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Trevor McDonald

1 hour
First broadcast:
Sunday 05 June 2011

Michael Berkeley's guest on Private Passions this week is the journalist and former newsreader Sir Trevor McDonald. Born in Trinidad, he moved to Britain and began his media career as a BBC radio producer. He began his long association with ITN in 1973, first as a general reporter, then as a sports correspondent, and subsequently focusing on international politics - he secured interviews with Yasser Arafat, Colonel Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein, among other notorious international figures.
In the 1980s he became the first black TV newsreader in the UK. From 1992 he was the sole presenter of ITV's News at Ten, quickly gaining a profile as one of the best-known faces on British TV, and continued to present the evening news until he finally retired after the 2008 US Presidential Election. From 1999 to 2009 he hosted ITN's flagship current affairs programme Tonight with Trevor McDonald. He now focuses on presenting documentaries and features. He has won more awards than any other British reporter, and was knighted in 1999.

His musical choices start with Elgar's 'Introduction and Allegro', which he first heard as a young man played by the Halle Orchestra on tour in Trinidad. They continue with the Prisoners' Chorus from Verdi's Nabucco, which represents the cry for freedom of all oppressed people; an aria from Handel's 'Messiah', which moves him as an expression of faith; an excerpt from Beethoven's Violin Concerto played by Nigel Kennedy, whom he greatly admires as a violinist; the Shaker hymn tune 'Simple Gifts' from Copland's 'Appalachian Spring'; an aria from Act I of Puccini's 'Tosca', and the finale of Chopin's First Piano Concerto, played by Artur Rubinstein, another of his musical heroes.

First broadcast in June 2011.

Music Played

14 items
Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes
  • Image for Edward Elgar

    Edward Elgar Introduction and Allegro Op 47 (Excerpt)

    Performers: Hallé Orchestra/Sir John Barbirolli

    EMI CDM7639552

  • Image for Giuseppe Verdi

    Giuseppe Verdi Prisoners' Chorus from 'Nabucco' Act III

    Performers: Chorus & Orchestra of La Scala, Milan/Claudio Abbado

    DG 4194872

  • Image for George Frideric Handel

    George Frideric Handel I Know That My Redeemer Liveth' from 'Messiah

    Performers: Margaret Marshall (soprano), English Baroque Soloists/John Eliot Gardiner, Alastair Ross (organ)

    PHILIPS 4122672

  • Image for Ludwig van Beethoven

    Ludwig van Beethoven 1st mvt from Violin Concerto in D, Op 61 (Excerpt)

    Performers: Nigel Kennedy (violin), Sinfonie Orchester des NDR/Klaus Tennstedt (Cadenza by Fritz Kreisler)

    EMI CDC7545742

  • Image for Aaron Copland

    Aaron Copland 'Simple Gifts' from Appalachian Spring

    Performers: London Symphony Orchestra/Aaron Copland


  • Image for Giacomo Puccini

    Giacomo Puccini 'Recondita armonia' from Tosca Act I

    Performers: Giuseppe Campora (Cavaradossi), Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Roma/Alberto Erede

    LONDON 4402362

  • Image for Frédéric Chopin

    Frédéric Chopin 3rd mvt from Piano Concerto no 1 in E minor Op 11

    Performers: Artur Rubinstein (piano), New Symphony Orchestra of London/Stanislaw Skrowaczewski

    RCA RD85612

  • Image for Edward Elgar

    Edward Elgar Introduction and Allegro, Op.47 (excerpt)

  • Image for Giuseppe Verdi

    Giuseppe Verdi Prisoners' Chorus (Nabucco)

  • Image for George Frideric Handel

    George Frideric Handel I know that my Redeemer liveth (Messiah)

  • Image for Ludwig van Beethoven

    Ludwig van Beethoven 1st Movement Cadenza (Violin Concerto in D, Op.61)

  • Image for Aaron Copland

    Aaron Copland Simple Gifts (Appalachian Spring)

  • Image for Giacomo Puccini

    Giacomo Puccini Recondita armonia (Tosca)

  • Image for Frédéric Chopin

    Frédéric Chopin Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11 (3rd mvt)



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    Private Passions

    Guests from all walks of life discuss the music they love with Michael Berkeley.

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