Simon Heffer

Simon Heffer

It is a misfortune shared by several composers — notably British ones, who still struggle to be valued by those loath to travel beyond Mozart and Beethoven — to be known for only one work, despite having written many that merit recognition. It was Gustav Holst’s misfortune to have written The Planets, which made him famous, and have given him an international reputation since he died in 1934. And yet Holst wrote music of almost uniformly high quality, much of which is little known, even though well recorded. 

We shouldn’t be satisfied with solidly utilitarian coins, stamps and the dreaded “street furniture”. Good design can be incredibly heartening

British television today is rubbish. But boxed sets — especially those dramas from America — are like bottles of fine wine, waiting to be consumed at the perfect moment

The fact that most of today’s comedians are left-wing isn’t necessarily the reason they aren’t funny. It’s because they aren’t very bright

The grand old towns of the south coast have certainly lost some of their former glory, but there is no reason why their best days should not be ahead of them

In his biography of the statesman, Jesse Norman presents Burke as of seminal importance to today’s conservatism, and to Cameron’s government. He isn’t.

The reputation of one of England’s finest composers has been indelibly stained by his refusal to fight in the Second World War

Teacher, philanthropist, founder of the Royal College of Music — Sir Hubert Parry was so much more than a composer of England’s finest songs

It it a great paradox that our culture glorifies celebrity chefs when, as a nation, we increasingly refuse to spend money feeding ourselves

Martin Heidegger’s apparent denazification after the — with the help of Jewish lover Hannah Arendt — requires further examination