Classical star Rhoderick Williams on music influences

Roderick Williams
Roderick Williams

Rhoderick Williams and Christopher Glynn perform Schubert’s Winter Journey on Friday, November 4, 7.45pm at {https://castindoncaster.com/|Cast|click here} Waterdale Doncaster.

Rhoderick spoke to us before the show, one of several he is starring in with Music in the Round in South Yorkshire soon.

Can you tell us a little bit about your time in Sheffield?

“I’ve performed in Sheffield several times over my career and mostly with Music in the Round.

“The most memorable of these was the Millennium Songbook curated by pianist Iain Burnside.

“He assembled a team of singers and then programmed one song by a different composer for every year of the 20th century.

“That was my first experience of performing in the round at the Crucible, with audience on all sides and we singers popping out from all sorts of unexpected places to sing our numbers. I’m glad I had that experience as it made subsequent solo recital visits to the Crucible easier to picture in my mind. It’s a very interesting space.

What have been the highlights?

“One highlight for me was Daughter of the Sea by Richard Chew which was premiered at the Crucible in 2004. It was quite a community project with children of all ages from local schools.

“We had a small team of professional singers who performed alongside the children and teenagers and the band was supplemented by the Lindsay String Quartet.

“I still have a tape cassette of the show’s really beautiful music. I found the whole experience very moving, especially singing alongside the wonderful young girl who sang the title role.

Do you come from a musical family?

“My parents were, and continue to be, great listeners to music, mostly classical but music of all sorts. When my two brothers and I were younger at home in North London, my parents would have BBC Radio 3 on a lot of the time or they played music from their record collection, so we all grew up with the sound of classical music as a normal background.”

What spurred you on to give up teaching and pursue a career as a performer?

“Even when I was teaching, I was singing at weekends, either in church services or small concerts around the place. I think my wife had begun to suspect that this could be a career for me but until she brought the subject up one day, I hadn’t really given it any serious thought. But she challenged me to consider my where my ambitions really lay and I realised I wanted to try the precarious life of a self-employed musician.”

“I knew I could always fall back on teaching if things didn’t work out as I did enjoy the teaching that I had done.

“I still get a buzz from giving classes now so I like to think I combine the best of both worlds.

“I’m very glad my wife gave me that initial shove though; goodness knows whether I would have got round to it by myself sing.”