classical music

Inviting Jansons to the Barbican was like pouring vintage Pol Roger into a throwaway plastic cup

28 November 2017 11:14

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra / Mariss Jansons Barbican NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover / Andrew Manze Symphony Hall At the end of…

Barenboim’s Brexit speech was out of order – the Proms are, and must be, politically neutral

17 July 2017 12:29

This post was first published on Slipped Disc On the first night of the BBC Proms, the German-based pianist Igor…

In defence of Mahan Esfahani

26 May 2017 12:30

Seven years ago I ripped the CD off the front of a music magazine and found myself in the thick…

Why do the British have such terrible taste in voices?

12 May 2017 12:58

When it comes to voices, the words of the apocryphal Times headline come to mind: ‘Fog in the Channel; Continent cut…

How does Karl Jenkins get away with his crappy music?

4 July 2016 11:16

In a week that saw the UK vote itself out of the EU, the resignation of David Cameron followed by…

Adults nowadays are the generation of kids who refused to grow up

30 May 2016 9:30

It was when I was going up in the lift that it struck me. The elevator stopped, the doors opened…

Richard Strauss was no conservative

17 October 2015 12:13

With the ardent zeal characteristic of the freshly converted, I found myself channelling waves of anger towards Stanley Kubrick. The…

The self-taught French pianist who wowed the Tchaikovsky music competition

6 July 2015 17:36

Vladimir Putin was sitting a few rows in front of me last Thursday evening in Moscow listening patiently to three…

The cook, the critic, the composer and the love child

8 January 2015 16:09

Michael Kennedy, who died on New Year’s Eve, was the Sunday Telegraph’s music critic when I was for a while assistant arts…

Why, if Cecilia Bartoli invites you to a party, you drop everything and go

9 October 2014 16:47

Classical music has a few certainties: Götterdämmerung will always be that little bit longer than you remember, it will reliably…

When The Spectator helped butcher Richard Strauss

11 June 2014 10:34

To be honest I’m not certain that Michael Nyman, The Spectator‘s music critic in the late 60s, was one of…

Anthony Hopkins and a musical luvvie-fest

4 April 2014 17:48

Has anything ever been more luvvie than this?

The greatest recordings by the oldest pianists

24 February 2014 8:50

Age has never been an impediment to great musicianship. YouTube is full of extraordinary late musical testaments from pianists who,…

RIP Alice Herz-Sommer

23 February 2014 21:10

The 110-year-old pianist and oldest known Holocaust survivor, Alice Herz-Sommer, who was imprisoned in Theresienstadt concentration camp, has died. Her…