The clarity of definition that Danish conductor Thomas Dausgaard produced conjured up the idea of a Brahms who had been working out in gym, with all that implies

Thursday last brought the addition of a list of words to the Collins online dictionary. And that evening’s NCH concert by the Swedish Chamber Orche(...)

Manfred Eicher’s ECM New Series was expressly created 31 years ago for the pellucid music of Arvo Pärt. The composer’s native Estonia was then (...)

Tara Erraught: the Irish mezzo soprano of the moment gives recitals at Wexford Festival Opera, the NCH and in Galway. Photograph: Dieter Nagl/AFP/Getty Images

The new concert season kicks off in earnest on Friday, with one of the most explosive works ever written. Stravinsky’s still awe-inspiring Rite of (...)

Zhu Xiao-Mei survived the rigours of China’s Cultural Revolution. She makes no secret of how severely scarred she was by it. Photograph: Martin Jehnichen/Accentus Music

Kilkenny likes Bach. At the close of this year’s Kilkenny Arts Festival, where the musical focus gave the music of Bach the largest, most concentra(...)

Duke Special: ‘One friend recalled that he had an awkward habit that could cause social embarrassment. It could nearly be called a psychic tick’

My Obituary is a new column, launched today, in which people are given the chance to write their own obituaries while they are still alive. Some ma(...)

‘Bruch never managed to reconcile himself with the direction taken by Wagner and Liszt, let alone those who built on their achievements.’ Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

You have to feel sorry for Max Bruch. He was born in Cologne in 1838, and in spite of some notable successes would spend his life in the shadow of (...)

Jennifer Davis, left, and Anna Devin have both developed the kind of healthy, strong delivery that singers need to project in larger halls and opera houses

Life is full of near misses, not least when it comes to casting in movies and television. Bing Crosby was the original choice to play the shabby, a(...)

The feeling you get from Circa is not of a group of performers going through a fixed set of routines. Instead, they are drawing on an enormous back catalogue of abilities, riffing through their complex choreography

Wunderkammer Gaiety Theatre * * * * * Circa begin unpacking their Wunderkammer in slightly subtle fashion – two performers on stage take t(...)

From dive-bombing bats in Cork to blood-sucking mosquitoes in Colombia, the Dublin Guitar Quartet takes it all in its stride. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The ups and downs of the music business are all in a day’s work for the Dublin Guitar Quartet. We’re not just talking scales and arpeggios here; the e(...)

Class act overkill

A few years back I talked to the irrepressible Terence Davies about his film The Deep Blue Sea. I admired his decision to include Samuel Barber’s Conc(...)