Film: Oliver Knussen - Sounds from the Big White House

Friday 14 Jun 2019 2:30pm

Part of Aldeburgh Festival

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Introduced by director Barrie Gavin

Made to celebrate Knussen’s 50th birthday in 2002, this affectionate film also stands as a portrait of his musical landscape, focusing on his life at home in Snape.

It reveals not only a man with eclectic interests and passions, from the unwieldy size of his score archive to his collections of owls, clocks, gadgets and jokes, but also a widely admired composer of meticulously crafted scores. His generosity to and championing of younger composers is clear, along with his frankness about feeling exhausted from writing in long form for his opera Where the Wild Things Are.

Gavin’s film astutely captures Olly where he lived, performed, taught, entertained and composed for many years, and where his absence after his sudden death last year is felt so keenly.

Illustration: Brian Grimwood