Arts and Entertainment

Josie Long is an award-winning comedian and writer. She will perform with Robin Ince in Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People at London’s Bloomsbury Theatre (10-22 Dec) and also on tour in Robin and Josie’s Shambles.

Lang Lang, Royal Festival Hall

Lang Lang has now embarked on his much-trumpeted residency at the Southbank, in which he will perform solo, play chamber music, front his ‘Lang Lang Inspires’ orchestra, and lead children in a massed piano event.

Pinchas Zukerman/Royal Philharmonic, Royal Festival Hall

Pinchas Zukerman is a musician through whom history is stamped as through a stick of Brighton rock.

The Damnation of Faust, Coliseum, London<br/>London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Festival Hall, London<br/>The Night Shift, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

The latest English National Opera newcomer succumbs to the guaranteed shock factor of Nazi Germany in updating the fable of a pact with the Devil

Philharmonia Orchestra/ Maazel, Royal Festival Hall

Watching Lorin Maazel in this the latest instalment of his Philharmonia Mahler cycle was a puzzling and unsettling experience. He was there and yet not there; he was controlled and yet not; he conducted from memory but with a curious detachment. How very strange that music he has loved and lived with all his long and distinguished career should yield so little of its spirit under his wavering baton.

National Youth Orchestra/ Petrenko, Royal Festival Hall

It must be hard comprehending death when you’ve barely begun living - but the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain has a corporate sixth sense about the subtext of music that never ceases to amaze.

LPO/Jansen/Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

It’s regarded as a truism to say that Bach remains Bach, no matter what instruments his music is played on, or in what idiom. But listening to the London Philharmonic playing Mahler’s ‘Bach Suite’ injected – for me at least – a smidgen of doubt.

Rumer, Royal Festival Hall, London

This time last year, a relatively unknown singer/songwriter named Rumer was celebrating the culmination of a decade-long slog for recognition with her first record deal. Since then, the 31-year-old hasn't wasted a moment making up for lost time.

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/ Jansons, Royal Festival Hall, London

The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra brought Strauss – oodles of it – for this Shell Classics International at the Royal Festival Hall; and as they signed off with one of those signature Rosenkavalier waltzes, all swooning strings and tumbling horns, there wasn’t a great deal more we could have asked of them.

Pallant House Gallery celebrates the glory Days of design

Robin and Lucienne Day were the most glamorous, influential design couple in post-war Britain.

Andras Schiff/Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Festival Hall

Some musicians become so much a part of the furniture that we take them for granted.

London Philharmonic Orchestra / Nézet-Séguin, Royal Festival Hall, London

Two perfect works in perfect equilibrium; Mozart and Mahler well met indeed.

Maurizio Pollinim Royal Festival Hall

Since Maurizio Pollini began his five-concert ‘project’ with the first half of Bach’s ‘Well-tempered Klavier’ - pianism’s Old Testament - it was appropriate that he should follow it with the last three works in Beethoven’s sonata cycle, aka pianism’s New Testament.

Philharmonia Orchestra/ Salonen, Royal Festival Hall

The “Infernal Dance” goes on. But in this the second instalment of the Philharmonia Orchestra’s well-named Bartok series it was Stravinsky who ultimately called the tune and dictated the footwork. A thrill-packed performance of The Rite of Spring brought people to their feet but there’s quite nothing like the context of a well-made programme to maximise its impact.

Bronfman/Salonen/Philharmonia, Royal Festival Hall

Lumbering and lugubrious-looking, Yefim Bronfman is a pianist with a wondrous capacity to galvanise a hall, particularly with the Russian repertoire which is his speciality. And in addition to his kosher achievements he has some odd additional ones up his sleeve. He had a bit part in Disney’s ‘Fantasia 2000’, for whose soundtrack his performance of Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto was also roped in; his recordings of the Rachmaninov concertos were pirated and passed off as being by the now-notorious Joyce Hatto.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

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

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

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

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
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

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'