Neil Brand

Neil Brand discusses with Ivan six things which should be better known.

Neil Brand has been a silent film accompanist for over 30 years, regularly in London at the Barbican and BFI National Film Theatres, throughout the UK and at film festivals and special events around the world, including Australia, New Zealand (three times), America, Israel, Sweden, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, and, in Italy, the Bologna, Aosta, Bergamo and Pordenone festivals where he has inaugurated the School of Music and Image to teach up-and-coming young pianists about silent film accompaniment.

Neil now has a very fruitful relationship with the BBC Symphony Orchestra which has resulted in London performances of his acclaimed orchestral score for Hitchcock’s silent Blackmail, the BBCSO / Barbican commission to score Asquith’s silent Underground and Chaplin’s Easy Street. He followed these successes with two through-scored radio adaptations, The Wind in the Willows (Audio Drama Award Nominated) and A Christmas Carol for Orchestra, Choir and Actors commissioned by Radios 3 and 4 – all of these works orchestrated and conducted by maestro Timothy Brock.

Neil is also a prolific radio playwright including Sony- and Tinniswood- nominated dramas Stan (which he adapted for BBC TV) and Getting the Joke, as well as establishing the regular live-recorded musical series The Big Broadcast. He has twice toured nationally with Paul Merton as well as appearing in, and supplying music for, Paul’s silent film-related TV documentaries.

Neil is a TV presenter on BBC4 with his hugely successful series Sound of Cinema, The Music that Made the Movies and Sound of Song, is a regular presenter on Radio 4’s Film Programme, a Fellow of Aberystwyth University and a Visiting Professor of the Royal College of Music and is considered one of the finest improvising piano accompanists in the world.

1. Richard Rodney Bennett https://www.theguardian.com/music/2012/dec/26/sir-richard-rodney-bennett

2. Sheridan Le Fanu https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/aug/28/sheridan-le-fanu-two-centuries-birth-vampire-ghost-stories

3. The musical of the Mystery of Edwin Drood https://www.broadwayworld.com/reviews/The-Mystery-of-Edwin-Drood

4. Satie House https://en.normandie-tourisme.fr/museums-and-heritage-sites/maisons-satie/

5. Radio Drama https://bookriot.com/history-of-the-radio-drama/

6. Rango https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/rango-2011

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