition created by Blur frontman Damon Albarn will be played on every BBC radio station at the same time today to mark 90 years since the corporation's first ever broadcast.

Is it possible for classical music to reach a mass market?

The Week In Radio: Radio 3 needs an audience beyond this tiny elite

Is classical music really for everyone? This was the question posed by the writer and presenter Tom Service, chair of a live debate at the Sage in Gateshead as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking festival, to which the answer is: if only. Classical music is as much for everyone as quilted outdoor clothing, nannies, shopping at Waitrose and restaurant food that has been "pan-fried" rather than fried in a pan. A person's exposure to it depends on their education, financial status, parental influence and social class. Musical taste barely comes into it.

High note: Alt-J on stage at Reading Festival 2012

Alt-J, Electric Ballroom, London

There's a rumble throughout much of Alt-J's set: it's the sort of dubstep, bass heavy production that makes them sound oh-so 'now', layered as it is under folky guitar and vocal harmonies. Think James Blake meets Mumford & Sons (but please, let's refrain from the tag 'folk-step', a term more juddering than their basslines).

Album: JLS, Evolution (RCA)

On Evolution, JLS shift gear and attempt to graduate from boy-band to grown-up R&B combo. But it's a tough old world out there, and they may have sacrificed the very charm that was their major selling point.

On his new tour, Johnny Hallyday is trying to translate his massive popularity at home to success abroad

First Night: Johnny Hallyday, Royal Albert Hall, London

France's Elvis is the perfect gentleman on his first British date

Album: Martha Wainwright, Come Home to Mama (V-2 Coop)

If CHTM includes references to motherhood beyond its title, that's hardly surprising: during its gestation, Wainwright became a mother herself and lost her own (the folk legend Kate McGarrigle).

Album: Beth Nielsen, Chapman The Mighty Sky (BNC)

Beth Nielsen Chapman here provides a song-borne guide to astronomy for reluctant little learners that parents should find fun, too.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there