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.

Prom 47: BBCSSO, Exaudi, Volkov/ Prom 48: Coote, LPO, Jurowski, Royal Albert Hall

Radio 3 is embarking on a centenary talk-fest about John Cage, but there’s nothing to say about him that has not been said a thousand times already.

Prom 41: Gurrelieder/BBCSO/Saraste
Prom 42: Power/Philharmonia/Malkki
Royal Albert Hall, London

Schoenberg’s splendidly unclassifiable ‘Gurrelieder’ was both an attempt to beat Wagner at his own game and a declaration that the game was over.

Prom 37: The Apostles, Hallé Orchestra and Choir/Elder, Royal Albert Hall, London ****
Prom 38: Spence, Royal Albert Hall, London ***

All critics have their blind spots, and mine is Elgar, so it was with curiosity rather than hope that I went to hear ‘The Apostles’.

Orchestra members and tutors rehearse in Edinburgh ahead of their tour

'World's bravest orchestra' defies the bombers

Next week, young Iraqi musicians make their international concert debut in Britain. Paul Bignell reports on the obstacles they faced

Ravel's 'L'heure espagnole'

L'heure espagnole/ L'enfant et les sortilèges, Glyndebourne, East Sussex
Tête à Tête Opera Festival, Riverside Studios, London
The Francis Bacon Opera, Camden Arts Centre, London

Glyndeborne's double bill of Ravel operas captures the composer's delicate touch and ability to combine laughter and pain

Prom 31: Benedetti, BBCSSO, NYOS, Runnicles, ***; Prom 32: Bernstein's 'Mass', Jarvi, *****

Since the first item of Prom 31 was James Macmillan's ‘Fanfare Upon One Note’, it looked - when the orchestra broke into the national anthem - as though this congenitally dour Scot had gone satirical.

Charlotte Bray, Composer, 30

Observations One to Watch: Charlotte Bray, Composer, 30

"It was beyond my wildest dreams to have my work performed at the Proms last week – I only started composing music nine year's ago. It was very emotional."

Barenboim conducts the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

Prom 18: Barenboim/West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall

It’s been quite a journey, from Beethoven’s First Symphony to his Ninth in eight days. The Red Arrows even gave us a fly-past to celebrate at the end...

Prom 18: Barenboim/West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall

A fitting crosstown curtain raiser to the Olympics opening night

Television Choices: Using music to help foster harmonious relations

Barenboim on Beethoven: Nine Symphonies That Changed the World

Plácido Domingo's Operalia Winners, Royal Opera House, London

Opera isn’t really Olympic, because a prize is just the start. A great singer grows, matures, transforms – and three generations of vocal giants arrived at Covent Garden, ready to prove it.

Danny Boyle has already been angered by camera positioning at the Opening Ceremony

Masters of ceremonies

Tomorrow, Danny Boyle joins an elite band of directors who have orchestrated the opening of an Olympics. So what's it like putting on a show for the biggest audience on Earth? Simon Usborne finds out

The jet set: the opening ceremony of the Los Angeles Games in 1984

Olympics opening ceremony: What is it like to put on a show for the biggest audience on Earth?

Tomorrow night, Danny Boyle will join an elite band of directors.

The Fairy Queen, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

When Glyndebourne invited Jonathan Kent and Paul Brown to realise Purcell’s ‘semi-opera’ The Fairy Queen, it was with slight trepidation, as they had no idea how this amalgam of Purcell’s music and filletings from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream would go down.

RCM's Matyas Csibas and Sophia Anagnostou

Sound of Versailles comes to the Proms

Kate Youde talks to the students recreating Louis XIII's orchestra

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Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

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Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

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The future of GM

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Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

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The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

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Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

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Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

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