Uncertain New Year Ahead

Now is the time of year to wish Barbican Life readers a Happy Christmas – or perhaps just a happy holiday season dependent on one’s religion – and a prosperous New Year ahead, but seldom have we seen a time when the forthcoming year has been riddled with so many uncertainties because of factors which surfaced in 2016. First there was the Brexit vote and, in the UK in particular, all the political and financial fallout which will continue to afflict us next year – and indeed probably for several years ahead.  The consequent fall in the value of the pound sterling is not only going to … [Read more...]

Health and Efficiency

Perhaps it takes a medical emergency to get to realise how good our local National Health Service hospitals and ambulance service can actually perform if needed.  Well perhaps not necessarily a major emergency, but certainly one sufficient to require an ambulance to deliver one to the nearest hospital with an appropriate A&E department. Your editor recently had such an emergency – a personally frightening experience when on waking found he had no muscle function at all in his left leg – the result of a minor stroke.  Luckily the lady who does some cleaning for me was in that morning … [Read more...]

Rattle’s Folly

The celebrated conductor, Simon Rattle, comes next year to the Barbican in the footsteps of much-loved Colin Davis and highly-regarded Valery Gergiev, to conduct the London Symphony Orchestra.  Sadly his pleasure will not be unalloyed since, it would appear that he feels that the Barbican Hall – not least its acoustics – leaves much to be desired. Now, in regard to acoustics, Simon is doubtless a perfectionist.  Most of us, though, would agree with the music critic of the Daily Telegraph who wrote that we do not go to concerts to listen to acoustics, but to enjoy the music. Acoustics … [Read more...]