The Light Programme: Gavin Sutherland

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Tuesday, 25 November, 2008

Today’s Light Programme features the work of conductor, arranger and pianist Gavin Sutherland (b 1972).

Born in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, England, he studied conducting, piano and orchestration at Huddersfield University.

Sutherland was appointed as pianist and staff conductor for Northern Ballet Theatre from 1992 – 98. On the basis of his first CD, British Light Music Discoveries on ASV, Sutherland began working with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia on the concert platform and the orchestra of Birmingham Royal Ballet (involving both national and international tours). He has featured as Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and has also guest conducted frequently for English National Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, New Adventures and South African Ballet Theatre. In June 2008 he was appointed Music Director of English National Ballet.

He has made over seventy recordings all over the world, predominantly with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. He has played a significant part in the current revival of British Light Music through several popular series of discs and his appearances on the BBC’s Friday Night is Music Night, although he has recorded works as wide-ranging as Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, the chart-topping Carry On Album and the single release of the Radio 4 UK Theme – the latter is included in today’s programme.

Today’s programme features primarily Sutherland’s light music recordings, but also a number of classical works and film music by William Alwyn and Richard Addinsell. Sutherland has a particular interest in the pieces of music used by British television companies to start the broadcast day (in the years before 24-hour TV) which were often written by leading light music composers of the time, and several of these “start-up themes” will be heard today.

For more on Gavin Sutherland, see the full Wikipedia article from which some of the above was derived. Several of Sutherland’s recordings are available from Naxos – click here for details.

The Light Programme is Radio Riel’s regular programme of light music, presented every month by Elrik Merlin. Radio Riel’s daily programming is produced in conjunction with the Caledon Library in the Second Life metaverse.

You can listen now at — the ideal URL for you to use in your home parcel media address in-world — or simply visit any Caledon Library branch in-world and press Play on your embedded music player. (If you want to listen off-world, eg in Winamp or iTunes, and the above address doesn’t work for you, click here.)


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