Rachel Portman (1960-present)

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
01Composer Of The Week20180305

Rachel Portman explores her early career in discussion with Donald Macleod.

Series exploring the life and works of a succession of composers

02Composer Of The Week20180306

Donald Macleod meets Rachel Portman to discuss her Oscar-winning score for the movie Emma.

Series exploring the life and works of a succession of composers

03Composer Of The Week20180307

Donald Macleod joins Rachel Portman in her studio to chat about The Little Prince.

Series exploring the life and works of a succession of composers

04Composer Of The Week20180308

Donald Macleod in conversation with Rachel Portman discusses her music for The Duchess.

Series exploring the life and works of a succession of composers

05Composer Of The Week20180309

Donald Macleod chats with Rachel Portman about her training in Psychotherapy.

Series exploring the life and works of a succession of composers

01Rachel Portman at Oxford20180305

Rachel Portman explores her early career in discussion with Donald Macleod.

Series exploring the life and works of a succession of composers

Donald Macleod in discussion with Rachel Portman explores her studies at Oxford and early career

Donald Macleod this week joins the Oscar winning film composer Rachel Portman in her studio in London, to chat about her life and music for film and the concert platform. Portman was the first female composer to win an Academy Award, an Oscar, and a Primetime Emmy Award for her various film music projects, as well as many other Academy and Golden Globe nominations. In more recent years her music for the film The Duchess has been added to the A-level music syllabus for students to study. Portman also has an interest in ecology and environmental issues. There'll be an opportunity to hear part of her choral symphony The Water Diviner's Tale, a collaboration with Owen Sheers, plus the orchestral work Endangered specially recorded by the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Throughout the week there will also be music specially recorded by the BBC Singers including Portman's Magnificat, and her Christmas Carol We Were There composed in collaboration with Michael Morpurgo.

In conversation with Donald Macleod, the composer Rachel Portman discusses her early musical influences, and the importance of her mother in encouraging her development in music. Portman was one of the first female students to study at Charterhouse, where she was first introduced to the music of Ravel, a composer she still greatly admires. After Charterhouse, Portman went on to study at Oxford which was both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand she was encouraged to write atonal music, which Portman wasn't interested in at all. But through collaborating with other faculties at the university she began to compose music for projects working alongside fellow students such as Hugh Grant. After university when Portman was in her twenties, she was composing music for film, radio and the concert hall, but this still didn't bring in a regular income, so she supplemented her composing work with a number of other jobs, including waitressing, and also cooking lunches for city directors.

Main Titles (Chocolat)
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Chocolat (excerpts)
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Ravel
Concerto in G for piano and orchestra (Adagio assai)
Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano
The Cleveland Orchestra
Pierre Boulez, conductor

Portman
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis
BBC Singers
Libby Burgess, organ
Benjamin Nicholas, conductor

Main Titles: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Where Angels Fear to Tread
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

In the Park (Benny and Joon)
Studio Orchestra
J.A.C. Redford, conductor

End Titles: Ethan Frome
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Producer Luke Whitlock.

02Rachel Portman at the Oscars20180306

Donald Macleod meets Rachel Portman to discuss her Oscar-winning score for the movie Emma.

Series exploring the life and works of a succession of composers

Donald Macleod and Rachel Portman discuss the period when she won an Oscar for the film Emma

Donald Macleod this week joins the Oscar winning film composer Rachel Portman in her studio in London, to chat about her life and music for film and the concert platform. Portman was the first female composer to win an Academy Award, an Oscar, and a Primetime Emmy Award for her various film music projects, as well as many other Academy and Golden Globe nominations. In more recent years her music for the film The Duchess has been added to the A-level music syllabus. Portman also has an interest in ecology and environmental issues. There'll be an opportunity to hear part of her choral symphony The Water Diviner's Tale, a collaboration with Owen Sheers, plus the orchestral work Endangered specially recorded by the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Throughout the week there will also be music specially recorded by the BBC Singers including Portman's Magnificat, and her Christmas Carol We Were There composed in collaboration with Michael Morpurgo.

