Russian-born composer Igor Stravinsky (1882 - 1971) seated at a piano, 1929. Photograph: Boris Roger Viollet/Getty Images

How are composers affected by the experience of lockdowns, pestilence, wars or revolutions? It all depends. At the end of the first World War, Igor S(...)

Gerald Barry. Photograph: Alan Betson

There has been a lot of media kerfuffle about claims that going to the cinema counts as “a light workout”. The research was carried out by scientists (...)

The Lion King: Re-makes like the Lion King invariably prompt the criticism that Hollywood has run out of new ideas and resorted to lazy re-treads of old classics to rake in some cash.

Myself, Herself and Daughter Number Four went to see the Lion King. We all thought it was dreadful. It apes (pun!) the original film but contains addi(...)

San Michele, Venice’s isle of the dead, May 3, 2018. If you can’t afford a palazzo on the Grand Canal, you can still bid to lease a plot on Venice’s isle of the dead for 99 years, renewable. (Nadia Shira Cohen/The New York Times)

To let: four small lots with a 99-year (renewable) lease, on an exclusive Venetian island. Fixer-uppers. Illustrious neighbors: Igor Stravinsky, Josep(...)

Harry Kessler, 1906, by Edvard Munch. Photograph: © National Museums, Berlin/

Taking centre stage in Berlin was the dapper Count Harry Kessler, Germany’s original hipster. Kessler is so cool that, though dead almost 80 years, h(...)

 Igor Stravinsky  at Dublin Airport in 1963. Photograph: Tommy Collins/The Irish Times

It’s mostly forgotten now, more than half a century on, but John F Kennedy was not the only international celebrity to visit Ireland in June 1963. T(...)

John Banville’s books of the year
  • Books
  • November 30, 2013, 06:00

Charles Townshend is that rare phenomenon, a historian with a fine prose style. His latest study in Irish history, The Republic: The Fight for Iris(...)

A detail of a caricature drawing of the composer Igor Stravinsky playing the music for The Rite of Spring by  Jean Cocteau

Igor Stravinsky’s ballet score for Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) became a modernist classic after its raucous opening night a cent(...)

Fearghus Ó Conchúir performing Cure

Theatre audiences are only ever warned about strobe lighting and nudity. One causes epileptic fits, but what’s so dangerous about the other? Qu(...)