From The Red House

This podcast presented by Lucy Walker will explore all things Britten and Pears, music, culture, heritage and anything else that might come up.

24 December 2020. This weeks podcast guest is Anna Lapwood: organist, broadcaster, and Director of Music at Pembroke College, Cambridge. Tune in for the final episode before Christmas for a conversation about Anna’s remarkable career, the rise of female conductors and organists, and the joy of transcribing orchestral works for organ. Plus, some further additions to our podcast playlist, including some festive treats.

9 December 2020. This week’s podcast guest is Dr Natasha Loges, Head of Postgraduate Programmes at the Royal College of Music, and with a particular research interest in song. Tune in to hear a conversation about songs on the concert stage and in the home, the relationships that inspire composers to write them, and fascinating insights into the ever-changing conventions of song performance. Plus, some further contributions to our podcast playlist.

Season 2: Episode 8

22 November 2020. Our From The Red House podcast for Britten’s birthday is actually From The Red House! Lucy Walker is joined by Britten Pears Arts colleagues Sarah Bardwell (Executive Director) and Nicholas Clark (Librarian) to reflect on Britten’s place in the world on his 107th birthday, to talk about what Britten Pears Arts has been doing this very unusual year, and to explore a fascinating collection of birthday-related items from the Red House collection. Plus, as usual, some further contributions to our Spotify playlist.

Britten aged five, 1918.

Britten’s first present, a bible from his aunt.

One of Britten’s birthday presents, a Tchaikovsky miniature score.

Detail of handwritten score of Percy Grainger’s Shallow Brown by Rosamund Strode.

Season 2: Episode 7

12 November 2020. The composer Errollyn Wallen is Lucy Walker’s guest on our podcast this week. Errollyn is one of the most prolific composers working today, with a remarkable back catalogue of works covering a huge range range of styles and genres. In this extraordinary year, her arrangement of Jerusalem was premiered at the Last Night of the Proms; she has been nominated for an RPS award in the Large-Scale Composition category for her piece This Frame is Part of the Painting; and her new EP Peace on Earth is released on 13 November. Tune in for a conversation about approaches to composition, the central role of collaboration, racial politics and classical music, and what music makes Errollyn dance. Plus, further contributions to our Podcast Playlist, including Errollyn’s piece Are you Worried about the Rising Cost of Funerals.

Also discussed was the Radio 3 programme Errollyn presented in 2019 on composer John Powell: A Racist Music.

Season 2: Episode 6

6 November 2020. For today’s podcast, Lucy Walker is joined by guitarist Sean Shibe, recently nominated for a 2020 RPS Award in the Instrumentalist category. Sean is one of the most adventurous musicians working today, combining classical and electronic music in his repertoire, and with a fascinating back catalogue of recordings, including the Gramophone award-winning softLOUD. Tune in for a discussion about Sean’s career to date, the challenges of 2020, adventurous concert-programming, and some surprising new contributions to our Podcast Playlist!

Season 2: Episode 5

16 October 2020. In this week’s podcast, Lucy Walker is joined by colleague Callum Given, Interim Head of Community at Britten Pears Arts. Both Lucy’s and Callum’s work is all about encouraging as many people as possible to be involved in music – tune in to hear about music in schools, in the community, and how it benefits us all! Plus, further additions to our increasingly eclectic podcast playlist.

Season 2: Episode 4

25 September 2020. For our second podcast from the USA, Lucy talks to Justin Vickers, Associate Professor of Music at Illinois State University. Justin has a longstanding association with The Red House and Snape Maltings, often visiting the UK, and is always looking for new ways to explore Britten’s music in his scholarship and recital programmes. Tune in to find out more about this fascination for Britten and his world. Plus, what our podcasters have been listening to lately.

Season 2: Episode 3

11 September 2020. This week, Lucy is joined from across the Atlantic by Imani Mosley, Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Florida. Tune in for a wide-ranging and illuminating conversation, covering matters musical, cultural and political – as well as ‘Why Britten Matters’. Plus, further additions to our brilliantly eclectic From The Red House playlist.

Season 2: Episode 2

28 August 2020. Writer, broadcaster and composer Stephen Johnson joins Lucy Walker for a conversation about music, mental health, and the remarkable emotional impact certain works can have. Stephen’s recent books include How Shostakovich Changed my Mind, a very personal response to Shostakovich’s works, and The Eighth, a study of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, and the world from which it emerged. Join in for a wide-ranging and fascinating discussion – plus, what our contributors have been listening to recently.

Season 2: Episode 1

13 August 2020. For the first of Season 2 of our podcasts, Lucy Walker is joined by Oliver Craske, author of Indian Sun, the first biography of Ravi Shankar. Tune in to hear about Shankar’s extraordinary life and utter dedication to musicianship, captured vividly in this beautiful book. Also discussed is how Shankar’s life briefly, but significantly, intersected with Britten’s at various times. Plus, what our podcasters have been listening to lately.

Season 1: Episode 10

Thursday 16 July 2020. For the second podcast on the subject of lockdown life, among many other subjects, Lucy Walker is in conversation with soprano Juliet Fraser. Tune in for a wide-ranging conversation about the challenges of the lockdown, the thrill of live performance, getting back to vocal fitness, and the fascinating process of commissioning and co-creating new pieces. Plus, the eclectic range of pieces are contributors have been listening to recently.

