Arts and Entertainment

Last autumn Helene Grimaud released a fine recording of Brahms’ piano concertos under the baton of Andris Nelsons: to hear them perform the second concerto live with the Philharmonia Orchestra was to realise anew what a superb symbiosis they can achieve.

A boy writes ‘Jud’ (Jew) on a building in Vienna in 1938

Over half of Austrians think the Nazis would be elected if the party was readmitted to politics

75 years after Hitler annexed country, poll reveals worrying views about banned party

A unique blend of beauty, tone and projection

I've had the Regent Stradivarius since 2000, and it's just like having a child

Over 800,000 on waiting list for Mailbox iPhone app

The app, which aims to change to way we use email, is in high demand

Album: Fanfara Tirana meets Transglobal Underground, Kabatronics (World Village)

For more than 20 years, London's TGU have placed traditional "world music" sounds in a contemporary context in an unforced, unexploitational way that works because they collaborate rather than just appropriate.

Brindley Sherratt and Katherine Manley get to know each other
in ENO's glitzy take on Medea, set in the Second World War

Classical review: Medea - Hello, sailor! The fleet's in and it's one hell of a show

All the nice girls love a sailor. But so do the mad girls and the bad girls. Exquisitely bored by the monotonous hum and click of sewing machines and knitting needles in a snowbound fishing village, Senta annihilates herself for love of the cursed hero of The Flying Dutchman. Enraged by rejection, and pressed on all sides by the complex politics of an uneasy military alliance, the sorceress Medea slaughters her children and poisons her rival to wring hot tears from the cold eyes of unfaithful Jason.

Sir Cliff Richard performing at another Royal dwelling, Buckingham palace, for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee last June.

Sir Cliff Richard to headline Hampton Court Palace Festival

Sir Cliff Richard and Frankie Valli will headline a festival in the historic setting of Hampton Court Palace in June.

Killer chords: Wilko Johnson

On the brink of death but still creating

Wilko Johnson is about to embark on his farewell tour. He's not the first artist to use a terminal diagnosis as inspiration to carry on performing

Storgards, Hardenberger, BBC Philharmonic, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

The most powerful weapon in the opera designer’s armoury is lighting, which allows musical atmosphere to be changed by the flick of a switch: Ravel’s ‘L’enfant et les sortileges’ was never more resonant than when lit by David Hockney’s glowing reds, greens, and mauves.

Perfect pace: Esa-Pekka Salonen in rehearsal for Woven Words, which marks the centenary of Witold Lutoslawski

Album review: Barbra Streisand, Classical Barbra (Sony Masterworks)

These days, every two-bit MoR belter gets to make a “classical” album; but when Barbra Streisand released Classical Barbra in 1976, it was a rare and risky gambit.

Album review: Alisa Weilerstein, Daniel Barenboim, Elgar, Carter: Cello Concertos (Decca)

Virtuosi seem to know what they must do from an early age: in Alisa Weilerstein's case, her first “cello” was made from a cereal box and a toothbrush, when she was just two. Since then, she's played with conductors such as Mehta, Dudamel and, here, Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin.

The sisters, from the left: Maxene, Patty and Laverne

Patty Andrews: The last of the Andrews Sisters

The Andrews Sisters were the American equivalent of Vera Lynn with the British troops in wartime. They boosted morale, sold war bonds and were the forces' sweethearts who made GIs reminisce about life back home. They sold 50 million records, which included "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", "Beat Me Daddy Eight To The Bar" and "Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree".

Krystian Zimerman, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Royal Festival Hall, London

Given that they’ve slapped their ‘Rest Is Noise’ logo on half the coming year’s output, it’s strange the Southbank Centre should have left it off their series celebrating the centenary of Witold Lutoslawski.

Max Hole, pictured with singer Karen Mok, has called on the Classical music industry to shed its stuffy and elitist image

Exclusive: Orchestras must 'ride the wave of change' or die

New boss of Universal Music issues clarion call urging musicians to engage with audiences

Max Hole is right - conductors must do more

So classical music fails to attract young audiences, and it’s the fault of orchestras  – that’s the verdict of one of the most powerful people in the music business.

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas