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News Nicola Benedetti has criticised the state of music teaching in Britain

Acclaimed violinist criticises music teaching in the UK

Proms 65/66, Goerne / Mahler Jugendorchester / Nott <br/>Nash Ensemble / Masson, Royal Albert Hall

Something seems to have happened to Matthias Goerne. This German baritone was the wild child who once shed new light on Schubert’s songs, with his raw and visceral performances.

New Generation Artists, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Cadogan Hall, London<br/>Jephtha/La voix humaine, Arcola Theatre, London

Radio 3 played matchmaker to the classical stars of the future, while Grimeborn made a triumphant return to Hackney

Prom 59: Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich / Zinman, Royal Albert Hall, London

As if the line of succession between Schubert and Mahler were not plain enough, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich had the Argentina-born composer Osvaldo Golijov illuminate the connections in his beautifully imagined orchestration of four Schubert songs She Was Here.

Proms 47/53: OAE/Norrington/English Concert/Bicket/, Royal Albert Hall, London

Having watched Joyce DiDonato break a leg at Covent Garden - and go on singing superbly as if nothing had happened - it was no surprise to find her effortlessly dominating a Prom a few weeks later.

Prom 56: Staatskapelle Dresden/ Luisi, Royal Albert Hall, London

The venerable Staatskapelle Dresden arrived at the Proms proudly bearing the excess luggage of Strauss’ Alpine Symphony – a piece dedicated expressly to them.

Prom 52: LSO/Gergiev, Royal Albert Hall, London

How do you musically represent the explosion of an atom bomb? Last year John Adams showed us in his new opera Dr Atomic: a succession of shattering brass triads in G sharp minor, with an extra hyper-romantic chord thrown in. Alfred Schnittke's way, half a century ago, was to bombard his audience with everything in his orchestral armoury – string and trombone glissandi, cluster-chords, roars on percussion, and tremolandi all round. But the Nagasaki oratorio which Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra brought to the Proms didn't give us Schnittke the mature and playful "polystylist": this was Schnittke the student, and it showed.

Prom 52, LSO/Gergiev, Royal Albert Hall, London

How do you musically represent the explosion of an atom bomb?

Prom 50: Beethoven Fidelio, West-East Divan Orchestra/ Barenboim, Royal Albert Hall, London

It is impossible to separate the West-East Divan Orchestra from what they represent, so the climax of their two-day presence at the Proms – a concert performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio – was always going to carry a loaded political message.

Prom 46: BBC Symphony Orchestra/Semyon Bychkov/Denis Matsuev, Royal Albert Hall, London

Semyon Bychkov is one of the warmest of Russian conductors, and presided over what could have been a rather icy Prom. With a compelling splash of waterworlds in the UK premiere of a new work by Detlev Glanert, Shostakovich's ferocious Symphony No 11 and Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini as sandwich filler, the evening grew in power, finishing on a tremendous high as Shostakovich shook his fist at tyranny.

Prom 39, Brabbins Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Prom 43, Salonen Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Prom 46, Bychkov, Royal Albert Hall, London

Decades later and we've grown to love Birtwistle's rich and strange sound world. A concert to celebrate the composer's 75th birthday is met with shock and awe &ndash; as well as affection

Prom 47: Samson, English Concert/Bicket, Royal Albert Hall, London

We think of ‘Samson and Delilah’, but Handel and his contemporaries thought of ‘Samson Agonistes’, Milton’s valedictory dramatic poem which formed the basis of the libretto for Handel’s ‘Samson’.

Proms 39/40: BBCSO/Brabbins/BBCSSO/Volkov, Royal Albert Hall, London

Father-and-son Apollo and Orpheus wove their way through everything in Proms 39 and 40, barring a pleasant but unremarkable exercise in string textures by Radiohead star Johnny Greenwood.

Prom 44: Budapest Festival Orchestra/ Fischer, Royal Albert Hall, London

The woodwind and brass of the Budapest Festival Orchestra gave advance notice of their prowess in a tiny madrigal-like offering – a sort of musical monogram - before the main event.

Proms 32, 33 and 36, Royal Albert Hall, London

Two for the price of one &ndash; it's the credit crunch Proms

Proms 36/37: Sixteen/Christophers/Kremer/BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Davies, Royal Albert Hall, London

Since the Queen of Sheba normally enters like a bulldozer, The Sixteen’s approach to this hackneyed moment from ‘Solomon’ came as a lovely surprise: so dainty was their sound, so nimble their oboes, that for once one could see what a perfectly crafted piece this is.

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