Rupert Christiansen

Memoirs of a Leavisite, by David Elllis - review

15 June 2013 9:00 am

As the author of this wise, patient and delightful book wryly reminds us, Stephen Fry — who, of course, knows…


Bookends: Byronic intensity

20 April 2013 9:00 am

A year before he died from emphysema in 1990, the composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein agreed to be interviewed by the music…

Working at the Old Mill, Snape, December 1946

The music man

9 February 2013 9:00 am

Rupert Christiansen welcomes a new biography of Benjamin Britten – marking his centenary – which brings all his many complexities satisfyingly and vividly to life


Hall of mirrors

4 June 2011 12:00 am

After the Nazi occupation of Paris was over, Sartre famously said — somewhat hypocritically, given his own slippery behaviour — that the only possibilities had been collaboration or resistance.


The wow factor

18 December 2010 12:00 am

‘Nothing succeeds like excess,’ quipped Oscar Wilde, and Franco Zeffirelli’s production of Aida at La Scala, Milan in 2006 bears him out: for sheer jaw-dropping, applause- garnering theatrical bling, I have never seen anything like it and I doubt I ever will.

Dancing in the dark

9 September 2009 12:00 am

Kenneth MacMillan was once described as ‘the Francis Bacon of ballet’ — not an analogy that gets one very far, but there’s something in it.


A monumental achievement

25 February 2009 12:00 am

Like virtually everyone middle-aged and middle-class in this country, I am a beneficiary of the cult of Civilisation — Kenneth Clark’s ‘personal view’, stretching in 13 episodes from the Vikings to Van Gogh, which was broadcast on BBC2 in 1969 and on BBC1 two years later, as well as appearing as a sumptuously illustrated, best-selling book.

But where is Colonel Blimp?

3 December 2008 12:00 am

The Triumph of Music, by Tim Blanning

Highs and lows of a musical career

13 August 2008 12:00 am

Handel: The Man and His Music by Jonathan Keates

A gift for friendship

11 June 2008 12:00 am

Rupert Christiansen on a selection of Benjamin Britten's letters

Plunging into the hurly-burly

27 February 2008 12:00 am

Rupert Christiansen on Alex Ross' new book

Lives less ordinary

21 November 2007 4:46 pm

Rupert Christiansen


What Winnie did with Hitler

15 August 2007 1:49 pm

Winnie and Wolf: A Novel
by A.N. Wilson

Keeping cool over Wagner

2 November 2006 10:32 am

Opera has fallen out of fashion as a recreation of our humanist intellectuals. Even when I was an undergraduate in…

A good man among ambiguities

26 October 2006 11:08 am

The second volume of this superb biography opens in 1939, as William Empson returns to London after two years of…

Problems of production

11 October 2006 4:48 pm

Shakespeare aside, there isn’t a dramatist whose work has proved more protean than Wagner’s. Patrick Carnegy explores the astonishing variety…

Departing wisely from the text

21 September 2006 10:36 am

This enthralling and important book offers vital reading for anyone with a serious interest in opera. Its author Philip Gossett…

Not all Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)

3 August 2006 8:53 am

Born in 1965, Howard Sounes was scarcely out of short trousers by the time that Margaret Thatcher took power and…

Firebrand turned diehard

20 July 2006 8:31 am

‘Do you pronounce it Sowthy or Suthy?’ asked a friend when I mentioned I was reviewing this book. Today, that…

The outsider who felt the cold

11 March 2006 12:00 am

The journal ADAM — an acronym for Art, Drama, Architecture and Music — was the life’s work of a Jewish…

The thinking man’s poet

12 November 2005 12:00 am

‘The most intellectual British poet of the 19th century’ is Anthony Kenny’s judgment of Arthur Hugh Clough — a tribute…

Antipodean wit and wisdom

5 November 2005 12:00 am

Shocking, I know, but I hadn’t paid much attention to Clive James since my dim distant undergraduate days 30 years…

Brillo boxes and marble nudes

4 June 2005 12:00 am

Professor John Carey is at his most acerbic, combative and impassioned in this brilliant polemic, developed from lectures he gave…

A master of ambiguities

30 April 2005 12:00 am

School reports can be remarkably prescient. William Empson’s headmaster noted, ‘He has a good deal of originality and enterprise: I…

Stooping, but not to conquer

6 November 2004 12:00 am

Here is yet another attempt to interest a wider public in classical music, in the form of a book ‘as…