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Articles on Classical music

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Go on … you know you love it.

Opera snobs won’t stop us going back to La Bohème

The Royal Opera House’s restaging of La Bohème will get the same responses as any other production of the Puccini opera. The savvy enthusiast hedges cautiously, perhaps going with the sceptic’s play-it-safe…
What does the term “classical music” mean to us in the 21st century? Scottish classical violinist Nicola Benedetti. AAP/ Dean Lewins

Explainer: classical music

Classical music means more than one thing and explanation is in order. Sometimes I make the distinction between big “C” and little “c”, but even that doesn’t fully solve it. The starting point is this…

Why is it good to crowdsurf at Handel concerts?

Dr David Glowacki is a highly-respected research fellow of the Royal Society, and expert in non-equilibrium molecular reaction dynamics – no, me neither – but is also our newest, and arguably most unlikely…
Reinforcing the association between “elite” art forms and class privilege does nobody any favours. The Australian Ballet preview of Art to Sky. AAP/ Nikki Short

Class privilege and the classical arts – the problem of ‘elite’ culture

An episode of the ABC TV comedy series Upper Middle Bogan, recently re-aired, explores the perceived class divide between high and low art forms. Edwina Bright, the daughter of a well-to-do family, who…
Under the baton of Valery Gergiev. Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest

Explainer: what is conducting?

Conducting is essentially a phenomenon associated with Western classical music. As a rule, rock and jazz bands do not employ a conductor unless they are teaming up with a symphony orchestra. Conductors…
Not everyone can be a superstar – and very few can truly innovate. Mait Jüriado

Music is the loser in the quest for ‘innovation’

Innovation is much sought after in music – by musicians, often, by the federal government, increasingly. But could the pursuit of the slightly nebulous-sounding “innovation” be driving music in the wrong…
One in four composers are female, but you wouldn’t guess that by listening to the radio. Image from

Off key: women composers get a raw deal on play rates

Women make up 25% of the Australian composing population but still get a raw deal when it comes to having their music performed. Emma Ayres, presenter of the breakfast show on Classic FM, recently wrote…
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Are classical music competitions judged on looks?

The headlines The Los Angeles Times: People trust eyes - not ears - when judging musicians Classic FM: Classical singers judged by actions not voice Nature: Musicians’ appearances matter more than their…

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