Interview: Adam Levine

By Paul Lester, February 11, 2011

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.


From Tel Aviv comes the next Artur Rubinstein

By Tim Stein, February 4, 2011

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.


Trio in tune with Israel's music

By Simon Round, January 6, 2011

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.


We're brainy - and proud

By Jessica Elgot, December 22, 2010

When Foals first arrived on the scene, they looked like the definitive geeky "indie kid" band, with eyes hidden beneath dark, sweeping haircuts, artistic beards, staccato guitars and yelping lyrics.

Their infectious hooks and boisterous concerts might not have sounded overly heartfelt, but they had rapid commercial success, with their debut album, Antidotes, reaching number three in the charts.


Queen of a musical dynasty - just don't cross her on Bach

By Jessica Elgot, December 21, 2010

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.


He wants new (music) tracks for the Olympics

By Anne Joseph, December 10, 2010

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.


The mud-free festival. And no Portaloos, either

By Jessica Elgot, November 25, 2010

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.


Meet Elana and the cream of Cowtown

By Clive Sinclair, October 28, 2010

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.


The batmitzvah girl who walked like an Egyptian

By Paul Lester, October 21, 2010

The Bangles had it all. Good looks, critical acclaim and a series of infectious chart hits. For a period in the 1980s, with songs such as Manic Monday, Walk Like An Egyptian and Eternal Flame, the all-girl four piece from California were one of the biggest acts in the music business. But there was something else that made them really special. Unlike other girl bands - think Spice Girls or Girls Aloud - The Bangles wrote much of their own material, actually played their instruments, and made their own decisions about how to present themselves.


Jazzing up Shabbat

By Simon Round, October 7, 2010

Back in the mid-1960s Jonathan Klein - then a high school student with a passion for jazz - was approached to compose something for his synagogue. Klein had the novel idea of setting Shabbat prayers to jazz.