Opera and Classical Reviews

Prom 40: UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra – Maxim Vengerov @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Sara Miller

Maxim Vengerov is widely acclaimed as one of the greatest violinists of his generation. This is a fact which is backed up by the vast…



Prom 41: Philharmonia – Esa-Pekka Salonen @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Yangen Xu

If there is one cardinal sin in orchestra playing that one should never break, it is ensuring that the string bowings (which consists of the...

Prom 39: European Youth Orchestra – Vladimir Ashkenazy @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Dave Paxton

The arrival of youth orchestras at the Proms is always an exciting event, and normally these concerts are among the highlights of the festival. Colin...

Prom 38: BBC Symphony Orchestra – John Adams @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Dave Paxton

Given the much-discussed unpopularity of contemporary classical music, perhaps John Adams is our one great hope. Of all modern composers, he has been proven to...

Prom 36: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra – Ilan Volkov @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Agnes Kory

The concert was supposed to be important because of the world premiere of James Dillon’s piano concerto which was commissioned by the BBC. In the...

Prom 37: Steve Reich – Works for Percussion @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Ben Hogwood

2006 is a big year for fans of Steve Reich, with a major 70th birthdayretrospective due at the Barbican this October. Ahead of that, thiscommemorative...

Prom 35: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ilan Volkov @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Dominic McHugh

In the third of their four Proms this year, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra presented a broad programme featuring works by Mozart, Schumann and Jonathan...

Prom 34: BBC Philharmonic – Yan Pascal Tortelier @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Dominic McHugh

Yan Pascal Torteliers directorship of the BBC Philharmonic in the 1990s was a golden time for Manchester concert goers. Now the orchestras Conductor Laureate, he...

Prom 34: BBC Philharmonic – Yan Pascal Tortelier @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Dominic McHugh

Yan Pascal Tortelier’s directorship of the BBC Philharmonic in the 1990s was a golden time for Manchester concert goers. Now the orchestra’s Conductor Laureate, he...

Prom 33: The King’s Consort – Robert King @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Ben Hogwood

Given the Albert Hall is the acoustic equivalent of a large and loftychurch, it seems entirely appropriate to perform sacred works in the venue. Robert...

Chamber Prom 4: Christian Gerhaher – Gerold Huber @ Cadogan Hall, London

by Sara Miller

Baritone Christian Gerhaher and pianist Gerold Huber gave a somewhat depressing, but marvellously executed Chamber Prom concer at Cadogan Hall. Their tribute to the famous...

Prom 32: BBC Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Davis: Julian Anderson and Ravel @ Royal Albert ...

by Simon Thomas

Andrew Davis, back with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted the world premiere of Julian Anderson’s Heaven is Shy of Earth and a lively performance of...

Prom 30: National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain – Sir Colin Davis @ Prom 30: N...

by Dominic McHugh

In the most impressive Prom of the season so far, Sir Colin Davis led the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in four works by...

Prom Saturday Matinee 2: The Academy of Ancient Music – Richard Egarr @ Royal Alb...

by Gareth Webb

Cadogan Hall offered an intimate setting for this very pleasantly and expertly performed afternoon of music. Two of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos framed a popular divertimento...

Rigoletto @ Opera Holland Park, London

by Gareth Webb

Opera Holland Park attracts a certain type of audience and after too many bottles of burgundy from their Marks and Sparks picnic hampers, this stewed...

Prom 28: Royal Scottish National Orchestra – Stephane Denéve @ Royal Albert ...

by Agnes Kory

Contradiction seems to have been an important characteristic of this concert. To start with, the name of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra puzzles me: how...

Prom 28: Royal Scottish National Orchestra – Stephane Denéve @ Royal Albert ...

by Agnes Kory

Contradiction seems to have been an important characteristic of this concert. To start with, the name of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra puzzles me: how...

Prom 27: BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Kazushi Ono: Hosokawa, Mahler and Shostakovich...

by Simon Thomas

In his Proms debut, Kazushi Ono, Musical Director of La Monnaie in Brussels, led the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in a performance that started...

Prom 26: BBC Symphony Orchestra – Sir Andrew Davis @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Ben Hogwood

This was by some way the most baffling Prom of the season so far, itspromise of pomp, circumstance and humour never quite hitting the mark,despite...

Prom 24: Handel: Alexander’s Feast (orch. Mozart) – The English Concert/And...

by Dave Paxton

In the late 1730s, it was thought that Handel would never compose again. He was exhausted from stress, he had suffered a serious injury to...

Prom 25: London Sinfonietta – Oliver Knussen @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Ben Hogwood

Never ones to shirk a challenge, the London Sinfonietta opted for thesecond Proms season running to take a large scale 20th century vocal score head...