Arts & Ents Opinion

  • 20 December 2014

    The theft last August of three Stations of the Cross from the Italian Chapel in Orkney, built and decorated from scratch by Italian Prisoners of War 70 years ago, was the second tap on the shoulder I received this year to put voice to a long, unspoken story.

  • 20 December 2014

    This year has been the 150th anniversary of the birth of Richard Strauss, one of the leonine figures of 19th-century Romanticism, inventor of the phrase "tone poem" and creator of arguably the greatest series of orchestral works in that genre, with orchestral masterpieces that have passed into legend and have become staple fare in the concert repertoire of every symphony orchestra on the planet: Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegel, Also Sprach Zarathustra, Ein Heldenleben, the Alpine Symphony, and so on.

  • 13 December 2014

    Just as the pews are filled for Watchnight services on Christmas Eve with folk who never darken the doors of a church through the rest of the year, so Scotland's theatres see people at panto-time who have not crossed the threshold since the previous Christmas show.

  • 6 December 2014

    The obvious fallacy that Americans don??t understand irony was given some credence in the 1970s by the conviction of some radio stations in the US that Scotland??s Average White Band must be black.

  • 6 December 2014

    WITH the year now marching into the home straight, I have to watch out for loose ends in this space.

  • 15 November 2014

    If you were looking forward to hearing renowned Stockhausen pianist Nicolas Hodges (whose performances of the great iconoclast's music were highly rated by Karlheinz Stockhausen himself) play Nos 12 and 13 of the composer's Klavierstucke in Glasgow this evening, hopefully you are already aware that the concert is cancelled.

  • 1 November 2014

    A week ago I sat in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall puzzling over conductor Thomas Sondergard's curiously inside-out presentation of his programme of music by Richard Strauss, Beethoven and Bartok.

  • 25 October 2014

    The idea for the Homeless World Cup was dreamed up in a South African bar during the 2001 conference of the International Network of Street Papers.

  • 24 October 2014

    Stirling may have a castle that is every bit as splendid as Edinburgh's and a place in Scottish history that is second to none, but it was always on a bit of hiding to nothing this year.

  • 17 October 2014

    This coming week concludes for me with what teachers probably don't call su­pra-curriculum activities, i.e., stuff I'll be at, wearing my Herald arts editor's hat (a natty fez, since you ask), but not behaving in a journalistic newsgathering fashion.

  • 10 October 2014

    At the end of this month - the announcement is expected on October 29 - Scotland's arts companies, festivals, groups and galleries will learn which of them has been successful in securing regular funding from Creative Scotland.

  • 10 October 2014

    SOME years ago, and on separate occasions, I bumped into two old chums from university days.