Composer and writer Ned Rorem talks movingly to Tom Service about how his words and music are inextricably linked in his new collection of diaries, Facing the Night.
Plus a report from Tel Aviv on the 70th anniversary of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and New Year celebrations behind the scenes with the National Youth Orchestra in Oxfordshire.
In this programme
National Youth Orchestra
Britain's National Youth Orchestra celebrates its 60th Anniversary this year. The distinguished alumni includes Sir Simon Rattle, Mark Elder, Thomas Ades and David Pountney. Each year, those lucky enough to make it through the autumn's gruelling audition process head to Oxfordshire for an intensive residential course over New Year. This year's residents have been preparing for a performance of Britten's War Requiem with the conductor Richard Hickox and explain their passion for the NYO
The Music Manifesto was launched in 2004 with a mission to give every child in England the chance to take part in any form of music-making they want. Much progress has been made, but the imbalance of opportunity between the independent and state sectors remains. The State of Play conference which takes place this month will address the most recent recommendations of the Manifesto. In advance of the conference, Tom is joined by the Champion of the Music Manifesto, Marc Jaffrey, the Chief Executive of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, Richard Morris, and the Chairman of the National Youth Orchestra and Editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, to discuss what the future holds for young people and music.
The State of Play conference takes place at The Roundhouse in London on 16th & 17th January 2007.
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Celebrating its 70th Anniversary this year, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's story is one of triumph over adversity. Founded by the violinist, Bronislaw Huberman, who was escaping the anti-semitic policies of central Europe in the 1930s, the orchestra thrives despite the continuing fragile political state in Israel. David Lasserson went to Tel Aviv to talk to members of the original orchestra as well as today's musicians about the IPO's unique musical history. The conductor Daniel Barenboim and the Music Director Zubin Mehta reveal their vision for the future of the orchestra in the Middle East.
The American composer Ned Rorem is one of the most famous musical diarists of the 20th Century. His volumes of memoirs are a unique, candid reflection on musical and sexual politics over the last 60 years. His latest volume, Facing the Night, finds Rorem alone and preoccupied by thoughts of death. Tom talks with Rorem about his reflections on life and music.
Ned Rorem - Facing The Night: A Diary (1999-2005) and Musical Writings. Pub. Shoemaker and Hoard. Hb. $25 (in the U.S.)