Music on the home front

We are pleased to present the next part of our new series - The RPS Conversation - addressing the extraordinary outburst of music-making at home since lockdown began, what it says about the nation’s musical spirit, and what it might signify for the future of music-making in the UK.

Introduced by RPS Chief Executive James Murphy, the conversation brings together four people who have each done remarkable musical deeds in lockdown: the pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason whose performances at the family home have attracted millions on Facebook and BBC TV, conductor Helen Harrison who – with the Blackpool Symphony Orchestra – created one of the biggest viral hits of lockdown, violinist Catherine Arlidge whose joyous webinars for the National Children’s Orchestra and her own family exploits have been keeping spirits bright, and choral director Ben England who united 3000 people to sing the Messiah at home as part of The Self-Isolation Choir.

As Catherine remarks in the conversation: ‘as a classical musician performing in big classical halls, you have an image of what quality is, and what this perfection is that you’re trying to achieve. But actually lockdown has shifted that more towards a quality about connection, about meaning and relevance, and about saying something that people need and value now.’

There are three ways to enjoy the conversation:


Watch the conversation

You can watch it here (or directly on our YouTube channel):

The conversation is filmed in two parts. A link to the second part should automatically appear as the first part concludes, but can be found here if you have any issues locating it.


Listen to the conversation

You can listen to the complete audio of the conversation here:


Read the conversation

You can read a complete transcript of the conversation in PDF format here:

If you would like a version of this in a larger or different style of font for legibility reasons, please contact us and we will be happy to supply this.


We hope you are inspired by everything our four musical guests have to say. We would love to hear your thoughts arising from each RPS Conversation, and warmly welcome you to get in touch.

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