My Beloved John Wilson’s Concert Schedule 6 March Through 16 July 2022, Plus an Update on That E-album About an English Conductor

To those of you patiently awaiting the release of my text+audiolinks album JOHN WILSON AN ENGLISH CONDUCTOR: I’m taking the time to refine my observations about John’s artistic path. Anyone who knows me from A POET FROM HOLLYWOOD: LOVE, INSANITY, STEPHEN GYLLENHAAL, AND THE CREATIVE PROCESS knows this is my real bag.

Ah, there’s the man whose every gesture makes my heart beat faster.

Meanwhile, here’s his concert schedule—including his appearance with the Royal College—for the next few months (with links to music):

John’s schedule for 5 November 2021 to 18 February 2022 can be found on my posting here.

Sun 6 March 2022 20:00
Berliner Philharmonie
Berlin, Germany
DSO Berlin

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Thu 17 March 2022 19:30
Royal College of Music
London, UK
Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra

(Note: John ill, replaced by Martin Andre)

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Fri 8 April 2022 19:00
Sheffield City Hall
Sheffield, United Kingdom
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Louis Lortie (piano)

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Sat 9 April 2022 19:30
The Bridgewater Hall
Manchester, United Kingdom
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra

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Thu 21 April 2022
The Bridgewater Hall
Manchester, United Kingdom
Halle Orchestra

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Fri 20 May 2022 19:30
Usher Hall
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Louis Schwizgebel (piano)

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Fri 21 May 2022 19:30
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Louis Schwizgebel (piano)

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Sat 16 July 2022 18:30
Royal Albert Hall
London, United Kingdom
Sinfonia of London
Adam Walker (flute)



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Patrick Hamilton’s Hangover Square; Plus Bernard Herrmann’s Concerto Macabre in BBCSSO’s Music to Be Murdered By (2011) Conducted by John Wilson, My Beloved Enfant Terrible

Hangover Square is a 1945 American film noir directed by John Brahm, based on the 1941 novel of the same name by English author Patrick Hamilton. The screenplay was written by Barré Lyndon (pseudonym of Alfred Edgar), who made a number of typical Hollywood changes to Hamilton’s pre-WWII black comedy novel, which sympathetically portrayed the denizens of London’s seedier bedsitters and pubs—the most notorious changes being 1) turning alcoholic protagonist George Harvey Bone into a classical composer-pianist; 2) turning down-and-out Hangover Square into a fakey-English-fakey-genteel neighborhood; and 2) setting the story in the early 20th-century, complete with tailcoats, corsets, chandeliers, the works.

The film was released in New York City on February 7, 1945, two months after its star Laird Cregar suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 31. His idiosyncratic career lives on in his films—The Lodger, most notably, and this one.


The complete film HANGOVER SQUARE is available on my YT channel here


Screening Room, SF 1979Above Cregar’s mad composer: Bernard Herrmann’s composition by a mad composer, played by Ben Dawson and backed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the direction of my beloved John.

From FilmScore.com, 2011: John Wilson, the current enfant terrible of British conductors, was in Glasgow yesterday, Sunday 18th September, to conduct Music To Be Murdered By: a varied selection of Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman, Miklos Rozsa, David Raksin, Richard Rodney Bennett and Constant Lambert film music with the Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

The rousing Overture from North By Northwest started off this marvellous concert and showed what both the orchestra and conductor were capable of. Then a short suite from David Raksin’s Laura (John) gave us another side of film music: soft, sweet and completely entrancing. More Herrmann next with the Prelude-Nightmare-Love Scene from Vertigo, superbly played with just the right amount of tension and tempo.

The Overture to All About Eve, Alfred Newman’s 1950 20th Century Fox classic film score followed and then pianist Ben Dawson joined Wilson and the BBCSSO to perform brilliantly the Concerto Macabre (John), the climax to Herrmann’s spine-tingling score from Hangover Square. The first act finale was Parade of the Charioteers from Ben Hur (John), Miklos Rozsa’s masterpiece—the orchestra and Wilson brought the house down with this rousing and spectacular performance.

More Herrmann started Part Two: Prelude-Murder-Finale from Psycho (John) . Just the right amount of brio and flair showed the appreciative audience just what a great conductor John Wilson is—he nailed this suite with consummate ease. He might have been channelling Bernard Herrmann here—one of the best performances of this music I have heard.

A suite from Anna Karenina, Constant Lambert’s (John) underrated score from the 1948 British film came next and Wilson told the audience that Bernard Herrmann had originally recorded this for a Decca Album, Great British Film Music. Then the thrilling Main Title from Marnie gave us more classic Herrmann and the concert concluded with the Christopher Palmer adapted Herrmann Suite from Taxi Driver and Richard Rodney Bennett’s Overture and Waltz from Murder On the Orient Express for orchestra, piano and…fire extinguisher! (simulated steam noise for the engine in this well-played piece).

