Apr 15

John Haynes: 40 Years at the National Theatre


Clockwise from left: Sally Dexter and Anthony Hopkins in rehearsal for ‘Antony and Cleaopatra’, 1987 production directed by Peter Hall. Michael Blakemore, Hayden Griffin and Rory Dempster in rehearsal ‘After The Fall’ by Arthur Miller, 1990 production. Judi Dench as Christine Foskett and Peter Woodthorpe as Maurice Hussey in ‘Absolute Hell’ by Rodney Ackland, 1995.


John Haynes, the renowned theatre photographer, shot countless National Theatre productions and rehearsals from 1971 to 2011. We are delighted to announce that Lebrecht Music & Arts is now knee deep in over 11,000 of these photographs, both black and white and colour. The photographs are now being steadily uploaded onto our website. Until they are all online, do contact us for any National Theatre production images.

Undoubtedly you will have come across his work on our website over the years. His famous Royal Court Theatre photos include the iconic Samuel Beckett portraits and his ongoing co-operation with actress Billie Whitelaw.


Apr 13

Arnold Wesker, playwright, poet and essayist, dies at 83 after a long illness

Arnold Wesker late 1960s.

Arnold Wesker late 1960s. Photo taken by Dusty Wesker. © Arnold Wesker


Arnold Wesker, the British playwright, who passed away yesterday on 12th April provided Lebrecht Music & Arts with many previously unseen images of his life – growing up as a young boy, photographs with his family, cousins, mother and father and during the early years of his rise to fame. Lebrecht photographer Horst Tappe captured him at the peak of his success.

Arnold Wesker was famous for his trilogy Chicken Soup with Barley (1958), Roots (1958) and I’m Talking about Jerusalem (1960). The trilogy was performed at the Royal Court Theatre, London.

During his life he wrote more than 40 plays, as well as short stories, essays and poetry. He was translated into many languages and his work was widely performed outside the UK.

He was linked to the 1950s post-war rise of playwirghts from working class backgrounds writing ‘ kitchen-sink drama’ and was also described as one of the ‘Angry Young Men’ of the 1950s. These were descriptions he rejected and is quoted as saying:

“You’re not a good writer because you come from a working class background and you’re not a good writer because you’ve been through university. You’re a good writer because you’re a good writer and it’s the work that matters, not the labels that surround you.”

He will be greatly missed.

Arnold Wesker © Horst Tappe

Arnold Wesker as baby aged 9 months  Arnold Wesker as a baby © Arnold Wesker

Arnold Wesker   with two cousins on balcony at home Arnold Wesker with two cousins on the balcony of the Upper clapton council estate where he lived © Arnold Wesker

Arnold Wesker and his first child Arnold Wesker and his first child. © Arnold Wesker

John Arden and Margaretta Darcy and Arnold Wesker John Arden, Margaretta Darcy and Arnold Wesker at a festival Arden and Darcy held in their home, late 1970s © Arnold Wesker

Arnold Wesker, Arthur Miller, Malcolm Bradbury  East Anglia (which houses the Arthur Miller Centre Arnold Wesker, Arthur Miller and Malcolm Bradbury on the campus of the University of East Anglia © Arnold Wesker

Sir Arnold Wesker - portrait of the British playwright / dramatist at the Guardian Hay Festival, Hay on Wye, Powys, Wales, 2004. Sir Arnold Wesker at the Hay Festival, 2004 © Kathy de Witt

I'm Talking about Jerusalem Handwritten draft of I’m Talking about Jerusalem dated 9 December 1958 © Arnold Wesker


Apr 11

Step Inside the Sculptor’s Studio

Sculptor portraits

Clockwise from left: Barbara Hepworth next to one of her sculptures, 1964 © Horst Tappe. Alexander Calder arranging a mobile, 1958 © RA. Lynn Chadwick in his studio, welding pieces of his sculpture ‘The Inner Eye’, 1940s © David Farrell


Looking into a studio and seeing an artist at work is a glimpse into an act of creation, something almost magical. The artist’s studio has always been a source of irresistable fascination. Lebrecht’s collection of sculptor portraits provides an opportunity to view and absorb the processes in play in the creative worlds of 20th century and contemporary sculptors, photographed alongside their art and at work in their studios.

This collection of sculptors joins Lebrecht’s existing images of the artworks themselves, and of sculptural works from around the world from antiquity to the present day.


Clockwise from left: Relief depicting Marcus Aurelius giving grace to his vanquished enemies, Roman civilization, 2nd century AD © De Agostini. Sculpture at the Festival of Britain exhibition, Battersea Park, 1951 © G.MacDomnic. Ron Mueck’s hyperrealist sculpture ‘In Bed’, exhibited at the Edinburgh Art Festival, 2005 © Drew Farrell


Apr 07

A Stroll Through History in the Cities of the Middle East


Clockwise from left: Madrasa in Egypt. Avenue des Francais (now Shoreline Walk), Beirut, Lebanon. Girls washing clothes on the banks of the Tigris, Baghdad, Iraq.


Lebrecht Music & Arts has acquired a collection of historic photographs of the Middle East, offering a fascinating glimpse into daily life in its cities at the beginning of the 20th century. We invite you to take a walk with us back in time, as we explore the streets of Beirut, Cairo and Alexandria, Damascus and Aleppo, and Baghdad.


