Claudio Abbado, who has died aged 80, was one of the leading contemporary classical conductors, whose refined interpretations of a large symphonic and(...)

Coal and black chalk portrait by Oskar Kokoschka of himself and his lover Alma Mahler. Photograph: Imagno/Getty Images

‘It appealed to something vaguely perverse in me, the idea of the living doll, like Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann.” Composer Raymond Deane is expla(...)

It was Gustav Mahler who famously inveighed against tradition with the aphoristic put-down “ (...)