Not an awful lot of things distract me while I’m editing reviews, but I thought it was worth keeping up with the BBC Music Magazine Awards this Tuesday as they were announced live. So half-way through going over Frances’ review of a Janina Fialkowska Chopin recital at Wigmore Hall, I surfaced for a quick glance at Twitter. At that very moment, it was tweeted that Fialkowska had won the Instrumental Award for her CD of Chopin works. Needless to say, I resumed editing rather swiftly.

Fialkowska wasn’t the only pianist to impress in Chopin recently, though: Andrew heard Benjamin Grosvenor deliver an impressive pair of Chopin works in Dublin, the highlight of a recital which confirmed him as “an outstanding early vintage” of a pianist. A more mature flavour in Leeds was a little less consistent, however, with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s Debussy Études showing “both the positives and negatives of long-term familiarity”, in Sam’s words.

A trio of operatic recitals found some of the world’s leading singers in a variety of forms, often through no fault of their own: Joseph Calleja managed to return triumphantly in Dublin despite suffering a blackout in the interval, while Jonas Kaufmann had not fully recovered from a virus by the time of his Vienna Winterreise – though perhaps in a “gloomy piece” like this one a lightness of tone is permissible. Elina Garanča in New York, meanwhile, was in perfect health, and indeed delivered a perfect recital – rather too perfect, in fact, for Zerbinetta’s liking.

In the opera house itself, it’s been a strong if quiet couple of weeks here. The undoubted highlight was David McVicar’s Giulio Cesare coming to the Metropolitan Opera for the first time. David Allen, who had also seen this production at Glyndebourne back in 2009, found much food for thought in McVicar’s intelligent interpretation. Yet more provocative perhaps was Richard Jones’ new Gloriana, coming to the Royal Opera House in June but just put on in Hamburg, and Nahoko found this a “fun and fitting tribute” in Britten’s anniversary year (and also hot on the heels of the Diamond Jubilee). A new Nabucco at the Royal Opera, a triumph for Ferrucio Furlanetto in some rare repertory in San Diego, a Scottish Flying Dutchman in Scotland (appropriately enough), and a truly delightful children’s opera in London, were further highlights from the world of sung drama.

London ballet fans will be looking forward to seeing more of Russian star dancer Natalia Osipova in future seasons – she’s just been announced as a new principal at the Royal Ballet – but the Mikhailovsky Ballet proved last week that even without her on their stage, they have plenty to offer an audience. Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness, a piece choreographed by artistic director Nacho Duato, examines the life of J.S. Bach and also proves the company’s contemporary credentials most impressively, as Cristina found. Typically varied dance offerings elsewhere of late have included a rare performance of Merce Cunningham’s landmark RainForest; the incredible Sutra with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, artist Antony Gormley and numerous monks; and “an ambiguous, quiet treat” from Gwen Welliver at New York Live Arts.

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Somehow, I’ve managed to get this far into this article without mentioning a hip-hop Rite of Spring which Leopold witnessed in Paris, or indeed the sizeable number of passion performances we reviewed over Easter (all the St Matthew ones are here, and the St John ones here). There was also a concert of Baroque rarities in a beautiful setting in Istanbul, some inspirational chamber music in Sydney, and some bold, complicated new music from Alarm Will Sound in New York. New and new-ish music was well represented elsewhere too, with some 20th-century concerti in Cardiff, a George Benjamin day, Edinburgh Contemporary Music Ensemble and a staged presentation of György Kurtág’s Kafka Fragments.

There’s way more to come this April too, from a Gian Carlo Menotti double bill in Montreal to A Child of Our Time with the Berlin Philharmonic, not to mention a few more visits to the Met. Michel van der Aa and David Mitchell’s Sunken Garden, a multimedia “occult mystery” opera, debuts at the Barbican in an ENO production tomorrow night – it’s also at the Holland Festival in June. Stay tuned to hear about this and much, much more.

Paul Kilbey 11th April 2013