One day not that far away, I suspect, hot-metal memoirs will grow cold on the slab. Thus the triumph of technology over the nostalgia of those days when journalistic skills included not on More
Opera is not a small artform. It is labyrinthine, multi-faceted, fraught with things that can go disastrously wrong (Wagner, especially), and it can be dreadfully expensive, formidably div More
Recently, the chief classical music critic of The New York Times, Anthony Tommasini, adroitly summarised the nebulous perils of his job: ‘Music, especially purely instrumental m More
Tony Garnett, one of the most respected figures in British television drama, is also one of its most reclusive. Most people these days have almost certainly never heard of him, or, if they have, probably think he is a distant relation of Alf Garnett, of Till Death Us Do Part fame.
Even though the cantankerous Alf was a fictional character (played by ... More
Originally published in German, Albrecht Dümling’s The Vanished Musicians: Jewish refugees in Australia More
Brett Dean, perhaps Australia's pre-eminent composer and certainly one of its most productive, is personable, witty, and engaging. He talks with heartfelt eloquence about ...More
Why an A-Z of Brendel? Well, this is what the man himself has to say in the preface to his slim volume, A Pianist's A-Z: A piano lover's reader (2013): 'This book distil More
In the early 1990s, after Leo Schofield was – not without controversy – appointed the artistic director of the Melbourne Festival, Clive James referred to our own emerging cultural tsar as 'Australia's Diaghilev'. Which, I guess, retrospectively makes Sergei Pavlovich Russia's Schofield.
There is an element of truth in James's witticism, especially these ... More
Just in time for the Frank Sinatra centenary – 12 December should be a gazetted public holiday – comes the thumping second part of James Kaplan's monumental biography. Taken together, Volume I – Frank: The Voice (2010, 786 pages) – and its behemoth successor, Sinatra: The Chairman (979 pages), comprise a formidable and scrupulously detailed ... More