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Steven Isserlis

Kirsty Young's castaway is cellist Steven Isserlis.

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the cellist Steven Isserlis. It is, perhaps, little surprise that music has been central to his life. He was born into a family that already boasted a pianist, violinist and viola player within its ranks and so, as a child, he was taught the cello because it meant they could play chamber music together. Music was so much a part of their lives, he says, that even the pet dog would howl along an accompaniment as they played.

He was seen as a brilliant young cellist but he was determined not to become a jobbing musician, touting for work in different orchestras, and as a result he suffered nearly a decade with precious few musical engagements. It was The Protecting Veil - a composition by John Tavener - that made his name and now he has become one of the world's finest cello virtuosos.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: Erbarme Dich - Have Mercy Lord on Me by Johann Sebastian Bach
Book: The collected works by Anthony Trollope
Luxury: A huge, huge photo album of friends.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 7 Dec 2007 09:00

Music Played

Add music you love and enjoy it with My Tracks
  • Franz Schubert

    Fantasia in F minor, D940

    Soloist: Murray Perahia & Radu Lupu

    • Piano Works: Mozart/Schubert.
    • Sony.
  • Robert Schumann

    Symphony No. 1 in B flat major 'Spring' - 1st movement

    Orchestra: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Conducted: by Rafael Kubelik

    • Schumann: Symphonies No 1.
    • Sony Classical.
  • The Beatles

    I'm Only Sleeping

    • Revolver.
    • Parlophone.
  • Terry Jones

    I'm So Worried

    • Monty Python: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
    • Virgin.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Johann Sebastian Bach

      St Matthew Passion - Erbarme dich

      Soloist: Andreas Scholl

      • Bach: St Matthew Passion- Herreweghe.
      • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major, Op. 130 - 5th movement

    Orchestra: The Busch String Quartet

    • Beethoven: Late String Quartets (vol 3.).
    • Biddulph.
  • Hoffnung and Charles Richardson

    Hoffnung in Conversation with Charles Richardson

    • Hoffnung - A Last Encore.
    • BBC Radio Collection.
  • Gabriel Fauré

    Tantum ergo

    Choir: The Chorale Gabriel Faure

    • Faure Requiem, Choral works.
    • Vox Unique.
  • Book Choice

    • The collected works - Anthony Trollope

  • Luxury Choice

    • A huge, huge photo album of friends


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Steven Isserlis


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