Music: See Spotify playlist on this page and for Go Go Theurgy by Anna Zaradny listen to it here.

Season 1: Episode 9

Thursday 9 July 2020. Performers have had a drastically altered life over the last few months, with wholesale cancellations of plans and much uncertainty as to what lies ahead. In this episode, Lucy Walker has a conversation with operatic bass Matthew Rose about ‘lockdown life’, and what that means to a him as an international performer. Tune in for a fascinating discussion (recorded down the line from a café in Antwerp!), and hear about what Matthew has been listening to during lockdown. Please note, the sound quality is a little patchy, due to a somewhat intermittent connection.

Season 1: Episode 8

Friday 19 June 2020. This week’s podcast, during what would have been the 2020 Aldeburgh Festival, is a conversation between three colleagues in the newly-formed Britten Pears Arts. Roger Wright (Chief Executive), Sarah Bardwell (Executive Director) and Lucy Walker (Head, Public Programming) discuss the merger of Snape Maltings and Britten-Pears Foundation back in April, the shared aims and vision of this new organisation, and the challenges and experiences of working together during Covid-19. Plus, the listening choices of all our podcasters.

Season 1: Episode 7

Monday 8 June 2020. For episode 7, Lucy Walker is joined by singer, actor, writer and director Sarah Gabriel. Sarah has written, directed and performed in two Aldeburgh Festival Pumphouse shows over the last two years: Middagh Street (2018), a glorious evocation of Britten and Pears’ months in a riotously bohemian house-share in 1940s; and Barlines (2019), an account of Michael Tippett’s formative time spent in Wormwood Scrubs in 1943. Tune in for a conversation about biography and fiction, where the two crossover, and where they diverge. Plus, what our speakers have been listening to this week.

Season 1: Episode 6

Friday 22 May 2020. For this week’s podcast, Lucy Walker is joined by composer Russell Hepplewhite, who has been commissioned to write the new series of Friday Afternoons songs. Tune in to hear about the origins of the Friday Afternoons project, its remarkable legacy, setting words to music (in this case, the brilliant poetry of Michael Rosen), how to write for childrens’ voices, and the joys and challenges of unusual commissions! Plus, find out what our podcasters have been listening to this week.

Season 1: Episode 5

Thursday 30 April 2020. For this episode, drop in on a chat between two Red House colleagues: Drs Lucy Walker (Head, Public Engagement) and Chris Hilton (Head of Archive and Library). Find out about the fascinating and diverse Red House collections, the human stories they contain, how we talk about them (in person and in lockdown), and what makes archivists’ blood pressure rise. Conversational byways lead to Magnus Pyke, roller-skates, the history of shopping, and the Windmill Theatre, as well as unusual places to store archives. Just don’t call them ‘dusty’. And as usual, find out what music our speakers have been listening to lately in our increasingly eclectic playlist.

Season 1: Episode 4

Wednesday 15 April 2020. For episode four, Lucy Walker spoke to Katy Hamilton: writer, reviewer, musicologist and Radio 3 regular! Tune in for a discussion ranging across all matters musical, including concert-going, how to find a way into classical music, football matches, Disney films, adverts, and our participants’ musical blind spots. Plus, what both have been listening to lately.

Playlist: See the full list on your right. For details on Judith Weir’s work The Big Picture, a recording will be available on 25 September by Delphian Records performed by Bristol Choral Society and directed by Hilary Campbell.

Season 1: Episode 3

Tuesday 31 March 2020. For our new From The Red House podcast, Lucy Walker is joined (remotely!) by Oliver Soden, author of the recent Michael Tippett: The Biography (2019). Tune in for a discussion about the fascinating art of life writing: how you go about beginning a biography, how invested you get in the subject, the changing fashions in life writing, and exciting news about Oliver’s forthcoming publications. Also, find out what Lucy and Oliver have been listening to lately.

Topics include: biography, life writing, classical music, Michael Tippett, Noël Coward and Benjamin Britten.

Season 1: Episode 2

Wednesday 26 February 2020. For episode two, Lucy Walker (Director of Public Programming and Learning) is joined by Steve Boyce, Chair of LGBT+ History Month.

Topics include: the work of LGBT+ History Month and this year’s theme; the context of Britten and Pears’ relationship at a time when homosexuality was illegal, and how we tell their story at The Red House; the 2017 Red House exhibition Queer Talk; how attitudes to LGBT+ lives have changed, but also the challenges that still remain. Plus, what our contributors have been listening to lately.

Season 1: Episode 1

Wednesday 29 January 2020. For the first podcast, Lucy Walker (Director of Public Programming and Learning) and Sarah Bardwell (Chief Executive) introduce Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears, and what goes on at The Red House.

Topics include: the background to the composer Benjamin Britten, his relationship with the tenor Peter Pears, their lives together at The Red House, and what visitors can experience when they come to the house. Also discussed is how ‘difficult’ some people find Britten’s music, and suggestions of how to get to know it. Plus, what our contributors have been listening to lately.

Music mentioned: A Ceremony of Carols and Cillian Murphy’s Music Mixtape