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.

You Write The Reviews: London Philharmonic Orchestra, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne

There was a full house at the Congress Theatre in Eastbourne to hear this concert by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. On the rostrum was one of the best and most energetic of today's young conductors, Michael Dworzynski, a Pole, who recently won the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition.

London Schools Symphony Orchestra/Armstrong, Barbican, London

The significance of a youth orchestra lies less in its achievement, than in what it portends for the future – and in what it says about the climate in which its playing has developed. We currently have two global benchmarks against which all youth orchestras should be measured.

Messiah, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

Vasily Petrenko, the young Russian principal conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, attracts such glowing reviews that it's only fair to assume that there will be one hurdle at which he'll fall.

Interviews: Be prepared and be yourself

It pays to know what to expect at an interview, so make sure you do your research, advises Amy McLellan

Cottage Of The Week: The Byre, Dorset

You wouldn't know that The Byre was once a humble Dorset cowshed. Inside its stone walls, visitors can indulge in cool, contemporary living

Boy, 15, stabbed to death outside school

A 15-year-old boy has been stabbed to death outside the gates of his London school.

LSO/Alsop, Barbican, London

Otello, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Two cheers for the leads - but save the roar for the chorus

La Cenerentola, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Glyndebourne

Rags, riches and a class act

Proms star made chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra

THE CZECH conductor Jiri Belohlavek has been appointed chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, one of the most prestigious positions in British classical music.

Czech conductor chosen to replace Slatkin as head of Proms orchestra

The Czech conductor Jiri Belohlavek has been appointed chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, one of the most prestigious positions in British classical music.

Jonathan Harvey, Tramway, Glasgow

In the citadel of modernism, Jonathan Harvey is one of the most distinguished British figures.

LSO/Harding, Barbican, London

The London Symphony Orchestra's first Barbican concert of the new year was not a happy one.

kd lang: Waterfront Hall, Belfast

She's got the voice, the songs - now all kd needs is a super furry animal...

Donatella Flick conducting competition, Barbican, London

Donatella Flick endowed her competition in 1990 with the aim of advancing the careers of young conductors, offering them a platform, and helping establish their international careers. She has achieved her aims: a host of young names (not necessarily first-prize winners) have been made at this major international competition that takes young hopefuls from across Europe, pits them against a student orchestra (from the Royal Academy) and then puts three finalists alongside Sir Colin Davis's London Symphony Orchestra.

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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us