“Art forms are sometimes inaccessible to the untrained eye. Pietro Aretino complained that not even in a brothel would you see the scenes in Michelangelo’s ‘The Last Judgment’.”

The dispute between Apple and the FBI over unlocking the encrypted iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook in the San Bernadino (California) shootings last (...)

Assistants of Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei decorate the columns of Berlin’s Konzerthaus with lifejackets,  as part of an installation intended to remind people of the ongoing refugee crisis. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Berlin’s Konzerthaus has witnessed many historic highs and lows: from wartime ruin to Leonard Bernstein’s electric “Ode to Freedom” concert in Decembe(...)

Pierre Boulez conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York in January  2010. Photograph: Richard Termine/The New York Times

Pierre Boulez, the former principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic who moved between conducting, composition and teaching over a long career t(...)

Conductor Andrew Litton

One of the first things Andrew Litton said to me when I met him in the conductor’s room in Bergen’s Grieghallen was: “I like that orchestra very mu(...)

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

German-born composer Paul Hindemith (1895-1963). Photograph: Erich Auerbach/Getty Images

Leonard Bernstein was a great talker about music. In these pages, conductor Marin Alsop told of how, at the age of nine and already a seasoned concert(...)

West Side Story: the cast of this revival by Joey McKneely succeed in reproducing original choreographer Jerry Robbins’s movement with precision
West Side Story

West Side StoryBord Gáis Energy Theatre***West Side Story was one of the first musicals to incorporate dance as an essential part of the storytelling (...)

Marin Alsop: ‘I imagine it’s like when someone has a religious calling, and they just somehow get this lightning bolt’

As Marin Alsop tells it, it’s rather like a fairy tale. She went to one of Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts at the age of nine, and had an (...)

‘Applause between movements? Whenever I hear it, I welcome it, because I take it to mean that there’s someone in the hall who probably hasn’t been to a classical concert before.’ Photograph: Thinkstock

Do you remember the first time you went to a classical concert? And how you viewed its peculiar rituals and formalities? Nobody talks during the music(...)

HairsprayBord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin ****The word “teenager” gained popular currency in the US in the post-second World War period. It seems no a(...)