News

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.

Coming Soon: Obsessive love is in the air

The narcotic beauty of Die Tote Stadt (pictured) sets the tone for a season of music inspired by obsessive love. Opening 27 January at the Royal Opera House, London (020-7304 4000), Willy Decker's Salzburg Festival production of Korngold's opulently scored opera represents another chance for British audiences to assess the "Viennese Puccini", though they won't have to wait too long for the real one.

Members of the London Philharmonic/Elder, Wigmore Hall, London

Wigmore Hall's tiny platform was almost as crowded as Richard Wagner's staircase on Christmas morning 1870 when he presented his beloved wife Cosima with a performance of his newly composed Siegfried Idyll. Forest murmurs from the second act of his Ring opera "Siegfried" will have wafted through the lakeside house at Tribschen near Lucerne, dappled instrumental colours broken with bird-call and the sound of the super-hero's horn.

Members of the London Philharmonic / Elder, Wigmore Hall, London

Wigmore Hall's tiny platform was almost as crowded as Richard Wagner's staircase on Christmas morning 1870 when he presented his beloved wife Cosima with a performance of his newly composed Siegfried Idyll.

Samoyloff/Strelchenko, Wigmore Hall, London

In juxtaposing two recitals by thirtysomething Russians, the Wigmore Hall has reminded us that the golden age of Soviet pianism is not dead: Evgeny Samoyloff cut his teeth in the Special Music School of Novosibirsk, while Natalia Strelchenko fledged in the St Petersburg conservatory, and both employ a brilliant technique to pursue keyboard poetry.

Steven Isserlis birthday concert, Wigmore Hall, London

Reviewed by Michael Church

Matthew Wadsworth/Carolyn Sampson, Wigmore Hall, London

Reviewed by Michael Church

Isserlis/Adès, Wigmore Hall, London

Even in a hall as famed for its intimacy as the Wigmore, I doubt we've ever heard quieter or more meaningful sounds than Steven Isserlis breathed into his cello during the last of four Gyorgy Kurtag pieces, Kroo Gyorgy in memoriam. Descending scales so ghostly that it hardly seemed possible that the strings were even so much as grazed by the bow became like silent footsteps to eternity. How typical of Kurtag to honour a great Hungarian musicologist with near-silence – the most elusive music of all – and how clever of Isserlis to have placed these pieces at the heart, the still centre, of this generous recital.

Steven Isserlis/ Thomas Ades, Wigmore Hall, London

Even in a hall as famed for its intimacy as Wigmore, I doubt we've ever heard quieter or more meaningful sounds than Steven Isserlis breathed into his cello during the last of four Gyorgy Kurtag pieces, "Kroo Gyorgy in memorium".

Thomas Quasthoff, Wigmore Hall, London

No wonder the hall is full: a recital by the German baritone Thomas Quasthoff is not to be missed.

Leon Fleisher, Wigmore Hall, London

The legendary 80-year-old pianist Leon Fleisher has had at least three careers. The first was famously cut short by a neurological disorder that took two fingers of his right hand out of commission. Classic recordings kept the memories alive, but for nearly 40 years he focused on repertoire for the left hand – until, that is, medical science caught up and he was a two-handed pianist once more.

Boris Godunov, Coliseum, London<br/>Berezovsky/Kniazev/Makhtin, IndigO2, London<br/>Kozen&#225;/Martineau, Barbican Hall, London

Only a tentative Tsar undermines ENO's arresting new production of Mussorgky's searing opera

A venue fit for Kings and commoners

Kicking off with 20 events on its first day alone, Kings Place is hammering home the point that it's London's first purpose-built concert complex in 25 years. To walk in off the street is to swap industrial grunge for the most exquisite modernity. The main auditorium is like the inside of a sailing ship: honey-coloured timbers, a raised gallery running right round, and a very high ceiling. Sitting at the back – and unlike the seats in most other halls, these really are for sitting in – I listen to a whispered conversation between composer Simon Holt and oboist Melinda Maxwell, who will play his new piece as the first work to be heard in the hall next Wednesday. The acoustic here's superb, and will rival the Wigmore Hall.

Fretwork, Wigmore Hall, London

Jews were expelled from England in 1290, and were not "readmitted" until 1655, so in 16th-century England there were theoretically no Jews, and no Jewish musicians. That we now know better is due in large part to the detective work of Professor Roger Prior, who caused a flurry in the musical dovecote by suggesting that many musicians, composers, and instrument makers in the Tudor and Stuart courts were of Jewish origin.

Magic touch: German pianist Lars Vogt

Described by Sir Simon Rattle as 'extraordinary', the German pianist Lars Vogt has to be heard to be believed, says Michael Church

Academy of Ancient Music, Wigmore Hall, London

The Academy of Ancient music sounded in fine form on their latest visit to the Wigmore Hall: spirited, expressive, well together and ­ what was not invariably true in their earlier years ­ perfectly in tune. As well they might be under the volatile and cultivated direction of the distinguished conductor-violinist Giuliano Carmignola, giving just sufficient guidance without imposing an "interpretation" on the symphonic works, while plying his fiddle in the concertos with a perfect balance of elegance and fire.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee