Music

Is this the greatest piano work of the 21st century?

20 June 2015 9:00 am

The award of a knighthood to the composer James MacMillan will have ruined last weekend for lots of unsavoury people:…

Three tiny cheers for Mumford & Sons’ new album

13 June 2015 9:00 am

Like a lot of essentially cautious people, I like my music to take some risks, play with fire and damn…

I fear for this year’s Proms

6 June 2015 9:00 am

As Sepp Blatter has so affectingly remarked, the organisation he formerly headed needs evolution, not revolution. There is a consensus…

How can Stevie Nicks be 67? Is this possible or has Wikipedia made a mistake?

Unutterably thrilling: Fleetwood Mac at the O2 reviewed

6 June 2015 9:00 am

‘I can’t tell you what a thrill it is to get this chance in life,’ said Christine McVie, as the…

What really happened in the Berlin Philharmonic election

23 May 2015 9:00 am

The morning after the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra failed to elect a music director, I took a call from Bild-Zeitung, Berlin’s…

If One Direction lost one more member, would they be quorate?

9 May 2015 9:00 am

Where were you when you heard that Zayn Malik had left One Direction? No, me neither, but as my teenage…

When Peter Phillips met E.L. James

2 May 2015 9:00 am

Tours that start in Mexico have a nasty habit of repeating on one. Of all the British groups touring in…

Why Daniel Barenboim should be the next head of the Berlin Phil

18 April 2015 9:00 am

Daniel Barenboim is back in town: the South Bank is mounting a ‘Barenboim Project 2015’ in which he’s playing the…

The golden age of pop has been replaced by the golden age of pop obituaries

11 April 2015 9:00 am

The golden age of pop music may be long gone, but the golden age of pop musicians’ obituaries is definitely…

Our hero worship of Bach is to blame for rubbish like ‘Written By Mrs Bach’

4 April 2015 9:00 am

My impression that Bach has come to rival Shakespeare as a flawless reference point in the cultural life of the…

Why you should never trust songwriting credits

7 March 2015 9:00 am

Songwriting credits are, as we know, not always to be trusted. Since the dawn of music publishing, there has always…

There’s nothing wrong with getting into Thomas Tallis on the back of Fifty Shades of Grey

28 February 2015 9:00 am

Great works of art may have a strange afterlife. Deracinated from the world that created them they are at the…

Classical music's greatest political butt-kissers: Dudamel, Gergiev and Rattle

14 February 2015 9:00 am

On 8 March 2013, Gustavo Dudamel stood by the coffin of the Marxist autocrat Hugo Chavez and conducted the Simon…

James Blunt’s sense of entitlement is so palpable you could wear it as a hat

7 February 2015 9:00 am

Only a fool would mess with James Blunt. As his Twitter followers know, he has a sharp wit, and, as…

Spotify: saint or sinner?

31 January 2015 9:00 am

We have all read about the current woeful state of the CD industry — how it is 28 per cent…

Confessions of an illegal downloader

24 January 2015 9:00 am

I’ve never been into shoplifting, though I once had a friend who was. And, no, before you ask, I’m not…

His lyrics are hopeless, his covers are catastrophic, yet I still love Bryan Ferry

10 January 2015 9:00 am

There were two new albums I wanted for Christmas — the Bryan Ferry and the Pink Floyd — and to…

Does anyone have the balls to bring back castrati?

3 January 2015 9:00 am

One of the most complete bars to the authentic performance of both baroque opera and some renaissance polyphony is the…

Why we love hating the music we hate as much as we love loving the music we love

13 December 2014 9:00 am

It’s all gone now, of course. Not just the magazines themselves, but the legendary bile of old-school rock criticism

Why Church music is back in vogue - and squeaky-gate music has had its day

6 December 2014 9:00 am

One of the growth areas of contemporary music is in setting sacred texts. It might be thought that I had…

Is this 65-year-old British pianist the next big thing in classical music?

29 November 2014 9:00 am

Earlier this month the Wigmore Hall was sold out for a Schubert recital by a concert pianist whose only solo…

Is there anything a gospel choir can't cheer up?

8 November 2014 9:00 am

‘I’m starting to think that all of the world’s major problems can be solved with either oyster sauce or backing…

Peter Phillips is mugged by a gang of Praetorius-loving six-year-old girls in China

1 November 2014 9:00 am

We have read about the remarkable opening up of China in recent years: how many people live there and how…

The drunk conductor who ruined Rachmaninov’s career

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Would musical history have turned out differently if Alexander Glazunov hadn’t been smashed out of his wits when he conducted…

Why Yes are still the funniest rock band in the world (although Radiohead are catching up)

11 October 2014 9:00 am

My favourite comment about the Scottish referendum came from the eminent comedian and novelist David Baddiel. ‘What if Yes wins,…