Lao Qiang at the Sydney Festival: ancient entertainment for the 21st century

Zhang family band 1a LLLL

The Zhang Family Band will perform at the Sydney Festival this week. Zhang Fuqiang/Sydney Festival We’ve all heard — or heard of — Mongolian throat singing and Peking Opera. But a new Chinese musical tradition is beginning to reverberate around the world – and will be showcased this week at the Sydney Festival. New in a manner of speaking. Lao ... Read More »

Ricki-Lee Coulter: ‘Everyone’s got a bit of Hanson in them’

Ricki Lee Courter 1a LL

‘ She might never have won an Aria but she’s celebrating Jessica Mauboy’s and Guy Sebastian’s triumphs. Never mind ‘cool’, the Australian Idol alumni says – it’s time Australia embraced pop ‘ Jump to comments Ricki-Lee Coulter hitches a ride on the Indian Pacific’s Christmas train. Photograph: Quentin Jones If Ricki-Lee Coulter feels a pang of bitterness when thinking about ... Read More »

Orchestras Raise Baton to Beer, Pizza and Bach


CHICAGO—After a recent Chicago Symphony Orchestra event featuring a cello octet, Vince McAley, sporting multiple earrings and a motorcycle jacket, listened to live DJs spinning electronic music while he swigged beer in the lobby. Mercury Soul’s nontraditional performance this year for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is an example of growing efforts to draw new audiences.Todd Rosenberg “I like how experimental it ... Read More »

Pandit Ravi Shankar gets posthumous Grammy nomination

Indian sitar legend Pandit Ravi Shankar, who was awarded two Grammy honours earlier this year, has received a posthumous nomination in the 56th Annual Grammy Awards for his album “The Living Room Sessions Part 2″. The maestro breathed his last in a US hospital on December 11, 2012. He was 92. A day after his death, he was named a ... Read More »

Grammy Nomination for Violonist Leonidas Kavakos

Internationally renowned Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos has been nominated for a Grammy Award for “best chamber music / small ensemble performance” for his Beethoven Violin Sonatas under the label Decca. Leonidas Kavakos is a violinist and artist of rare quality, known for his virtuosity, superb musicianship and the integrity of his playing. Apart from his career as a soloist, Kavakos ... Read More »

Music as an Elixir for Your Brain

‘ Reports of the “brain-based” benefits of music deserve our scrutiny ‘ Admittedly I keep watch for such things, but recently I’ve seen quite a few internet headlines about the benefits of music to the brain. For example, I’ve read online that practicing a musical instrument boosts motor and sensory brain development, that “uplifting music” enhances brain capacity, and that children who ... Read More »

Jose Antonio Abreu, Venezuela’s musical visionary

In a country as polarised as Venezuela, it is hard to think of a public figure who can work for nine different administrations over four decades and come out at the other end unscathed. Mr Abreu invented El Sistema, which has provided free music education to millions But Jose Antonio Abreu is such a man. Granted, he is not your ... Read More »

Neda Rahmani

Neda Rahmani & mirrors 1a LL

A child of the revolution, born in Iran to Persian and Mauritian Parents. Neda grew up in Australia enjoying the freedom to perform and develop as one of Australia’s strong live female performers. A seasoned percussionist and natural performer, she is also now establishing herself as an actress and story teller. Her main band is called Neda – All Colour ... Read More »

Leonidas Kavakos discusses Brahms’s Violin Concerto

‘ His first concerto recording for Decca has just been released ‘ Leonidas Kavakos has recorded the Brahms concerto for Decca The Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos, newly signed to Decca, has just released his first concerto recording for the label: Brahms‘s Violin Concerto. Gramophone‘s editor-in-chief James Jolly caught up with Kavakos when he was in London to perform the work ... Read More »