Russian around…

My column in this month’s print edition of Standpoint is about Russians. Specifically, what has become of the revered ‘Russian school’ of musicianship since the fall of communism. My interviewees included three fabulous Russian musicians who left the country some years ago and therefore understand the issue from the inside but with outside perspective: pianists Mikhail Rudy and Rustem Hayroudinoff and conductor Vladimir Jurowski. In the old days, the problem was desperate political oppression, but artistic integrity was a matter of life and death for both musicians and audience. Today, is that integrity being eaten away by corruption and greed? Here’s the link.

I’ll be away for a bit now, ostensibly to “be creative”, back middle of next week.

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens