It is 7am in Texas and Emanuel (Manny) Ax is off to the airport. Just hours earlier he gave an all-Schubert piano recital and he probably needed more sleep afterwards than he got; but he insists that he is happy to talk.
Maroon 5's poppy brand of funk, or perhaps funky brand of pop, has served them well. The American band - who sound like a tougher, rockier Jamiroquai, or a less heavy Red Hot Chili Peppers - have sold 15 million albums in under 10 years, and topped singles charts all over the world.
But they undoubtedly would never have become so successful without Adam Levine, their charismatic frontman with the soulful vocals, whose photogenic looks have seen him linked with numerous A-list beauties, including Jessica Simpson and Natalie Portman.
In the cut-throat world of the classical virtuoso, the 26-year-old Russian-born Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg has come a long way in a short space of time, and certainly since his first public performance in Israel as seven year old. His sensational BBC prom debut last summer, in which he performed Liszt's first piano concerto, had critics rhapsodising over his "breathtaking, crystalline sound", and drew comparisons with Artur Rubinstein.
But it was his win at the Santander International Piano Competition in Spain in 2002 that really put him on the musical map.
When Hillel Zori and his colleagues, Menahem Breuer and Roglit Ishay, play abroad, no-one is left in any doubt as to where they come from. Not only are they called the Israel Piano Trio but they also love to showcase Israeli and Jewish music. Their latest visit to the UK will be no exception. When the Trio plays at the Wigmore Hall on Sunday, the concert will include Variations on a Hebrew Melody by Paul Ben-Haim, and Bruch's Kol Nidre, part of a programme that also includes works by Beethoven and Brahms.
When you are a member of the Wallfisch family, there is a certain inevitability about the way your life will pan out. There is very little chance of escaping a career in music.
Violinist Elizabeth Wallfisch married cellist Raphael Wallfisch and all three of their children are musicians. Her husband's parents are pianist Peter Wallfisch and cellist Anita Lasker Wallfisch who wrote a powerful memoir on playing music in Auschwitz. Elizabeth's young nephew, Abraham Wallfisch Jacobs, is a promising cellist.
Asked to consider what he thinks has been his most significant achievement as an arts benefactor, former GP Dr David Cohen pauses for a moment before choosing his answer carefully. Then, without a shred of pomposity or fanfare, he explains that he has actually just returned from the launch of New Music 20x12 - a programme designed to put new music centre stage of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. "We're doing something which I think is giving us a feeling of satisfaction," he says.
Lee Bofkin could be forgiven for feeling a little tense. He is the 29-year-old co-organiser of Fishtank, one of the country's biggest indoor arts festivals, which opens tomorrow. He is visibly on edge. "It could be because I've just drunk a massive mocha, but I'm a pretty excitable person anyway," he jokes.
Bofkin, along with co-founder Lewis Maleh, also 29, and musician Ben Friedman, 30, are staging an ambitious mix of creative arts aimed at bringing new audiences to genres such as street poetry, performance art and sketch comedy- all under one roof.
Like every story you ever heard, this one begins with a dame. In Closing Time Leonard Cohen says of a reveller: "She's 100 but she's wearing something tight." Well, Elana Fremerman ain't one hundred, not by a long shot, and she's wearing something tight. Her dress is redder than the devil's toenails, which is fitting since she is playing his music on her fiddle.