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

Acclaimed violinist criticises music teaching in the UK

BBC Proms: Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra / Davis, Royal Albert Hall, London

Sir Colin Davis's vim and vigour has always seemed so eternal that it was strange, not to say difficult, to discover him conducting now from a chair.

Prom 53: Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra/ Davis, Royal Albert Hall

Sir Colin Davis’ vim and vigour has always seemed so eternal, so unaffected by the advancing years, that it was strange, not to say difficult, to discover him conducting now from a chair.

Proms 45/46, Mullova/Barley/BBCSO/Volkov/Joseph, Royal Albert Hall (5/5, 4/5)

The hall was packed for the coming-together of Bernard Haitink and Emanuel Ax, two of the most seasoned maestri in the business, to deliver Brahms. But before ‘Piano Concerto No 1’, the great Dutch conductor and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe gave us Brahms’s ‘Symphony No 3’, prefaced by an illuminating programme-interview.

Proms 45/46, Mullova/Barley/BBCSO/Volkov/Joseph, Royal Albert Hall (4/5, 3/5)

Viktoria Mullova and Matthew Barley are at once the least likely musical combination, and also among the most fertile.

Prom 45, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Prom 46, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>The Emperor of Atlantis, Arcola Theatre, London

A premiere is followed by a little syncopation &ndash; but conservatoires can't teach musicians to swing

Prom 36, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Prom 35, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Prom 32, Royal Albert Hall, London

Rhythm gives birth to melody at a landmark Prom to honour the superstar of misnamed minimalism

Prom 38: BBC Concerto Orchestra / Lockhart, Royal Albert Hall

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the shower… the sound of those slicing, dicing, violin glissandi – halfway between screams and flashes of cold steel – sent ripples of recognition and nervous laughter through the Albert Hall and a vision of Janet Leigh caught in her Edvard Munch moment.

PCM4/Prom 34 &ndash; Buniatishvili/Roth/BBC NOW, Cadogan Hall/Royal Albert Hall (5/5, 3/5)

No question about the most impressive Proms debut to date: Khatia Buniatishvili, a mermaid in a black sequinned ball-gown, wowing a packed Cadogan Hall.

Proms 35/36, Karabits/Bournemouth SO/Reich/Synergy Vocals/Ensemble Modern, Royal Albert Hall (4/5, 5/5)

There could be no better way of celebrating Steve Reich’s 75th birthday than with a performance of his ‘Music for 18 Musicians’, and the packed hall for this late-night Prom testified to the size and devotion of his fan-club. This is a work for which ‘ground-breaking’ really is the mot juste, yet although it has earned Reich the title ‘founding father of minimalism’, he himself regards it as leaving minimalism far behind.

La Wally, Opera Holland Park, London<br/>Prom 22, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Prom 23, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Prom 29, Royal Albert, London

A surefooted heroine should appeal to a modern audience, but this Italian reality show falls flat

Prom 24: BBC Symphony Orchestra/ Davis, Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall can be an intimate place, mysteriously transforming on occasions from monster auditorium to private salon.

Prom 21: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra &amp; Chorus / Nelsons, Royal Albert Hall, London

At 33, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s Music Dirctor Andris Nelsons is young but still almost a decade older than Richard Strauss was when he showed the world how he planned to go on with his dazzling tone poem Don Juan – a piece with an excess of just about everything except length.

BBC Proms 16/17: BBC NOW/Fischer/Arditti/World Routes Academy, Royal Albert Hall (3/5, 4/5)

Pascal Dusapin’s ‘String Quartet No 6’ is scored for the unusual combination of string quartet plus orchestra, and has two subtitles: ‘Hinterland’, and ‘Hapax’ (ancient Greek for ‘once’).

BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Manchester International Festival, Bridgewater Hall / Chetham's, Manchester

With Schubert to die for and a preposterous but sincere choral monolith, the Proms keeps giving its audiences a thrilling ride

Prom 9: Hallé Orchestra/ Elder, Royal Albert Hall

Homecomings, real and imagined, marked out this season’s Hallé Prom. For Sibelius, brazen horn fanfares and myriad string ostinati carried us at the gallop to the heart of the Finnish heartlands/

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