Once every four years, a gentleman from Kalamazoo, Michigan, approaches a concert pianist and hands over an envelope. Inside it is the Gilmore Award: a cheque for a dizzying $300,000. And that is just the start: the winner can also expect top-level performing and recording opportunities galore. But its recipients are chosen in secret, with no clue that the prize is coming their way.
A dimly lit Frankfurt hotel room filled with tension. A knock at the door; a letter is hand-delivered. A An elderly man's face occupies the screen; he wipes the sweat off his brow. "What now?" his colleague asks. "We wait," he replies. Eventually there is a telephone call. "It's a done deal," the elderly man says. "They're coming home."
Zach Braff begins by wishing me a hearty "Shalom!"
The American actor-director, well known for his role as Doctor J D in the award-winning television series Scrubs, is in London ahead of making his UK stage debut in his first penned play, the comedy All New People.
How serious do classical musicians have to be? The young American pianist Jonathan Biss has been proving that sophisticated artistry and off-the-wall humour are in no way mutually exclusive. A glance at his website quickly shows that his tale has an unusual twist.
The House of Silk, the new Sherlock Holmes novel by Anthony Horowitz, could be sub-titled "The Mystery of the Vanishing Novelist". For Horowitz's aim was "to be completely true to Arthur Conan Doyle - immerse myself in his world and be invisible in it."
'I believe that energy has to be used to get more energy," says Bernard Kops. And his is a remarkable energy. He has written more than 40 plays for television, stage and radio, nine novels, seven volumes of poetry and two autobiographies.