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Tom Service on classical music

November 16   -  

Performing sculpture: Calder's mobile comes in for a hammering

The musical and the visual collide satisfyingly in Earle Brown’s composition Calder Piece and Alexander Calder’s sculpture Chef d’orchestre at Tate Modern / Related: Rotation, rotation, rotation! Alexander Calder and his ...

September 30   -  

Music as a torture weapon: exploring the dark side

A composer’s highest joys have long been used to violate prisoners’ minds, destroying their inner beings. And not just at Guantanamo, either / We usually talk about the way music moves us – to joy, passion, excitement, ...

September 24   -  

Music to give you nightmares – 10 of the best

Radio 3 are broadcasting Max Richter’s eight-hour lullaby Sleep on Saturday night, live from the Wellcome Collection. Here, by contrast, are 10 works that certainly won’t give you sweet dreams / Max Richter’s Sleep, music ...

September 16   -  

East coast v west coast: two opposing US visions of the orchestra

As the LA Philharmonic embarks on a virtual reality tour of the city, over in New York there are calls to ban technology from the concert hall / Today we have two opposing views of the future of orchestral music-making from opposite sides of ...

September 11   -  

Arvo Pärt at 80: listen to five of his least, and best, known works

The Estonian-born composer celebrates his 80th birthday today. Tom Service selects 10 of his works to listen to, some familiar, some less so. / Arvo Pärt is 80 today. And, to celebrate the music of arguably the world’s most popular ...

September 9   -  

Nelsons at Leipzig – an inspired appointment or an orchestra too far?

The news that Andris Nelsons is to head the Leipzig Gewandhaus puts the Latvian conductor, still in his 30s, in charge of two of the world’s highest-profile orchestras. Will the cross-continental collaboration bring dynamism or ...

September 7   -  

The latest from the maestros' merry-go-round

Young Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša will take over from Jonathan Nott at the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, plus other conductorial comings, goings and reunions / A clutch of conductorial tales to update you on this week, as a motley crew ...

September 4   -  

Today's top orchestra and conductor? The critics have spoken; here's my list

Classical music database Bachtrack asked critics to name the greatest orchestras and conductors. Who would make your 10 best? / Who doesn’t love a list? Above all, one that is subjective, speculative, and ripe for discussion and probable ...

August 27   -  

George Walker: the great American composer you've never heard of

The first African American to win the Pulitzer for music is celebrated for overcoming cultural prejudice, but his work is so good this should only be a sideshow to the main event of his compositions / There is a lot to catch up on: a 93 ...

August 26   -  

A day for Boulez: moving tributes and newly composed homages at the Lucerne festival

Peers and pupils celebrated the French composer-conductor’s legacy with passionate performances of his music and eight new pieces, including two by György Kurtág and Wolfgang Rihm / In the middle of the Lucerne festival this ...
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