Simon Rattle

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,…

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

I'm still not wholly convinced by Kirill Petrenko: Berlin Phil's Digital Concert Hall reviewed

30 May 2020 9:00 am

At the start of Elgar’s Second Symphony the full orchestra hovers, poised. It pulls back; and then, like a dam…

The fall of Daniel Barenboim

23 March 2019 9:00 am

A few years ago, I hooked up with a BBC team in Berlin to record a programme with Daniel Barenboim.…

Sir Simon Rattle conducts the LSO at the Barbican

Rattle’s recapitulation: LSO/Simon Rattle at Barbican reviewed

22 September 2018 9:00 am

A pregnant silence, a peaty belch from the tuba, and the scrape of brass on brass as gears lock into…

A Beggar’s Opera that beggars belief in Edinburgh

25 August 2018 9:00 am

Robert Carsen’s new updating of The Beggar’s Opera is a coke-snorting, trash-talking, breakdancing, palm-greasing, skirt-hiking, rule-breaking affair — and every…

Garsington makes as good a case as you can for Strauss’s frothy Capriccio

9 June 2018 9:00 am

‘Is there an end [to this opera] that is not trivial?’ asks the Countess in her final bars of Richard…

The Factory (image: OMA/Factory)

The Bilbao effect

21 October 2017 9:00 am

Twenty years ago I wrote of the otherwise slaveringly praised Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao: I’m in a minority of, apparently,…

Beauty and the beast

30 September 2017 9:00 am

I was going to start with a little moan. About the shouty marketing, the digital diarrhoea, the sycophantic drivel, which,…

Director’s cut

23 September 2017 9:00 am

Much fuss has been made of the title given to Sir Simon Rattle on arrival at the London Symphony Orchestra.…

Who is Kirill Petrenko?

12 August 2017 9:00 am

Two summers ago, the BBC were offered a Proms visit by the Bavarian State Orchestra with its music director, Kirill…

Who is Kirill Petrenko?

10 August 2017 1:00 pm

Two summers ago, the BBC were offered a Proms visit by the Bavarian State Orchestra with its music director, Kirill…

Hadyn recreated

22 July 2017 9:00 am

‘Rarely, rarely, comest thou, Spirit of Delight!’ wrote Elgar, quoting Shelley, at the top of his Second Symphony. He should…

Band apart: conductor John Wilson, whose orchestra boasts some of the best wind and brass players on the planet

Let there be light

13 July 2017 1:00 pm

If you’ve never heard the John Wilson Orchestra, it’s time to experience pure happiness. Buy their 2016 live album Gershwin…

Powerful and upsetting: Pelléas et Mélisande at the Barbican reviewed

16 January 2016 9:00 am

There are some operas, as there are some people, that it is impossible to establish a settled relationship with, and…

Musical maestros and football managers have more in common than you think

12 December 2015 9:00 am

You don’t have to be a follower of Liverpool Football Club, or football at all, to spot the difference. Two…

Classical music's greatest political butt-kissers: Dudamel, Gergiev and Rattle

14 February 2015 9:00 am

On 8 March 2013, Gustavo Dudamel stood by the coffin of the Marxist autocrat Hugo Chavez and conducted the Simon…

Dialogues des Carmélites brings out the best in Poulenc – and the Royal Opera House

7 June 2014 9:00 am

Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites is an audacious work, much more so than many others that advertise their audacity. It deals…

How Claudio Abbado bridged old and new

1 February 2014 9:00 am

Not long ago the great conductors of classical music were general practitioners. They expected to give satisfactory interpretations of music…