I’ve just been reunited with a man whose pungent and patronising views on great composers have haunted me for more…
All my life I’ve wanted to be able to write confidently about orchestral performances and I think I may have…
Can Nicky Gumbel and Holy Trinity Brompton save the Church of England?
Record companies: if you insist on sending CDs to my home address without so much as a covering note or…
Do you have a mysterious and slightly embarrassing musical blind spot? One of mine is for Dvorák, whom I don’t…
If you want to make yourself unpopular with a classical musician, bring up the subject of performance anxiety. You can…
Eternally fresh. That’s how Grieg’s Piano Concerto is described by programme notes, Classic FM, etc. Though, to be honest, eternally…
The march of technology is filling the world with dangerous pleasures
What was it Sir Thomas Beecham said about Stockhausen? ‘I’ve never conducted any of his music, but I once trod…
Here’s a strange thing about Johann Sebastian Bach.
Last Friday I popped into Gramex, the world’s best second-hand classical CD and record shop, just behind Waterloo Station.
What would Glenn Gould’s playing have sounded like if he hadn’t chomped his way through bucketloads of Valium? It’s not a question that is asked in Genius Within, a much-praised documentary about the tortured Canadian pianist that has just been released in Britain.
Damian Thompson highlights the gems among the prolific and pilloried composer’s nine million notes
In the first week of September, the Scottish composer James MacMillan sat in the ‘composition hut’ in the backyard of his Glasgow house, finishing the music he’d been commissioned to write for the Pope’s Mass at Westminster Cathedral.
When I told a young pianist that I was planning to write a piece about wrong notes he nearly tore my throat out.
The Singapore Symphony Orchestra is like a teenage athlete just about to hit peak form. This could be one of the great orchestras of the 21st century.
With preparations for the Pope’s visit to Britain in disarray, the government called in Lord Patten to smooth things out. He tells Damian Thompson why he is up to the task
Damian Thompson reveals the turmoil behind the scenes in the preparations for Pope Benedict XVI’s keenly awaited visit to Britain — and how the trip has been hijacked by a Blairite cadre
The government’s fiercely secularist agenda has turned very few Christians into Tory voters. Damian Thompson asks
why the Churches have kept faith in New Labour
Damian Thompson says we can learn a lot about Beethoven if we look beyond the symphonies
Damian Thompson on the bitter feud between the new young defenders of the recently reinstated Latin Mass, and Britain’s ‘magic circle’ of liberal bishops
The return of the Tridentine Mass is of great significance
The C of E has got its act together, says Damian Thompson, and the recently fashionable RC Church is looking increasingly sad