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.

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