The Pointy End

How long is a piece of music?

I wonder if the last bar of Beethoven's First Symphony has ever been heard in public. It only contains rests, but Beethoven would not have written it if he didn't want its silence to be experienced in some sense.


Star Wars theme voted third most popular piece of orchestral music

The theme tune to Star Wars has been voted the third most popular piece of orchestral music by Radio 2 listeners, beating Tchaikovsky, Wagner and Grieg in a poll of classical music fans.

The Telegraph

Nazi-themed Wagner opera cancelled in Dusseldorf

A controversial production of a Wagner opera at one of the major German opera houses has been cancelled because of harrowing scenes involving Nazis.


Mariinsky 2 opens with a seamless gala

An internet petition called for its immediate demolition, critics likened its shiny glass bulk to 'a shopping mall' but Mariinsky 2, second home to St.Petersburg's legendary opera and ballet companies, opened without protest.

The Telegraph

How music plagiarism ruined a composer’s career

Suppose you want to write a brand-new popular tune. A piano has only eighty-eight keys, and the span of the human voice is even narrower. Is it possible to write a new one that doesn't echo an old one?

The Nation

English National Opera Launches Lottery For Seats

The English National Opera is to launch a new seat "lottery" scheme in an effort to draw bigger audiences, with visitors paying £20 for a ticket without knowing where they will end up sitting.

The Telegraph

How Are Your Music Tastes Changing As You Get Older?

As a kid I always assumed I'd listen to classical music when I got older. That's what my parents played all the time and what I assumed all grownups listened to, almost like a right of passage into adulthood.


The world of music is straddled by female Goliaths. Why?

Young women are achieving every kind of musical success, while the idea of the "male pop star" seems to have ground to a halt with David Bowie. What's going on with the boys?

New Statesman

Madame Mao's Hollywood Fantasies

During the chaos and oppression of China's Cultural Revolution, one curious new theatrical genre was born — and it was the child of the Communist Party.


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