Classical music

British opera companies and orchestras must start investing in native talent

23 January 2021 9:00 am

Brexit and Covid have pushed us out of the common musical market and thrown us back on homegrown sprouts. Good, says Norman Lebrecht

Most artistic careers end in failure. Why does no one talk about this?

16 January 2021 9:00 am

Rosie Millard dispels the myth that persistence is always rewarded

Alfred Brendel the Dadaist

16 January 2021 9:00 am

How many people are celebrating the fact that, last week, one of Europe’s most inspired writers about music, modern art…

There’s no better sonic hangover cure: New Year’s Day Concert reviewed

9 January 2021 9:00 am

The best moment in the Vienna Philharmonic’s annual New Year’s Day Concert comes after the end of the advertised programme.…

Alan Rusbridger on the joys of four-hand piano

19 December 2020 9:00 am

One of the few social activities not yet prohibited under lockdown laws is four-handed piano playing. I don’t mean sitting…

Hear the greatest Parsifal of our time sing like a Muppet: Jonas Kaufmann’s Christmas album reviewed

19 December 2020 9:00 am

In classical music circles, Christmas arrives with the overture to Handel’s Messiah. Or so they’ll tell you. In truth, festivities…

Refined and dreamy: CBSO centenary concerts reviewed

12 December 2020 9:00 am

For an orchestra to lose one anniversary concert may be regarded as unfortunate. To lose two? Welcome to 2020. The…

How we became a nation of choirs and carollers

5 December 2020 9:00 am

Alexandra Coghlan on how we became a nation of choirs and carollers

The grotesque unevenness of Mozart’s Requiem

28 November 2020 9:00 am

It is amazing what fine performances you can get beamed to your computer these days. Slightly less amazing is the…

Unobtrusively filmed, powerfully performed but still unsatisfying: LSO's Bluebeard reviewed

7 November 2020 9:00 am

The timing couldn’t be better. Just as the gates clang shut on another national lockdown, trapping us all indefinitely with…

A silly, bouncy delight: Glyndebourne's In the Market for Love reviewed

17 October 2020 9:00 am

Offenbach at Glyndebourne! Short of Die Soldaten with a picnic break or a period-instrument revival of Jerry Springer: The Opera,…

Why did Balakirev's beautiful, inventive works go out of fashion?

10 October 2020 9:00 am

Anyone who invited the Russian composer Mily Balakirev to dinner had to be jolly careful about the fish they served.…

I don’t know when I’ve been more moved: Ora Singers at Tate Modern reviewed

3 October 2020 9:00 am

It’s the breath I miss most. The moment when a shuffling group of men and women in scruffy concert blacks…

The forgotten female composer fêted by Mozart and Haydn

12 September 2020 9:00 am

Selina Mills on Maria Theresia von Paradis, the gifted but forgotten 18th-century composer, whose story will finally be told in a new chamber opera

Why orchestras are sounding better than ever under social-distancing

12 September 2020 9:00 am

Our college choirmaster had a trick that he liked to deploy when he sensed that we were phoning it in.…

The death of the Southbank Centre

5 September 2020 9:00 am

The roots of the Southbank Centre’s current crisis stretch back to before the pandemic, says Oliver Basciano

Couldn't the BBC have filled at least some of the seats? First night of the Proms reviewed

5 September 2020 9:00 am

The Royal Albert Hall, as Douglas Adams never wrote, is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely,…

Enter the parallel universe that is the Lucerne Festival

29 August 2020 9:00 am

There wasn’t going to be a Lucerne Festival this year. The annual month-long squillion-dollar international beano got cancelled, along with…

The original Edinburgh Festival

22 August 2020 9:00 am

James Sadler’s 1815 balloon flight, a Fringe first, heralded the greatest musical extravaganza that Scotland had ever seen, says John D. Halliday

The joy of going to a real concert: OHP's Heart of Delight reviewed

22 August 2020 9:00 am

I went to a concert! Not a livestream or download: a real concert, with real musicians, a real conductor, a…

‘Where I grew up, classical music was diversity’: an interview with conductor Alpesh Chauhan

15 August 2020 9:00 am

Richard Bratby talks to Birmingham Opera Company’s new music director Alpesh Chauhan about his Brummie roots, Bruckner and how his BAME heritage is a non-story

Beethoven 32 piano sonatas were his musical laboratory – here are the best recordings

18 July 2020 9:00 am

If you want to understand Beethoven, listen to his piano sonatas. Without them, you’ll never grasp how the same man…

Portrait of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic – Britain's oldest and ballsiest orchestra

11 July 2020 9:00 am

Richard Bratby on Britain’s oldest and ballsiest orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, which has taken on everyone from gang leaders to Derek Hatton

After weeks of silence, Royal Opera reopened with a whimper

20 June 2020 9:00 am

It was the fourth time, or maybe the fifth, that I found myself reaching for the tissues that I began…

The musical event of the year: Wigmore Hall BBC Radio 3 Special Broadcasts reviewed

13 June 2020 9:00 am

Remember when 2020 was going to be Beethoven year? There were going to be cycles and festivals, recordings and reappraisals;…