New Worlds – South America: The AAM and VOCES8 at Milton Court

The Academy of Ancient Music’s New Worlds series stopped off in South America this week, by way of Cambridge and London, when they were joined by VOCES8 to explore the…

Musical stories from Tom Guthrie and Barokksolistene at Middle Temple Hall

In the 1980s, ‘authenticity’ was a buzzword in music research and performance; by the 1990s it was considered bothersome; nowadays it’s pretty much banished – a bygone concept of how…

The Samling Institute 25th Anniversary Showcase at Wigmore Hall

Since its foundation in 1996, The Samling Institute for Young Artists has supported the careers of some 350 singers and musicians.  Its 25th birthday was celebrated at Wigmore Hall by…

Transfigured Strauss and breathtaking Wagner: Miah Persson sings Vier letze Lieder and Rouvali conducts The Ring Without Words

It’s not often that I review a concert back to front, but this Philharmonia pairing of Strauss and Wagner is in part better understood that way. Both composers used huge…

Dramas of darkness and light: a stunning Bluebeard and sunny Haydn from the LPO and Gardner

In 1911, 30-year-old Béla Bartók began work on an instructive edition of seventeen of Haydn’s Piano Sonatas.  Between February and September that year, he also composed his first and only…

The Power of Music: healing, communion and time – a recital with Joyce DiDonato and Craig Terry

Joyce DiDonato spoke very personally – but very universally – about what this recital meant, her first in London since the pandemic began. Music was about healing, but it was…

dream.risk.sing: elevating women’s voices at the Oxford Lieder Festival

British-Australian soprano Samantha Crawford and American pianist Lana Bode describe dream.risk.sing as a ‘love letter to women of all ages … a programme for women and for those who love…

everything grows extravagantly: an impressive new song-cycle by Cheryl Frances-Hoad at the Oxford Lieder Festival

The Oxford Lieder Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year; the Oxford Botanic Garden marks its 400th birthday.  Cheryl Frances-Hoad, in her third and final year as Oxford Lieder’s…

‘Songs of America’ at the Oxford Lieder Festival

Better—than Music!  For I—who heard it—I was used—to the Birds—before—This—was different—’Twas Translation—Of all tunes I knew—and more— […] Let me not spill—its smallest cadence—Humming—for promise—when alone—Humming—until my faint Rehearsal—Drop into…

Arias for Ballino: Opera Settecento at the London Handel Festival

Annibale Pio Fabri, known as ‘Ballino’, is not the best-known name amongst the singers who worked for Handel, yet on hearing him for the first time in 1729, Mrs Pendarves…