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News > Alumni News > GRAMMY nomination for music maestro Brian Pidgeon (OS 1966)

GRAMMY nomination for music maestro Brian Pidgeon (OS 1966)

Congratulations to the former General Manager of BBC Philharmonic
26 Apr 2024
Alumni News

                 

We congratulate Old Stopfordian, Brian Pidgeon, on his incredible achievement at being nominated for a 2024 GRAMMY award for Classical Producer of the Year. We are delighted to have caught up with him following his nomination.

Brian attended SGS from 1959 to 1966 following which he enjoyed a hugely successful career as General Manager of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic before becoming General Manager at BBC Philharmonic in 1991. During his time, he was responsible for planning concerts, working with world famous conductors and soloists as well as producing recordings.

Upon being informed of his Grammy nomination, Brian said it was a great honour to have received such recognition from across the Pond, with most thanks due to the wonderful artists and orchestras he records!

Now semi-retired, and when not enjoying walks or spending time at his holiday home in Spain, Brian can be found producing orchestral and opera recordings for Chandos Records where his work continues to be applauded. Last week the CD he made of English String Music with John Wilson and the Sinfonia of London was awarded Recording of The Year at the BBC Music Awards.

When asked how things have changed over time and in the digital era, Brian explained that the fundamentals of classical music recording remain largely the same but of course now with the alternative digital outputs. He went on to share what he has enjoyed most about his career:

"Working in the music industry has allowed me to live a charmed life, where I’ve met so many wonderful artists and travelled all over the World to places I would never have dreamt of venturing to.”

Among his many career highlights, he had the idea of commissioning Paul McCartney to write his Liverpool Oratorio for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s 150th anniversary celebrations, and talking to Sir Simon Rattle recently, discovered he had actually made the first ever recording of the 17 year old Sir Simon conducting in 1972! He had just been appointed conductor of the Merseyside Youth Orchestra at the time, before rising to international prominence as the Principal Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic and Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra.

From a young age Brian was involved with music and held a real passion for it. He recalls attending music lessons at SGS over in the Junior School building and gives thanks to his teacher at the time for securing his role of Head Choir Boy at Poynton Parish Church before becoming organist at St Martin’s Church in Marple. He also played the organ, which at that time was in Hallam Hall, for the daily school assemblies.

Four years ago one specific memory was reignited of his last SGS music teacher playing in class the Sea Interludes from Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes. At the time Brian was making a recording of the complete opera over in Norway and delightfully, it went on to become Gramophone's 2021 Recording of the Year, something we are sure his music teacher would have been highly approving of!

Brian expressed his concern about the state of the Arts industry which is becoming increasingly under-funded. Despite this, he believes the next generation can still enjoy music by starting from the bottom at a young age. His advice to them would be:

 “Pick up an instrument, or join a choir, Youth Orchestra or band. Not only will you get incredible pleasure from it, but you'll make friends forever.”

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