Nicholas Kenyon is Managing Director of London’s Barbican Centre. His most recent books include the Faber Pocket Guides to ­Mozart and Bach and The City of London: A Companion Guide.
 (September 2015)


The Triumph of a Musical Adventure

José Antonio Abreu, Gustavo Dudamel, and Deborah Borda of the Los Angeles Philharmonic with an orchestra of children trained by El Sistema, Caracas, Venezuela, February 2012

El Sistema: Orchestrating Venezuela’s Youth

by Geoffrey Baker
Venezuela, with its current acute economic and political problems, is scarcely a country to be imitated or envied. Yet over the last forty years, through a succession of often controversial political regimes, it has become widely known for a highly developed system of orchestras and socially directed musical education that …

A Glorious Composer Between Two Worlds

Dirck Hals: Queen Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester at Kenilworth (detail), early seventeenth century


by Kerry McCarthy
Of all the great Renaissance composers, William Byrd (circa 1540–1623) is perhaps the most approachable, the most direct in his communication, and arguably the most modern in his concerns. The gloriously continual euphony associated with Palestrina and his school has for many listeners characterized the sound of the Renaissance, experienced …