The Light Programme: Gavin Sutherland

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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