Arts news and reviews.
Michael Nyman, the composer of the soundtrack to the Oscar-nominated film The Piano, has been commissioned to write a piece for the 2009 Proms, a festival he has been conspicuously absent from until now. John Wilson talks to him about the long wait for the Proms and what the process of composition involves.
Philip Hoare has been announced as the winner of this year's Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction for his book Leviathan, or The Whale, about his life-long obsession with whales, inspired by the literary classic Moby Dick. Philip Hoare joins John Wilson live in the studio.
William Boyd, Anthony Horowitz and Georgia Fitch join John Wilson to discuss creating new plays specifically for and about young people as part of the New Connections Festival, run annually by the National Theatre.
Over 200 school and youth theatre groups from all over the UK and Ireland have produced twelve specially commissioned new works by playwrights including David Mamet and Anthony Neilson, each of which will be staged at the National Theatre over seven days.
The curators of a new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London include Elton John, Billie Jean King, Ian McKellen, Sarah Waters and Sandi Toksvig. Gay Icons explores gay social and cultural history through the personal insights of ten high-profile gay figures, who have selected their historical and modern icons. Philip Hensher reviews the exhibition.