In conversation: John Wilson and Sir Thomas Allen

07 Feb 2020

As part of our new series of events, two national treasures trade tales about their respective journeys from the North East to the world stage.

Too often we presume great classical musicians are born apart, virtuosi from backgrounds quite different from our own. That’s rarely the case, and especially not for the much-loved and much-celebrated baritone Sir Thomas Allen, and conductor John Wilson who – with his dynamite orchestra – wows the BBC Proms annually. Though a generation apart, both were born to humble families in the North East of England and both made their way to the Royal College of Music where the bright lights of London initially overwhelmed them. In a candid and very jovial conversation especially for the RPS, they reflect on those first steps and whether, amid all the success that was to follow, they’ve ever really left their boyhood selves behind.

Filmed, fittingly, at the Royal College of Music in January, you can watch an extract of the event above. If you’re an RPS Member, you can enjoy the whole conversation in full in the Members Area of our website. RPS Members can enjoy films of all our talks which this season include events with Nicola Benedetti, Roderick Williams, Joanna MacGregor, Mahan Esfahani, Iain Burnside, Nicky Spence and others. RPS Members can also book first to attend the events in person and meet such stars in person, amid a range of other benefits.

Click the button below to find out more about becoming an RPS Member.

If you’re already an RPS Member, you can log in to the Members Area and watch the complete film.