The singing star of The Da Vinci Code

By Simon Round, December 29, 2011

Israeli soprano Hila Plitmann has played with many of the world's top orchestras, won a Grammy Award and sung solo on the blockbuster Hollywood movie, The Da Vinci Code.

Despite her many accomplishments, however, there is one thing she rarely gets to do - sing in her mother tongue.


Like Piaf, tragic Barbara is the true voice of France

By Norman Lebrecht, December 15, 2011

Her grave, at the suburban end of a Paris bus line, is never long unattended. A wooden box on the marble base is stuffed with notes from visiting fans. A student drops by in her lunch hour to play Mozart. "Barbara loved Mozart," she explains.


Star violinist's debt to his Jewish teachers

By Simon Round, November 24, 2011

If you had to work out David Garrett's occupation simply by his appearance, you would be unlikely to guess that he is one of the most gifted violinists of his generation.

With his long hair and skull ring he looks vaguely heavy metal-ish but, then again, with his Roger Federer-esque good looks he could also be a model.


The other talented young Waley-Cohen

By Simon Round, October 31, 2011

It is very rare to find musician Tamsin Waley-Cohen on her own. She has a constant companion at concerts, at cafes and even on holidays. It is a long-term relationship which, although it has had its ups and downs, has enabled her to move forward with her career.


Interview: András Schiff

By Jessica Duchen, October 6, 2011

Any pianist could be forgiven for avoiding a country where someone has threatened to chop off his hands. It is, though, especially alarming when the country is his birthplace.


The secret of Marvin Hamlisch's success? The 'mazel factor'

By Anne Joseph, September 27, 2011

The lyrics from his 1978 musical They're Playing Our Song - "Oh ho, they're playing my song, oh yeah, they're playing my song" - seem to be an apt way to describe Marvin Hamlisch. The legendary, multi-award-winning composer/conductor is the creator of some of the best-known American show tunes.


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".