Though long resident in England, Jeremy Siepmann was born and formally
educated in the United States. Having completed his studies at the
Mannes College of Music in New York, he moved to London at the suggestion
of Sir Malcolm Sargent in 1964. After several years as a freelance
lecturer he was invited to join the staff of London University.
For most of the last twenty years he has confined his teaching activity
to the piano, his pupils including pianists of worldwide repute.
As a writer he has contributed articles, reviews, and interviews
to numerous journals and reference works (including New Statesman,
The Musical Times, Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, and The New Grove
Dictionary of Music and Musicians), some of them being reprinted
in book form (Oxford University Press, Robson Books). His books
include a widely acclaimed biography of Chopin (The Reluctant
Romantic, Gollancz/Northeastern University Press, 1995), two
volumes on the history and literature of the piano, and a biography
of Brahms (Everyman/EMI, 1997). In December 1997 he was appointed
editor of Piano magazine.
His career as a broadcaster began in New York in 1963 with an East
Coast radio series on the life and work of Mozart, described by
Alistair Cooke as 'the best music program on American radio'. On
the strength of this, improbably, he was hired by the BBC as a humourist,
in which capacity he furnished weekly satirical items on various
aspects of American life.
After a long break he returned to broadcasting in 1977 and has
by now devised, written, and presented more than 1,000 programmes,
including the international award-winning series The Elements of
Music. In 1988 he was appointed Head of Music at the BBC World Service,
broadcasting to an estimated audience of 135 million. He left the
Corporation in the spring of 1992 to form his own independent production
Jeremy Siepmann has written and narrated all current titles in
the Life and Works and Classics Explained series for Naxos Educational.
Thomson Smillie began his career in the early days of Scottish
Opera and has been artistic director of the Wexford International Festival, general manager of the Opera Company of Boston, and general director of
Kentucky Opera. He now makes a career as a writer, speech-writer and public speaker. He has a strong belief that people mature into a love of opera
and travels the world encouraging a love of the art form. His other passions are travel, languages and friendships. He has written all current titles
in Naxos Educational's Opera Explained series.
Nicholas Boulton studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, winning the BBC Carleton Hobbs Award for Radio in
1993. Since then he has been heard in numerous productions for BBC Radio 4 and the World Service. Theatre credits
include Platonov for the Almeida, Henry V for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Arcadia for the
Theatre Royal Haymarket, and he has appeared in the films Shakespeare in Love and Topsy-Turvy. Work for
Naxos AudioBooks includes the part of Cecil in Lady Windermere's Fan and for Naxos Educational he plays Mozart
in The Life and Works of Mozart. He is also a cutting-edge House Music DJ.
Jasper Britton took the lead in the Regents Park Open Air Theatre production of Richard III and has also worked
for the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. His television appearances include The Bill and
Peak Practice. For Naxos Educational's Life and Works of Brahms, he takes the role of the composer.
Neville Jason trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he was awarded the Diction Prize by Sir John Gielgud. He is a familiar voice on BBC
Radio. For Naxos AudioBooks he has abridged and recorded Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, released in twelve volumes. He takes the part of Liszt in Naxos
Educational's The Life and Works of Liszt.
Frederick Charles (Freddie) Jones has appeared in over sixty feature films (including those directed by David Lynch, Fellini, Eastwood, and Schlesinger). Many
classic television roles include Claudius in The Caesars, for which he earned the Golden Nymph Award at the Monte Carlo Television Festival. He has given
solo radio performances and appeared on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company. His interpretation of Sir in The Dresser was particularly well received.
For Naxos Educational he may be heard as Verdi in The Life and Works of Verdi.
Anton Lesser is one of Britain's leading classical actors. He has played many of the principal Shakespearean roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company and other leading theatres,
including Richard III, Hamlet and Romeo. He is also known for contemporary drama on stage in London's West End and on television and film. He has made many recordings for Naxos
AudioBooks, including Paradise Lost and the novels of Charles Dickens. For Naxos Educational he reads Chopin, in The Life and Works of Chopin.
Bob Peck was a highly versatile actor in the British tradition. He played many major classical roles at the Royal Shakespeare Company, including Macbeth, Lear and Iago, as well as
taking leading parts in new plays, including Pinter's The Birthday Party. At the same time, he was active in films and was seen extensively on television, winning the 1985
BAFTA award for Best Actor and the BAMF Comedy Award in 1998. He died in 1999. Naxos Educational's recording of The Life and Works of Beethoven, in which he reads the composer, was
one of his last performances.
Malcolm Sinclair has worked extensively for the National (Racing Demon, Richard III). His most recent London appearances include Hay Fever (Savoy), Uncle Vanya (Young
Vic/RSC), Heartbreak House (Almeida), and the title role in By Jeeves (Duke of York). On television he was in four series of Pie In The Sky. He has narrated
Schoenberg's A Survivor In Warsaw for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Bliss's Morning Heroes for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. He reads
the part of Tchaikovsky in Naxos Educational's Life and Works of Tchaikovsky.
Born in Birmingham and brought up in Manchester, John Shrapnel joined the National Theatre (under Laurence Olivier) playing many classical roles, including Banquo and Orsino. With the
Royal Shakespeare Company he has appeared in classical Greek theatre as well as numerous Shakespearean plays. His television work varies from Vanity Fair and Stoppard's
Professional Foul to Inspector Morse and Hornblower. Films include Nicholas and Alexandra, One Hundred and One Dalmations and the role of Gaius in
Gladiator. He has read A Life of Dante for Naxos AudioBooks and assumed the role of Bach in Naxos. Educational's Life and Works of Bach.
David Timson studied acting and singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has performed in modern and classic plays throughout the UK and abroad, including Wild Honey for
Alan Ayckbourn, Hamlet, The Man of Mode, and The Seagull. Among his many television appearances have been roles in Nelson's Column and Swallows and Amazons. For
Naxos AudioBooks he has recorded, to date, six volumes of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and directed Twelfth Night as well as playing Feste. On Naxos, he takes the part of the
Narrator in Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale. For Naxos Educational he has narrated all current Opera Explained titles and may also be heard in the Life and Works series.
Sean Barrett started acting as a boy on BBC children's television, in the days before colour when it went out live, and grew up through Z Cars, Armchair Theatre, Minder and
Father Ted. His theatre credits include Peter Pan at the old Scala Theatre, appearing in the first Ludlow Festival, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, and in the West End with Noël Coward
in his Suite in 3 Keys. Films include War & Peace, Dunkirk and A Cry from the Streets. He was a member of the BBC Radio Drama Company and performs frequently on radio
and as a reader of audiobooks.
Tom George trained at ALRA, winning the PMA Bursary and the Laurence Olivier Bursary in his second year. He was also a winner of the Carleton Hobbs competition which awarded him a contract with
the BBC Radio Department with whom he continues to work frequently. Notable credits include Absolute Power with Stephen Fry and John Bird, Titanic Enquiry, The Mill on the
Floss and The Remains of the Day with Ian McDiarmid. Screen credits include Band of Brothers directed by Tom Hanks and Buffalo Soldier directed by Gregory Jordan.