Music

Ruben Gonzalez (Photo: Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty)

The band that nearly saved the Cuban revolution

8 August 2015 9:00 am

By chance, my first night in Havana in 1987 was the night the clubs went dark to mark the death…

Why are symphony orchestras expected to survive indefinitely?

1 August 2015 9:00 am

Watching the Berlin Philharmonic going into conclave to choose a successor to Simon Rattle — after countless hours of secret…

Compiling my greatest hits (and my Twitter trolls')

25 July 2015 9:00 am

Compilation schompilation. Having been in music for as long as I have you would think I had a good idea…

After coming forth in the Tchaikovsky competition, Lucas Debargue is the only competitor anyone is talking about

The real winner in the Tchaikovsky competition is the man who came last

18 July 2015 9:00 am

Lucas Debargue, a 24-year-old French pianist, came fourth in the finale of the Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow on 30 June,…

New works at the Proms that some would rather dernière than première

11 July 2015 9:00 am

This year the Proms are to stage 21 world premières and 11 European, UK or London premières. It is good…

Michael Eavis has brought more joy to more people than almost any Englishman alive

4 July 2015 9:00 am

I had meant to write a dispassionate account of this year’s Glastonbury, really I had. But I’m afraid my plans…

The most powerful man in classical music

27 June 2015 9:00 am

When Margaret Thatcher imagined perfect power, she thought of the orchestral conductor. ‘She envied me,’ said Herbert von Karajan, ‘that…

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…