Rachel Portman (1960-present)

Episodes

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05Rachel Portman Studies Psychotherapy20180309

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.