In Rachel Portman's studio in London, Donald Macleod joins the composer to chat about her film music projects in the 1990s. This included working with the American puppeteer and film-maker Jim Henson, where for one project they had to find a whistle that made the sound of rubies. Portman also discusses her process in writing for film, from playing freely at the piano without click-track, to providing a short-score with details of instrumentation for an orchestrator. In 1996 Portman worked on the film Emma, which won her an Oscar. Portman recounts her experiences of receiving that award, going to the ceremony, and how it impacted upon her career.

Portman
End Titles: Great Moments in Aviation
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Portman
Chasing the Fox (War of the Buttons)
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Portman
Terra Magica (The Adventures of Pinocchio)
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Shostakovich
Violin Concerto No 1 in A minor, Op 99 (Passacaglia)
Nicola Benedetti, violin
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Kirill Karabits, conductor

Portman
Emma (excerpts)
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Portman
Beloved (excerpts)
Studio Vocalists
Studio Orchestra
David Arch, conductor

Producer Luke Whitlock.

03Rachel Portman and The Little Prince20180307

Donald Macleod joins Rachel Portman in her studio to chat about The Little Prince.

Series exploring the life and works of a succession of composers

Donald Macleod joins Rachel Portman to chat about writing her opera The Little Prince and working with children

Donald Macleod this week joins the Oscar winning film composer Rachel Portman in her studio in London, to chat about her life and music for film and the concert platform. Portman was the first female composer to win an Academy Award, an Oscar, and a Primetime Emmy Award for her various film music projects, as well as many other Academy and Golden Globe nominations. In more recent years her music for the film The Duchess has been added to the A-level music syllabus for students to study. Portman also has an interest in ecology and environmental issues. There'll be an opportunity to hear part of her choral symphony The Water Diviner's Tale, a collaboration with Owen Sheers, plus the orchestral work Endangered specially recorded by the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Throughout the week there will also be music specially recorded by the BBC Singers including Portman's Magnificat, and her Christmas Carol We Were There composed in collaboration with Michael Morpurgo.

During the 1990s and into the twenty-first century, composer Rachel Portman was still very busy composing film scores. During this period she wrote one of her own favourite works, The Cider House Rules. Portman received a letter from an American soldier telling her that throughout his time working abroad, he would listen at night to her music from this film, to give him peace of mind. Portman found herself getting pulled more and more into films, working with legendary directors such as Robert Redford, yet she craved for something different and so turned her attention to composing an opera for children. The Little Prince was written to appeal to both adults and children, and it was Philip Glass who recommended Rachel Portman for the project.

Augie's Photos (Smoke)
Studio Orchestra
Jonathan Schaeffer, conductor

The Cider House Rules (excerpts)
John Lenehan, piano
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Junuh sees the field (The Legend of Bagger Vance)
Andrew Crowley, trumpet
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Final Salute (Hart's War)
Studio orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Opening Credits (The Human Stain)
John Lenehan, piano
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

The Little Prince (Act I: The Businessman; The Lamplighter; We Light our Lamps)
Teddy Tahu Rhodes (Pilot), baritone
Joseph McManners (The Little Prince), boy soprano
Timothy Robinson (Lamplighter), tenor
Richard Suart (Businessman), baritone
Vocal Ensemble
Children's Chorus
BBC Concert Orchestra
David Charles Abell, conductor

What If All This Is A Dream? (The Manchurian Candidate)
Studio Orchestra
Theodore Sperling, conductor
Michael Kosarin, conductor
Lucas Richmond, conductor

Producer Luke Whitlock.

04Rachel Portman and The Duchess20180308

Donald Macleod in conversation with Rachel Portman discusses her music for The Duchess.

Series exploring the life and works of a succession of composers

Donald Macleod in conversation with Rachel Portman discusses The Duchess which has been included in the A-level music syllabus

Donald Macleod this week joins the Oscar winning film composer Rachel Portman in her studio in London, to chat about her life and music for film and the concert platform. Portman was the first female composer to win an Academy Award, an Oscar, and a Primetime Emmy Award for her various film music projects, as well as many other Academy and Golden Globe nominations. In more recent years her music for the film The Duchess has been added to the A-level music syllabus for students to study. Portman also has an interest in ecology and environmental issues. There'll be an opportunity to hear part of her choral symphony The Water Diviner's Tale, a collaboration with Owen Sheers, plus the orchestral work Endangered specially recorded by the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Throughout the week there will also be music specially recorded by the BBC Singers including Portman's Magnificat, and her Christmas Carol We Were There composed in collaboration with Michael Morpurgo.

