Our May cover star is pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason. As she releases a new album devoted to the music of youth, Isata speaks to Jessica Duchen about being a role model, her dedication to self-improvement and growing up in a famously musical family.


Among our other features, Roger Nichols shares his personal recollections of French composer Henri Dutilleux, who died ten years ago this month. And, on the eve of King Charles's Coronation, we meet the choristers who sang at the last coronation, back in 1953.

Michael White reveals the many musical talents of the 18th-century portrait painter Thomas Gainsborough, taking his cue from a visit to the recently reopened Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury.

Music's links with visual art are a strong theme of this issue, in fact. The latest Beethoven symphony cycle from conductor Gianandrea Noseda re-evaluates the composer through the musical language of George Walker and the art of Mo Willems. Noseda explains all to our editor Charlotte Smith.

For Composer of the Month, Ivan Hewett explores the restless creative genius behind Ligeti's music, while for this month's Building a Library Erik Levi recommends a great recording of Paul Hindemith's Mathis der Maler Symphony (more visual art connections there).

Actor Simon Callow looks back on the music that changed him, while this month's Musical Destination is Sheffield, where Claire Jackson finds a vibrant chamber music scene. And in the BBC Music Magazine Interview, Lucia Lucas tells George Hall about forging a career as a transgender baritone on the world's great opera stages.

It's also time to look ahead to a packed summer of music festivals. We've got a 44-page festival guide inside this month's issue, so grab the diary and get some dates booked in!


Click here for the inlay of this month's cover CD.


Steve Wright
Steve WrightMulti-Platform Content Producer, BBC Music Magazine

Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.