Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony

As part of the coverage of the Finnish Independence anniversary this year, I'll be cropping up across the BBC talking about Sibelius. The first couple of instalments are up now - the first is a clip discussing how Sibelius's theatre music relates to his wider output: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05hdg06 If 10 minutes is just too long, then... Continue Reading →

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I've just had a short film released by the BBC! I am incomparably excited about this. It's available from BBC Arts - I'm talking about why we should listen to history as well as look at it, exploring Max Reinhardt's 1933 production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'.  

A year without Shakespeare?

I’ve just come back from the Sage Gateshead, where I was at Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival for my last official outing as a New Generation Thinker. It was a little different to the essays and discussion shows I’d done so far: we all had to come up with a “controversial idea” for an academic... Continue Reading →

Music Into Words

Music Into Words is a series of events set up by music bloggers and journalists to discuss the future of writing about music, whether online or off. I will be speaking at the next event, on Sunday 12 February (13:15-17:00) at Morley College in London. Alongside Katy Hamilton, Tom Hammond, Kate Romano, Adrian Ainsworth, and... Continue Reading →

Bob Dylan & the Nobel Prize

Bob Dylan caused controversy this week after being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In a piece for the Huffington Post, I argue that it was a good decision to give Dylan the Nobel. It acknowledges that lyrics are literature, and points towards the central role that songs can play in political discourse. The full... Continue Reading →

Strindberg & ‘The Woman Question’

My essay on Strindberg & 'The Woman Question' is now available from BBC Radio 3. I'm discussing why Strindberg got arrested for blasphemy in 1884, and what relevance that has to Swedish politics today. I also touch on why Strindberg injected morphine into Berlin fruit trees... The talk will be broadcast on Thursday 6th October... Continue Reading →

Free Thinking

My appearances for Radio 3 Free Thinking are now available to download from the BBC website. Ahead of the re-release of Peter Watkins' 1974 biography of the artist Edvard Munch, I looked at how Munch's biography relates to his art (and why Strindberg threatened to kill him). You can hear my thoughts here, or alternatively... Continue Reading →

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