The Youth Orchestra of Bahia
©Tati Golsman

Colin Currie/Youth Orchestra of Bahia, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

A thrilling start for the Metal, Wood, Skin percussion festival

Iggy Azalea on stage at the Shepherd's Bush Empire
©Neil Lupin/Getty

Iggy Azalea, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

After a sluggish start, the Australian rapper came good

Alan Gilbert
©Chris Lee

New York Philharmonic/Gilbert, Avery Fisher Hall, New York

A programme of Italian film music was pleasing but insubstantial

Andrew McCormack
©Tim Dickeson

Andrew McCormack Trio/Empirical, Kings Place Festival, London

A sure touch from the pianist, and a grand finale from the quartet

Hao Jiang Tian as Oroveso in 'Norma', NCPA, Beijing
©Wang Jing/NCPA

Norma, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing

The contrast between western and Chinese casts was striking

Stuart Skelton as Otello
©Alastair Muir

Otello/Anna Nicole/Rigoletto, London

The London opera season gets off to a strong start

A drone flies through the Barbican Theatre during John Cale and Liam Young's performance
©Sidd Khajuria

John Cale, Barbican, London

The veteran musician turns to drones to reinvent the rock gig

Sondra Radvanovsky in 'Norma'
©Cory Weaver

Norma, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco

The vocal thrills were of the sort that make opera fans for life

Growing pains

Perhaps the wretchedness and sadness of the whole affair is a commentary on the hellishness of Miley Cyrus-level celebrity

James Kryshak and Patricia Racette in 'Susannah'
©Cory Weaver

Susannah, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco

Patricia Racette sang the title role with deep commitment

Exit Paradise, Neuköllner Oper, Studio, Berlin

A new opera drawn from the everyday lives of a low-income district

Daphne, La Monnaie, Brussels

Musical standards are high in this production of Strauss’s opera

Robert Plant, iTunes Festival, Roundhouse, London

Plant was an immensely engaging presence, his band excellent

Cleveland Orchestra, BBC Proms

Two concerts revealed impressive discipline but little warmth

Idomeneo, Drottningholm Palace Theatre, Sweden

Kungliga Operan’s production abounds in telling detail

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Hall

An eclectic programme launched the ensemble’s new venue

Joyce DiDonato, Wigmore Hall, London

The American soprano had an ideal accompanist in Antonio Pappano

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London

The defining feature of the orchestra’s two Proms was its versatility

John Adams’s Saxophone Concerto, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London

This jazz-infused novelty is vigorous enough, but says little

Tony Bennett, Royal Festival Hall, London

A masterly display from the veteran crooner

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