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Tom Service on classical music

February 26   -  

The musical and environmental mindfulness of John Luther Adams

The activist and composer is inspired by the natural processes he sees all around him – but refuses to let politics take charge of the music / It’s not often that a composer sets out their aesthetic and ethical credo as clearly as ...

February 25   -  

Frank Peter Zimmermann loses his Stradivarius as prices soar

In a market driven by money and aesthetic one-upmanship, what chance do real musicians have of playing older instruments? / A surprisingly common problem, this: the violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann has had to give back his 1711 Stradivarius ...

February 20   -  

The announcements that herald exciting times for UK classical music

The prospect of Sir Simon Rattle returning to the UK at a new world-class music centre, and news of £5 million of government money for the refurbishment of Colston Hall, should have classical music fans singing for joy / Have Simon ...

February 19   -  

Lucerne festival’s spirited programme looks for laughs

The programme for this summer’s classical music festival in Switzerland features the humour of Haydn, Simon Rattle with the Berlin and the Vienna philharmonics and a 90th-birthday tribute to Pierre Boulez / Interesting news from the ...

February 18   -  

Pulling the strings: why Britain's orchestras say new tax measures don't play fair

Orchestras can only apply for new tax relief if they fit the government’s bizarre idea of what an orchestra should be – and that cuts out string ensembles, choirs and brass bands / Another reminder of the government’s ability ...

February 17   -  

John McCabe: music of iron-clad integrity

The directness of McCabe’s idiom, especially in his later music, gives you the feeling that you’re listening to the irreducible heart of the musical matter / The body of work that John McCabe leaves to the world, after his death ...

February 11   -  

The 10 best Scandinavian symphonists (who aren't Sibelius or Nielsen)

Sibelius and Nielsen may be dominating London’s concert halls this year, not least with Simon Rattle’s Sibelius symphony cycle, but there are many other Scandinavian composers well worth hearing. Here’s our top ten ...

February 10   -  

Write a song for Shakespeare... if you dare

Go where Purcell, Finzi and Adès have dared to go and enter the RSC’s competition to compose a song to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday / You’ve got less than six weeks to make music-theatrical history. Seriously: the ...

February 9   -  

Alan Gilbert is to leave the New York Philharmonic: who will replace him?

Gilbert’s announcement means another key conducting job falls vacant. / It’s getting to be something of a merry-go-round, all of the conductor top-trumps at the major orchestras. With high profile positions at, not least, the LSO ...

February 6   -  

New concert halls - the good, the bad, and the rumours

Jonathan Nott’s move to Geneva will coincide with a new concert hall for the city, Jansons battles on for a hall in Munich fit for his world-class orchestra; and if rumours are to be believed, a similar project might help lure Rattle back to ...
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