It's A Family Business

a four-part series featuring generations of families where music is the life's blood.


01Wallfisch Family20050612

Humphrey Burton meets with three generations of the Wallfisch Family.

Anita Lasker-wallfisch survived the Auschwitz death camp because she was a musician and played the cello in the camp's orchestra.

She married an international pianist whom she first met at school, the late Peter Wallfisch.

Their son Raphael Wallfisch is also a cellist.

He has performed all over the world as a soloist and recitalist.

Raphael's children are the third generation: Benjamin is a composer and conductor.

In his role as Assistant Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, he conducted the first performance of his first symphony earlier this year.

Joanna is a jazz singer and is about to begin her student days at Art College and Simon, having completed his studies at the Royal College of Music in LONDON, is a baritone but also continues the family tradition as he is a cellist as well.

They discuss how music became an integral part of family life, interspersed with recordings of various members of the family performing music with very particular family ties.

02The Menuhin Family20050619

Yehudi Menuhin was one of the greatest violinists of the 20th Century.

His sisters, pianists Hephzibah and Yaltah, were fine musicians too and Yehudi formed a professional duo with Hephzibah.

Yehudi Menuhin's biographer, Humphrey Burton, talks to Yehudi's children, Zamira Benthall-Menuhin and pianist, Jeremy Menuhin, about music in the family.

He questions if musicianship is a result of nature or nurture.

Featuring interviews from the BBC arcHIVe and music recorded by members of the Menuhin family.

03Tortelier Family20050626

Humphrey Burton, visits conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier and his mother, Maud, at the family home in the south of FRANCE.

Maud's husband, the international cellist Paul Tortelier, was the one of the finest musicians of the 20th century.

He met his wife at the PARIS Conservatoire when she was chosen to play one of his compositions for cello.

Yan Pascal and Maud Tortelier talk about their lives as professional musicians and how their work and family life has been influenced by Paul's need and passion for music.

Includes interviews from the BBC arcHIVe and music recorded by members of the Tortelier family.

04 LASTDankworth Family20050703

Humphrey Burton is at home with John Dankworth and Cleo Laine.

Joining them round the dining room table in the family home at the Stables in Wavendon are daughter and singer, Jacqui, son and bass player Alec and Alec's daughter, Emily, who, as well as following in her aunt and grandmother's footsteps is also a fine percussionist.

Humphrey Burton unravels the family genes and features music with very particular family ties.