Podcast: Poetry for the departed

At its première in June 1969 Shostakovich described his Symphony No. 14, in effect a symphonic song cycle, as ‘a fight for the liberation of humanity… a great protest against death, a reminder to live one’s life honestly, decently, nobly…’ … Read More →


Who’s afraid of new music…?

Think about the last time you went into an art gallery. It’s pretty certain you won’t have liked all of the modern paintings, but I would be prepared to bet there was at least one which impressed and stuck in … Read More →


Up for review

Pity the poor reviewer who has to attend performances of contemporary music and make instant judgements on the works’ artistic merits. It’s not an easy task, which has occasionally been recognised by concert promoters who will immediately follow the première … Read More →


From shillelagh to sheng

With St Patrick’s Day just around the corner, I thought we could pick up our shillelaghs, go for a walk that starts in the Emerald Isle and see where it eventually takes us. There’s something uniquely charming about Ireland, with … Read More →


I do. She does, too.

While there’s no magic formula for clinching success when two people tie the knot, the old adage of ‘opposites attract’ has proven a winner for many a couple, allowing them to mix and enrich contrasting personas. But, for many musicians, … Read More →