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Sir Simon Wessely

As part of Radio 3's Why Music? The Key to Memory weekend, Michael Berkeley talks to psychiatrist Sir Simon Wessely about violin music, opera and musical theatre.

As part of Radio 3's Why Music? The Key to Memory weekend, Michael Berkeley talks to the psychiatrist Sir Simon Wessely.

Professor Sir Simon Wessely is one of our most eminent psychiatrists: until recently the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, he is the current president of the Royal Society of Medicine, and Regis Chair of Psychiatry at King's College London. An interest in unexplained symptoms and syndromes has led to many years of research in areas such as Chronic Fatigue and Gulf War Syndrome.

Simon talks to Michael about the powerful relationship between music and memory, his decision to study medicine rather than history, and how playing the flute once got him out of a tricky situation at Tel Aviv airport.

He chooses violin music by Brahms and Dvorak for his parents, shares his love of opera with music by Puccini and Mozart, and tells Michael about his other passion - musical theatre.

Producer: Jane Greenwood
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 3.

Available now

33 minutes

Last on

Sun 15 Oct 2017 12:00

Music Played

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Partita in A minor for flute, BWV.1013 (1st mvt: Allemande)

    Performer: Jean‐Pierre Rampal.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    La Boheme (Act 3, excerpt)

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Herbert von Karajan. Singer: Mirella Freni. Singer: Luciano Pavarotti.
  • Frank Loesser

    Adelaide's Lament (Guys and Dolls)

    Singer: Julia McKenzie.
  • Johannes Brahms

    Violin Concerto in D major (1st mvt: Allegro non troppo)

    Performer: Isaac Stern. Orchestra: New York Philharmonic. Conductor: Zubin Mehta.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Don Giovanni (Act 3, excerpt)

    Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Georg Solti. Singer: Bryn Terfel.
  • Leonard Bernstein

    Gee Officer Krupke (West Side Story)

    Ensemble: Unknown.
  • Antonín Dvořák

    String Quartet in F major, Op.96 (1st mvt: Allegro ma non troppo)

    Ensemble: Lindsay String Quartet.

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