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(...)

Enrico Pace is a class act, a man who understands what a vast range of sonorities a piano can be coaxed into yielding. Photograph: Marco Borggreve

Social life thrives on conventions. People dress up for a wedding, eat dessert at the end of a meal, and try not to make noise while they eat. The (...)

Felix Baumgartner steps into his four-minute freefall from the stratosphere

Ed Bennett’s new Freefalling, an RTÉ commission which opened the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s season at the National Concert Hall on Friday, is (...)

If Gábor Takács-Nagy is anything, he’s a student. The founding leader of the Takács Quartet and later the violinist of the Takács Piano Trio, he has a(...)

English clarinettist Michael Collins (above) was first brought to Ireland by John Ruddock. Collins says Ruddock was ‘a real enthusiast, he loved certain composers, others were a no-no for him . . . Thank goodness for the passion. And behind the scenes we had some fantastic times.’

It was the late John Ruddock who first brought English clarinettist Michael Collins to Irish audiences. On March 1st, 1982, he presented him at Villie(...)

With the death of John Ruddock on May 17th, a matchless contribution to classical music in Ireland comes to a close. In 1967, with his late wife Do(...)