Arts features

Interview: Gerry Fox

By Julia Weiner, December 2, 2010

ITV's decision to drop The South Bank Show earlier this year was greeted with dismay by arts lovers who worried that British TV was in danger of becoming a culture-free zone. The good news is that the strand is to be revived on a satellite channel next year. The even better news is that fans can relive some of its greatest moments with a show at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

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Interview: Robert Cohen

By Jessica Duchen, November 26, 2010

Many of us might be tempted to throw a party for our 50th birthday, but not Robert Cohen. The celebrated British cellist had a better idea - he asked the composer, Sally Beamish, to write him a new work.

It is a concerto, entitled The Song Gatherer, that draws inspiration directly from Cohen's Polish and South African Jewish family background. The substantial half-hour piece was a co-commission between the Minnesota Orchestra and the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, where Cohen will give its UK premiere on December 2.

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a Jewish superhero

By Rob Boffard, November 26, 2010

They call him Ragman.

Once a humble pawn-shop owner in Gotham City, Rory Regan is now a costumed superhero. Clothed in the mystical patchwork "suit of souls", he patrols the rooftops, protecting his city from miscreants. His crusade has seen him encounter fellow crimebusters Batman and Green Lantern. He is also the world's leading Jewish superhero.

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Mike Leigh's wrong about Israel boycott

By Stephen Applebaum, November 25, 2010

The acclaimed New York artist Julian Schnabel never intended to make movies. But when concerns over the way a biopic about his late painter friend, Jean-Michel Basquiat, was going compelled him to take over and direct it himself, he became an accidental filmmaker. "I did it as a rescue mission," he says, "and had no intention of making another film. But it was just something that came very naturally to me."

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Interview: Nikolaj Znaider

By Jessica Duchen, November 23, 2010

Some musicians are content to tour the globe repeatedly performing the same handful of concertos. And then there is Nikolaj Znaider.

The 35-year-old, Danish-born violinist has everything a top international soloist could desire - phenomenal technique, fine-honed musicality, good looks, charisma and a Guarneri del Gesù violin that once belonged to the great Fritz Kreisler..

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Interview: Jenny Lewis

By Elisa Bray, November 18, 2010

Jenny Lewis has had a few incarnations. Starting off as a child actress, she appeared in dozens of teen movies. She moved onto music and earned the title "princess" of indie-rock as frontwoman of the critically acclaimed band Rilo Kiley, before becoming a solo musician. Now, she has teamed up with her boyfriend, the singer-songwriter Johnathan Rice, to release a record under the does-what-it-says-on-tin name of Jenny and Johnny. Not that she had planned any of it.

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Take That's image man has China in his sights

By Julia Weiner, November 15, 2010

David Cameron spent last week in China trying to stake Britain's claim to a piece of the Chinese ecomonic boom. One man who knows all about China's rapid industrial growth is the acclaimed Israel-born, UK-based photographer, Nadav Kander.

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Interview: Mike Leigh

By Stephen Applebaum, November 4, 2010

So much dust was kicked up by Mike Leigh's recent decision to cancel a cultural visit to Jerusalem and the West Bank that it almost obscured the fact that the outspoken veteran of stage and cinema has a new film out this week - and arguably one of his best, at that.

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The directors putting UK Jews on the big screen

By Jennifer Lipman, November 4, 2010

It was earlier this year, on his own wedding day, that film director Sam Leifer came up with an idea for his next project. In keeping with tradition, straight after the ceremony he and his new wife went to the yichud room for their first secluded moment together as man and wife.

“After 10 years together, it seemed slightly unnatural to be in that situation,” says Leifer. “It was almost a question of, what do we talk about?”

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Interview: Evgeny Kissin

By Stephen Pollard, November 1, 2010

For Evgeny Kissin, the piano is no longer the only means of communication. Renowned worldwide since performing both Chopin concertos as a 12 year old, Kissin has always avoided politics and controversy. Unlike musicians such as Daniel Barenboim, Kissin has stuck to his artistry.

But he has decided that "as a Jew" he must now change that. "After all this time of anti-Israel hysteria, I felt that I had to raise my voice." He dipped his toe in the water earlier this year with an open letter to the BBC about its coverage.

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