Francis Merson

Limelight’s editor Francis Merson has interviewed some of the world’s greatest performers for publications around the world. In days pre-Limelight, he has worked as arts editor of The Week and editor in chief of Element, an arts and entertainment weekly in Moscow, Russia, where Francis also trained as an opera singer. His chief interests are piano music, opera and musical theatre. He also has an unshakeable affection for Bing Crosby.

Recent articles by Francis Merson

Composer Lookalikes: classical dead ringers!

Young Shostakovich = Harry Potter? Six classical music doppelgangers.

Your personal piano masterclass with Steven Osborne!

Budding concert pianists: win a one-on-one lesson with ACO touring virtuoso Steven Osborne.

Musical Briefing: Period Performance

What does period performance mean? And is it “better” than the modern style of performance?

Facing off with Richard Tognetti

So what does the ACO's charismatic leader really think about music, orchestras and politics?

Live review: The Hamburg Ballet, Nijinsky

Neumeier's hero worship pays rich dividends in this danced retelling of the life of the Ballets Russes star.

Live Review: Simone Young's Das Rheingold in concert

Simone strikes Rheingold! QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, Saturday August 25

The Australian Maestro Myth

Are outstanding Aussie maestros being overlooked in favour of glitzier international stars?

Musical Briefing: The Stradivarius

What makes the world's most expensive instruments so special? Why are they synonymous with beautiful sound?

Beethoven without borders: Daniel Barenboim

In 1999, Barenboim had a mad idea – to unite Israel and the Arab states in one youth orchestra.

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Facing off with Richard Tognetti

What does the ACO's charismatic leader really think about music and politics? A no-holds-barred interview.

Melbourne vs Sydney: which is Australia's arts capital?

Old rivalries flare up as the country's two cultural heavyweights battle for the prestigious title.

Paul McCartney: Kisses on the Bottom

McCartney takes on the American songbook.

John Williams: The Adventures of Tintin (Soundtrack)

Musical adventure: John Williams takes on a cartoon legend.

Marko Letonja: the new Tasmanian

What are the Slovenian conductor's big plans for Australia’s smallest state orchestra?

Dame Joan Sutherland: the true story

Richard Bonynge gives his personal account of the struggles and triumphs of his late wife, La Stupenda.

The 2011 Limelight classical gift guide

Selections to delight a die-hard classical music lover and broaden the horizons of a novice.


While other singers of this stature (50 gold records, no less) churn out the old hits and count the megabucks, Streisand is still releasing new material that stands strong on its own merits, such as this stunning disc.

2Cellos (2Cellos)

High-powered performances and clever arrangements from cello rockers.

Lisztomania: an Aussie virtuoso tackles the complete piano music

On Liszt's 200th birthday, Leslie Howard proves the composer-pianist was no empty showman.
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