Arts and Entertainment

Fires Of Love, "Remember Me My Deir" (Delphian)

Parrott: his works blended pleasing melodies with intricate rhythms

Ian Parrott: Modernist composer who drew on Welsh folk traditions

One of the most prolific and widely performed British composers of his day, Ian Parrott wrote opera and ballet, symphonies, concertos, string quartets and song cycles, as well as many choral and vocal works and even theme music for documentary films. He combined his huge output with his responsibilities as Gregynog Professor of Music at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, where he held the chair from 1950 to 1983.

Boyzone: Sir Simon Rattle conducts the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Where are all the female musicians?

Most top orchestras have many more men than women in their ranks. Miranda Kiek looks at what could be done to improve the mix.

A female Captain Mainwaring in the Dad's Army remake? It may be time to panic

The Week in Arts: Has gender-blind casting gone too far? Plus the Mahler moaner and opera for students (bring your own crisps)

Album: Antonio Pappano, Dvorák: Symphony No. 9 'From The New World'; Cello Concerto (EMI Classics)

Partnered here with the following year's "Cello Concerto" , Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 has a broad-brush scope and panache that lends itself perfectly to the detailed, focused approach of Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Their interpretation raises new questions: Dvorák may have claimed negro and Native American influences on the work, but reflecting the tendentious ascription of "New World", here it's more the pioneer spirit that infuses the symphony, with its widescreen strings anticipating a century of Western movie vistas, and its can-do bustle suggestive more of colonising settlers than natives. And isn't that the cavalry summoned by those horns?

Album: John Eliot Gardiner/ORR, Beethoven Symphonies 5 & 7 Live at Carnegie Hall (Soli Deo Gloria)

Two decades ago, John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique recorded a milestone series of Beethoven symphonies that challenged accepted notions of Beethoven performance.

Pianist on trial in Turkey for insulting Islam

A leading Turkish pianist and composer appeared in court yesterday accused of offending Muslims and insulting Islam in comments he made on Twitter.

Album: Schubert, Symphonies Nos 3 & 4 - Tonhalle/Zinman (Red Seal)

David Zinman and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich have forged a compromise between historical performance practice and the highgloss timbre of modern instruments in their Beethoven and Mahler cycles.

Prom 56: NLCC, BBCNCW, BBCSO, Knussen, Royal Albert Hall

With Oliver Knussen conducting a programme of his own devising, including his own third symphony and a 60th birthday tribute to him composed by a young admirer, this was very much his Prom - indeed it’s turning out to be his year, with his small but special oeuvre at last being brought into the mainstream.

Cellist Laura Moody prepares for take-off in 'Mittwoch'

Mittwoch aus Licht, Argyle Works, Birmingham

You wait for years for a helicopter and then... four come along at once, in Birmingham as in Edinburgh. What a whirl!

Frank Zappa was one of rock's crossover musicians

Rock 'n' Roll in Four Movements, Radio 4, Thursday
BBC Proms, Radio 3, daily

Concerto for hairies and orchestra

Prom 50: Collins, BBCSO, Vanska, ****/ Prom 51: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, *****

With eight exhumations, the BBC is trying desperately to make the case for Frederick Delius on his 150th anniversary, but these are only reinforcing the impression that this Bradford composer was a mere melodious also-ran.

Album: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Mature Themes (4AD)

Ariel Pink’s latest outing with his band finds him scaling the foothills of musical competence on tracks like “Farewell American Primitive” and “Only in My Dreams”.

The BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall

Prom 35: Williams, Osborne, BBC Phil, Storgards; Prom 36: Bevan, Spence, Callow, Hallé, Elder

Steven Osborne is one of the unsung heroes of British pianism. This 40-year-old Scot tends to be typecast as a Beethoven and Schubert man, but he can create subtle spells with Ravel and Debussy: how would he handle Grieg’s ‘Piano Concerto in A minor’?

Prom 21: Aldeburgh WO/Elder, ***; Prom 22: Keith/BBC Phil/Noseda, ****

Formed in Aldeburgh only a few weeks ago, and drawing in musicians from four continents, the Aldeburgh World Orchestra is the newest youth band to grace the Proms, and under Mark Elder’s direction it gave a noble account of Britten’s "Sinfonia da Requiem".

Barenboim conducts the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

Barenbolm/West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall, London
Falstaff, Opera Holland Park, London

Daniel Barenboim displays persuasive subtlety and style with his complete cycle of Beethoven's symphonies at the Proms

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Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
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Sarah Kane season

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Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
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One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
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People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
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'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

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Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea