wed 28/09/2022

Features & Interviews

theartsdesk at Musikfest Berlin - orchestral and choral rainbows around the clock

David Nice

In its three weeks of world-class events, Muskfest Berlin has managed to be all things to all people – like a mini-Proms distilling the aspects of top international visitors alongside home-grown excellence, and of a focus on at least one relatively unfamiliar 20th century/contemporary work per concert.

First Person: violinist and music director Bjarte Eike on bringing the Playhouse to his 'Alehouse Sessions'

Bjarte Eike

History first. The 17th century London of Oliver Cromwell and its puritanical quest to curb all creativity – banning music, closing down theatres, restricting alcohol and all the rest – provided an incredible backdrop for Barokksolistene’s project The Alehouse Sessions. How music survived with its tunes and tales, in song and dance, has for me been a true revelation.

Jean-Luc Godard (1930-2022)

Nick Hasted

Paris, 16 March 1960 – and cinema ruptured. The first public screening of the 29-year-old Jean-Luc Godard’s debut feature, A Bout de Souffle,...

BBC Proms 2022 - silence after Mass

David Nice

So John Eliot Gardiner’s fire- and-air way with Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis turned out to be the last night of the Proms. Just as I was about to cycle...

First Person: Geoffrey Paterson on conducting the...

Geoffrey Paterson

By my count, tomorrow’s Proms première of Marius Neset’s jazz epic Geyser will be my 51st performance conducting the London Sinfonietta. It’s a tally...

First Persons: Glyndebourne's sustainability advisers Sara and Jeremy Eppel on creating eco-friendly opera

Sara And Jeremy Eppel

This season's production of 'The Wreckers' leads the way towards net zero

First Person: Michael Volpe on the utopian thinking behind his new If Opera company

Michael Volpe

Bold aims for country-house opera with a difference

First Person: tenor Cyrille Dubois on recording all Fauré's songs

Cyrille Dubois

Chapter and verse on a fascinating project, already much acclaimed here

First Person: Mark Bromley of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain celebrates a milestone in its history

Mark Bromley

This splendid institution's CEO explains its egalitarian role in the musical ecosystem

theartsdesk at the Pärnu Music Festival 2022 - conductors from 15 to 85, and the greatest players

David Nice

The biggest and best musical family in the world gathers again by the shores of the Baltic

Bob Rafelson (1933-2022): New Hollywood's raging bull

Nick Hasted

A bruising encounter with the late director on inventing Jack Nicholson, and terminal films

First Person: Angela Slater on reaping the rewards of the LPO's Young Composers programme

Angela Slater

Working with the best musicians towards one of a number of premieres on Thursday

2022 Parliamentary Jazz Awards: baubles, bromides and birthdays

Peter Quinn

A welcome return to in-person for this 18th edition of the awards

theartsdesk in Zurich - forging a brilliant new Ring

David Nice

Gianandrea Noseda, Andreas Homoki and top cast dazzle in an unforgettable 'Rheingold'

First person: Ukrainian violinist Valeriy Sokolov on performing while his homeland is destroyed

Valeriy Sokolov

His home city of Kharkiv in ruins, a great musician plays on

First Person: director Richard Wilson on a musical midsummer night film premiere

Richard Wilson

Mendelssohn around London with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields

The superstar, the Svengali and a rising young talent

Mark Kidel

What can singer-songwriter Tom Webber learn from the Costello legacy?

First Person: composer Gavin Higgins on his new cantata 'The Faerie Bride'

Gavin Higgins

Aldeburgh premiere tonight for setting of Welsh tale about acceptance of the other

10 Questions for art historian and fiction writer Chloë Ashby

Hannah Hutchings-Georgiou

On sights, acts of seeing and book 'Wet paint', inspired by Manet’s 'A Bar at the Folies-Bergère'

Venice Biennale 2022 review - The Milk of Dreams Part 1: The Giardini

Mark Hudson

The biggest and most challenging exhibition you’ll be seeing in some time

First Person: folk violinist István 'Szalonna' Pál on true Magyar style

István 'Szalonna' Pál

Lynchpin of the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble on their visit to London

First Person: Christina McMaster - seeking musical cures for modern malaise

Christina McMaster

Lying down and listening; a pianist and healer contemplates her work

theartsdesk at the Dresden Music Festival - orchestral abundance in a spectacular setting

Gavin Dixon

The Saxon city’s world-famous orchestras front and centre in a full programme of events

'How that music was created remains to me a complete mystery': John Tomlinson on fellow Lancastrian Harrison Birtwistle

John Tomlinson

The great bass remembers the composer who wrote two roles with his voice in mind

Clubbing with the Stones: Live at El Mocambo

Tim Cumming

Prior to their European tour, one of the band's finest ever gigs sees the light of day

'An invitation to stillness and reflection': saxophonist and composer Christian Forshaw on collaborating with top choir Tenebrae

Christian Forshaw

On the vocal quality of his chosen instrument and an invitation to stillness

First Person: playwright Naomi Wallace on finally hearing her work performed in English

Naomi Wallace

Set in America, 'The Breach' was first seen in Paris, as its author explains

First Person: composer Michael Price on responding to Bach's Second Brandenburg Concerto

Michael Price

'The Malling Diamond' is one of six commissions for an ambitious Music@Malling project

Extract: Catching Fire by Daniel Hahn

Daniel Hahn

Laying bare the translator's quandaries, including the problem of gendered language

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

latest in today

This England, Sky Atlantic review - how Boris's No 10 g...

From underneath the messy ash-white thatch of hair, a strange mooing suddenly issues: Sir Kenneth Branagh is wrestling with Boris Johnson’s odd...

Kim Noble, Soho Theatre review - final part of trilogy about...

A dead pigeon. A dead squirrel. A dead fox. Lots of maggots – very much alive. I might be describing your worst nightmare (throw in a rat or two...

In Front of Your Face review - a day in the life

Twenty-four hours in the life of a Korean woman, Sangok (Lee Hyeyoung), are caught in scenes which feel like real time in Hong Sangsoo’s latest....

Purcell's Playhouse, Bevan, Barokksolistene, Eike, Purc...

“What about the communication with the audience?” asked violinist and impresario Bjarte Eike in his First Person piece for theartsdesk...

Hallyu! The Korean Wave, V&A review - frenetic but fun

Remember Gangnam Style, the music video that went viral in 2012? PSY’s cheeky lyrics and daft moves attracted 1.6 billion hits on YouTube...

Bronwyn Adcock: Currowan review - a fire foretold, a warning...

In 2019 Australia endured the hottest, driest year since records began and their bushfire season escalated with unprecedented intensity. The fires...

Blu-ray: Love (Szerelem)

Károly Makk’s Love (Szerelem...

Eureka Day, Old Vic review - fun if not entirely fulfilling

Can a play peak too soon? That's the quandary that attends the...

Igor Levit, Wigmore Hall review - titanic talent shows his l...

It probably tells you all you need to know about Igor Levit that when a mobile phone pinged just before his encore, he neither ignored it, nor...

Marina Abramović: Gates and Portals, Modern Art Oxford and P...

I have powerful memories of performances by Marina Abramović. Back in 1977 at Documenta in Kassel,...