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

Acclaimed violinist criticises music teaching in the UK

Prom 5: WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne/ Bychkov, Royal Albert Hall

It was Semyon Bychkov’s last concert as principal conductor of the WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne, and reaching the summit of Strauss’ Alpine Symphony could and should have been a big deal – the Albert Hall is a natural environment for this musical blockbuster.

Prom 4: RLPO/ Petrenko, Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra pulled off the not inconsiderable feat of acknowledging both the Schumann and Mahler anniversaries simultaneously with their Prom opener.

The Proms Opening Weekend, Royal Albert Hall, London

Big is beautiful as the Proms set sail on a wave of grandeur from Mahler, Wagner and Verdi

First Night: First Night of the Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London

Season opens with a bang big enough to blow the roof off

Swan Lake, Royal Albert Hall, London

English National Ballet's gargantuan Swan Lake-in-the-round is back, complete with dry ice, demon king entrances and a starry new prince. Vadim Muntagirov, ENB's boy wonder, made his debut at this performance.

Paul Weller, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Andrew WK, Den & Centro, London

After two decades squandering his pop legacy, Paul Weller finally returns to his edgy prime

Paul Weller, Royal Albert Hall, London

Wake up to a brand new Modfather

The National, Royal Albert Hall, London

National treasures get my vote

Grace Jones, Royal Albert Hall, London

As a child, I was always terrified of Grace Jones. She was this demented collection of legs, cheekbones and thousand-yard stares, and she came with a fearsome reputation for being, basically, madder than a barrel of monkeys.

Exclusive album stream: James, 'The Night Before'

With a career that includes 10 studio albums, twenty UK Top 40 singles and 12 million album sales so far, James have stepped into the digital age with their new mini-album 'The Night Before', released on Monday and exclusively available to stream in full in conjunction with The Independent, below.

Paolo Nutini, Royal Albert Hall, London<br/>Cranes, Jazz Café, London

He's vain, sings reggae like Sting and has terrible posture. But just try telling that to the ladies...

The Who, Royal Albert Hall, London

Quadrophenia was an exercise in nostalgia even when the Who released the concept album in 1973.

Philharmonia Orchestra with Riccardi Muti, Royal Albert Hall, London

You always know when Riccardi Muti is in town: the Philharmonia Orchestra is celebrating another birthday.

Arctic Monkeys, Royal Albert Hall, London

Lightning strikes and Sheffield steel

Noel Gallagher, Royal Albert Hall, London

You could read a lot into Noel Gallagher's choice to open his first solo show post-Oasis with "(It's Good) to Be Free". In a semi acoustic set for the Teenage Cancer Trust, the elder Gallagher brother, who was responsible for the majority of the band's song-writing, takes to his stool with less a swagger and more the quiet poise of a professional performer at his ease.

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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

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Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

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Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

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The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

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Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

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Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

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