The afternoon was a great addition to Bernard Herrmann’s centennial—and the almost-full auditorium at Glasgow’s City Hall proved that the audience certainly appreciated Herrmann, the Scottish Symphony Orchestra and conductor John Wilson, whose love of film and film music gave us a performance to treasure—and remember. ~Alistair Kerr



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John Wilson Conducts the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra in a Concert of American Classic Film Scores, 18 September 2021

If you can get over to Belgium, this’ll be almost as good as the The John Wilson Orchestra at the BBC Proms. Performing at the 5 year-old, acoustically perfect, 2000-seat Queen Elisabeth Hall in Antwerp, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra under John’s baton will be offering a Saturday evening filled with old favorites:

  • Erich Korngold / The Sea Hawk from the 1940 film
  • Martin-Blane / The Trolley Song from the 1944 film Meet Me In St Louis [BB Proms video https://bit.ly/trolleysong; from JWO album https://bit.ly/trolleysong1]
  • Romberg-Hammerstein / Softly as in a Morning Sunrise from the 1940 film The New Moon (song)
  • Richard Rodgers / Carousel Waltz from the 1956 film
  • Bernard Herrmann / Psycho Suite for Strings from the 1959 film [YT Proms video https://bit.ly/psychostrings]
  • Jerry Herman / Love is Only Love from Hello, Dolly! from the 1969 film (song)
  • John Williams / ET the Extra-Terrestrial Suite from the 1982 film
  • Jerome Moross / The Big Country from the 1958 film [YT Proms video https://bit.ly/jwobigcountry]
  • Max Steiner / Gone With The Wind Suite from the 1939 film
  • Kern-Hammerstein / Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man from the 1951 film Showboat (song)
  • Gershwin Bros / I Got Rhythm from the 1943 film Girl Crazy (song) [on the JWO album https://bit.ly/jwoigotrhythm]
  • Franz Waxman / A Place In The Sun Suite from the 1951 film
  • Scott Bradley / Tom and Jerry at MGM from the 1940-1958 cartoons
  • Miklós Rózsa / Parade of the Charioteers from the 1959 film Ben Hur [YT Proms video https://bit.ly/rozsabenhur]

Kim Criswell, vocalist

How about making a little party out of it? And if you get over there, tell John I said hello.



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Venera Gimadieva Sings Salammbo’s Aria by Bernard Herrmann, Backed by The John Wilson Orchestra (BBC Proms, 2013)

Gimadieva made her UK debut at the Proms with John and the John Wilson Orchestra in their program Hollywood Rhapsody, which included pieces by my favorite screen composer Bernard Herrmann. I’ve been a fairly knowledgeable fan of Herrmann since my teen years, but somehow I never got around to hearing the entire aria until—yes! yes! are you getting bored hearing this again?—I fell in love totally and completely with English conductor John Wilson and craved to hear all the music that he is part of. To my delight, he backed this brilliant singer well.

I'd be jealous except she's such a wonderful singerAbove my bonny John making nicey-nice with a soprano for once: “O cruel!” (Salammbo’s aria) from the film Citizen Kane. Herrmann planned to write an entire opera based on this scandalous Flaubert novel but, daunted by the task, as Mussorgsky and Rachmaninoff before him, never got around to it.


And for good measure, here’s Gimadieva doing Donizetti’s “O luce di quest anima” with The Hallé the way I’d like to have sounded in my last trimester jury at music school.


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John Wilson and The John Wilson Orchestra at the BBC Proms, the Royal Albert Hall, 26 August 2013: The Complete Concert of Hollywood Rhapsody Including “Casablanca”

Disappointing to hear that John won’t be doing Britten’s The Turn of the Screw at Wilton’s Music Hall in London this month. So, to cheer everybody up, here’s the full 2-hour program of my John and The John Wilson Orchestra at the Proms, 2013. That’s Jane Monheit, John, and Matt Ford below.


Catch the entire Hollywood Rhapsody at the BBC 2013 Proms here


And what the hell, here are ALL the other, complete JOHN WILSON AT THE BBC PROMS available on my blog:


John Wilson Orchestra BBC Proms 2011 (Monheit, Ford)

The full program of 2013 (with remarks as they come to me):



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The Tippett Quartet Play Bernard Herrmann’s Psycho at Kings Place, London, 2011

Most people* seem to discount the idea that Bernard Herrmann’s score for Psycho is actually a near-perfect work for strings (given that it was written exclusively for strings anyway) and that, given the right setting, is a very listenable chamber piece that doesn’t need to reference the film. Here’s the Tippett Quartet performing this arrangement by Richard Birchall at Kings Place, 2011.

Tippett Quartet PsychoJohn Mills, Jeremy Isaac, Lydia Lowndes-Northcott, and Bozidar Vukotic: the London-based Tippett Quartet.

* Like Mister Grumble. This is the second-most heated debate** between us: whether or not movie music (for narrative films not musicals) can be considered truly concert-worthy.

** (The most heated debate between us is whether Oswald did it or not. This one gets us both really het up, as one of us has a slight connection with the actual case.)

The leader of the Tippitt Quartet (circa 2011), John Mills, is also the leader of The John Wilson Orchestra to date.


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Bernard Herrmann at the Royal Albert Hall, Doris Day Screams

This is what the greatest film composer of the 20th century looks like conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in the Royal Albert Hall (2:24). From Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (Paramount, 1956). This is a chorale entitled “The Storm Clouds Cantata” arranged by Herrmann and composed by Australian Arthur Benjamin specifically for the movie.

bernard-herrmann


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Obsession, Directed by Brian De Palma and Scored by Bernard Herrmann

Saw this first run in New York in 1976 with my boyfriend, another huge Brian De Palma fan. The loopiest, nuttiest romance in all of moviedom. In fact I like this movie better than Vertigo, another nutzoid Bernard Herrmann-scored love story: this one’s much more sexually transgressive, always a sure-fire turn-on for me.

Obsession 03

Here’s the giddily overwrought ending. If you haven’t seen Obsession it’s not going to make any sense, so just close your eyes and listen to Herrmann’s ravishing score, the next-to-last one he ever wrote before his death at the age of 64.



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