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David Puttnam

Father and son David and Sacha Puttnam share musical movie classics at Manchester show

Father and son David and Sacha Puttnam share musical movie classics at Manchester show

22 July, 2015


‘Puttnam plays Puttnam’ is one description for the fourth in the Hallé Proms concert series at the Bridgewater Hall, on July 18.

Halle Proms Concert Series- Manchester

It’s a collaboration between father and son: David Puttnam the film producer, and his son Sacha, a concert pianist, composer (including film scores) and conductor.

Music will include classic film themes from Lord Puttnam’s movies, such as Chariots Of Fire, The Killing Fields, The Mission, Midnight Express, Bugsy Malone, Local Hero and Memphis Belle, which he’s to introduce, and Sacha features as solo pianist.

Conductor is the Hallé’s own Pops maestro, Stephen Bell.

“It’s a show dad and I have done together in Ireland and elsewhere already,” Sacha Puttnam told me. “But this will be a British premiere for us. It’s lovely that we’re doing that in Manchester.

“Audiences have told us afterwards that for them it’s like re-living the movies themselves: we use dissolving stills from the films and we have a mobile camera on stage, too.

“Dad’s got some great stories from his movie career. He lifts the veil on film production and what it’s really like. It’s all a kind of traveller’s tale in film music.”

Sacha himself trained in conducting and composition at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, followed by four years at the Moscow Conservatory.

He composes and arranges for movies, advertising, television, theatre and radio as well as several groups and ensembles.

As the son of one of the world’s great film directors, one of his earliest musical experiences was watching Paul Williams playing the original score for Bugsy Malone on the piano which he was receiving his own first lessons.

He was also present when Vangelis created the theme music for Chariots Of Fire and Mark Knopfler was working on Local Hero and Cal.

He learned his skills in the dubbing theatres of Soho and Pinewood, on Howard Blake’s The Duelists, Mike Oldfield’s The Killing Fields and Ennio Morricone’s The Mission.

For BBC Radio Four he wrote the music for award-winning adaptations of Bleak House, Q&A and A Suitable Boy, and in 2005 his first classical album, Remasterpiece, was released by EMI.

His father says: “Movies and music have always been inseparable for me – probably because so many that entranced me as a child were Hollywood musicals so when I became a film producer, finding the right music was, for me, every bit as important as having the right director or cinematographer.”












David and Sacha Puttnam playing together in 1977