sun 06/12/2020

Features & Interviews

Not-quite-solitude on the 34th floor: violinist Maxine Kwok on the short film 'Rising'

Maxine Kwok

2020: a year that at some point felt like the end of live performance for the world of the performing arts, certainly for the foreseeable future. Artists spent months without any form of collaboration, leading to a serious lack of motivation due to the decimation of performance opportunities.

First Person: Avi Avital on 'Art of the Mandolin'

Avi Avital

The mandolin is an instrument everybody has heard of without necessarily knowing much about it. Its history has been written by lovers of the instrument, often amateur players who are drawn to its approachable and appealing character, integrating it into their own lives, and in turn popularising it throughout the world.

‘Our whole industry is supported by vulnerable...

Chen Reiss

I am not the first to say this, and I won’t be the last, but what a strange year 2020 has become! I am learning afresh what it is to be both a singer...

First Person: Paul Bullock on making BBC Young...

Paul Bullock

Producing music programmes for TV with live performance during the past few months has not been without its challenges, but somehow doing so right...

Book extract: Nativity by Jean Frémon, with...


How should one paint the baby Jesus? This deceptively innocent question runs the length of Jean Frémon's Nativity, a fictional work that takes as its...

First Person: horn player Alec Frank-Gemmill on authenticity and enlightenment in lockdown

Alec Frank-Gemmill

Treading a fine line in Brahms between historical evidence and creative freedom

First Person: Jessica Duchen on writing about Beethoven's Immortal Beloved

Jessica Duchen

Why her novel 'Immortal' became more seismic, and more relevant, than she expected

'Josquin has defined our career': The Tallis Scholars’ Peter Phillips on the end of a major recording project

Peter Phillips

Celebrating an epic on the eve of the Renaissance Mass master’s 500th anniversary

First Person: Cellist Alban Gerhardt on why concert-hall life must go on

Alban Gerhardt

The return to lockdown of German musical institutions must not happen here

Filmmaker Bassam Tariq: 'Great cinema doesn't need to be perfect - embrace the imperfections'

Owen Richards

Director of 'Mogul Mowgli' discusses taking risks, and the differences between the British- and American-Asian experience

First Person: harpsichordist Chad Kelly on reimagining Bach's Goldberg Variations

Chad Kelly

The background to what promises to be a vibrant new performance by Brecon Baroque

The Secret History of My Library: Essay by Daniel Saldaña París

Daniel Saldaña Paris

The eminent Mexican novelist on books and their ghosts

First Person: composer Brian Elias on the Music@Malling Festival's retrospective of his works

Brian Elias

Fifty years of vibrantly consistent music celebrated in rural Kent

First Person: tenor Nicky Spence on working with Blackheath locals on screen Stravinsky

Nicky Spence

'The Rake's Progress' distilled and introduced by its star and community opera patron

Book extract: Snake by Erica Wright


Short essays on a slippery object of fear, fascination and misunderstanding

First Person: Gregory Batsleer on choirs for the 21st century

Gregory Batsleer

The conductor considers the future for choral music

First Person: pianist Danny Driver on teaching online and the importance of music education

Danny Driver

The challenges of top-level music lessons during the pandemic

Eavesdropping on Rattle, the LSO and Bartók’s Bluebeard

David Nice

Ahead of the London Symphony Orchestra’s streaming next month, a privileged preview

First Person: Artistic Director John Gilhooly on an inclusive and diverse Wigmore Hall

John Gilhooly

The London venue which kept artists afloat during lockdown reopens tomorrow

Singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter: 'I wanted to do something. I wanted to be useful in some way'

Liz Thomson

On creating her 'Songs from Home' in a time of crisis, depression and musical empathy

'Masses of performers are still grounded': pianist Sophia Rahman on a UK music scene in crisis

Sophia Rahman

Falling through the cracks in the benefit system, many musicians are giving up

Directors Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui: 'The disability community is the world community'

Owen Richards

Interview with the men behind Netflix's new Paralympic documentary 'Rising Phoenix'

Theatre Unlocked 4: Shows in concert and a contemporary classic comes to TV

Matt Wolf

A New York duo celebrates Sir Noël; Samuel Beckett bewitches and bewilders once again

A masked elegy: portraits of string players at the Fidelio Orchestra Café

David Nice

Young talent captured by Nick Rutter during sessions for Strauss's 'Metamorphosen'

Theatre Unlocked 3: Signs of activity after a long siesta

Matt Wolf

Theatre comes to life, albeit gently, and some familiar names crop up online

'Rehearsing Beethoven with Barenboim felt like an historical moment': Vienna Philharmonic trombonist Kelton Koch on a new normal

Kelton Koch

As the Salzburg Festival flourishes, a Texan in Austria welcomes a musical rebirth

First Person: Antonia Bain on directing a short kitchen opera for film

Antonia Bain

Scottish Opera's digital content producer on making 'The Narcissistic Fish'

Theatre Unlocked 2: A starry premiere and musical revival alongside Greek tragedy where it began

Matt Wolf

Empty playhouses caught on camera and an online 'Merchant' complete a typically varied week of theatrical fare

'She was Paris': RIP Zizi Jeanmaire (1924-2020)

Ismene Brown

Ballet or cabaret, Zizi's passion was for performance - preferably with her husband


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