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Zoë Anderson on The Ballet Lover’s Companion

My guest in this podcast is Zoë Anderson, ballet critic of the Independent and author of The Ballet Lover’s Companion, recently published by Yale University Press. Zoë’s book traces the history and development of ballet as an art form by focusing on 140 works in the repertoire: classics, revived rarities and modern masterpieces. Sarah Crompton, […]

Continue Reading · 8 June 2015 · art and music, podcasts
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LMD podcast: Ed Emery on the Kurdish songbook project

My guest in the most recent podcast for Le Monde diplomatique was Ed Emery, who is an ethnomusicologist at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and also the presenter of Ed Emery’s Revolutionary Radio Show. Ed wrote a piece for Le Monde diplomatique in which he described the regular visits he and […]

Continue Reading · 22 May 2015 · art and music, history and politics, podcasts
Hyperion Schubertiad

Graham Johnson on Schubert (I)

“Schubert had a response to words that is quite extraordinary. It’s the way that the interaction between words and music – which in a sense gives the song its own life – takes place that interests me. Josef von Spaun once wrote very perspicaciously that Schubert writes a poem on the poem, [by which he […]

Continue Reading · 30 October 2014 · art and music, podcasts, poetry

Martin Kemp – Christ to Coke: How Image Becomes Icon

Next month, renowned art historian Martin Kemp publishes Christ to Coke, a richly ilustrated exploration of how eleven images, from the face to Christ to the Coke bottle, have become icons. Along the way, he also investigates the stories of the cross, the Mona Lisa, the double helix and Che Guevara, inter al. 1. When […]

Continue Reading · 8 September 2011 · art and music, history and politics, podcasts

1. Books of the Year – Elizabeth Speller

Today we begin a new series of guest posts in which writers and publishers choose their favourite books of 2010. Our first guest is Elizabeth Speller, whose first novel, The Return of Captain John Emmett, was published to great acclaim earlier this year. You can hear my interview with her about the book here. Her […]

Continue Reading · 3 December 2010 · art and music, biography and memoir, historical fiction, history and politics, podcasts

Michelangelo: A Tormented Life

Continue Reading · 6 April 2010 · art and music, biography and memoir, video

Books of the Decade – Andrew Kahn

Andrew Kahn is University Lecturer in Russian at the University of Oxford and Tutor and Fellow at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He has degrees from Harvard and Oxford in Russian and Classics. His scholarly research draws on his wide-ranging interests in European literature, most especially Greek, Latin and French. In addition to writing about Pushkin, […]

Continue Reading · 9 January 2010 · art and music, literature, podcasts, poetry

Books of the Decade – Steve Lake

Steve Lake is a producer for the Munich-based jazz and classical music record label, ECM, which celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year, and co-author (with Paul Griffiths) of a book about the company, Horizons Touched (Granta, 2007). He has written about music for many international magazines and newspapers, and about literature for Germany’s Akzente. His […]

Continue Reading · 2 December 2009 · art and music

Vic Reeves’ Vast Book of World Knowledge (II)

Atlantic Books have just published Vic Reeves’ Vast Book of World Knowledge, and last Tuesday I visited him at home in Kent to make this short film. I put up a rough cut last week; now here is the final version:

Continue Reading · 5 October 2009 · art and music, humour, video
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14. The Mighty Handful and more

“In Russian music you have a very different portrayal of Russia [from the one you find in literature], which has very strong rhythms, very festive images. It’s very bright, very colourful, very, very different from the melancholy Russian soul.” Writing of Glinka’s opera A Life for the Tsar after its premiere in 1836, one Russian […]

Continue Reading · 6 June 2008 · art and music, history and politics