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One of that select band of British pianists to achieve international recognition, Bernard Roberts was in constant demand as a recitalist, chamber musician, accompanist, concerto soloist and teacher. He was acclaimed by audiences and critics, the remarkable breadth of his industry bringing greater recognition for the instrument itself and proving pivotal in inspiring generations of aspiring performers.

Australian saxophonist Amy Dickson has hit the top of the UK Classical charts

Saxophone bursts into the Classic Brits with breakthrough win for Amy Dickson

Amy Dickson, the Australian musician who elevated the saxophone from the nightclub to the concert hall, has been named Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the Classic Brits, marking the first victory for the instrument.

Nicola Benedetti has criticised the state of music teaching in Britain

Nicola Benedetti: Every young person in Britain should be made to study classical music

Acclaimed violinist criticises music teaching in the UK

Alison Balsom, trumpet player

Page 3 Profile: Alison Balsom, trumpet player

What’s the fanfare all about?

Alison Balsom has been named artist of the year at the Gramophone Classical Music Awards

Trumpeter Alison Balsom named first female artist of the year at Gramophone Classical Music Awards

Classical trumpeter Alison Balsom has been named artist of the year at this year's Gramophone Classical Music Awards - becoming the first British woman to win the prize.

Classical review: quartet-lab, Wigmore Hall, London

Signifying their subversive intent with a lower-case title, quartet-lab aim to revolutionise the quartet repertoire. They are led by the charismatic Pekka Kuusisto, whose credentials as a jazz and folk violinist are as impressive as those for his classical work. Maverick Dutch cellist Pieter Wispelwey has long pioneered unusual arrangements, and with Kuusisto’s Finnish compatriot Lilli Maijala as violist, and with the Moldovan violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja - who inherited a wider musical perspective from her cimbalom-playing father – these are all seasoned innovators.

One-hit wonder: Martin Skrtel cannot catch Daniel Sturridge as he celebrates the winner against Manchester United

Brendan Rodgers: Daniel Sturridge can be king at Liverpool

Liverpool’s manager tells Steve Tongue the striker is not arrogant and can play alongside Suarez

Album: Arcanto Quartett, Jörg Widmann, Mozart: Clarinet Quintet (Harmonia Mundi)

Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet was a literally unique combination at the time he wrote it, requiring a judicious balance of parts: usually when an extra instrument was added to the quartet format it would involve two violas, but here the use of two violins leads to refinement in the higher register, rather than more clutter.

Music review: Tim Exile and the Heritage Orchestra, Village Underground, London

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn't believe,” maintains Rutger Hauer’s expiring replicant in Blade Runner. This extraordinarily bold experience, involving The Heritage Orchestra, famed for their moving interpretation of Vangelis’s “Blade Runner” soundtrack and for working with electronic artists, is somewhat unbelievable, too.

Classical review: Midori premieres the new Eotvos concerto, and Camerata Nordica excel in Britten

Prom 63 – Midori, Philharmonia, Salonen (*****)

Proms Saturday Matinee 5 – Bullock, Camerata Nordica, Tonnesen (****)

Freddie Opoku-Addaie's piece Show Of Hands

Dance review: Touch Wood, The Place, London

The Place’s Touch Wood programme invites audiences to give feedback on works in progress. Audience members still weren’t expecting to find themselves on stage for Aoi Nakamura and Esteban Fourmi’s KINBAKU, edging away nervously whenever Nakamura lurched towards them, swinging a bundle of ropes. By the end, they were drawn into the piece, moving confidently along the lines of rope.

Album: Franco Fagioli, Arias for Caffarelli (Naive)

Last seen in the UK duetting with Cecilia Bartoli, Argentinian counter-tenor Fagioli scintillates in this beautifully sung, played, programmed, and packaged recording of arias written for the 18th-century castrato superstar Gaetano Caffarelli.

Classical review: A brilliant new work by Param Vir, a stunning performance by Lisa Batiashvili, and some exotica from World Routes

Prom 52 – Batiashvili, BBCSO, Oramo (*****)

Prom 54 – World Routes (****)

Album: Will Self/Notes Inégales/ Peter Wiegold, Kafka's Wound (Club Inegales)

Notes Inégales weave skeins of klezmer around Will Self's digital essay, its touchstone Kafka's 1919 story, A Country Doctor.

Album review: Chris Thile, Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1 (Nonesuch)

Once again, the protean malleability of J.S. Bach's genius is demonstrated by the unusual transcription of his work - in this case, the Violin Sonatas and Partitas - to another instrument, the mandolin. The Punch Brothers' mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile was first drawn to Bach by the rhythmic “groove” of Glenn Gould's 1981 re-recording of The Goldberg Variations. Thile's country and improv roots lend more rubato accents than some might prefer, but he liberates the pieces from their conservatoire corsets. The dazzling deftness of his fingering in the Presto and Double Presto sections evokes a kind of giddy delirium and his feathery technique wrests the tenderest of emotions from the second Sonata's Andante.

The Welsh dragon: rare tree returns to the Valleys

A tree facing extinction in its native Canary Islands has flowered in Wales for the first time in 25 years.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

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Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game