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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.

Album: Andrew Bird, Hands of Glory (Mom + Pop)

Recorded in old-timey style, with voices and instruments gathered around a single microphone, Hands of Glory is a smaller, more intimate work than Andrew Bird's recent albums, with originals and covers delivered in mild bluegrass harmonies over understated rockabilly grooves.

“Mr Stradivarius”, Dietmar Machold, swindled clients out of €100m

Dietmar Machold: The renowned violin dealer who duped clients with fake Stradivarius

Dietmar Machold jailed for six years for swindling creditors out of an estimated €100m

Celebrating with a knees-up in 'A Village Romeo and Juliet'

Wexford Festival Opera, Wexford Opera House, Co Wexford, Republic of Ireland

Four operas at the ever resourceful Wexford keep the company and soloists on their toes

Album: Kristina Train, Dark Black (Mercury)

Once positioned as Blue Note's heiress to Norah Jones's crown, Kristina Train occupies a much more flexible position on this second album, most of which has been co-written and produced by Martin Craft with little of the overt jazz duties that marked her debut.

Leading light: Harriet Walter, the play's star

Jessica Duchen: How I put the tale of music in a Nazi camp on the stage

The Independent's writer on her play about the Messiaen Quartet

Melnikov, Faust and Queyras play Haydn and Dvorak, *****; Christanne Stotijn sings Rachmaninov and Musorgsky, ****

Trapped in a long and loveless marriage with a woman who hated music, Haydn had to look elsewhere for affection, and during a stay in London he was smitten by a stylish 60-year-old widow to whom - since she was a fine pianist - he dedicated a set of piano trios.

Endymion,**/Ibragimova, ***

It’s good when chamber musicians break the mould and dare to do something different, and Philip Venables’s ‘Romanticism’ deserved a hearing, particularly as it was a Wigmore commission.

Robin Ironside, Grosvenor Museum, Chester

It’s a family kind of place, the Grosvenor Museum. This being Chester, there is a child-friendly section on the Romans.

Nicola Benedetti

Sexism with strings attached

With women in the classical world ignored or treated as objects, Jessica Duchen says it's time for a new prize solely for them

Anthony Hopkins at the Classical Brit Awards last night

Hannibal... the musical? Sir Anthony wins a Classic Brit Award for his last waltz

Actor 'knocked out' after sharing best album prize

Sara Mingardo/Accademia degli Astrusi, Wigmore Hall, London, ***; Amore, Elgar Room, Royal Albert Hall, **

The Venetian contralto Sara Mingardo is one of a kind, and the nearest approximation to her clarion sound is to be found in the recordings of countertenor James Bowman in his prime; down in the baritone register her voice has masculine firmness, and when she opens up at the top her timbre is thrilling.

Album: Beth Orton, Sugaring Season (Anti-)

Beth Orton's first album for six years is an elegant affair, whose ruminations are given pleasing lustre by Tucker Martine, the production polisher of folk-rockers The Decemberists.

Album: Hidden Orchestra Archipelago Tru Thoughts bbb

Hidden Orchestra's Joe Acheson characterises Archipelago as a voyage round a group of islands, all built from the same materials, but each with its own topography.

Album: Nicola Benedetti The Silver Violin (Decca)

Nicola Benedetti believes that film music is the primary contemporary conduit for classical or orchestral music.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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