sun 02/08/2015

Features & Interviews

theartsdesk in Tuscany: Musical landscapes

Alexandra Coghlan

“Treeless and shrubless but for some tufts of broom, these corrugated ridges formed a lunar landscape, pale and inhuman.” Lushly green and densely planted, today the view out over Tuscany’s Val d’Orcia is unrecognisable as the blasted landscape first witnessed by author Iris Origo in 1923. From a barren wilderness, the valley was transformed by Origo and her husband into a thriving farm, crowned by one of Italy’s loveliest landscaped gardens, where now, some 80 years later, Origo’s children and...

An Open Book: Quentin Blake

Fisun Güner

Quentin Blake, illustrator, cartoonist and children’s author, has, to date, illustrated over 300 books. He is most famously associated with Roald Dahl, but he’s worked with a number of children’s writers, most recently David Walliams, illustrating the actor's debut novel The Boy in the Dress. He is also a patron of The Big Draw which aims to get people of all ages drawing throughout the UK, and of The Nightingale Project, a charity that puts art into hospitals. Since 2006, he's produced work...

Bolshoi Ballet acid attack leader loses his job

Ismene Brown

Sergei Filin, the Bolshoi Ballet artistic director whose sight was maimed two years ago by an acid attack organized by a disgruntled dancer, will...

First Person: Dear Lupin

Michael Simkins

When I got the call enquiring whether I’d like to adapt The Sunday Times Humour Book of the Year Dear Lupin for the stage, the first thing I did was...

theartsdesk in Pärnu: Top players, great Estonians

David Nice

In 1989 Neeme Järvi, already rated one of the world’s top conductors and soon to be voted “Estonian of the Century” by his compatriots, returned with...

theartsdesk at the Buxton Festival: Bloody Lucia, saintly Joan and sweet Louise

Richard Bratby

High operatic standards for Donizetti, Verdi and Charpentier in the Peak District

Extract: The Time Traveller’s Guide to British Theatre

Aleks Sierz and Lia Ghilardi

Take a ride through 400 years of British theatre with our fictional guides

theartsdesk in Oslo: From heritage to art now

Fisun Güner

A dynamic art scene in Norway's capital is giving London and Berlin a run for their money

First Person: Poems to Messiaen

Michael Symmons Roberts

Michael Symmons Roberts introduces a project to respond to Messiaen through poetry and painting; we also publish one of his poems

10 Questions for Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes

Adam Sweeting

Norway's premier pianist on Beethoven, elevator music, conducting from the piano and being big in Korea

Remembering Jon Vickers (1926-2015)


Recollections of a unique tenor from soprano Linda Esther Gray and writer Jonathon Brown

theartsdesk at Førdefestivalen: Music and the midnight sun

Tim Cumming

Gathering of world and folk musicians in Norway's fjord country. Plus sketches by the writer

Q&A Special: Pianist Lucas Debargue

Ismene Brown

First interview with 'self-taught' Lucas Debargue who captivated the Tchaikovsky piano competition

theartsdesk at the Lichfield Festival

Richard Bratby

A slimline Magic Flute in the Cathedral and David Matthews as featured composer

theartsdesk in Aix: Dreaming on

Jasper Rees

From Provence to China: Robert Carsen's great Britten puts a girdle round the earth

theartsdesk at Love Supreme: Van Morrison & Dianne Reeves

Matthew Wright

The programme stays in the middle of the road, but UK's only outdoor jazz festival still grooves nicely

theartsdesk in Aix-en-Provence: Let's make a Euro-opera

David Nice

Bright young team gathers for a unique project connecting Europeans

theartsdesk in Moscow: Free thought vs cultural politics

Tom Birchenough

How heavy is the official hand bearing down on Russian culture today?

Orson Welles: The Great Disruptor

Demetrios Matheou

A major BFI retrospective marks the centenary of the director's birth

Positive: Introducing a comedy about HIV/AIDS


Playwright Shaun Kitchener and director Harry Burton discuss their new production at the Park Theatre

theartsdesk at the Edinburgh International Film Festival - part 2

David Kettle

Boundary-pushing documentaries were among strong offerings in the festival's closing days

theartsdesk in Orkney: St Magnus Festival

David Kettle

Wintry weather didn't dampen spirits at midsummer celebration of music and the arts

Keeping up with the Joneses

Jasper Rees

The epic story of Welsh Patagonia finds Wales's two national theatres collaborating

theartsdesk at the Edinburgh International Film Festival

Demetrios Matheou

Edinburgh puts other festivals in the shade with an amazing array of female filmmakers

Habemus maestrum: the Berlin Phil chooses

David Nice

Kirill Petrenko to succeed Simon Rattle as Chief Conductor in 2018

The second coming of The Third Man

Graham Fuller

Vienna, the zither, a twist of Lime: Carol Reed's newly restored noir masterpiece returns

theartsdesk in Denmark: 150 years of Nielsen

David Nice

A great symphonist and a national treasure celebrated at home

theartsdesk at the Cottier Chamber Project

David Kettle

The three-week Glasgow chamber music festival is Scotland's answer to the Proms

Ornette Coleman (1930-2015), Jazz Liberator

Matthew Wright

His techniques were rooted in black American musical idiom, but also severed jazz history


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