Damian Thompson Damian Thompson

Period drama

The online spat between Mahan Esfahani and Andreas Staier is potentially damaging an international career

Harpsichordists are supposed to make love, not war: Sir Thomas Beecham famously compared the sound they make to ‘two skeletons copulating on a tin roof’. But now two masters of the instrument, the Iranian-American Mahan Esfahani and the German Andreas Staier, are locked in mortal combat.

For connoisseurs of finely tuned insults, it’s riveting stuff.

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