On Air Now
Smooth Classics with Margherita Taylor 10pm - 1am
9 April 2020, 14:27
The legendary actor tells Classic FM’s John Humphrys that she’s a big fan of classical music, and that learning an instrument is particularly appealing in the current climate.
Dame Judi Dench is a big fan of classical music and thinks now might be just the right time to learn an instrument she loves – the saxophone.
Despite growing up in family who “loved classical music” and who were apparently all great singers, Dench never learned to play an instrument – even though she was tempted. “I had to play the saxophone in something and I absolutely loved it,” she told John. “It was in a television programme called The Last of the Blonde Bombshells.
“I was given a saxophone shortly afterwards but I’ve never had another go. I should. Perhaps this is the opportunity.”
Touching on the current global health crisis, Dench says that with all the uncertainty, “it’s a very good time for looking out for each other and it might remind us all about kindness”. Dench also talked about which pieces of music have a special meaning to her, including favourites such as Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy and the traditional tune Flowers of the Forest.
The unmissable interview is part of a new four-episode series, which veteran interviewer John Humphrys will be presenting over the Easter weekend.
On Good Friday from 9pm-10pm, John’s conversation with Dame Judi Dench will start the special series.
The following evening, John meets the talented young cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and discovers the musician’s admiration of legendary cellist Jacqueline du Pré, and why Rachmaninov’s music has a special meaning to him.
John meets his next interviewee on Sunday – the legendary actor, author, and television presenter Joanna Lumley. He learns of her love for performing, the role classical music has played in her life – and her passion for Chopin.
The special series concludes on Easter Monday, when John meets former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Baron Sacks explains the role faith can play in all of our lives, and also reveals the music that has accompanied the key moments in his life.