Mar 31

Iraqi Architect Zaha Hadid has died

Architect Dame Zaha Hadid has died aged 65

Her designs include the London Olympic Aquatic Centre and the J.S. Bach Chamber Music Hall (an installation at Manchester Art Gallery) and have been commissioned all over the world. She was the first woman to receive the Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal.

31 October 1950 – 31 March 2016

Zaha HadidQueen Elizabeth Hall, 2011 © Laurie Lewis


Chamber Music Hall, Manchester, United KingdomJ.S. Bach Chamber Music Hall – 2009 installation at Manchester Art Gallery created for the Manchester International Festival © VIEW


Mar 31

Hungarian author Imre Kertesz has died

Imre Kertesz was a writer and Holocaust survivor. He is famous for his book Fateless (Sorstalanság) which was made into a film. He was the first Hungarian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2002 ‘for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history’. He spent much of his adult life in Germany.

Imre Kertesz Imre Kertesz

In Solothurn, Switzerland, 1995 © Horst Tappe


Imre Kertesz

2003 © Opale/Leemage


Mar 31

Florence Foster Jenkins makes her cinematic debut…

Incredibly, a new film has been made by Stephen Frears about the legendary Florence Foster Jenkins, an amateur American operatic soprano and socialite with an appallingly poor voice. She was ridiculed for her lack of rhythm, pitch, and tone and inability to hold a note, but despite all those facts continued on her chosen path. She was born in 1868 and died in 1944. She mostly performed in small recital halls or musical salons. Nonetheless, her reputation as the singer with the appalling voice grew, and she was finally persuaded to perform at Carnegie Hall on 25 October 1944. This was the first time she had been exposed to professional music critics and, needless to say, their reviews were scathing. Two days later she suffered a heart attack while shopping and died one month later at the age of 76.

Part of her difficulties with singing and pronunciation have been attributed to her ongoing battle with syphilis, which caused progressive deterioration of her central nervous system.

The film stars Meryl Streep in the title role and will be released on 6 May this year.

Florence Foster JenkinsFlorence Foster Jenkins

© Private Collection (left) and © Granger (right)


Mar 30

Richard Alston world premiere at Sadler’s Wells, 29 March 2016.

An Italian in Madrid by Richard Alston is set to sonatas by Scarlatti and Chopin’s Mazurkas, performed live by pianist Jason Ridgway. Alston’s dance company is joined for this production by Vidya Patel, BBC Young Dancer grand finalist.

Contact pictures@lebrecht.co.uk for more images.

All images © T. Bowles.

Richard Alston Dance Company - An Italian in Madrid  Richard Alston Dance Company - An Italian in Madrid Richard Alston Dance Company - An Italian in Madrid Richard Alston Dance Company - An Italian in Madrid  Richard Alston Dance Company - An Italian in Madrid Richard Alston Dance Company - An Italian in MadridRichard Alston Dance Company - An Italian in MadridRichard Alston Dance Company - An Italian in Madrid


Mar 23

April 2016 Anniversary Round Up

With such huge anniversaries for Shakespeare and Cervantes, Charlotte Brontë and Yehudi Menuhin coming up next month, it’s easy to forget what other dates April has in store. But next month is truly jam-packed! With so many dates to look forward to, Lebrecht is here to help you keep track.

Look out in particular for surrealist painter Max Ernst, composers Alberto Ginastera, Ferruccio Busoni and Sergei Prokofiev, literary anniversaries for Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh and Madame de Staël, and significant birthdays for Vivienne Westwood, Zubin Mehta and the Queen.

April2Clockwise from left: Vivienne Westwood © Mirrorpix. Sergei Prokofiev, 1939 portrait by Pyotr Konchalovsky © culture-images. The Hat Makes the Man, 1920 painting by Max Ernst © culture-images


1 April – 150th birth anniversary of Ferruccio Busoni, Italian composer and pianist

2 April – 125th birth anniversary of German artist Max Ernst, pioneer of the Dada and Surrealist movements

3 April – 25th death anniversary of Graham Greene, British novelist

5 April – 100th birth anniversary of Gregory Peck, American actor

8 April – 75th birthday of Vivienne Westwood, British fashion designer

10 April – 50th death anniversary of Evelyn Waugh, British satirical author

11 April – 100th birth anniversary of Alberto Ginastera, Argentine composer

12 April – 75th birth anniversary of Bobby Moore, captain of England football team in 1966, which won the World Cup

13 April – 200th birth anniversary of William Sterndale Bennett, English composer, pianist and conductor

13 April – 10th death anniversary of Muriel Spark, Scottish novelist

19 April – 70th birthday of Tim Curry, famous for his role as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show

21 April – 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II

22 April – 250th birth anniversary of Madame de Staël, French author

23 April – 125th birth anniversary of Sergei Prokofiev, Russian composer, pianist and conductor

29 April – 80th birthday of Zubin Mehta, Indian conductor

30 April – 100th birth anniversary of Alda Noni, Italian soprano

30 April – 100th birth anniversary of Robert Shaw, American conductor