In conversation with Donald Macleod, the composer Rachel Portman reveals how films can take over your life when you work on them. Specifically how a dark and traumatic film may impact upon her, to working on a lighter film such as Chocolat, and how during the process of composing for this film she kept on eating and craving chocolate. Portman also talks about her environmental concerns, and working with the poet Owen Sheers on the ecological music drama The Water Diviner's Tale. In recent years her music for the film The Duchess has been included on the A-level music syllabus, and Portman discusses how she thinks this came about.

The Battle of Watermelons (The Emperor's New Clothes)
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

The Little Prince (Act II: The Fox; The Taming; Here's my Secret; If We Don't Find a Well; The Walk to the Well)
Teddy Tahu Rhodes (Pilot), baritone
Joseph McManners (The Little Prince), boy soprano
Lesley Garrett (Fox), soprano
Vocal Ensemble
Children's Chorus
BBC Concert Orchestra
David Charles Abell, conductor

Oliver Twist (excerpts)
The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Thea Musgrave
I am my mammy's ae bairn; Ca' the yowes to the knowes (Songs for a Winter's Evening)
Lisa Milne, soprano
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä, conductor

Portman
The Water Diviner's Tale (excerpt)
Nonso Anozie, narrator
Helen Williams, soprano
Frances Bourne, mezzo-soprano
Robert Burt, tenor
Riccardo Simonetti, baritone
Paul Reeves, bass
Hertfordshire Country Youth Choir
Berkshire Youth Choir
Bromley Youth Choir
Chantage
Taplow Youth Chorus
National Youth Choir of Great Britain
Water Children
David Charles Abell, conductor
BBC Concert Orchestra

The Duchess (excerpts)
The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Producer Luke Whitlock.

05Rachel Portman studies Psychotherapy20180309

Donald Macleod chats with Rachel Portman about her training in Psychotherapy.

Series exploring the life and works of a succession of composers

Donald Macleod chats with Rachel Portman about her training in Psychotherapy and its parallels to writing music for film

Donald Macleod this week joins the Oscar winning film composer Rachel Portman in her studio in London, to chat about her life and music for film and the concert platform. Portman was the first female composer to win an Academy Award, an Oscar, and a Primetime Emmy Award for her various film music projects, as well as many other Academy and Golden Globe nominations. In more recent years her music for the film The Duchess has been added to the A-level music syllabus for students to study. Portman also has an interest in ecology and environmental issues. There'll be an opportunity to hear part of her choral symphony The Water Diviner's Tale, a collaboration with Owen Sheers, plus the orchestral work Endangered specially recorded by the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Throughout the week there will also be music specially recorded by the BBC Singers including Portman's Magnificat, and her Christmas Carol We Were There composed in collaboration with Michael Morpurgo.

In 2010 the composer Rachel Portman not only became the first female composer to win a top honour for Film and TV from BMI, but she also received an OBE. Her career as a composer has gone from strength to strength, including composing a programmatic orchestral work entitled Endangered, commissioned by the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, and premiered for the World Environment Day Concert in 2013. In more recent years Portman has been studying psychotherapy, and in conversation with Donald Macleod she discusses its parallels with her work in film: both involve getting to grips with understanding personalities and situations.

We Will Be Laotong (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan)
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Never Let Me Go (excerpts)
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Endangered
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Michael Seal, conductor

Skye Boat Song
BBC Singers
Libby Burgess, piano
Benjamin Nicholas, conductor

We Were There
BBC Singers
Libby Burgess, piano
Benjamin Nicholas, conductor

Katya Remembers (Despite the Falling Snow)
Studio Orchestra
Jeff Atmajian, conductor

The Final Event (Race)
Studio Orchestra
Joris Batrsch Buhle, conductor

End Titles: Still Life
Studio Orchestra
David Snell, conductor

Producer Luke Whitlock.