Tag Archives: In Conversation

In Conversation: saxophonist Phil Veacock

This week’s episode of our In Conversation series features saxophonist with the Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, Phil Veacock, in discussion with director of the University Concert and Big Bands, Ian Swatman.

From reflecting on early inspiration playing the recorder and school leading into playing the clarinet, Phil looks back on being inspired to take up the saxophone on seeing 2-Tone bands playing on Top of the Pops; playing with The Larks and turning down a recording contract; illicit vegetable snaffling in east Kent; joining the Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, playing on Wogan and Chris Evans’ Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush and the ‘Hootenanny’ revels; and, during COVID restrictions, finding alternative work as a delivery driver for the Charlton Bakehouse bakery.

Enjoy this lively and fascinating chat over on our YouTube channel, where the hour-long conversation is divided into chapters covering various aspects of Phil’s reflections.


In Conversation: pianist and festival director Libby Burgess

Our In Conversation series continues with pianist and festival director, Libby Burgess.

Pianist, chamber musician and accompanist, Libby’s work has taken her to festivals and concert-halls around the country. She is also Artistic Director of the New Paths Festival, founded in 2016 and which takes place each spring in Beverley, and Co-Artistic Director of Beverley’s own Chamber Music Festival.

In this interview , Libby reflects on finding new ways to engage audiences for the New Paths Festival in light of the pandemic, her own responses as pianist and vocal coach, and looks ahead to her ‘ Bach Project48,’ setting herself the ambitious challenge of playing all of Bach’s 48 Preludes and Fugues in each of the forty-eight counties of England, and what effect playing the entire set in different venues throughout the country might have on her own relationship to the famed set.

There are two option: the interview is free to watch on our YouTube channel here:

Or for those who prefer their content as a podcast, you can listen to the conversation on Spotify here.

In Conversation with Kate Romano: new podcast episode

If you missed last night’s Zoom For Thought: In Conversation screening with clarinettist, presenter and CEO of the Stapleford Granary venue, Kate Romano, you can either watch it again on our YouTube channel, or – if you prefer your content as a podcast – it’s now on our various podcast platforms, starting with Anchor:

Click here to listen.

A fascinating discussion, looking at new ways of engaging audiences, performers and listeners, re-thinking traditional concert-models, and looking at the implications of using digital platforms to provide musical experiences.

New online In Conversation series launches with soprano Rachel Nicholls: Weds 3 February at 7.30pm

The Music Department is delighted to announce the launch next week of its new Zoom For Thought: Music Department In Conversation series, which begins on Weds 3 February at 7.30pm with soprano Rachel Nicholls.

Image credit: David Shoukry

The series of Wednesday night sessions features luminaries from the world of music in conversation with Head of Music Performance, Dan Harding. The series will be livestreamed on the Music Department’s YouTube channel, and will be free to watch – viewers will also be able to submit questions live during the event.

It’s an exciting opportunity to bring musical luminaries from the sector to a small screen near you, and to hear from artists working in the creative industry about their working lives and the challenges the current situation has brought.

Later sessions include Kate Romano, clarinettist, writer, presenter on BBC Radio 3 and CEO of the Stapleford Granary in Cambridge, and pianist and Artistic Director of the New Paths Festival, Libby Burgess.

The series gets underway with soprano Rachel Nicholls, one of the most exciting dramatic sopranos of her generation whose performing career has taken her across opera houses and concert halls throughout the world, in productions ranging from Mozart and Tchaikovksy to the role of Brünnhilde in complete Ring cycles for Longborough Festival Opera.

Rachel will be In Conversation on Weds 3 Feb at 7.30pm – everyone is welcome to watch what promises to be a fascinating insight into the working life of one of the country’s foremost sopranos.

Watch live online here:

World-class singer to come to the Colyer-Fergusson Hall

We’re very excited to say that internationally-renowned singer, Dame Anne Evans, will be coming to the Colyer-Fergusson Hall in two weeks’ time.


Dame Anne will be giving a masterclass and appear ‘In Conversation’ at the Colyer-Fergusson Hall on Friday 8th November. As one of Britain’s most internationally successful singers, she sang a number of roles ranging from J.C. Bach and Mozart to Wagner, and performed  the role of Brünnhilde at the Bayreuth Festival under the baton of Daniel Barenboim from 1989 to 1992.

At 6pm she will be In Conversation with University Director of Music, Susan Wanless, about her career in opera and her experience of performing and recording Wagner in this his bicentenary year, with film excerpts of her roles and some rare recordings. Earlier in the day, at 3pm, Dame Anne will give a masterclass with some of the student Music Scholars, who’ll be singing pieces by Mozart, Handel and Cole Porter (accompanied by your Loyal Correspondent), in which she will no doubt pass on some of her wisdom and professional experience.

Entry is free by ticket, available from the Gulbenkian Booking Office; see online details here. And, to whet your appetite, here she is in the Immolation Scene from Götterdämmerung.