Album review: Conrad Tao, Voyages (EMI Classics)

Eighteen-year-old Chinese-American wunderkind Conrad Tao is a composer-pianist in the tradition of Liszt and Rachmaninov, blessed with prodigal performing skill and compositional imagination beyond his tender years.

James Franco: Hero or Villain?

They don't make 'em like they used to – that's the received wisdom when it comes to film stars, right? Where screen idols of yore thrived on ego and excess, today's pretenders suffer on egg-white omelettes and media training.

The Word for Snow, Purcell Room, London

Programmes were not distributed until after the show, but you were handed a single sheet of white paper, blank except for one typed word – mine, somewhat dispiritingly, was "sock" – as you made your way into the Purcell Room for this European premiere of a short play by Don DeLillo.

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Gilbert Adair: Novelist, critic and screenwriter whose work shone with

An author has died. Let us begin to quote him. "Have I any posthumous last words?" Gilbert Adair asked at the end of his 1992 novel, The Death of the Author. "Not really. As I have discovered to my disappointment, death is merely the displaced name for a linguistic predicament, and I rather feel like asking for my money back – as perhaps you do too, Reader, on closing this mendacious and mischievous and meaningless book."

Londoners share their inspirations

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