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The Independant - Features

September 1   -  

Chineke! Europe's first professional orchestra of black and minority ethnic musicians launches

When the Chineke! Orchestra steps on to the Queen Elizabeth Hall platform on 13 September, the audience should notice something unusual. One of those uncomfortable truths about classical music is that most symphony orchestras in Europe still ...

August 24   -  

Why do we hear the work of so few female classical composers?

"I once thought that I possessed creative talent, but I have given up this idea; a woman must not desire to compose – not one has been able to do it, and why should I expect to?" /

July 28   -  

How the National Youth Orchestra is inspiring a new generation of musical teenagers

The benefits of a musical education on the development of all young people, the warning cries about cuts in music education in the state sector and the need for government to reverse their refusal to make arts education part of the national ...

July 18   -  

Johann Sebastian Bach: Leading soloists on the mastery and mystery of the genius composer

In 1977, Nasa's two Voyager space probes began an endless mission across the Milky Way that has already sent Voyager One beyond the borders of our solar system and out into the interstellar void. Before they launched, the astronomer Carl ...

July 5   -  

Ambrogio Maestri: The charismatic Italian baritone on food and Falstaff

Ambrogio Maestri is one of the most in- demand opera singers in the world, but if it all ended tomorrow he could probably forge a new career as a television chef. /

June 24   -  

Gabriel Prokofiev on the BBC's Ten Pieces, Nonclassical, and a new Carnival of the Animals

Gabriel Prokofiev is pondering, over a Turkish lunch near his Bethnal Green studio in London, an unexpected development in his career as composer: the BBC has just picked a movement from his Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra for its new Ten ...

June 22   -  

Beating stage fright: Pianist Sara Solovich on tackling her phobia by arranging a solo concert

For most of my adult life, virtually no one – not even my closest friends – knew that I played the piano. And that was how I wanted it. Playing the piano had once defined me, but so, too, had my stage fright. I was the kind of ...

May 24   -  

'I was raped as a child, and only now can I tell my story': How James Rhodes fought the law courts in a battle to be heard

When paedophiles say to their victims, as they all do in one form or another, “If you ever speak about this, unimaginably bad things will happen to you”, what they are doing is perhaps on one level even worse than the physical act of ...

May 18   -  

Johnny Flynn on composing for 'As You Like It', Shakespeare's genius, and the charm of the nyckelharpa

It's night-time and there are strangely beautiful noises emanating from the back rooms of Shakespeare's Globe in London. Through a stage door, down a winding passage far beyond the pomp and glamour of the main stage, in a round ...

May 13   -  

Soprano Danielle de Niese: 'I'm not the first singer to go back to work after having a baby'

Over lunch at Glyndebourne's staff canteen, the soprano Danielle de Niese, who is heavily pregnant, is telling star-studded anecdotes. Recently, en route to a charity gala with her tell-tale bump disguised beneath the drapes of a Vivienne ...
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