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.


The genius of these piano rhapsodies

By Mark Bebbington, January 29, 2015

Jewish links abound in music – as a gentile I can observe rather than feel this from the outside, as it were, but as a pianist I feel it deeply. You can't help but do so. The whole so-called ''Golden Age of Pianism'' – that amazing school of pianists that encompassed astonishing virtuosos like Joseph Hoffman, through to Vladimir Horowitz and Shura Cherkassky - is quite Jewish-owned.


Sing the praises of a Jewish Christmas

By Paul Lester, December 18, 2014

Santa Baby. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire). Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Some of the best-known Christmas songs were written by Jews. White Christmas - the biggest-selling single of all time- was penned by a Jew, Irving Berlin, with sales estimated at over 50 million.


Opera: Tristan und Isolde

By Stephen Pollard, December 11, 2014

I first heard Tristan und Isolde 29 years ago, with Reginald Goodall conducting at the ENO. Those performances set a high bar – they were so all-encompassing that I was unable to listen to music for weeks afterwards and, to this day, I can recall the impact.


Jews who really got them going

By John Nathan, November 27, 2014

There is embedded in our culture an oft-repeated story about pop music and it goes something like this: a brilliant talent, usually from a working-class background is discovered by a wealthy agent who exploits the hitherto unknown hopeful to the hilt.