Gavin Henderson on the creative process in classical music as notes are brought to life.
Gavin Henderson is passionate about music. Formerly a noted trumpeter in an orchestra, he's been Director of Brighton Arts Festival, Principal of Trinity College of Music and is now Principal of the Central School of Speech and Drama in London.
In this sequence of programmes, he explores the complex creative communities that coalesce to bring a piece of music to life in a concert hall. Becoming a member of a musical ensemble has been described as "more like joining a cause than a profession". He talks to members of orchestras and ensembles to get their personal perspectives on music making. What do they feel about their own instrument? What are relations like between members of the orchestra? Or between an orchestra and a conductor?
It's a world of titanic egos, and creative humility; where the rigours of touring and performing, the frustrations of forever being the second violin and the vagaries of venue acoustics and audience responsiveness can be forgotten in a feat of collective creative expression.
Gavin throws light on some of the less known inner workings of an orchestra and the sometimes intuitive relationships "behind the podium" - such as that between the Orchestral Librarian and Conductor, or piano tuner and pianist.
And he tries to understand and convey what motivates a group of individuals to act like an organism greater than the sum of its parts, bringing pleasure and, occasionally, transcendence, to performers and audience alike.
Made for BBC Radio 4 Extra by Pier Productions.
Made for 4 Extra. An exploration of the world of classical music making, examining some of the key roles and relationships, creative and personal, behind the performance.
Made for 4 Extra. An exploration of the world of classical music making.