Jonathan James tackles the ‘epic topic’ of music and war

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Jonathan James at the Bristol Proms 2014

Musical educator and thinker Jonathan James discusses his extensive talks at the Bristol Proms, taking in Beethoven, Purcell and a little bit of bossa nova...

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Music educator’s Bristol Proms talks cover a range of topics from war to bossa nova.

The music of war is an “epic topic”, says John James, a music educator who kicked off a week of talks at the Bristol Proms tonight with a performance exploring the British response to the First World War and the circumstances in which composers of the early 20th century were working.

His talk was a “collage of what people would be listening to during the war and how music lamented the loss and death of the war”, he told Classic FM presenter Jane Jones.

James will be tackling an eclectic mix of topics in his series of talks this week. The others are an investigation of Beethoven’s late quartets, a talk titled ‘When East Meets West’, and a look at the Baroque opera Dido and Aeneas. He hopes by the end of the week to “sneak in a little bit of bossa nova next to Wagner”.