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Theo Fennell

Michael Berkeley's guests is jeweller Theo Fennell, who selects his favourite music. Including Dvorak, Offenbach, Saint-Saens, Charles Trenet and Elton John.

There's a huge revival in British craftsmanship going on at the moment, with a new generation keen to learn how to make beautiful things. For 40 years now, Theo Fennell has been one of the country's most distinctive and witty jewellers. His intricate and beautifully crafted designs take you into a strange dream-world: miniature skulls with jewelled snakes twisting from their eyes; bees cast in gold; dragonflies trailing amethysts; salamanders studded with diamonds. Perhaps not surprising that his jewellery has decorated rock stars such as Elton John, Lady Gaga and Freddie Mercury.

In Private Passions, Theo Fennell reveals the music that inspires him when he's working - dreaming up those strange and beautiful new creatures. Music is what helps him, he says, when confronted by a blank sheet of paper. He also reveals that as a young art student he worked as a busker, and even bought a one-man band. He discusses the erotic power of jewellery, with a vivid story from his own experience. And during the recording, he sketches continuously, and has agreed to put some of his drawings on the Private Passions webpage.

Theo Fennell's choices include Dvorak's Cello Concerto, Offenbach's opera 'The Tales of Hoffmann', Yehudi Menuhin playing Saint-Saƫns's Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor, and a Charles Trenet song from 1937. And his great patron, Elton John.

A Loftus production produced by Elizabeth Burke.

1 hour



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