In this programme
The Singing Neaderthal
How and why is music an integral part of our lives and where does it come from? These fundamental questions have long remained unanswered, but Steven Mithen, professor in Archaeology and Head of the School of Human and Environmental Science at Reading University, thinks he may have solved the mystery. In his new book, Mithen suggests that our need for music relates to our evolution from early hominids into homo sapiens, and in particular to the way language developed. Essentially, Mithen argues that man could not have evolved without music. He talks with Tom about the foundations for his theory.
Stephen Mithen: The Singing Neanderthals - The Origins of Music, Language, Mind and Body
Orion Books, ISBN 0-297-64317-7, hb £20
BBC Symphony Orchestra Eduction Project
The latest BBC Symphony Orchestra education project is a collaboration between professional players, animateurs, and young people, focusing on the idea of improvisation. On the 30th July, the BBC Proms audience will have the chance to hear the results of ongoing workshops across the UK. Talented young performers from Berkshire, Cheltenham, Gateshead and Southampton will join the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Between the Notes in a huge performance of The Pines of Rome and a new work created through the collaboration called Invisible Lines. Tom visited the Cheltenham workshop to find out more about this inspirational project.
You can hear the culmination of the project in Prom 21 on Saturday 30th July at 7pm and live on BBC Radio 3.
Conductor Jonathan Nott is one of the most successful British musicians of his generation yet he is a rare visitor to the UK. In fact, he has made a career for himself on the continent, in opera houses in Germany and Switzerland, and in Paris as principal conductor of the new music specialists the Ensemble Intercontemporain. Since 2000 he has been chief conductor of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra with whom he will be conducting five concerts at this year's Edinburgh International Festival. His programmes mix the old with the new, pairing Ligeti with Bach and Lachenmann with Strauss. Tom asks Nott about his wide-ranging approach to repertoire and the effect he hopes to have.
Jonathan Nott and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra will be performing at the Edinburgh International Festival on 29th and 30th August and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd September and broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Performance on 3, on the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th September 2005.
After 40 years playing string quartets together, The Lindsays finally disband at the end of this month. Peter Cropper, the leader of the Quartet, announced his decision to leave the group three years ago and the past year has been a hectic rollercoaster of concerts heading towards their final performance. However, whilst Peter Cropper has plans to record all of the Beethoven violin sonatas as well as continuing his work at Music in the Round in Sheffield, the other players in the group are more unsettled by the decision. Tom caught up with The Lindsays at London's Wigmore Hall to find out how they feel about the closing stages of their career together, and what it is that they will miss.
The Lindsays are currently performing at Wigmore Hall.
The Lindsays last concert takes place in the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield on Sunday 31st July 2005 at 2.30pm. They will be playing a programme of Haydn, Quartet in D, Op.76, No.5; Bartok, Quartet No.2, Op.17 and Beethoven, Quartet in F, Op.135.