Tasmin Little OBE (20 September)
There was music and theatre in London-born Tasmin’s Little’s household. Her father, George Little (best known for his role in Emmerdale Farm) was a busy actor, and it was thanks to her mother’s present of a recorder when Tasmin was six that she learnt to read music at this early age. Within two years, she had won a scholarship to the Yehudi Menuhin School in Stoke d’Abernon, Surrey, and by 1982 was a finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year. Studies continued at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Her first profession performance was in 1988 with the Hallé Orchestra, and she made her first appearance at the Proms in 1990. For the next thirty years she was a Prom ‘regular’, and a much-loved soloist in Europe and on both sides of the Atlantic. Her discography is extensive, ranging from the classics to British music, from Elgar to the less familiar. She has championed the work of Delius, a powerful advocate for that composer’s violin sonatas and concerto. She is the recipient of many awards, including an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bradford (the university’s music school is named after her) and an award from the British Academy of Songwriters. She is a passionate believer in bringing classical music to a wide audience, having released a three-track recording, The Naked Violin as a free download from her website, featuring music for solo violin by Ysaÿe, Paul Patterson and Bach’s Partita no. 3. In 2020 she announced her retirement from the concert platform to concentrate on teaching, writing, mentoring and broadcasting. Tonight’s appearance at Putney Music with Peter Avis as her interviewer promises to be a delightful and insightful season-opener.