Main content

Rufus Wainwright

Michael Berkeley's guest is singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright. His choices include Verdi, Massenet, Messiaen, Nina Simone, Weill, Manuel de Falla, Berlioz and Judy Garland.

Canadian-American singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright can justifiably be described as a member of folk royalty. The son of Loudon Wainwright 3rd and the late Kate McGarrigle, he is also the nephew of Anna McGarrigle and brother of Martha Wainwright, all accomplished musicians in their own right. He describes about how he spent the first few weeks of his life sleeping in a guitar-case, sang with his family from an early age, and depended on them during the difficult periods of his life. His teenage years and his twenties heralded difficulties coming to terms with his sexuality and with drug addiction, but he continued to perform and write music throughout the hard times. Now married to artistic director Jorn Wiesbrodt, he is also a father of Lorca, whose mother is the daughter of Leonard Cohen. Obsessed with Verdi, he has composed his own opera, set Shakespeare sonnets to music and composed for the ballet.

His choices include Verdi, Massenet, Messiaen, Nina Simone, Kurt Weill, Manuel de Falla, Berlioz and Judy Garland.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 12 Jan 2014 12:00

Music Played

  • Harold Arlen

    Come Rain or Come Shine

    Singer: Judy Garland.
  • Jules Massenet

    Meditation (Thais)

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic. Conductor: Herbert von Karajan. Performer: Anne‐Sophie Mutter.
  • Hector Berlioz

    L'Absence (Les Nuits d'Ete)

    Orchestra: Suisse Romande Orchestra. Conductor: Ernest Ansermet. Singer: Régine Crespin.
  • Olivier Messiaen

    L'Ange se prepare a jouer de la viole (St Francois d'Assise)

    Orchestra: Hallé. Conductor: Kent Nagano.
  • Manuel de Falla

    Ritual Fire Dance (El Amor Brujo)

    Performer: Alicia de Larrocha.
  • Kurt Weill

    Surabaya Johnny

    Singer: Lotte Lenya.
  • Nina Simone

    My Baby Just Cares For Me

  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Rex Tremendae (Requiem)

    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Fritz Reiner. Singer: Leontyne Price. Singer: Rosalind Elias. Singer: Jussi Björling. Singer: Giorgio Tozzi. Choir: Wiener Singverein.
  • Hector Berlioz

    L'Absence (Les Nuits d'Ete)

    Orchestra: Suisse Romande Orchestra. Conductor: Ernest Ansermet. Singer: Régine Crespin.
  • Manuel de Falla

    Ritual Fire Dance (El Amor Brujo)

    Performer: Alicia de Larrocha.
  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Rex Tremendae (Requiem)

    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Fritz Reiner. Singer: Leontyne Price. Singer: Rosalind Elias. Singer: Jussi Björling. Singer: Giorgio Tozzi. Choir: Wiener Singverein.
  • Kurt Weill

    Surabaya Johnny

    Singer: Lotte Lenya.
  • Jules Massenet

    Meditation (Thais)

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic. Conductor: Herbert von Karajan. Performer: Anne‐Sophie Mutter.
  • Nina Simone

    My Baby Just Cares For Me

  • Olivier Messiaen

    L'Ange se prepare a jouer de la viole (St Francois d'Assise)

    Orchestra: Hallé. Conductor: Kent Nagano.
  • Harold Arlen

    Come Rain or Come Shine

    Singer: Judy Garland.
  • Francesco Corbetta

    Sarabande La Victoire

Broadcasts

Six mind-expanding music podcasts to download in 2019

Six mind-expanding music podcasts to download in 2019

Love music? Looking for new ear-fodder for your commute? We've got you covered.

Archive Unlocked: Two Decades of Private Passions

Archive Unlocked: Two Decades of Private Passions

Michael Berkeley introduces memorable interviews from Private Passions' archives.

Podcast