Zubin Mehta: why I won't play Wagner

By Nicola Christie, September 1, 2011

For members of one of the world's largest orchestras, they are rehearsing in a remarkably low-key room, stuck away in a Tel Aviv suburb, devoid of any acoustic support and framed by a big sheet of black fabric to keep the sun out.


The Israeli star who risked her career to aid refugees

By Jessica Elgot, August 18, 2011

Alma Zohar is Israel's accidental superstar. The singer-songwriter accidentally picked up a guitar, accidentally recorded an album, accidentally topped the charts and swept the Israeli music awards, winning two BRIT award equivalents, and accidentally put the issue of refugees in Israel back on the political agenda. Or at least, that is how she tells it.


Happily married, and in a relationship with Streisand

By John Nathan, August 18, 2011

It is possible to trace the start of one of the most enduring and productive relationships in the music industry back to one night, 50 years ago, at a gig in New York's Greenwich Village. In the audience were Alan and Marilyn Bergman, two people who had ahead of them not only stunning careers as lyric writers but one of the most successful marriages in showbusiness.


The pianist who wants you to laugh at his playing

By Jessica Duchen, August 11, 2011

When the pianist Danny Driver steps onto the Royal Albert Hall platform tomorrow, it will be no ordinary evening, either for him or for his audience. First of all, it is his debut at the BBC Promenade Concerts; secondly, it is the first time that this summer series has offered a "Comedy Prom".


Shyne - The bad-boy rap star who's now a Chasid

By Nathan Jeffay, July 28, 2011

When Chasidic reggae singer Matisyahu played Jerusalem last month, he welcomed on stage a surprising guest - rapper Shyne, an ex-con and one-time protégé of hip-hop superstar,P Diddy.

Shyne made his name singing about violence and sexual exploits and then went to prison for nearly a decade after a night out with his mentor turned violent.


Interview: Steve Reich

By Anne Joseph, July 21, 2011

In a 2006 South Bank Show documenting Steve Reich's career, presenter Melvyn Bragg described him as being "one of the major players in contemporary music since the 1960s. His particular style has marked him out as a composer of rare invention and originality".


She's got a burning passion for that good old-time music

By Judi Herman, July 7, 2011

'I came to Jewish music in the only way I could, looking at it as early or traditional music.


'How making music helped me fight Tourette's'

By Jessica Duchen, July 1, 2011

'Be careful with the title. There's no 'The'," Tobias Picker tells me.

I've caught up with the American composer while he is in London to prepare for the latest production of his family opera, Fantastic Mr Fox. Based on a story by Roald Dahl, it is a work that has captured the hearts of audiences of all ages, on both sides of the Atlantic.


Interview: Chris Stein

By Paul Lester, June 30, 2011

Before Lady Gaga and Madonna, there was Debbie Harry, the original subversive platinum blonde pop star. In the late '70s and early '80s, she became the world's hottest pin-up.


Fab Four back on tour

By Tim Stein, June 23, 2011

Interviewing the Jerusalem Quartet is almost impossible. It has taken many months and a series of increasingly frantic emails to track down the ensemble's first violinist, Alexander "Sasha" Pavlovsky, at his home in Jerusalem. The elusiveness has nothing to do with an aversion to the media.