Late Show: Face to Face - Anthony Burgess

Prolific writer and composer Anthony Burgess talks to Jeremy Isaacs in this revealing interview about the personal events and preoccupations that fuel his work. Burgess describes the lasting impact of his troubled childhood, and the Catholicism that dominated it, on his later life and reveals the sense of rootlessness, isolation and ever-present guilt that drives him.

Music was always a great love for Anthony Burgess. His desire to be a composer was first thwarted by his father's refusal to pay for piano lessons and then by Manchester University's rejection of his application to read music because he had failed physics (thought to be essential to understand acoustics). Even with these disadvantages, Burgess became a successful composer and cited the premiere of his third symphony by the University of Iowa's orchestra, which had also commissioned it, as one of the truly great artistic moments of his career.

↗ Originally broadcast 21 March 1989.

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