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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.

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: Nicola Benedetti The Silver Violin (Decca)

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

Classical Brit honour for Harry Potter composer Williams

Star Wars and Harry Potter soundtrack composer John Williams is to be honoured at the Classical Brit Awards.

Six hour opera with real helicopters and a dancing camel to premiere in Birmingham

Members of a string quartet have clambered aboard four helicopters to practise ahead of the world premiere of an opera which features an airborne performance and a dancing camel.

Prom 41: Gurrelieder/BBCSO/Saraste
Prom 42: Power/Philharmonia/Malkki
Royal Albert Hall, London

Schoenberg’s splendidly unclassifiable ‘Gurrelieder’ was both an attempt to beat Wagner at his own game and a declaration that the game was over.

Runners in luminous suits mark the start of Edinburgh festival

Hundreds of runners wearing specially-designed luminous suits are marking the start of the Edinburgh International Festival.

Lights on for Edinburgh International Festival

Edinburgh International Festival gets under way today, with hundreds of runners in luminous suits bringing the landmark Arthur's Seat to life at night during the three-week programme.

Carolyn Sampson and Joelle Harvey in the operatic B Minor Mass

Prom 26, Royal Albert Hall, London
Susanna, Ilford Festival, Wiltshire
Prom 21, Robert Albert Hall

Bach's B Minor Mass is too grand for liturgical use, but it was powerful, moving and dramatic at the Royal Albert Hall

Join the J.Crew

Michelle Obama's favourite label comes to UK shores with a bang, thanks to a campaign that features a cast of industry style icons

Michael Barenboim performs Anthemes 2

Prom 13: Daniel Barenboim/Michael Barenboim/West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall

As their intensive Beethoven and Boulez series steams onward, you might expect the players of Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra to be wilting a little. Not a bit of it. This fourth concert held the work that many consider Beethoven’s finest symphonic gem, the Seventh – and if anyone’s mojo needed a shot in the arm, that was the place to be.

RCM's Matyas Csibas and Sophia Anagnostou

Sound of Versailles comes to the Proms

Kate Youde talks to the students recreating Louis XIII's orchestra

Album: Christopher Gibbons, Motets .../Academy of Ancient Music/Richard Egarr (Harmonia Mundi)

Gibbons grew up in the service of Charles I and survived to serve as Organist of the Chapel Royal under Charles II.

Album: Grasscut, Unearth (Ninja Tune)

Grasscut push the electropop envelope in intriguing new directions with Unearth, its songs inspired by alliances of people, poetry and places.

Album: Meursault, Something for the Weakened (Song, By Toad)

Named after the antihero of Camus' L'étranger, Scots combo Meursault operate where strident folk-rock meets etiolated grunge and ambient electronica, a blend perfectly measured for the melancholy broadsides of Something For The Weakened.

Leopold Trio/Steven Osborne/Pavel Haas Quartet, Wigmore hall, London

Classical music’s talent-spotting schemes don’t always work - as witness the fortysomethings desperately trying to recreate their brief fame as 'BBC young musician of the year' - but Radio 3's New Generation Artist scheme is an exception. Successive concerts by two NGA ensembles this week reinforced the point that this title is a copper-bottomed accolade.

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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
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform