Arts and Entertainment

Barbican, London

Classical: When Barbie met Beethoven

Want to introduce your child to the classics? Then maybe the queen of the toy store can help. Lynne Walker reports

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LSO/Alsop, Barbican, London

Classical: Philharmonia / Muti Royal Festival Hall London oooo9

ONLY LAST year, opera-fanciers were suggesting Riccardo Muti would be "not welcome" in London after he refused to conduct a production that Covent Garden had altered against his wishes. Orchestra followers, it seems, have longer and more generous memories. As the senior past principal conductor of the Philharmonia, Muti was the orchestra's choice for its 60th anniversary concert last week. Warmly greeted, his presence was a reminder that he had presided over the second of the Philharmonia's three great periods in its life so far, and also that this has always been the most Continental of the London orchestras in both outlook and style.

LSO/Harding, Barbican, London

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

LSO / Lorin Maazel, Barbican London

Since his first emergence as a prodigy back in the 1950s, Lorin Maazel has established himself as a somewhat uncanny necromancer among conductors, while invariably delivering performances of glittering technical proficiency and vividness. Whether these have always transcended a certain narcissistic coldness is another matter. One would not, in any case, have readily associated him with the warmth and inwardness of Schubert and Bruckner.

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.

The young and the restless

A new generation of conductors is taking Europe by storm. Jessica Duchen outlines the trials and triumphs that lie ahead in the pressure cooker of the pit

LSO/Davis, Barbican, London

It perhaps seems churlish to complain again about the London Symphony Orchestra's (LSO) policy towards new music, when the capital's premier band is about to embark on two weeks with Pierre Boulez.

Housebound to be treated to concerts in their own living rooms

Christopher Smith has always wanted to take his daughter to a classical music concert, but her severe disabilities mean she rarely leaves the house.

A hard act to follow

Clive Gillinson, director of the LSO, is off to New York. As Jessica Duchen discovers, his departure raises serious questions about the orchestra's future

Prom 22: Britten's War Requiem, Royal Albert Hall, London

While the massed ranks of the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, soloists, and conductor sat shrouded in darkness, Timothy Bond, at the Royal Albert Hall organ, revealed a hitherto unheard remnant by the composer of the main event.

LSO / Rostropovich, Barbican, London

It is interesting to speculate what sort of Violin Concerto Tchaikovsky might have written had he tackled it six months earlier at the height of his marital catastrophe in 1877.

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