Arts & Ents Opinion

  • 24 January 2015

    Just over a year ago, and unbeknownst to most of us who live on the banks of the upper Forth, glamour-lad and former football personality David Beckham dropped by the corner of Clackmannanshire where I live and entertained the workers at the Diageo whisky works and cooperage with his merry badinage.

  • 24 January 2015

    I've deferred my planned notion for today's column because, for a few weeks now, I've been a bit preoccupied with something else, namely the recent passing of the highly esteemed music writer and author Michael Kennedy, who died at the age of 88 on the last day of December.

  • 17 January 2015

    I got well-nobbled 10 days ago at the RSNO's Viennese Gala in Perth when a rather mischievous reader remarked that I had "copped out" of selecting a "highlight performance" of 2014 by saying that it was the wrong time to judge as all the orchestras were in fact just approaching mid-season.

  • 10 January 2015

    I find myself almost awash at the moment with new and recent CDs that, to some extent and one way or another, feature arrangements or transcriptions of a variety of pieces of music.

  • 5 January 2015

    Beguiled by the twin emotions of repulsion and morbid fascination that the rock god Elvis Presley, had his life not been cut short at the age of 42 way back in 1977, would have been 80 on Thursday, the world is preparing to go a little crazy.

  • 3 January 2015

    Last week in this space I alluded, parenthetically, to having been in the right place at the right time to hear about Glasgow's appointment as European City of Culture 1990.

  • 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.

  • 9 December 2014

    Now, few actors in Scotland merit an exclamation mark intro.

  • 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.