Stephen Walsh

Mariinsky’s musical director Valery Gergiev Photo: V.Baranovsky

Mariinsky’s Boris Godunov - a revelation

Anyone who thinks opera singers and orchestral players are overworked should spare a thought for the Mariinsky Opera on its…

Composer Sir Harrison Birtwistle Photo: Redferns

The yes-no-maybe world of Harrison Birtwistle

For better or worse, we live in the age of the talking composer. Some talk well, some badly, a few…

Edward Greenfield with André Previn in front of the Royal Festival Hall, c.1970.

Portrait of a Guardian music critic

We critics seldom write our memoirs, perhaps because we skulk away our lives in dark corners, avoiding the public gaze,…

A Soviet soldier buys a ticket for the  performance of the Seventh Symphony in Leningrad in August 1942

Shostakovich, Leningrad, and the greatest story ever played

The horrors of the Leningrad siege — the 900 Days of Harrison Salisbury’s classic — have been pretty well picked…

Leonard Bernstein in 1945

Did Leonard Bernstein do too much to be a great artist?

Nigel Simeone’s title for his edition of Leonard Bernstein’s correspondence rings compellingly, novellistically, through the force of the definite article,…

J.S. Bach: more complex and human than 
the Haussmann portrait suggests

Was Bach as boring as this picture suggests?

What, one wonders, will John Eliot Gardiner be chiefly remembered for? Perhaps, by many who have worked with him, for…