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  1. June 23, 2014

    An Aldeburgh Musicircus, Aldeburgh Festival, Suffolk, UK – review

    Aldeburgh Music’s idea to stage a John Cage Musicircus – a concept of musical “happenings” that the composer developed from...

  2. December 2, 2013

    Stephen Shore: Something & Nothing, Sprüth Magers, London – review

    You don’t get much more garlanded than Stephen Shore. His talent was recognised very early and has not been in much doubt...

  1. October 8, 2013

    Graphic Scores, Barbican St Luke’s, London – review

    Standard musical notation was great for marshalling orchestras in the harmonic complexities of the western orchestral...

  2. September 27, 2013

    Graphic scores: lively alternative ways of writing down music

    Music notation is at best a compromise, at worst a lie. In western culture a five-line stave suspending a pattern of dotted...

  3. May 30, 2013

    Justin Peck premiere, Lincoln Center, New York – review

    On Wednesday night, New York City Ballet slashed ticket prices to $29 throughout the house, so two-thirds of the audience –...

  4. May 8, 2013

    Flying the flag for Jasper Johns

    As Manhattan’s art world and thousands of visitors from across the world gear up for the opening on Friday May 10 of the...

  5. May 1, 2013

    Choré, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Monaco – review

    Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo is in many ways as insular as the tiny city-state it operates from. Under choreographer...

  6. February 27, 2013

    Repeating Patterns, Purcell Room, London

    It is fitting that a movement calling itself minimalism should have come out of small beginnings. Speaking in one of the...

  7. February 15, 2013

    The Bride and the Bachelors: Duchamp with Cage, Cunningham, Rauschenberg and Johns, Barbican Art Gallery, London

    When one of its dancers asked Merce Cunningham what his ballet Minutiae (1954) was actually about, the choreographer led her...

  8. February 12, 2013

    New World Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas, New World Center, Miami Beach

    The centenary of John Cage occurred last year, so last weekend’s tribute, “Making the Right Choices”, by the New World...

  9. December 17, 2012

    the event of a thread, Park Avenue Armory, New York

    Even before we walk into the “the event of a thread”, Ann Hamilton’s ambitious installation at the Park Avenue Armory, we...

  10. October 25, 2012

    Composer Conversations and Dialogues, Beijing Music Festival

    Concert presenters often describe music programming as a conversation among composers, but this year’s Beijing Music...

  11. October 10, 2012

    Ether 12, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

    Each autumn the Southbank Centre sets aside a couple of weeks for Ether. This short festival ventures into the rarefied air...

  12. October 5, 2012

    John Cage: Journeys in Sound

    Was John Cage (1912-1992) a phoney or a liberator of sound? This fascinating, eloquent DVD leaves room for both, while...

  13. August 17, 2012

    Life brought to art

    For me the making of exhibitions has always had to do with dialogue: a concentrated, in-depth, focused dialogue with...

  14. July 26, 2012

    Dance at Avignon Festival, France

    One of the most attractive features of the Avignon Festival’s official programming is its regard for small-scale works...

  15. July 6, 2012

    Dance GB, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London

    In an exercise in cultural counter-devolution, the “national” dance companies of Scotland, Wales and England come together...

  16. June 24, 2012

    Spitalfields Festival, Shoreditch Church

    It is the kind of story that echoes down Spitalfields’s history: Hyman Massil emigrated from Byelorussia in 1905, settling...

  17. June 15, 2012

    Nothing really matters

    Nothing will come of nothing; speak again.” How do you express nothing in art? By silence in language or music – Lear’s...

  18. June 8, 2012

    The light fantastic

    When in 1954 the American sculptor Alexander Calder accepted an invitation from the Sarabhai family to spend some time in...

  19. March 17, 2012

    Full of hot air, signifying nothing

    I had high hopes for the second AV Festival (International Festival of Art, Technology, Music and Film) in north-east...

  20. March 5, 2012

    Surrogate Cities, Royal Festival Hall, London

    At a pre-concert question-and-answer session, a teenage boy asked Heiner Goebbels: “Where do you get your ideas from?” The...

  21. October 6, 2011

    Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Barbican, London

    The Merce Cunningham Dance Company, as the choreographer left it when he died two years ago, will cease to exist at the...

  22. September 16, 2011

    John Cage Night, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

    One of the most critical elements of any John Cage performance is its audience. As well as challenging his listeners’...

  23. September 16, 2011

    Sonic boom

    What images come to mind when you hear the phrase “musical instrument”? A string quartet filing neatly around a grand piano?...

  24. August 13, 2011

    The artist with nothing to say

    From Mr Michael Short. Sir, In his review of the John Cage exhibition at the Hayward Gallery (which, incidentally, isn’t new...

  25. August 5, 2011

    Varied compositions

    In 1944, John Cage found himself in the fashionable Willard Gallery on New York’s Upper East Side, staring at a painting by...

  26. June 23, 2011

    Savion Glover, Joyce Theater, New York

    He has beaten his feet to gospel, jazz, opera, Stevie Wonder and a planetarium soundtrack. But for Sole Sanctuary (at the...

  27. January 21, 2011

    Life and Times (Episode one), Théâtre de la Ville, Paris

    “God, this must be so boring for you!”. One hour and 40 minutes into the first half, this line got an ironic titter and some...

  28. November 11, 2010

    Neil Greenberg, Dance Theater Workshop, New York

    Paige Martin and Luke Miller Neil Greenberg’s (like a vase) begins with Ruth Draper – the mid-century monologist who set...

  29. July 27, 2009

    Obituary: Merce Cunningham

    Merce Cunningham, grand master of modern dance – this catch-all phrase truly possessing, in Cunningham’s work, its immediate...

  30. June 3, 2009

    Aglow with sinister charm

    The new musical adaptation of Neil Gaiman's 2002 novel Coraline , at the Lortel , restores much of the eccentricity taken...

  31. June 2, 2009

    Coraline, Lucille Lortel Theatre, New York

    The new musical adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 2002 novel Coraline, at the Lortel, restores much of the eccentricity taken away...

  32. January 31, 2009

    Classical - Andrew Clark

    Music for Airports/In the Ocean Frank Scheffer Medici Arts This DVD explores the spirit of experiment in late 20th-century...

  33. January 3, 2009

    George Maciunas: The Dream of Fluxus

    The art movement Fluxus was created by George Maciunas in 1961. Established in New York, Fluxus was yet another attempt to...

  34. December 20, 2008

    Enigma's variations

    The idea that a big record label would sign an avant-garde aesthete who was hell-bent on forging a hybrid of the most...

  35. December 17, 2008

    Growth fosters new ideas – not recession

    From Mr Marc Thompson. Sir, Periods of strong economic growth, not recession, are when the “new ideas” Lynda Gratton refers...

  36. November 12, 2008

    Step back and forward in time

    If you are Merce Cunningham, almost no environment is hostile to the creation of dances that are at once austere and...

  37. November 11, 2008

    Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Richmond, California

    If you are Merce Cunningham, almost no environment is hostile to the creation of dances that are at once austere and...

  38. October 25, 2008

    Robert Motherwell

    "He is twelve years older than I am, and we have been tempestuous friends for more than twenty years, Jew and Celt,...

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