Under £200... Capital Christmas shopping

Tune Hotels offers a budget pre-Christmas stay in the English and Scottish capitals, with double rooms for £50 at some London properties and £25 in Edinburgh. These rates apply on a few nights between now and Christmas, with availability good on 23, 24 and 25 December.

Classical music: The biggest hitter in percussion today

Evelyn Glennie, Leonard Slatkin

Minor's major work


Music: Just singing, singing in the rain

OPEN the Garsington Festival programme-book, and the first thing you find is an advertisement for Hello! magazine - which tells you something about the sort of people you're probably sitting next to. But in the past 10 years - and yes, it is now a decade since Leonard Ingrams started sharing opera with his neighbours - Garsington has managed to transcend the social and the decorative. It's a deadly serious undertaking, with a track record that includes the rediscovery of Haydn's virtually forgotten stage-works and the re-evaluation of rare Strauss scores. And few things could be more serious (or potentially more deadly) than Lucio Silla, which opened there on Tuesday.

Christmas broadcast for Silent Night's lost verses

Three forgotten verses of "Silent Night", Britain's favourite carol, have been rediscovered in an Austrian manuscript more than 200 years after they were penned by a penurious priest, writes Vanessa Thorpe.

Seven killed in gun rampage

Seven killed in gun rampage

The Skier's Guide To Austria

countries, writes Tania Alexander

Skiing: High season, low tech

You don't need such hi-tech facilities as lifts and cable cars to go skiing - with the right equipment you can simply clamber up the mountains. Richard Holledge goes touring at the tiny Austrian resort of Kuhtai.

Interview: `Othello' comes into his own at National

A co-production of `Othello' between the German director Peter Stein and Sam Mendes of the National Theatre offers both a fascinating contrast in cultural approaches and some surprising similarities

Edinburgh Festival: Music: Putting on a brave Front Not enough time, alas, for this 'Child' Flow of wisdom at the water's edge

Long traditions of democracy and meanness have made Britain rather good at the sort of festival that blurs the divide between professional and amateur, participant and listener. It gives everyone a chance. It doesn't cost like Salzburg. And a good example to put beside St Endellion, which I wrote about last week, is Lake District Summer Music: an annual event that merges a temporary academy for young string players with a public platform for distinguished artists who come both to play and teach.

1789 and all that

Roderic Dunnett enjoys a bold but not always audible staging of Von Einem's `Danton's Death' at the Brighton Festival; "Give Couthon my head, Robespierre my balls, and perhaps they'll stop baying in the streets."

Obituary: Brian Merrikin Hill

Brian Merrikin Hill was, in the last decades of his life, widely valued as a poet, a translator of poetry and as long-time editor of the poetry magazine Pennine Platform. Although not inclined to seek fame, he was regarded as a compeer by poets as distinguished as Kathleen Raine and David Gascoyne. The Blakean title of his 1984 book Wakeful in the Sleep of Time gives some indication of how seriously he viewed the poet's vocation.

Obituary: Sndor Vegh

The death of Sndor Vegh sees the passing of one of the last of the great Hungarian violinists who could trace their traditions back through Hubay and Joachim to the Italian violinist Viotti. Vegh was, throughout his long career, soloist, chamber musician, conductor and teacher, and it would be difficult to say in which of these activities he served best the cause of music. In other words, he was a giant, whose accomplishments are indelibly etched upon every one of his undertakings.

'Twas the nightie before Christmas


Making it a doddle for guests who toddle

Adrian Bridge tries to take the strain out of a family break

Brown heeds history lesson

Phil Gordon talks to the coach who is ready to learn from past mistakes
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
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Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis