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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.

Album review: Benjamin Britten, Violin Concerto, Jan Latham-Koenig Orchid

Britten’s sole violin concerto is constructed from simple scales rising and falling expressively over exotic Spanish rhythms, but within this framework, from the opening silken thread to passages of great passion and profundity, the concerto unfolds into a piece of great magnitude.

No turning back: the playwright and ‘Independent’ music critic Jessica Duchen

My tricky waltz with Wagner

The German composer was a confirmed anti-Semite – but that didn't deter our correspondent, who loves his music, from wanting to write a play to celebrate his bicentenary

Classical album review: Benjamin Britten, War Requiem – Antonio Pappano (Warner)

Of all the many great works by Britten revisited live and on disc for the centenary of the composer’s birth this month, perhaps none packs the punch of his War Requiem, the words of the Latin Mass for the dead punctuated by the frank front-line poetry of Wilfred Owen.

The Conversation: Last Tango in Halifax star Annie Reid on getting naked with Daniel Craig and writing letters to Woody Allen

You recently completed filming the second series of Last Tango in Halifax. How was it? Well, you know, you can't tell until the cake comes out of the oven. But it was great. I'm just the luckiest person in the world to have all these wonderful parts at an age where one might not be working. My career just seems to go on and on, touch wood.

The beat goes on: Stan Tracey

London Jazz Festival: Different strokes for key movers

Kit Downes and Stan Tracey riff on the state of their art ahead of the London Jazz Festival

DVD review: Behind the Candelabra (15)

Or, as it might have been called, “Sex, Lies and Fabulous Capes”. If this skewed biopic of Liberace turns out to be Stephen Soderbergh's swansong (as he has threatened), the director leaves on a high.

Chas and Dave - Chas Hodges, Dave Peacock

Play it again, Chas: Chas & Dave make their big comeback

Hits such as Snooker Loopy, Rabbit and Gertcha established Chas & Dave as two of the towering figures of the 1980s light entertainment-pop cross over world. Now, 18 years since their last album the Rockney duo are being re-launched as the credible grandfathers of British rock n’ roll.

Sanders in 2006: among his collaborators were John Malkovich, Bruno Ganz and Gérard Depardieu

Otto Sander: Actor who worked with Wim Wenders

Otto Sander carved out a career as one of the foremost actors in postwar German theatre, in particular with the director Peter Stein. He had a flair for comedy and was equally at home in classical repertoire and the avant-garde but was best known internationally for his work in films. In Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire and Faraway, So Close! he played the ironically detached and tragic angel Cassiel, and in the epic Second World War U-boat drama Das Boot he was a troubled lieutenant.

Classical review: Hodges, Currie, Summers, Aurora Orchestra, Ollu / Tamara Stefanovich

How far has ‘new music’ progressed since the Fifties? On the evidence of two magisterial Southbank concerts, scarcely at all. John Lennon’s borrowing (for “Strawberry Fields”) from Stockhausen’s “Gesang der Junglinge” was an indication of how deeply that pioneering electronic work had penetrated mid-century culture, and to listen to it now is to experience anew the freshness of its invention. This is best done with eyes shut, because what Stockhausen’s collage does is create a landscape bursting with events of an almost tactile nature. One’s initial impression is of being painlessly dive-bombed from all angles by flocks of excited birds, but that is just one of many evanescent effects emerging from the speakers round the auditorium.

Jazz album review: Michael Garrick Sextet, Prelude To Heart Is A Locus (Gearbox)

With its satisfyingly fat vinyl platters, audiophile-friendly downloads and imaginative catalogue of rediscovered gems (plus new recordings), LP specialist Gearbox is becoming one of the wonders of the age.

Cooper: she also contributed to Mike Oldfield's 'Hergest Ridge'

Lindsay Cooper: Bassoonist with Henry Cow who who went on to write film music

Her Cold War song cycle ‘Oh Moscow’, written with Sally Potter, was performed round the world

Australian saxophonist Amy Dickson has hit the top of the UK Classical charts

Saxophone bursts into the Classic Brits with breakthrough win for Amy Dickson

Amy Dickson, the Australian musician who elevated the saxophone from the nightclub to the concert hall, has been named Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the Classic Brits, marking the first victory for the instrument.

Sathima Bea Benjamin: Singer championed by Duke Ellington

The summer of 2013 saw the belated release of what was effectively Sathima Bea Benjamin's third "debut" recording. African Songbird came nearly a decade and a half after the first. In 1959 she had taped what would have been the first jazz LP made in South Africa, but My Songs For You was shelved.

Gig review: Gravenhurst, Bishopsgate Institute, London

Gravenhurst is the musical project of Nick Talbot - a Bristol-based singer-songwriter who coaxes gorgeous tones out of his guitars, but whose gentle tunes wrap up an often dark and melancholy lyrical heart. He's got the satisfying well-balanced melodies, the ever-so-pretty fingerpicking and the lush harmonising to rival many a modern folk act - Gravenhurst call to mind Kings of Convenience or early Iron and Wine, and have been compared to Simon and Garfunkel even - yet mysteriously Talbot's star has never risen so high.

Album review: Ahmad Jamal, Saturday Morning (Jazz Village)

It’s not unusual for jazz artists to have a late-career renaissance, even one that – Claude Monet-style – demands a reassessment of everything that went before.

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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
South Africa
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'