Conducting a triumphant festival debut

By Jessica Duchen, June 25, 2015

Bethnal Green seems a special location in which to interview an intriguing young Israeli conductor, for this area was once a crucial centre of Jewish life in London. Little remains to point out, though, while Gad Kadosh and I wander in search of lunch out of the studio in which Longborough Festival Opera holds its rehearsals.


Toch, the world's most forgotten composer

June 15, 2015

In Santa Monica, California, during the late 1930s and early '40s, émigrés who had gathered there used to tell each other a story about two dachshunds meeting on the Palisade, and how one sighs and says to the other: "It's true, here I am a dachshund, but in the old country I was a St Bernard."


Demons that so haunted and then inspired a survivor

By Gloria Tessler, June 8, 2015

It may seem strange that three Jewish composers based operas on Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. But, among them, André Tchaikowsky was unique.


Proms for the community

By Ron Finlay, May 28, 2015

Do you have fond memories of the Kenwood open-air concerts? That long-term institution - which appears now to have met its demise - certainly gave me and thousands of others countless hours of pleasure. Listening to classical music in the summer sunshine with a picnic by the lake was hard to match.

If you yearn for that now-lost experience, fear not.


The woman who knew life really is a cabaret

By Howard Samuels, May 8, 2015

'My words coming out of somebody else's mouth is just about the most erotic, sexy, pleasurable experience you could possibly imagine!" How could you not eat up a woman who says that?


Interview: Mark Ronson

By Paul Lester, April 25, 2015

Mark Ronson is showing me the Woody Allen poster that takes pride of place at the entrance to his recording studio in King's Cross, London. The studio is named after Zelig, the 1983 Allen mockumentary about the fictional character who changes identity according to his environment and appears at key moments in history.


Why I had to protect Muswell Hill's musical lore

By Bonnie Estridge, April 2, 2015

As a South Londoner, my heart is not going to sing at the idea of a trek across town in the rush hour on a Monday morning. Yet all that changes when I reach a very special shop in Muswell Hill called Les Aldrich.

The shop is an exciting Aladdin's cave of music and one of those treasure-troves of an establishment that one may think no longer exists, yet is still going strong after 100 years.


The dark secrets of 'Dear Heinrich'

By Stephen Applebaum, March 19, 2015

It is amazing what some people keep under their beds.


When Beautiful pop was kosher

By David Robson, March 12, 2015

At London's Aldwych theatre, the young English cast of Beautiful, taking their wildly applauded curtain call on the first night, were joined by three Jewish Americans, in their 70s: a long-married couple Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, and, stage centre, diminutive, frizzy-haired and grandmotherly Carole King, whose work the musical celebrates.


How chutzpah landed a superstar for charity

By Naomi Firsht, February 19, 2015

From the moment Hannah Shabathai became president of the charity "Save a Child's Heart", in Switzerland, the seed of an idea grew in her mind: a way to combine her two passions, SACH and music; a concert with world-class pianist Evgeny Kissin. The retired United Nations worker is a lifelong fan of the musician, having studied piano herself for 15 years at the Geneva Music Academy.