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

Acclaimed violinist criticises music teaching in the UK

BBC Proms: Hallé Orchestra/Elder, Royal Albert Hall, London

It was the second outing for a John Foulds piece in one week. But then it does tend to pour rather than rain at the Proms, and this was the Hallé Orchestra where Foulds's dad once played the bassoon. April – England implies showers (which are plentiful in Manchester) but it's the sunniness that you go away humming.

BBC Proms: National Youth Orchestra/ Bychkov, Royal Albert Hall, London

Looking over the massed ranks of the National Youth Orchestra one might easily imagine that The Sorcerer's Apprentice had worked some of his magic on the proliferation of instruments. Six bassoons cavorted to Dukas's jolly tune as images of Mickey Mouse and his industrious broomsticks came back to haunt us.

Prom 30: BBC Symphony Chorus/London Brass/Jackson, Royal Albert Hall

Stephen Montague’s ‘Wilful Chants’ is a setting of primitive ululations, spells of sorcery, and Latin phrases wrapped in a shroud of synthetic liturgical cloth.

Prom 29: National Youth Orchestra / Bychkov, Royal Albert Hall, London

Looking over the massed ranks of the National Youth Orchestra one might easily imagine that The Sorcerer’s Apprentice had worked some of his magic on the proliferation of instruments.

Francesca da Rimini, Opera Holland Park, London<br/>Prom 26, Royal Albert Hall, London

'Francesca' is dangerously foxy, but catch her if you can

Prom 27: Halle Orchestra / Elder, Royal Albert Hall, London

It was the second outing for a John Foulds piece in one week. But then it does tend to pour rather than rain at the Proms and this was the Halle Orchestra where Foulds’ dad once played the bassoon. April - England implies showers (which are rather plentiful in Manchester) but it’s the sunniness that you go away humming.

Prom 26: World Orchestra for Peace/Tilling/Gergiev, Royal Albert Hall

Vladimir Putin’s favourite conductors both travel with excess baggage.

Prom 19: Sondheim at 80, Royal Albert Hall

As if the idea of a celebratory Prom wasn’t enough seeing his name slipped into the prospectus between Schumann, Stockhausen, and Strauss would doubtless have proved as overwhelming for Stephen Sondheim as the roaring standing ovation that greeted his arrival on stage.

Prom 21: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/ Rattle, Royal Albert Hall

A night of love; an hour or two of quiet revelations.

Prom 13: BBC National Orchestra of Wales/ Currie/Fischer, Royal Albert Hall

Making my way to my seat, I encounter Proms director Roger Wright in unusually pensive mood.

BBC Proms: Doctor Who, Royal Albert Hall, London

While the queues for Sunday morning's Doctor Who Prom snaked, as usual, past the Royal Albert Hall, once inside it was clear that this was no ordinary Prom audience. There were tweed jackets and velvet bowties galore, and the arena was filled with children clutching cardboard cut-outs of Daleks and pointing at the Tardis, which had somehow landed on stage next to the old bust of Henry Wood.

Prom 12: Zacharias/BBC Philharmonic/Sinaisky, Royal Albert Hall

Springing from the same burst of creativity which yielded Schumann’s majestic piano concerto, his ‘Overture, Scherzo, and Finale Op 52’ is a bird of a very different feather.

Prom 7, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Prom 4, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>The Elixir of Love, Blackheath Halls, London

With the intensity and detachment of a sleepwalker, a Chopin recitalist strikes the softest notes in the Proms' first week

Prom 9: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Sinaisky, Royal Albert Hall, London

It’s the highlight of every “Last Night”, the nation’s unofficial National Anthem, but for its composer Hubert Parry Jerusalem has proved as much of a millstone (as opposed to milestone) as Land of Hope and Glory has for Elgar.

Prom 6: BBC Symphony Orchestra/ Belohlavek/ Lewis, Royal Albert Hall, London

The big occasion often brings out the best in the truly gifted and with so much riding on his much-anticipated Proms cycle of the Beethoven Piano Concertos – the first ever by a single artist – I can honestly say that I have never heard Paul Lewis play better.

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