Jamie Walton’s TV tribute to legendary composer Benjamin Britten

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A renowned cellist will be the star of a television film celebrating the centenary of composer Benjamin Britten.

Jamie Walton, of Appleton-le-Moors, will feature in the documentary which explores Britten’s suites for the solo cello on Sky Arts on Sunday at 8pm.

The programme will be repeated on Tuesday, November 19, at 8am, and then again on Saturday, November 23, at 2pm.

The composer’s music retains a special place in Jamie’s heart - having been instrumental in bringing him back to playing after he considered giving up on a promising career as a 19-year-old.

“After my father passed away whilst I was at the Royal Northern College of Music, I had to focus on personal issues which meant that I couldn’t find the energy to concentrate on or pursue a musical career,” said Jamie, who divides his time between North Yorkshire and London.

But it was his love of the Britten suites that he was drawn back to music.

He said: “I was fascinated with these pieces and the lure of this music brought me back to what I felt was some kind of calling. It is the reason why I am still playing now,”

Jamie, who plays a 1712 Guarneri cello, has recorded Britten’s complete works for cello, saving the most important personally - the solo suites - until the very last.

They were recorded at the Britten Studio, Snape Maltings, near to where the suites were originally composed, with the film set in the church in Blythburgh, where several concerts of the annual Aldeburgh Festival are played.

Jamie has performed in Europe, the USA and the UK in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls and festivals and his discography include ten concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra.

He is perhaps best known locally as the founder of the North York Moors Chamber Music Festival which features some of the world’s top musicians playing in several of the county’s most historic and beautiful churches.

The festival, which runs from August 17-30 next year, attracts thousands of music lovers. It has recently been announced that Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen’s Music, will be the new festival patron. Visit www.northyorkmoorsfestival.com