Arts and Entertainment

Barbican, London

Album: Benjamin Grosvenor, Rhapsody in Blue (Decca)

On his second Decca set, piano wunderkind Benjamin Grosvenor programmes Gershwin alongside roughly contemporary pieces by Ravel and Saint-Saëns, but it's the connection between Rhapsody in Blue and Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major that gives the album its point.

Album: Antony and the Johnsons, Cut the World (Rough Trade)

The notion of transformation has always been fundamental to the work of Antony Hegarty, often in trans-gender and even trans-species terms. He's the ugly duckling that turned into the magnificent swan – and on Cut the World, that swan gets to drift all the more elegantly across a lake of full-scale orchestral arrangements, which themselves transform some of his earlier songs into more fabulous creations.

Prom 18: Barenboim/West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall

A fitting crosstown curtain raiser to the Olympics opening night

Album: Thierry Pécou, Tremendum (Harmonia Mundi)

As in his Symphonie Du Jaguar, French-Caribbean composer Thierry Pécou draws on both the musical stylings and the myths of South American culture in these works, his percussion interplay driving along pieces like "Paseo de la Reforma" and "L'Arbre aux Fleurs" with an insistence that recalls not just Reich and Glass, but also the batucada percussion ensembles of Brazilian carnivals.

Yevgeny Onegin, Opera Holland Park, London / Pelléas et Mélisande, and other Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London / Cinderella, Blackheath, Community Opera, London

A new production of a Tchaikovsky opera observes that heartache is a worldwide, eradicable complaint

Prom 9: Barenboim/West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall, London

Audacious, perhaps, to lure an audience of thousands with promises of Beethoven, then let Pierre Boulez steal the show. Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra placed Boulez’s Dérive 2, a work for 11 musicians that lasts for 50 unbroken minutes, at the core of the first evening of its complete Beethoven symphonies cycle. The result: a revelation.

Album: Ensemble Al Kindi, Le Salon de Musique d'Alep (Chant du Monde)

Forget the Aleppo on your TV screen: this Syrian city is also home to an ancient musical tradition.

Album: Guillemots, Hello Land! (The State 51 Conspiracy)

Clearly unafraid of a challenge, with Hello Land! Guillemots offer the first of a quartet of season-themed albums to be released by the end of the year.

Sounds Venezuela, Southbank Centre, London

Classical music has never enjoyed a more successful a marketing campaign than that promoting Gustavo Dudamel, the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, and the proliferation of Jose Antonio Abreu’s visionary Sistema.

Album: Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Spirits Up Above: The Anthology (Rhino/Warner)

Its tertiary title is 1965-76 The Atlantic Years, and that completes the primary information you need.

Album: John Luther, Adamssongbirdsongs (Mode)

Bernie Krause, in his engrossing recent book The Great Animal Orchestra, called attention to the biophony of the natural world, notably the birdsong that fascinated Olivier Messiaen.

Yvonne Howard and Peter Coleman-Wright in Caligula

Caligula, Coliseum, London
King Priam, Dome, Brighton
The Beethoven Encounter, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

English National Opera does a good hatchet job on an updated bully, but it is the bliss of new generation music-making that resonates

Greg Ham: Flautist remembered for his 'Down Under' riff

The woodwind and keyboard player Greg Ham was responsible for several of the distinctive features that made the Australian group Men At Work such an early Eighties pop sensation.

Album: Peter Gabriel, Live Blood (Realworld/Eagle)

After the Scratch My Back and New Blood albums of orchestrated re-imaginings of his and others' songs, and last year's New Blood Live in London DVD, another two-hour, two-CD live set based on the same material may be a case of Peter Gabriel returning to this well once too often.

Men At Work flautist 'devastated by song theft case' is found dead at home

Greg Ham, musician with Australian band Men At Work, has been found dead at his home in Melbourne.

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