Main content

Marcus du Sautoy

Kirsty Young's castaway is academic Marcus Du Sautoy.

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the mathematician Marcus du Sautoy.

A professor of mathematics at Oxford University and a fellow of New College, he has recently been named as the next Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science. He has always been driven to try to demystify and popularise his field. It's clearly a task he takes seriously - his father has recently enrolled on an Open University course in maths and, he admits, when he took his young son to visit the Alhambra in Spain, he challenged him to find the 17 forms of plane symmetry in the palace.

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

Favourite track: The Prelude to Parsifal by Richard Wagner
Book: The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse
Alternative to Bible: Mahabharata
Luxury: My own trumpet.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 12 Dec 2008 09:00

Music Played

  • Richard Strauss

    Frühling (from Four Last Songs)

    Soloist: Lucia Popp Orchestra: The London Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor: Klaus Tennstedt

    • Strauss: Four Last Songs.
    • EMI.
  • Benjamin Britten

    Fanfare for St Edmundsbury

    Orchestra: The Philip Jones Brass Ensemble

    • British Music for Brass:The Philip Jones Brass Ensemble.
    • London.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Richard Wagner

      Parsifal Prelude

      Orchestra: The Berlin Philharmonic Conductor: Herbert von Karajan

      • Wagner: Parsifal.
      • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • Benjamin Britten

    I know a bank (from A Midsummer Night's Dream)

    Soloist: James Bowman Choir: The Trinity Boy’s Choir Orchestra: The City of London Sinfonia Conductor: Richard Hickox

    • Britten: A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
    • Virgin Classics.
  • Béla Bartók

    Look my castle gleams and brightens (from Duke Bluebeard's Castle)

    Soloist: Eve Marton & Samuel Ramey Orchestra: The Hungarian State Orchestra Conductor: Adam Fischer

    • Béla Bartók: Bluebeard’s Castle.
    • CBS.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    String Quartet No. 8 in C minor - 2nd movement

    Orchestra: The Brodsky Quartet

    • Shostakovich: Brodsky Quartet.
    • Teldec.
  • Olivier Messiaen

    Turangalîla Symphony - 5th movement

    Orchestra: The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle

    • Messiaen:Turangalila-Symphonie.
    • EMI.
  • George Frideric Handel

    The many rend the skies (from Alexander's Feast)

    Choir: The Bach Choir of Stockholm Orchestra: Concentus Musicus of Vienna Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt

    • Handel: Alexander’s Feast.
    • Teldec.
  • Book Choice

    • The Glass Bead Game - Hermann Hesse

  • Luxury Choice

    • My own trumpet


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Marcus du Sautoy


Featured in...

The Desert Island Discs podcast

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes



Read the surprising things we've learned about some stand-out castaways.

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?