LISTENING TO TCHAIKOVSKY: Béla Hartmann uses his knowledge of Eastern Europe to argue against the banning of all Russian culture following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
The Italian tenor Giuseppe di Stefano, born on 24 July 1921 at Motta Sant'Anastasia near Catania in Sicily, was the singing and recording partner of Maria Callas. He made his operatic début in 1946 as Des Grieux in Massenet's Manon at Reggio Emilia and continued to sing at most of the world's top opera houses. His career continued until the early 1970s.
He died on 3 March 2008, aged 86, from injuries sustained during a November 2004 attack in Kenya, where his family had a home. The attack had left him 100 per cent disabled.
Luciano Pavarotti, who is said to have modelled himself on di Stefano, made his international break when standing in for di Stefano as Rodolfo in La Bohème in 1963 at Covent Garden.
CD Spotlight. Most Electrifying - Toscanini's Verdi Requiem from Carnegie Hall, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... I find the 1951 adrenalin rush positively exhilarating.'