i Father Christmas, annual giftgiver

Not a regular in the public eye this one.

Eugene Onegin, Blackheath Halls, London<br/>La Rondine, Holland Park, London<br/>The Turn of the Screw, King&rsquo;s Head Theatre, London

A community-based 'Onegin' has the children wide-eyed and draws gasps from pensioners

Album: Basement Jaxx, Basement Jaxx Vs Metropole Orkest (Atlantic Jaxx)

Basement Jaxx's music has always hinted at the epic and symphonic, so one can understand the temptation to take things one step further by employing an actual orchestra, Metropole Orkest of the Netherlands, to reinterpret their hits in quasi-classical mode.

Album: Sir Charles Mackerras, Philharmonia Orchestra,Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6 (Signum Classics)

The latest in Signum's edition of live recordings of the Philharmonia Orchestra is one of the most satisfying, featuring the late Charles Mackerras conducting Tchaikovsky's Pathétique.

Classical podcast: ENO Talks - Simon Boccanegra

One of the sensations of last year's opera calendar was the London showing of Dmitri Tcherniakov's revelatory Bolshoi staging of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.

London Symphony Orchestra/ Gergiev, Barbican Hall

As sometimes happens in live performances a soloist’s encore might display a brilliance and precision that one might have felt lacking in the main event – or, in this case, events.

Album: Gidon Kremer, Gierdre Dirvanauskaite, Khatia Buniatishvili, Tchaikovsky, Kissine: Piano Trios (ECM New Series)

Gidon Kremer's dazzling trio here offers two contrasting approaches to the Piano Trio, both offering unexpected pleasures. Tchaikovsky was unsuited to the task of writing such a trio, being unable to bear the combination of piano with cello or violin.

Album: Daniel Barenboim, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Tchaikovsky/Schoenberg (Decca)

This splendid recording of Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, whose young players hail from all sides of the various Middle East divides, displays their consummate harmonious communality in their interpretations of these two pieces.

Robert Tear: Tenor celebrated for his interpretations of Handel, Mozart and Britten

Robert Tear's very successful operatic career lasted for over 40 years. Renowned for his Handel and Mozart, the Welsh tenor was also particularly admired for his roles in operas by Britten and several other 20th century composers. Though mainstream Italian opera figured rarely in his repertory, Russian and German works offered him many opportunities to display his vocal and dramatic skills.

Album: Pet Shop Boys, The Most Incredible Thing (EMI)

Pet Shop Boys have come a long way since the ill-fated disco musical Closer to Heaven.

Matthew Bourne's Lord of the Flies

Matthew Bourne's choreography has brought him global acclaim &ndash; but can the teenage cast of his new show bring a classic novel to life? Anna Burnside drops in on rehearsals for Lord of the Flies

The Blagger's Guide To...The books behind The Oscars

Half of this year's 'Best Films' are based on books

Nicholas Courtney: Actor known for his long-running role as the Brigadier in Doctor Who

Despite a varied career encompassing almost six decades of film, television and stage work, Nicholas Courtney will always be remembered for one role above all others.

Album: Higdon / Tchaikovsky, Violin Concertos &ndash; Hahn / Petrenko / Royal Liverpool Phil (Deutsche Grammophon)

Tailor-made for Hilary Hahn's cool, brilliant sound, Jennifer Higdon's 2008 Violin Concerto has the swagger of an established favourite.

Andrei Konchalovsky - The roots and rarities of a man of two worlds

Andrei Konchalovsky is famed for his US genre films but his Russian work best represents him, argues Geoffrey Macnab

Alice in Wonderland: the ballet

The Royal Ballet is taking a trip to Wonderland for its first brand new full-length work in 20 years. Jessica Duchen looks forward to a curious evening
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