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One of that select band of British pianists to achieve international recognition, Bernard Roberts was in constant demand as a recitalist, chamber musician, accompanist, concerto soloist and teacher. He was acclaimed by audiences and critics, the remarkable breadth of his industry bringing greater recognition for the instrument itself and proving pivotal in inspiring generations of aspiring performers.

MS MR, Secondhand Rapture (Iamsound/Columbia)

Album review: MS MR, Secondhand Rapture (Iamsound/Columbia)

Widely tipped for success, Anglo-American duo MS MR deal in a similar kind of blandly alienated, metrosexual pop to Hurts, with Lizzy Plapinger's sultry-soulful vocals allied to Max Hershenow's electronic pop arrangements.

Orpheus, Battersea Arts Centre, London

Theatre review: Orpheus, Battersea Arts Centre, London

Battersea Arts Centre has a fine track record for picking out fresh talents, nurturing them and then letting them bloom in the nooks and crannies of its magnificent building. Jerry Springer the Opera started life at a scratch night here. And in 2007, a young company called Punchdrunk famously filled the place with their Masque of the Red Death.

Star line-up: Dionne Warwick opens this year's Cheltenham gathering

Music review: Dionne Warwick, Big Top, Cheltenham Jazz Festival

The memory rush as the first few songs hit is almost overwhelming. Dionne Warwick sang some of the most perfectly crafted pop of the 20th century, and now here she is, in a tent in Cheltenham aged 72, doing so again a yard from me.

Classical review: Barbara Hannigan, LPO, Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall, London

Hannigan dazzles in Berg's Lulu Suite

Imogen Cooper’s coolly reflective reading of Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto was at odds with the more extrovert approach of the Budapest Festival Orchestra under its conductor Ivan Fischer

Classical review: Budapest Festival Orchestra - Bohemian rhapsody marred by clash of styles

In 2011, Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra played two BBC Proms in one night. The first was a meticulously disciplined programme of Liszt and Mahler, the second a jamboree of party pieces and encores, selected by raffle from a list of some 200 works. Encores are the great disinhibitors of classical music and they have served Fischer and his orchestra well. Now 30 years old, the BFO can melt the cognoscenti with musical kitsch, compete with the finest in core symphonic repertoire, and deliver Beethoven with the transparency of period instruments. Whether this should all be attempted in one performance is another matter.

Classical review: Mansfield Park, Hampstead Garden Opera, Gatehouse Theatre, London

Considering the popularity of Jane Austen’s books as film fodder, it’s remarkable that no one has thought to turn one into an opera until now. 

Hanna Devich, Ludovico Einaudi: Nightbook (Challenge Classics)

Album review: Hanna Devich, Ludovico Einaudi: Nightbook (Challenge Classics)

Few contemporary composers have tapped into the public consciousness quite as effectively as Ludovico Einaudi, his repetitive, wave-like compositions utilising the comforting reliability of minimalism while his melodies unerringly trigger warm emotional responses.

Emmanuel Vass, pianist, 24

One to Watch: Emmanuel Vass, pianist, 24

A toy glockenspiel given to him aged six fuelled his passion for the piano. It served him well – already he has played for the Prince of Monaco alongside Lulu.

Classical review: The British Schubert, Wigmore Hall, London

The word 'accompanist' comes loaded with prejudice: the singer is the thing, with the shadowy figure at the keyboard merely expected to play the notes. Yes, of course it’s nonsense, but until Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau publicly proclaimed the brilliance of the great Gerald Moore, this was the prevalent view.

Marie-Claire Alain: Prodigious French organist

The French organ virtuoso Marie-Claire Alain was that rare jewel: a teenage musical prodigy who matured into one of the finest and most sought after recitalists and teachers.

Album: Françoise Hardy, L'Amour Fou (EMI)

Hardy, the 69-year-old Parisienne pop icon, returns with, this time, no generation-hopping collaborations with Anglo-American indie stars.

Iron and Wine, Ghost on Ghost (4AD)

Album review: Iron and Wine, Ghost on Ghost (4AD)

Sam Beam's latest outing as Iron and Wine is a curious mixture of the fascinating and the frustrating. It's a more obviously welcoming album than its recent predecessors, with the gentle country-soul ambience of songs like “The Desert Babbler” recalling Lambchop in its tempering of soul influences with pedal steel and strings.

Album review: Floraleda Sacchi, Happy Birthday John! (Amadeus Arte)

There's something about the Zen-garden aspect of John Cage's music that lends itself particularly well to these interpretations by the Italian harpist Floraleda Sacchi. The instrument is especially effective in the more obviously “beautiful” pieces such as “Dream” and “In a Landscape”, where the undulating, intertwining figures have the same serene intensity as on piano, but are less overtly soothing, always poised on a sharper edge.

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Bronfman / Tilson Thomas / Vienna Philharmonic, Royal Festival Hall, London

The Vienna Philharmonic’s contribution to the Rest Is Noise festival would have been significant whatever they played, but when their conductor Michael Tilson Thomas mounted the podium, it was to apologise for the fact that they would be making very little noise at all.

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