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(...)

Dubliner Ray O’Donnell, organist at Galway Cathedral. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Few directors of music at European cathedrals can say they have held the post for almost half the lifetime of the august building in which they work. (...)

Silent Night: the quick scene changes of the prologue, which were handled by the rotation of a turntable in Cincinnati, will be solved at Wexford with lighting

France’s most notoriously eccentric composer, Erik Satie, once offered a tongue-in-cheek timetable of “The Musician’s Day”. It begins: “Get up: 7.1(...)

Jennifer Davis in Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, presented by Irish Youth Opera. Photograph: Frances Marshall Photography

The newly-formed Irish Youth Opera (IYO) is going on tour this week with a production of Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia.Chief Executive of IY(...)

Jeff Buckley on stage at Wetlands, New York, in 1994, the year ‘Grace’ was released. Photograph: Steve Eichner/Getty Images

Some albums are born great and some have greatness thrust upon them with time. And some, like Jeff Buckley’s Grace, are a bit of both. Released(...)

‘The super-short concert is a very interesting concept. The one at Happy Day Enniskillen International Beckett Festival by French soprano Léa Trommenschlager (above) with pianist Julius Drake, was a model of its kind’

The winner of the inaugural ESB Feis Ceoil Orchestral Conducting Competition in April was Elaine Kelly from Cork. It’s good to see the Feis taking (...)

Raymond Deane: his book is, if you’ll forgive the pun, a sobering read. But the message is ultimately positive

The composer Raymond Deane has never been a man for half measures. As a student, he was the angry young man par excellence among Irish composers. H(...)

Members of the Mary McHugh School of Dancing in Coventry wait in anticipation of meeting President Higgins during the final part of his state visit to Britain. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

President Michael D Higgins, sitting in a horse-drawn carriage alongside Queen Elizabeth on Tuesday as it rolled through the streets of Windsor, th(...)

Dylan Thomas: the bohemian culture that ate him up retains a stubborn appeal for modern layabouts. Photograph: Picture Post/Hulton

What are centenaries for? The cynic might suggest such events provide fodder for columnists desperate to ease brains into gear during the aftermath of(...)

Incarnation

For Paul McCreesh, “the greatest Christmas music captures a sense of awe-struck wonder at this miracle” – the Incarnation. So you won’t find here a(...)