Damian Thompson

Damian Thompson is an associate editor of The Spectator

The troubling history of Mormonism

3 April 2021 9:00 am

Are Mormons prepared to ignore their troubled history?

Alfred Brendel the Dadaist

16 January 2021 9:00 am

How many people are celebrating the fact that, last week, one of Europe’s most inspired writers about music, modern art…

pope

The Pope really doesn’t like Republicans

1 November 2020 9:16 am

Last week we learned that Pope Francis has torn up the Catholic Church’s teaching that same-sex civil partnerships are gravely…

Why did Balakirev's beautiful, inventive works go out of fashion?

10 October 2020 9:00 am

Anyone who invited the Russian composer Mily Balakirev to dinner had to be jolly careful about the fish they served.…

The sinister Vatican plot against Cardinal Pell

6 October 2020 6:19 pm

Cardinal George Pell isn’t the sort of man to say ‘so there is a God after all!’ – but plenty…

religion

Godforsaken: religion is vanishing from American politics

6 October 2020 12:17 am

The United States has always been the world’s leading religious marketplace. Even before independence, the American colonies were more fervently…

pope francis

The real reason for Pope Francis’s disgraceful Pompeo snub

3 October 2020 3:35 am

Why did Pope Francis refuse to meet Secretary Pompeo in Rome this week? The obvious answer is that he didn’t…

baptist

What does Kamala Harris really believe?

17 August 2020 8:39 pm

When Joe Biden chose Kamala Harris as his running mate, the Religion News Service reported that she ‘now considers herself…

Beethoven 32 piano sonatas were his musical laboratory – here are the best recordings

18 July 2020 9:00 am

If you want to understand Beethoven, listen to his piano sonatas. Without them, you’ll never grasp how the same man…

black lives matter religion

Is Black Lives Matter a religion for woke white people?

4 June 2020 9:51 pm

The most memorable footage of the Black Lives Matter protests, and perhaps the creepiest, doesn’t capture any acts of violence,…

Fake news is spreading faster than the virus

9 May 2020 9:00 am

The uncontainable spread of fake coronavirus news

The Pope rebuffs his liberal supporters by rejecting married priests

13 February 2020 3:34 am

Pope Francis today issued his official response to October’s ‘Amazon Synod’, which discussed a plan to ordain married men in…

Beethoven wasn’t just history’s greatest composer but also one of its greatest human beings

11 January 2020 9:00 am

Ludwig van Beethoven isn’t just my favourite composer: he’s my household god. There’s a bust of him on my mantelpiece.…

The cult of Trifonov is doing the pianist no favours

16 November 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B– Deutsche Grammophon have decided that Daniil Trifonov’s new Rachmaninov piano concertos with the Philadephia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin…

In his new piano concerto Thomas Ades’s inspiration has completely dried up

2 November 2019 9:00 am

There’s nothing like a good piano concerto and, sad to relate, Thomas Adès’s long-awaited first proper attempt at the genre…

If Richard Dawkins loves facts so much, why can’t he get them right?

22 September 2019 7:23 pm

Professor Richard Dawkins has written a book called Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide. Its aim is to save children and…

Why did the Soviets not want us to know about the pianist Maria Grinberg?

7 September 2019 9:00 am

Only four women pianists have recorded complete cycles of the Beethoven piano sonatas: Maria Grinberg, Annie Fischer, H. J. Lim…

How radical Islam taught the progressive Left to blame the Jews

31 July 2019 2:08 am

It’s less than four years since Jeremy Corbyn’s hard-left sect seized control of the Labour Party, and yet already its…

Composer Amy Beach. Photo: Bridgeman Images

The forgotten masterpieces of Amy Beach

25 May 2019 9:00 am

At the Wigmore Hall last Friday, the Takacs String Quartet and Garrick Ohlsson played a piano quintet that was once…

Andras Schiff Credit: Robert Ghement/EPA/Shutterstock

Anderszewski went at Beethoven’s Diabellis with a nail gun

18 May 2019 9:00 am

Are Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations really ‘the greatest of all piano works’, as Alfred Brendel claims? It’s hardly what you would…

25 years off the booze has taught me three simple things

11 May 2019 9:00 am

Have you noticed how nearly everyone in the media has won an award? Is there even such a thing as…

An exposé of high-ranking gays in the Catholic Church bears the fingerprints of the Pope’s closest advisors

23 February 2019 9:00 am

The publication of In the Closet of the Vatican by the French gay polemicist Frédéric Martel has been meticulously timed…

Badge of excellence

Happy Birthday, Blue Peter

20 October 2018 9:00 am

Every Monday and Thursday afternoon when I was growing up, a drum roll would sound throughout suburban Britain. ‘Damian? Blue…

‘Catholic music is often excruciating – I call it “Joan Baez meets Hildegard of Bingen in a 1970s cocktail lounge.”’ Baez: Pierre Andrieu /AFP/Getty Images Bach: Rischgitz/Getty Images

J.S. Bach v. Joan Baez

15 September 2018 9:00 am

I was at a funeral the other day at which the music was so inspiring that I struggled to feel…

What has Pope Francis covered up?

8 September 2018 9:00 am

The Catholic Church is confronting a series of interconnected scandals so shameful that its very survival is threatened. Pope Francis…