Arts and Entertainment

First seen as part of a 1912 double bill, Ariadne auf Naxos was revised and reshaped as Europe plunged into the carnage of the First World War. Strauss was profoundly relieved when his son, Franz, was declared unfit for military service. But his librettist, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, had already served as a reservist when the now familiar version of their backstage comedy on high and low art premiered in Vienna in 1916, four days after the assassination of the prime minister in the dining room of a hotel a few minutes' walk from the opera house.

Opera: All the world in a symphony

PROMS 47-48

Classical: It's a player's right to choose

The Berlin Philharmonic has voted for Simon Rattle as its conductor. But orchestras are odd constituencies, as Ian Pillow knows

Berlin Philharmonic takes risk on iconoclast Rattle

THE MOST prestigious orchestra in the world took a gamble with its own future yesterday,choosing as its chief conductor a youngish iconoclast from a distant land once mocked for being tone deaf.

Battle of the maestros for Berlin

OFFICIALLY IT has been a global job hunt with every living conductor in the world a potential candidate. In reality the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra's quest to find a chief conductor has been narrowed down to just two men and the result should be announced later today.

Letter: Brassed off

RICHARD GOTT shares the popular misconception that the repertoire of the military band is confined to martial music (Essay, Culture, 6 June). Ceremonial occasions, while seeming to be the limit of his experience, are an infinitesimal part of the role of the military band. Most military bands spend more time in classrooms providing much needed musical tuition for young musicians. How many symphony orchestras provide a full day's free tuition with their musicians to grade-eight standard and beyond, or the experience of playing as part of a full wind band that carries a valuable certificate of work experience?

Rattle and Barenboim in a battle for Berlin

A prestigious musical job is up for grabs this week, with two of the world's top conductors in the running to lead the Berlin Philharmonic. Imre Karacs reports

Music loses as Labour plays military tune

YESTERDAY, bandsmen of the Household Division switched from martial airs to the relaxed lyrics of The Beatles' Michelle after the First Battalion Coldstream Guards marked the monarch's birthday by Trooping the Colour. The only worry on the musicians' minds was hitting the right note.

Obituary: James Blades

JAMES BLADES was one of the best loved and most naturally talented musicians to grace the British orchestral scene over the past 60 years. He brought the skills and art of great percussion playing to a wide public not only through his performing ability but through his extraordinary talent in communication with people from all walks of life. He was kindly and encouraging to the first efforts of the smallest child and he advised composers like Igor Stravinsky. He was a close friend of Benjamin Britten, who turned to him constantly for advice on percussion techniques and special sounds such as creating the unique instruments for the church operas - "you know what I mean Jimmy"; and he did!

Smart Moves: Listen to the music makers

Persuading 100 talented, opinionated musicians to play exactly the way a conductor wishes takes sophisticated leadership skills, as managers are discovering. By Philip Schofield

Yehudi Menuhin: 1916-1999

AT THE age of 12 he played the violin in a manner which made Einstein believe in god. At the age of 82 he was still conducting in concert halls across the world.

Obituary: Robert Shaw

THE NAMES of the century's most distinguished orchestral conductors - people like Klemperer, Furtwangler, Toscanini - tend to be known even to people who are not otherwise familiar with the world of classical music. The art of the choral conductor is a rather better-kept secret, and, though Robert Shaw may not have been a household name, he was none the less a great choral conductor. Indeed, along with the Swede Eric Ericson, two years his junior, he probably ranks as the greatest choral trainer of the century.

Classical: From the basses to the stars

FIDELIO/WALTER WELLER

Danger, daring, surprise, the works

Classical Music

Classical: Sadly second rate

CHARLES IVES BOURNEMOUTH SO POOLE
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Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?