BBC Music Magazine
Richard Baker Born 1925 Broadcaster
The first of a new breed of television personalities in the 1950s, Richard Baker became a household name in the UK, reading the BBC news for 28 years from 1954. Originally hired by the BBC in 1950 to host The Third Programme, later Radio 3, Baker’s passion for classical music was to be a mainstay throughout his career. His voice became familiar to classical audiances through the Last Night of the Proms radio broadcasts and his regular appearances on TV’S Face the Music. His father, himself an amateur singer, encouraged piano lessons; however, it was to acting that Baker would be drawn while in his third year at Cambridge. His time there was interrupted by the War and he found himself serving in the Arctic aboard a minesweeper with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. His service, supporting the Russians, was recognised in 2015 with the Ushakov Medal. The time at sea also proffered a book, a biography of Vice Admiral Sir Gilbert Stephenson. Music was never far away, though, and in 1971 he narrated what remains one of the most popular recordings of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, with the New Philharmonia Orchestra under Raymond Leppard.
Levine Andrade Born 1954 Violinist, violist, conductor
As one of the founding members of the acclaimed Arditti Quartet, Levine Andrade played an influential role promoting and performing contemporary music. Born in Bombay, Levine moved aged nine to England where he was awarded a scholarship to the newly founded Yehudi Menuhin School. While there he found himself the subject of a BBC documentary, Life of a Child. Moving on to the Royal College of Music, he found time to work as a freelance musician and performed with both the LSO and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. It was his shared interest in 20th-century music that led, in 1974, to his cofounding the Arditti Quartet, with whom he played until 1990. After that, he established himself as one of the most respected performers and conductors working in London’s busy recording industry.
The Russian bass Maxim Mikhailov (b1962) will be best remembered for the title role in Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov, which he performed in major opera houses across the globe. A familiar face at the Bolshoi Theatre from 1987, he also appeared in many recordings, including Rachmaninov’s The Miserly Knight, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. Sally Silver (b1967 ) excelled in bel canto repertoire, both on stage and in a series of fine recordings accompanied by Richard Bonynge on the piano. However, the South African soprano’s repertoire also extended to contemporary music, and she appeared in operas such as Thomas Adès’s Powder her Face and Jonathan Dove’s The Palace in the Sky.