New BBC Four documentary on John Ogdon
22 May 2014
A documentary on the life of John Ogdon will be broadcast on BBC Four in June.
John Ogdon – Living with Genius examines the turbulent life of one of Britain’s greatest pianists.
The documentary, directed by Zoe Dobson and produced by back2back productions, features footage from the 1962 Tchaikovsky Competition which launched Ogdon on to the world stage. Ogdon’s wife, the pianist Brenda Lucas, and their children Richard and Annabel are also interviewed.
After his success in 1962 as the first British finalist to win the International Tchaikovsky Competition (where he was awarded joint first prize with Vladimir Ashkenazy), Ogdon toured and recorded widely, both as a soloist and as a duo with his wife. He had an enviable ability to sight-read and memorise complex scores, and gave many first performances of new works. He was also an accomplished composer.
Ogdon struggled with mental health issues throughout his life. He died 25 years ago in August. The article ‘Remembering John’ in the latest edition of IP (issue 25, May/June 14) explores his piano prowess, in conversation with his biographer Charles Beauclerk.
The documentary is followed by John Ogdon: A Musical Tribute at 8.30pm, a tribute concert performed by pianist Peter Donohoe, which was recorded earlier this year.
John Ogdon – Living with Genius is on BBC Four Friday 6 June 2014, 7.30pm