mon 21/10/2019

Classical Features

theartsdesk in Reykjavik: A New Musical Landscape for Iceland

alexandra Coghlan

It’s 11pm on a Thursday night. The kind of weather that makes balloon animals of umbrellas, that raises a tsunami in a bird-bath, is raging outside. Inside the Harpa concert hall some 300 people are gathered in attentive silence while five musicians, each sat at a brightly-coloured piano barely two feet tall, play hairdryers, flippers, and drop small change from boxes onto the floor, in a solemn performance of John Cage’s Music for Amplified Toy Pianos.

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theartsdesk in Soweto: Strings Theory in the Townships

Stefan Simanowitz

Diepkloof, a suburb of the sprawling township of Soweto, is not the most likely of places to find a classical music school, but at the end of a dusty road in the grounds of a Presbyterian Church the haunting strains Dvořák hang above the corrugated iron roof-tops. The hall is home to the Buskaid Soweto String Project, a remarkable initiative which for over 15 years has given hundreds of township youngsters the chance to learn to a classical instrument.

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theartsdesk in Dalarna: Skating through Vinterfest

Kate Connolly

As concert venues go, this one is perfect – a barn-like structure, whose pine timbers emit a fragrance not unlike that of a sauna, whose long glass windows look out across oxon-red wooden Swedish farmsteads and the frozen expanse of Lake Orsasjön. The Vattnäs Konsertlada is the labour of love of local girl, the international opera singer Pers Anna Larsson, and is being used at Sweden's by now best-known music festival, Vinterfest, for the first time.

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New Year Brantub - Free Tickets Competition

theartsdesk

Competition alert! Start 2012 with a surprise arts trip. On theartsdesk we love crossing the borders - "Surprise me," was the edict of the great impresario of theatre, music, art and dance, Serge Diaghilev, and it's one we hold to here, because we believe in the pleasure of surprises. So please enter our competition, and a pair of tickets to one of the splendid events listed below could be coming your way, but you will take pot luck with which one you win, and who knows?

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theartsdesk Christmas Quiz

ismene Brown

You're going to test your stomach and sweet temper to the maximum today - test your brain and memory too with our monster quiz about the arts covered by theartsdesk in 2011. Every artform is represented here in 12 dozen questions. Settle down between courses, films and presents and see how many you and your near and dear can do.

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theartsdesk Christmas Quiz - Answers

theartsdesk

Here are the answers to our monster Christmas arts quiz of 12 dozen questions on the year past, as seen by theartsdesk writers. There are clues in all the questions in the main quiz page. If you don't want to know the answers just yet till you've grappled with them, close this page now.

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Christmas on theartsdesk: Brainteasers, Bran Tub, and the Best of 2011

theartsdesk

Any day now most of us will be hunkering down and for the most part drawing a curtain about the world outside. Before that happens, we’d like to tell you about theartsdesk’s plans for Christmas and the New Year.

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DVDs for Christmas: Classical

graham Rickson

Unlike audio recordings, classical DVDs can only be properly taken in if you're sitting down for 80 minutes, ideally in the same seat. So they have to be pretty special to warrant repeated viewings. So much depends on the production and direction; how to make interesting the sight of a middle-aged bloke waving a stick at a sea of other middle-aged blokes, many of them looking as if they'd rather be somewhere else.

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theartsdesk in Rome: Abbado, Shakespeare and Santa Cecilia

David Nice

Many of Italy's artistic institutions may have tottered or crumbled during the Berlusconi years, and the more capable new man in the Palazzo Chigi can only offer painful sticking plaster, yet one major orchestra has never sounded better.

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The music man who kept them dogies rollin'

ismene Brown

On Thursday the London Symphony Orchestra plays a night of epic movie music by the man who gave America’s cowboy heroes their most stirring tunes. Dimitri Tiomkin was one of Hollywood’s film-score giants, John Wayne’s choice as composer for The Alamo, Wayne’s magnum opus, and Tiomkin's was the music that urged Gary Cooper and Clint Eastwood to ride out in iconic glory in landmark adventures such as High Noon or Rawhide.

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